Saturday, July 3, 2010

Horror anyone or Beware of Pixies

And then I think there has been the influence of Twilight.  I can't say horror or the supernatural is my favourite genre but there were lots of these books at the International Reading Association Convention in Chicago.  I guess we could also call them fantasy.  I note that Harlequin has sunk its teeth into YA so it must be fantasy!
Anyway I read a few that I honestly enjoyed. Let's start with those Pixies.  I was a Pixie as a Brownie in my childhood and I thought they just helped people in fixes, but now that I have read Need by Carrie Jones, I know better.  They are not nice, and often dangerous, especially if you let them kiss you.  Zara is having a hard time after her step-dad dies and her mom decides to send her to live with her step-grandmother in Bedford, Maine.  We initially think the main reason  Zara is sent there is due to her depression but the real reason is that her mom thinks she needs more protection than she can provide.  Leaving Charleston for wintry Maine is not thrilling for non-violent, Amnesty International fan Zara and she doesn't find everyone at her new school too friendly especially when she gains the attention of two of the school's heart throbs.  Also teenage boys are disappearing and Zara seems to be the only one who can stop this happening.  This is a fun book with intriguing characters and a plot with lots of twists and surprises.  To paraphrase one reviewer, Stephen King meets Twilight.

Another teenage girl with problems is Emma in Lee Nichol's  Deception: Haunting Emma.  Her parents literally leave her alone, managing their antique business  in San Francisco as they go off to Europe.  Their manager has quit and her daughter, Emma's best friend won't have anything to do with her anymore.  Emma's brother is off adventuring as well and nowhere to be found.  She makes a new friend at school who tells the authorities she is living alone with no parents in the picture, and the next thing she knows she is in foster care.  But to the rescue comes a friend of her brother's who whisks her off to the East Coast to attend his old school and live in his mysterious house.  Sounds sinister but of course he is a hunk and a total gentleman but he isn't home much and the servants have a tendency to disappear.  Like Zara, Emma has powers of which she is unaware.  She is a ghost keeper extraordinaire.  She can communicate with ghosts and more.  Again there are many twists and turns of plot and it's difficult to know who to trust but a great read with an interesting heroine.

Once again we are in New England for Vampire High Sophmore Year.  This book by Douglas Rees is the sequel to Vampire High, which I haven't read.  Our hero, Cody Elliot, in the first book, moved from California to New Sodam, Massachusetts, and when he wasn't doing too well at Cotton Mather High, he transfers to Vlad Dracul High, where most students are vampires but they need a few humans for the water polo team so that they can stay accredited.  Cody doesn't have to do any work to get A's but he decides to actually to take on the challenging curriculum and makes friends with two vampires and gains the school's respect.
In this book, his difficult cousin arrives on the scene and the two of them end up involved in a project to start an art gallery in an old abandoned mill in a ghost town section of town.  This project stirs up old animosities and makes him temporarily lose his best friends. 
Now I am far from an expert on vampires but these vampires seem rather different than others I have read about.  I didn't think vampires could be werewolves or selkies but I am no expert.  Anyway this book had lots of humour as well as suspense. 

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