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Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The moment the new guy walks into the room, Kate senses something strange and intense about him. Something supernatural. Her instincts are proven correct a few minutes later when, bullied by his classmates, Jarrod unknowingly conjures up a freak thunderstorm inside their classroom.

Jarrod doesn't believe in the paranormal. When Kate tries to convince him that he has extraordinary powers that need to be harnessed, he only puts up with her "hocus pocus" notions because he finds her captivating. However, the dangerous, uncontrolled strengthening of his gift finally convinces Jarrod that he must take Kate's theories seriously. Together, they embark on a remarkable journey—one which will unravel the mystery that has haunted Jarrod's family for generations and pit the teens against immense forces in a battle to undo the past and reshape the future.
This is probably the first YA book I've read which is written by an Australian author. Even though I'm Australian myself, when I hear 'Australian' I think of the stereotypical references such as the outback and the accent we are so well known for. To be honest I didn't even know this was written by an Aussie until it made mention of New South Wales! There was no mention of the above mentioned references and the setting didn't affect the plot much.
The only thing I didn't like about this book was the characters didn't seem consistent throughout the book. The characters felt totally different in Part 1 compared to Part 2 when they begin their journey. However from Part 2 onwards, it was great to see the development and change in the characters.
Old Magic is an Historical, Adventure, Thriller, Paranormal and Romantic book! It has something for everyone.

Marked by PC and Kristin Cast

Monday, May 10, 2010
The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.
I viewed Marked to be a school drama infused with vampyre mythology. I was captured by the parts of the book where bits and pieces of myths were told. However when it came to the main character Zoey's voice, I was annoyed at times and wanted to slap her (mentally). Many of the friends Zoey makes at the House of Night have practically the same personality. I felt some of the comments were rephrased for each person just so that each character could get a line and be known to the reader. Occasionally, they did provide me with a few laughs.

The build up to the conclusion was good. I liked the following of Zoey in her learning the House of Night background as this was made useful for the climax. The cliffhanger at the end was cruel because how can you NOT want to know what happens next?!


The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

Friday, May 7, 2010
Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

The Truth about Forever is the second book I've read from author Sarah Dessen. My first one was Just Listen and just like Just Listen, the Truth about Forever sucked me in from the first chapter. The author has really created some memorable characters. I don't know how she does it but in the 300-400 pages easily, there is so much depth and so many things going on but each of the issues are explored in detail. The book deals with family troubles, dealing with loss, discovering oneself, of love and of living life.

I liked the pacing/slice of life of this book. I read it over a span of a few days so it felt like I was living through every day with Macy. But thinking about it, if I had read in one seating I probably would have felt a bit bored due to the lack of those big events (which I find in paranormal reads). I liked Just Listen better but this will definitely not be the last Sarah Dessen book I'll be reading!