Mini-review Monday (2)

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Mini-Review Monday, our new abridged review feature inspired by Entertainment Weekly's Quick Takes. This feature will be posted every Monday and will include 1-3 short reviews. Both adult and young adult books will be included in this feature.

Title: Slide (Slide #1) by Jill Hathaway
Pages: 250
Published on: May 8th, 2012
4/5 crystal balls (partly sunny), high priority.

Summary: Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth--her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered. Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn't actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experiences the world through that person's eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body. Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane. Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Slide is an engaging, intense thrill-ride. Packed with a cool mystery, raw emotion, and a fantastic lead character who can slide into people's minds, this is one book you won't be able to put down until you get to the last page. I admit I saw the ending coming, but that never took away from my overall enjoyment of the story. I'm so thrilled there's going to be a sequel out next year!

Title: Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock
Pages: 416
Published on: May 8th, 2012
4.5/5 crystal balls (party sunny) high priority

Summary: Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered. Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer: A white werewolf. Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control. Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk. Kathleen Peacock's thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love. 

Part supernatural mystery, part romance, Kathleen Peacock gives readers a compelling and believable world where werewolves are a part of society. I was impressed with the way the complicated dynamic of the three lead characters were handled, and the ending left me in absolute chills. Ultimately, Hemlock is a fantastic debut! It's nice to take a break from other 'supernaturals', and give werewolves some much needed focus in the spotlight.

Title: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Pages: 293
Published on: March 7th, 2011
2/5 crystal balls (heavy rain) lowest priority

Summary: It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

In the beginning, I thought The Vespertine had a lot of potential. However, by the middle it completely fell flat for me. This disappointed me because I love period pieces and -visions! forbidden romance! - all sounded so delectable. It was beautifully written and the atmosphere was incredibly rich and easy to get absorbed in, but in the end I really couldn't connect to any of the characters, romance or the book as a whole. There was something lacking here, and I think I just found the overall story to be a little dry, and unable to spark an emotional chord with me. Still, I do want to pick up the sequel one day because I heard The Springsweet is very different, and I find Saundra Mitchell's writing style to be quite lovely.


  1. Two greats and one, not-so-much. I really want to read Hemlock! Love these mini-reviews. :)


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Once upon a time, there were two sisters -Susan and Shauna - who were moved and mesmerized by stories through any medium, since they were teeny tiny. This passion stayed with them throughout adulthood, and after becoming even more enthralled with Young Adult fiction in recent times (and some Adult & MG!) they decided they just had to open up their own book blog and share their enthusiasm with the world, or well, to anyone who would listen.

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