Look at the cover.  What do you see?  Yep, a demon!  Demons don’t generally promote a feeling of tranquility do they?  However, this one is smiling which is unusual.  When you read the first line of REPOSSESSED, First thing I did was, I stole a body, you don’t quite know what you are getting into.  Thoughts of a demon inhabiting a teenager and running around causing havoc enters your mind.  But, you soon find out that isn’t the case at all.

Kiriel is one of the fallen, condemned to a life in hell tormeting the poor souls that are unfortunate enough to end up there.  He’s performed the same function for thousands of years and he is sick of it.  All he wants is a little vacation.  He knows he can’t run away from Hell forever, but really, who is gonna know if he leaves for a while?  No one checks up on him to make sure he is tormenting enough souls or anything.

After a lot of observing, Kiriel inhabits a young teenager named Shaun right before he is about to be hit by a bus.  He was going to die anyway; so what if he didn’t get to experience the last 2 seconds of his life.  Kiriel wants to experience life for a change instead of just watching.  He enjoys everything: walking, feeling the breeze blow across his skin, and, of course, eating (he falls in love with ketchup).

Not knowing how long he is going to be able to stay inside Shaun’s body, Kiriel doesn’t waste anytime experiencing life.  While he begins to interact with the people in Shaun’s life, he realizes that he doesn’t just want to disappear.  He wants to leave a mark on the world before he goes back.  He comes up with four things that he can influence for the better before his time ends on Earth.  He plants 4 seeds, hoping they’ll grow after he isn’t around to tend them anymore.

REPOSSESSED is a delightful book.  There are many sections that make you laugh out loud and definately even more that just cause a smile to spread on your face.  I love the unique idea that a “demon” from Hell comes to our world and understands how important life is.  He knows you should make the best of every minute you have.  Granted, all of his motives aren’t selfless.  He definately has some things he specifically wants to accomplish for himself but in the grand scheme of things, Kiriel is just a really great guy.

It is clear why this title won a Printz Honor.  See my previous post about NIGHT ROAD by the same author.

One family – damaged by tragedy.  A father who drinks too much; an absentee, professionally-driven mother.  Twin girls left in the middle. 

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins – each with their own deep, dark secret.  One daughter attracts the inappropriate attention of their damaged father.  The other daughter, usually ignored, takes part in riskier and riskier behavior just screaming to be heard.  Both girls suffer in silence, living behind the facade of a perfect, all-American family.

Ellen Hopkins has written another gripping novel in verse that will leave you on the edge of your seat.  If you are at all familiar with her work you know to expect the unexpected.  Prepare for your jaw to drop when you reach the end of this gripping tale.  You absolutely won’t believe your eyes.

Rachel Caine has done it again.  She starts FEAST OF FOOLS like she does the other books in the Morgenville Vampire series – right in the middle of the action which grabs you by the hair, yanks you in, and won’t let go until the story is over.

At the end of MIDNIGHT ALLEY, the foursome living in the Glass House gets some unexpected visitors in the form of Claire’s parents and (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Speak) the Big Bad – Mr. Bishop A.K.A. Amelie’s “father.”  With him in town there has to be trouble a-brewin’.

On top of the trouble that is inevitably on the way, Claire has to deal with the stress of her parents being in town.  She is, of course, worried about their safety, but also has to convince them that she isn’t going to move in with them – that she is perfectly capable of staying at the Glass House.  Claire’s duties to Amelie are still a high priority which requires that she continues her work with Myrnin while at the same time making it to all of her classes during the day.

The Big Event (where everything hits the fan) takes place during an invitation only masquerade feast.  Claire manages to get herself an invitation and is front row center when everything comes to a head.  Mr. Bishop is in Morganville for one reason and if he doesn’t get what he wants he will declare war on those that oppose him.  Battlelines are drawn, people are in danger.  You’ll never believe how this one ends.

Rachel Caine is an amazing writer.  She writes so vividly that you can picture everything that is happening in your head like a movie.  As crazy as it sounds, I feel like I know the characters from the book and  I love the developing relationships between Claire and Shane / Eve and Michael.   The one drawback to the series is they are definately NOT stand-alone novels.  If you picked up FEAST OF FOOLS without having read the other three in the series I think you’d be lost.  So, take my word for it.  If you haven’t read GLASS HOUSES, THE DEAD GIRL’S DANCE, and MIDNIGHT ALLEY go do it right now!  You won’t regret it.

Rayne McDonald has a complicated life, not that she didn’t ask for it.  She went through the a complicated process of applying to become a vampire by taking classes, keeping a Blog of her process, and getting her blood tested in order to match her with her blood mate.  It wasn’t her fault that her dreams of becoming a vampire were destroyed when her assigned blood mate accidentally bit her identical twin sister instead of her.  It takes a while, but everything gets back to normal until she finds out she has been destined to be a vampire slayer.  Completely opposite from what she wants to be.  Rayne is left close to death after her battle with the vampire she was sent to kill and had to be turned into a vampire herself in order to be saved.  Her blood mate, Jareth, turned her even though now they are both “handicapped” vampires; the deadly disease that Rayne had caused both her and Jareth to be weakened.  They are both vampires, but they don’t have the super strength and powers commonly associated with the undead.  Also, they can both go out in the sun without bursting into flames which is a good thing since Rayne still lives at home and needs to remain a high school student.


GIRLS THAT GROWL is the third book in the BOYS THAT BITE series.  It picks up where the second book, STAKE THAT! leaves off.   Jareth has become a beach bum since he hasn’t seen the sun in centuries and now can enjoy it without perishing in a ball of flames.  Rayne is feeling a little distance between them since he isn’t dark and brooding anymore.  She also gets her new assignment from Slayers, Inc which is to infiltrate the cheerleading squad since there have been suspicious disappearances from the varsity football team and growling has been heard coming from the girls’ locker room after cheerleading practice.
Rayne is what you could call a Goth Girl.  Dark, brooding, tattooed, and pierced.  Goths are considered the lowest rung on the social ladder of high school cliques.  Cheerleaders are her enemy and getting on the squad isn’t going to be easy.  In fact, she has to rely on blackmail to get herself on the squad. 

After seeing proof of the werewolf problem with her own eyes, Rayne and Jareth decide to track down the problem from where it originated.  The cheerleaders went to a cheer competition in England and when they came back from the trip the strange occurrences and disappearances began.  So, Jareth and Rayne make the trek to England to find the local Lycan pack to get to the bottom of everything.  What they find is a rogue wolf that wants to start his own pack and is resorting to desperate measures to do so.  Rayne and Jareth face many challenges and dangers on this trip that test their feelings for one another.


Read GIRLS THAT GROWL in order to find out if Rayne can save the day once again and whether or not she has what it takes to be a cheerleader and learn to live with a blood mate that would rather surf the waves than dance all night at raves.

 

 

Clary Fray lived a normal life.  At least she did until she witnessed a murder at a dance club while out with her best friend Simon.  What she couldn’t understand is why the victim disappeared in front of her eyes.  You see, she wasn’t supposed to see it in the first place.  Not because there weren’t supposed to be witnesses to the murder, but because the murder victim was a demon and the ones who killed the demon were Shadowhunters.

Shadowhunters are warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons and Jace is one of the best there is.  When Jace realized Clary could see everything, he knew she must have some Shadowhunter blood in her and wants to take her back to the Institute where Shadowhunters train and live.  Before Jace can convince Clary to come with him, she gets a frantic phone call from her mother talking of danger.  Clary can tell that her mother is attacked because the phone line goes dead in the middle of their conversation.  Without thinking about the possible danger to herself or what she might find when she gets there, Clary abandons Jace and heads for home as fast as she can.  There she meets a creature worse that anything she could have imagined.  She manages to kill monster, but is injured in the process.  Thankfully, Jace followed her home and was able to help her back to the Institute where she could recover. 

 


Once she enters the world of the Shadowhunters everything in her life changes.  Her relationship with Simon is drastically changed, she discovers the true identity of her father, and she learns what betrayal really means.  On her quest to find her mother, Clary and Jace form a strong bond.  Together they fight vampires, werewolves, and other creatures from strange demon dimensions. 


CITY OF BONES is filled with action and humor.  Jace’s character is lovable and causes you to laugh all through the book.  If you are a fan of fantasy you will definitely love this book and be chomping at the bit until the next one comes out in 2008.  The sequel is called CITY OF ASHES. 

THIS BOOK WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 2, 2007.

 

Claire’s life isn’t getting any easier since the last time we saw her in DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE.  Everyone should be safe now that she has signed a contract with Amelie.  Shane, Eve, and Michael should be protected and Claire should be able to rest easy, except for the fact that she has to keep her contract a secret, because her housemates would freak if they knew.  There is already enough tension in the house since Shane can’t forgive Michael for becoming a vampire.  Claire doesn’t want to add to the turmoil already in the house, but can’t avoid it when Amelie finally contacts her with her assignment and sends her a bracelet to wear for proof of protection.

Amelie wants Claire to become the apprentice to Myrnin, the vampire with the knowledge of the portals that are used throughout the town.  At first, Claire doesn’t know why she is being asked to learn, but eventually realizes Amelie’s motives aren’t simply to pass on the knowledge of the vampires because Myrnin is getting old and senile, but because Amelie wants Claire to assist Myrnin in finding a solution to a bigger and more deadly problem the vampires are facing in Morganville.
Dead girls are turning up around Morganville as well and vampires aren’t the cause.  It so happens that Eve’s brother, Jason, is out of jail and skulking around so everyone assumes he is behind the murders, but the police can’t find any evidence to link him to the crimes.  Everyone is on edge because he is threatening to harm Eve and he’ll hurt anyone that gets in his way.  Claire and Shane are injured in different confrontations with Jason which leaves Claire in a deadly situation and Shane fighting for his life.

If you’ve enjoyed the other books in the Morganville Vampire series, you’ll love MIDNIGHT ALLEY.  Rachel Caine uses her skills as a writer to take you on a wild ride that you’ll hate to see end.  You’ll feel like you have been transported into the story with the characters.  MIDNIGHT ALLEY has a cliffhanger ending like the other books in the series and leaves you begging for the next story.  It is clear that Claire’s life isn’t going to get easier any time soon.

Jason Freeman and his family just moved to California from Michigan because his father got a new job. They now live in a very elite neighborhood filled with the priviledged of Malibu.  Everyone seems to accept Jason immediately and his transition to California takes no time at all.  In Bloodlust, Jason and his friend Adam uncover some stange goings on at the weekend parties.  On top of the strange effects of the parties, some people are turning up dead, drained of all their blood.  Jason has to accept the fact that vampires live and basically rule Malibu.  But, which one is killing everybody? On top of the murder mystery, Jason is dealing with his strong attraction to Sierra.  Sierra is also a vampire, but the girlfriend of Brad, one of his new friends on the swim team.  Jason feels guilty for having feelings for someone else’s girlfriend, but can’t stop himself from wanting to be around her. Book Cover In Vampire Beach: Initiation (#2 in the series), Jason continues along with his high school life as though he doesn’t attend with vampires.  The thought doesn’t really bother him since he knows they aren’t evil or anything.  He is surprised by a totally unexpected visit from a friend from back home, Tyler.  Tyler seems to be in a little trouble and basically brings the trouble to Malibu with him.  This book revolves around Jason trying to help Tyler get out of trouble as well as explaining a little more about the vampire world.  We get to see the “Council” or governing body that regulates the vampire population. The thread that continues from Bloodlust into this book is the tense relationship between Jason and Sierra.  As a reader you REALLY want them to get together, but the author leaves us hanging again. Initiation cover Now, these books aren’t necessarily quality literature, BUT….they are fun.  They are also fast reads which will make them popular with teens.  There is some drinking and “make out” sitiuations so these wouldn’t be appropriate for younger teens.  8th grade and up would be my suggestion. The third book in the series is titled Vampire Beach: Ritual and the fourth, which will be released in June 2007 is Vampire Beach: Legacy.