Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

It has been over three years since Sherry and her family moved into their bomb shelter. In that time, their grandfather passed away. They put him in the freezer. It took them three years, one month, one week, and six days to finally run out of food. That is when Sherry and her father finally venture outside and see what the world has become.

Some people have become monsters, nicknamed weepers because of the silvery streaks coming from their eyes. The weepers hunt, kill, and devour what used to be their fellow humans. If anyone is bitten by a weeper, they turn into a weeper themselves. On their very first excursion out of the bomb shelter, Sherry and her father run into a group of weepers. Sherry is rescued, but her father is taken by the monsters.

Sherry and the rest of her family are taken in by a group of surviving humans, including the dreamy Joshua. Because she holds herself responsible for losing her father, Sherry becomes focused on getting him back. Plans and escapades ensue, and we find out that some strange things are afoot regarding the weepers and the government.

It was difficult for me to figure out if I like this book. First of all, it's very short. This may just be me, but it felt like there wasn't a lot happening and then it was over. It's also another one where I pegged it as a zombie book. It came close, but they're not quite zombies. It's not a bad book by any means, but it's also not one of my favorites.

I received my copy of Weepers: The Other Life from Netgalley, courtesy of Usborne. It's available for purchase now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thumped by Megan McCafferty

The review for the first book in this series, Bumped is here.

I really enjoyed Bumped and its humorous treatment of a serious dystopian subject. Everyone eventually becomes infertile at around age 18. Because of this, teenagers hold massive amounts of power, and especially teenage girls. We were introduced to reunited twin sisters Melody and Harmony in the first book. Melody was raised to "preg for profit," as they would say in the books. Harmony was raised with a more religious background, but she runs away from her new husband to meet and then save her sister. Warning: I will be revealing some spoilers from Bumped.

At the end of book one, Harmony fell in love with Johndoe, the hot stud who was supposed to impregnate Melody. They got it on, and Harmony is now pregnant with his baby. BUT...she is actually married and back in Goodside pretending that it is her husband's. Melody is also pregnant, except not so much. The twins scored a major endorsement deal based on their twin pregnancies and twin deliveries. Harmony uses her new fame to help with her ministry, but she can't get Johndoe out of her head. When she finds out that the elders in Goodside plan to take her child when it's born, Harmony reaches out to her sister for help.

Melody has been faking her pregnancy to help prove that the entire pro-teen pregnancy system is messed up. She only starts to think about the repercussions of this when she actually meets the couple who is expecting to adopt her babies.

There are a lot of issues presented in both of Megan McCafferty's books, but they don't come of as "issues" books in spite of it all. The series is wrapped up very neatly with the second book, maybe a little too neatly. All in all, I enjoy the series for its humor, though it may be better suited for someone younger but mature enough to handle sexual content.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Undead by Kirsty McKay

Why did I want to read this book? Just take a quick look at the picture to the left. That cover, the cheerleader wielding an ax. That's my reason. I have been on a serious zombie kick, but I have come to realize that zombie books are varied. There are necromancer-controlled zombies and normal zombies and zombies who are just really angry and violent people. Undead features some fairly straight-forward zombies, and I for one appreciated it for that. Sometimes I just want a normal zombie story with the perfect amount of suspense and gore. Here, the suspense and gore was a little less than I'd prefer, but I've seen worse and I rather liked the book despite it all.

Roberta (Bobby) is an outsider in her school and in her country. She was born in England, but her parents moved her to the United States as a child. Now she is back in England and she doesn't fit in at her new school. Her accent is some strange combination of English and American, and she constantly uses American terms. To save herself further aggravation from having the cool girls laugh at her, Bobby opts to stay on the bus during the school ski trip. Everyone else trudges into the restaurant for lunch, and everyone else ends up dead.

But, they do not stay dead for long. The former classmates and teachers soon rise and start attacking Bobby, rebel Smitty, popular Alice, and geeky Peter. The teenagers must put aside their differences and learn new things about each other in order to escape the threat and survive. The book cover has a comparison to The Breakfast Club, which is definitely apt. The Breakfast Club set in England plus zombies equals Undead. It's fun and funny, and I highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys teen comedies with a helping of zombies.

I received a copy of The Undead from Netgalley, courtesy of Chicken House. It's available for purchase now.

P.S. Sorry that I haven't been reviewing as many books as I used to lately. I have been having issues with my laptop- first, the screen was broken. Then, I contracted an awful virus. I have actually surpassed my Cannonball Read goal, I just have to catch up on my reviews.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

The one complaint that I have about Something Strange and Deadly is that for a zombie book, it has surprisingly little of the zombie horror and violence that I am used to in my zombie books. However, the zombies in this book are under the control of a necromancer which makes them much less bitey than normal zombies. Besides that one little detail, there is very little to complain about in this great first book.

Eleanor Fitt is the daughter of an upper class family that is in decline. Her father has passed, and her brother has been away with the army when he goes missing. In order to escape financial ruin, Eleanor's mother tries anything in her power to get her married to a rich man.

It's pretty much a fact of life that the undead roam the streets, under the control of the aforementioned necromancer. Eleanor received a letter from her brother, via a zombie and she knows that the necromancer must be behind her brother's disappearance. So she goes to the exhibition hall (For the centennial, as it's 1876) and visits the Spirit-Hunters. They have inventions to repel the undead, and they know secrets to fight them off.

I really loved this book. I love how Eleanor is stuck in place with her corsets and proper manners befitting a girl of her station, but she still kicks some zombie butt when the time comes. I love Daniel and his gruffness and teasing, and how you knew Daniel and Eleanor were totally in love. Daniel was almost too mean at times though, with all his Empress stuff. I definitely love that there are going to be more books in this series.

I also love this rather minimalistic trailer for the book.

I received my copy of Something Strange and Deadly from Edelweiss, courtesy of Harper Teen. It's available for purchase now.

The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman

I don't know what it is, but I really like stories about characters at boarding schools. I requested this one because it sounded intriguing. Calista (Cally) transfers to the St. Bede's boarding school. Her older sister disappeared from the school years earlier, and they never found her body. Cally wants to find the truth.

If a mystery wasn't enough to deal with, her new school proves to be challenging, in more ways than one. The school work is much more difficult than at her old school. The other students present a problem as well. Cally moves into the room of Iris, who went missing and was also never found. There are lots of rumors, many surrounding Helen, Iris' beautiful and rich roommate. She is invited into the inner circle with Helen, Helen's sister Noel, and class president Freddy. The deeper she delves into the truth, the more secrets come out into the open.

Ultimately, I was underwhelmed by this mystery. The solution was a bit too predictable for my taste. The story wasn't terrible- I liked Cally, a tough punk rock chick who infiltrates the cool girls and dates a cool guy. I almost wanted an over the top, what the hell just happened kind of solution to the whole mystery. It's fine for what it is, and it's a perfectly good book for any young adult readers searching for a mystery.

I received my copy of The Little Woods from Edelweiss, courtesy of Schwartz & Wade. It's available for purchase now.