Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

red hill

Story Outline:
When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

My Review:
When I first started reading Red Hill, I was not convinced that I would like or even enjoy it. I had never read a “zombie” story before. Halfway through I was still not sold on the whole flesh-eating creatures but the characters that the story was based on had started to catch my attention more. With less than a hundred pages to go did not want the book to finish and had become completely compelled to know how it would all end for them.
The story is told from the point of view of three characters, Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda. It was this factor that made the story a lot strong in my opinion. Seeing how each of these characters reacted to and dealt with the horrid situation they all now found themselves in was interesting. I also like how the minor characters had impacts on the main characters. It brought another level to the story. Writing stories that weave people together is a talent Jamie McGuire exudes.
Has the author convinced and converted me to like zombie stories? I am not sure but, it has proven to this reader to never say never.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse

Story Outline:

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

 

My Review:

Bella has to choose between the love of two people, Jacob Black and Edward Cullen. Both have made it extremely clear about their feelings for her.  Both have made it clear to the other that they will do whatever it takes to win her heart.

If she chooses Jacob, she will have a life where she will be safe and loved with the possibility of having a family of her own. Being with a wolf has its own dangers, but those are few.

If she chooses Edward she gets to live with the one person she cannot live without, but she has to sacrifice her family, her friends, and her life.

With all that hanging over her head, she still has to deal with the impending arrival of Victoria the vampire who is set on revenge. The Cullen’s keep telling her that she will be alright and that everything will work out but Bella is not sure. Would Bella be safer with Jacob or will the Cullen’s be true to their word and make sure that no harm comes to her? Either way, her life will change forever.

The third book in the series makes the reader deal a lot of issues. Sacrifice, trust, change. None of these issues are very easy to deal with, I think that the author has handled them all in a very well. We as the reader sympathise and struggle along with Bella as she faces the toughest decisions in her life so far. Another thing this book made me feel was the want to throw it across the room and strangle the life out of Jacob Black. I have never been a fan of his from the start and this book only proved to show that he has a very immature and demanding side of his nature. My hat goes off to Stephenie Meyer, she has succeeded where no other author has in making me want to use one of my books as a missile.

One thing is for certain, these vampires might sparkle, but they are no less cunning or dangerous than their non-sparkling counterparts. I loved the built up to the confrontation with Victoria and her army of newborns. It brought another level to the story and brought new characters to life. The action scenes were descriptive and did not disappoint. It was great to see the wolves and the vampires, but their differences behind them to help Bella. Some did it for selfish reasons, whilst others just wanted to rip a few vampires apart, but it was still nice that it happened.

All in all a great read. I am looking forward to Breaking Dawn to see how it all works out.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

anna dressed in blood

Cas, like his father before him, is a ghost hunter, with the Athame that was handed down to him after the death of his father, Cas goes around the globe hunting the dead to send to their rightful place and secretly seeking revenge for his father’s untimely death. When he moves into another town, to kill yet another ghost, something happens to Cas. Anna happens to Cas. He finds himself drawn to the ghost that has torn hundreds of victims limb from limb, but to Cas she is different. Will Cas find a way to save the girl dressed in blood or will her fate be like all the others that have come before her?

I absolutely loved this book. It is clearly marketed towards the teenage and young adult audience, but it has everything that any age group can enjoy. I am a bit of a sucker for ghost stories and I have to say this did not disappoint.

I have read comments that say it was not scary enough, or was really disappointing, but if you look at it in terms of being on R.L.Stine’s level of creepiness then I am sure that you will love reading it. The story flows really well, with enough action to keep you wanting to find out what happens next. The characters are all really well written with a depth that makes you want to invest your time in reading about them. The character that the book is written around “Anna” is both scary and worthy of the reader’s sympathy when it is revealed how she died. The secondary characters are just as masterfully written and bring further depth to the main characters. The ending will have you screaming NO!, at the book and have you going to your local book store or library in search of the sequel. I really do not have a bad word to write about this book at all.

Highly recommended if you love creepy tales, with a bit of gore and if you are a fan of YA and R.L Stine.