Monday, May 30, 2016

Crash by Lisa McMann

image from LibraryThing
Jules is haunted by an image of a fiery crash and body bags. This private video plays again and again on billboards, road signs and her computer screen.  Her own private hell to watch over and over.  And if that isn't enough - the video slowly adds details, including the face inside one of the body bags - and she knows him!

Mental - right!  On top of that, Jules father is a hoarder. His mental illness makes Jules fear that she is also losing her mind!   Her dad's breakdown was traced to the beginning of a feud with a rival pizza family.  And it just happens that the son of the pizza dynasty is the face in the body bag that Jules sees!  Oh yeah, and he is her secret love!

What is a girl to do???

That is the story.

This premise really intrigued me.  How would you convince someone else that you know something bad is/might/could happen to them without everyone thinking you are completely off your rocker?  Because really, visions can't be true - right?  But, what if they are true?  What if ignoring this vision brings Sawyer's death?

It was a little weird to read a book that centers so much on pizza following Saint Anything which also focuses on pizza!  It made me hungry!!  Just an odd coincidence.

This is a slim book - and the first of a series, the vision seems to be moving on to other characters. There is a bit of a Romeo and Juliet feel to this - but with a vision twist. I would recommend this book.  It grabs the reader quickly, with very little background and keeps your attention throughout.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

image from LibraryThing
I like a good Sarah Dessen! I can count on strong female characters, a bit of a love interest, a family plot and some sort of twist.  But, most of all, I can count on a happy ending - there will be a resolution!

That is just what I found in Saint Anything.  This is the story of a girl, Sydney,  hidden in the enormous shadow of her older brother, Peyton.  That is just fine - until Peyton veers farther and farther from the straight and narrow and ends up in prison.  And then Sydney realizes the depth of his shadow on her parents - they simply don't see her at all!

In an attempt to start over, Syd transfers schools and slowly makes friends with Layla and her family at Seaside Pizza, the family restaurant.  That sets the stage for this book.  Inside the pages there is a creepy, lurking friend of Peyton's, a band competition, a moment of alcohol and a medical emergency.  Through it all, Sydney learns to trust her heart and finds her voice. And her parents finally see her as the individual she is.

I would say finding what is lost in an unexpected way is the theme of this book, whether that is friendship, strength or a new and different reality.

I enjoyed this book and it's comfortable predictability!
I recommended this already to my niece and my daughter!
As I said - Sarah Dessen doesn't disappoint!

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

image from LibraryThing
I liked Mare and the premise of this book - a girl with no prospects becomes Someone (with a capital S).

But the Hunger Games vibe was incredibly strong - a little too strong for me in the beginning!!

Mare is from the Stilts (the lowest of the low) and she is a Red (meaning her red blood puts her in the serving class) held down by the Silvers (silver blood and special powers), the ruling class.  She has a deep commitment to Kilron, an orphaned friend from the Stilts, and is committed to his welfare at all costs.  And, she is falling in love with two men - who just happen to be brothers and princes - Cal and Mavern.

I can accept and even enjoy all those details. But, there was one detail that just pushed it over the edge.  She is also an unwitting revolutionary - operating without seeing the big picture - a pawn for both sides.  That was a little too Katniss-ish for me.

The theme is - making yourself someone when you have NO chances to be someone.  That is appealing to all of us middle of the class, miss average, invisible readers.  And there is LOTS of violence - swords and war and matches to the death and blood and gore - which appeals to a different part of the reader's' psyche.

My overall
feeling - it was an intriguing and fast read. It is the first of a series and even with my doubts I would like to know what happens to Mare, so I would read the next one!