Book Review: Nameless by Mercedes M. Yardley

namelessTitle: Nameless: The Darkness Comes (The Bone Angel Trilogy) written by Mercedes M. Yardley
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ragnarok Publications
Page count: 227
Format: Epub (read on Microsoft Surface using Nook App) Rating – 4/5

 

Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.

Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’

After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end. (Goodreads)

I received Nameless from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Nameless was definitely a different spin on a young adult fantasy than I have ever read so it was a great change of pace for me. It was very dark, a little gritty and sometimes downright spooky. Like most books there were small things about the main character and the story I could pick out that I didn’t like (like Luna falling in love with Reed so fast although I guess when you know you just really do know maybe?). For some reason that really bothered me. Otherwise I thought this book was great…it was a really interesting and fast paced read. I especially enjoyed the action scenes where Luna has to battle some of the demons she sees, let’s just say I really wouldn’t want to be her.

I really love Luna as a character. I feel like she’s a pretty strong female character (except for when it comes to Reed) and I love that she seems like more of a tragic hero. She’s definitely very flawed but has this amazing compassion and loyalty to her family, seems to draw strength from inside herself and just doesn’t give up no matter how hard the going gets…and for her it seems to be plenty hard. She also has this pretty awesome ability to see and interact with demons…which is kind of freaky but equally cool. It’s always interesting to think that there may be some sort of different plane of existence where beings of some kind are walking amongst us and other similar theories. I think this book did such a great job of making a world like that seem possible.

I would love to read more from this series and I am hoping that we get to learn more about Luna and her family background…maybe see if there is any particular reason that this ability seems to be genetic. I loved the ending to this book, although I was hoping that the book had a different ending for Reed…it really makes me think that there could be some sort of tragic romance brewing between Mouth and Luna. I’m very interested in continuing to read this trilogy…if you are a fan of paranormal fantasy I would definitely recommend this book!!

Lastly, how cool is the book cover? It’s definitely fitting and what I would imagine Luna looking like!

Book Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Title: Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) written by Isaac Marion
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Romance, Young Adult Horror
Published by Atria Books
Page count: 256
Format: Ebook (read on Barnes and Noble’s Nook HD+)
Rating: 5/5 – Absolutely loved this book!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #10
2013 Movie to Book Challenge #1

I’ve read a few Zombie novels in my day and I am very happy to say that Isaac Marion has succeeded in creating a profoundly different Zombie novel than has previously existed (at least of the ones I’ve read so far.)

Warm Bodies is a unique story in that our narrative is not given from the usual survivor trying to adjust and survive in the world during/after the Zombie Apocalypse but our narrator is actually one of the living dead. This book actually make me feel pretty bad for the Zombies, especially for R who is our main character along with Julie who is his human – yes I said human! – love interest. The story begins with R and his daily life (i.e. his though processes and his daily actions) as a member of the community of Zombies inhabiting an airport in which a large group of Zombies have made a sort of home for themselves. On one of their intermittent forays into the city to hunt for prey, after killing her boyfriend and eating some of his brain, R stumbles upon Julie huddled in a corner of the room they have just attacked and he begins to look at her a bit differently than he has ever looked at a human before and ends up taking her back to the airport with him to as he points out several times, keep her safe. The big thing here is that when a Zombie eats a humans brain it sort of connects with the humans life force and relives moments of the humans life through their memories. For me this kind of humanized the R and the rest of the Zombie community which was really interesting. It just made me think that as humans we are always searching for some kind of connection with people and it is no different for the Zombies in this book, this is their way of seeking their connection but it’s only momentary which is one of the reasons they keep searching for the next brain. Exciting stuff! We always just think of them as monsters but R still has his thought processes and seems to gain more and more of his moral compass back every day. As R spends more time with Julie and starts getting random flashbacks from Perry’s life he starts to fall in love with Julie and this starts to change him on the inside as well as on the outside. His skin starts getting less gray, he is able to speak in sentences again, is able to read and able to feel things he couldn’t when he was err, more zombified, I guess.They begin to realize that they may have stumbled onto a cure and you’ll just have to go read this book for all the details!

Needless to say I found Warm Bodies to be fresh and fun. It was a really light read and really entertaining and interesting. It really had everything in it. It was comical at times and heartwarming at others. It was romantic comedy laced with the unmistakable horror genre element which made an utterly surprising treat! I loved getting a glimpse into the (possible) inner workings of a young Zombie boy!  I loved this book! ( Sidenote: I love the original book cover which is the first image above. I love the contrast of the blood red and the rest of the gray of the cover. I also included a movie poster. There were many to choose from but I particularly liked this one. I love that they use the color red as the main color of all the movie posters and I especially love that he is holding a daisy! Did you guys and gals who read the book catch this and love it just as much???)

I was happy that this was the first book I read for the 2013 Book to Movie challenge. I wanted the book to be fresh in my mind when I watched the movie so my husband and I went on a date to go see this movie tonight, the day after I finished reading the book!

Overall I think that the book translated pretty well onto the big screen. The humor was definitely captured but I do feel like there was a chunk of the story that lost its meaning and/or was left out or changed. Obviously this is going to happen, as it almost always does but I was really happy with the movie. I think Julie was just about what I imagined. I imagined R to be a little more decayed and I sort of pictured it a bit gorier when he takes the “sludge” from his wounds and wiped it onto her face to give her his scent. I loved the music they used for the movie even though it was different from what I imagined in the book. I don’t know why but I sort of pictured M as a meat head since he was supposed to be like a pretty muscular ladies’ man type guy, which is what I got from his character details but I may be wrong. I thought it was really cute. I think it’s a little more believable in the book especially when he begins to speak and then starts to talk more and more. I guess it’s more believable in the book because we get to see the evolution of it and the thoughts that occur behind the evolution rather than just seeing it happen. In the book he reflects upon the change which causes us to take notice and we have time to experience the changes occurring within R and the other Zombies. I did like the scene where Julie tells him that he is a good person and that he tries more than all the humans and also the scenes in the 747 where they get to do all sorts of fun activities together those were really funny. I did also like what they did with the Boneys, the thing with him bleeding towards the end and how they show the Zombies being assimilated back into normal life. It definitely gives us some closure as to what happens next. I definitely recommend reading the book AND seeing the movie. They both will not disappoint, although the book was obviously the better format in this instance. There’s really only one movie I thought was better than the book but that’s a conversation for another day. This is definitely worth it and the movie definitely had its fair share of laughs and awwwws.

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched written by Ally Condie
Genre: YA Fiction – Dystopian Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Page Count: 366
Format: Paperback
Rating:  it was amazing! Couldn’t put it down! I want to shout it from the top of a mountain!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #7

This book starts off with seventeen year old Cassia Reyes  getting dolled up for her matched banquet which in her society is  a really big deal. At the banquet Cassia will be “matched” with a boy in another community that will be her husband when they turn 21. She will stand and face a screen that will show her the face of her match and they will smile at each other, it will be the first glimpse of their future. For Cassia, it doesn’t quite work out this way. It’s a rare thing to be matched with someone in your community and it hasn’t happened in many years but when the screen in front of Cassia turns out to be blank she knows her match is someone she knows…her best friend Xander.

Having known Xander since they were young Cassia and her family feel tremendous relief at their luck at such a match. That is until Cassia, alone in her home, views the microcard with Xanders picture and information that was given to her at the banquet, and see’s not only Xanders face but someone elses. Someone that she knows as well, someone who it is impossible for her to be matched with since he is not eligible to be matched (a.k.a Ky Markham). This of course causes Cassia to wonder and question, something that is dangerous for her to do living in a controlled society.

This is a dystopian novel set in a controlled society that takes place long after our time. Everything is literally controlled. “The Society” controls the food they eat, the clothes the way, the activities they do, the professions they have, and the romantic matches that are made. This is all so that the optimum results can be had…no disease, no dissension. That is until Cassia’s grandfather gives her a forbidden poem whose words, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light”, continue to haunt her and cause her to question more and wonder. She is no longer satisfied with following orders. As her forbidden relationship with Ky grows and they spend more and more time together doing forbidden things like writing, drawing, and reciting the forbidden poetry, Cassia becomes more and more dissatisfied with her life as assigned by The Society. When Ky is taken by officials in the wee hours of the morning, Cassia vows to find him. We are left at the end with the promise of her beginning the search. Exciting!!

Wow!! This book reminded me of all the things I love about dystopian literature. They are always such a roller coaster for me to read and Matched was definitely no exception. At first I thought the pacing was really slow but in the grand scheme of things I think it all flowed really well and we learn things about the characters and about Cassia in a really great even flow which I think was essential to making me build a relationship with the characters. I literally did not want to put this book down. I just couldn’t. I hated the fact that I had to work today because all I wanted to do was read this book. Halfway through it I was texting my friends and raving about it to them. Just the whole idea of the story is crazy. I can’t even imagine how it would be to have everything controlled especially who you marry. That’s so creepy! Later in the book we find out a lot more about the things The Society does and we glimpse some top secret information about how they control things and it’s pretty terrible!

I love Cassia’s character and I love seeing Ky through her eyes. I loved experiencing her awakening feelings for him. Everything about their relationship/friendship was so dangerous it was like I was always on the edge of my seat. My heart literally broke like ten times during this book. I found myself exclaiming aloud. I felt a ton of emotion reading this…I was happy, sad, terrified, and heartbroken. I was going to write about my favorite part of the book but I had quite a few so it’s so hard to pick one. I really like the part where Cassia leans a bit toward Ky while they are the small Hill during their Hike and she whispers the first few lines of the forbidden poem and he closes his eyes as she says the words. I also love the part where she asks him what his match would be like if he was eligible and he says, “You”. My heart literally just died on that part. I also love the part where he gets taken by the officials and she is so desperate to look into his eyes and she points up at the sky and we read the lines “My heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him.” Oh my god. I can’t say enough great things about this book. There is just something about forbidden romances set in a dystopian atmosphere that just gives a book that extra oomph. I loved it. I highly recommend this book for any fans of dystopian literature or just really for anyone…read it!! I can’t wait to read the second and third in the series but I’ll have to wait until I can get to the bookstore later this week so in the meantime I’ll have to read something else. I am so curious!!! Ahhh!