Thursday, June 21, 2012

Glittering Ashes Update

Hello all,

Just letting you know that I'm dropping the price of my ebook Glittering Ashes from $2.99 to $0.99. I already clicked to allow this to happen, so as soon as Amazon catches up to the update, it'll be $0.99. Yay? Yay! :)

Wishing you all the best of the best of the best,

I Hunt Killers: A Review

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2012
Source: Library

Genre: Psychological/Straight Up Thriller, Boy Protagonist, Son of a Psycho Killer, Contemporary YA mystery

Cover: I actually couldn’t really think of a more fitting cover for the book. Good enough, no complaints.

Plot: This book is pretty much a mystery, of the who-done-it/who-is-doing-it variety. Jazz is cute in a non-obnoxious way, and we watch him deal with the aftermath of being known as a killer’s son. What makes that more interesting is that there’s a new killer in town who reminds the town of Jazz and Jazz’s “Dear Old Dad.” Throughout, Jazz has fragmented flashbacks suited to be fleshed out in a follow-up novel. But all the while, we’re following Jazz as he follows a killer, with his girlfriend and best friend at his side. As a side note, it was interesting to see the father-son dynamics in this book as well. Jazz and his father. Jazz and G. Williams. Interesting stuff. Male bonding as well, with Jazz and his hemophiliac best friend and partner in crime, Howie. 

Romantic Element: Jazz and his girlfriend Connie are refreshing. FINALLY we have a YA with a mixed race couple without it being such a blown up deal. Jazz is white; Connie’s African American, and other then mentioning her cornrows, somewhat frequently, there isn’t that much attention drawn to it. Yay for not so forced diversity, anyone? No, there’s no slow burns or build-ups, in case you were wondering, but again, this isn’t the kind of book that would make sense with that. 

Overall: I think I liked it. It was different. It was brutal (No PG here, moms). The murders are fairly graphic and intense, though we are dealing with the aftermath of looking at crime scenes…mostly. I will say though, and this is weird, the infrequent chapters from the perspective of the killer didn’t thrill me as much as Jazz’s chapters with his “Dear Old Dad,” and I was surprised by that. But overall, yay for Lyga giving us a legitimate YA, gritty horror-ish thriller. I’m wondering why I hadn’t heard of it until I stumbled upon it. Hmmm…that situation should be rectified. 

And as a super side note, this book’s method of giving the occasional voice to the bad guy reminded me of a favorite of mine, Robert Cormier’s We All Fall Down, which pretty much blew my mind and made me cry when I first read it as a youngster. 

Okay…Now I’m done. :) 

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. Because I can.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wintergirls: A Review

Hello all,

I just finished reading Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, so here's my review....

Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publication Date: 2009
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Source: Library

Blurb (and picture above are from Goodreads, and I do not own them. I am only using them for review purposes):

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the National Book Award finalist Speak, best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson explores one girl's chilling descent into the all-consuming vortex of anorexia.

Genre:  issue-driven contemporary (yet psychologically playful) YA

Cover: It's muddied, but I believe that's the point.

Plot: You're in Lia's head. When she's confused, you're confused. When she doesn't want to eat, you see her yell at herself, often with the words marked through to show the multifaceted life she leads. It's original. I hadn't read something that covered anorexia like this before. Is there a well-defined plot? Maybe not. It's more of an exploration of self and mind and psyche over a period of time, but with most issue driven books, the issue is supposed to be the focus, not necessarily the events.

Romantic Element: It's "there." But again, and as of lately, I haven't been looking for books that had a strong romantic element to them. Maybe my tastes are changing? I doubt that....but you didn't miss it much here. In fact, if it was there, I think it would have weakened the book considerably.

Overall: This book has been out for a while, and I have heard everyone sing its praises. I picked it up (and checked out) probably six times. Honestly. And that's not to fault the book AT ALL that it hadn't been read until now. I would check it out, let time pass, be forced to return it without opening it, regret turning it in without reading it, let time pass, and check it out again, only to have history repeat itself. So, like I said, not it's fault. I'm glad I read it. I'm always looking for something different, and this is. So, no regrets, and it has moved so many people, that it's worth a read.

So, I chose a song for you to write by that goes along with this, "Mad World" by Gary Jules. It fits.

Have you read it? Do you want to? Let me know below.

Happy reading and writing, y'all