Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: Angel Burn by L.A.Weatherly

Angel Burn (Angel Trilogy, #1)Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Angels have there wicked schemes, and L.A. Weatherly takes them to new extremes. The angels exist and have come to help...themselves to humankind as their food source. And there's only one alive who can stop them. That sounds like a great story to me! I really, really wanted to love this book. And, at first, I did. Then, things got so predictable and repetitive, my budding love for it died.

Don't get me wrong, this is a great book (funky font type aside) and a truly enjoyable read, especially for the younger YA group as it is mostly clean and wholesome. The romantic scenes are sweet and chaste. The male character, Alex, occasionally uses foul language but doesn't seem to make it a habit. Also, the story idea is unique. Angels are a hot commodity in books these days, as are the half-breed Nephilim.

Angel Burn takes angels to a whole new plane…literally. They exist on the ethereal plane as angels but in human form on the non-ethereal plane. But the coolest thing about these angels is that they're actually aliens. They are fleeing their home world and entering earth via a gateway (I think of Stargate when I imagine the gateway, only without the ring). The bad thing about these angels is that they aren’t here to protect us; they’re here to feed off of us. The side effect of their touch, if it isn’t instant death, is Angel Burn – either a cult-like love for the angels or a wide variety of diseases which will eventually lead to death. And this is only the beginning. One wave of angel refugees has come through already, but more are on their way.

Enter the need for the protagonist, Willow, and her love interest, Alex. Willow is a misfit. A teenage girl who fixes cars, wears thrift-shop clothes, and happens to be psychic. Alex is a hunky teenager who happens to be an angel assassin, one sent to kill Willow. But he ends up unable to complete his task once he discovers that she isn't what he thought she'd be. The two end up on a road trip, which I personally found hilarious thanks to Kiersten White’s recent blog post about rules of the YA genre & their basic plots. Kiersten, you were right on the nose for this one! The road trip ends with Willow risking her life to save all humanity. I won’t spoil it any further by telling you how this book ends, but I will tell you it was left wide open for a sequel, one I don’t plan on buying or borrowing any time soon.

To end this review on a happy note, I will say that I loved how the story was told. The reader sees the story through Willow’s first-person point of view part of the time. We also get to see the story in third person omnipresent pov primarily through Alex’s perspective and occasionally through a few other characters. The switches were handled extremely well and made the pace remain enjoyable enough to want to finish the book.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Contest - Short Story Entry

One of the facebook pages I follow Young Adult Reads Discussion Group has a free contest going on right now. The rules are simple. Be a member, new story with Young Adult content, <7,500 words, posted by today.

The majority of my time for the past six months has been revising my first book. Each revision makes it better and I'm thrilled with the improvements, but I was getting bored. I thought participating in this contest would be fun. I needed to make writing fun again. It was and did.

I went for something out of the ordinary for me. I wrote from a boy's perspective instead of a girl's. It's still first person, but looking at the world as I imagined it would look through a boy's eyes was thrilling. I also tried using present tense instead of past tense, which I've never done before. That was fun too.

So, this short story I'm titling REFLECTIONS is now done. It hasn't been revised more than one quick read-through. No one else has read it - none of my normal beta readers at least. And I'm posting it on the site for all the member to read and critique. I don't know if you have to be a member to read the docs, but here's the link if you're interested!!/groups/YAReads/doc/?id=228995517143076

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Audio Book Review: Carrie by Stephen King

CarrieCarrie by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Stephen King. His stories are so unique and he really knows how to pull the reader in to his world. Carrie didn't disappoint. I'd read the story years ago (when I was in middle school - what were my parents thinking?!) and remembered being in awe the first time. The movie was ho-hum like most Stephen King movies, in my opinion. The three stars on this review aren't so much for the story itself but for the audio presentation of the book.

Sissy Spacek is the reader and she does a good job. I think the way the book is written, presenting parts as excerpts from other books/articles makes it difficult to listen to in audio format. I don't mind the occasional AP report or quote from a book, but it was hard to stay 'in' Carrie while listening to it.

So, as far as audiobooks go, this isn't one of my favorites. I much preferred Dolores Claiborne in audio over Carrie. But, the Carrie audiobook also is not the worst I've listened to before.

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