Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink

I ferociously read this book….I didn’t want it to end.  It took a turn from the creepiness of the first book, to more of a Lord of the Rings adventure.  I’ve already cracked open the next book…I cannot WAIT to see how this ends!  Can you tell I’m just a teeeeeensy bit excited??

Title: Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters #2)

Author: Michelle Zink

Summary (by Goodreads):

The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she’ll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister’s role in the prophecy, and that’s not the only thing she wants: There’s also Lia’s boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn’t know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

My take:

I was left wondering how the series is going to end by time I got to the final pages of the book.  A crazy revelation was brought to light when Lia finds the rest of the pages and you get the sense that this is going to end badly.  *nnnooooooo!!!

Lia also has a new guy who is hot hot hot!  It’s a little fast and sudden…all ya fiction have the same sudden romances though, “I looked at him and I knew him…it was like I’ve known him forever.”  But I do like Demitri…more so than James from the first book.  Props to the author for being able to win me over so fast with the new guy though.  *smile

Lia’s character grows in this book.  She gets betrayed by a friend, she learns to do more with her powers as a Sister, and seems to finally understand the magnitude of her role and what it would mean if she were to fail.  It got heavy and deep for this poor girl.

We also get a look at the Sisterhood and their role as well as the Gregori.  There is still tension between her and Alice, but it’s not at the forefront of the book.  This book is really focused on progressing the story and gets a good swift kick of an adventure with a good side of romance.  Kind of perfect if you ask me….and by reading this, you are kinda asking me…so….yeah.

~Myst

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This book undoubtedly is unique in the sense that as you read through the book, vintage photographs are shown.  At the end of the book, the author explains that these photos are actual photos taken from different individual’s libraries and only a couple were actually somewhat manipulated.  THAT made it uber creepy to me…yes I said “uber”.

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Summary (by Goodreads):

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

My take:

I’ve heard rumors that they’re turning this book into a movie….the ending of the book left it open for more to come…I really wanted this book to be just a good “different” novel and not worry about the whole “trilogy” thing.  *sigh

I did enjoy reading it though.  It was REALLY something different than what I usually read! I let my sister-in-law look at the book the other night and the look on her face said: “Uh huh….hmm…noooooooo thank you.  What is she thinking?”   I really did like the book with all the weirdness that was contained in it!

Jacob has grown up hearing these crazy stories from his grandpa about him traveling all over the world, crazy monsters that lurked in the shadows, and of weird children who could levitate, were invisible, or who had bees living inside them.  Jacob slowly comes to realize that these stories were WAY too crazy to be true and starts to believe his parents when they say grandpa needs to go to an old folks home after they lock up all the guns he’s been collecting.  If my grandpa had even a quarter of what this guy collected in guns…I might begin the think the same way….*hands up….juuuuuust saying.

Something bad happens and Jacob starts having horrible nightmares and everyone starts to think Jacob has gone crazy after the story he has told his parents and police.   Jacob’s psychiatrist tells his parents that they should let Jacob go to the remote island his grandfather always talked about and let him explore it to help him get more of a grip on reality.  There the story takes a turn and Jacob starts finding out that maybe his grandpa had been telling the truth all along and the stories weren’t so crazy after all.  *cue creepy music

Seriously though, reading the book and looking at the photographs was what really made this book awesome.  Who doesn’t like picture books??!!??

~Myst

Back of the Book

Boy Covered in Bees

Just plain creepy...

Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn’t have) by Sarah Mlynowski

This was a total teen/chick book.  I’m not really into this genre and I really didn’t like it.  Maybe it’s because I was raised differently than these kids were…aka: old fashioned.  But the whole book seemed to center around April and her boyfriend Noah and them losing their virginity along with her friends and their sexual encounters. Am I really being a wet blanket on this?

Title: Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn’t have)

Author:  Sarah Mylnowski

Summary (from Goodreads):

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn’t have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe “opportunity” isn’t the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: “Lied to Our Parents”). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up “Skipping School” (#3), “Throwing a Crazy Party” (#8), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4), and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn’t-have-done at a time.

My take:

It all starts when April finds out from her dad that he’s decided to take a more high paying job and that they would be moving out of state, mid-semester of her senior year in high school.  She totally freaks out. Which that’s believable…what senior would WANT to leave during their senior year leaving best friends and a boyfriend behind?  She convinces her dad to let her stay at a friends house, and thus begins the story.

So like I mentioned above…this book centered a lot around April and her boyfriend losing their virginity as well as her friends sleeping with their significant others or doing “it” just so they won’t end up in college as a virgin.  Stupidest reason ever.  I’m sure there are plenty of kids out there with this mind set, but I just couldn’t read it without wanting to yell at these kids!  Plus, the author even acknowledges that the mom knows her 16 yr old is about to have sex and is upset….because the girl didn’t call her to have “girl talk” before it…mom wasn’t mad at all that her 16 yr old was having sex?!

There were some funny moments, some moments I was completely appalled by the  things these girls did, and some moments that completely reminded me of my teen years.  My dad had almost taken a job out of state during my jr year of high school and freaked me out.  I didn’t absolutely hate this book…but I probably wouldn’t read it again.

~Myst

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

I have mixed feelings on the second book in the series…I liked the mystery in the book with the new characters that got added and I still love Jay and Violet’s teen romance, but the book was also filled with a lot of over protectiveness, secrets, stupid decisions, and a teen sex scene.  *sigh…I feel like my mother.

Title: Desires of the Dead  (Body Finder #2)

Author: Kimberly Derting

Summary (by Goodreads):

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My take:

Violet basically “finds” a body in a sealed container on a ship and makes (what she thinks is) an anonymous phone call to the police.  Turns out it was a little boy that had been missing for weeks.  Feds track her license plate from a nearby camera feed and Sara Priest (someone that works with the FBI) comes looking for her trying to figure out what exactly Violet can do.  It’s like NO one can do a good deed anymore without being harassed!  Geez!  Meanwhile, someone has left her a dead cat, threatening notes, and doing prank calls at all hours of the night.  So Violet has to figure out who is threatening her while dealing with measure out what exactly to say to Sara about her “ability”.

Sooooo good new first?  …I think I should put it at the end to at least show you there was SOME good in the book.

I got SO frustrated with Violet in this book.  I skimmed some it just for the reason that she was giving me a headache.  That’s pretty bad when a character in a book is putting you in a bad mood.  She was always running off by herself, always keeping secrets from her boyfriend and parents, and then tried dealing with an FBI agent…by herself!  If I had an uncle that was chief of the police…I think I would have at least asked him what to do.  But she is the flawed 16 yr old girl who thinks she knows it all.

Good news was there wasn’t the angsty love triangle stuff!  *cheers!   There are a number of people on Goodreads saying they think the author will take a new character (Rafe) that has shown up and throw him in the mix in the next book….meeeeeh, I personally don’t think so…only Jay puts up with Violet’s secrets and freak outs.  I think if anything, the author will use Rafe to help Victoria feel more comfortable with her ability or at least get Victoria to help him and Sara work a mystery for the FBI….who knows?? ….well I’m sure the author knows, but we’ll see!

So there was some good, but I still feel that the first book was better.

~Myst

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

You know those books that make you stay up late to finish because you want to know what happens??  I stayed up until 1am last night finishing this book!  I can feel people rolling their eyes saying “That’s not late!”…well, to me it is!!   It was the type of book that wrapped everything up…didn’t leave you hanging WAITING for the next book.  I can’t handle it when a book leaves you trying to figure out what happens next!

Title: The Body Finder

Author: Kimberly Derting

Summary (by Goodreads):

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

My take:

The story starts with a great introduction to Violet and her abilities to find dead things.  The relationship that the author shows between Jay and Violet had me remembering back in the day when I had crushes on boys but would have been mortified for them to know!  Although I was the type to stare at them until they for sure knew I either had a huge crush or was “special”!

It’s a good mystery book with a good ol’ side of young adult romance.  There was a hint…just teensiest little hint of a love triangle, but it really doesn’t count…you just have to read it to know what I mean.  So it’s a “who dun it” with a cute love story and wraps itself up at the end…it’s the perfect novel!

So Violet starts crushing on her all time best friend Jay at the same time a serial killer starts kidnapping and killing girls.  Violet has the great idea to take the echoes or imprints left from the victim to apply it in finding the killer and of course talks Jay into helping her.  In between every so many chapters, the author writes from the kidnapper’s point of view and gives us a disturbing look into a psycho’s head.

There are more books to the series:  Desires of the Dead (which was published in February this year), The Last Echo (which will be published in April of next year), and a possible 4th expected (if published) to be released in 2013.  I heard the second book leaves us with a possible love triangle option for the 3rd book….just making sure everyone is fully disclosed!

Myst~

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

So this book was a little creepy creepy!!  I had to say it twice to emphasize the creepiness.  Although, I think I wanted it to be creepy and may have helped the book in it’s creepiness by psyching myself out a little…it’s almost Halloween and I live really close to a graveyard, wouldn’t you freak yourself out too??

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters

Author: Michelle Zink

Summary (by Goodreads):

An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-

One good…

One evil…

Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents’ deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don’t know whom they can trust.

They just know they can’t trust each other.

My take:

I enjoyed this book!  My husband got a little worried for me saying I shouldn’t probably read it because I kept mentioning how creepy it was….I do NOT do scary movies or books, usually I can’t handle them.  But I think this book teetered on the edge of creepy/scary enough to not freak me completely out, but get a shiver or two.  Plus I chewed down a couple of fingernails…so if you’re looking to grow your nails out, you may not want to read this!

Good news is this is a trilogy series and the third book was just published in August this past summer.  So if you want to start a little chilling tale before Halloween…the whole series is out and done!  I just finished this first book last Friday and should be getting the last two from the library this week.  So hopefully the last two books (Guardian of the Gate and Circle of Fire) will be just as good as the first!!  It always sucks when the next books don’t live up to the first…*crosses fingers.

The book is set in 1889 and is about twin sisters whose parents have died in strange ways.  Lia stumbles across an old legend/prophecy about twin sisters.  It says through each generation, one sister will be the gate that will let the lost souls loose upon the earth and the second will be the guardian of the gate who will have to battle the sister into keeping the gate shut to keep peace. Which sister is the gate and which is the guardian?

There’s a lot of mythology regarding angels, lost souls, the devil, marks, etc.  It’s a mystery, creepy story, a race against time, a nail biter, and a love story.  I recommend it!   Hopefully soon I’ll be able to recommend the whole series!

~Myst

Stolen: A letter to my captor by Lucy Christopher

I’m actually having difficulty trying to summarize my feelings about the book.  I sat and read this completely entranced with wondering what happened.  I read it in a day.  I liked it, but struggled with some parts trying to figure out what parts could be realistic. I’ve never really been this confused over a book….I don’t know WHAT is going on!

Title: Stolen: A letter to my Captor

Author: Lucy Christopher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

My take:

So the book is all written from the perspective of Gemma, the girl who is kidnapped and she’s writing this to Ty, her captor.  You don’t know a lot about Gemma in the beginning, but she slowly starts to unravel her story through her memories and things Ty says to her.

This book was kinda creepy from the stand point that you find out this guy had been stalking her for years and felt overcome with this need to “rescue” her from her friends and parents.  She’s being kept in a house in the Australian outback in a huge vast of nothingness.  How depressing would that be?  One moment you’re in an airport, the next is a dried up wasteland of desert.

There were a couple things that I felt had an unrealistic aspect.  One was the fact that he was very good looking.  I mean seriously good looking.  Blue eyes, flat stomach with a million abs, great smile….maybe that’s the scary part, the fact that a kidnapper could be so good looking and not so creepy.  The second was the amount of time he spent stalking her, the amount of time he spent building the house/buildings, and the amount of money he would have needed to accomplish flying around to do both of those things. 

I won’t ruin it, but I liked the ending and the scenarios that she writes about.  I feel like it’s the way the author kinda justifies herself and the way she ends the story.  So I felt closure when the story ends…if that makes any sense.

Read it, tell me if you liked it.  Would you have changed anything?

~Myst