Sunday, January 13, 2013

YA Reading, Round 9: Mystery/Horror

|
So, truth be told, I obviously finished my epic semester of YA back in December. But then you know how  December is...things got busy. And I still have a few more genres to post about, so I'm just going to pretend like we're still going.

Two things I have to say about this group of books: 1) It wasn't my favorite week. I think there are stronger horror stories and mysteries out there; 2) During this week, I actually listened to an audiobook for the very first time. This may or may not have influenced my opinions.

When you take a look at the cover of The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin, it's like a flashback to 1993. Seriously, this book looks on par with I Know What You Did Last Summer and similar other teen horror covers. And it sorta reads that way too. I mean, it's timeless...but in a dated way, if that makes sense. In the story, David is trying for the second time to get through his senior year. The year prior, he was on trial for his girlfriend's death, and now he's avoiding the frenzy by staying with his aunt and uncle who seem to hate each other. He's also got a creepy younger cousin, Lily, who is really trying hard to ruin his life. And then there's the ominous memory of his older cousin Kathy who died years ago, but something's not quite right about the story. In the case of this book, audio was not the way to go. The narrator was boring, making the story drag. And his "annoying little girl" voice actually made me cringe from awfulness. The ending was fairly predictable (once you're into the story, you'll figure out how the author was trying to be witty with the title of the book), but it wasn't terrible to get through. It's probably much better reading on paper than spending 6 hours listening to (seriously, could've finished it in about 2).

Andrew Smith's In the Path of Fallen Objects is a different story. Now this book is creepy. I also listened to this as an audiobook, and the narrator was better (though not great), and my only real complaint was that it lasted like 11 hours or something absurd. The story follows two brothers, Simon and Jonah, as they leave their home behind in Texas (which isn't much of a home since their absent mother left for good) to hunt down their older brother Matthew who supposedly returned to Arizona after leaving Vietnam (yes, this takes place in that era). Along the road, they're picked up by a couple of seemingly normal kids not much older than their 14 and 16. Mitch and Lilly are clearly running away from something, but they're laid-back enough that it seems okay. Well, it is not. Jonah quickly figures out that Mitch is a psycho. His new mission is just survival. Protect Simon and Lilly and get the hell away from Mitch. Naturally, it's not that easy, and Jonah is in for quite a battle. Most of this story is frightening and suspenseful, but it's actually got quite a bit more to it; family, trauma, relationships--survival in every sense of the word. As eerie as this story is, I quite enjoyed it.

The Final Four Mysteries are a series of sports stories by John Feinstein. They follow two young aspiring sportswriters, Stevie and Susan Carol, as they cover some of the biggest events in sports and inevitably solve a great mystery along the way. I read The Rivalry, which covers the annual showdown between Army and Navy football. This is the fifth in the series, but it's not totally necessary to read them in order; you just miss out on a bit of background on the characters. The story is light and easy to follow. Non-sports fans will probably be bored by this series, because there is a lot of jargon and detail. However, it's a good series for sports fans because they move fast with continuous actio, which make it a good series for boys and reluctant readers.

9 comments:

zibilee said...

The second book looks interesting, and might be a good choice for audio for me. I am having a love affair with audibooks right now, and listening A LOT more than I am reading. Every time I sit down with a book, I keep thinking of things that I have to do, or getting antsy. It's not the books, because they are great...it's just me. I find that when I am listening, I can go around and get things done more easily, and I don't feel as guilty as I would just sitting around and reading, I hope you get to like the audios more. They are fantastic when dome the right way!

Kari said...

I definitely believe that it must depend on the narrator! I have heard great things about many...and there are apparently even awards for audiobooks! Though I discovered another, perhaps more troubling, problem I have with audiobooks: I have trouble multitasking when it involves listening (as in, I have to focus hard on what I'm listening to, otherwise I unconsciously tune out and realize I missed what was happening for the past 10 minutes), and when I sit down and really focus...I end up falling asleep!

Balijo Sandana said...

Thanks for sharing. This is very helpful post. I like the way you write.custom essays

Jones Volkoba said...

Great information thanks for sharing this with us.In fact in all posts of this blog their is something to learn . your work is very good and i appreciate your work and hopping for some more informative posts . Again thanks.
essay writing

Jones Volkoba said...

Thank you for making this site very interesting! Keep going! You're doing very well!essays

Bernard Atkinson said...

Oh, this sounds like such a fun read! Thanks for adding another to my TBR list...and one that could potentially be a fun read aloud for a class!

Edward Dowdell said...

Just keep on sharing such a great information with us,helped me alot. Good luck with this.Keep sharing.my essay

Linda Roverson said...

Thanks for sharing excellent information. Your site is so cool. I'm impressed by the details that you've on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject.
turnitin.com

Bernard Atkinson said...

Just keep on sharing such a great information with us,helped me alot. Good luck with this.Keep sharing.
my essay