The Beautiful and the Cursed
By Page Morgan
Publication date: May 14, 2013
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 352 pages
Source: Blog tour
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
— Publisher description
Just when you think we’ve seen it all when it comes to teen supernatural books — vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, demon killers, angels and more — we have a book about gargoyles. Which, I have to say, is pretty cool.
As someone who is leaning a bit more contemporary and a bit less supernatural/paranormal these days, I was pretty pumped to try out something different. Yay for different! I really applaud Page Morgan for her creativity here.
Where this book really worked for me was in terms of it’s creepy factor: I loved the gothic vibe and the grotesque bits (I think that was actually the original name of this book if I’m not mistaken) and the London setting.
Bonus factor: I really enjoyed the two sisters’ point of view on this one. Generally, I don’t love the bouncing back and forth, but I found both sisters to be tough and interesting in their own rights and was happy to keep checking in with them both.
A few things didn’t work for me: Instalove, slow start, some love triangle action.
Ultimately, I was hoping it would be a bit more City of Bones and it ended up more along the lines of Die for Me by Amy Plum or Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Now, that being said, fans of those books will likely want to check it out. For me, though, it wasn’t a favorite.
Use the form below to enter to win one of five signed swag packs for the book. Or head to the blogs Books Complete Me and Once Upon a Twilight to correctly pair up as many Team Dispossessed trivia questions and answers and Team Waverly trivia questions and answers as you can. Two winners will be randomly chosen from those who get the most correct. Mine are below and the rest can be found on the blog tour site!
Team WAVERLY Trivia QUESTION: What is the name of the demon hunting society the Waverly siblings are drawn into?
Team DISPOSSESSED Trivia ANSWER: Gargoyle common grounds
About the author:
Page Morgan has been fascinated with les grotesques ever since she came across an old, black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle mythologies she went on to research fed her imagination, and she became inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these remarkably complex stone figures. Page lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three children.
By Andrea Cremer & David Levithan
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Philomel, 358 pages
Source: Borrowed from Jillian <3
Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.
— Goodreads.com description
I think it’s so fun when two fabulous authors combine forces. It’s so fascinating to see how their writing styles mesh. In this case, Levithan goes a little more paranormal, a la Cremer, and Cremer brings a bit more of a literary sense to her writing, a la Levithan. Three cheers for collaboration!
Love the concept, love the mashup of their writing…but unfortunately, not quite in love with the storyline. I am a big fan of unresolved sexual tension. Um, who isn’t, right? So, for my tastes, Stephen and Elizabeth got together FAR too quickly. I was about one-fourth through the story, and couldn’t help thinking, “Well, now what?” Also, it was a bit witchier than I anticipated.
So, not quite my taste, but still a fun concept and successful collab of writing styles.
Do you guys have a favorite co-authored book? I have to say, Levithan has been the champ of this for me previously in his work with John Green and Rachel Cohn. Sigh. Literary idol! I love you!
By Karina Halle
Publication date: March 10, 2012
Metal Blonde Books, 346 pages
Source: Purchased for my Kindle
With all the vampire, werewolf and faerie books out there, it’s easy to become numb to all things supernatural. The antidote? Darkhouse introduces two real and unforgettable characters, Perry Palomino & Dex Foray, amateur ghost hunters who are “attractive, relatable and oddly heroic,” “flawed but loveable,” “slightly crazy” and just the most endearing pair to ever tackle the paranormal…just don’t call them normal.
Darkhouse is a thrilling and sexy new take on concepts like Supernatural and The X-Files, bringing a breath of fresh air to a genre that has been inundated with the dead.
***Darkhouse and the Experiment in Terror series is a horror/romance for mature audiences only. Readers who are easily offended by harsh language should think twice about reading it.***
— Goodreads.com description
Guys, I’m torn. And befuddled. So here’s what’s up:
I liked the horror/ghost story aspects of Darkhouse by Karina Halle. It is legit scary.
And I truly enjoyed the main character. She has the slight edge where we aren’t quite sure if she’s mentally ill, if she cares or doesn’t care, if we like her or dislike her.
But I read a lot of rave reviews of this one that made it seem, like, HOTT. Yeah, “hot” with two Ts, so you know it’s SERIOUS. Only…I did not get that AT ALL.
I think if I hadn’t been waiting for the sexytimes/romance to kick in, I might have enjoyed the suspense and scariness of the story a bit more.
Here’s my question: Is it just me? Or does more of this come later in the series? Do I need to keep reading it? All thoughts welcome! Has anyone ever had this happen: Where maybe reading too many of reviews skewed your reading experience? I mean…err…not that reading reviews is bad. KEEP READING MY BLOG PRETTY PLEASE. But you know what I mean, right?
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: Jan. 22, 2013
EgmontUSA, 393 pages
There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.
That’s why they make the perfect assassins.
The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.
Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.
— Goodreads.com description
Claire and Nix lead very lonely lives. Nix is in almost constant isolation, and he’s never felt loved or been loved. Claire’s parents need to put a note on their door to remind them they have a daughter. Everyone sees right through her.
They’re “nobodies,” meaning they don’t “stick” with other people — visually, emotionally, you name it. They cannot connect. Till they meet each other — HOLLAAAA!
So, I completely enjoyed the concept of Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, especially for young adult readers. What kid doesn’t feel invisible from time to time? I sure did.
But, for me, it was a bit too cerebral. By that I mean that everything was thought about or talked about in great depth, and I just wanted there to be more movement. Claire and Nix had strong feelings for each other…but I saw that more through their thoughts than their actions, you know? Personally, I’m more into go-go-go kind of books.
If you like the concept, though, give it a try. I just am a speedreader, so sometimes slower books lose me! Interested? Check out the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of Nobody plus Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Every Other Day. Good luck!
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.
Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.
In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.
— Goodreads.com description
Oww…my head hurt a little after I finished Mind Games by Kiersten White. In a good way!
This story is told from Fia and Annie’s points of view. Things bounce around in time periods and it takes some time for all of the bits and pieces of the story to come together and align in one big picture. It made for a slow read…but it was also super cool! Like I was putting together the pieces of a puzzle while I read. And then when they all got into place it was just like, “Oooooh…NO WAY!”
Did I connect to the characters a lot? Not really. But the storytelling and structure was so smart and enjoyable that I didn’t totally mind. I like it when books are one step ahead of me! Kudos to Kiersten White for going a different route – it’s not as funny/girly as her Paranormalcy series, but is very intriguing in its own way.