Monday, April 22, 2013

The After Girls

The After Girls
Leah Konen
303 pages
Released: April 18, 2013
Publisher: Merit Press
Source: the publisher

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Sydney and Elle are going through a rough time after their best friend, Astrid, commits suicide in their secret cabin.  They're each dealing with the pain differently, but then weird things start to happen and they must come together to figure out what's going on.  How can it be that Astrid is dead, yet Elle is receiving Facebook and text messages from her?

I thought this book was going to be a lot more paranormal than it was, but I still wasn't disappointed because it took on human emotions seriously and honestly.  Not only are Sydney and Elle dealing with the death of a loved one, but as the book goes on we get to learn more and more about Astrid, her psychology, and what led her to commit suicide.  There's also Astrid's mother, a character who is experiencing some dark emotions as well.  In that way, The After Girls is a little bit heartbreaking, but also honest and raw.

The one issue I had with The After Girls was the dynamic between Sydney and Elle.  They're supposed to be best friends, but several times as I was reading I was wishing they would tone down the drama and just be there for each other.  But of course, everyone deals with loss in different ways and they were both experiencing other problems in their lives (read: boys) so perhaps that's why they butted heads so much.

Four stars!  Throughout the novel, The After Girls kept me interested, which is impressive since I've been feeling pretty scatterbrained with my reading recently.  I recommend this one wholeheartedly for those readers who like to read about loss and mystery.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)

Oh my gosh, it has been entirely too long since I've blogged.  Or finished a book.  But, sometimes life gets in the way of what you really want to be doing.  I re-read The Fault in Our Stars last week and hopefully that has given me a kick in the butt to love reading and my blog again.  Here's an admittedly very short review of my latest conquest, Sever.

Lauren DeStefano
371 pages
Released: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I so didn't want this book to end because that meant the end of a fantastic trilogy that I loved every minute of.  But, all good things must come to an end - or so they say - so I was eager to get this from the library and start reading.  In this final installment of The Chemical Garden trilogy, Rhine grows concerned about her brother's involvement in underground resistance.  Her brother, Rowan, believes Rhine to be dead, but Rhine is determined to find him and find out about their past with their parents.

The biggest question in my mind as I read was obviously, how is this going to end for Rhine, Cecily, and Linden?  Will there be a cure?  An explosion?  How bat-shit-crazy is Housemaster Vaughn going to get?  As I read along I was enjoying the storyline and trying to savor every last minute I could with these characters, but I still wanted to know - what's going to happen to them?

Obviously I can't tell you what happened.  But.  There was a couple plot twists towards the end of the book that surprised me.  And then the ultimate ending - well.  Let's just say I love Cecily that much more now, the little spitfire.

If you haven't started this trilogy yet, you must.  Lauren DeStefano is such a gifted writer who can truly paint a world with words.  While I'm sad The Chemical Garden trilogy is over, I'm really looking forward to reading her new series The Internment Chronicles.  There's no way that's not going to be awesome.