Sunday, March 31, 2013

In My Mailbox (78)

Sunday, March 31, 2013
In My mailbox

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought, borrowed, or received in the past week. 

As always, my apologies for the terrible photo quality.
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (Won from Lindsi at Books, Sweets, and other Treats- thank you! And thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing the book. :)

Weekly recap

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)




Hope you all had a great holiday, be it Passover or Easter! What did you get in your mailboxes this week?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bookish Buys: Book Wrap, Bookmarks, Bookish Magnets

Friday, March 29, 2013
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.
Book Jacket Cover
Book Wrap
If you're as obsessive as me when it comes to keeping book jackets in perfect condition, you probably need this Book Wrap. I know I do.

You Fell Asleep HERE Bookmark. Recycled paper.
A Bookmark for the Drowsy Reader
How many of you just HAD to stay up to a finish a book to the point where you fell asleep reading it? This bookmark is for you.

Book Lover Magnets - Set of Nine 1.25 Inch Button Magnets in a Tin
Book Lover Magnets
Put them on your frig, in your locker, wherever. They're adorable!

Book Lover's Knitting Needles
Bookish Knitting Needles
For any of you crafty book nerds, I think you'll like these!

Have you found any Bookish Buys lately? Leave a link in the comments and they could be featured in next week's Bookish Buys post! (With credit to the finder, of course. :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Blogger's Dilemma: Negative Reviews

Thursday, March 28, 2013
It's easy as bloggers to rave about the books we love. Even books that we think  are just okay aren't too hard to write about. But books that didn't make the mark? Well, it's a little bit tricky. At least, it is for me.

It's never the case that I don't know what to say, but how to say it. Part of me wants to tear the offending book to shreds, but then I picture the author's face if they were ever to see such a review and it gives me pause. And if it happens to be a book I received for review? Well, that adds a whole other tangle. If I'm going to write any review, I have to be honest. So what's a blogger to do?

Thinking this over, I came up with a set of rules I use for writing negative reviews. Hopefully this will help any of you who are having the same issue.

1. Explain why you didn't like the book
When you're talking about a book you capital-L LOVED, do you just say that you loved it, or do you elaborate? When I'm crazy about a book, I talk about the great characters, the epic suspense, the killer cliffhangers, etc. Just because you didn't like a book doesn't mean it doesn't deserve the same respect. Don't just say "I couldn't stand it," but rather, "I couldn't stand it because..."

2. don't attack the author
Remember that you are critiquing the book, not the author. There is no reason to verbally abuse someone who is probably a perfectly nice human being who just happened to produce a book that (in your opinion) wasn't very good.

3. don't tag the author on twitter
Once you've published your review, you're likely going to publicize it. That's fine, but it's just cruel to send a negative review of a book to the person who wrote it. They're not going to retweet you and neither is their publisher, so the only reason you could possibly tag them is to essentially rub it in their faces that you didn't like the book. And that's just bad manners.

4. and as for those awkward emails... 
If it's a book you received for review, well this is just awkward. You should send the publisher a link to your review to show that you fulfilled your part of the ARC bargain, but what do you say? I've (fortunately) only had to do this once, and I said something along the lines of "Thank you for the opportunity to read *insert book title here.* While I had trouble connecting with it, I think *insert reader audience here* would enjoy it." If anyone has better advice for this point, by all means, share it in the comments!

So those are my rules. At the end of the day, though, it's your blog and you should do as you please! If you have different/additional advice concerning negative reviews, feel free to comment! :) To any of my followers who aren't bloggers, I'd love to hear your thoughts on negative reviews in general.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (77)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Top Ten Books I Recommend
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green
For the contemporary reader
Concerning this one, though, sometimes I recommend a different John Green book based on the reader.
2. Every Day by David Levithan
For everybody
I've been very successful with this rec so far. (:
Looking for AlaskaEvery Day
3. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
For music lovers... or people who want something fun
4.`Graceling by Kristin Cashore
For fantasy lovers
Audrey, Wait!Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
5. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
For everybody
6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
For romance lovers
Beauty QueensAnna and the French Kiss
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
For history buffs
8. Piratica by Tanith Lee
For scallywags... and awesome people
The Book ThiefPiratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas (Piratica, #1)
9. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
For my best friends
10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
For Hunger Games or other dystopian fans
A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)
What books are you constantly recommending?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review: Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

Monday, March 25, 2013
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1) 
Genre: Historical Adventure
Publisher: Graphia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Series: Bloody Jack #1
Source: Bought
Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .
Summary from Goodreads. 
Ever since I saw Pirates of the Caribbean, I have been fascinated with pirates and seafaring folk in that time period. I also love the Piratica books (the first two, anyway) and from what I heard, Bloody Jack is similar. While Jacky Faber is actually a law-abiding sailor, not the pirate I had hoped for, this book definitely lived up to my expectations.

Mary "Jacky" Faber is a memorable protagonist, and the reader gets to see her grow up on board the HMS Dolphin. She's had a tough life, and somehow she hasn't let this taint her spirit in the slightest. Meyer captures her voice magnificently through his brilliant use of street talk. Unlike some readers, I can't imagine accents as I read, but I could clearly hear Jacky's and all of the other characters' ,as well. And what characters they were. My favorite is Liam, her sea dad, who's just  such a kind, caring soul. Then there's her fellow ship boys, Willy, Davy, Tink, and Jaimy, who make up the colorful and adventurous Brotherhood. To be honest, though, I liked Jaimy, the love interest, less and less as the novel progressed. It will be interesting to see what kind of person he becomes in the sequel.

The plot of Bloody Jack focuses on Jacky's growth, which I wish I had seen a bit more of emotionally. I saw a hint of what I was hoping for towards the end, but overall, it seems that Jacky stays pretty stagnant. She discovers things about herself, to some degree, and there are some small changes, but for the majority of the book, Jacky's thoughts and personality are very much the same.

Life on the HMS Dolphin is incredible, though. I'm biased because I love this sort of thing, but I think anyone can enjoy Bloody Jack. The daily jobs and the Deception (what Jacky calls her pretense of being a boy) and her dealings with some of the nastier sailors on the ship (Sloat will make your stomach turn) is fascinating. I especially appreciated how Meyer subtly incorporated themes through Tilden's daily lessons on the ship. Then there are the action scenes, which completely capture the gore and horror of battle. Every time things seem to be going all right for Jacky, something happens that stirs everything up again. It will definitely keep you on your toes.

Bloody Jack is a historical fiction novel, and a very accurate one at that. One dangerous flaw of some historical fiction is that the characters are too modern for their setting, but Meyer avoids this. All of the prejudices and stigmas of the period exist (and unfortunately, they're very reminiscent of the prejudices and stigmas of today) and Jacky is not always above them. However, they are all addressed in a way that is natural to the story and doesn't come off as preachy.

All in all, Bloody Jack is an awesome book. It's no wonder that so many people like this series!
*4 stars*
You'll Like This If You Liked: Piratica by Tanith Lee, Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner
What are some of your favorite pirate reads?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

RIP Google Reader

Sunday, March 24, 2013
As many of you know, by the time June rolls around, Google Reader will be no more. If you're looking for a way to still follow your favorite blogs, here are a few options:

It's cute and easy to join. You can also organize all of your subscriptions, and they send out an email with your Daily Feed. You can import your Google Reader subscriptions and there isn't a waiting list. For you bloggers out there, you can still see follower numbers and "claim" your blog for more stats.

It's just like the old Google Reader, except you can't see blog stats anymore. It's easy to use and the format is clean. You can import all of your Google Reader subscriptions, but they have a waiting list of of over 30,000 people at the time I'm writing this post.

Another one that allows you to import your Google Reader subscriptions. The format isn't my favorite, but I know a number of other bloggers and blog readers who like it. Also, for you bloggers, it doesn't tell you how many subscribers you have. (This is really only an issue for when you're emailing publishers, though.) 

So once you've settled on one of these options or an option of your own, how do you import your subscriptions? It's surprisingly easy, actually.

1. Go to Google Support
2. You see where it says "Click here"? Well, click there.
3. For all of the Reader Replacements above, you should be able to upload the file named "subscriptions." 

Easy peasy! 

How will you be replacing Google Reader?

In My Mailbox (77)

In My mailbox

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought, borrowed, or received in the past week. 

As always, my apologies for the terrible photo quality.

Poison by Bridget Zinn (Bought- I participated in the blog tour this week and I cannot WAIT to read this.)
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Bought and currently reading!)
The Fault in our Stars T-Shirt (Bought, and worn. :)

Weekly recap
Also Known As



Bookish Buys: Short and Sweet
What books did you get this week?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bookish Buys: Short and Sweet

Friday, March 22, 2013
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.
Hedgehog Bookend - Price is for one bookend - Choose your colors
Hedgehog Bookends
How adorable!

Tracker Jacker AntiVenom & Essence of Nightlock Hunger Games Inspired Party Favor Labels
Tracker Jacker Anti-Venom
Kill any Tracker Jacker venom in case of infection... or just kill germs.

Guitar Skin
For all of you bookish rock stars out there.

A small but cool collection this week. Any of you considering picking up guitar in order to get the guitar skin?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Poison Blog Tour

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
my first favorite book
I've always been a reader. From a young age I was reading Frog and Toad and (the children's version of) Anne and Green Gables. My mom read to me every night and took me to the library for story time. Books were a regular part of my life. By the time I got to first grade, I was what was known as an "advanced reader," so my librarian let me go into the "older kid" (meaning second/third/fourth grade) section.*

And this is when I picked up my first Boxcar Children book.

That isn't my "first," though. My real first is this: When I read that first Boxcar Children book, it was the  first time I' had ever been drawn into a book so completely that it was all I could talk about. This is not a hyperbole. At the dinner table, I babbled incessantly about how I just couldn't stop reading and how the characters were so great and could I please live in a boxcar, please please please?

My brother uncovered a plethora of Boxcar books from when he was a kid and I promptly tore through them, as well as every single Boxcar book in my school library. My parents bought me more, all of which I still have, and I read all of those, too. In all, I probably read around 200 Boxcar Children books. (To be fair, all of the books start out with the same summary of how Henry, Jesse, Violet, and Benny became the Boxcar Children... after a few, I started to skip it.)

That same year, I started to write. My first story was a complete rip-off of the Boxcar Children characters. I never actually finished it- Benny got lost and was never found again. (Oops.) After that, I kept writing, short stories, ideas of books in notebooks that are long lost now, until many years later I finished my first manuscript. At 80-odd pages it was more of a novella, but then I finished my second one. And now I'm working on my third.

And it's all thanks to that one librarian and a red book sitting on the "big kid" shelf of the library.

About poison
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Purchase your copy: Amazon   Barnes and Noble   IndieBound  
                                   iTunes Bookstore   Powell's Books
Add Poison to Goodreads

About the author
Bridget Zinn
Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

Check out the rest of the tour, featuring a lot of great authors and bloggers.

Thank you to Inara Scott for letting my be apart of this blog tour. I'm so excited to read Poison and I hope you all are, too!

Top Ten Tuesday (76)

Top Ten Books I HAD to Buy... But Still Haven't Read
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

I have no regrets for buying these books- even if I haven't read them (yet), I'm still glad to support these authors!

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
2. Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
4. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)
5. Persuasion by Jane Austen
6. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer (But I'm reading it now!)
7. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
PersuasionBloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)The Casual Vacancy

What books are in your To Be Read pile?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Monday, March 18, 2013
Also Known As 
Genre: Action and Adventure
Publisher: Bloomsbury Juvenile US
Series: AKA #1
Source: Bought
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.
Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.
Summary from Goodreads. 
Since Audrey, Wait! is one of my favorite books, and I really, really enjoyed The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June, I had high hopes for Also Known As. Simply put, it did not disappoint. AKA is a fun, fast ride full of wit and espionage. It's lighthearted, but like all of Benway's books, has a lot of heart.

Maggie is one of those protagonists that I want as a best friend. She's clever and fiercely opinionated and completely hysterical. Somehow, she manages to be delightfully dramatic in a teenager kind of way, without being over-the-top angsty. Her best friend, Roux, is also dynamic, to say the least. Seeing Roux's progression over the course of the story is one of the best parts of AKA, which I did not expect. And then there's Jesse. He is adorable, in a make-your-insides-mushy kind of way. It's rare you see a YA love interest so sweet and it's very refreshing.

Last but not least are Maggie's parents (and Angelo, but you should discover him for yourselves. He's the best!). Even though they're spies, they're still protective and dorky. It's also nice to have parents present in a YA book for once, to be honest. Especially parents that are so realistic. If you take away the fact that they can speak a dozen languages, hack complicated computers, and all that other spy stuff, they're still worrywarts who don't want their daughter out late in Manhattan. All of the characters contribute to the abundance of whipfast dialogue and brilliant humor this story has to offer.

The setting of Manhattan is another great aspect of AKA. Benway really captures the feel of the city. I also just like it when books are set in NYC, what can I say? :) It seems like the right place for an espionage story. I love all of the spy elements that are thrown in, references to Luxembourg and other Collective business. In this sense, it reminded me of Ally Carter's books. However, Also Known As is very much its own book.

I can't recommend Also Known As highly enough. Even though the ending wraps up quite nicely, I'm dying to read the next book. The quirky, awesome cast, the adventure, the surprising doses of suspense, the romance, the wit... all of it combines to make one phenomenal story.
*5 stars*
Other Books by Robin Benway: Audrey, Wait!, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June
Will you be reading Also Known As?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

In My Mailbox (76)

Sunday, March 17, 2013
In My mailbox

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought, borrowed, or received in the past week. 

As always, my apologies for the terrible photo quality. 

Unwind by Neal Shusterman (He's such an awesome author... it's about time I read this!)

Weekly recap
Pitch Green




Have you read Unwind? Opinions?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bookish Buys: Bandages, Bags, and Badass Swag

Saturday, March 16, 2013
Each Friday (Saturday, in this case) I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.
Stele Stylus
Want to feel like a Shadowhunter? What better way to do it than with
 your own rune-drawing stele?


Shakespearean Insult Bandages

Adding insult to injury, Shakespeare style.
Shakespeare Injury Bandages
Adding insult to injury, Shakespeare style.

Peter Pan Literary Pocket Mirror
Peter Pan Literary Pocket Mirror
Peter Pan Pocket Mirror
Be stylish and bookish.

Antique Books cosmetic bag
Book Handbag
To put your pocket mirror in, of course.

Is anyone else wishing for their very own stele?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Author Interview: The Brothers Washburn

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Today the Brothers Washburn stop by to talk about their new book, Pitch Greena fun, spooky horror story. 

Find out more about their book from the links below.

Website       Twitter       Facebook          Goodreads       Jolly Fish Press

Has working as coauthors been challenging, or did it make the writing process easier?As brothers, we get along well, and have a healthy level of mutual self-respect, so we can freely share ideas and challenge each other without worrying about egos.  We are more creative when we are bouncing ideas off each other and discussing a general storyline, but we actually write separately, and then confer later on what we are doing.   Though we sometimes disagree on specific wording, there is usually some friendly give and take as we consider alternatives, but we can usually agree quickly on the final wording.   When everything is said and done, our mutual work product is better than anything we could have done separately, and we both appreciate the different skills and perspective that we each bring to the joint process.

How much planning did it take to write Pitch Green? Did you work on an outline together or figure out the mystery as you went along?
Pitch Green is the first novel in The dimensions in Death series, and it is based upon a childhood story that we used to tell our younger siblings.  This first book follows in a very loose way the general outline of that childhood story.  In November of 2010, we were attending a writer’s seminar together in Manhattan and as we rode the subway from one end-of-line stop across town to the opposite end-of-line stop, we mapped out the general elements we would need to expand the childhood story into a full-length novel.  Andy wrote the first rough draft, and then Berk took it over to edit and expand the tale.  In the writing of the first book, the ground work was laid for both sequels and prequels, but those stories will have to be created new from scratch.

Pitch Green
Who are some of your favorite horror authors?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Ray Bradbury are at the top of the list.

Since Pitch Green is a horror story, what would you say are your greatest fears?
Big, hairy spiders taking up residence where they don’t belong. [Blogger's Note: I'm totally with you on this!]

I read in your biography that you were both originally lawyers. What made you become full-time authors?
Solving other people’s problems is a heavy burden, and we had talked for some time about starting a business together where we only had to solve our own problems.  We both have many years of formal writing experience, and Berk had started writing a young adult science fiction series, so when Andy also tried his hand at writing fiction, it didn’t take long for them to come together on a young adult horror series.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? 
The whole writing and publishing process is a learning experience – learning the art of fiction writing, learning the workings of the publication industry, learning what works and what doesn’t, and often the only way to learn is by trial and error, so stick your neck out, test the waters and don’t be afraid to fail.   Just be glad you’re learning.
Thank you so much to the Brothers Washburn for stopping by! 
Who are some of your favorite horror authors?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (75)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Also Known As by Robin Benway
2. Paper Valentine by Brenda Yovanoff
3. Poison by Bridget Zinn
4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
5. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
6. The Ruining by Anna Collomore
7. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
8. Rise by Anna Carey
9. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

What books are you planning to read?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: Pitch Green by The Brothers Washburn

Monday, March 11, 2013
Pitch Green 
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Series:  Dimensions of Death #1
Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Trona is a small, smoggy, mostly insignificant town in Colorado. Besides a booming chemical plant, the only thing that characterizes this dismal town is dirt, sagebrush, and an enormous abandoned mansion. 
The mansion is, admittedly, the only notable addition to Trona, but it’s something everyone tries to avoid due to its creepy facade. Everyone except for Camm Smith, who is obsessed with the need to get inside.
Seven years earlier, as Camm herded a pack of little trick-or-treaters past the mansion, her young neighbor, Hugh, disappeared, becoming just one of many children who have vanished from Trona over the years without a trace. Now a senior in high school, Camm is still haunted by the old tragedy and is sure the answer to the mysterious disappearances lies hidden somewhere in the decaying mansion. Joining forces with her best friend, Cal, who also happens to be Hugh’s older brother, Camm naively begins a perilous search for the truth.

I don't read a ton of horror novels, but sometimes they're exactly what I need. That's why I was so excited for Pitch Green. Disappearing children? A mysterious mansion? A decades-long mystery? It sounded like the makings of a very creepy story indeed. However, Pitch Green is a monster book, and this made me a bit apprehensive. Monster books are very tricky to do well because the result is either terrifying or borderline childish. And I'm not really sure where a (spoiler) giant green rat (spoiler) falls.

That said, the Brothers Washburn definitely know how to build suspense. Some of the scenes in the mansion had shivers running down my spine. The mansion is haunting, with its Gothic and somewhat morbid architecture, and in that it seems alive. In fact, that building is probably the spookiest part of the book. It would take a lot of guts to go into a place like that.

As far as the mystery itself goes, I want to know a lot more. By the end of Pitch Green, few to no questions are resolved. It's the first book in a trilogy, but I still feel there should be more answers, even if they only lead to more questions. Some town history is revealed, though, which could play a bigger part later in the series, and the government's involvement definitely has me intrigued.

Now to step away from the spookiness, let's talk about characters. Unfortunately, Pitch Green's characters didn't do it for me. There is plenty of potential, but neither Cal nor Cam has much depth. Even their reactions to events in their lives just aren't realistic- for example, when they watch a character die in a brutal way right in front of them, they aren't any more traumatized than if they had just gotten a particularly bad test grade. The love angle lacked something, as well. Cal and Camm have been best friends since birth, which is one of my favorite set ups for romance. However, while Cal mentions his feelings for Camm right at the beginning, nothing is brought up again until the very end. There is no chemistry, and it made me wonder what the point is. I would have preferred it if there hadn't been any romantic arc at all. Again, this could be developed and improved in the subsequent books, but I feel that there should be a strong foundation for it stand on from the beginning. I liked the brother/sister dynamic of their relationship as it was.

Overall, I think Pitch Green would be better suited as a middle grade book. I would have been significantly more scared and absorbed in the story had I read it when I was eleven or younger. Still, I'm interested to see where these books will go and it's a great book if you're just starting to read horror stories. The Dimension of Death novels have plenty of potential and I want to see how this mystery unwinds.
*3 stars*
Recommended for: Readers trying the horror genre for the first time
What are some of your favorite horror novels?