In the middle of it – Every day by David Levithan

Every day by David LevithanImagine if you woke up every morning in a different body. You would wake up with a kind of knowing–your name, your age, whether you’re a boy or girl–and all the other little details reveal themselves throughout the day. Until you wake up the next day. This is what A–the main character in David Levithan’s Every day faces each morning.

I’m just a few chapters into the book, but so far so wonderful. Passing from body to body for 5, 994 days at the start of the book, A awakes in the body of a boy named Justin. During the course of the day, A falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend. The smart thing to do would be to let all memories of the girl slowly fade away as A has done in times past. But A won’t let her go and instead takes any opportunity to see or speak to Rhiannon no matter the body or life.

Interesting, right? And so very well written! The book is just so bursting with good lines, I’m going to have to start writing them down. Here’s one that caught my eye:

What is it about the moment you fall in love? How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity? I suddenly realize why people believe in deja veu, why people believe they’ve lived past lives, because there is no way the years I’ve spent on this earth could possibly encapsulate what I’m feeling.

And I could go on and on, but then I might as well just write out the whole book and well, that would just be illegal. So far this book appears to be the perfect title for all you romantics out there. But, as I said, I’m just a few chapters in. There could still be heartbreak and sadness ahead but hey, I’m also an optimist.

In the middle of it – On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming

Book cover On the Day I Died

On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming

I’m in the middle of listening to On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming. Mike is in a panic because he’s about to miss curfew…again. He’s in such a hurry that he narrowly misses a hitchhiker standing in the middle of the road. Always a gentleman, he drives the girl home only to discover that his passenger drowned many years ago. In a search to discover the truth, he comes upon a cemetery of teenagers. He also discovers the ghosts of the teenagers themselves–all ready to share the stories of how they met their tragic ends.

I have a love-hate relationship with scary stories. I love the adrenaline rush I get when reading them. I hate that they make me paranoid that specters could be lurking in dark corners. That being said, I was bracing myself to be spooked out by this book. I’m not sure if it’s the different narrators or the stories themselves, but I’m just not feeling very terrified…or on edge even. It’s almost as if the stories are too short. Just when you start really getting into it, it’s over. I think I like my scary with a whole lot of suspense.

If you’re looking for a book you can pick up, read for a little bit, then pick up again much later, give On the Day I Died a try. It’s pretty good for stop and start listening too; although the different voices of the narrators can be kind of disconcerting. I think I’ll finish it. Mostly because I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s some kind of twist at the end and I really want to find out what it is.

In the middle of it – Rotters by Daniel Kraus

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

This is the first book I’m close to finishing since joining the Best of the Best Challenge and, to tell you the truth, it’s been rough. I have the audio version and, while the narration is amazing, I’m having a hard time getting into the story.

When his mother dies, Joey moves from his Chicago home to live with his father in Iowa. Iowa life isn’t easy for Joey and not just because he’s trying to deal with this loss of his mom. As it turns out, dear old Dad is the town’s weirdo which, in a small Iowa town, means Joey is a bullying target for classmates AND teachers. To top it all off, his father is barely home so Joey must fend for himself as well.

**Possible spoiler alert**

I’ll cut to the gist–Joey’s Dad is a grave robber, which explains why he disappears for long stretches of time, smells funky, and leaves his house in shambles. It isn’t long before Joey proves he’s destined to take up the family business and his Dad begins teaching him the tools of the trade. If you pick up this book to read of the graveyard treasures that this duo finds, you may be disappointed. Rotters is more a study of human nature, relationships, and decomposition. If you want a chiller that’s gross and gruesome, you may prefer Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist instead. While it has its suspenseful points, I thought it was more of an emotional story than an action-packed adventure.

Personally, I’m not really loving it myself. The characters disturb me and not in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely well-written–the characters are well-developed and maybe you’d just love to hate them. I’m so close to being done with the book and I’m still not sure where the story is going. There seem to be a lot of side journeys towards the final outcome that are distracting rather than entertaining me. But I will soldier on! I’m determined to finish, especially since I’m SO CLOSE to the end.

Have YOU read Rotters? If so, we want to know what you think. Leave us a comment with your thoughts!

P.S. On the plus side, I now know what a rat king is. GROSS!

In the middle of it…The Monstrumologist by Richard Yancey

The Monstrumologist by Rick YanceyYoung William Henry is the apprentice to Pellinore Warthrop, a monstrumologist. Just what is a monstrumologist, you ask? It’s basically a scientist who studies monsters. Yup, you heard me right: monsters. In The Monstrumologist, William Henry assists Dr. Warthrop as he attempts to track down and eliminate a pack of Anthropophagi–headless maneaters whose shark-like mouths are situated in the middle of their torsos.

Sound gruesome? It is! I’m in the middle of listening to this book and I’ve had some bad moments in the car because of it. The cringing and squirming is not just because of the monster side of the story. Yancey does an excellent job of sprinkling a good many grisly, non-monster related other bits thoughout the book.

Be warned though, this is not necessarily an action packed tale. While there are a lot of suspense filled moments, there is also a lot of philosophical reflection which slows the pace of the book. Personally, I think it’s the author’s way of turning the story into a macabre rollercoaster ride–just when you think the grossness is over, you’re hit by another wave.

I think that fans of Joseph Delaney’s Last Apprentice (like me) will definitely enjoy this series. Not only is the storytelling style similiar, but one of the key elements–a boy working for a grisly, grouchy monster hunter is there as well. (Although I don’t think John Gregory has anything on Pellinore Warthrop!) I’m not sure if my faint heart and weak stomach will make it to the end, but I hope I can hold out because it’s definitely a book worth reading. Plus, the sequel just came out so it look like we have more gore in store!

Finally, while the book’s description does not match it in the least, when I heard it, I totally had visions of the Pale Man from the movie Pan’s Labyrinth. Click here to see what I envision in my head. EEK!

In the middle of it…The knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness

The knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness

The knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness

In Todd Hewitt’s world, everyone can hear everyone’s and everything’s thoughts. This jumble of words, images, and sounds is called Noise and it is impossible to tune out. When Todd stumbles upon a patch of quiet in the Noise, he finds himself in danger. On the run from an army, Todd is fighting, not just for his life, but to come to terms with the fact that everything he’s ever known is a lie.

 I’m actually listening to The knife of never letting go by Patrick Ness right now and I am riveted. It’s definitely not a lighthearted story. I really feel as if Todd is telling me what’s happening. I can really feel his anxieties and fears. It just sucked me in! I’m so into the story that I’ve found myself yelling at the characters to stop talking and start running. I’m really getting into it!

 The print version of the book is interesting because they use a different font for the Noise. I had started reading it ages ago, but to tell you the truth, I never finished. I must say that it’s definitely an amazing book to listen to! I’m a big fan of Nick Podehl (the book’s narrator) and I must say that this is definitely some of his best work. The people of “New World” speak in pidgin English and Podehl really pulls it off.

 This book is part of the Chaos Walking trilogy. I CAN NOT wait to listen to the other books in the series! If you’ve read or listened to any of them, tell us what you think!

In the middle of it…Beautiful creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

 There are many reasons why Ethan Wate should stay away from Lena Duchannes:  

  1. She is living with her uncle, the town recluse and eccentric in what closely resembles a haunted mansion, thus making her an outcast by association.
  2. The Southern belles who rule the school are convinced that she’s a witch and are trying to get her kicked out.
  3. Amma, his superstitious housekeeper and surrogate mother, has told him to.

Too bad staying away from Lena is impossible for Ethan. Not only is he instantly drawn to her, but she’s also the girl who’s been filling his dreams. As his relationship with Lena grows, Ethan learns more about the small town he grew up in and becomes caught up in a world of curses, mysterious powers, and dark secrets.  

First of all, I have to say that this book is heavy. Not just the content, but the weight–it’s 563 pages long! Also, it has A LOT going on. It’s that combined with the size that make it feel like it has taken me forever to get more than halfway through. I am very interested in Lena’s family and their background and I really want to see how things play out between her and Ethan, but I hope things start picking up more soon. If you like your romances mixed with a supernatural mystery, Beautiful creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl has to be your next read!

In the middle of it…The roar by Emma Clayton

The roar by Emma Clayton

The roar by Emma Clayton

Since his twin’s disappearance a year ago, Mika hasn’t felt complete. Everyone, his parents included, thinks that Elli is dead. Mika however, is convinced that Elli lives. Convinced that it somehow has a connection to Elli, he begins playing a video game called Podfighter.

It’s hard to talk about Emma Clayton’s The roar without giving anything away! There is definitely a lot going on in the book so far. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I think it’s because I’m thinking too much about how the stories fit together. 

As it turns out, Elli IS alive and being held captive by a man named Mal Gorman. She appears to be an important part of Gorman’s plans but so far, these plans remain a mystery to me. It probably has something to do with special powers both she and Mika have, but I can’t say for sure. I feel like I’m on the verge of something big happening so I’m definitely going to have to keep listening.

BTW, if you want to give this title a try, I highly recommend checking out the book on CD. The narrator does a great job with all the voices!