It's 84 degrees outside today and my allergies are killing me, obviously this means Summer has arrived. Allergy doctors and school kids rejoice! Today I'm posting Young Adult beach reads and next week I'll post Suspense beach reads. I've been both dreading AND looking forward to this week because of all the great YA books currently available. Ultimately, though, I selected two books:
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
On to the reviews!
Summary: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause is the story of Vivian Gandillon, a sixteen year old werewolf still grieving the loss of her father - the pack's alpha. Withdrawn from her pack and sullen, Vivian finds unexpected happiness with Aiden, a human boy able to make her feel normal & understood. But there's a reason wolves and humans don't normally mix, and Vivian wrestles with whether or not to reveal her true self to Aiden. Amidst brutal attacks that could only have been caused by a wolf, Vivian must determine once and for all whether or not she belongs in the normal human world or with her pack.
Review: I was totally prepared to list the Raised by Wolves trilogy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes for my summer YA read, but then I got nostalgic. Don't get me wrong, the Raised by Wolves trilogy is fan-freaking-tastic and you should definitely read it too, but Blood and Chocolate was the first supernatural YA I read outside of Harry Potter in Middle/High School. This book spurred me to read Tithe by Holly Black, which led to me discovering my love of the young adult genre. In addition, Vivian is a refreshingly strong female protagonist who isn't shy or ashamed of who she is and the book has a prose that is fast paced and tightly plotted.
4/5 Beach Balls
Note: After reading this book and loving it, you will want to go see the Blood & Chocolate movie from 2007. DON'T DO IT. This is not some trivial complaint just because they left (Insert Scene/Character) from the book out of the movie. All the filmmakers took from the book was A) the title, B) the character's names, & C) The fact that they're werewolves. THAT'S IT. Seriously, the worst book to movie adaptation I've ever seen in my entire life. I saw it opening weekend in '07 and I'm still ticked whenever it's mentioned. If some studio exec is trawling the interwebs for a remake idea, REMAKE this movie using the actual book as a guide this time.
Summary: Set in New York City during the late 1890s, Ripper is the tale of 14 year old Carver Young. After being turned out from Ellis Orphanage, the only home he's ever known, Carver's luck seems to finally be changing for the better. Under the guardianship of Detective Hawking, an eccentric and weathered Pinkerton, Carver is hot on the trail of a killer who is slashing his way through New York City in the same fashion as Jack the Ripper did in England.
Review: When I first picked up this book I was kind of intimidated by the page count. Now I like a long book but having never read Petrucha before, I wasn't sure it would hold my interest all the way to the end. But my fascination with famous crimes won out and I'm glad it did! Like Libba Bray did with the 1920s in The Diviners, Stefan Petrucha paints a vivid portrait of 1890s New York City while flawlessly meshing Jack the Ripper lore, Theodore Roosevelt, and The Pinkerton Agency into the story. Moreover, the unexpected way the ending sets up, leaves the reader satisfied and thirsting for a sequel.
5/5 Beach Balls