Today I'm welcoming my mother in law Cathy back to the blog to share a couple of her latest reviews. As always, a huge thank you to her for helping me tackle my review pile!
100 SIDEWAYS MILES
Contemporary Young Adult
Simon & Schuster
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.
Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.
The first thing that caught my attention about 100 Sideways Miles was the title and the cover. It has a horse falling from the sky! Very early on, we find out that, indeed, a horse fell from the sky and landed on top of Finn. This tale is the coming of age story of Finn and his best friend Cade. Because of the horse incident, Finn is an epileptic and Cade is always there to make sure that his friend is fine. At the start of the book, it is very much a boy's story, a buddy book. Complete with bodily function humor, girl ogling, and swearing. Let me add a warning if you are letting your middle grader read this, there is a lot of swearing. I can honestly say I wasn't sure I was going to finish the book because I felt it was geared more toward boys. But like many readers, once I start a book I have to finish it and I am glad that I stuck with it. As the story proceeds, Mr. Smith adds depth and insight to these characters and we truly begin to care about them. Finn and Cade take to the road and we see what they are made of and we embrace them.
We do hear what 100 Sideways Miles means. Finn has a complicated formula for measuring time as a distance. I am not quite sure how or why this is but I think Finn felt that it carried more weight and added depth to all situations. It gave life more importance. We all know life is complicated and if seeing it as a math problem helps, so be it.
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Turmoil, sickness, and destruction are sweeping through Europe—and its effects are being felt all the way across the world in Seattle. Harper Blaine and her lover, Quinton, suspect that Quinton’s father, James Purlis—and his terrifying Ghost Division—are involved.
Following a dark trail of grotesque crimes and black magic across the Old World, the pair slowly draws closer to their quarry. But finding and dismantling the Ghost Division won’t be enough to stop the horror that Purlis has unwittingly set in motion.
An ancient and forgotten cult has allied with Quinton’s mad father. And their goals are far more nightmarish than Harper and Quinton—or even Purlis—could ever imagine.
The pursuit leads to Portugal, where the desecrated tomb of a sleeping king and a temple built of bones recall Harper’s very first paranormal case and hold clues to the cult’s true intentions. Harper and Quinton will need all the help they can get to avert a necromantic cataclysm that could lay waste to Europe and drag the rest of the world to the brink of war.
Revenant is the conclusion to the Greywalker series. Harper Blaine, the heroine, can travel between the worlds of the living and the dead. I have to admit that I had to look up the word revenant. It means a person who returns from the dead. And this explains what Harper is, she is not a ghost but someone that has come back. In this last installment, Harper travels to Portugal in search of her soulmate Quinton to aid him in a search for his father, who is trying to destroy the world. His father has teamed up with some otherworldly warriors that are determined to take control of the human world.
This story is probably the creepiest one yet. It deals with macabre and ritualistic uses of human bones and bone collecting. These bones are collected from the dead and the living! The Portugal setting adds to the overall eeriness – it's a picturesque country with a long and violent history. It is clear that Ms. Richardson has done her research and found historical facts that draw us in and make us believe in all things haunted. Because of her graphic descriptions, it is easy to picture ancient churches and monasteries and cobblestone pathways.
I would recommend starting with the first novel and reading through the series, especially now that there would be no wait. I had to review my notes from the previous book to bring me up to speed with the characters. It was well worth the review and becoming reacquainted with Harper and her unusual helpers in this case. Ms. Richardson does a fine job keeping the story moving along but this is a very detailed and overly involved plotline.
These books were sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my (or in this case, Cathy's) honest opinion.