Life and Death comparing with Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
Vampires, werewolves, romance. YA, fantasy, fiction.
I was curious and decided to read this novel as well as the other Twilight series books that are out. It became popular once again since Stephanie Meyer made Midnight Sun as of recently and currently working on a novel spin-off that takes place after Breaking Dawn staring Renesmee and Jacob. I will be comparing both this with the original work. Just know this is my opinion and everyone is entitled to have their views towards this franchise. I’m just critiquing the two works side by side. I will also reread the entire saga plus Midnight Sun. In no shape or form is this to harm the author. Just as a disclaimer. And spoilers ahead… Anyways…
This was marketed as the gender-bent Twilight version but the character is Edith as Edward’s female counterpart and Bella’s male counterpart is Beaufort. Not all characters were gender-swapped which is lazy work honestly. Edward’s parents were gender-swapped but Bella’s parents weren’t which was odd. This new form made Edith look like a mean girl with her attitude towards Beaufort. In the original version Edward came off as a douche bag but with the female counterpart, this didn’t make the novel any better.
As far as the events go, most events happen just like the original novel except for the endings. The gender-swapped one was vastly different than the original which is cheating and being ultimately lazy and a little misogynistic. Beaufort had the decision and was given it whereas Bella wasn’t allowed to choose. Basically whether or not the bite from James or whatever the female version of him turned the main character into a vampire or not. This could be the author trying to establish that men can freely choose and women can’t with this work. Either way, I was disappointed with the ending. That did bother me slightly because I was suspecting that Meyer kept the original ending but I do see the understanding to create a standalone work.
Overall, both novels weren’t my favorite since the love interest was a complete douche bag towards the main character, and the main character still chose the douche bag love interest that is a vampire. That is just how I see it because both Edith and Edward had gaslight Bella and Beaufort plus acted towards them in an unfavoring way. I still plan to read all the other works minus Twilight because I read that to do this comparison.
The Infinity Courts – Akemi Dawn Bowman
Young adult, fantasy, death, afterlife, computers, science fiction, fiction.
Nami was ready for her future until she was murdered. She died when the bank robber at the liquor store shot her. She finds herself in Infinity where the mind is alive but her body is dead. The people who greet her tell her about the war against Ophelia who has taken over the Infinity and hates humanity. Nami is the only one to help save them from disaster or their world from actually ending.
This young adult novel was one of the trendy books I saw and was instantly interested. However, the chosen one trope was what got to me but besides that everything else is really good. The storyline and plot goes smoothly. The characters and their interactions with each other were alright but the chosen one trope kept getting more annoying as the characters kept telling Nami she is the chosen one and that she should train for the ultimate fight. I was expecting better for this novel but then again the chosen one trope is heavily in most young adult novels as it is popular among that demographic. It sells right off the shelves.
Scythe – Neal Shusterman
Death, reaping, young adult, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, fiction.
Citra and Rowan are chosen as Scythe apprentices to practice the art of reaping. Since the world is nearly perfect where death is not as easy to happen, someone has to reap to keep the population in check. Faraday chooses Citra and Rowan to train even though they do not want to become the reaper of death. He increases intensity and importance by forcing them to make the ultimate decision. Who gets to become the reaper while the other has to be reaped by the new reaper.
I loved the idea of reaping in this dystopia but I found this too predictable. I loved the writing and world building. The characters are really diverse and each person of the novel has such a rich character development. I know this is a series but I do not wish to continue the series. Maybe down the line I might change my mind. I mostly got this book because I recalled reading one of Shusterman’s books before. I read one of his children series that was really well written and I loved those books. The author writes phenomenally and I would recommend any of his works. Expect uniqueness and intensity with the works.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird – Josie Silver
Romance, loss, death, mourning, soul search, healing, fiction.
Lydia loved Freddie and longed to be his wife and mother of their children. On his way to her place to pick her up for her surprise dinner, he had to make a detour to pick up their mutual friend, Jonah. When he was on his way to her place, their last conversation on the phone will forever be ingrained in her memories. The police come knocking on her door telling her that Freddie died, and Jonah survived. For a couple weeks she mourns for Freddie and her family tries to soothe her. Only in her dreams, Freddie is very much alive and prefers to dream than face reality. A whole year goes by and Lydia realizes that she can’t be mourning his death no more as well for the dreams that offer her an alternative reality. Lydia decides to live her life to the fullest.
I was forever wanting to read this book because of the bittersweet reviews I have read. Also, to see why this book was popular and trending everywhere on the internet. After finishing the book, I sort of predicted the ending prior to finishing, but decided to read through just because I loved how the author describes the different stages of losing someone. Not everyone goes through the same processes as others would. This novel really had me in tears until the end. Most happy tears though.
Everlost: Book 1 of SkinJacker Trilogy – Neal
Traffic accidents, death, future life, spirit
possession, young adult, fiction.
Allie and Nick got into a car crash. Neither of
them survives and they don’t grasp what happened to them immediately. Up until
a boy their age tells them what and where they are. They are in a world between
heaven and hell, trapped in a limbo called Everlost. Nick adjusts to this new
life in the afterlife. Sadly, Allie is not satisfied and wants to be alive
again. Allie does whatever it takes to rejoin the living even if she must take
I read this novel when I was younger and was
intrigued with the plotline and the contrasting characters. I found myself
finishing the novel quickly as it was a small novel but there is a lot of plot.
Later on I decided to reread the novel recently and found myself enjoying the
novel more and more.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway – Ruth Ware
Inheritance, succession, suspense, fiction, thriller
A young woman by the name of Hal works as a tarot
reader just to get by with paying bills and such. She is presented with a
letter saying she must come forward to receive some sort of inherited money
from a deceased family member. The awful twist is that she doesn’t recognize
the name and knew the little family she had, all passed away. Hal not only
struggling to make ends meet, but during this horrible timing, Mr. Smith, a man
whom she borrowed money from, sends a messenger to her to tell her Mr. Smith
wants his money back. Hal does an impulse move, respond to the letter by
showing up. Even though she has no connection to these people, this might be a
shot at getting at something or fail horribly. Hal has come to terms that these
strangers might be her actual family and that her recently deceased mother had
never spoken of them. There is a possibility that her mother might’ve been
connected to this family. Hal is faced with a sudden realization that she knows
she doesn’t belong and is about to embark on fraudulent journey and solve the
mystery of this situation as well.
I think I have read another novel that Ruth Ware had
written, In A Dark, Dark Wood, and
enjoyed her suspenseful story telling. At first the book was slow and
depressing but things got a bit thrilling when Hal is being chased after by
money sharks as well as receiving a possible small fortune from a deceased
person whom she has no connection to or possible connection. I love how the
book slowly builds up. Also, I had binged read this novel because it made me
want to read more and more about what would be the outcome of this scenario
that Hal was put in. Totally worth rereading again and I highly recommend this
Ascenders: Omorrow Book Three – C.L.
Supernatural, young adult, fiction,
death, afterlife, school, teenagers, time travel
Walker and Daniel plus a team of other
various teenagers are sent out on a mission to retrieve the item that is needed
to be retrieved from the past. It’s risky because it’s in the living realm.
They’ve been prepared for the worst, demons, as well as anything else that is
thrown at them. One thing they must do is time travel through the decades in
search of the lost writings of Albert Einstein. Walker and Daniel must be
careful to live because if one dies in the past, they’ll never be born. Cease
to exist. This makes their journey even more perilous than the two hopefully
As what I thought was the final book in the series, it left off at a cliff hanger. Loved how time travel was added into the mix. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It made me laugh, cringe, and sympathize with the protagonists. Not much more to say other than I hope the series continue. I would want to see where Walker and Daniel end up in the afterlife. I find them to be cute together and especially how they have chemistry. Sometimes I would scream for them to like to become serious and get married in the afterlife. There are no rules other than don’t go to the living realm. I want to see more of this story however expanded into new adventures in general.
Ascenders: Skypunch Book Two – C.L.
Supernatural, young adult, fiction,
death, afterlife, school, teenagers
In the next installment comes another
adventure for our protagonists, Walker Callagan and Daniel Reid. After rescuing
Daniel’s little brother, Walker seeing her mother for the last time, and
escaping demons, they return to the afterlife alive. Sadly, what fate was store
for them was a fate worse than being distinguished by demons. Being sent to the
ITT, a place where criminally disturbed teenagers go to face punishment for
eternity. Walker does what ever possible to stay alive and stay sane for
Daniel. Hopefully Daniel is doing what he can to stay sane as well. The
Godfather gives Walker an assignment, to ghost write, his memoir in exchange of
freedoms as well as letting her beloved have freedoms if Daniel does what the
GF tells him to do. Play Hockey and bring home the trophy or Walker is sent to
the Hole for six months to mentally rot. A clairvoyant by the named of Cass,
comes and visits Walker. Also, Cass sort of found Walker’s mother and began
assisting her mother just to torment Walker into possibly dating him, Even
though he is alive and she isn’t. Anyways Walker and Daniel are given a task
that they retrieve an item lost in history or face going back to the ITT. It is
a dangerous mission that involves training with not only students from the
Academy and ITT but also another school that is called FREAKS that inhabit
teenagers with special mental powers.
This second installment of this book series,
Ascenders, kept me wanting to read it nonstop. It was hard to put down because
I wanted to figure out what is happening and what will happen. I swear this
book is worth reading! Again, the author Gaber got me craving for the next page
to the point I find myself nearly finishing the book. Can’t wait to read the
next one which I will be doing a book review for and will be posted after this
Ascenders, High School of the Recently
Departed – C.L. Gaber
Young adult, fiction, after life,
death, high school
After an accident, Walker Callaghan
finds herself somewhere new and unfamiliar with her mother. A place called The
Academy where teenagers go when they unfortunately died young. Walker tries to
understand what is going on and is sort of enjoying this after life high
school. One day her mother goes back to the living because she woke up from a
coma. Sadly, Walker needed to properly say goodbye because she didn’t get a
chance. Someone else wants to return to the living as well. Daniel Reid wants
to return to the living realm to save his brother who didn’t make it back from
the crash where Daniel and his siblings died and came to this after life realm.
Both Daniel and Walker work together into research to get back to the living
realm. It becomes risky when they join a Criminology class, receive an
assignment to go to the other school that is for the bad teenagers who
committed horrendous crimes. They get an answer from a teenager who claims to
have returned to the living realm and came back. Daniel and Walker talk to this
teen and after preparing to return to the living realm. It’s dangerous because
in the living realm the bad parts stayed and the good parts came back to this
realm, the so-called demons, once they sense the part of themselves, they go
after the other part to kill. Only way to fight the demons is with old age
weapons. No modern weapons. Walker and Daniel take a huge risk that can cost
them their lives.
I had gotten this book and the entire
book series at Los Angeles Festival of Books on April fourteenth of this year
because the genre was very unique and something I haven’t read yet. After
reading this book, I instantly was glad I had gotten the trilogy because the
first book made me curious as to what will happen next and now, I don’t have to
do much waiting. I really love this book. I plan to possibly post the next book
in the series as well as the third book also. I highly recommend giving this
book a read. I would say that this book can be read by adults as well.
The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
Suspense, drama, fiction, secrets, death
In a town full of people who unknowingly have history together,
remember the death of this girl, Janie, Rachel’s daughter who was murdered. The
murderer got away and there was no evidence or so what Rachel thought. Rachel
had found a tape possibly showing Janie’s murderer. Cecilia has a happy
marriage and three daughters with a man whom she loves very dearly. While
cleaning, she comes across a letter her husband had written ‘in case’ he had
died. Out of curiosity, she read the letter to find out her husband, Jean Paul,
had murdered Janie. Tess finds out her husband is in love with her best friend,
leaves with her child to her mothers for a while. During the two weeks, Tess
thought that her husband was sleeping with her best friend but, he was just
feeling the middle-aged blues and because of her assumption, she slept with an ex-boyfriend.
Rachel find injustice and decided to act, who she thought the murderer of her
baby girl, wasn’t him? In this misconception, Rachel accidentally injures Cecilia’s
child in the process of gaining revenge. In the end, secrets can become a ticking
time bomb and injure innocents in the process.
I had loved this compelling story and glad to have read this book. It is a bit sad but there is a somewhat happy ending. However, it was left on a cliff hanger and those aggravate me. I enjoyed the layered storytelling to bring the story full circle and complete.
Moriarty , Liane. The Husband’s Secret. Penguin Random House , 2013.