a tasting smorgasbord: ya

I hit the YA jackpot this week with 3 wonderful books which I’ve decided to share with you all (including blurbs this time round so I can REALLY tempt you ;):

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

The Blurb:

Madison’s prom was killer—literally. For some reason she’s been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she’s stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn’t know why the dark reaper is after her, but she’s not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison’s ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

Why I bought it: I like this author’s The Hollow series and I thought I’d try her foray into YA. (Hey, that rhymes.)


Dislike~ I think my only gripe with this story is the use of the traditional teenage fiction tropes such as alternative, semi-bad girl crushes on popular but nice guy, etc, etc. Let’s face it, though, high school is definitely a caste system and, quite frankly, who doesn’t love it when the geeky girl gets the guy. I certainly don’t. *GRIN*

Like~ This is a great, hip twist on the reaper myth. One of the things this author does extremely well is blur the lines between good and evil to create a wonderful murkiness where allegiances are drawn – and not always in the way you expect. Great stuff.

So, what I think: A must for fans of this author and recommended for those who enjoy YA paranormals, yet are sick to death of sappy vampires.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Why I bought it: Another author whose adult fiction I enjoy and is now trying her hand at YA.

The Blurb:

Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting the things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house.

Alone, terrified, and trapped in an icy town, Dru’s going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. Can she trust the boy who is just a little too adult–and just happens to get bit by a werwulf? Or the strange blue-eyed boy who tells her she’s heir to a long-forgotten power? Can she even trust her own instincts?

Because Dru is not the first in her family to be killed by the darkness of the Real World. The monsters have decided to hunt back–and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight, and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she’s going to get out of this alive.

And she has to do it by sundown, or it’s all over…


Dislike~ This is scary. A girl. Her father dead. Alone and terrified. Things are hunting her and these are NOT the kind of vampires that sparkle in the sunlight. Really my imagination so doesn’t need this kind of help.

Like~ This is scary. Contrary I know, but Good Lord this author raises the bar on the standard ‘aren’t you a cute vampire’ crap we’ve been getting lately. This is delicious dark urban fantasy/paranormal at it’s best. I devoured this action-packed book.

So, what I think: Tam, you’ve been wanting to give your daughter something different to the normal vampire stories… get her this. It is bloody good. I reckon fans of the author will love this as well.

Life as we knew it by Susan Pfeffer

The Blurb:

No shops. No TV. No Electricity. No Daylight. No idea if your family is alive or dead. Could you survive? When a freak asteroid knocks the moon from its orbit, horrific tides engulf parts of the globe, and life on earth changes overnight. For 15-year-old Miranda, a desperate battle for her family’s survival begins.

Why I bought it: Thea @ The Book Smugglers reviewed this (here) and I had to have it. Had. To.


Dislike~ Warning: It’s the “I” thing. Life as we knew it is told through the journal entries of 16 year old Miranda. As you know I have, umm, issues with first POV; however, Miranda’s voice and her story are extraordinarily compelling. Any hesitation I had at the beginning of the book was swept away by the sheer experience of it.

Like~ If you are thinking that because it is YA it will be ‘lite’, think again. This has to be one of the most realistic post/apocalyptic works I have ever read. It is confronting. It is haunting. It is heart wrenching. It is absofrigginlutely fabulous.

So, what I think: Get this book. This is an absolute MUST read for those who like this genre and for those who just enjoy damned fine stories.


‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.


About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in kim harrison, lili st crow, susan pfeffer, tasting, ya. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to a tasting smorgasbord: ya

  1. Tam says:

    She could use some shaking up. I've told her she's reading Without Sin this summer if it kills her. LOL I'll definitely check it out for her (and likely for me). Thanks for the rec.

  2. Sean Kennedy says:

    The last two sound really good. YA fiction is offering up a lot of good stuff among the dross lately, even with teen LGBT fiction.

  3. Kris says:

    Tam: It's a great read. You could get her this one as a reward for reading “Without Sin”. 😉

    Sean: They ARE really good – LAWKI is excellent. The high quality of YA over the last few years is terrific, and I think just keeps getting better and better.

  4. orannia says:

    Thanks Kris! Hmmmm. I kind of dabble in and out of YA. I'm hanging out to read the latest Melissa Marr book but I picked up the second PC & Kristen Cast book Betrayed yesterday but I think I might return it…not sure if it is for me…

    I might go looking for some excerpts for these books 🙂

  5. Kris says:

    “I'm hanging out to read the latest Melissa Marr book.”

    Me too. Cos you like dark fantasy, Orannia, I would go for “Strange Angels”. Imagine an orphaned teenage girl version of the Winchesters of “Supernatural”, but even more scary, intense, twisty, and action-packed. T-Rific!

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