Minute Review: Insanity (Susan Vaught)

The Deets: 
Audience: YA
Pages: 384
Publisher: February 18th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
ISBN: 9781599907840
Genre: ghosts, mystery
Source: library book


InsanityNever, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing....When the dead husband of one of Forest's patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.

With her deep knowledge of mental illness and mental institutions, Susan Vaught brings readers a fascinating and completely creepy new book intertwining the stories of three young people who find themselves haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.














Here is what you can expect with Insanity by Susan Vaught: 

Creepiness? Check. Insanity is told in four sections, each with its own level of weird.  The stories feel a bit disconnected since it is not your traditional plot format. It is more of a collection of individual short stories that just happen to share the same characters. The twist, though, is that the stories take place over many years.  There is a weird time travel element that makes that possible, but you'd have to read the book to understand.

 There doesn't seem to be much characterization because the stories are a bit disconnected. You get glimpses here and there of unique character traits, but they don't seem to go anywhere. I also felt like I had a lot of questions left unanswered.

The spooky setting keeps the pages turning, so that works in favor of the book. Overall, this is not my favorite Susan Vaught book (I still sing the praises of Going Underground), but it works if you like creepy stories that are quick to read.




Review: On Pointe (Lorie Ann Grover)

The Deets: 
Audience: YA
Pages: 320
Publisher: May 25th 2004 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN: 9780689865251
Genre: contemporary
Source: library book


On PointeOur feet slip into satin shoes

with stiff shanks,

hard boxing,

tight elastic,

and slippery ribbons

that wrap and end

in hard knots.

The frayed edges

are crammed

out of sight.

We stand.

A row of bound feet

rises

to its toes.

For as long as she can remember, Clare and her family have had a dream: Someday Clare will be a dancer in City Ballet Company. For ten long years Clare has been taking ballet lessons, watching what she eats, giving up friends and a social life, and practicing until her feet bleed -- all for the sake of that dream. And now, with the audition for City Ballet Company right around the corner, the dream feels so close.

But what if the dream doesn't come true? The competition for the sixteen spots in the company is fierce, and many won't make it. Talent, dedication, body shape, size -- everything will influence the outcome. Clare's grandfather says she is already a great dancer, but does she really have what it takes to make it into the company? And if not, "then" what?

Told through passionate and affecting poems in Clare's own voice, "On Pointe" soars with emotion as it explores what it means to reach for a dream -- and the way that dreams can change as quickly and suddenly as do our lives.





I don't usually read many books that are written in prose. I have been obsessed with Bookish Bingo this summer, and one of the categories called for a book about dance or music. Obviously, On Pointe became my next read because it met that requirement. I won't lie either, the promise of prose guaranteed a quick read too.

What I liked in On Pointe is the story itself. There was great insight into what it means to be a dancer and the whole training process. I had no idea how grueling it is and the impact it has on a dancer's body.

The secondary story was also very moving. Clare's family has some things to work through, and it broke my heart. I loved grandpa. He was a constant ray of hope in a bleak situation. I found it inspiring.

What I did not like about the book is the prose aspect. I think this story would have been even better if it was allowed to have the room to be more developed. The poetry aspect really put a limit on the characters and plot. I found that the "poetry" was not what I consider poetry, but simple sentences broken into "poems".

It ended up being a quick read that I enjoyed, but there was room for more.


Book Blitz: Unrequited by Emma Grey



Unrequited
by Emma Grey 
Release Date: 05/26/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world's biggest boy band. Is she the only girl in Sydney who can't be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden?

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth's twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn't get it—and where is her best friend?


When did life get so crazy? Kat's just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn't she?
About the Author
Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline. Her first book, 'Wits' End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum' was published in 2005.

Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
3 - $10 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)
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