Tag Archives: Teen Paranormal

Existence by Abbi Glines

Existence

A high school girl loves a boy she shouldn’t. He loves her too, even though to love her is wrong because he is not human. Human girl repeatedly, and sometimes a bit too rashly, in my opinion, offers to die for love object. Sound familiar? Well it shouldn’t, because this is the totally originally and not cliché at all plot of Existence, an ebook only offering from Abbi Glines. Without giving too much away, the story’s heroine, Pagan (really, could no one talk her out of that name?), is unique because she can see souls who have died and, one day, one of the souls actually speaks to her. She falls hopelessly in love with said soul (whose name, I’m sorry to say, is Dank Walker), and then they encounter numerous obstacles in the way of (cue foreboding music) the love that the universe forbids.

I sound jaded, I know. But it is just that, if you are going to do something that has been done a lot—ahem, like a teen supernatural forbidden love story—you better have an original angle. And the thing is, Glines actually has one, but her treatment of the material does not make it feel original. It feels like we took out vampires and put in Dank Walker, whatever he is. The book’s issues have a lot to do with timing and editing. Glines makes two major errors: the first is to drag out a nonessential romantic plot in the beginning of the book; the second is that she writes her reveal of Dank’s supernaturalness like a detective fiction writer who can’t wait for the end of the book to say who the killer is. So Glines gives it away, hint by heavy-handed hit, until everyone in the book knows the secret but the heroine we are supposed to think is intelligent. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to cover what it’s like to slog through the middle of this book.

To compare Pagan to the lover of vampires who will not be named is to suggest that Glines’ heroine suffers from similar martyr-like symptoms, and she does. Glines does offer something of a twist on teenage wallflower “martyrdom is how I show my boyfriend I love him” at the end of this book, but not before she offers her adolescent female readers a view of a heroine whose most powerful act of bravery is to offer to throw away her own life for the sake of the boy she loves.

This review may seem a bit harsh. Perhaps it is because I saw promise in the premise of the book and it failed so completely to live up to its potential. Since is the beginning of a planned trilogy (the sequel, Predestined, is already out), we have more to come from Abbi Glines on the subject of all things relating to the soul.

Why you might love this book: Your craving for forbidden supernatural love stories is insatiable. You consume them all with abandon, no matter how sick you may feel afterwards.

Why you might not love this book: You have decided that some cravings should only be satisfied with goods of the highest quality instead of the greatest quantity.

Rating: Two out of five black cats.

 

 

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing (www.wildchildpublishing.com) (December 2011)

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Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor

Reading Daughter of Smoke and Bones, the first installment in a new trilogy by Laini Taylor, is worth the frustration of the agonizing wait for the next two installments. The book, a spectacularly written YA paranormal, seamlessly integrates science fiction and reality and offers a heroine who is neither a wallflower nor defined by her sassy quips, which is often what passes for “character” in some of these hastily marketed books. In Karou, the heroine, Taylor has created a unique and captivating individual, one to whom the reader can connect and whose story we are eager to follow.

Karou, however, is only one of the many reasons why Daughter of Smoke and Bones is a must read for fans of the paranormal/scifi genre. Taylor has created a richly layered world that both complements and stands in opposition to our own, and the characters she chooses to inhabit this world are as memorable as their environs.

The difficulty in reviewing this book is not to give too much away. Karou, an art student in Prague with naturally growing blue hair, runs mysterious errands for her adopted family of otherworldly black market dealers who specialize in wishes and trade in teeth. Karou’s identity is the biggest reveal of the book, as is the truth about the black hands that have been appearing burned on doors all over the world. While some of the plot devices are not unique, Taylor has breathed new life into them, rendering them, if not original, unforgettable.

Why you might love this book: Creative and memorable in character and plot, this book is a great read.

Why you might not love this book: If you hate waiting for the next installment, you may want to hold off until Taylor complete the trilogy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 black cats.

 

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

ISBN-10: 0316134023

ISBN-13: 978-0316134026


Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Supernaturally, the second book in Kiersten White’s bestselling Pararnormalcy series, details the further adventures of Evie, the teenage heroine who can see through the “glamors” of paranormal creatures. At the end of Paranormalcy, we saw Evie cut her ties with the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) for whom she “bagged and tagged”  paranormal creatures and start a new life with Lend, his father, and his alternative network of paranormals. Supernaturally begins with Evie living the life she always wanted: she has a boyfriend, she goes to high school (she even has a locker), and she still watches her favorite show, Easton Heights.

Evie gets everything she thought she ever wanted and, of course, it’s not what she thought it would be. Life as a normal person is, well, normal and rather boring. High school is nothing like Easton Heights: no lovers quarrel in the hallways, no drama, just a gym teacher who hates Evie. And her perfect boyfriend, Lend? He’s great, when he’s around. He’s just never around, too busy with college and studying.

Evie is ripe for the picking when Raquel shows up with an offer: come back to the IPCA on a case-by-case basis. To sweeten the deal, she introduces Evie to Jack, a mortal who can travel the faerie paths, keeping Evie safe from the faeries like Reth who continue to threaten her with vague innuendo about her background. Evie is back to feeling special and, naturally, hijinks ensue.

For fans of Evie, Supernaturally is a must-read. As you may have guessed, White has a third book planned, Endlessly, completing the trilogy. As a stand-alone book, however, Supernaturally has some drawbacks.  Paranormalcy was irreverent, fun, and Evie was, and is, a natural heroine. Her life, over the course of the novel had become much more complicated, and White keeps adding to the number of plot points in the air. The second installment in the trilogy feels weighed down by the many facets in play: faerie drama, Lend’s immortality, Evie’s role at the IPCA, Evie’s family history, etc. White is clearing laying the groundwork for the final installment in the trilogy, where all will (hopefully) be revealed.  We have a feeling is will be bleeping fantastic.

Why you might love this book: Evie is one of my favorite heroines and she is bleeping funny.

Why you might not love this book: The book is over-encumbered with plot, and sometimes feels more like a set up for the next and final installment.

Rating: 3 out of 5 black cats.

Publisher: HarperTeen (2011)
ISBN-10: 0061985864
ISBN-13: 978-0061985867