Abandon (Book #1) by Meg Cabot
April 26th 2011
From Goodreads:New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.
she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce
can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet
she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape
from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he
wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world
isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he
always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.
My Thoughts: I loved loved loved it! Meg Cabot, you continue to amaze me!
At first, when I started reading this, I was a little confused. The characters would mention tidbits that happened previously, and it left me in the dark. "What is she talking about!?" I often found myself asking as I stared at the pages. The story is, for the most part, told through flashbacks. I wasn't really sure what to think of this at first... but as I continued to turned the pages, and was slowly filled in on what had happened to Pierce in the past, I found that it only built the suspense, and OMG, it was brilliant!
The book starts out with Pierce talking to her cousin, Alex, who wants to know what it was like to DIE. He wanted to know if she "saw the light" like everyone claims to see when they have died and have been revived. By this time, it seems that Pierce has trouble admitting what really happened to her, because most people she has tried to tell the story before, has simply thought she was crazy! But as the reader, you WANT to know what happened to Pierce when she died, and once you find out, through a flashback, you discover why she is reluctant to tell anyone else. Who in their right mind would believe her story of what happened in the Underworld. And why would anyone believe that the keeper of the Underworld was stalking her in the living world.
Through these flashbacks you can sympathize the absolute terror that Pierce is feeling. She is so scared of John, the ruler of the Underworld, and she is so worried that he is going to take her back to that place. But at the same time... there is something about John that has you curious. You are almost hypnotized by him, and you want to know more about him. You KNOW you should be scared of him, you KNOW you should be running away from him in terror every time you see him, but at the same time he attracts you like a moth to a flame.
This book was definitely full of surprises, and the ending had me screaming "What?! REALLY?! OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
Just a little word of advice: Have the second book handy, you'll want to read it right away.
The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, book 2) by Maureen Johnson
February 26th 2013
From Goodreads: When madness stalks the streets of London, no one is safe…
There's a creepy new terror haunting modern-day London. Fresh
from defeating a Jack the Ripper killer, Rory must put her new-found
hunting skills to the test before all hell breaks loose…
But enemies are not always who you expect them to be and crazy times call for crazy solutions. A thrilling teen mystery.
My Thoughts: I kind of wish I would have written down my thoughts on "The Madness Underneath" right after I finished reading it, because now, here it is, a few weeks later, and I am finding out the hard way that this book wasn't too memorable.
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I love Maureen Johnson. I LOVE HER. But this book did not hold the same excitement as the first book in the series "The Name of the Star."
The terror with the Jack the Ripper copycat ghost is over. Now Rory is recovering and coping with the terror she went through from being attacked, and she is trying to come to terms with the fact that she now mysteriously has this new power which basically makes her a walking ghost killer.
Pretty much the whole book is about Rory adjusting to her new abilities, and coping with what has happened to her. It may have lacked the thrilling suspense I was hoping for, but I do find that this book is very crucial to the series, and it's just building up to what I expect will be a very exciting third book (which doesn't come out soon enough!!!!)
With that being said, I will say that the last few chapters made up for the rest of the book. All of the action, all of the suspense, and all of the terror really happens in the last few chapters. The ending definitely took me by surprise, and it ended with a cliffhanger that has me begging for the next book...GIVE IT TO MEEEEEE!!!!! NOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
September 29th 2011
Goodreads: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
My thoughts: I must start off by stating that I am a fan of Maureen Johnson. Not only of her books, but I just love everything about her! I love her Blog, I love her Twitter, and I absolutely love it when she makes YouTube videos! This woman is hilarious! So naturally I have read almost everything she has released. Almost.
However, The Name of the Star is definitely not a comedy. Not even in the slightest. Though you do see hints of Maureen's humor in her main character, Rory. I feel that whenever I read a Maureen Johnson book, I am always searching for her personality to pop out in one of her characters. I just wish she'd put MORE of her humor into her books. Though I'll give her a pass on this one, since the plot is actually quite dark and gruesome.
The story follows Rory, an American teenager, on her journey to a London boarding school, while her parents are working in nearby Bristol. About the time she arrives in London, a murder is all over the news, one that mimics Jack the Ripper. Now, this murder kind of stays in the background of the story for the first 100 pages or so. For the most part, you are simply reading about Rory adjusting to a new life at a boarding school, and reading about her interactions with the new friends she is making. I almost forgot that this book was supposed to be a Mystery/Thriller, and it just felt like your average contemporary Maureen Johnson YA novel. That is... until Rory believes she may have talked to the man behind the modern day Jack the Ripper killings. The only problem is, her roommate, who was with her at the time... didn't even see him.
This is when the plot line really picks up. Rory gets thrown into a world she didn't even know existed, and most shockingly, the Ripper has made her a target! I had only previously known a very little bit about Jack the Ripper, but I feel like Maureen filled in the gaps of my knowledge, enough for me to be able to really enjoy the story.
I feel like this book would have made an excellent stand alone novel, but a quick cliffhanger on the last page kept you wanting more. This is book one of a series, and I'm sure I'll be completing this entire series! I've already finished book 2, and I'll have a review of that next!
Between by Jessica Warman
August 2nd, 2011
From Goodreads: Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she'd been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.
My Thoughts: This book wastes no time in getting the story started! Liz wakes up in the middle of the night, on her 18th birthday, surrounded by her close group of friends. They've all fallen asleep on her father's yacht after a night of celebrating. Liz investigates the thumping noise that had disturbed her sleep, and what she find is a dead body in the water. But not just any body... it is hers! You find this out all in the first few pages of the book! It had me hooked, instantly!
Shocked by her own death, she can't remember the events leading up to her death, and she is struck with a kind of temporary amnesia. She meets Alex, who is also stuck in this sort of "Between" state... he was a boy from her school, who died the year before. They hated each other when they were both living, but they come together and he helps Liz remember events from her life leading up to her death.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit! When I first started reading this book, I hated Liz's character. She was the annoying spoiled rich girl cliche that you can't really relate to, because you simply can't understand how someone could possibly be that snobby and bitchy. But as she relived her memories, which varied from her as a child up until her death, you started to see a deeper side of Liz. A side of her that you could indeed relate to, and sympathize for, and you start to care about her. I couldn't stop turning the pages, I needed to find out what happened to her!