Friday, December 19, 2014

Books Recently Read

Bleed Like MeBleed Like Me by Christa Desir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amelia Gannon is invisible. Her parents adopted several boys from Central America and they demand all of their attention. She isn’t particularly popular. Michael Brooks, a quirky young man, steps into her life and woos her. She’s resistant at first, but they fall into a deep, dark, passionate relationship.

Gannon is a cutter. With all the problems swirling around her, the touch of a knife relieves her. Brooks has his own scars, so he understands what Gannon wants. The bloodletting scenes are not easy to read, particularly towards the end of the book.

Desir created characters who are self-destructive, flawed, and haunting. Reading about their backgrounds was heartbreaking. I had to have tissues on hand, especially during the last half. I enjoyed the author’s first novel and I’m glad she didn’t disappoint for the second. The author is a master at edgy, contemporary YA.

The Turnagain ArmThe Turnagain Arm by Julie Flanders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a small Alaskan town rests a popular saloon run by a Ukrainian named Vasyl and his wife Lara. It’s a quiet place with no drama, but in steps Russian Aleksei. Vasyl immediately dislikes him because of his nationality and what the Russians have done to the Ukrainians. Soon, Vasyl will find another reason to detest Aleksei.

Disappearances and murders are occurring around the saloon, too many in fact. A supernatural force is killing the visitors and townspeople. This force is Aleksei. He is immortal. He is a vampire. Vasyl is willing to face demons from his past to put a stop to the bloodshed.

This fast-paced novella had a wonderful atmosphere with the 1917 Alaskan setting, and the supernatural vampire premise was well done. There was gore, but it wasn’t off-putting. I will definitely read more from this author, particularly Polar Night, which this is a prequel of.

Super Lexi Is Not a Fan of ChristmasSuper Lexi Is Not a Fan of Christmas by Emma Lesko
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lexi does not like noise, commotions, and parties. She’s trying very hard to get out of one school party, but that means she would have to act bad to be put on the naughty list. The idea of partying makes her want to barf, but doing bad things and feeling guilty about them also makes her ill. The emotional gamut here is wonderful. This book provides a great lesson that we’re all different and for some, parties are not their thing. We all have to be respected for our differences and personalities. I’m glad I received this from a Goodreads giveaway, with a copy provided by the author.

A Devil in Daylight (The Devil in Miss Drake's Class Book 2)A Devil in Daylight by Marcus Damanda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Audrey Bales is recovering, or trying to recover, from two things: a failed suicide attempt and the extreme bullying that led to that attempt. She starts attending a new school minus her former emo attire, but there are two entities that won’t let her be.

The first one is the Facebook Fifteen, the group of students who bullied her online and in person. Their actions led to suspensions, expulsions, tense family scenes, and all sorts of other things. They want to make Audrey pay for exposing their dirty bullying secret to the public. The second entity is a disgusting, persistent demon who changes shape. He walks among the students and befriends Audrey. He looks like a normal teenage boy, but there’s nothing normal about him. He wants to ensure that the Facebook Fifteen pays for what they did to Audrey.

In this second book of the series, we finally get to meet Miss Drake. She didn’t have a huge role, but the ending promised we’d see more of her. There were many switches in viewpoints, but they flowed easily. The demonic, shape-shifting, insect-filled, rotten meat, and murder scenes were spine-tingling. Damanda is like the Stephen King of YA. I can’t wait to read the next installment.