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Ramblings by Year

Dead to You

Dead to You
by Lisa McMann

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It’s a miracle… at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn’t going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he’d be able to put the pieces back together. But there’s something that’s keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable… (goodreads.com)

Release date: THIS WEEK, people!

Do you know what we need more of in YA literature? We need more gripping, mysterious, thrilling, NON PARANORMAL, STAND ALONE novels.

Lisa McMann delivers all of that in Dead to You. True story.

I love McMann’s novels. She’s always writing about something refreshingly original and has a way of drawing you in and never letting you go until you hit that last page. Her Dream Catcher trilogy has paranormal elements in it, but it’s pretty scary and mysterious and it’s not your average paranormal romp with scary creatures that live under the bed. I still have not read Cryers Cross though I plan to at some point, but so far I have loved every single book this woman has written that has crossed my path.

I thought the premise of Dead to You  was super interesting. What happens to a family when the child they thought was lost to them forever suddenly returns? That alone was enough to get me to put this way high up on my I NEED TO READ THIS! list. You have no idea. I wasn’t expecting a mystery of sorts and in no way was I ever even close to expecting that ending. Woah.

Double, triple, woah.

During a time where I have so much going on that I can’t keep my brain focused long enough to stick to a book, Dead to You kept me reading from start to finish with desperate page turns so I could just get my eyes on MORE! MORE! MORE!

Ethan was actually a very likable character and I felt so strongly for him and his struggle with trying to fit back into a life and family he’d be away from for 10 years. I was often thinking the parents were being foolish, expecting things to go back to normal right away. Why put him in room with a brother he’d not seen for ever, after you know he was homeless and having a tough go of it. I would have been totally all about giving him his space, but still making sure he knew the rules. I’m not sure that enrolling him in school three days after he’s reunited was the smartest of ideas, but maybe just putting everything back to normal was the best way to go about a really traumatic and difficult transition?

I am in no way an expert or even knowledgeable about this sort of event in life, so my opinions are just based on my gut reactions to things.

The one character I thought I wouldn’t like, was 6-year old Gracie, however she grew on me quite quickly and I loved reading the scenes between her and “Efan”.

So much going on, all emotional and psychological and even mysterious. I could not put this book down.

Once I hit the end, boy, WOAH.

I really do not want there to be another book coming out. I want to be happy that this book concluded as it did because I find that makes it so much more poignant and hard hitting. I am hoping among all hopes that this is a stand alone book (of which we need more of! So! Tired! Of! Series!) that just leaves you wanting more from the author and her amazing imagination. Lisa McMann is a blessing to have in the YA literature genre because her books are never boring and always original. THANK YOU, LISA!!!

In My Mailbox #51

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

First week back on the picket line wasn’t so bad, except for the cold I seem to have caught. Obviously some of the Canadian publishers thought they’d help cheer me up by sending me some surprises! Cannot wait to read all of these books!

For review:

The Scholastic Canada books were gifts from the event I attended last weekend (post here). I swear I feel like Christmas came a month early for me. I can’t wait to read all of these books! Trying very hard to hold off on the spring 2012 ones though. I don’t know if my willpower will be strong enough.

Fade

Fade (Dream Catcher #2)
by Lisa McMann

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared…. (goodreads.com)

I won Fade from a contest held by Kristi at The Story Siren ages ago. I just never got around to reading it. This was yet ANOTHER book that was sitting on the corner of my dresser next to the bed. I made myself a mini-challenge over the weekend to read all the books piled up there. I have one left. It’s Willow by Julia Hoban. I don’t know if I can bring myself to read that one just yet. I need to be in the right state of mind for severe emotion.

I do not own the first book in this series, Wake. I borrowed that one from the library and wished that I had bought a copy for myself. Lisa McMann’s style of writing in these books is like nothing I have ever read. It’s almost poetry in a way. The spacing, the fonts, the short sentences. It is all fantastic. It’s a sort of stream of consciousness style of writing. It’s sharp and fresh and keeps you hanging on every word until the book is done because you just can not put it down once you stop.

Janie can enter peoples’ dreams. In fact she gets sucked into them and because of that she now helps the police with undercover stuff. (Descriptive, I know. I’m no Lisa McMann, ok?) Janie is a very enjoyable character and the harder it is for her when she wakes up from a dream, you feel it. You suffocate with her when she can’t move her fingers or see. You just want to hug her and make everything ok. You want Cabel to get over his damned self and love her the way she deserves to be loved and to be there for her and not hide behind his own demons. You love that the Captain of the police force is on Janie’s side and is the mother-figure that Janie has never had.

And the creepy factor in this book was elevated for me. I do not like the teachers preying on students idea. Rape and molestation just make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The suspense in the first book was easier for me to handle I think.

I am going to have to get my hands on a copy of Fade now, the third (and final?) book in the series. Knowing more about Janie’s Dream Catching ability and how it will effect her in the future is a curiosity itch that I am going to have to scratch!

Dream Catcher series

  1. Wake
  2. Fade
  3. Gone

In my Mailbox #20

The Story Siren hosts this feature and I end up adding a ton of books to my wishlist every week.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Actually, if it weren’t for Ms. Story Siren, I’d have had no books show up in the mail at all this week! I won this book from a contest she held back in, um.. a while ago. I was so happy! I loved Lisa McMann’s first book, Wake!

Fade
by Lisa McMann

SOME NIGHTMARES NEVER END.

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They’re just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody’s talking. When Janie taps into a classmate’s violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie’s in way over her head, and Cabe’s shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it’s bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what’s to come is way darker than she’d feared….

I can’t wait to read this one!

Wake

Wake
by Lisa McMann

This was one of the books that I found on the New Arrivals section of my library. When you have so few English books to choose from you get excited when they do something right and and an actual recent book to the New Arrivals section. Woo.

Had I remembered about the RIP challenge I would have waited until September to pick up the book and would have added it to my list of books. It’s a little scary, but not in a blood and gore sort of way. More in a psychological thriller sort of way.

Janie gets sucked into people’s dreams. She first noticed this when she was 8 and then as she got older it got worse. Going on a class trip to Stratford, Canada? Not the smartest move since everyone falls asleep on bus rides and her roommates sleep… so that’s a lot of dream sucking-in-age. Janie is befriended, oddly, by Cabel, the bad boy everyone thinks is strung out on drugs and selling them. She confides in him about her secret and together they try to get through it. Janie starts to learn how to try and control the dreams as she gets sucked in otherwise they are going to kill her.

This story is simply written. I was drawn into it almost right away as I began reading. I was worried that I wasn’t going to like it, but as the end got closer I was so focused on the plot and characters that I didn’t want it to end. There were plot twists I wasn’t expecting and that made me happy. I was banking on this book being predictable like most of the R. L. Stine type books from my teen years, only Lisa McMann didn’t let me down and kept me delighted by surprises.

I was happy to see at the end a reference to Fade, which I wasn’t sure was an actual real book or just a glimpse into the future, Epilogue-wise. However I have just seen it’s due to be released in February 2009 so I will certainly keep an eye out for it at the library! (However, if they only got this, which was released in March 2008 around June-ish, I am not holding my breath…)