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Review: The Keepers (Monique James)

The Keepers
Monique James

The KeepersJess denies God. In his infinite wisdom, he's taken everyone she's ever loved. Moving to the French Quarter was a ploy to erase the guilt she felt for rebuking her faith. Perhaps, if she hadn't met Justin, an angel preoccupied with getting back into God's good graces, and drowning in his hatred for humanity, her plan would have worked.

Justin's general disdain for the human race makes him difficult to like, but some higher power has appointed him her keeper. Justin's convinced he can mend her broken relationship with her maker, but in the process he learns a thing or two about his own humanity.

Never mind falling in love, that's not supposed to happen. In fact, it may even be forbidden. Jess just wants Justin to understand her plight, and he wants to protect her from a world she doesn't know.

If neither are equipped to save the other, then whose soul will live and whose will perish?

I had the opportunity to read this book as part of a blog tour. The synopsis made the book sound very interesting. I found that overall, this was a pretty good book. The characters were likable, and I liked the idea behind the plot. Plus, I'm a sucker for a New Orleans setting.

There were a few things that bothered me while reading. For starters, the main characters were lacking "something." I flip-flopped between believing their romance to doubting the actual pull. I guess I didn't fully buy into the angle-human love affair. I liked Justin and Jess well enough as characters, but something didn't click. Honestly, I think the romantic aspect of their relationship happened too suddenly for me. A little more cat and mouse would have made it more believable. Then there was Dawson. He's the horrific demon figure in the book, but he didn't come off that way during the most critical part of the story. He seemed mean enough, but not demonic. I had a hard time believing his role as well. In the beginning he was present often, which made sense; but then he went missing for a good chunk of the book. When he did reappear, it felt random and out of place. All of the characters had a lot of potential, but they fell a little flat.

The majority of the plot was well paced, but there were parts that lagged a bit much for my liking. A great deal of detail went in to building Jess's background, which I liked. It gave her a nice angle. Unfortunately, I don't know if as much detail went into the other characters or aspects of the plot. Jess had a brother. He played a huge role in her life, but he had a tiny role in the book. That didn't seem right. When Dawson and his minions attack Jordan (the brother), it was completely out of left field. There was little warning or justification for that action. I get how it relates to the overall plot of the book, but Jordan should have had a more prominent role in the story if his character was going to be so important. He seemed like an afterthought. Then there is Vi, the gorgeous redhead that befriends Jess. She drops a pretty big secret on Jess, but there is no resolution. Vi has a serious choice to make-- and I really thought something would come of it-- but nothing ever happened. Very disappointing.

I think the ending is my biggest complaint. It was rushed. Two-thirds of the book built up a cataclysmic fight scene that only took two pages to describe. I couldn't believe it. The bad guys were overthrown without much of a fight. When I was reading those pages I couldn't help but wonder if the author felt like the book was getting too long, so she just quickly ended it. I hope that's not the case, but it did feel that way. There was an unexpected twist with Jess at the end, but I don't think it fits into the story. It's a nice happy ending of sorts, but again, it felt out of place. The ending as a whole leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I like my books to end in a nice little well wrapped package. Maybe the questions are left unanswered because there is another book coming? I could buy that. I would probably read the next book (if there is one) to see how the story carries on.

Overall, it's a nice story. The idea behind it is a good one, and I did enjoy the read. The plot wasn't the tightest, but it was sufficient. I would probably list this one under "beach reading" because it's a quick read. It's not a light and fluffy read, however, so don't get confused. The main character-Jess- has to deal with a lot of pain and death. Her suffering was probably one of the best written details of the book. (I hate that the author knows personally about the loss of a mother to be able to capture that emotion.) My eyes did get a little misty at times from Jess's memories. They felt very real. As I said, it's a good book worth giving a try. Anyone that is brave enough to write a  book and put it out there for review deserves the chance to have their story shared. I would share this story with someone.

I think it should be noted that this book is getting high marks on Amazon and Goodreads. While I'm only giving it a 3, it's getting 4s and 5s on the other sites. Not  sure that says about my state of mind...



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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

Gaylen’s quest leads him to the woldweller, a wise, 900-year-old creature who lives alone at the precise center of the forest; to Canto, the minstrel who sings him an old song about a mermaid child and who gives him a peculiar good-luck charm; to the underground domain of the dwarfs; and finally to Ardis who might save the kingdom from havoc.

My Review: I love this book! It is such a fun, easy, and enjoyable r…