Review – Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Shadowlands (Shadowlands, #1)

Title:  Shadowlands #1

Pages:  328

Author:  Kate Brian

Series:  Shadowlands #1

Type/Genre:  Young Adult, Paranormal, Contemporary

Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion

Date Published:  January 8, 2013

Source:  library

My Rating:  *****

Goodreads Summary:

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

My Thoughts:

I flew through this book in two days.  I have read a lot of Brian’s books this year and enjoyed almost all of them.  This was definitely what I can tell is Kate Brian’s knack for the right amount of suspense with twists and turns, and then she leaves you with a cliffhanger at the end.  Of course I wanted to go straight to reading Hereafter but I already had other books that needed read first.

Likes:

  • From the first page Brian builds up the suspense with Rory’s teacher chasing after her until she just stops the story with a cliffhanger.  I had to keep reading to see what would happen next.
  • I didn’t expect several things that happened during the book like with Mr. Nell and I definitely didn’t expect the ending, but I can’t say too much more without revealing spoilers.  Definitely creepy though.
  • The fast pace and action of the story.
  • Krista was one of my favorite characters.

Dislikes:

  • I disliked the fact that Rory is supposed to be in hiding and although she doesn’t disclose the details of her past, she is still very quick to trust everyone.  I thought she would have been more cautious.  I know that she knew who was after her, but she didn’t know any of them and was somewhat naive.
  • Her sister, Darcy, got on my nerves.  I understand she was a teenage girl.  She wanted to go to her senior party and have a normal life, but she was just so selfish.  Hello!  After her mother died and then her sister is almost killed you would think she would care just a bit more, wouldn’t you?

About the Author:

Kate Brian is the prolific author of many books for teens including the Private series, the new Privilege series, and Sweet 16. She lives with her husband in New Jersey. She writes under the pseudonym Kate Brian, instead of using her real name: Kieran Scott.

A Few of the Author’s Other Books:

  • The Private Series
  • The Privilege Series

Would I Recommend This Book?  Yes

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Review – The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived (The Archived, #1)

Title:  The Archived

Author:  Victoria Schwab

Pages:  328

Series:  No, standalone

Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Publisher:  Hyperion

Date Published:  January 22, 2013

My Rating:   ****

Goodreads Summary:

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

My Thoughts:  I was really interested in this book when I first heard about it.  When you read a LOT of books like I do, sometimes the plots seem to follow along the same lines.  The Archived is completely different from anything I have read before.   The concept of the story is very creative.  It started off kind of slow at first, but I kept going and I’m glad I did.  I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading the second half of the book in one night.

Likes:

  • Dead people stored like library books on shelves.
  • The hotel and it’s past was intriguing.
  • My favorite character was Roland.  He was a mentor and friend to Mackenzie.

Dislikes:

  • Slow start.
  • Confusing at the beginning.  Keeps talking about Da, but never explains his relationship to Mackenzie until about the middle of the book.

Would I Recommend This Book?  Yes.  It’s the first book I have read by this author but if you can get past the slow start, I think the rest of the book will draw the reader in, with it’s intriguing plot and uniqueness.

About this Author:

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Other Books by This Author:

  • The Near Witch Series
  • Vicious
  • Warm Up
  • The Unbound (The Archived #2)