Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Vampire Crush by A. M. Robinson

Vampire Crush CoverA humorous twist on teenage vampire novels

Vampire Crush by A. M. Robinson
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 416
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Sophie McGee's burning ambition is to be Editor in Chief of her school newspaper. But the job isn't just hers for the taking. She has to compete with Lindsay Allen, her closest rival, in a competition set by Mr. Amado, her journalism teacher. Their assignment is to do profiles of the five new, very odd, foreign students in school. Unfortunately for Sophie, the ones she has to interview refuse to give her any information that she can use for her story.

Sophie is determined not to let Lindsay win, but how is she going to get these strange students to talk? When her former next-door-neighbor and close friend from years ago, James Hallowell, moves back to town, Sophie is both glad to see him and extremely curious about the fact that he seems to have some kind of connection to the five newcomers. What if James could be the key to Sophie fulfilling her assignment?

This book is a whole lot of fun. It's wonderful to find a YA vampire novel with a humorous twist. The author's writing is excellent, and her characters well-drawn and believable, especially Sophie, who is a very sympathetic and active heroine. The romantic subplot is also well-developed and yet leaves plenty of room for further complications in future sequels. The villains are deliciously dangerous, especially the chief villain, Vlad. He's got to be one of the most quirky villains ever, extremely fun to be scared by.

I highly recommend this book to all ages, and I'm very much looking forward to future books in this series.

Heroine: 5

Subcharacters: 5

Writing: 5

Romantic-Comedy Plot: 5

Overall: 5

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: In the Forests of the Night (Goblin Wars #2) By Kersten Hamilton

In the Forest of the Night Cover
Book 2 of an exciting, young adult, urban fantasy series based on Irish folklore

In the Forests of the Night (Goblin Wars #2) By Kersten Hamilton
Reading Level:
Young Adult
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 288
Source: Amazon Vine
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

This book begins immediately after the events of the first book in this series. Sixteen-year-old Teagan "Tea" Wylltson's mother is dead, and her father, who was rescued in the previous book from the goblins in Mag Mell, is a kind, nurturing parent to Tea and her little brother. Tea and Finn have declared their love and are now a couple. They support each other in keeping their family members, and the world, safe from the goblins.

Tea and Finn don't have a typical, obsessive, teen-novel relationship. In spite of all her magical adventures and her love for Finn, Tea is determined to continue on with her plans to be a veterinarian.

All of the characters in this book are fascinating and excellently portrayed, particularly Finn's grandmother and Tea's little brother. The world-building is very well done, and readers who love stories of fae/faeries should find this an enjoyable read. (Though the creatures for which this trilogy are named are called "goblins," in every way imaginable they are recognizable as fae.)

This book has plenty of action and adventure, strong, loyal relationships, and lots of intriguing magical creatures. It is suitable reading for younger teens, but there is plenty here to keep older teens--and adults too--pleasantly entertained.

Heroine: 4

Subcharacters: 4

Fantasy World-Building: 4

Writing: 4

Action-Adventure Plot: 4

Romantic Subplot: 4

Overall: 4