Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Published By: Harper Collins

Date of Publication: February 15, 2011

Categories:Fiction, Mystery, Series, Urban Paranormal, YA

Pages: 368

Summary (from goodreads.com):

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who’ve been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she’d turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike’s tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Review: I was really looking forward to reading this sequel after reading The Body Finder. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Violet and Jay’s relationship was still just as cute as ever, without being over flowery. I really liked that when they’re together they’re so perfect for each other, but they still manage to be able to get along without each other too. The characters aren’t based on each other, so they’re still interesting when they’re apart. I have to admit that Jay is one of my favorite YA boyfriends.

One thing that I really like about Violet’s character is that she’s a strong, independent female main character. I’ve read book after book where the main character is nothing like Vioelet (sometimes it works, but often it doesn’t), so it was a lot of fun to have Violet back again. She doesn’t sit around and wait for someone else bigger and stronger to save the day when she’s in trouble. She does something about it herself.

One part of the story that I really enjoyed and thought kept it fresh was the FBI storyline. I thought it was interesting to see how Violet reacted to that. I’m excited to see where that goes in the next book.

In terms of the mystery part of this book, I have to admit that for me it fell a little short of The Body Finder, although it wasn’t bad at all – it just wasn’t as creepy as the first one.

If you’re looking for a book with great characters, a really sweet relationship, a paranormal component, and a mystery, this is definitely the book for you.

Click here to check out my review of the first book in this series, The Body Finder.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

Published by: Penguin

Year of Publication: 2006

Categories: Mystery, Vampire

Pages: 324

Summary (from Goodreads): As a person with so few living relatives, supernaturally gifted Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse really hated to lose one. But she never thought it would be her cousin Hadley, a consort of the Vampire Queen of New Orleans. Since Hadley was a vampire, she was already dead – weird! And now, as unexpected heir to Hadley’s estate, Sookie discovers that someone doesn’t want her snooping around, going through Hadley’s possessions and her past. But why? And who?

Review: I have to start off this review by saying that I was a little confused by this book. Up until now I had always found that the books in this series made practical sense – one book built on another, things didn’t just suddenly appear out of nowhere – up til this book I had been happy with the overall plot line.

But then I opened up this book and got totally confused. I thought I had mistakenly skipped a book, but I double checked on Goodreads half way through Definitely Dead, and sure enough, I had read Dead As A Doornail, book #5. I felt like the plot of this book was pushed forward and some essential parts to the plot got left out.

Other than the plot problems though, I enjoyed reading it. Things definitely got interesting surrounding the relationship between Sookie and Bill. I totally didn’t see it coming (I don’t think Sookie did either), and it threw me for a loop. I’m still not quite sure if I believe it. I feel like I want to get Bill’s side of the story before I admit what happened.

I definitely liked getting to know more about Quinn as well. Actually there were a lot of good characters in this book that I hadn’t noticed much in the other books up to now. Considering how the next book is about the vampire summit, I think more of these characters will have more to do with the story than those in Bon Temps, which will be a nice change of pace I think.

All in all, I think this has been my least favorite Sookie Stackhouse book so far, but I still can’t wait to get All Together Dead from the library.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Dead As A Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Published By: Ace

Year of Publication: 2005

Categories: Vampire, Mystery

Pages: 295

Summary (from goodreads.com): Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s pretty and well-mannered and has only a few close friends – which isn’t surprising, since not many people can appreciate Sookie’s abilities as a mind reader. It’s not a quality that has the guys beating down her door – unless they’re vampires, werewolves, or other supernatural beings. And now some of them aren’t just friendly – they’re family.” “When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a werepanther for the first time – a transformation he embraces more readily than most shapeshifters she’s known. But her concern for her brother becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population – and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter.” Now, Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first.

Review: For some reason this book me almost two weeks to finish. I think it was because right after I started it I went to a friend’s house to look after their dogs while they were on vacation, so I had to fit all the dog related stuff into my schedule, and my reading time suffered because of it.

I really liked it though. I thought it was great that a new vampire that was introduced in this book, Charles Twining, was a pirate before he was ‘born’ as a vampire. I somehow found that amazing funny and interesting. I mean, really, that would be pretty cool to meet a real pirate. He even had an eye patch. I can’t be the only that finds it amusing, right?

I was a little disappointed that there was so little mention of Bill, though I did find one of the parts when he made an appearance really touching. If you’ve read it, you’ll know what part I’m talking about, if you haven’t, I don’t want to give anything away.

The werewolf pack from Shreveport has to elect a new pack leader. I was so interested in how the werewolf politics were discussed, and how they do things. I find it fascinating, I’m not sure why. It’s like getting an inside look on a whole different society.

Sookie runs into some pretty bad luck in this book, but she always manages to make the best of it. The more I read about her, the more I like her. She’s so different from a lot of the other female characters in vampire novels. She’s strong, independent, stubborn, and doesn’t like to depend on anyone else for what she needs. I like it.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

Image: Goodreads

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Published By: Ace

Year of Publication: 2004

Categories: Mystery, Fiction, Vampire, Urban Fantasy

Pages: 291

Summary (from goodreads.com):

When cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse sees a naked man on the side of the road, she doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire–but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

Review: Every book in the Sookie Stackhouse series I read I end up liking more and more.

In this book Eric takes a leading role instead of Bill. I thought it was interesting to learn more about him, even though he’s not quite “Eric”. I ended up liking him a lot.

We’re introduced to the little town of Hotshot, not too far from Bon Temps. I think Hotshot is going to feature more in the coming books – there’s something about it that’s not quite right.

Up until this book I didn’t really like or dislike Jason – he was always just sort of there in the background. But now that he’s more part of the central story, I’m finding myself liking him. I think he’ll be prominent in the next book too, so I”m excited about that.

I wish Bill had been in this book more. I missed him. I hope I’ll read more about him in the next book.

I hope we hear more about the witches, in the next book too. It seems like with every new magical creature that’s introduced the whole magical world that Charlaine Harris creates seems more and more likely to actually exist – kind of like hiding in plain sight.

I already have the next book, Dead as a Doornail, on hold at the library – I can’t wait to read it.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I got this book from the library.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Summary from Goodreads:

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn’t date much because of her “disability” to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s the type of guy she’s waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too–he’s a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next.

What I thought:

First off, I have to admit that I was totally turned off by the cover when I first saw it. This is not the cover I would have chosen for the book. I’m not really sure what it is, but it just hits me the wrong way.

However, I enjoyed reading this book a LOT. I read about it on a blog (I unfortunately can’t remember which one), and thought I’d check it out, since the TV series True Blood is based on it. I thought it couldn’t be too bad if it was on TV.

Once I started I couldn’t put it down. The world of vampires that Charlaine created totally sucked me in. It was like she thought of all the little things that really made the book believable.

My favorite character has to be Sookie of course. She’s a strong woman who isn’t afraid of letting people know what she thinks and doing things for herself. She’s willing to stick up for people and do what needs to be done. I really like Sookie’s independent attitude when it’s contrasted by Bill’s old fashioned chivalry. It makes me smile.

The pacing was great – I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next, while feeling like there wasn’t too much going on. Knowing that it’s a series,  I was a little worried that the ending wouldn’t feel like an ending, that there would be a cliffhanger or things wouldn’t be tied up as much as I’d like, but I thought the ending was great, answering all the important questions while leaving a few unanswered to make you want to read the next book. I know a lot of people didn’t like Charlaine’s writing style, but I really did.

I’m pretty excited about reading the next one in the series, Living Dead in Dallas. In fact, I already have it on hold at the library.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Published by: Avon Trade

Year of Publication: 2005

Categories: Chick Lit

Pages: 345

Summary (from goodreads.com): Heather Wells rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather’s perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York’s top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather’s residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen — not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives — even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who’s sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong . . .

Review: This was such a great read! Although it took me a little over a week to finally finish it (I had a couple other books that I was reading at the same time), I really enjoyed it.

Heather was great character. She was so realistic to me and I would have loved to hang out with her in real life. I loved her sense of humor. She was brave, even willing to confront murder suspects, which I really liked.

Cooper was really cute, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see if they would end up together. And I’ll be reading the other books in this series to see where they do end up. (I really do hope they end up a couple!)

The other characters were great too, everyone from Pete the security guard to Magda the cafeteria lady. They all added their little part of the story, and were fun to meet.

While I suspected who the killer was about half way through, it was still fun to read the whole thing and find out how it would end.

Having lived in res for a year when I was in university I found the setting of a residence hall in New York City a lot of fun. Things are really like how they’re described in the book – from partying til the early morning hours to pulling all nighters trying ot cram for an exam.

If you’re looking for a fun mystery to read, I would definitely recommend you check out Size 12 Is Not Fat.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

Image: goodreads.com