Tag Archive | 16+

Book Review: Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

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I chose to use the Goodread’s book summary – due to the popularity of the Netflix show, I don’t want to give any other information away by mistake:

“The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

 Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.”**

**I don’t really agree with this statement.

My thoughts: I am a HUGE fan of the show. I have really enjoyed seeing the creative differences McGreevy did in transition from book to screen. I do agree with many of the reviews on Goodreads, I felt the show was a lot better than the book.

That aside, the preface was poorly written and McGreevy is a huge one for overwriting. My mind would get frustrated with the lack of punctuation and sentences that didn’t make sense. It seems ideas were all over the place and it was rare for a connection to be made.

However, there were a few gems scattered throughout the chapters. My breath would be caught by descriptions of the moon, or of the gothic beauty of Hemlock Grove. There are many bits in the story that are full of wonder and you can’t help but be sucked into the mystery in this town.

The book left me wanting more answers. It really has the potential to be a great book, but there are many bumps and sidetracks that keep the reader turning pages but we aren’t given any real answers, which is a letdown. The book is just as jumbled as the show. I highly suggest watching it because it’s just such a mess with your head – and addicting to watch! I feel that the book has the better ending, explanation wise, but it is so worth watching too.

Has anyone else jumped on the bandwagon and blown through the Netflix Original Series in three days like me? What do you think about it? Would you consider/have you read the book as well? Please let me know your thoughts, I’m kind of a fangirl about the hot mess!


Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGerry

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Echo Emerson used to be one of the popular girls. Talented in art, with long gorgeous red hair, the tall girl with the interesting name had the quarterback boyfriend and everything it seemed.

Then there was the night her mother tried to kill her. Echo has no memories of the evening, but the scars that grace her arms will never let her forget. Now an outcast, with an even more over bearing father, due to have a new baby with Echo’s former babysitter – yeah- it’s not as if her life could get any worse.

Noah Hutchins is a product of the foster care system. Dark and foreboding, he’s shed his basketball star rep for drugs and looking every evening for a new one night stand. His only pressure for getting on the straight and narrow are his younger brothers, taken from him after his parent’s tragic death.

Brought together but their pesky guidance counsellor, Echo and Noah try to repel each other until they discover how much they’ve lost. Both have secrets, both are so alone. But together they could find the answers that will help them move on from their haunting past.

This is fantastic romance YA! A round of applause for McGarry and Harlequin! I loved how this book was the perfect blend of teenage angst and toned down traditional adult romance novel. Only disclaimer – lots of foul language, so not for tweens.

This is a romance with heart. This is falling in love that isn’t clichéd, cheesy or unrealistic. There is vulnerability with both of the characters and their back-stories are engagingly brilliant! Ridiculous and fantastic – Pushing the Limits is a true romance book that is so much more than just the love of two lead characters. The love of family is stronger and I can’t recommend this book enough for romance junkies!

The rest of the series follows Noah’s best friends lives in separate books. I love the idea and can’t wait for the last book to be published in the fall!

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Family is important. It’s just June and Greta, the Elbus daughters. Their parents are accountants and life goes on during the late 80’s. Their uncle Finn is an artist and June’s Godfather. He’s painting a portrait of the girls and June adores all time she gets to spend with him, while Greta fidgets. Finn is sick. He’s dying.

Fourteen is too young to lose an uncle, especially to a disease that no one understands. As June’s world fades, a secret from her uncle’s past reaches out to her. There’s a man who was close to Finn, even more than June. She’s torn between wanting to know him and resenting him for all the time he received with her beloved uncle. Unable to move on from her grief, and with others pushing her towards false starts. June turns her back on practicality and takes a leap of faith where no one else is ready to believe.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home is emotional and raw. It’s been over twenty years since AIDS caused an uneducated panic and Brunt has brilliantly captured that timeline. She’s also taken the approach of a teenager who loves someone with this disease and refuses to believe where others accept the first thing they hear. June is wise beyond her years, but she does remain essentially a child. Watching her grow through trauma, grief and teenage angst is more powerful than I expected.

The symbolism used throughout the book is stunning and towards the end I was almost in tears. This is a YA crossover at it’s controversial finest. Contemporary and striking you’ll find yourself eager to get back to June. With relatable family struggles this novel will shake your core. YA doesn’t have to be supernatural and full of romance. There can also be a pure coming of age story where love transcends and Brunt has crafted a magical piece of work.