Mini Reviews: Sea Glass & Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder

As much as I liked the first book in this series, the rest of the Glass series is a total WTF-fest. (I’m hesitant to call this a trend in Maria V. Snyder books, but that’s my personal experience with both this series and the Study series.) Excuse me while I rant.

Sea Glass

 

Title: Sea Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #2
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
Category: (Young Adult) Fantasy

 
 
After all that’s happened in Storm Glass with Opal’s newly discovered powers, she is no longer trusted by the Sitian Council. No one (not even Yelena) believes her story about two souls swapping bodies, so Opal decides to investigate on her own. I still like this second book quite a bit because the magic is so intriguing, and Opal is still likable despite her growing distrust and cynicism at the people around her. In Sea Glass, Opal’s independence is impressive, but what’s lacking in this book is the continuing relationship developments that started in the previous book.
Spy Glass

Title: Spy Glass
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Glass #3
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Category: (Young Adult) Fantasy

 

My bad decisions outweighed my good ones by two to one.

Why yes, Opal, I’m glad you realize that. Soooo much WTF-ery in this book! Needless to say, I don’t approve of Opal’s poor decision-making skills. She realizes it of herself too, as she’s constantly groaning about how she’s made “the worst decision ever.” Like probably most readers, my concentration is immediately broken when my OTP doesn’t end up together, but this is so much more than that. People can change, and I’ve read other stories in which my opinion of certain characters changed for the better when I see that they’ve made an effort to change themselves. But based on the history and backstory of the characters in the Glass series (where there’s so much abuse, torture, and death involved), there are certain people that just shouldn’t become intimate with each other. No “I’ve changed for the better” reassurances can solve an abusive relationship, and that’s one of the things I didn’t like about Spy Glass.

Do you believe it when evil characters change for the better?

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Mini Reviews: AsapSCIENCE & Escape from the Ivory Tower

I’m the type of person who forgets everything really quickly, from what I ate for breakfast to what I learned in class the day before. (I didn’t even remember which direction the sun rises from until well into middle school!) Reading about science in my spare time is one of the ways I stay connected to work after I come home, so that I don’t forget too much about my job! It’s fun to build on what I’ve already learned from classes or from reading papers, especially from more anecdotal and historical perspectives. AsapSCIENCE and Escape from the Ivory Tower are two books on my science list that fit this need, and they both had their pros and cons.

ASAPscience

 
 
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did, simply because I enjoy the ASAPscience Youtube videos A LOT. Like, A LOT A LOT. But the translation of what Mitchell and Greg did to a different media (from video to book) didn’t work for me as well – maybe because I can’t see anyone drawing that picture of the nose? Or because I can’t hear a voice narration? I also feel that I’m over these “random facts” books that intrigued me more as a child – nowadays, if I think of a weird question (like, what makes some corn sweet or not-so-sweet?) I just look up that specific question. However, Mitchell and Greg do organize the book into different sections, such as the section on “Bad Habits” which explain why people lie or procrastinate. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I’ll stick to the videos from now on. (Also, CANADIANS WOOHOO!! 🍁)
Escape from the Ivory Tower

Title: Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter
Author: Nancy Baron
Publication Date: August 13, 2010
Category: (Non-Fiction) Science / Academic
Source: Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 
As a public health scientist, I’m very much interested in the ability to translate my work into something that can help the general population. This book aims to teach scientists about science communication, and it does quite a good job at that. A few pages in and I’m already super impressed by this book because Donald Kennedy – former editor-in-chief of Science – wrote the foreword. The book is also full of tips-and-tricks boxes, pictures, and tables for those who want to skim through. I was also amused by how “scientists” and “journalists” are displayed almost like different beasts on Discovery channel, as exemplified by the following passage:

Scientists, as a breed, seem genetically incapable of using simple language when complex jargon will do. Why talk about an animal’s form and structure when you can just say morphology?

If you want to watch a journalist lean forward, remember the magic words, “Let me tell you a story…”

However, I do dislike the cover and the title of this book. At first, I found both to be very clever an humorous, but they don’t match the significance or the urgency of the content. Escape from the Ivory Tower has the potential to be a must-read reference for all graduate students who are doing scientific research, but I’m sure few would take it seriously from just the packaging.

Non Sequitur, via GoComics.

And I’ll end with another quote that I liked:

Scientists love to erase themselves. […] And while science journalists have managed to tell a few amazing stories starring molecules, potatoes, and other nonhumans, good storytelling usually requires people in the lead roles.

Do you like science books?
If so, what do you like to see in your science books?

(I like pictures and history!)

Mini Reviews: The DUFF & Wallbanger

I’m really averse to doing things that I don’t like, which includes giving presentations (but I still give them), getting flu shots (but I still get them), going to tennis camp (but I still go), and writing reviews for books I don’t like (but I’ll still do it). I can actually feel an invisible, mental barrier come up every time I think about doing these things, but I push through anyway. It makes me a better, stronger person in the end… I think.

The DUFF

 

I must admit that I wanted to read this book because I saw the movie trailer and really liked it. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same way about the book. The DUFF is about seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper who gets into a frenemies-with-benefits relationship with “man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush” (I didn’t say this, the synopsis did!) – the very boy who nicknamed her the Duff (designated ugly fat friend). The reason why Bianca got herself into that situation was because of problems at home that she didn’t want to deal with, and lo and behold, she ends up developing feelings for Wesley. I think my main problem is that I didn’t like Bianca that much, and this first-person narrative didn’t help. She’s a very volatile character, and lashes out often because she doesn’t know what else to do. While she gets more and more involved with Wesley, Bianca is completely blind to the changes in her relationships with her best friends and her family. Then Love Triangle happens, and it’s a downward spiral from there.

Aaand adult fiction through the link!
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Review: NurtureShock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman

NurtureShock

This is honestly one of my favorite popular psychology books ever. I don’t have kids, but children amuse me, and they always do the weirdest things that seem to go beyond logic and reasoning. Bronson and Merryman ask some really interesting questions about child development and parenting (more of the prior than the latter) from a psychological perspective, and their narratives are delightful to read through. Also, this was my second time reading NurtureShock, and it was just as good as the first time!

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Review: Feed by Mira Grant

feed
Oh my gosh, I have too many words and not enough words for Feed. Feed is a zombie-infested, heartstring-tugging, horror-filled piece of work that had me ready to tear out my hair half way through and shedding a few tears by the end. So many feels in this book, guys!! I’m putting this on my do-not-reread-or-else-my-heart-will-break list, I’m that torn up. And I don’t usually read horror, but Mira Grant (or Seanan McGuire) has got me wrapped around her finger and I don’t want to but want to read the rest of the Newsflesh Trilogy.

Marburg Amberlee was a miracle, just like the Kellis cure, and together they were primed to change the course of the human race. Together, that’s what they did. No one gets cancer or colds anymore. The only issue is the walking dead.

Siblings Georgia (George) and Shaun Mason are licensed bloggers in California blogging about zombies. It’s 2039, twenty-five years after the Rising in which viruses that cured cancer and the common cold mixed to form a zombie-maker; dead humans and animals over forty pounds are reanimated and feed off of the living, creating a never-ending stream of zombies all over the world. Bloggers, the first people to shed light on this catastrophe, have risen to celebrity status, and George and Shaun, like many others, live off of high ratings and market shares. When they find out that they’ve been invited to join Republican presidential candidate Peter Ryman on his campaign trail, they’re ecstatic: this could make or break their blogging careers. However, a conspiracy is growing, and the Masons and their friends have to put their lives on the line for the biggest news they’ve ever encountered.

Feed is told from George’s perspective, and rightly so: she’s a Newsie – a blogger who writes about the facts rather than opinions – so the narrative is very neutral and straight to the point. The protagonists are very likable because they all have strong, diverging personalities that complement each other well. I also liked the relationship between George and Shaun as well as the one between them and their parents because it cemented the new ideals in Grant’s post-apocalyptic world that go against the normal sibling and familial relationships seen in today’s society.

And the plot is so INTENSE. I mean, the story begins with Shaun poking a zombie with a hockey stick, so how can it get any better, right? Wrong. Grant incorporates so many elements in writing to make Feed into a great story – there are some points taken from non-fiction, where a bit of history on what happened in 2014 is thrown in every now and then; there are cool pieces of new and shiny science fiction technology; there’s a quick-and-dirty version of politics; and there are snippets of blog posts throughout each chapter. Add that to the conspiracy and the many close calls that the Masons encounter, and it’s kind of like a long roller-coaster ride through a haunted house. I didn’t see the ending coming, and even thinking about it now makes me want to cry. I don’t know how I can go on.

So that’s it: lots of zombies, cool technology, conspiracies and polities, celebrity bloggers and sibling love. Oh, and THE FEELS. I think this is also my first zombie book, so maybe more feels because of that? But still, this is one of those stories that bring out so many emotions that it might be secretly a drug. #bookdrug? If you like zombies, conspiracies, and post-apocalyptic adventures, read Feed. No, seriously, do it. And then come back and tell me you didn’t cry like a baby.

Have you read Feed? Do you like zombie books? If so, are there any others that you’d recommend?

Review: Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

8100267Phew, Pathfinder gave my brain a real workout! I feel like I’ve been working on a brainteaser for hours and hours, and I just want to say that this is definitely not your typical sci-fi time travel book! This is my first Card novel, and I don’t know if this is his typical writing style, but it took me a while to get used to the seemingly apathetic characters and the choppy pace. Pathfinder is unique in that the actual sci-fi aspects are very paradoxical, to the point where I had to reread the text to get it. But once I threw myself into the story, it was like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door and steps into the technicolor world of Oz, complete with the chorus of angels sound effects; the characters came to life, and the story just made sense to me. I gave Pathfinder my undivided attention – otherwise, I think I wouldn’t have liked it as much as I did.

Title: Pathfinder
Author: Orson Scott Card
Series: Pathfinder #1
Publication Date: November 23, 2010
Category: (Young Adult) Science Fiction / Fantasy
Source: Pulseit

 
Thirteen-year-old Rigg has the power to see the path of any living being in the past or the present, and has been taught a whole slew of subjects by his father, including politics, astronomy, finance, and different languages… all things that Rigg didn’t forsee as being useful, seeing as how him and his father live as fur trappers in the woods. But when his father dies after instructing him to go find Rigg’s sister (whom Rigg had no idea existed), Rigg finds himself as a political pawn – targeted or protected by people who want power – and increasingly drawn to the Wall that surrounds the land and hides what’s beyond civilization. In his quest to stay alive and find his sister, Rigg makes friends who have their own different abilities of manipulating time, and his own powers continue to grow.

In another time and space, Ram Odin is a starship pilot flying a ship full of sleeping humans and non-human, robotic expendables in an attempt to colonize a new planet. Rigg and Ram’s paths never intersect, but their discoveries lead to insights about the planet that Rigg is on and the truth behind the Walls.

Truth be told, I didn’t like the characters nor the storyline when I first started reading Pathfinder. Card’s characters are only depicted through their actions and speech, since they don’t introspect or express much emotion; nor are descriptions about their physical appearance given. Rigg and other characters “say” things a lot, but they seldom “exclaim”, “mutter”, or “sigh”, so it was hard to gauge what characters are feeling with every action or conversation. However, the conversations add up, and I knew more about each character’s personality as the story progressed. My favorite character is Rigg, whose many talents amaze me to no end; and by the end of Pathfinder, I grew to like all the characters, good and bad. But like I said at the beginning, Card’s writing style took some time to get used to.

The storyline was confusing at first, since the chapters alternate between Rigg and Ram’s stories, and I didn’t know how the two stories were related to each other for most of the book. But the two stories slowly converged, and I had more “a-ha!” moments as the end of the book approached even though the two stories never converged to one single point. (That’s what the sequel is for, right?) There was A LOT of dialogue in Pathfinder, and the pacing remained short and choppy for the most part. I needed to really get absorbed by the book to keep up with the quick, witty conversations, and when I wasn’t as focused, I had to reread certain lines many many times…

Another thing that prompted my rereading was the idea of time travel in Pathfinder. This is some serious science going on! Because of the multiple time travel events back and forth and back again, the physics behind how time travel actually works is important… but it’s also really, really confusing. One of the least confusing lines in the story is the following:

“I have to do it because I know I already did, only when I did it, it was the future, so I have to get to the future in order to come back and do what I already did… This is so crazy that it has to be impossible.”

(Yeah, I know. And it only gets more convoluted from there!)

I think the science and logic that Card incorporated is fascinating, but might turn off the less scientifically-inclined (or sci-fi inclined) reader. Card’s acknowledgments at the end of Pathfinder really brings home the key points of the time travel events in the book, and it’s a nice way to make sure you understand what’s happening before the next book. If you like time travel sci-fi, analyses and speculations of pure sci-fi (it’s like pure physics, but better!), magical time travel powers, and tongue-in-cheek humor, Pathfinder‘s the book. It’s a book that grows on you, so be patient and you will be rewarded…

Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

6654313
Remember how I described Shiver as bittersweet? Well, Linger is a sobfest. Excuse me while I go grab a new box of tissues, because this is like the teenaged paranormal version of Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember (kinda sorta not really).

 

Introduction

Linger is a continuation of Grace and Sam’s story from Shiver. As their relationship continues to deepen, Grace and Sam run into more obstacles in the form of Grace’s parents – who firmly oppose their relationship – and the new werewolves that just joined the Mercy Falls pack. Unbeknownst to Sam, Grace’s health is deteriorating for some reason, and stranger things have been happening to the new wolves that Sam’s never seen before. Cole, one of the new wolves, wants to become a wolf (and stay a wolf) as soon as he can so that he can forget his past. When he meets Isabelle, who is still raw from the recent loss of her brother, they’re instantly attracted to each other… but problems arise as personal wounds are torn open and Isabelle’s trigger-friendly dad starts to take up his hunting hobby again.

Discussion

I loved Grace and Sam’s relationship in Shiver, and I still love it in Linger. These two are just so tender and lovesick, and basically anything that Sam does for Grace has me crooning “awww” as though I’m watching a sappy romance movie. It feels like seventy years’ worth of love, rather than just seventeen years’ worth, it’s that sweet. And, oh, the PINING. There’s a lot of yearning and pining and teenage angst, since Grace’s parents don’t really like Sam now and often forbid him from seeing her. Romeo and Juliet, anyone?

However, I’m slightly uncomfortable with the way Grace’s parents are portrayed in Linger versus the previous book, just because it seems like they do a complete one-eighty; they were conveniently absent in Shiver, and now they’re trying to act like overprotective parents again, which frustrates Grace (but probably frustrates me more). I don’t really understand the behavior change, except that it adds to the overall angst-level in Grace and Sam’s relationship.

Moving on to Cole and Isabelle: Isabelle was previously a not-so-nice character, but with her development in Linger, she has become my second favorite character in the series (after Sam, obviously). Isabelle is still very domineering and stubborn, but because Stiefvater has incorporated Cole and Isabelle’s first-person narratives, Isabelle’s more vulnerable, human side shows through. Cole is the arrogant bad boy who thinks he’s all that, so Cole and Isabelle’s relationship has a lot of tension and sparks flying all over. I mean, Cole was already naked the first time they met, so this is definitely a fast-moving relationship. However, it lacks the magic that is Grace-and-Sam, so maybe Colsabelle will be shipped more in the final book? crosses fingers

The storyline itself is kind of the reverse of that in Shiver, in that everything is okay at the beginning, but starts unraveling very quickly. The pacing is on the slow side… or, for the masochistically inclined, this means that it’s perfectly torturous. Linger ends in a gentle cliffhanger that has me grabbing for the sequel, hoping for an end to my sweet misery.

Conclusion

Stiefvater’s writing in Linger is just as beautiful as it was in Shiver, and I really enjoyed how the minor characters from the first book are now being brought into the limelight. But this book’s given me the blues, and I’m rooting for a happy ending to the trilogy!

Review: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I really struggled with Infinity. The storyline was hard to follow, there was no climax, Kenyon’s characters threw me off with their names and speech patterns, and I think the synopsis just made Infinity seem so much cooler than it actually was. I put Infinity down at least three times while trying to think of what else I could do besides reading it… did I have homework? Papers to read for journal club? Anything? (Can I just not take a breather today?) There’s so much I found unsatisfying with Infinity, but I’ll just list a few things, or else this will turn into a legit paper and I might need to charge you for reading this or pay a million bucks to print those gifs in color. #gradschoolproblems

Title: Infinity
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick #1
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Category: (Young Adult) Paranormal / Urban Fantasy

 

Introduction

Fourteen-year-old Nick Gautier lives with his mom, who works as a stripper trying to make ends meet for Nick and herself. Nick gets bullied at school where he’s the only scholarship kid among the rich kids, and he has the worst luck ever – when he tries to stop his friends from mugging an old couple, his friends beat him up and try to shoot him. Fortunately, Nick is saved by Kyrian Hunter, a mysterious, rich man who offers to front Nick’s hospital bills and give him a salary as long as Nick works for him everyday after school for a year. Stranger things start happening, as all the jocks at school start turning into cannibalistic zombies, and Nick is exposed to the bustling supernatural life in New Orleans. He meets Nekoda, a new girl at school who he’s starting to fall for; Ash, an immortal; demons and werewolves; and Squires and Dark Hunters under the power of goddess Artemis, all of whom are in a centuries-long war. Nick is a Malachai, and therefore the key to victory in that war; and while he attempts to control his emerging powers, others around him try to sway him between good and evil.

Discussion

First of all, the uniqueness of the characters’ names really throws me off; Acheron Parthenopaeus (Ash), Nicholas Ambrosius Gautier, Nekoda Kennedy, Kyrian Hunter, Kyi Poitiers, Madaug St. James, etc. are names that just don’t roll off my tongue nicely, and I had a hard time trying to pronounce the names in my head and trying to remember that “Kody” is short for “Nekoda” and that “Gautier” is pronounced “Go-shay” and not “Go-tee-ay”. I know Kenyon is trying to set the mood for a paranormal novel and make her characters memorable, but it just doesn’t work for me.

The characters themselves also bug me because of the way they speak – Nick and his mom shift from speaking very properly to suddenly developing N’awlins accents, while other (apparently) more mature characters casually use chat acronyms such as “WTH”, “SOB”, and “FYI”.

And if there’s one character that I can’t connect with, it has to be Nick. Nick has a lot of spunk and humor, which leads to many hilarious conversations between him and his family, friends, and enemies. However, Nick is distracted by all the girls in the story because they all look really hot, and he ends up drooling over them or smelling them or doing something else weird when he gets close to them. Example one:

Nick looked up at the softest, sweetest voice he’d ever heard. His stomach hit the ground.

Dressed all in pink, she was gorgeous, with silky brown hair and green eyes that practically glowed.

Oh. My. God.

Nick wanted to speak but all he could do was try not to drool on her.

Example two:

It was Brynna Addams dressed in a pretty blue dress and cream sweater. With her dark hair held back from her face by a thin lacy headband, she looked like an absolute angel. One that didn’t belong in the run-down crap hole that was their house.

Example three:

He stopped dead in his tracks, bug-eyed.

Holy…

Every male hormone in his body fired as he saw what had to be the sexiest chick in New Orleans. A couple of years older than him, she was amazing. The good news was she totally distracted him from his pain.

Example fo-fine, I’ll stop. But you get the point, right? Maybe I just can’t connect with teenage boys, but maybe Kenyon’s fictional world is just full of hot chicks. I also feel that as a character, Nick doesn’t develop much in the book; he just started to use his powers near the end of Infinity, so there’s not much to work with.

The storyline… oh, the storyline. I don’t know what happened to it. One of the first major events in Infinity is that Nick’s delinquent “friends” beat him up and try to shoot him. Nick’s thoughts:

I won’t die like this. Not beaten in a gutter by people who’re supposed to be my friends. Guys I’ve known and played with my whole life. I won’t.

Wait, that basically means they’ve been his friends for a long time, right? So why are they suddenly being jerks?

The fact that New Orleans is full of supernatural beings is introduced just as quickly. One moment Nick is trying to believe that his classmates are suddenly turning into zombies, and another moment someone nonchalantly tells Nick that Nick’s biggest bully is a werewolf. I would’ve expected Nick to be in shock or strong denial (I know I would be!), but he just accepts things for the way they are. The main event in Infinity, the zombie attack, just goes on forever and ever and ever, and by that point, I didn’t want to keep reading anymore. I did make it to the last page, but all that I was left with was more foreshadowing and premonitions about Nick and his powers.

Conclusion

I think Kenyon is getting ahead of herself in Infinity; the foreshadowing in the prologue about Nick’s grudge against Ash is never realized, Nekoda’s and a lot of other characters’ roles are never fully explained, and I don’t even know who’s good and who’s evil by the end of the book. I didn’t connect with the characters at all, and the storyline didn’t stimulate my interest.

It was only after I finished reading Infinity that I realized Kenyon based this series off of her “Dark-Hunter” series, so people who have read that series might’ve understood this book more. Since I’m an optimist, I’ll probably continue reading the rest of the books in this series AFTER I take some real breathers, so hopefully it gets better! Please tell me it gets better, because I can’t deal with this bad aftertaste. 😦

Review: Jenny Pox by J. L. Bryan

9306975Oh. My. Goodness. What did I just read? I thought it was a typical paranormal romance, then suddenly HORROR popped out of nowhere, and then Bryan came in and stuck a band-aid on me and says, “Just kidding, why would this be horror?” I am so completely mindblown. It’s like that time I accidentally watched The Saw at my friend’s twelfth birthday party and couldn’t look in my closet for days, except my post-read feels are fading, so I probably just won’t pick up a paranormal book for the next few hours. Warning: there’s sex, gore, horror, and violence in this, so if you think you’re in for some relaxing light-reading on a Saturday night (like I was, what was I thinking), YOU’RE WRONG.

Title: Jenny Pox
Author: J. L. Bryan
Series: The Paranormals #1
Publication Date: July 22, 2010
Category: (Young Adult) Paranormal Romance / Horror

 

Introduction

Jenny Morton’s touch kills. Whoever she touches develops a fast onset of smallpox, leading to death. (By the way, don’t Wikipedia “smallpox” when you’re eating.) Ever since Jenny was a child, her dad instructed her to never touch anyone except for him – a rule that she broke in fourth grade when she accidentally touched Ashleigh Goodling, the popular girl. Jenny’s nickname of “Jenny pox” from that incident changed into “Jenny Mittens” over the years as people began to forget about the event and as Jenny began wearing gloves to protect people from her touch.

Fast forward to senior year of high school, and Ashleigh’s running for class president with her boyfriend Seth Barrett by her side, while Jenny’s just trying to make it through the year. In an accidental encounter, Jenny discovers that Seth’s touch also holds power, and she becomes obsessed with him. Like borderline stalkerish, not-normal obsessed. And she’s bold enough to pull him out of class and invite him to, uh, hang out:

“There is this,” Jenny said. “This big rock in my woods. It’s bigger than a house. Sometimes there’s a stream, if it’s been raining. I could show you. If you want to see that. It’s just a rock, but really big. You can climb up and sit on it and everything.”

And if you think Jenny’s brain cells don’t function properly when she’s near Seth, wait until she finds out that she can actually touch Seth and not cause him to die. (SEX SEX SEX!) But Ashleigh has secrets of her own and bigger plans than the small town of Fallen Oak, South Carolina, and she won’t let Seth go without a fight.

Discussion

The story is told from a third-person perspective, which is a refreshing change from the usual first-person perspective in paranormal books. However, sometimes we get to view events from Jenny’s perspective and, other times, from Ashleigh’s perspective, and the shifts can be distracting. Ashleigh is your normal conniving bitch with genius tendencies (aced the SAT? I want her brains!), and I’m constantly surprised by how far ahead she plans and her brilliant plots to sabotage Jenny and Seth. Jenny and Seth did not have instant love, but they did have instant lust (upon contact), which leads me to my next problem: sex, drugs, and smoking seem to be predominant themes in Jenny Pox, with a boner or a joint in every other page. I’m not sure how necessary it was, and the prevalence of all three seems to reaffirm the bad rap that teenagers get.

But main characters aside, I thought that the pacing of Jenny Pox was really strange – the story didn’t end where I thought it would, and instead, it spiralled into some grotesque scene inspired by The Ring and zombie apocalypses, and I was suddenly dumped on my butt in some horror novel. WTF, J. L. Bryan! I didn’t sign up for this! (Did I mention that I hate horror movies?)

And then just when the story might end AGAIN, it doesn’t. There’s a backstory and a moment of enlightenment, then back to reality (fiction?). Bryan decides that he’s tortured me enough and throws me a bone: a happy ending. I’m left confused and disturbed, but strangely wanting to read the sequel (even though I know I shouldn’t because I’ll have nightmares).

Conclusion

Jenny Pox is like a roller coaster ride – the kind that abruptly goes from too fast to too slow, then loops upside down and up and down and then back up again until you puke your guts out. And you don’t know if you enjoyed it or never want to go on it again. I didn’t want to give too much of the story away, since the most mindblowing aspects of the book are the twists and turns in the plot. If you like disturbing surprises and horror in general, read Jenny Pox. Otherwise, go look at pictures of cute animals and tell yourself that the world is a happy place and that paranormal-horror is a nonexistent thing. I already got a head start: