Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet #1)

Paperback416 pages


When I started reading this book I didn't have much info about it. I've had it in my TBR pile for quite a long time so I said, 'Why not?' Hell, I didn't even know exactly what genre it was at first and just when I thought I had it all figured out the author made a complete change in the plot. 
A girl disintegrates, I thought it was a big clue as to how coocoo Alison was and, like everyone else, I didn't think there was much to it. It was a great way to teach me not to judge a book by its cover or synopsis for that matter. But I'm super glad I finally picked it up. You know why? Because, as it turns out, the less you know about it the greater the surprise in the end when you reach that last page and end up with your mouth open and eyes wide open.
Ms. Anderson's writing and plot were incredibly amazing. As I read, I had all this questions of whether or not Alison was actually sane. Alison's story was really heart-wrenching and insanely good, quite a thrilling ride. 
Ultraviolet is the story of a confused teenage girl that has no idea what's going on with her weird 'ability' to see music and taste colors, which led her to doubt her sanity. I have to be honest, I questioned things a lot, too. Just when I was beginning to think this was a normal YA book, BAM, there goes everything I believed in with the twist and turn that the book took. Ms. Anderson was brilliant and sneaky. She eased you into Alison's broken world, got you somewhat comfortable in the story as you expected certain twists to happen, and then ripped the world from right under your feet when you least expected it. 
When the truth came out, I still didn't believe it. Seriously, Alison's story is incredibly confusing yet believable when you think about it. The author really did a great job in writing this story with 3D characters that were actually sort of hard to read. Because, really, who likes predictable characters or a story line you see coming a mile away? Although, this might come from the fact that the story was told from Alison's point of view, whom we come to realize was just as clueless about most of the people she thought she knew, which is exciting. Anderson's choice to write from first person's POV is really what made the whole story work so flawlessly. Right away, from the very first page, the reader is thrown into the same unknown situation and walks with her trying to remember, and resolve, the mystery surrounding Tori's death. 
As original and unpredictable as this story is, it's bound to keep readers on their toes from beginning to end trying to guess the mystery of Tori's death. A great start for a series.
Now I heard there will be a sequel, but with the bar set so high, it makes me wonder whether or not I'll be satisfied with the sequel. Hopefully, it'll be just as awesome, or even better if that's possible.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

The Dead and BuriedThe Dead and Buried

Hardcover304 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Scholastic Point

A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
The archetype of ghost stories goes as followed: A new girl/boy moves into town and his/her house is haunted, which means that he/she has to solve the mystery at the same time he/she has boy/girl trouble. It's been done a thousand times before, but the secret, I believe, is add a little something to it, which is exactly what happened in The Dead and Buried. Every element of the story fell into place at the end and it kept me interested to find out the truth throughout the whole thing.
The whole dysfunctional family aspect of it was a good addition to the story and the best part of it all was the fact that even though the novel is a mix of something slightly scary, mystery and romance, the latter wasn't the dominant part of the whole story. It was perfectly blended in, which is good.
Now, I don't usually like whole high school drama with the mean girls and popular circles, but in this case I made an exception. Or rather, the author made it worth my while. Because, really, if the regular mean girl makes me want to rip out my hair, Kayla Sloan popular-girl-turned-ghost, was outright great. Normally I guess the plot of such books, and even though that was the case here, too, I kept reading just to find out the motives. That's what drove me to keep reading, plus the cute boys, of course. :)
My problem with the book, though, was the fact that Jade came across a little detached from certain things. Like, she was leading on one of the boys and didn't think much of it. While he was important to solve the mystery, it was kind of too much.
The romance was sweet and devoid of too much drama, thankfully. That's what I loved the most, I think. But, it came to be very suddenly. Jade and Donovan felt that instant connection that just wasn't realistic. This is a major pet peeve of mine and it's what really made me lose it here.
The Dead And Buried is a quick, spooky story for those who like mystery and ghosts, but don't want to be scared half to death. To be honest, it was quite predictable but entertaining enough that you won't get bored. At least not with someone like Kayla Sloan's ghost. Point is, nothing scary but interesting.