The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle // Dystopian Doesn't Really Mix With This

Monday, 30 November 2015 0 comments
The Hallowed Ones (The Hallowed Ones #1), by Laura Bickle
Publication: September 25, 2012, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Amish
Pages: 311
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Rating: ½

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

My Thoughts:

You know those books that you just want to finish because it has been on your shelves forever and you honestly do not know why you wanted it in the first place? The Hallowed Ones is one of those books and it gave me a bad impression from the start. I have always been interested in books about Amish people, but this author, Laura Bickle, took on that strand in a whole contrasting twist. This time around, it's a series with the plot based on dystopian, fantasy and mystery elements all mixed in together. Yes, there are vampires and weird mythological creatures that we only expect to read in a Twilight-like story. This novel certainly was a disappointment, but I expected just the same.

It's nice to hear about different Amish traditions and routines, depending on the author's perspective, because we all know that they must have put tons of research and thought in to make this the right, truthful perspective on what it is like to be struck with this many expectations on you, to do the right thing. 

"I couldn't wrap my mind around falling in love with someone from afar. I was accustomed to seeing Elijah every day, felt affection out of sheer force of familiarity, force of habit. For me, that was love. Tangible. Love was what was in front of me, not a distant fantasy." (122)
The writing of Bickle is beautiful, but the pacing just was not for me. When I read this, there was no such enjoyment coming out of it. I read the novel like it was painful (honestly, haha) and I just felt like it was written for the story and the pace was not paid attention to at all. I found myself completely bored out of my mind for points and I had a big issue with the concept: vampires and the main character, Katie's perspective on everything that was happening to her. Vampires were not an abnormality, they were part of Katie's life and she just adored everything that was happening to her like it was completely normal. How is this story able to be believable, somehow, if everything that the main character thinks is positive? We see a transition of Katie becoming someone who does not care about anything, to someone who is confused by more simple concepts, like love, when it is practically shoved in her face.

The Hallowed Ones is about your average fantasy-paranormal tale where a character is trying to find themselves. Nothing more, really. It's supposed to be a "horrific thriller" where I didn't experience any thrill whatsoever. There are witches, vampires, and hints of some kind of apocalypse where you cannot trust anyone. And of course, there are hints of romance, as you witnessed in the snippet I handed you above. Katie's annoying, Alex is annoying, and together, they could be classified as one annoying couple in a whole.

And apparently, there's a good sequel out there. And I have no plans to get it whatsoever. This book was not for me—I did not enjoy it, really. It's slow, more uninteresting than captivating, and I really enjoy books that are different than these. 

The Hallowed Ones could go either way for those interested. It might not be the best possible book in the world to read, but it may also be very well written. I didn't enjoy the pacing, plot and characters, but this was not the best book at all. In fact, I feel like it is a mix between good and bad, but more on the bad side. I would not waste your time on this one, especially if you trust my opinion, heh.

What do you think of books that are mixed with two completely eerie concepts? Do you like books about Amish people?

My Letter to Books: Favourite Edition

Thursday, 26 November 2015 2 comments

Recently, I’ve been finding myself unable to read often because of schoolwork. It’s extremely difficult balancing a good, healthy and normal lifestyle with schoolwork and continuing to do the things you love. I have given up some hobbies that I used to conduct everyday, like playing the guitar or writing short stories because of the program that I am in, and in some ways, I don’t regret it because it’s all worth it. Though, books are my life and so is blogging… so here is a letter to my favourite books, because I know that I had not forgotten about them at all.

Dear Favourites,

Like a teacher never wants to pick their favourite students out of the class (at least, they don’t admit that they have favourites somewhere deep inside of them), they do have some, and they show it. I have a couple favourites, and if you are receiving this special letter, I am proud to admit that you are one of them. Yes, you: Throne of Glass, The Selection, The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, The Outsiders, Divergent, Falling Kingdoms, Catching Jordan, The Host, Eleanor and Park, Delirium, Before I Fall, The Hunger Games, Tiger’s Curse, Everything, Everything, Nightfall, Liars, Inc., All the Bright Things, Second Chance Summer and The Summer I Turned Pretty. You guys are the special ones. And I’m pretty sure that even though I have 326 so-called “favourites” on my Goodreads shelf at the moment, you are the special ones. 

I am a liar, okay? I pretend that some of your other friends are my favourites and then I just forgot about them. I actually remembered you guys from the top of my head and you are my true friends.

So because it is American Thanksgiving right now, and most of your authors are American, let me tell you why I am thankful and grateful for you all. You books are special—have made me feel different, extremely happy and joyful, more than ever before. With some of you, I have cried, bawled and my eyes nearly fell out of their sockets. (Sorry to put that in your head). Your words are lyrical, clever and have a meaning to them that is just so difficult to comprehend and write them out. I spend my nights thinking about you all when I need a break from life and just want to desire more, more sequels of course. Tell your authors that they need to give me more, ASAP. 

I keep saying the word “I,” because I (hey, I did it again) just need more. Yes, with you guys, I could be selfish because the luscious hardcovers that are in my bookshelf  and you’re all mine. *raises eyebrows* 

I love you, and I'm sorry that I've never re-read one of you before, except for THG. Thank you, my loves and your wonderful authors. Schoolwork is getting me to suffer, but it's okay, I'll make time for you. 

Happy Thanksgiving, viewers! I wish that I could have some turkey... sadly my turn was in October. 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard // Mare Owns the Realm in My Heart

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 0 comments
Red Queen (Red Queen #1), by Victoria Aveyard
Publication: February 10, 2015, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 383
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...

My Thoughts:

Have you ever tried to classify a book as vicious? What about overwhelming, but in a good way? Victoria Aveyard's truly acclaimed and popular Red Queen does fit itself under those two adjectives and words, and it's one of the only sole books that I have found that is like it. No, it's not a retelling of some sort and do not expect "Alice in Wonderland." This is something of its own kind, a start of a racing trilogy that I just can't wait to continue reading. It really was a magical story that was so kick-ass and interesting that I can't get myself together. Reading this is like drinking a Shirley Temple—sweet, fizzy with all of the feels, but raging after you've finished it because the author just knows how to keep her readers entertained, even after Mare's story is done for a little while.

Are you wondering if the hype is real, or if there's too much hype for what this story is worth? I can answer yes to both questions. People are going mad for this series, and I can see why, but it's not like I cannot go on without The Glass Sword. Plus, I know that it's going to be released soon because, well, duh, ARCs are out and so is the cover/summary. I didn't even read the summary yet because I don't even know what the story is going to contain and I'll just get fed up with it all. This story really is vicious, fierce but crazy in a matter of practically four hundred pages. It's a wild ride, that's for sure.

Here Are Five Reasons Why Red Queen Will Appeal to You:

1) It's one of a kind: I can tell you that you won't find yourself on the street, or at a bookstore and could pick up another book like this. It's written in a different style that gives every reader a different experience. Some readers may find this absolute dystopian, while others won't and could question the real message that Aveyard has behind the scenes. It's not everyday when we're stuck with a character like Mare (who I'll get more into below), but I promise you that it is different and that's why the hype is going around. The general public wants a refresher, a new read that is for all ages and that could appeal to any teenager, even if you're not a fan of reading. 

2) Mare is simply so kick-butt and I adore her: For once in a high fantasy novel, we're not stuck with a crew of characters who think they're better than everyone else. Mare has qualities that remind me of Katniss (do I even have to state what book she's from?) and Tris, from Divergent. A little bit of Celaena from Throne of Glass, too. But Mare is her own person who just wants to make her family happy and proud, and she'd take those sacrifices without thinking about the consequences. I loved her from the start, and her character kept on developing into the point where I just wanted to be her best friend. Now that's something I really do call attachment.

"You believe you are the masters of the world, but your reign as kings and gods is at an end. Until you recognize us as human, as equal, the fight will be at your door. Not on a battlefield but in your cities. In your streets. In your homes. You don't see us, and so we are everywhere. [...] And we will rise up, Red as the dawn." (36)

Okay, so I know that Mare didn't say this (Farley did), but yay for women. Aveyard's villains of the novel aren't the terrorist group known as the Scarlet Guard, but the kings and queens of the Silvers, and the wonderful woman who gave that speech was totally rebellious. I LOVE IT. 

3) The plot is just... enjoyable: This novel is just all fast-paced within and you can't stop reading. The messages that lie behind the actual story are there for readers to discover, and if you don't discover them, then you really didn't enjoy the story. I think that there's something for everyone all in the bundle of awesomeness that Aveyard handed us in February. I just wish that I would have given this the chance earlier, to feel like I read this as a hipster, before the hype went out. Is it just me or a movie is coming out, too? This would be utter fabulous if it did.

4) ROMANCEEEEEEE OF COURSE: So since we all know by the title that this focuses on some kind of royalty and fantasy, there has to be a romance. Mare is like Maas' Celaena, who doesn't understand her feelings at first but then realizes that there is some kind of attraction. Although there kind of was some sort of a love triangle at points, since Mare cared for a lot of people, it was pure. It was real. No instant romance that made our kickass character fall head over heels for some weird guy who is basically the opposite of her. This was great.

5) The world building, because who could forget that?: The story focused on a variety of things that Aveyard's fictional world was built on—like some kind of racism between different types of blood and people: Red and Silver. There was war, action, but of course those slow moments that made you ponder about what it's like to have so much power and how one could go out of control with their emotions. I LOVED JULIAN BY THE WAY. HE'S ADORABLE, AS WELL AS CAL. Agh, the characters are fab in general.

As this novel may seem light and cheery to you, it is dark and gloomy. I just picture the dark grey skies of this interesting world that Victoria Aveyard imagines through Mare's eyes. Red Queen is powerful, and I bet that it'll end up on the favourites-of-2015 lists of many, many people, bloggers, reviewers, or not. It doesn't matter what age you are to fall in love with something this enchanting, because it just somehow automatically occurs. Nothing petty about this all, it's more like royalty in the YA world today.

What do you think of hyped books? Would you still give them a try even if everyone was following the trend and going TOO crazy about it all?

ARC Review: Galgorithm by Aaron Karo // Cheesy and Not Much Point to It

Monday, 23 November 2015 0 comments
Galgorithm, by Aaron Karo
Publication: May 5, 2015, by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That's the tantalizing proposition high school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice.
After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry.
As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict...

My Thoughts:

Galgorithm is a book with some petty themes and issues that the characters are basically basing their lives on. It was enjoyable, easy to read and easy to devour quickly, but it lacked a lot of things. And one of these big things are something I like to call realism. This story doesn't sound real at all; it sounds like a mix of mumbo jumbo and awkward phrases that are put together to make a YA novel. Yes, I have read cheesier stories with cheesier romance, but I can't say that this was fabulous or something great to compare it with. For most of the book, I was debating about what I really would've enjoyed about it if the story ended up going in my stubborn way.

This story is based on romance and some unrealistic moments that make me ponder and wonder why I thought that it would be somehow based on math. In case you hadn't ever noticed, I'm a math geek and that is one of the reasons why I picked this book up. I wanted the formulas and the cutesy nerdy things that I sometimes like to read about. Instead of being nerdy in a cute way, this book was outrageous and totally absurd. I cannot even point between what I enjoy and what I don't enjoy about this book. It's kind of confusing because it was promising in a different way.

This is about a weird teenage guy who wants to fall in love by using his ugly imaginary formula that he promises could get a girl for any guy. It's the name of the title of this book, Galgorithm. Once Shane gets dumped/rejected by "the hottest girl ever," he's basically acting like any teenage boy would—he's hungry for romance. And when he makes this formula, he plays around with love, friendship and some revenge, too. And it's freaking predictable.

If someone told me to write a book review on this before I even read it, I would have been able to write another summary from my guesses and get it 70% right. This book is awfully predictable. The ending was a no-brainer, where I totally saw that "thing" with Jak coming around, and it seemed too obvious. Aren't books supposed to make me crinkle and have me so shocked that I won't be able to do anything else that night? What has happened to modern storytelling, I ask?

I feel like I'm starting some kind of angry rant right here but of course there had to be positives about this story or I would never be here. My review would have been a lot shorter if it was just negativity. Galgorithm has an enduring group of characters whose attitudes and sarcasm always kept me giggling. It is a funny story, you know. Shane, Adam, Tristen, Jak, they were all a cool crew, just like how I imagine them like from the 90s awesome sitcoms that we like to rewatch today. *thinks of Friends* 

Karo is a good storyteller. If you're pretty naïve with reading contemporary fiction and find it okay if you read about a story that is so cheesy, then you'll seriously be okay. But I do think that I spent enough of my tweenhood and childhood reading about these lame, childish stories. At least it wasn't boring. That is one of the pros that I allow myself to constantly ponder about right now. 

Karo delivers a story that is more for entertainment than for actual enjoyment, well at least it is like that for me. Galgorithm is a witty, fun-filled novel that will spare you a laugh or two, but then in the long run, it doesn't make a reading experience too positive for me. I have read better, but I am glad I gave it the time and experience. Just look at the cover and the main slogan, "A guy. A girl. A formula" and think about what it really is about in the end. I bet you'll come up with the plot's events in a jiffy.

What do you think of very unrealistic contemporary? How much cheesiness can you spare and give time to actually read about?

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton // Ballet is Not as Cheery as You Think

Friday, 20 November 2015 0 comments
Tiny Pretty Things (Tiny Pretty Things #1), by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Publication: May 26, 2015, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.
Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

My Thoughts:

Listen—when I am obsessed with some kind of theme or concept that a book holds, I'm obsessed. I don't want to sound like a meanie or anything in that sense but, I strongly anticipated this book. I anticipated it more than you can imagine and I spent months aching at the bookstore, looking for where it'll stand on the shelves alphabetically. I was that crazy. And you know what? Tiny Pretty Things was worth the wait—it was a fabulous story that is not about your lone ballerina walking around the streets of New York City. This is a fierce, imaginative story that gives you much more than the 448 pages that you see above or that you hold; it gives you a new experience on what competition is like, in case you have never felt something that strong before.

Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton are masters of the competition of writing. Their book and this whole series is turning out enchanting, and I simply need more. Yes, the storytelling is posh, light and easy to read, but then again, it's very fierce and Gossip Girl like with a mix of PLL which is noted in the summary above. It's a strong-willed story that I simply love to devour and the thing is, I'm obsessed with ballerinas. To this date, I still remember what the story is like and what the plot really held, because it has been a couple of weeks since I last touched the pages. 

"The only cure, the only thing I can think of to help me calm down and get back into my body enough to dance the Snow Queen and make them all fall in love with me again, is to have Alec hold me and whisper to me and treat me the way he used to. And it will happen. As far as I'm concerned, we're getting back together." (166)

You see this selfishness? You see this drama? That is what both authors conquered in this story and it is more deep and mindful than PLL or Gossip Girl ever were. It is not one of those books that I constantly review and I complain about them because they were just for the entertainment and drama. This goes through friendship, romance, but also about what it takes to follow your dreams and the obstacles that could get in the way. That sentence I just mentioned sounded very cheesy and cliché, I know. But this book isn't like all of the other ones you see in the blogosphere or that reviewers are raving about. Tiny Pretty Things is just simply pretty.

Double Rachel McAdams. Woo!
What I really, really enjoyed about this story is the fact that Charaipotra and Clayton switched between the endless amount of perspectives and they all worked out. There's Gigi, Bette and June, three ballerinas who have tons of pressure put on them but they all sound the same in a way. There's issues with mentality, like how there are ballerinas who are anorexic. But this isn't a stereotype about these kinds of books, it's reality for many because of the pressure that others put on these young girls. It's so, so interesting.

"You will support me, even applaud me, in pursuing my goals. Because I know now that dancing is in my blood. I've always known. And no one—not even you—is going to stop me." (287)

I didn't really have any issues with this story at all. There are some things that are pretty predictable and repetitive, but then again, this is contemporary fiction, based on life. Life isn't supposed to be a roller coaster full of adrenaline all the time. There's character development, so much descriptions that will make your head blow (in a good way) and you could simply fall in love with this gracious story, but only depending on what is your favourite kind of read. If you're not interested in ballet and dance, this might not be for you, but if you're willing to give a chance to a whole new subject, then this might just be it. You know how every year there's that one book that opens a whole new door for you and you realize that there is a variety of subjects written about in YA? This is it for me, and for many.

Tiny Pretty Things isn't boring. It certainly isn't my most favourite book in the world, either. But if you pay attention to pretty, fluffy moments that the authors focus on throughout the novel, you just may fall in love. Remember that it will also play with your feelings and make a thousand ships float because hey, there are multiple perspectives on girls who are the same, but then aren't again. This book isn't tiny, but it sure is a pretty thing.

What is the book of 2015 for you that you waited FOREVER for, and then you ended up very satisfied in the end with?  

September/October Wrap-Up

Thursday, 19 November 2015 0 comments

So I'm really late with this post, but why not do it now, when it's November? I can tell you that school has seriously disrupted my reading schedule this year and I'm not too proud of it. First, before we get into any kind of discussion, let's take a look at the books I've read in September:

It feels like I've read these a LONG time ago! My favourite novel from all of these was P.S. I Still Love You. It is such an amazing read and totally 4.5 worthy.

The worst from these? Zeroes, Teardrop and Mosquitoland. I don't feel like talking about negativity, so let's just get away from this topic in general.

The number of ARCs from these? 2. 14 books were read during September, and I know I could've done better.

Here's October:

This is embarrassing. 12 books? I NEED TO BEAT THIS. My favourite book from these was Every Last Word and Dumplin'. The Masked Truth also rocked, too. And the worst? The Three, The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Out of Reach. Egh.

4 ARCs were read, and two were from BEA!


So now that it's the middle of November, I want to boost my reading speed a little and at least get to twenty, although I am setting a high goal and hope for myself. Let's just hope that it could happen, as life and being initiative is about setting goals for yourself and staying organized, at the same time as staying calm and happy without any anxiety whatsoever.

The Posts: 

Here are the top posts of these two months! I want to post/comment more:

Top Reviews:

How was your October? What are your favourite fall reads? What are your goals?

Waiting on Wednesday #20: The Prophecy of Shadows

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 0 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!
The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals #1), by Michelle Madow
Publication: January 26, 2016, by Dreamscape Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mythology

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.
Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

So I recently finished reading Michelle Madow's latest beauty from the Diamonds trilogy, where the story we all know and love actually ended. Diamonds Are Forever was truly enchanting and I am SO excited to hear about news of a mythology-based series! This sounds amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on it, just like my hands are aching for every book I do not own in the YA genre of any bookstore. Duh.

What are you anticipating the most this week?

Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike // An Interesting Take on Telepathy

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 0 comments
Sleep No More (Charlotte Westing Chronicles #1), by Aprilynne Pike
Publication: April 29, 2014, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

Oracles see the future but are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn't tried to change one of her childhood visions, her father would still be alive. Since the accident, Charlotte has suppressed her visions to avoid making the same mistake. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate's murder, she can no longer ignore her powerful gift.
Then Charlotte meets someone who not only knows her secret but who also has a way for her to stop the killer. He offers to teach her how to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing so will put Charlotte in the path of the murderer.…
Aprilynne Pike's bestselling Wings series was called "remarkable" by Stephenie Meyer, bestselling author of the Twilight Saga. And her most recent novel, Life After Theft, was cheered as a "whirlwind adventure" by School Library Journal. Now Aprilynne returns with this exhilarating departure from her previous novels. Sleep No More is a psychological thrill ride that is sure to keep readers' hearts racing until the very end.

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Westing, the main character in this novel, first mentioned that oracles are a type of lore creatures that everyone has heard of in the medieval times that saved people and were associated with knights. Am I a total weirdo and mundane person for not knowing this? I have never ever heard about these creatures or anything that this book had to deal with except for telepathy, but this sure was a different, beautiful take and way that a YA author would form a story into.

Sleep No More is a creepy, thrill infested story that will literally knock your socks off. It's actually kind of scary, in a way, and in a literal, legit method that could happen in reality today. Aprilynne Pike, an author whose writing I have read many times, added a story like this into a contemporary, mystery/thriller romance bundle that is very hard to make perfect, but she did it pretty greatly. I recommend this to all paranormal readers, even if you aren't a fan, as I am not. This goes beyond the phase of the typical paranormal story that deals with vampires or some mythological creatures; this is about an ordinary teenager who just happens to have the power of telepathy but she doesn't want it, though her powers just keep getting stronger.

It's literally the opposite of most paranormal stories. Most talk about a protagonist who is willing to do just about anything to gain and strengthen her powers/form. Charlotte, here, is just trying to fall in love with the guy she's loved for years and find a way to be normal; to have an education and to not have to keep secrets from anyone, especially her mother. Most stories have annoying protagonists who just keep desiring anything—Charlotte is different and kickass.

"An incoming vision feels like a huge hand squeezing your skull, trying to dig its fingers into your brain. You have to push back as hard as you can—with every ounce of concentration you have—or it'll find a soft spot and get in. The pressure grows to a fever pitch, and then, just as it gets truly painful, it starts to fade. That's when you know you've won." (10)

You see that description above? It's pure magic. That is just a snippet of Pike's writing, and how it could make a particular reader feel like they're in a different world or universe—her writing is especially geared towards you and only you. It's rare for me to feel this way when reading paranormal, but I guess the raciness and the fast-paced action was the kind of concept I liked. Plus, there was mystery and killings, totally having to do with the powers that Charlotte herself has inside of her, and those that she doesn't even know are present.

Basically, the plot goes like this, in a general term: Charlotte Westing, from a little girl, has always been scarred because of the tragic event that hit her family, her father's death and her mother's injury that still keeps her in a wheelchair to this date. Her Aunt Sierra, who also holds her powers and is an Oracle too, blames it on Charlotte and feels that she could've stopped the catastrophic-feeling event for their family. Now, when Charlotte is a teenager, things have begun to got better before they got worse: She is witnessing more deaths, deaths of high school students that she knows. And another thing—she's falling in love with a popular guy who is not her type at all.

Of course there HAD to be that romance. I wouldn't have wanted it there if I was the writer, but it was present and there's not much I could do about it. *laughs* Linden and Charlotte's relationship seemed to have been rushed and weird all of the sudden when Linden automatically somehow found some interest in her. Out of all of these moments, he picked the one where Charlotte's life was falling apart to see her as attractive. WHY WEREN'T THEY A COUPLE BEFORE? Or why could not a good friendship been formed beforehand? The endless questions float around my mind, that is for sure.

Sleep No More had an easygoing, racing plot that just kept me hooked to the story from when I first got into it. I read it in two sittings in the same day, and it's just like Aprilynne's other books, except I love the fact that she switches between different kinds of fantasy worlds like faeries and now this—telepathy—and does it wonderfully. There's nothing I can pick and choose between and admit that she's better at writing about, because she's spectacular at every concept slash theme.

Pike's newest hit the heart and made it go up and down like in a roller coaster. I found that so many feels were flapping out of me and I just couldn't help but squirm and frown at the right moments. This novel is very, very explicit in details and I need more of this concept, but I'm not so sure if I would head out and read the sequel, as I already have so much to read. Hah.

What is the most recent book you have read that features telepathy? Have you read/enjoyed Aprilynne's writing?