Thursday, May 2, 2013

"The Cryptid Tales" by Brina Courtney (Rockstar Book Tour)

"You think seeing ghosts is weird? Tell me something I don't know.
My childhood best friend Jeremy happens to be a ghost.

My life is a puzzle, and the biggest piece missing has been my dad. Since his disappearance when I was six it's been tough, but Jeremy has been by my side through it all.

But now Jeremy has gone missing too and I feel like I'm never going to get all the answers I've been looking for.

Fate intervenes when Hugh, a real live college beefcake, starts taking an interest in me. He divulges that he also shares my little "gift" of seeing the dead and I know I'm finally getting closer to finding all the pieces.

However, the more the puzzle is completed, the more questions I have.

Senior year is hard enough as it is, but clearly I like a challenge."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Brina Courtney

Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

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This is the first paranormal book reviewed on this here, my blog.  Paranormal works make me nervous for various reasons that I don't feel like going into but will if you send me an email (elnora dot romness at gmail dot com).  For one thing, I'm easily spooked and already have an overactive imagination regarding piles of clothes on my floor in the middle of the night, or the goofy dog making me think something is burrowing its way through the floor when he scratches an itch...of course in the middle of the night.  But I digress...

The Good (NOTE - I am only reviewing "Reveal", the first part of the story)
Courtney has weaved a delicious story wrapped into a paranormal package.  "Boy meets girl" takes on a whole new aura when boy knows something about girl that she doesn't know and they are a mated pair with a destiny and oh my gosh I'm going to spoil the book....  So Shay.  Shay is the main character and possesses a unique quality about her genetic coding that she doesn't suspect exists, until her eyes start turning yellow.  She does know she's different...most people can't see and communicate with ghosts. But when she meets Hugh and seems inexplicably drawn to him (aka Tall, Dark and Handsome), her life will change in ways she never expects...and ways she is not sure she is ready for at first.  She has a strong personality, a stubborn streak, a sarcastic sense of humor that literally made me laugh, and is one I identify with.  Perhaps it is because as someone who is accused of being "different" sometimes, I too feel like I'm on the outside...though I don't see and talk to ghosts.  : )

Anyhow, I loved how the characters interacted with each other in this book.  Not only did they retain their unique qualities (anyone who reads this blog with some regularity will know how I want my book characters to remain unique from each other), but their interactions make sense and feel very real.  A mom who is pissed because her daughter did not come home when she is supposed to?  Yep, been there...done that. Of course I wasn't whisked away to an unknown location by a dude I barely knew....but I'm digressing into the realm of spoilers again....whoops!  A brother and sister teasing each other?  Yep.  A best girl friend who one shares everything with?  Yep.  Being able to identify with many of the relationships between these characters helped me to get into the story so much that I was thinking about it quite a bit even when not reading.

Ah, the story.  The story itself clips along at a pretty quick pace that draws the reader in.  As a reader I found myself captivated by wondering what would happen next?  What question had arisen in my mind that would would soon be answered?  What would the next character introduced be like?  What realms of science would be played with to suit the story's purpose?

That all being said, you as a reader must suspend your sense of physic-al reality to read this book without getting bent out of shape at some of the scientific leaps made.  Just sayin'.  But c'mon...if you can do it for Harry Potter, you can do it here.  : )

The Bugly (bad/ugly)
Several people have accused me of being too picky about grammar.  My brother lovingly plops the title "grammar nazi" on me whenever he can.  I'm picky.  I can't name the different elements of grammar (though I've totally got verbs and nouns down), but I can tell when something doesn't sound right or if grammar is misused.  That credibility building aside, the grammar is a bit choppy in some places.  Many sentences are awkwardly constructed (so much so that I had to reread portions several times to figure out what had happened).  Two different people speak in the same paragraph.  grrrrrrrgrumblegrrrrrrrrr  I stumble over this as a reader because I also edit and just wanted to go over this work with my "track changes" feature and do some reworking.  Now, don't get me wrong - this book has flow and can be read without too much of a problem.  There are just enough grammar issues that I shook my head a few times.

Issues with the plot?  Things happen too fast.  Yes, I said above that the story clips along at a pace which draws readers in, that is true...but there are still things that happen to fast.  Anger is too fast.  Forgiveness is too fast.  Too much is exposed too quickly in some places, while not enough is exposed elsewhere.  Not trying to be completely vague here, but if I say too much parts of the book will be ruined for you, and you should read it yourself.  : )

Paragraphs are too freeking long in places.  When reading a book on a computer screen, I imagine what it would look like in a book of a regular, average book-in-hand size.  Paragraphs that take up an entire page should only happen in theological text books, and yet it would happen here.  There are compound sentences.  Are there compound paragraphs?  Because I found a few in here.

Oh, and this work ended in a cliffhanger.  I hate cliff hangers.   : )  Luckily for me, there are more works in this series, so I don't have to tear my hair out for too long.  : )

I love the story and the characters.  While some problems exist with how the book is written, perhaps that could be chalked up to stylistic preferences.  It is not every day that you get a paranormal story mixed in along with science fiction genetic manipulation (though the science doesn't work here, but like I said early...suspension of physic-al reality), mixed in with demi-gods, shape shifting, and high school drama.  What knocked a couple points off my rating was mainly the problems with grammar noted above.  I like the story a lot, and fully intend to continue reading...

Overall, I give this work a 7 out of 10.

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Wanna see other reviews?

Tour Schedule
5/3/2013 Ren's Rambles
5/6/2013 Ramblings of a Diva Booknerd
5/7/2013 Musings of a Blogder
5/8/2013 The Unbecoming of Books
5/9/2013 Paranormal Book Club
5/10/2013 The YA Bookshelf
5/13/2013 A Chick Reading
5/14/2013 Book Briefs
5/15/2013 Inside the Pages of a Book
5/16/2013 My Two Cents
5/17/2013 Steele Reviews
5/20/2013 Two Chicks on Books
5/21/2013 Caught Between the Pages
5/22/2013 Reading The Paranormal
5/23/2013 Bookish Things & More
5/24/2013 TSK TSK What to Read
5/27/2013 Fictitious Delicious
5/28/2013 Teen Blurb
5/29/2013 New Adult Addiction
5/30/2013 Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
5/31/2013 Book Nerds Across America

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