Tag Archives: prom

Extraordinary Means, Review

16 Nov

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Plot: This book is set in modern-day times, however the world is afflicted with a form of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Lane suddenly finds himself in Latham House, a boarding school for teenagers with the disease, so that they don’t end up infecting anybody else. He finds it very difficult at first to be away from his friends, family, and especially his girlfriend, as life carries on outside the grounds without him. He decides to try to keep up with his schoolwork from his old school in order to keep on track for college, but soon finds himself too worn out to keep at that pace.

Lane soon enough finds himself swept up with a crowd of friends including Sadie, a girl he hadn’t seen since summer camp many years before, who was still angry with him over a misunderstanding. The group does everything they can to live life to the fullest. Will they be able to hang on long enough to be released, or is Latham the end of their journey?

Would you recommend this book? Yes. I liked the main characters,who told the story in alternating chapters. I also liked how this book introduced a strand of illness that does not exist in the real world, without making it yet another dystopian novel. This could have been any other book if not for that particular illness.

4 stars

–Jen

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Once Dead, Twice Shy, Review

15 Apr

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Plot: This is the story of 17-year-old Madison Avery, who is killed by a “dark reaper” named Kairos on her prom night. But by stealing Kairos’s amulet in the process, Madison manages to retain her soul. Along with Barnabas, a beautiful “light reaper,” and Grace, her guardian angel, Madison plots to repossess her body and protect her prom date from Kairos and from the dark reapers’ attempts to control time and fate. Having been content as an outsider (“I was happier being myself-purple hair, loud music, dead, and everything-than trying to fit in”), Madison must build her trust in others in order to save her life and discover her fate-whether or not she even believes in fate. Though rules and explanations seem at times a little too convenient, Harrison weaves an exciting battle, not between good and evil, but between free will and destiny.

A couple years ago I read Prom Nights From Hell which featured the first story about Madison Avery.  I don’t recall it very well, just that she died on prom night and stole an amulet that allowed her to appear to still be alive.  This book picks up four months later.  Madison and Barnabas, a light reaper, have been working all summer on Madison learning to touch his thoughts.  Through attempting to thwart a dark reaper they find out that the amulet Madison stole belongs to a Timekeeper, not an angel.  Once it is revealed to the dark reapers that Madison is alive she starts needing a guardian angel to keep her safe.

At times I felt bad for Madison because her life was stolen away from her, but at others I got frustrated with her.  She is trying so hard to be herself, but in doing so is going to an extreme so that she doesn’t fit in, and then blaming the way others see her on them instead of on herself.  Her outfits sound cool, but if she is going to complain about being singled out by being different than she doesn’t need the added bonus of purple tips in her hair and odd clothing.  To me being yourself is being comfortable with who you are and dressing how you want and not worrying about what other people are saying about you because you are true to yourself.

The angel elements and Timekeeper role kept this fresh for me.  The dark reapers work for a dark Timekeeper who is human, but has an amulet that allows him to not age and live indefinitely.  They follow orders from the seraphs and believe in fate.  The light reapers are trying to thwart the dark ones by believing that people have a choice to make and fate cannot be predetermined.  The dark reapers are there to kill people who will one day cause a lot of pain for other humans.  This part reminded me of Minority Report and the way policing was done based on a prediction that someone was going to commit a violet act.

Madison is living with her father after having gotten into too much trouble while living with her mother for sneaking out and breaking curfew.  She misses her friend Wendy and hasn’t really made a lot of new friends.  In order to try to fit in more she has shied away from some of her interests like photography.  This again to me says she was not really being herself.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the second book of the series and how her senior year of high school goes.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

4 stars

–Jill

Hex Hall, Review

15 May

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall, #1)

Plot: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch. Her non-gifted mother has been supportive to her, consulting her estranged father-an elusive European warlock-only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention from a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, her dad exiles her to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a pointless crush on a warlock, a tagalong ghost, and a roomate who happens to be the only vampire and most hated girl on campus. Sophie soon learns of a mysterious predator who has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number one suspect. As a series of mysteries begin to come together, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all, an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I liked Sophie and the magical world she lives in. You could easily picture her as a witch who gets into trouble with her powers even when she is trying to do the right thing. Imagine how hard it is to fit in when you are dealing not only with the normal teenage angst, but also some added in powers and issues and friction from other types of witches and other supernaturals? I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

4.5 stars

–Jill

Starburst Wrapper Prom Dress

9 May

Would you be daring enough to wear a dress like this? How creative!

Once Dead, Twice Shy, Review

31 May

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Plot: 17-year-old Madison Avery is killed by a “dark reaper” named Kairos on her prom night. But by stealing Kairos’s amulet in the process, Madison manages to retain her soul. Along with Barnabas, a beautiful “light reaper,” and Grace, her guardian angel, Madison plots to repossess her body and protect her prom date from Kairos and from the dark reapers’ attempts to control time and fate.

Having been content as an outsider, Madison must build her trust in others in order to save her life and discover her fate-whether or not she even believes in fate. Though rules and explanations seem at times a little too convenient, Harrison weaves an exciting battle, not between good and evil, but between free will and destiny.

4 stars

–Jill