Book Review- Generation Dead

Monday, 21 October 2013
Title: Generation Dead
Author: Daniel Waters
Published: May 6th 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (UK)
Pages: 392
Genre: Young Adult, Zombies, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance
Series: Generation Dead #1

Rating: 2.5/5

Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.
All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn’t want them.
The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the “differently biotic." But the students don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the “living impaired” from the people who want them to disappear—for good.
When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?-Goodreads

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I love zombies. Although I wouldn't particularly like to meet one, I really enjoy reading about them!! This book has always featured fairly high on most people's list of zombie novels (especially YA)and I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately it really let me down :(
Firstly the characters; Phoebe was a pretty cliché character, a Goth who wrote deep and meaningful poetry and wore a lot of black. She seemed to be a Goth for no other reason than to be something "different" in YA. She really had very little interesting or original to say, I was pretty disappointed by her as a main character.
Her love interest is a zombie called Tommy, who was a pretty limp character, he wasn't particularly fleshed out (excuse the pun!).
The other minor characters in the novel include Adam, who fills the clichéd role of the best friend who is in love with our main character, and Margi the other best friend, who Phoebe tries to convince that zombies aren't all bad.
I also had a problem with the zombies themselves in this novel. They were the weakest and most pathetic zombies I've ever read about. They did nothing even remotely zombie, I understand that they're trying to be integrated back into society, but if they're so like humans, why is everyone creating such a fuss? I also would've liked a bit more information on exactly why these teenagers were coming back as zombies, absolutely nothing was explained about this at all. I understand it's a series, but c'mon!
The author also used some weird language throughout the novel, including very lengthy descriptions of things, that frankly didn't need to be explained. For example "Phoebe's breath preceded her, puffs of vapour like spirits dancing in the light of the moon." There was no reason for all the dancing spirit stuff, we all know how our breaths appear when it's cold!
There were also some just plain weird descriptions, like this one; "Phoebe just looked at her beautiful egg salad sandwich and wished that she had any desire left to eat it." A "beautiful egg sandwich"? Seriously!
The story also had a weird point of view, which changed from a third person POV to jumping between many different characters POVs with very little warning. It all meant a rather confusing time for the reader,
Overall I really didn't enjoy this novel, if you hadn't noticed!! I had such high expectations for it and it really disappointed me.

Book Review- The Hunt

Thursday, 10 October 2013
Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Published: May 8th 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 293
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Series: The Hunt #1

Rating: 4.5/5

Don’t Sweat.  Don’t Laugh.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him.  He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood.  Gene is a human, and he knows the rules.  Keep the truth a secret.  It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.

When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him.  He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?-Goodreads
I bought this book from The Book People on a whim, after reading the description, even though I had never heard of it before. I love that moment, when you find a little known book that turns out to be an absolute cracker! This definitely happened to me with The Hunt.

The plot to this novel revolves around a boy called Gene, who is a human trying to blend in to a world overrun by vampires. Not your Twilight sparkly vampires but your blood-sucking evil vampires!! Suddenly he finds himself a winner of a once in a lifetime chance to hunt the last remaining humans with a small group of vampires.
The plot is very fast paced, I was so nervous for Gene the whole way through the novel, and the tension the author creates when Gene is pretending to be human made me literally sweat with nerves myself!
The only thing that stopped this novel from getting 5 stars was the ending, it didn't really seem to have an ending at all. It didn't have a cliffhanger either, it just sort-of ended, rather abruptly.
The main character in this novel is Gene, and the story is told from his point of view. It's rare (for me anyway) to find a YA novel that's narrated by a male protagonist, but I really enjoy them! Gene was clever to survive among the vampires for so long, he was also brave and caring.
Ashley June is the "love interest" in this novel and I really liked her character as well. She begins the novel as quite snooty and dislikeable, but her development throughout the book meant by the end of the novel I had warmed to her considerably.
The other minor characters in the book were pretty good, the diverse group that were the other contestants in the hunt and the humans that they were hunting.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, and I have the second book, which I'm really looking forward to reading!

Book Review- The Name of the Star

Monday, 7 October 2013
Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Pages: 374
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: September 29th 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Historical Fiction

Rating: 4/5

"New York Times" bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!
The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.-Goodreads

I have followed Maureen Johnson on twitter for a little while now, without really realising that I owned one of her books and hadn't read it yet. You can follow her here if you want!!

When I found the book on my TBR pile I dived into it excitedly. The fact that the novel is set in London and features Jack the Ripper just further cemented how cool Maureen Johnson is.
The plot for this novel revolves around our main character Rory, who is an American coming to an English boarding school. I really enjoyed the boarding school element, it all seemed very quaint and Mallory Towers-ish to me! I also enjoyed how some of Rory's American-isms were met with confusion from many of her fellow students.
It becomes quickly obvious that this is more than a normal murder mystery novel when Rory discovers she can see people that no one else can. Although the ending was a tad predictable, overall I really enjoyed the plot, it had some nice twists and the Jack the Ripper theme appealed to my macabre interest in all things gruesome!
I felt that I could really hear Rory's voice throughout this novel, and the fact that her American accent stood out so much in England. I also enjoyed some of the things the other students said, although some were a little cliché, it was nice to see some British characters in YA.
There also wasn't too much romance in this novel, instead of the relationships taking centre stage, they were pushed to the back to allow for a better and more developed plot.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, and I really want to pick up some more of Maureen Johnson's novels if they are anywhere as good as this one was!

October TBR!

Saturday, 5 October 2013
Hi guys, I will definitely be posting more soon, I promise :)
Anyway for now, here's the books I want to read in October.
  • Clockwork Prince- Cassandra Clare
  • Martyr- Rory Clements
  • The Girl in the Wall- Daphne Benedis-Grab
  • Wither- Lauren DeStefano
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde
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