Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Title: Demon Trapper's Daughter
Author: Jana Oliver
Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13 Book: 978-0312614782
Source: Received ARC from author for For What It's Worth Book Tours.  This is my honest review!

The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trappers #1)The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Riley Blackthorne is the daughter of Paul Blackthorne, a legendary demon trapper.  Seventeen year old Riley longs to follow in her father's footsteps, but sexism, old grudges, and the demon's themselves all seem to want to prevent her from doing that.  When the unthinkable happens, Riley must learn how to stand alone and find her inner strength to combat those who would rather see her fail.


Jana Oliver's character development is spot on.  I loved Riley.  She was tough, realistic, and yes, she still had some uncertainties.  Her flaws were realistic as were her actions.  What really impressed me though is Oliver's character development with the supporting characters.  Denver Beck was also a well rounded and interesting character with a past that continues to taint his present and his perspectives.  Simon the other apprentice demon trapper, loves Riley and has plans of his own and his own faith.  Even Harper, the Master Demon Trapper, has a multifaceted personality and I found I wanted to know more about all of them.  Oliver's characters pull you in and you find yourself eager to hear more of their stories.

This is definitely the first novel in a series and it leaves much to be revealed.  Perhaps too much.  I kind of felt that the story ended too abruptly and that I didn't get a satisfying ending.  It definitely leaves you with a cliff hanger, but most books with give you some conclusion to the events in addition to the cliff hanger.  I didn't feel that here.  I felt that the ending left me empty-handed and that I really didn't know any more than I did in the beginning.  Hopefully future novels will rectify this flaw and give us the substance we need to continue with the story.

The story is fast paced and virtually non-stop action.  While this is a good thing that will keep the readers flipping the pages it also works against the novel.  The pace is too quick sometimes, and explanations are never offered for events or circumstances.  I would really like more detail on the history proceeding the events in the novel and the situation in the would, as it is alluded to, but never fully explained. 

I am going to mention one other thing that has me concerned about this book.  This book has presented some what of a librarian's conundrum for me.  Although the book is written for teens and marketed to teens it has somewhat of an adult feel to it.  There is language and sexual references, that although toned down from what you would find in an adult book, left me feeling like this book would have been better suited to being an adult book.  There is a fine line that you walk sometimes between adult materials and teen materials especially in small town conservative libraries.  I was not personally offended by anything in this book, but I could see some of my teen patrons and their parents not feeling comfortable with a couple of the sexual references.  Before I get too far, let me say that it isn't anything more explicit than you would find in a House of Night novel by Cast.  I just feel, after having read the whole book, that it would have been better if the author had just written the book for adults--it would have felt right.  As it is, it feels like an adult novel that has been toned down for the teens.  I don't know if I am expressing this correctly, but it just didn't fit. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book, although I wish there could have been more substance.  It is a first novel in a series and I look forward to what future novels will bring.  I do intend to read the next book series just to see what will happen next.

Cautions for sensitive readers:  Violence, language, and sexual references and situations.



View all my reviews

Friday, January 28, 2011

Out of the Box Adult Book Review: Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Title: Towers of Midnight
Author: Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publication Date:  November 2, 2010
Publisher Book: Tor Fantasy
Publisher Audio: Macmillan Audio
ISBN-13 Book: 9780765325945
ISBN-13 CD: 9781427210227
Source: Checked out both book and Audio book from my public library.  This is my honest review.

Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13; A Memory of Light, #2)Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have followed this series since the beginning, and to be quite honest, I don't think I could have followed the entire series without the aid of the audio books. The audio books are read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading who have narrated the entire series, which is quite a feat considering how long these books are.  I have enjoyed their dual narration throughout, and feel that they are two of the finest narrators out there.  Because of them, I have been able to progress through this entire series. 

The Wheel of Time series is one for the truly dedicated.  Jordan created a world that has such intricate details that you must follow carefully or risk being lost for a time.  The audio books have allowed me to do that.  Although it has literally taken me several weeks to get through this thirteenth volume, I have finally finished, and can't wait to see what the final volume will hold. 

The story is clearly drawing to a conclusion.  Armies are marshaled and waiting to move to the final battle.  Story lines are being tied up, and characters are being reunited after a very long separation.  I can't wait for the final volume to see how the story ends.  This book was a fantastic addition to this great series.



View all my reviews

Follow Friday

Come and join the fun of the Friday Follow hosted by Parajunkee's View. You can find the instructions and rules on Parajunkee's Follow Friday post.   Happy Hopping! 



Question of the Week: 

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

Oooohh... That is a tough one.  I always did exceptionally well in English (duh), but I honestly couldn't stand the required reading (despite that fact I went on to study English in college which meant more required reading).  I have always preferred to pick out my own books.  If I think back, I would honestly have to say that my favorite subject was Algebra--I loved how things always worked out neatly in the end.  I also really enjoyed my German class because we had an exceptional teacher and that is where I first met my husband--so German definitely had its pluses too!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Need Some Happy Books Giveaway!

I know my postings have been a bit sparse lately, and I want to apologize for that.  I am still around and I am still reading.  In fact, I have several posts scheduled for upcoming tours already to go, so there will be more soon.

I admit, I haven't quite been myself lately.  For the most part, I try to keep my commentary positive.  My mother always told me if I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all, so hence the silence.  Things have been a bit stressful lately, and I haven't been quite myself.

I am hoping this post will be my outlet and let me get past all the frustrations I have been bottling up.  Much of what has been bothering me lately is stuff that I can't control, I need to learn to let it go.  I need to look for positive solutions and let what I can't change go.

I will have to think of happy things, and perhaps a giveaway might be in order.  Books make me happy, so maybe giving away a book to someone else might make me happy too.  Since books signed by the author make me positively giddy, that is what I am giving away.

Claire de Lune (Claire de Lune, #1)

GIVEAWAY DETAILS!


I have decided that I need some bibliotherapy!  Bring on the happy books!  I would love to hear your suggestions for any books that can make you smile!

Winner will receive a signed copy of Christine Johnson's Claire de Lune plus some additional swag.
  • Open to US and Canada
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Contest closes at 11:59PM EST on February 2nd. 
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on February 3rd and will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be chosen.
  • You must tell me what book or books make you happy!  I am compiling a list.  These can be either adult or teen, but let me know so I can categorize them correctly when I share the list. 
  • Fill out form to enter.
ENTRY FORM


Thanks!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guest Post: Author Julia Karr XVI From Idea to Book [Teen Book Scene Tours]

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Julia Karr, author of XVI to my blog.  I loved this fast paced dystopian novel from start to finish.  I am pleased to have her here today to tell us how XVI moved from idea to this wonderful book.  Thank you Julia for stopping by!

XVI
XVI From Idea to Book

It’s fun to think back over how XVI got from start to publication. I’d decided to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2005. A few days before the start, I had this image come into my head of a punk rock type girl walking down a futuristic city street. She was listening to music in an attempt to ignore the loud advertising coming at her from everywhere. As she side-stepped a homeless person lying on the sidewalk, she stopped. Not willing to ignore the homeless any more. From that kernel of an idea the entire book evolved.

However, that’s not to say that there haven’t been a ton of changes from those whirlwind 50,000 words in November. I let the book sit for a month before I started editing it. Then, like a total newbie, I sent a query to an editor, who asked to see the first few pages. She sent it back with a handwritten note - she liked the idea, but not my main character. I was not totally crushed, but pretty darned close.

My critique partners did not know about this book. They were critiquing a middle grade ghost story I’d written. When I realized I wanted that story to take a completely different route, I pulled out XVI as my offering for critiquing. Well - they helped me loads. I revised it completely, making my MC much more likable and taking the story line in a slightly different direction.

Then, I went agent hunting. What a journey that was! Thirty-five queries later, I had two agents who wanted to represent XVI. One had asked for some rewriting, which I did, seeing as how it made the story deeper and better. They were both great. But, I had to decide. Let’s just say that some serendipity was involved and I chose to go with Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary, llc. She is a most awesome agent!

She sent XVI out and we got some “nice” rejections. Then a very interested editor! I spoke with the editor and did some revising and a detailed synopsis for her. Then, she went on maternity leave and the publisher ended up deciding not to take on XVI. *sigh*

However, six months later, Kate met up with the same editor (now back from maternity leave) and they were discussing XVI and the editor said she’d like to see it again. (I’d completely revised it based on her earlier suggestions.) Meanwhile, another editor was loving it! Offers were made. It went to auction. And, I got to do more choosing. All things considered - I had to go with the original editor, because I knew she really “got” the story.

A bit more editing, an awesome cover and voilé! XVI became a book!

That’s my story - and I’m sticking to it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review: XVI by Julia Karr [Teen Book Scene Tours]

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Genre: Teen Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: January 6, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN-13 Book: 9781101485941
Source: Purchased e-book from Barnes and Noble for my nook.


XVIXVI by Julia Karr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nina Oberon has always dreaded turning sixteen or sex-teen, as she calls it. Unlike her friend Sandy she isn't into dressing sexy and attracting guys and she definitely doesn't want her XVI tattoo. When her mother is murdered, Nina finds herself over her head in a world where everything isn't as safe as the Governing Council would have everyone believe. Charged with protecting her little sister from her mother's vicious boyfriend Ed, and with delivering a book to her father who was supposed to be dead, Nina has her hands full. Nowhere is safe for her!

This book was an eyeopener. It wasn't what I was expecting, it was so much more. From the very beginning, Karr propels you through this novel at breakneck speed. There is nowhere completely safe for Nina, and every action is a serious risk.

Nina's character is realistic and in a really tight position. No one can really tell Nina anything, but she knows she is in over her head. She has no rights in the world she lives in. She has a low tier status that gives her very little power in her world. Women are abused and mistreated by their very own government. Nina loves her little sister and tries to fulfill her mother's dying wish that she keep her safe.

I loved the supporting characters too! Pops was the greatest. He was somewhat the comic relief in a novel that could be otherwise too serious. You just wanted to hug him for his incorrigible ways.

Nina's world is a dark one ruled by the Governing Council. Individual right don't exist and the GC uses the media to try to control the actions of their citizens. There are even references to Orwell's 1984, that made this world seem much like the one in that work. The one thing that lightens this work is the dependability of Nina's friends, and her grandparents.

This novel will keep you on the edge of your seat worrying about how Nina will escape such dire circumstances. It is a fantastic book with a fantastic heroine. I can't wait to read more from this author.

View all my reviews


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Stop by tomorrow for a guest post from the author of XVI Julia Karr!
 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Book Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (ARC Review)

Title: Desires of the Dead
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: Teen Fiction, Mystery Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN-13 Book: 9780061779848
Source: Received ARC from Star Book Tours.  This is my honest review!


Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2)Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Violet and Jay are back in another page turning mystery. While hanging out in Seattle with her friend Chelsea, Violet begins to feel the pull of the dead. It leads her to the docks and the body of a young child. Because she reported the crime, the FBI have taken an interest in her, and now she must decided to reveal her abilities or keep them a secret. To top it all off, someone is leaving her threatening messages, that could put both her and her relationships in danger.

I will start off this review by stating it is going to be a gushy one! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book--in fact I finished it in one day! I am usually a very slow reader, unless it is a book that really hooks me. Desires of the Dead did that; I couldn't put it down. Derting is a master storyteller, keeping you on the edge of your seat and always wanting more. She build suspense throughout the novel carefully upping the stakes with each encounter.

Derting's characters are well drawn. They are realistic, likable, and you can really believe in them and their actions. Violet's conflicts about keeping her abilities a secret felt right. She wanted to tell people, but she wasn't sure who she could trust. I found myself wishing Violet would confide more in the people around her, but I could understand why she wanted to keep things to herself.

I also liked how Violet's relationship with Jay grew throughout the novel. Before they dated they had been best friends who told each other everything, but now they are dating somethings have changed, and both must struggle to find their place in the relationship.

I love how the suspense and danger grew as the novel progressed. Just when you think you have it figured out, you discover that you only have part of the puzzle. While I did figure out the ending before we got there, I can't say that I was disappointed with the journey.

Desires of the Dead is the sequel to Derting's debut book, The Body Finder. If you haven't read The Body Finder I recommend that you pick that one up first. There are several references to events that happened in The Body Finder in this book, so being familiar with the first will definitely be helpful.

The only thing that truly disappointed me about this book is that now I have to wait for Derting to write the next one. Let me tell you, I will stand in line to buy it! Kudos to a very talented author!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Trapped by Michael Northrop

Okay, I don't usually make a lot of commentary about my teaser, but today I think it is appropriate because this is so how I feel.  It hasn't stopped snowing since it started this morning.  My car has about 3 inches on it since I got to work.  Somehow, this book seemed like the perfect teaser this week.  Boy do I wish I were at home with my nice warm blanket, curled up with a good book!

teasertuesdays31

Teaser  Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone  can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your  current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2)  “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what  you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book  for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so  that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they  like your teasers!


Here is my teaser for today:

"We imagined headlights cutting through the snow, there to battle the roads and take us home.  The driver would throw open the passenger-side door. 'Climb aboard,' he'd shout. 'Hop in! We'll get ya home!' But we weren't going anywhere. The headlights didn't show....No one did. It was just the seven of us, the seven of us and the endless snow."  Trapped by Michael Northrop pg. 3 from the ARC.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Guest Post: Hilari Bell author of Trickster's Girl

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Hilari Bell to my blog.  Her new book, Trickster's Girl is an entertaining and fast paced read that deals with the environment and loss. You don't want to miss it!

When I emailed Hilari, I wanted to know more about why she writes fantasy, so the topic for this guest post is "Women Writing YA Fantasy."  Here is what I asked: 

A lot of women YA authors have taken on the YA Fantasy Genre, a genre once dominated by men.  Why do you write YA Fantasy, and why is fantasy an important genre for you?  (Also, as one librarian to another feel free to share anything about being a librarian! :) )

Here is what Hilari had to say on the topic:

I don't know if it's apropos to the topic, but I loved being a librarian.  When you're actually doing it, the aspects of the job that are "work" tend to loom larger.  And librarians do work!  It wasn't till I was about to leave librarianship for the best job in the world--which being a writer emphatically is--that I realized all the things I'd miss about being a librarian.  What I liked best is readers advisory, which is trying to match people up with books they'll love.  And when you're a librarian it feels like all the books in the world flow through your hands.  One of the things I used to do was check the cataloging when new books came in, and a non-fiction book would sound interesting so I'd read the flaps, or I'd find a cool looking novel and put myself on the hold list for it--and since I did story time I had to read all those picture books to see if I could use them.  No choice in the matter.  Those parts I do miss.

As for why write fantasy...I generally don't go for the "writing is a mystical process" theory, that many writers espouse.  I consider myself a craftsman, in control of my craft--and my characters do what I want them to do, because I'm the writer.  So it's feels a bit odd for me to say that I write fantasy, and sometimes SF, because those are the things I have to write.  When I first started writing (long before Harry Potter) kids' and YA fantasy were a dead genre.  I had an editor once tell me to my face, "Sell two or three real books about real kids with real problems--preferably humorous.  And if they do really well, then maybe you can persuade someone to look at your fantasy."  Then Harry Potter hit big, and it all changed--thank goodness.  Because back then when fantasy was impossible to sell, I really did try to come up with a real story about real kids preferably humorous...and I just couldn't.  Real kids with real problems bore me to death as a reader and a writer--and they always did.  Even when I was a real kid with real problems I didn't read those books.  I wanted sword fights, and treachery, and evil plots and aliens and derring do!  And every time I sat down to write about some real kid with a drunken father he ended up becoming a prince, and the guy who's supposed to teach him to fight is plotting to assassinate him, and the only way he can save the kingdom is to fulfill a prophecy and slay a dragon.  And doesn't that sound more interesting than a real kid with an alcoholic father?
I'd like to thank Hilari Bell for stopping by and chatting with us.  Be sure to check out Trickster's Girl.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Book Review: Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell

Title: Trickster's Girl
Author: Hilari Bell
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Futuristic Fiction, Teen Fiction
Publication Date: January 3, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
ISBN-13 Book: 9780547196206
Source: Received galley from netgalley.com.  This is my honest review.

Trickster's GirlTrickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kelsa Phillips, at odds with her mother and still reeling from the death of her father from cancer, has never believed in magic or faith healing like her mother, but she has learned an appreciation of nature from her biologist father.  One night after sneaking off to illegally bury her father’s ashes near the roots of a great oak, she runs into a young man whose name is Raven and who insists that she must journey with him and help heal the leys in order to save the trees from a tree plague that is infecting the planet.  In a world where even state borders are guarded, Kelsa must travel with Raven from Utah to Alaska to save the human world.

This story is intriguing.  It is both an environmental story and a story about a world where security measures have become extreme.  Although the humans in Kelsa’s era are doing a better job of taking care of their planet, they may be too late.  The tree plague threatens the lives of humans everywhere and Kelsa wants to save them.  She doesn’t trust Raven, but she know that he is her best hope for saving the planet. 

The death of her father has affected Kelsa deeply.  The whole reason she agrees to help Raven heal the leys centers around her love for her father.  Kelsa is a realistically portrayed character whose actions are motivated by love. 

Between the two primary characters though, I found Raven the far more interesting one.  Perhaps that is because he is such a mystery and a trickster.  I really wanted to know more about him, and would probably love a book devoted just to his story--he was fantastic!

Unlike so many fantasy stories these days, this story wasn’t about romance.  It was about love, but not the romantic love we are used to, the love of family.  The environmental aspects were interesting, but I do wish I had more background to the mythology of the story Bell is telling here.  The ending was a complete surprise and leave you eager to see what will happen in the next book.

Overall, this book was a page turner that reads very quickly and is very entertaining.  You can count on Kelsa, even if you have no idea what Raven plans next.  A fun read.

View all my reviews


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Stop by tomorrow for a guest post from the author of Trickster's Girl Hilari Bell!
 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting (Including New Book Trailer!)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  WOW spotlights forthcoming titles that we absolutely can't wait to read.



When I read The Body Finder last year I was amazed and in love.  I loved the book, the characters, and everything.  Now Kimberly Derting is releasing the sequel, Desires of the Dead.  This book is one I can't wait to read, and the trailer below is making me even more anxious to get my hands on it.  Check it out and if you haven't read The Body Finder yet I highly recommend it! 


Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2)

Title: Desires of the Dead
Author:  Kimberly Derting
ISBN:    9780061779848
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date:  February 15th 2011


Book Description from Harper Collins Desires of the Dead product page:

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.


To find out more about Desires of the Dead visit HarperCollins, Kimberly Derting's Website, or Goodreads.com.


I have got to get my hands on a copy of this book--the suspense is killing me! :)

Here is the Official Book Trailer for Desires of the Dead!  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Favorite Books from 2010: AKA Books I Will Re-Read

I think the greatest indication of a wonderful book is a book you are willing and even eager to read again.  It is a book that you look back on and remember vividly, speak fondly about, and are still recommending to those around you who haven't read it.  While I give a lot of 4 or even 5 star reviews for book, it is hard to tell sometimes how memorable a book will be several months down the road.  Sometimes a book grows on you and needs that time for you to ponder it and appreciate all its aspects.  So using that somewhat dubious criteria, I have picked out my favorite books published in 2010.

These are the books that are most memorable to me and that I am eager to re-read:

(Click on the title above the cover to see my review.)

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)

Matched by Ally Condie
Matched (Matched #1)

Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)

A couple of my favorite books that I read last year weren't published in 2010, but they are ones that I read for the first time in 2010.  I think these deserve a mention too.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Thirteen Reasons Why

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)

Book Trailer: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Before the Christmas holiday I reviewed Clarity by Kim Harrington.  Yesterday I discovered that Scholastic had released a book trailer for this fantastic book.  Check it out!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I am Participating in the 2011 E-Book Challenge

A year ago, I don't think I  would have enjoyed e-books as much as I do.  A year ago, I didn't even own an e-reader.  All that changed when I got my nook in May.  Suddenly, I find myself almost as excited about reading an e-book as I am about reading a physical book.  So this year I am going to challenge myself.


The Ladybug Reads is hosting the 2011 E-Book Challenge.  Since I got my Nook I have read a number of e-books and have enjoyed the convenient format.  Yes, I still love my paper books, and I don't think e-books will ever replace that love, but e-books mean more books more quickly for me, so I really like that advantage. 

There are four levels of participation in the challenge:


Curious:       3 Audio Books
Fascinated:  6 Audio Books
Addicted:    12 Audio Books
Obsessed:   20 Audio Books

I am going to attempt the Obsessed level! I honestly don't know how I will do on this challenge, but only time will tell.  I can tell you that I am reading 3 e-books currently, so maybe that is a good sign. Wish me luck!

How do you feel about e-books? Are you a fan?

Book Review: Blue by Lou Aronica

Book Title: Blue

Author: Lou Aronica
Genre: Fantasy Fiction,
Publisher Book: The Fiction Studio
ISBN-13 Book: 9781936558001
Publication Date: January 8, 2011
Pages:400
Source: Received ARC for review from author.  This is my honest review.


BlueBlue by Lou Aronica
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Years ago when Becky was undergoing cancer treatments, Chris created an imaginary world called Tamarisk with his daughter to help take her mind off the illness and side effects of the medication. After his divorce four years ago, his relationship with Becky has become strained and remote. Tamarisk is merely a fond memory to Chris, until a bridge between worlds shows him and Becky that Tamarisk is really something much more. It is real, and the young Queen Miea needs their help once more.

This novel is told from three points of view. First you have Chris, Becky's father who has been divorced from his wife Polly for four years now. He loves Becky with all his heart, but since the divorce has had a difficult time relating to her. Some of this he knows is her being a teenager, but the divorce shredded his once close relationship with his daughter. The second point of view comes from fourteen year old Becky. Becky is a normal teenage girl trying to hide some disturbing truths both from herself and others. She loves her father, but has trouble relating to him since the divorce. She wants him to acknowledge the rift between them and to say the many things they have left unsaid. Finally, the third point of view in the story is that of Queen Miea of Tamarisk. Her world is dying and she longs to save it. She hopes that Becky and Chris will be able to help her do just that.

All three main characters are well drawn and realistically portrayed. You can see all of them bending and struggling with the burdens and relationships in their lives. It was interesting how the stories were connected and how Chris and Becky created Tamarisk.

This was an interesting book, but may have trouble finding an audience. I am not sure I can call it a teen book, though Becky one of the main characters is a teen. It is definitely worth reading though, and the story is very imaginative and touching. I believe one reviewer mentioned that it reminded them of Katherine Patterson's Bridge to Terabithia and I would have to agree that is a suitable comparison. I will admit this book was a little slow in the beginning, but the second half of the book more than made up for that. Once you get to the half way point the momentum of the story doesn't let up and propels you to the end.

Blue is a very visual story, I could picture this as a movie while I was reading. If you are looking for a story a little out of the ordinary that will have touch you, this would definitely be worth a try. Keep the tissues handy! :)

View all my reviews

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