Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (62): Once, The Storyteller and Monstrous Beauty

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where you can post about upcoming books you're looking forward to. This is a wonderful chance for blogger to show off what's coming out soon that they are excited about! Every week my wishlist balloons thanks to this awesome meme.

Once (Eve #2) by Anna Carey

Sixteen years have passed since a deadly virus wiped out most of the Earth’s population. After learning of the terrifying part she and her classmates were fated to play in the rebuilding of New America, eighteen-year-old Eve fled to the wilds and Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the king of New America. However, her freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. Eve quickly learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems and soon finds herself in the City of Sand and the palace of the king. There she uncovers the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb, they will enact a plan as daring as it is dangerous. But will Eve once again risk everything—her freedom, her life—for love? 
Brimming with danger and star-crossed romance, and featuring a vivid dystopian landscape, this electrifying follow-up to Eve, which bestselling author Lauren Kate called “a gripping, unforgettable adventure—and a fresh look at what it means to love” is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes adventure of The Hunger Games and the irresistible love story of Romeo and Juliet.
Why I need this: I really enjoyed the first novel and the ending absolutely broke my heart. I can't wait to find out more about Eve's world and her role in it. Plus I thought Eve and Caleb were so sweet together.

Once is out July 3, 2012  from HarperTeen.

The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she? 
Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.
Why I need this: I love novels about people who aren't write for each other at first glance but underneath they are perfect. Plus I love a guy who is sweet to his little sister. 

The Storyteller is out January 1, 2012 by Amulet.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Monstrous mermaids, ghosts, and a century-old curse feature in this beautifully crafted, compulsively readable thriller. 
In 1872, mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. 
One hundred thirty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger and feels drawn to him in a way she can't explain or resist. For generations, love and death have been inextricably linked for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect...or a curse? Hester's investigation of her family's strange, sad history leads her to the graveyard, the crypt, and the bottom of the ocean--but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of long ago.
Why I need this: I love this concept of one person's choice effecting their entire line. I'm also really into all the mermaid stuff coming out lately.

Monstrous Beauty comes out August 21, 2012 from Farrar Straus Giroux.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (63) and Top Ten Tuesday

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

She followed his instructions, trying not to notice how good Tanner smelled. Fresh and clean. Like catnip for girl. 
-Pg. 196 of "The International Kissing Club" by Ivy Adams

Really enjoying this novel so far. I've been looking forward to Mei's chapters mostly because I'm going to be having her on the blog in the upcoming month but I have to say, the other girls sure know how to pick their guys. Piper's got a French guy that calls her "cherie" and Cassidy has an Australian guy. Can we say hello to sexy accents?

What's your teaser?

Top Ten Tuesday is a 10's list meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. There is a different question every week and all you have to do is answer their question with your top ten results!
Top Ten TBR List For Winter
This is a list of the top ten books I'm most excited to read with a release date between December 2011 and March 2012. There are loads of others but here's my list.

1) Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer- I haven't gotten to Wolfsbane yet, mostly because I read it ends on a terrible cliffhanger and I want this little jewel available right after so I can dive in!

2) A Million Suns by Beth Revis- I loved the first novel and can't wait to continue on with Amy and Elder.

3) The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith- This one looks so cute and I love that it's set over a single 24 hour period!

4) Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood- Described as "A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare". Where do I sigh up?

5) The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams- I love that this one deals with heavy costs. Looks like such a fascinating read!

6) Tempest by Julia Cross- I love novels about time travel and again, this one has such high stakes. Can't wait!

7) Everneath by Brodi Ashton- Love the back and forth pull between two guys in this one. I have an ARC and can't wait to dive in!

8) Fever by Lauren DeStefano- Loved the first one and DeStefano's writing was just gorgeous. Can't wait to get back into this world!

9) Harbringer by Sara Wilson Etienne- Love the mystery element of this one and can't get enough of boarding school books.

10) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows- Interesting concept! I've got an ARC of this one too and can't wait to get started on it!

What made your TBR winter list?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hopefully New Feature Coming: The "Write" Stuff

I'm currently trying to work on a new feature that will aim to help aspiring writers learn a few things about their favorite authors.

I'd like to start a new feature called The "Write" Stuff which would be a weekly or bi-weekly post that interviews a different author each week on things like their writing process, their agent, editing tips and specifics about their books of course! I feel like this is something I would come to a blog for all the time and something I'm really interested in.

Authors, please, please, please contact me or comment and let me know you'd be interested in doing an interview for this feature. I'd want a few lined up before I started posting this. It'd just be about 7-10 questions and then some book stats like word count and all that. It would mean the world to me so please let me know!

Readers, do you think this is a feature you'd be interested in?

Book Review: Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington Teen (November 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758266944
ISBN-13: 978-0758266941
Series: Mythos Academy #2
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher
Cover: I think this cover is absolutely gorgeous. I love the snowflakes caught on the girl's long black lashes and near her lips like she's blowing ice. The icy blue and light pink color scheme are beautiful and the little gargoyle on the top of the author's name is too cute. I like this cover a lot better than the first!
First Sentence: "Logan Quinn was trying to kill me."

Mini-Review: A wonderfully light paranormal read, raising the stakes while keeping everything you loved from the first!


Logan Quinn was try ing to kill me. My Spar tan class mate relent lessly pur sued me, swing ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin ing sil ver blade inch ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac ti cally glowed with the thrill of battle... 

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur vive the rest of the semes ter. One day, I’m get ting schooled in sword play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq ui ties decides to use me for tar get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some one at the acad emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...


Utilizing the same intriguing mythology set up in the first, Kiss of Frost is an excellent continuation of Gwen Frost's journey. Filled with the same lovably snobby and equal beautiful Mythos campus, newly found relationships and evolved struggles, Kiss of Frost is an easy read. Gwen's voice is smooth and unique, the story (while at times predictable) is a whole lot of fun and the magic and lore is deepen and richer for it.

I really liked Gwen's character in Touch of Frost and I am really glad to come back to this series and have an even better and stronger voice. A comic book loving, hoodie wearing kid on scholarship among the rich and snobby always made Gwen unique but her ability to adapt and change is what made her incredible. I like that Gwen learned some lessons in book 1 and they stuck around for book 2. She isn't dumb and even though she makes some poor decisions in this sequel, she acknowledges that and has good reasons for choosing what she does. It was nice to be included in on the bad decision making. She doesn't excuse herself but she does what she needs to do and figures out the rest as she goes along.

Watching Gwen's touch magic deepen and broaden into something completely new is another highlight in this book. I like that as Gwen begins to grow and explore her world, so does her magic. It also worked because the entire mythology that Estep set up in the first novel is expanding. All of a sudden there is a much bigger world out there and even some of the teachers are learning new and startling things about the Reapers of Chaos.

The storyline provides something fresh by having the students leave the campus for a weekend trip to a snowy mountainous resort and plucks the school into a place with another Academy and a whole new list of fresh suspects. Though I figured out earlier on who the bad guy was, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how the bad guy did some of the things that he/she was suppose to have done. In that way, it kept me guessing. What I loved about this story is that even though the stakes are raising, the voice maintained it's fun, light quality. Kiss of Frost isn't your dark paranormal YA and in that sense, it is refreshing.

I literally can't write a review without talking about the love interest. Seriously, the fact that it is this far down in the review is almost causing me to break out in hives. If it's possible, Logan is even hotter in this novel. The scenes between he and Gwen literally sizzle off the page and Estep is adapt at amping up the sexual tension. I must say though that the other characters were just as engaging as these two. Gwen's feisty best friend Daphne provides plenty of laughs with her princess pink sparkles and super strength and her nerdy boyfriend is too sweet for words. I also really enjoyed the addition of Logan's friends Kenzie and Oliver. They all made the world come to life.

Kiss of Frost raises the stakes, makes the main character face some new frightening realizations and manages to maintain it's light, fun tone. Stuffed with great descriptions, a likable main character and a fair amount of kissing, Kiss of Frost is one heck of a sequel. Just like Gwen's touch magic allows her to remember images she sees, you will remember Gwen because she will touch you.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox 63

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!

From Paper Lit Lantern:

From Books-A-Million:
What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Discussions: Character Pet Peeves

After finally putting my fourth novel to sleep for a month, I've been second guessing every single thing I've written. And what I've been thinking a lot about lately is my main character and what makes her special. Since I've been thinking about this, I've been noticing it a lot more in other novels and trying to think about what makes a main character good and reversely, what doesn't.

That's why Jessica from The Midnight Bookworm and I want to talk about our top main character pet peeves. These are the things that makes my skin crawl and threaten to ruin a novel for me. I'm sure I'm missing a few but this is a somewhat completely list of my least favorite things!

1) Smart Girl, Bad Choices- This is the number one thing that will make me angry when I'm reading. I hate when I know that my main character is a smart girl but for the sake of plot or jealousy or sheer dumb-assry, she decides to do something totally out of character. Usually that author will make them pay a price for this but then it just feels like a loosely shaded plot device.

2) Too Wishy-Washy- I don't mind a good love triangle. Heck, I don't mind one that's so good that I'm a little unsure which is a better choice and it would be completely unreasonable of me to want my main character to know exactly who she wants. But I don't like when they are so wishy-washy that they refuse to make a descision about anything or anyone. And once they do, I want them to stick with it out have a damn good reason why they don't.

3) Too Whiny- I expect character's to have problems and I expect those problems to be at the center of their minds. But I don't want to spend 300+ pages with someone who is all about the pity party. I'd rather have an active heroine who is out making her problems right than one who is crying about it all the time.

4) Too Self-Absorbed- Likewise, I'm not into a character that is so self-involved that they can't see that someone else is suffering, especially if it's obvious to me as a reader. I don't mind if the character realizes that they've been to wrapped up in their own problems and aims to help their friend but when they excuse not being there for someone because they have to save the world, they've lost a few points in my book.

5) Too Perfect- On the complete opposite end of the scale, I'm not happy with someone if they don't have any problems either. I don't want to read about someone who is beautiful with a great boyfriend, a happy family, the best best friend and no money problems. Mary Sues are boring unless they are proving some bigger point.

6) No hobbies and/or friends-I understand that some characters aren't going to be social. But I will never get the character that doesn't have a single friend or hobby. The friend thing can slide if they have just moved into town but he/she needs to have something they are passionate about. Most of my favorite characters love something whether it be sports, photography or even something nerdy like gaming. Without friends or a hobby, the character is just boring.

7) Trust Issues- I don't mind characters who have a problem trusting people because they;ve been vurned. But what I don't like is when a main character has been best friends with their BF forever or have had a serious, steady relationship with their guy and will still believe someone else over them. If the author has worked for a long time to build trust between the characters, I hate when they let their main character disregard all of that for the plot's sake.

As I'd mentioned, this is probably not all of my pet peeves but it's a large majority of them. One or two per character I can let slide, but once these traits start piling on top of each other, I've got some major problems. I want my lead characters active, intelligent and able to take care of themselves. When I crack open a book, I want to be going into a life that has already been fully formed with people they love and experiences they've already had. That is what makes a truly good character.

Some of my favorite main characters are:

Katniss from The Hunger Games- I loved her because she didn't have time for any of my pet peeves. She was always on to the next thing in order to survive, trying to stay on the same page as people who have been playing the games much longer than herself. She had people she loved and relied on and she was a powerful chick!
Tris from Divergent- I love Tris for many of the same reasons. She knows what she wants, has a passion for life and isn't willing to pet everything she has into a goal.

Mara Dyer from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer- Though she does dwell on her problems, she has a legimate reason to because she's trying to figure out what's wrong with her. She's smart, quick as a whip and though she doesn't trust easily, when she does she puts her whole heart into it.

Herimone from Harry Potter- It was obvious from the beginning that without her, the boys would be completley helpless. Intelligent, awesome and fearless, Herimone has a passion like no other heroine.

So I want to know, what are some of your pet peeves for main characters?

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

I'm so excited to announce that Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I are hosting an all YA Giveaway Hop! I've wanted to host a hop with Kathy for a while and am just in love with the button Kathy came up with.

I do hope you'll consider signing up!

It starts Midnight January 27th and ends 31st.

Hop Rules:

  • Each participating blog will host a giveaway on their site.
  • The giveaway must be for a young adult book.
  • No more than 4 possible entries per person.
  • Offering a Gift Card or a young adult book of choice is ok.
  • You do not have to be a young adult review blog to participate. Any family friendly blog or site is welcome to join.
It seems my linky tool isn't working right now so if you'd like to sign up, head on over to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

I look forward to hopping with you!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Tunes (30)

Book Tunes is a new meme that will be held on Fridays and the point is to share the book your reading and a song you think represents it. 

Want to join in?:
  • Write up a post
  • Tell me the book you are reading, the song you picked and why
  • Link up by leaving the URL to your posts in the comments
Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?
The Tune: If Not Now, When? by Incubus 

The Lyrics:
I have waited
Dined on ashes
Swung from chandeliers and climbed Everest
And none of it's got me close to this

I've waited all my life
If not now, when will I?

We've been good
Even a blast, but
Don't you feel like something's missing here?
Don't you dare

I've waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don't hide your eyes
It's time

No umbrellas
No sunglasses
Healing Hallelujah everyday

I've waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don't hide your eyes
It's time 

I'm not very far into this book but this is sort of the feeling all the girl's are having right now about traveling as exchange students. One of the girl's (Piper, I believe) says that they are "starving for experiences" and I feel like this song is about this. They are on a ledge and have finally decided to jump.

What song fits the novel you are reading right now?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Standalone Reading Challenge

Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking... Amber, you've signed up for 3 challenges already, plus you're going to be trying to read 100 books again next year. What are you thinking?

Apparently, I'm not because I'm signing up for this one too. I figure, between the four I'll be hitting a goal for something always so it will always feel like progress! That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

The Standalone Reading Challenge is hosted by IceyBooks and I Like These Books.

For this challenge, the goal is to read at least 15 standalone books in 2012. I'm not saying I'll be able to reach that many, but I'm going to do my damnedest to at least try.

Here's my very tentative list of books (you can see a really big Goodreads list here to choose from):

  1. Fracture by Megan Miranda 
  2. Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham 
  3. The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
  4. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E Smith
  5. The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
  6. Touched by Cyn Balog
  7. This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
  8. The Fine Art of Truth and Dare by Melissa Jensen
  9. Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
  10. For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  11. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  12. Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler
  13. Wrecked by Anna Davies
  14. Fated by Sarah Alderson
  15. Immortal City by Scott Speer
I'm not sure if I'll get to them all and this list will change depending on what ARCs I receive next year but this is my list and I'm sticking to it!
Are you signing up for any challenges?

Waiting On Wednesday (61): My Life Next Door, Kissing Shakespeare and So Close To You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where you can post about upcoming books you're looking forward to. This is a wonderful chance for blogger to show off what's coming out soon that they are excited about! Every week my wishlist balloons thanks to this awesome meme.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time." 
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen year old Samantha wishes she was one of them… until the day Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. 
Jase can sense that his beautiful neighbor is missing something in her sterile home, and as the two fall fiercely in love, his family makes her one of their own. 
But when the bottom drops out of Sam's world, which perfect family will save her–and will her perfect love survive? 
Set among the haves and have-nots of a coastal New England town, My LIFE NEXT DOOR captures the angst, the heartache, and the raw-nerve emotions of first time love—and biting loss.
Why I need this:  This looks like such a cute read! I don't mention it often but I fell in love with Megan Meade's Guide To McGowan Boys by Kate Brian and this story reminds me a bit of it. Plus, that cover is adorable!

My Life Next Door is out June 14, 2012 from Dial Books for Young Readers.

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide. 
Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright. 
Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love…with no acting required.
Why I need this: I love a good time travel story and I'm especially intrigued because it has a famous person as a character in it. This books sounds like a whole lot of fun!

Kissing Shakespeare is out August 14, 2012 from Delacorte Books.

So Close To You by Rachel Carter 

So Close to You brims with the compelling “what if” mysteries surrounding The Time Traveler’s Wife and all of the the action and creepy government experiments of The Maze Runner—and, in a new twist, presents a piercing look at a dark period in history and imagines what changes could have produced an utterly different world...and what one girl would do to stop it. 
Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the experiments that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who’ve disappeared over the years. When she stumbles into a vessel that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, Lydia realizes that all the stories she’s ever heard about the Montauk Project are true—and that she’s in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history. 
Alongside Wes, a darkly mysterious boy whom she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices. And if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them...and herself.
Why I need this: I love this slue of big bad corporations coming out hiding supernatural powers. This looks like a lot of adventure and I can't get enough of The Time Traveler's Wife so I know this one's for me!

So Close To You is out July 10, 2012 from HarperTeen.

What are you waiting on this week?

Book Review: Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (November 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 054750151X
ISBN-13: 978-0547501512
Series: No
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher
Cover: This is such a gorgeous cover. I'm not sure what it has to do with the book as much but I love the longing thoughtful pose of the model and the green and blue in the background with the patches of sunlight. It's enchanting.
First Sentence: You've been sitting by her side for months but she hasn't noticed you.

Mini-Review: A beautifully written and quietly haunting story about the many forms of love.

Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. The fact that she has to spend most of her free time caring for her little sister and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather doesn’t help. But Holly has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, reach out to help Holly with her grandfather—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. Is his best friend really falling for his girlfriend?
As Holly wonders whether to open her heart to Jason, the past comes back to haunt her. Her grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?
Told from the perspectives of Holly, Jason, and Rob,Wherever You Go is is a poignant story about making peace with the past, opening your heart to love, and finding the courage to move forward into the light.

Wherever You Go is a quiet exploration into love in its many forms and how it keeps us and sometimes binds us to people. Three point of views weave together to tell a tale of loss, love, responsiblity, depression, sickness and more. With well developed and piognant characters and gorgeous prose, Wherever You Go takes it time building something spectacular. Though not without its fault, it is most definitely a novel worth a read.

Holly is the driving force at the root of this story. Told in first person from her point of view, she's been sentenced to play the parent to her younger sister and has had the added responsiblity of taking care of her grandfather as he slips further into the grips of Alzheimer's disease. She's going through all of this while trying to cope with the death of her first love Rob. Holly's chapters were sometimes hard to get through because I felt so bad for her. Her patient and calm demeanor sometimes made her a bit cold to the rest of the world since her capacity to care is being used up so much at home. I really liked the constant power struggle between her and her mother but I wish she would have fought back a little more. It seemed just a tiny bit unrealistic that she simply went with parenting her sister and grandfather so easily. I was definitely happy to see her start to rebel some and fight for her own time as the story went on. I'll also say that I got pretty frustrated with her because she was really intelligent and kind but fell for the same old stupid mistakes halfway through the novel.

Jason's perspective was told in third person which worked well because he was intensely lonely and in a lot of pain, trying to cope with the loss of his best friend. I'm not sure first person would have been bearable. I really did like his character because he wasn't the perfect, smooth guy. He was shy and had a generally good heart. He wanted to believe the best in people. Watching how patient he was with Holly and how supportive he was with Holly's grandfather was so stinking sweet!

The last character and point of view is Rob and he's in second which was really interesting. Nothing pulls you into a story than when the writer is telling you what you are doing. His quest to find the reason he's still hanging out around ever one and his budding friendship with Holly's grandfather are really great additions to this story. The insight he gains really make for some of the most beautiful passages in the novel. I loved the chats he and Aldo had as it revealed a lot about Aldo that we didn't get to see from any other perspective.

Even though there is a ghost in this novel, it is by no means a paranormal romance. This book doesn't question the logic behind the ghost being there or anything but rather, it is about healing after a tragedy and how two people can find each other (and I'm not just talking about Holly and Jason but also Aldo and Rob). The ending is so incredibly beautiful thanks to the painstaking efforts Ms. Davis's puts into the writing. It seriously packs a punch. My biggest compliant with this novel is that it just felt too long. I really feel like I could have come to the same conclusion with a few less pages and it wouldn't have felt so weigh down. I also had a problem with how easily Holly believed the gossip when Jason had worked so hard to prove to her his intentions. It just seemed out of character to me. I guess when it comes down to it, this story might just have been a bit too quiet for me.

Wherever You Go painstakingly works its way from a quiet opening to a quiet crescendo with beauty and charm. The three perspectives really serve to round out the story. While a bit long, it's definitely a gorgeous story about love in all forms. The ending will haunt you with its simple truth and beauty.

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