Friday, August 31, 2012

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Author: Kat Rosenfield
Author's Website:
Publisher: Dutton Books (Penguin)
Released: July 5, 2012
Genre: YA Suspense/Coming-of-Age
Source: Library
Series: No
Challenge: 2012 DAC, Mystery and Suspense

Becca is finally facing her final summer in Bridgeport before she can escape from this tiny small town. She knows her romance is just about over since she'll be moving on to bigger and better while her boyfriend stays in pokey old Bridgeport, but for one summer, she'll hold on to the illusion. But then a murder occurs and sends the town into bubbling gossip, and Becca finds herself in inner turmoil, as she inexplicably is drawn to questioning what happened. She could never have predicted that events so far removed from her, in a town she has nothing to do with, could so impact her life.
 The first thing that hits me about this book is the lushness of the writing. It's just so rich, so descriptive, that I felt like I was in the story at every point - not always so pleasant! The dryness of the road, the flecks of dried blood dusting up.... But definitely satisfying.

As for the story, it's brilliantly woven. Becca's story is intercut with chapters of Amelia Anne's story, and though Becca's spans a summer and Amelia Anne's a night, both are stark coming-of-age stories, as both girls face love and loss and reality. I love how neither girl's thoughts are really ever told, how we get to simply feel how she feels. It makes the story that much more powerful.

As for the mystery - wow. It starts out slowly, as if it's really of no concern - a murder happened, but it has nothing to do with the main point of the story - which is how Becca feels. But as the story goes on, and it starts becoming more personal for Becca, the tension builds and builds, until I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what would happen. I guessed - twice - who the murderer was, but the ending took me by surprise nevertheless.

One thing I will say - the epilogue isn't really necessary. The way the last chapter ends is poignant and says everything that has to be said. I felt like the epilogue tried to wrap things up and didn't trust the reader to make the connections.

I think this book really crosses genres, and will appeal to readers of contemporary YA and mystery alike.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

In My Mailbox 31

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox that week - books bought, borrowed, received... It's a great way to see lots of new books all at once, and leads to great coveting and more buying!
This week I got back to my usual blog-surfing and got caught up again in the new releases. I'm trying to catch up on the Debut Author Challenge, and just to keep up with what's new in YA. I also finally got some books I had pre-ordered on Amazon, and I discovered the Kindle deal of books under 3.99 and fell prey to that! So here's my haul: (Some descriptions are my own, some are modified versions of back/flap copy.)


Dragon's Keep, Janet Lee Carey
I had read Dragonswood but thought that was a standalone, so when I found Dragon's Keep at the library and realized it was the beginning of what would become Tess's story, I was more than delighted. And after I finished reading it, I decided I had to have it for myself, and so I bought it!

Endlessly, Kiersten White
The third Paranormalcy book. Looking forward to it!

Embers and Echoes, Karsten Knight
I loved Wildefire, and I've been waiting very impatiently for this book to get here. I may have to wait a bit longer because other books might take precedence - books I have to review, books I can't renew at the library. But I'll be itching to read this all along...   

Bought on Kindle:
  War Brides, Helen Bryan
Five women in the sleepy Sussex village of Crowmarsh Priors during the war bond as they all deal with their own troubles. Together they will face hardship, passion and danger, forming bonds of friendship that will inspire a desperate plan, And, fifty years later, an act of revenge ...

Girl Under Glass, Monica Enderle Pierce
Rachel wants to protect her daughter, Pearl, from the girl's father, who wants to take her from her mother. She chooses to trust a member of the alien race orbiting Earth. But she has no idea that her trust, and her DNA, will make her one of the most important and endangered people to ever set foot aboard an Ohnenrai starship.

Torn, Stephanie Guerra
Good-girl Stella revels in new girl and rebel Ruby's friendship. But Ruby has a darker side, and Stella will have to search deep inside herself for the strength to be a true friend, even if it means committing the ultimate betrayal.

Word and Breath, Susannah Noel
(Wordless Chronicles #1)
Riana always follows the rules. But now someone kidnapped her sister, someone is trying to kill her, and someone sent a Soul-Breather to get her secrets. She is offered help from a man who used to be her friend, and oddly enough, from the Soul-Breather. Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.    

Library eBooks:
 Shooting Stars, Allison Rushby
Photographer Jo is sent on an assignment that will help pay for real photography classes - shooting celebrity Ned in a rehab center. Jo doesn't count on falling for Ned while they're in there...

French Lessons, Ellen Sussman
A single day in Paris changes the lives of three Americans as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning about language, love, and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways.

Library Books:
Lock and Key, Sarah Dessen
When Ruby's mother vanishes, she is sent to live with her sister and for the first time feels like she has a future, attending a private school, with her own room, and the boy next door. So why is Ruby so wary? And why is Nate keeping her at a distance?

Midnight in Austenland, Shannon Hale
It's Shannon Hale - need I say more? Okay, I will. This is apparently a sequel to a book I didn't read, Austenland, but it sounds like I'll be ok reading this anyway. Charlotte goes to Pembrook Park where everyone plays a role from Jane Austen, but roles and reality begin to blur in a menacing way, and real-life love might be coming into the picture for Charlotte as well.

Wanderlove, Kirsten Hubbard
Bria sets off to find a new self as she travels, and she meets up with Rowan, trying to find a different kind of new self as he travels. Sounds like a great story of self-discovery.

Keep Holding On, Susane Colasanti
Noelle has a terrible home life, a distant boyfriend, and a horrible time at school. She's too scared of a broken heart to accept when Julian actually talks to her, but when the bullying of a friend goes too far, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself and for everything that makes her keep holding on.

Pushing the Limits, Katie McGarry
Echo used to be popular, until the night she barely remembers when she ended up with  scars on her arms. Then Noah explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding. With the secrets they both keep, being together should be impossible. But Echo has to ask herself how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

These two sound so good - I'm a sucker for these kind of books that promise to be tear-jerkers. And that have an impossible love!

All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot
Non-fiction narrative about the author's first years as a country vet. A friend recommended James Herriot for his wit and way with language, so I'm looking forward to enjoying this, though I have no particular interest in vets! But the mark of a great writer is the ability to make any topic interesting, and since this friend is no more interested in vets than I am (I think), Herriot must do that in his books.

That's it for this week.
What's in your mailbox?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In My Mailbox 30

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox that week - books bought, borrowed, received... It's a great way to see lots of new books all at once, and leads to great coveting and more buying!
Well, I've been gone from the blogosphere for quite some time, and I see that my last IMM post was in January! I don't have a lot of new fiction books, but I am starting a new research project, so I have a lot of non-fiction books about Roman Britain. For those who are interested, here's what I've got:
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, by Kat Rosenfield
The Last Boyfriend, by Nora Roberts
Cold Kiss, by Amy Garvey