Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters

Antonia is a straight A student, wears knee length skirts and keeps her hair neatly cut. She is also practically raising her little brothers, because her mother is too depressed to even get out of bed.

Jazz has purple hair she keeps as wild as possible, plenty of tattoos, doesn't care if the teachers hate her, and hangs out with a gang of other punks. Her family has a huge estate, with maids and servants to take care of their every need.

Is either girl "normal"? That is the question readers must examine as they read this book. The characters are realistic and witty. The writing is simple enough for middle school students, but interesting enough for even an older teen to keep enjoying.

The dialogue is very snappy and will make you grin.

5 Stars


Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson

Persephone is taking care of her grandmother and, despite the fact that werewolves and witches aren't suppose to get along, letting weres stay with her in confinement during the full moon to pay her bills. But when her friend is murdered and another witch offers her a lot of money to do in her killer, Seph takes the dangerous job. She ends up way over her head when the mark finds out and goes after her other friends. She has to overcome her grandmother's prejudices and bring in a group of weres to help her, including Johnny, the rather frightening tattoo-and piercing-covered singer of a Were band.

Pretty uninteresting. The plot is cliche and the characters flat.

The writing isn't too bad, and is at times witty, but this is a forgettable novel. There were two things I liked though. The way magic worked in a very natural and traditional way and that the romance part of this paranormal romance wasn't about sex! I have read way too many paranormal romances where there is little to no actual love or feelings, just lots of sex. That's not romance in my book. This romance was well set up, and there was attraction between the characters.

3 Stars


The Copper Crown by Patricia Kennealy

Long ago the Kelts left Earth, using technology left behind by the people of Atlantis, and headed into space. When the rest of the planet discovers interstellar travel, they encounter the Kelts.

The Kelts mix magic and tech, making them a powerful force in their corner of the 'verse. But when the also powerful Earth and Keltia decide to form an alliance it triggers war, as two other races have been looking for an excuse to destroy the Kelts for a long time.

The universe created in this book is wonderful. I loved the mix of traditional sci-fi (spaceships, hovercraft, energy-charged weapons) and historical (chariots, horses, heirloom objects, storytelling.) It created a unique place for the interesting and well-constructed characters to be. My only real quibble with this book is the writing. The sentence structure was frequently confusing, requiring at least one re-read in order to understand.

The author sometimes used double negatives and too many adjectives. The dialogue was at times a bit stilted. A good read, but not a fast one. It takes a good bit of brain power to understand.

4 Stars