Release Date: October 30th 2012
Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: May 8th 2012
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
This book was so good. It starts off with a bang, and I kept my interest from page one. I’m not normally into werewolves, but the way Kathleen Peacock has created this world is incredible, keeping all the familiar elements of our world, and weaving in lupine syndrome – A.K.A. the werewolf virus. Lupine syndrome is an epidemic, an outbreak of monsters, so to speak. But are all werewolves monsters? This is one of the big questions the main character, Mac, asks herself throughout the book.
Mac is also trying to solve the murder of her best friend Amy, while an extreme anti-werewolf group (The Trackers) are doing investigations of their own. The mystery element in this book is really fast paced and exciting, and I was always on the edge of my seat. Kathleen Peacock’s writing flows so well and is so easy to read, I just kept flipping the pages.
Mac is a solid main character. We learn about her history and how she got to be where she is today. She felt sort of like a friend throughout the book, because her character was built very well. The other characters – namely Jason and Kyle – were also good additions. But, I have to admit, I didn’t really feel the chemistry with Kyle and Amy. It was there, but didn’t really capture me.
Okay, here’s my one complaint – the love triangle. I guess I should have seen it coming earlier on, but I was so engrossed with the story that I didn’t really notice until BAM there it was – love triangle. Even though the bulk of the love triangle madness only lasted a few pages, it bugged me. Mac was all torn between the two guys, and then of course there was punching and kissing and other love-triangley things. It wasn’t the worst love triangle I’ve ever read. Peacock still maintained her awesome writing style, and Mac didn’t start to act weird or anything. But still, I wasn’t really a fan of that bit.
This book was fast paced, intriguing, and well written. Other than the love triangle, I loved it!
Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Release Date: March 6th 2012
Reading Level: Upper middle grade/Young adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Source: Received copy in exchange for honest review
I think I got a lot more than I expected from this book. It was actually really different from what I thought it would be about. I really liked Apron. She was an honest, realistic portrayal of an average 7th grader. I also liked the fact that it took place in the 80s. It was refreshing.
The other characters, like Mike and Chad, M and Apron’s dad, were also well portrayed. I especially liked the way M was crafted. She was this mean, nasty woman who hated Apron, but once in a blue moon she would give a genuine smile. And Apron’s dad, with the Latin phrases and everything, was really cool. Not cool as in he wears his hat backwards and rides a skateboard, but cool as in his character had a lot of different levels. On one hand, he loved M, and tried to ignore the way she treated Apron. On the other hand, he loved Apron, and didn’t want to see her being bullied by M. I especially like the way he turns out in the end.
The story line wasn’t too complex on the surface, but underneath it was very well formed and interesting. It was fun (and sad, at times) to see Apron grow up and realize different things about the world around her.
I really liked Apron’s voice, and the way she grew so much throughout this novel. I wish we could have learned a bit more about her mom.