Monday, May 24, 2010

She’s So Dead To Us (He’s So/She’s So #1) by Kieran Scott | Review

She’s So Dead To Us (He’s So/She’s So #1) by Kieran Scott | ReviewShe's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott
Series: He's So/She's So #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 25, 2010
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

Ally Ryan would rather be in Maryland. She would rather be anywhere, in fact, than Orchard Hill, site of her downfall. Well, not hers exactly—but when your father’s hedge fund goes south and all your friends lose their trust funds, things don’t look so sunny for you. Her mother moved her to Maryland to flee the shame, but now they’re moving back. Back to the country-club, new-car-every-year, my-family-came-over-on-the-Mayflower lifestyle that Ally has outgrown. One bright spot, however, is gorgeous, intense Jake Graydon. But it won’t be easy for the two of them to be together—not if his friends (her former friends) have anything to say about it. Is Ally ready to get thrown back into the drama of the life she left behind?

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She’s So Dead To Us is the first in a new trilogy from Kieran Scott. Kieran Scott also writes the Private series under the name Kate Brian and I love that series. Sadly, She’s So Dead To Us doesn’t live up to that series, though it was pretty good and shows promise for the next book.

Ally Ryan hasn’t seen or spoken to her friends from Orchard Hill since the night she left. She doesn’t know what to expect when she sees them again but she never thought they would shun her. Turns out, they all hate her for what her father did. All except Jake Graydon. Jake never knew Ally before she moved away and he sure wants to get to know her now but how can he do that when all his friends are doing their best to keep them apart?

The story in She’s So Dead To Us was okay. It was kind of predictable but not too bad. Because it was a Kieran Scott book, I had no trouble getting into it but I would have liked something a bit more original. It did a good job of setting up for the next book though. Especially with the ending. Chick-lit books don’t normally have cliffhanger endings but this one sure did.

The worst thing about She’s So Dead To Us were the characters. Ally was the only good one. She was brave and funny and I just really liked her. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Jake. He was a spineless weenie. He liked Ally but her wouldn’t talk to her in public because of his friends. And that was not even the worst thing he did. And the Cresties confused me. I didn’t get why some of them hated Ally and others didn’t. The Idiot Twins were the best! They were hilarious. I hope for more of them in the next book and hopefully some better character development.

Overall, fans of Kieran Scott won’t be disappointed with She’s So Dead To Us. It seems like a promising start to her new trilogy and I can’t wait for more.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1) by Kimberly Derting | Review

The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1) by Kimberly Derting | ReviewThe Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder #1
Published by Harper Teen on March 16, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 327
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

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OMG! What can I possibly say about a book as awesome as The Body Finder? I had read reviews for it so I knew people liked it before I read it but I never thought it would be that good. Kimberly Derting’s debut novel totally blew me away.

Violet’s ability to sense the dead is unlike anything I have ever read about. It was super creepy but I couldn’t help but keep reading. As Violet was drawn into the murders of local teenage girls the book became even more impossible to put down. And it was pretty impossible to put down from the beginning. The story was so fast-paced and brilliantly written.

The characters were probably the best part of the book. The subject is so morbid but I found myself laughing at so many things in The Body Finder. Jay was cute, cocky, and incredibly clever. He made me laugh the most but Violet’s other friends, Claire and Chelsea, were close seconds. Claire was so clueless and Chelsea was more than happy to point it out. Of course, Violet was also great but in completely different ways. She was insecure in everyday life but she was brave in hunting down a killer. I liked her contradictory nature.

Overall, The Body Finder should go straight to the top of everyone’s to-read list. I can’t recommend it enough and I can’t wait for more from Kimberly Derting. The Body Finder has earned a permanent place on my list of favorites.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins | Review

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins | ReviewHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on March 2, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect.

Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.

picadillyblueHex Hall, Rachel Hawkins’ debut novel, was fantastic! I could not stop reading it and now I really want to read the sequel. Everything about the book was great and it is definitely being added to my list of favorite books.

Sophie Mercer is a witch. She’s not exactly good at it though, so she is sent to Hecate Hall, where she won’t run the risk of exposing witches to the world. Hecate Hall is not where she wants to spend her next two years but she is stuck so she might as well make the best of it. She befriends Jenna, the only vampire student, develops a futile crush on Archer, a very good looking warlock, and makes enemies of the only coven of dark witches at the school, including Archer’s girlfriend. It seems like nothing else could possibly go wrong but then the attacks start. And Sophie may be next.

Sophie was actually a pretty funny character. She was kind of clueless and I loved her for it. I could really relate to what she was going through, the whole trying to fit in thing. She just kept making mistakes and they all had me laughing. I really loved how she took control, though. She realized that she wouldn’t get any better without practice so that’s what she did. She was a strong heroine that I found myself rooting for!

The plot was great. I couldn’t guess who or what was attacking the students. And that wasn’t the only surprise thrown in. Let’s just say that Archer had a bit of a secret that I never saw coming. It threw me for a loop. After reading that, I have to have the sequel. I want to know what happens and I want to know now.

Overall, Hex Hall is a great paranormal book that has a little bit of everything thrown in. Rachel Hawkins did an amazing job with her debut and the sequel is one that I am dying to get my hands on.

What others are saying about Hex Hall:

The Book Smugglers’ review: “This is a much better book than its premise.”

Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Laced with mystery, adventure and an adorable romance; this book was impossible to put down.”

NYX Book Reviews’ review: “I really liked the ideas Ms Hawkins had, and her world sounds interesting.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Naughty List (The Naughty List #1) by Suzanne Young | Review

The Naughty List (The Naughty List #1) by Suzanne Young | ReviewThe Naughty List by Suzanne Young
Series: The Naughty List
Published by Razorbill on February 4, 2010
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn?t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson's the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad turned spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn't be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty! When Tessa's own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa's sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

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The Naughty List is one of the best chick-lit books I have ever read. It was the perfect mix of romance, spying, and cheerleading. Once I started it, I could not put it down. It was just too cute.

Tessa Crimson is not just the head cheerleader of the Smitten Kittens. She is the leader of the SOS (society of Smitten Kittens). She and her fellow cheerleaders investigate suspected cheaters for the girls of their school. The sad thing is, every boy they have investigated has been found guilty. Are there any boys left who don’t cheat? And what happens when Tessa’s perfect boyfriend, Aiden, shows up on the naughty list?

So basically the whole book is about cheating. At first, that seemed a little depressing to me but Suzanne Young made it perfect. It was just the right mix of serious and funny. Each case was a bit different and each method for catching the cheater was pretty comical. Tessa and the SOS really knew what they were doing but they still got themselves into some crazy situations.

Also, each character was unique. I loved them all, even Christian who wasn’t the best person. Okay wait, I didn’t like Chloe but the rest I did. I couldn’t even find one good thing about her. Tessa was a great leader and a great heroine. She was super easy to relate to and she had flaws, like every other person in the world. Also, I loved Aiden! He was so cute and sweet. I want one! I do have to say, though, that Kira was my favorite. She made the book so much more funny than if she hadn’t been in it. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the things she said and did.

Overall, The Naughty List is a book to buy and Suzanne Young is an author to look out for. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I was to read more about Tessa, Aiden, Kira, and the rest. And I want to read it NOW!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewShiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #1
Published by Scholastic on August 1, 2009
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 390
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

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Grace’s friends and family have never truly understood her. They can’t understand the feelings she has for the wolves that live in the woods behind her house, especially not the connection she has for one wolf in particular–her wolf.

Her friends believe she is too caught up in the wolves behind her house and not enough in the people in her school. She just doesn’t seem to understand that she should be associating with humans and not animals. What she doesn’t know is that the wolves are human, at least for part of the year.

When things start to go bad and the wolves seem to be in danger, Sam shows up and Grace immediately knows who he is. What she doesn’t know is how it works and how long he will remain human, and with her.

Can Grace and Sam find a way to be together, forever and always? Can the wolves find a way to let Sam go or will they try to stop his relationship, in any way they can?

OMG, this is just an amazing book! One of the best books I have read in a while and I was just shocked at how much this book enthralled me. I couldn’t put it down and now that it’s over I just want more. It is just that kind of book.

Shiver was just the perfect beginning to what I expect will be one of the best trilogies I will ever read. Sam and Grace were just such great, lovable characters. I am also more than willing to admit that I would love a Sam of my own. He just seems so sweet and perfect. I honestly can’t think of one bad thing to say about Shiver. It made me laugh, cry, and hold my breath till I knew what would happen. The only thing I can’t think that made me mad was that it ended and I have to wait a whole year for the next book.

I am terribly sad to say that I have never read anything by Maggie Stiefvater before this but I am extremely happy to say that I plan on remedying that very soon. Shiver was an amazingly well-written book that I plan on re-reading many times over the years. I can’t wait for the sequel, Linger and I plan on reading her other YA book, Lament, as soon as I can. If you haven’t read anything by Maggie Stiefvater yet, what are you waiting for? Run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore, library, or a friend’s bookshelf until you find one of her books!

Similar books:
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wings (Wings #1) by Aprilynne Pike | Review

Wings (Wings #1) by Aprilynne Pike | ReviewWings by Aprilynne Pike
Series: Wings #1
Published by Harper Teen on May 5, 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 290
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

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Laurel always knew she was different but it becomes even more clear when she is forced by her parents to go to public school. She knows she doesn’t fit in but luckily she meets David. David is a bit of a science geek but at least he has friends.

Laurel finally begins to feel like she might fit in in this new world of high school and relationships until she finds out something that will change her life forever. At least, her life in the human world.

Will Laurel be able to split her life into the realms of humans and fairies or will she be forced to choose? And if so, which will she choose?

Wings is Aprilynne Pike’s debut novel and I was captivated with the story from page one. I mean who wouldn’t be drawn into a world of fairies, trolls, battles, and romance?

The whole story of Laurel and her families, the humans and the fairies, was such a magical story. The characters just seemed to jump off the pages and I was drawn into the book, wondering what was going to happen next and which world Laurel would choose as her own. I couldn’t put it down.

I won’t give away the ending but I will tell you that it is a total cliffhanger. There are set to be 4 books in the series and I already can’t wait for the next one. I just want to continue the story so bad. It was just amazing work and Aprilynne Pike deserves everyone of the five stars that I have given her book!

If you haven’t already picked up a copy of this book, you should get right on it. It is the perfect read for a summer day.

Similar books:
Need by Carrie Jones
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong | Review

The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong | ReviewThe Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkest Powers #2
Published by Harper Teen on April 28, 2009
Pages: 360
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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5 Stars

Chloe Saunders is on the run
and raising hell. Literally.
 


Chloe Saunders is not your average supernatural teenager. Genetically altered at birth by a sinister team of scientists, she can barely control her terrifying powers. Now the team that created her has decided it's time to end the experiment. Permanently.

Now Chloe is running for her life along with a charming sorcerer, a troubled werewolf and a temperamental young witch. Together they have a chance for freedom - but can Chloe trust her new friends?

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Chloe Saunders is back in the second book of the Darkest Powers series. If you haven’t read The Summoning yet read it before reading this review. SPOILERS.

At the end of the first book Chloe and Rae go to Chloe’s Aunt Lauren for help, not knowing that she is working for the very group that they are trying to escape from. As a result, Chloe and Rae end up locked in a high security warehouse that houses the Edison Groups many experiments. Luckily, Derek and Simon are still on the run and on the lookout for Chloe and Rae.

After encountering ghosts of some of the former Lyle House occupants Chloe decides to take matters into her own hands and figure out a way to escape, this time for good. With the help of Liz’s ghost and a trapped demi-demon Chloe manages to find more information about the Edison group and how she can possibly escape from them.

Once away from the Edison group Chloe is forced to face the reality of living on the run with nowhere and nobody to turn to other than Tori, Derek, and Simon. Her father has posted a $500,000 reward for her safe return and the Edison group is no longer worried about keeping any of them alive.

Will Chloe and the others be able to outrun the Edison group or will their luck finally run out? Will Chloe ever figure out what her true feelings are for Derek and Simon?

The Darkest Powers series is full of paranormal happenings, betrayal, and budding romance. I highly recommend this series for any fans of the Twilight series. Definitely not the same story line but just as good.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong | Review

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1) by Kelley Armstrong | ReviewThe Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkest Powers #1
Published by Harper Teen on July 1, 2008
Pages: 390
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.

All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.

Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House...before its skeletons come back to haunt me.

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I absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one day, almost in one sitting but sadly I had to go to school.

I think my favorite thing about this book is how Chloe is just like a normal teenager except that she can see and talk to dead people. Her mom died when she was young and her dad is always away on business so she is normally alone, except for a few friends and her aunt Lauren who tries to fill in for Chloe’s mom. She usually keeps to herself so when things start to get weird she can’t really tell anyone.

So, at the beginning Chloe is in a school for the arts and she is just like all the other people in her school, except a little bit of a late bloomer. On the same day that she gets her first period she also sees her first dead person or at least the first person that she knows is dead. After being chased through the school by a dead janitor, Chloe is sedated and sent to the hospital and told that she must spend at least two weeks in Lyle House, a group home for unstable teens.

Once in Lyle House, Chloe meets some interesting people such as Liz, Rae, Simon, and Derek. Derek is a little scary at first, always sneaking up on Chloe and accidentally throwing her across a room. Once she gets to know him, though, she realizes that he is just like her and can’t control his powers. At first, Simon seems like he is just in the group home to stay with his brother, Derek, but once she starts talking to him she realizes that he is a supernatural also but his powers aren’t as obvious as Chloe’s and Derek’s. Liz also seems to have some powers but she never realizes that she is controlling them. She is transferred shortly after Chloe arrives because instead of getting better she seemed to be getting worse. Rae also may have powers but it was really hard to tell. She was placed in the group home shortly after giving her mom first degree burns when she never had a lighter or anything else that could have caused them.

There are others in the group home, such as Tori and Peter, but Peter gets sent home after Chloe arrives and Tori is the group’s resident witch and not in the supernatural way. Tori believes that because her mom is on the board of Lyle House she can do and get whatever she wants but Chloe interferes with her plans as soon as she arrives. Tori manages to get Chloe in many terrible situations, some potentially deadly, but it’s only because she doesn’t want her mom to be disappointed in her. Tori doesn’t play a really big role in the story, all she really does is get everyone in trouble.

Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Rae discover Lyle Houses’ secrets and realize that, maybe they aren’t there because they are crazy but because of their powers. They realize that they need to escape and that they need to do it soon. Once out, though, things don’t go exactly as planned. They are hunted down by the nurses and owners of Lyle House and chased through warehouses by guys with tranquilizer guns. Once the girls escape and find a safe place they think things are going to get better but none of them realized that someone close to them betrayed their trust.

Of course, I’m not gonna say who. That would give everything away. I truly loved this book and if you really want to know how it ends you will just have to find a copy to read. This book is first in a new series by Kelley Armstrong. The next book, The Awakening, will be out on April 28.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do-Over by Niki Burnham

Do-Over by Niki BurnhamDo-Over by Niki Burnham
Series: Royally Jacked #3
Published by Simon & Schuster on September 26, 2006
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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3 Stars

When it comes to love, how many chances do you get?

Girl meets prince. Girl looses prince. Girl gets prince back -- right? Well, that's what Valerie is hoping. She's back in Schwerinborg after spending some time with her mother in the good ol' US of A, and hopes that sparks are still flying between her and Georg. At first it looks like things are going great, until a ski trip to the Alps has Val and Georg's romance hitting some moguls. Could Val's love life be heading for a face-plant?

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In my opinion, this was one of the better books in the Simon Pulse romantic comedy collection. I think that Niki Burnham is one of the best authors in this series. I felt like maybe I could relate to these characters more than some of the others. I really liked Valerie and her friends. They seemed really funny and more like actual people than some other characters in books. The one thing that I didn’t really like, though, was how perfect Georg seemed. It was like Valerie was the only one in the relationship with flaws. It may make the book more like a fairytale but it isn’t realistic that he would be that fine with anything that Valerie may have done to mess up their relationship. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot to this book but it was still a really cute, easy read.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMann

Wake (Dream Catcher #1) by Lisa McMannWake by Lisa McMann
Series: Dream Catcher #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 4, 2008
Pages: 210
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
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5 Stars

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

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I read this book in about three hours. I started it and could not put it down until the absolute last page. Janie is definitely not your average girl but I have to say that I wouldn’t necessarily mind trading places with her if it meant that I got to meet Cabel. He is probably my favorite character in the book, even though there are parts where I want to slap him.

At first, I admit to being a little confused about what was going on in all the flashbacks but everything cleared up for me once we got to the present. It all begins when Janie is eight years old and falls into her first dream. After that she doesn’t seem to be able to stop herself from being sucked into dreams and is barely able to pull herself out once she is in. Normally the dreams that she is pulled into are just embarrassing or very revealing but everything starts to get really crazy when she is pulled into a violent dream that makes her very scared. What she doesn’t find out until later is that the dream that she is so afraid of is Cabel’s and she doesn’t find this out until she is already fully entangled with Cabel. There are so many parts of this book where Cabel seems like the nicest guy a girl could want and then there are the times that you want to rage at him. While Janie and Cabel are definitely the main characters there are other smaller characters that play important roles such as Carrie, Stu, Shay, the Captain, and a couple others. They all seem to have special roles in the book but they aren’t very developed yet and I am hoping that they will be enhanced a little bit in the next book, Fade. I’m not going to give away the whole plot here so if you want to know what happens then you will have to read the book and I would definitely recommend it.