Monday, March 9, 2015

Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis

"The truth is like the waiting jaws of a monster, a more menacing monster than I'll ever be. It yawns beneath your feet, and you can't escape it, and as soon as you drop it chews you to pieces..."

Bones & All tells the story of a very different young woman. When Maren gets close to someone, she gets the overwhelming urge to eat them. The first time was when she was too young to remember and ate her babysitter. Over the years, there were many boys and young men. After every time, Maren's mother packed their things and they moved away. She had to protect her daughter from what she did, what she was.

The day after Maren turned 16, her mother left. The note read: "I'm your mother and I love you but I can't do this anymore." Maren packed up only her things, took the money her mother left her, and set off to try to find her father. She's never met him. Her mother never talked about him, but Maren has a strong feeling that he shares her secret.

On her journey, she meets people like her. There is an old man named Sully who only eats dead people. She also meets Lee, a young man who helps her, protects her, and also eats anyone who offends him. It's about being on your own for the first time, about finding out that you aren't as alone as you thought you were, and about figuring out who you can trust.

I was a little afraid to read Bones & All, but it turned out to be surprisingly free of blood and gore given the subject matter. I liked Maren. Any girl who liked books as much as her can't be all bad. I can see how you can form a lot of metaphors and such from the book, but I'm really not in a philosophical mood at the moment. Maybe a girl who eats anyone who gets too close is exploring the power of her sexuality, or maybe she's just a really hungry girl. I'd like to just see it as a book about a girl who sometimes eats people. It really is a good book. In fact, I ate it right up. (It's okay, I'll see myself out)

I was invited to be a part of the Bones & All Street Team on the Goodreads website. I received an ARC and tote bag from St. Martin's Press. The book will be available for purchase March 10, 2015.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

"If your heart is too big, everyone can see it. They know exactly what will hurt you, and they'll do it, because it gives them power over you. Power. That's what you need. Not love. Love depends on somebody else. Power you can get by yourself..."

You can read my review of Kill Me Softly here.

Kill Me Softly was an introduction to the world of Beau Rivage. Newcomer Mira visits the town where she was born and discovers the strange truth about the inhabitants and herself. Certain people have marks that identify them as cursed. Some are cursed at birth, some are cursed later on in life. The cursed live out a version of the fairy tale that corresponds to their mark. 

In Tear You Apart, we focus on Viv, the cranky girl with the Snow White curse. She was featured in Kill Me Softly, where we saw a little bit of her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, now huntsman, Henley. They are very dysfunctional, constantly fighting. Viv is always pushing him away, then pulling him back in. She can't be around the boy who may one day kill her, but she can't give him up either.

Recently, it seems as though Regina, Viv's wicked stepmother, is speeding the tale along. She has meetings with Henley, and even hires an experienced huntsman to kill Viv if Henley can't get the job done. Henley is at a crossroads. If he lets Viv go, she will eventually end up with her prince. Killing her is selfish, but it is the only way he can keep her heart.

Meanwhile, Viv receives an invitation to a night club in the underworld. There, she encounters Jasper,  her prince. He grew tired of waiting for her to slip into a coma and wanted to meet her. Jasper offers to let her hide from Regina in the underworld. The only problem is that once you stay there, Jasper's father won't let you leave.

I really liked getting the chance to know more characters from Kill Me Softly. In addition to Snow White, we got some 12 Dancing Princesses and Rumpelstiltskin. What really gets me about the book is how twisted the fairy tales get. Princes prefer their Snow Whites and Sleeping Beauties asleep and keep them drugged up. If you've read the Brothers Grimm, you also know how Snow White ends, and I was surprised to see this story end that same way. I liked hearing Regina's side of the story, how she used to think she was the Snow White of her story. Hearing how Viv and Regina used to be really close was also nice, but really sad. I enjoyed the happy ending, though with some reservations of how happy it really is. Maybe that's true for all fairy tales, though.

I received my copy of Tear You Apart from Netgalley, courtesy of EgmontUSA. It's available for purchase now.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

"If we stop helping people because we're afraid, or ambivalent or whatever, then we lose. Let them do evil. I'll stop them..."

 You can read my review of Steelheart here.

Previously, in Steelheart, we were introduced to the city of Newcago (Formerly Chicago). A star rose into the sky called Calamity, and suddenly normal people developed extraordinary powers. They were known as Epics, and the most powerful of them was called Steelheart. Unfortunately, the Epics were corrupted by their powers. They used them to oppress the powerless, rather than help them.

A group of powerless people fought back. They called themselves the Reckoners. David sought them out, hoping to join their ranks. Years ago, Steelheart had killed David's father in front of him. He wanted the Reckoners to help take down Steelheart and avenge his father's death.

Anyways, long story short (There be spoilers here!):
The Reckoners kill Steelheart. On the way, we find out that Megan, David's love interest, was actually an Epic named Firefight. Also, the leader of the Reckoners, Prof, is an Epic. He is able to transfer some of his abilities to others, which explains most of the Reckoner's fancy technology.
End spoilers

There was also a novella titled Mitosis where the Reckoners fight the titled Epic. It's mentioned in the book, but isn't necessary to understand the story. 

Now, on to Firefight!

What is there to do now that your biggest enemy is defeated? The Reckoners have managed to keep Newcago safe from Epics hoping to take over for Steelheart. Recently, David has started to feel that killing the Epics might be wrong. Prof is an Epic and also a really good person, and despite evidence to the contrary, David is convinced that Megan is also a good person. He starts to wonder if they could turn Epics normal again if they could get them to stop using their powers. Prof dismisses this. He knows firsthand how the powers corrupt, tempt Epics to use them, tempt them to conquer and destroy. According to Prof, killing the Epics is showing them a mercy.

The Reckoners start to notice that several Epics they defeated recently have been sent from Babilar (Formerly Manhattan). The Epic in charge there is called Regalia. She used to be friends with Prof, and now she is calling him out. He thinks that she is provoking him to kill her.

Prof invites David to go out to Babilar with him and Tia (His girlfriend/surveillance person). They meet the other branch of Reckoners: Val, who is crabby (but probably because Sam, her boyfriend/husband just died), Exel, who is plus-sized and doesn't leave much of an impression, and Mizzy, who is bubbly and enthusiastic. Mizzy is pretty intent upon getting revenge for Sam's murder. He was killed by...Firefight, Megan. Things get complicated when David is stalking some local Epics and encounters Megan. He is definitely happy to see her, and he doesn't believe that she would kill anyone. He never gets around to asking about it, though.

Meanwhile, Regalia has brought in Obliteration, an Epic who has leveled entire cities. The Reckoners need to come up with a plan to destroy her, and fast. Of course, things aren't always what they seem when it comes to Regalia, or the Reckoners, or basically anything. There's some twists and turns, betrayals on all sides.

I loved this sequel even more than the first book. It was exciting and there was a ton of action. I liked how David was the same nerdy guy as last time, with his weirdo metaphors all the time. I also really loved this moment:
"You know," she said, "you're not actually bad at metaphors..."
"...because most of the things you say are similes. Those are really what you're bad at."
Seriously, that bugged me throughout the first book. Similes use "like" or "as," metaphors don't, David!

I wasn't sure where they were going to go with the series after the death of Steelheart, but I really liked the questions the book raised about Epics. Not to get into spoilers, but there were some really awesome and exciting revelations here. And, omigod, that ending! I am super stoked for Calamity, and super impatient to read it next year.