Urban Fantasy Reviews

Pink Smog

[openbook booknumber=”9780061565984″][rating:4/5]

The girl in the mirror wasn’t who I wanted to be, and her life wasn’t the one I wanted to have.

Despite how much Louise insists, no one will call her Weetzie. It’s her dad’s nickname for her, but it won’t stay put. Neither will her dad. Charlie left Louise and her mom and he took everything with him: her family, her home–and her understanding of who she’s meant to be.

But Los Angeles is a city full of strange angels, and Louise embarks on a journey to sift through the smog of her heartbreak, to grow her own wings, to become Weetzie.

Making the transformation from a shy girl to a confident woman is no easy task, especially when you are growing up amidst the fading hopes of a once great Hollywood. It becomes even harder when your father leaves you for New York City, your ex-starlette mother becomes a suicidal alcoholic, and your name is Louise “Weetzie” Bat. We know Weetzie’s young adult life from the books in her Dangerous Angels series, starting with the self titled Weetzie Bat. I have given her a lot of flak in the past for the way she deals with things and her, occasionally thoughtless, outlook on life and finding happiness. I have a new appreciation for just how hard it was to make the transformation from child to woman, and manage to lead a life of hope and happiness and love in spite of her past, after reading about that difficult transition in Pink Smog.

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Nightshade

[openbook booknumber=”9780399254826″][rating:3/5]

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

This book left me feeling half and half about it. On the one hand there is this super strong heroine with this wicked awesome back story and world built around her that is fascinating to read about. On the other hand, there were some unrealistic elements and some of the character building left something to be desired. The plot was super fast paced and it was an awesome page turner, but the fast plot left out some elements that could have made this story a lot better. So, I’m torn on a lot of it.

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Zombies vs. Unicorns

[openbook booknumber=”9781416989530″][rating:4/5]

Which is better, the zombie or the unicorn?

Justine Larbalestier says that zombies are our own walking deaths. Funny, grim, and terrifying, they cannot be escaped. Unicorns are sparkly and pastel and fart rainbows.

Holly Black says that unicorns are healers, arbiters of justice, and, occasionally, majestic man-killers. Zombies drool and shed and probably carry diseases.

Some of today’s finest writers have chosen their side, creating dazzling stories about both creatures. So read on, and decide for yourself:

Are you Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

Just for the record I am Team Unicorn all the way. I have loved unicorns since I was very small. I had stuffed animal unicorns, my little pony action figures that were unicorns, even unicorn wallpaper on the walls of my bedroom (oh yes, there were rainbows too, why do you ask?). I was a huge fantasy fan even then. Zombies have been a much more recent addition to my life and while I do find them frightening intriguing frightening, but in an intriguing way, I don’t normally get much enjoyment out of reading about them.

With this attitude I cracked open Zombies vs. Unicorns, a short story anthology edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black. The purpose of this book is to have a show down between short stories about zombies and short stories about unicorns to see which one would come out on top. Some of the best YA fantasy authors contributed to this collection and it shows. Even the stories that weren’t as powerful as some of the others still had a shine to them that I appreciated and I didn’t feel that there was a dull one in the bunch.

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Eclipse

[openbook booknumber=”0316160202″][rating:1/5]

Edward’s soft voice came from behind me.

I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, just like he had in the parking lot, and kissed me again. This kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine–like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us.

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?

I have sat and stared at this book for days now, have turned its pages and just could not find words to express how much it disturbs me. I can’t begin to describe my fears about the deeply held beliefs in this world that allow such a book to be so incredibly popular. I don’t even know where to begin to list all of its problems. I could understand the happy escapism of Twilight I could even begin to appreciate the attractiveness of the attention seeking self harm in New Moon, but there is nothing I enjoyed about Eclipse. It made me feel physically ill in my stomach to read it as all sorts of warning bells went off even more desperately than in Twilight, and without the hope of salvation that was in New Moon. So I will proceed with only a portion of my displeasure at this book, because it’s better than nothing.

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Baby Be-Bop

[openbook booknumber=”0064471764″][rating:4/5]

In this novel set prior to Weetzie Bat, teenager Dirk McDonald, Weetzie’s best pal, has always known he is gay. What he doesn’t know is how to tell his grandma Fifi – until one night, when all the wild and powerful story-images from the past begin to flow out of a magic lamp.

With the three deaths that have happened recently, young people driven beyond the brink from being bullied due to their homosexuality, I was glad when I picked up the final book in the Dangerous Angels series. It gave me some hope.

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