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Review: Need by Carrie Jones

title: Need
written by: Carrie Jones
series: Need #1
genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
page count: 306
publication date: December 23rd, 2008
publisher: Bloomsbury

Pain shoots through my head. Fireworks. Explosions. All inside my brain. The white world goes dark and I know what's about to happen.

Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

This book had me at its first page. No, with its first word, even! Zara's obsession with phobias was genius and I loved it! However, somehow I lost my interest in reading it halfway. It all started off so amazing, but the whole idea just got boring after 200 pages or so.
Zara White has just lost her stepfather, and the author really focused on that. I have never lost a (step)parent so I can't imagine how it would feel like. I just thing it would be so empty, like a place that can't be filled. And that's how the author described it. Zara is not dealing with her emotional pain, and that's why her mother sent her to the mother of her late stepfather. Did this help her? Not really. Did it change her life? Hell yeah!

The mysterious stalker wasn't that mysterious. it was pretty obvious who and what he was. But that might just be me. I ususally don't have a hard time figuring out a books' plot. It made the book less interesting to me, and that was my main issue with this book. But I understand that as an author it's nearly impossible to find the balance between predictable and random. Too random will make everyone go 'Dafuq just happened' but predictable is equal to boring.

The characters weren't very kick-butt, but they weren't bad either. Zara White did impress me with her knowledge of phobias. Really, there are some crazy phobias out there, and Zara knows them all! The chapter names really made me enjoy the book more. They gave away a little bit about what was going to happen, but not to much. I love books with chapter names, it's so mucht better than just 'chapter 1'!

I would recommend this book to teenage girls who are looking for a quick and fun read. I give it 2.5 stars, but I might check out the next book in the series, I will give it a shot, because the story still has a lot of potential, as it was quite original and funny at multiple points.

Happy reading!


Review: Feed by Mira Grant

title: Feed
written by: Mira Grant
series: Newsflesh #1
genres: Young Adult, post-apocalypse
page count: 571
publication date: May 1st, 2010
publisher: Orbit Books
rating: 5+ stars!

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

Combining 2 of my favorite things in life, Blogging and Zombies, Grant did an amazing job at writing this masterpiece. Feed was so much more than just an ordinairy zombie book, it was full of things that made me think really hard, and dealt with the ethical dilemma 'How far goes the freedom of Press?'

After the infection spread, and zombies became reality instead of legend, fear took over humanity. Soon people found out that they should trust blogs rather than the Government's news, which was censored and tried to comfort the people. People wanted the hard truth, not a mild version of it. And so, on the same day legend turned reality, bloggers took over the world. How awesome is that? And it is so true that bloggers usually are more honest than the 'official' news.

Georgia and Shaun Mason are both important bloggers, Georgia is a Newsie, someone who reports the news facts only, whilst Shaun is always provoking the zombies, and toying with his own life. They are chosen to follow the presidential campaign of senator Ryman. But when people start dying and strange accidents occur the mystery sets in. And I devoured every single page of it in one breath.

While some of the descriptions were long and could be considered boring by some, I actually really liked them. They added much to the story, and gave you enough time to think about what was happening AND what was going to happen. The plot had so many twists and turns it kept on surprising me, whilst I usually don't have a hard time figuring out a book. And that's one of the things that I liked most about this book.

Another thing that I absolutely liked were the characters. Grand did a great job creating and describing every character of hers, and making them look so realistic. She made me feel like her characters were my friends. All of them, even the ones that were very insignificant, made me feel that way.

One thing I'm not happy about is the ending. If you knew me better, you would know that the way Grant ended Feed is the way I would end it. And that is not entirely positive, neither is it negative. It just broke my heart in a million pieces. So many that I just was bawling and my eyes turned red and all of it. That a book can do that to me... wow!

I would reccommend this book to readers older than me, 17+,  and I would not call this Young Adult. I say this not because it was so scary, or it was extreme horror (because it wasn't!) but because I think older readers will understand it better. I will read this book again in a couple of years when I understand the world better and see if I'm right about it myself :)

Feed it an amazing zombie novel that deals with some ethical issues as well as emotions. It made me think, laugh,and cry (A lot!). You don't need a lot of imagination to see this novel become reality, and that is what made it all so horribly true. 5 Stars and Favorite for this post-apocalyptic book with an unique view on the future.



Tour stop: Mad World: Epidemic by Samaire Provost (INT giveaway!)

Hey guys :) Today I'm hosting the Mad World: Epidemic tour. There is a review, character profile and an International Giveaway, so make sure to hang on!

Let's start it all of with an introduction to the actual book. And what's a better way to do that than by reviewing it?

Mad World: Epidemic by Samaire Provost
July 28th, 2012
Self-pub, 160 pages
Young Adult, Horror, Apocalyptic

The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong?
Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families.
Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death.
A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series.
Find out what's got everyone so terrified.

Only 160 pages, but the story told in it seemed so much more! Mad World: Epidemic is an extremely fast-paced story about a zombie outbreak. The virus is released by some sceintists who were recreating the Black Plague virus. The story follows Alyssa and a few of her friends. They are looking for their families, which were lost somewhtime during the madness of the evacuation.

Aside from a few things that really annoyed me about this novel, I really liked it. Mad World: Epidemic takes a very original take on the beginning of the zombie outbreak; the outbreak has its roots in the Black Plague, history's most feared disease. I really like what the author did there!

Then there were the tiny thingies that made the novel less entertaining to me; that it was so short is one of them. I really feel like I would have liked this story better if it was longer. Furthermore, I think that if the author took a little more pages to describe everything it would have improved the quality of this novel. It was so fast-paced at some points that I had to read entire passages multiple times just to get the information through. Of course, there were also things I loved about this book. One of them were the characters. I fell in love with each and every one of them, but most of all with Risa. And that's why I'm super exited to tell you that I can share a character profile of Risa later on. YAY :)

I rate this book 3.5 stars. A novel for everyone that likes brain-eating beings. I would not recommend it to the weak-hearted people, as the story is pretty cruel at some parts. A great YA zombie novel with an unique view on the apocalypse THAT WILL BE HAPPENING AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE!

Now more fun stuff - Character profile time!

Risa – pronounced with a long “i” and a hard “s” to rhyme with “Liza”

Risa is a seven year old precocious neighbor of DeAndre’s. Her mother works on the weekends so DeAndre’s mother watches Risa every Saturday. DeAndre’s mother and Risa’s mother are best friends. Risa has a very sunny outlook on life, and she bounces back from adversity very quickly. This came in very handy with the California emergency.

She prefers to play more with cars and slingshots, and climb trees, than waste her time on Barbies and dress up. She’s definitely a tomboy. Risa is Jewish, but last winter she begged her mother for a Christmas tree. After begging, pleading, cajoling, and debating, her mother finally relented. Theirs was the only house in the neighborhood to sport a blue Menorah in the window with a brightly lit Christmas tree behind it. Risa has brown hair and green eyes and she is like a little whirlwind!

And the Amazing giveaway :D

About the Author

Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.
Mad World : EPIDEMIC her first novel. The second in the series is entitled "Mad World: SANCTUARY"

Love and Literature,