Tag Archives: Teen Paranormal Books

Fallen – Lauren Kate
Book Reviews
December 12, 2009 posted by Nikki

Fallen – Lauren Kate

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

When Luce wound up at Swords & Crosses, a reform school for disturbed kids, she never thought she’d meet anyone worth knowing. I mean, it’s a school for kids with problems – naughty, psycho, crazy and messed kids. The place even looked and felt like a jail. But this is life, and things never turn out the way we expect, do they?

Meet Daniel. The moment Luce lays her eyes on him she feels it. This thing. A connection. Like she’s met him before or something. All this in one little glance. But if he felt it, he certainly isn’t showing it. Daniel makes it more than clear that he’s not interested in Luce, that she should stop stalking him, stop harassing him. He doesn’t want her, so why can’t she stay away from him? Why can’t she get him out of her head? She knows there is something off about him and she’s determined to figure out what it is. Only then will she be able to shake her heavy heart.

I hate the way Daniel treats Luce. He’s more than just a little rude. Even more than that, I hate the way Luce shamelessly keeps going back for more. I kept asking myself where this girl’s self-respect was, and how she could let a boy treat her so badly. I’ve read enough books like this to know by now that often, my initial reaction to characters like Daniel is wrong and that much more lays beneath the surface. Even though I was aware of this, as I was reading, I couldn’t help but feel ticked off by him. The question is you should be asking yourself is, did I stay this way, or did he win me over in the end?

Enter Cam. He’s the guy you love to hate. He’s charming, he’s beautiful, and he’s definitely interested in Luce. He flocks to her immediately, stepping on anyone else’s chances of even attempting to score with her. And Luce likes him back, she does. That’s why she’s not backing away from his advances. But there’s just something … missing, and she can’t quite figure out what it is. Maybe it’s that everything with him is just so easy. There isn’t any inner emotional struggle, no deep pain caused from simply being around him. But is easy what she’s even looking for?

Like all good complex characters, there is more to Cam than meets the eye. Just when you think you’ve got him figured, he turns around and does something that will totally throw you off course. Cam is surprising, in many ways.

Actions speak much louder than words, so if you want to know the truth about these boys, watch what they do, rather than what they say.

This is the kind of book where not a lot happens, yet everything happens. It takes a while to get going, but it’s definitely worth the wait. This is one of those character-intensive kinds of reads that focuses a lot on relationships and friendships, but there is a bit of action too. It’s right at the end, though, so make sure you stick it out.

Fallen is an effortless, engrossing read. This is an excellent first book in what I expect is going to be a mind-blowing series. Hold onto you shorts, folks, this one is going to be big.

Pages: 452

Publication date: 2009

Rating:: ★★★★☆

Vintage: A Ghost Story – Steve Berman
Book Reviews
July 6, 2009 posted by Nikki

Vintage: A Ghost Story – Steve Berman

I’ve been trying to write my review of this novel for a few days now. Trying, and failing. So, I’ve decided to take an approach that I don’t normally follow. Instead of launching into a detailed description of plot and character, I’m going to post the blurb as shown on the back of the novel (so you at least get a little insight into what it’s all about), and then I want to discuss a few key literary devices that I thought worked well. This isn’t something I normally do, but I don’t think I can say what I want any other way. So here goes…

A lonely gay teen bides his time with trips to strangers’ funerals and Ouija board sessions, desperately searching for someone to love–and a reason to live following a suicide attempt.

Walking an empty stretch of New Jersey highway on an autumn night, he meets a strange and beautiful boy who looks like he stepped out of a dream. But the vision becomes into a nightmare when the boy turns out to be the local urban legend, the ghost of a star athlete killed in 1957–a ghost with a deadly secret and a dangerous obsession.

Vintage: A Ghost Story is an intense thriller that looks at the dark side of gay urban fantasy, where the dead can never rest and trapped spirits never find peace.

Although this novel is narrated in first person, the narrator has no name. Actually, that might not be entirely true, but if he does have a name, readers never find out what it is. The first time I read Vintage through, I felt that by not giving him a name, the author robbed the narrator of authority. Because he was nameless (and also gay), I felt like the author was trying to tell me that his identity didn’t matter, that being gay meant that he wasn’t worthy of a title like a name. I found myself getting all ticked off about the kinds of impressions that would leave on potential queer teens. However, I was so intrigued by this concept of a nameless narrator that as soon as I finished reading Vintage, I went back to the beginning and started again. I very quickly changed my mind over how I felt about this character. I realised that by not giving him a name, the author was actually empowering the character and inviting you, the reader, to assume his identity and really place yourself in the story. This, then, made the story more powerful and a whole lot more engaging than the first time I read it. This gave me the opportunity to step into his shoes, to not be myself for a few hours and really immerse myself in his world. I now saw that this gave the narrator loads of authority, unlike my previous assumptions.

I also enjoyed the fact that, while not necessarily ‘out’, and although the narrator had certainly encountered adversity because of his sexuality in the past, he seemed more than comfortable as a queer teen. He was not struggling to comes to terms with his sexuality, which was very refreshing. I thought that Vintage highlighted a really clear distinction between comfortably keeping one’s sexuality to himself, and fearfully doing so. Coming out should be the choice of the individual, and just because you’re comfortable with your sexuality doesn’t automatically mean that you have to come out. I really enjoyed this aspect of this novel.

Vintage is a quirky queer teen read that I’m almost certain would be enjoyed by readers both gay and straight. There’s something about a good old ghost story that has a real universal appeal. Watch out for the supernatural sexual encounter!
Rating:: ★★★½☆