Source: Feiwel and Friends

Shutter by Courtney Alameda ~ ARC Review

19 Nov, 2014 by in courtney alameda, feiwel and friends, horror, young adult fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Feiwel and Friends in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Shutter by Courtney Alameda ~ ARC Review

Shutter

by Corutney Alameda
Published by Macmillan on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
four-half-stars
Source: Feiwel and Friends
Buy the BookGoodreads
Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

First of all you should all know I am a wuss when it comes to horror. I stay far, far away from anything scary. However, I requested Shutter for a few reasons

1) It’s about a ghost hunter who uses photography to trap ghosts and has a vintage camera collection

2) I know the author as a local publicist and librarian in a library that really needs to be exorcised because of its creepy history. (For real, I know the story behind the beautiful historic Provo Library and… wowza)

3) It was Halloween when I first opened Shutter, and who doesn’t read something creepy on that holiday?

Courtney did not disappoint. The writing is poetic and atmospheric, down right creepy and at times gross. It reminded me of Ghostbusters meets kick- a female heroine with an attitude and a bit of a past. This is not a book for the faint of heart. After the gory opening scene, prepare yourself for more :)

I loved main MC’s relationship with Australian Ryder and the character development she goes through to heal from the wounds of her childhood. There is mention of Van Helsing’s Dracula and lots of action as well as likable sidekick ghost hunter teens. My only apprehension was a tad bit of political agenda in regards to women holding the priesthood which was slipped in. (The author contacted me and said it is not intended as personal belief or agenda, just that it fits the character)

Overall, loved this debut. It was unique and sticks with you long after you’re finished. Thanks MacMillan for the sneak peek!

Content: moderate swearing, mention of sex, heavy paranormal violence, domestic and child abuse.

 

about_ the_author

Courtney Alameda’s spent her entire career trying to con and cajole people into reading great books. A veteran of the big-box bookstore trenches, Courtney now works as a librarian for the prettiest cortney_alamedalibrary you’ve ever seen, where she spends her time ordering large stacks of YA books, doing readers’ advisory, and dressing up as various mythical creatures for a variety of library events.

Courtney has an affinity for brightly colored lipstick, urban exploration, cosplay, video games, and Twitter. If she’s listening to music, it’s usually Florence + the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, Rodrigo y Gabriela, or Jason Graves. Her addiction to Dr. Pepper is legendary.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She is represented by the amazing and talented John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with a legion of books and a tiny, five pound cat who possesses a giant personality.

“You can catch her shenanigans on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads; blogging with her sisters-in-the-macabre, theYA Scream Queens; or hanging out with the Fearless Fifteeners and the Class of 2k15.”

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ARC Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

05 Feb, 2014 by in book review, Uncategorized, YA contemporary, YA fiction 2 comments

I received this book for free from Feiwel and Friends in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

by Katie Finn
on May 13, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
four-half-stars
Source: Feiwel and Friends
Buy the BookGoodreads
Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

Summer time, the Hamptons, a cute boy and a case of a mistaken identity…check. Unexpected twist ending which leaves reader in a  cliffhanger…check! Fun, YA contemp that you can breeze through while on vacation…yes.

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend kept a smile on my face almost the entire time I was reading. Gemma is sent to stay with her father for the summer while her mom and step dad are off to Scotland. But she dreads the Hamptons! Scene of a huge life changing summer that snowballed into a lot of hurt, she’s trying to avoid the place of her crime. But when she meets a cute boy on the bus and his sister comes to pick him up the cat is out of the bag…or not.

Gemma is desperately hoping her nemesis Hallie won’t remember who she is,  and that the name printed on her coffee cup can be her alter identity for the time being while she explores things with Josh.

But things just keep getting weirder and weirder! A babysitting job turned nightmare, food poisoning, stolen shoes and a malfunctioning swimsuit are among the crazy happenings that keep Gemma on her toes. She keeps falling into such embarassing situations that publicly humiliate her, yet Josh seems to truly care. And Gemma finds herself drawn to him even though sister Hallie has warned her not to hurt him. Josh is a keeper!

I loved the writing, the characters and the ultimate lesson that honesty always is the best policy. While it is somewhat predictable there is enough of a plot twist that I predict readers will be pulled in for the entire series, not just book one. I would like to feel, smell and hear more about the setting in the next books as the Hamptons are perfect for summer.

I would recommend Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend. Add it to your reading list!

Content (highlight to reveal): one swear word, bullying.

heather

About The Author

katie_finn
Katie Finn grew up in Connecticut, in a town that looks an awful lot like Putnam. During high school, she was a total theater devotee (like Madison) and never dreamed she’d be a writer. But lots of Katie’s high school misadventures have made it into her books…which just goes to show that you never know!

She currently lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house she wishes was a lot closer to the beach.

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