Friday, May 27, 2011

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

From the acclaimed author of STILL MISSING comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers.

All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara’s home life was not ideal. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and find closure.

But some questions are better left unanswered.

After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother—only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.

What if murder is in your blood?

Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive…

Summary taken from Goodreads

Never Knowing was so beautifully written. At the end of all the chapters, there were phrases I reread four or five times because they were so insightful and mostly heartbreaking. Above all that was my favorite part of this book. Her writing drew me in so completely, I'd be reading for hours and it would feel like ten minutes.

Stevens' second book was another thriller that kept you guessing. Every time I thought I had it all figured it out, she turned me upside down and made me look like a fool. I was able to figure out a couple of things but had some very important details wrong.

The Campsite Killer was soooo creepy. Through his relationship with Sara, I went further into a murder's head then I ever wanted to. There was some parts I even felt sorry for him, but then he would remind me of just how horrible he was and I felt sick for feeling like that. That was something I got to experience right along with Sara.

But here is where we get to my complaint. Other than the brief moments I described above, I had a hard time connecting with the main character. Sometimes it was hard to feel sympathy for her when she kept saying one thing then doing another, especially when it put those around her in danger and disregarded any one's feelings but her own.

It's very possible I wouldn't have felt this way if it hadn't been for Stevens first book, Still Missing. That book made the bar for this one incredibly high. In her first book, you went through every horrible thing that happened right beside the main character. You hurt so badly you thought you'd break, you cried with her, then you got to experiencing the healing, the sliver of hope. In Never Knowing though, the worst things happened around Sara instead of to her. I connected more with her birth mom and Evan then her.

Don't get me wrong though. The good far outweighs the bad. If you haven't checked out Still Missing, oh my lord do it right now. And make sure to catch this one when it releases in July. I will definitely be on the lookout for even more books by the author. And you should too!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

Summary taken from Goodreads

This book was so adorable. I fell in complete love with it right away. Which is a big deal for me, I don't read much contemporary YA.

Anna was a interesting character. I loved her intense love for films and her strange dream of being a film critic. Little things like that made her a very 3D character. Even the side characters were very well done. Her friend Meredith was my favorite. She was a lot like me in a few ways.

St Claire. Oh man that boy was perfect. And super dreamy. There was a couple parts where the on and off between Anna and him got a little repetitive, but it was worth it. Their relationship was just so cute!

This is the kind of book that makes you want to book a flight and head off to a completely different place to see new and wonderful things. And maybe find a foreign hottie of your own...

Five stars. I can't wait for the next one!