Book Review

Have You Read This Book: Hereafter by Tara Hudson?

by Samuel Horton on

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release date: June 7, 2011

Pages: 416

Summary: Amelia is dead. She’s been dead for so long, she can’t even remember her own demise. Things change when she saves Joshua from drowning, and certain memories begin to return. Something’s amiss about Amelia’s death, and she needs to figure out what before others go the same way she did.

My thoughts: Hereafter is an adorable, somewhat cheesy story about the love shared between a ghost and the only boy who can see her. I admit, I was expecting a bit more substance going into Hereafter, but I read the review of an assignment writing service on this book and quickly put my expectations aside and just enjoyed the story. Though it’s not particularly deep or moving, Hereafter is a light, fun read that kept me thoroughly engaged.

Amelia isn’t a stand-out heroine, but she does bring a good heart to the table. As she remembers more about her past and tries to define herself, it’s easier to connect with her. Plus, reading from the perspective of a dead girl is certainly refreshing.

Joshua was a super sweet love interest—the way he interacts with Amelia is positively swoon-worthy, and I quickly fell for his good-boy demeanor. It’s nice to see the nice, non-creepy (or not-chronically-moody) boy get the girl. The connection between Joshua and Amelia could be described as insta-love, but it felt a bit more real than that.

The beginning of Hereafter mainly focuses on the romance between Amelia and Joshua, but towards the end of the book, the story picks up quite a bit, and the paranormal aspect is highlighted. A suspenseful ending left me eager to read more about Amelia and Joshua.

Hereafter is a book for lovers of paranormal romance. It has it all—a cute love interest, a likable protagonist, and a fun supernatural element. Tara Hudson tells the story with finesse, and though Hereafter doesn’t feel entirely fresh, it is still very enjoyable.

At the moment I am thinking about what to read next, do you have any ideas, guys? If yes, let me know in the comments below where you’re welcome to leave your opinion as well. See you soon!

Don’t forget to make some tea and read a few pages before going to bed. Now, guys, go and have a nice day! Remember it is always good to read a cool story but it’s better to live it!

3.5/5 stars

Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance by Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin

Publisher: Walker Books

Release date: February 2011

Pages: 240

Summary: Charlie and Fielding have played the parts of Jenna and Jonah on a family TV show for three years. Their characters have been in love forever, and the two actors have been forced to pretend they are in a relationship in real life, too. But the truth is, Charlie and Fielding hate each other with a passion. So when Fielding is falsely accused of being gay, he jumps at the opportunity to escape his fauxmance with Charlie. But then the pair is thrown back together to reenact a Shakespeare play, they find out that their hatred for each other might be just the opposite…

My thoughts: When I first read the back of Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance, I assumed it would be a watered-down, sugared-up version of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I mean, read that title and tell me that’s not the first thing that pops into your head. Fortunately, Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance held its own, and was much more enjoyable than I anticipated.

The book is told in two different perspectives—one written by the female author (Charlie) and the other written by the male author (Aaron/Fielding). This writing style really worked for the story, because it allowed the reader to see how well the feelings of the two characters matched up. The two authors really did a great job of perfecting the banter between Charlie and Fielding, and though it’s pretty obvious that the two will eventually end up together, the journey they take to get there is all kinds of fun.

One thing that was especially interesting about Jenna & Jonah was the incorporation of the celebrity lifestyle. It’s not all expensive clothing and daily trips to Pinkberry for Charlie and Fielding. Their work is portrayed with extreme realism—the authors bring up the long hours, the tough-love agents, and the paparazzi. Charlie and Fielding also learn a bit about acting on stage, something that I personally have a lot of experience with. I felt that the authors of Jenna & Jonah did an excellent job of not sugarcoating how difficult theater actually is.

Charlie and Fielding were fun characters, and I enjoyed their internal struggles with both personal obstacles and their feelings for each other. They both change quite a bit from the first pages of the book to the last. The fact that they grew as people over the course of the story made Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance more than just a love story.

Fans of chick lit will easily devour Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance: it’s a light, fun read full of snarky comebacks and mixed emotions. I definitely enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

4/5 stars

Be Sure to Read the Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

by Samuel Horton on

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Release date: June 14, 2011

Pages: 352

Summary: When Chloe was fourteen, she was dared by her older sister Ruby to swim across the ravine—a body of water that drowned the mysterious town of Olive many years ago. On her way out, Chloe stumbles upon the body of London, a girl from her school. After London’s death, Chloe’s father takes her away from her old life—and Ruby.

Now, two years later, Ruby has come for Chloe, insisting that things will go back to the way they were. Chloe is thrilled to move back in with Ruby, and discovers that Ruby was telling the truth. Exhibit A? London is alive again.

My thoughts: Imaginary Girls is creepy, spine-tingling, and absolutely gorgeous. Nova Ren Suma’s sweet tale of sisterhood is laced with darkness, and her writing is stunning. It’s difficult to put my finger on what genre Imaginary Girls falls under—it has fantasy elements but is mostly about the bond between Ruby and Chloe. Either way, I completely fell in love with Imaginary Girls, and I have no doubt that you will, too.

Chloe was a wonderful narrator. She notices the little details, and through Nova Ren Suma’s fabulous writing, describes everything in detail.

And then there’s Ruby. Ruby, who parts crowds of people with her presence. Ruby, who is the perfect portrait of confidence and power. I found myself admiring her fierce strength and incredible loyalty (and later becoming uncomfortable at her frightening secret). Ruby’s love for Chloe borders on unnatural, but it depicts how indestructible the bonds of sisterhood are.

The mystery aspect of Imaginary Girls came as a bit of a surprise to me, considering its fantasy elements, but I was absolutely intrigued with it. Nothing is as it seems, and almost every conflict resolution is unexpected. Nova Ren Suma expertly incorporates supernatural into some aspects of the story, while she allows other aspects (like the relationship between Ruby and Chloe) to be more realistic.

I would absolutely, one hundred percent recommend Imaginary Girls to any YA reader. It completely defies expectations and takes you to a place that is both confusing and awe-inspiring. If you are looking for something unique and a tad creepy, Imaginary Girls is the perfect choice.

At the moment I am thinking about what to read next, do you have any ideas, guys?

5/5 stars

Do You Like Fantasy? Huntress of Malinda Lo is For You!

by Samuel Horton on

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Publisher: Little, Brown

Release date: April 5, 2011

Pages: 384

Summary: Kaede has been chosen, along with sage-in-training Taisin, to journey to the land of Taninli. There they will find the Fairy Queen, a mysterious creature who has called to them for assistance. The world is deteriorating, and Kaede must be brave enough to do what needs to be done to stop the world from dying.  

My thoughts: I must admit—I have yet to read Malinda Lo’s debut novel, Ash (it’s always checked out from my library, which really speaks to its popularity). I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Huntress, but I’m incredibly glad I gave it a shot. As with most high fantasy stories, Huntress starts off gently, introducing the world in which the story is set and developing the characters. About halfway through the book, things really start to pick up, and the last hundred pages or so flew by at lightening speed.

It was easy to invest in Kaede and Taisin. Both are likable characters, but together they truly shine. Their relationship builds slowly and sweetly—the way I think relationships should develop (no insta-love here!). Both girls have completely different personalities, and their strengths and weaknesses were believable and well thought-out.

I only have one complaint about Huntress, and that is the narration style. The perspective jumps erratically between all the characters, which quickly becomes annoying. Still, the writing is otherwise fantastic: Malinda Lo’s words are full of imagery and beauty.

Overall, Huntress is a lovely high fantasy. The Asian-influenced world that Malinda Lo crafts is stunning, and her characters are just as intriguing. Even more noteworthy is the journey that Kaede and Taisin embark upon; they encounter many obstacles, all of which leave the reader breathless. Huntress is an excellent addition to the fantasy section of YA, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in an introduction to the genre.

At the moment I am thinking about what to read next, do you have any ideas, guys? If yes, let me know in the comments below where you’re welcome to leave your opinion as well. Have any of you read it, guys? Don’t hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below! I’d gladly discuss this book with you personally.
See you soon!

4.5/5 stars

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers

Release date: June 21, 2011

Pages: 352

Summary: Violet’s mother is a medium who travels all over the country to sit for the most influential members of society. Unfortunately for Violet, her mother is a hack—she can’t really talk to ghosts, so she relies on Violet to help pull off her stunts. When a dripping wet girl with bruises around her neck appears at one of Violet’s mother’s sittings, Violet discovers that she, unlike her mother, can actually see the dead. And this dead girl wants Violet to expose her murderer.

My thoughts: Haunting Violet is a spellbinding historical fantasy about ghosts, false mediums, and navigating the social classes in the nineteenth century. Alyxandra Harvey’s writing is fabulous, and has a thoroughly fancy, old-timey feel to it. She leaves the reader in much suspense—as soon as the ghost girl makes her appearance, the story kicks into gear and doesn’t stop until the final pages. Guessing Rowena’s murderer is near impossible (I had a prediction, but was completely wrong), which makes for a great mystery.

Violet is a protagonist I easily warmed to. She’s trapped in a horrible situation, but she can still see humor or irony in almost anything. Her distaste for high society is nothing new in terms of historical fantasy, but Violet’s quips and whispers to her friend Elizabeth (an equally, if not more fun character than the protagonist) are very amusing. And as for the boys in the story…there is an obvious choice for Violet, but he is a sweet, respectable type who is instantly endearing. The accent doesn’t hurt, either.

Overall, Haunting Violet is a fantastic historical fantasy. I fell in love with its lush setting, fun protagonist, and intriguing mystery. Fans of the paranormal and murder mysteries will delight in the book’s excellent display of both.

If you’re looking for a book to put you right on the edge of your seat, it is a perfect choice.

At the moment I am thinking about what to read next, do you have any ideas, guys? If yes, let me know in the comments below where you’re welcome to leave your opinion as well. See you soon!

Don’t forget to make some tea and read a few pages before going to bed. Now, guys, go and have a nice day! Remember it is always good to read a cool story but it’s better to live it!  

4.5/5 stars