Rummanah Aasi
 Today I have two mini-reviews of books that I received from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Description (from Goodreads): It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent. After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates. Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

Review: Between has a really cool premise about being torn between the afterlife and the present day. Being in the between, a place sandwiched in the middle of earth and heaven where new memories and a second chance of life could be made. I was really looking forward to meeting Aiden, the Scottish hottie grim reaper and curious to see where his and Lindsey's relationship goes. Unfortunately, the book left me unsatisfied and wanting more.
  Readers annoyed by insta-love would be completely frustrated with Between as there is a heavy dose of it in the story. Lindsey dies in a car wreck, is whisked away by Aiden to this "between" place on her way to heaven. After what seems like a brief 5 minute panic, she doesn't seem overly concerned about being dead. She's sad, sure, but not sad enough to miss the fact that Aiden is goregeous and lusts after him. Normally, I could handle insta-love but this was too fast for me. Another thing that annoyed me about Lindsey and Aiden's relationship is the inconsistency of chaste love. One minute Aiden refuses to touch Lindsey because she is still a virgin and in the next few scenes they are skinny dipping and getting hot and heavy. There wasn't really a development of their relationship at all to give us a better groundwork to how they work as a couple.
  Though we are given Aiden's history, which addressed an important and heavy concept that should have added complexity to his character, but unfortunately it came across a bit too heavy handed and preachy for me. I couldn't really feel sorry for Aiden at that point and it bothered me for much of th story.
  Despite these issues, I was still engaged in the book's plot. Just when I thought things were getting interesting, the book ended. It was as if there was a beginning of the story and its end with no middle. Overall, it was a decent read and I would recommend it to those who can't get enough of paranormal romances.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong sensuality in the book and a small non-descriptive sex scene. Recommended for strong Grade 8 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Hell Transporter by Cyndi Tefft, Pinelight by Jillian Perry, Forbidden by Megan Curd

Description (from Goodreads): Every teenager wants to fit in, and Christian Pearson is no different. He is a phenomenon on the athletic field and in the classroom, but a terrifying accident on a fishing trip with his grandfather changes Christian's life forever. As he enters his freshman year of high school, Christian hides a secret that he plans to take to his grave. When the Pearson family moved from the city to the sleepy town of Red Oak, Iowa, before his freshman year of high school, Christian hoped for a smooth transition to small town life. Being the new kid in school has been a blessing and a curse. Most of the boys in Christian's class view him as a threat, so Christian struggles to fit it, but as an outcast, his secret is safe. When three freshmen, all from the same family, start school a week late, Christian senses something different about these new students. He reaches out to "The Three" seeking some semblance of friendship in his new hometown. When "The Three" confront Christian about the secret he hides, Christian is faced with a huge problem. Will this secret cost Christian his friends, his family, his freedom, and even his life?

Review: I loved the concept behind The New Phenomenon, where child phenomenons had special powers that are developed at certain periods of their lifetime. The book, however, only touches on the idea superficially and left me wanting to know more about the kids and how their powers are created.
  For the most part I liked the characters, especially Christian who is a sweet, courteous, smart, and a great football player. Besides these traits and his love for S.E. Hinton's books, I didn't really connect to him. In fact a lot of the characters, who had the strong potential to be fascinating feel one dimension in The New Phenomenon. The book seemed to be more plot driven with some great moments of suspense and tension, however, the Raabe told more of the story rather than show it.   
  Raabe for the most part is successful in blending in the daily trouble of an adolescent (i.e. bullying, peer pressure, girl troubles) with the touch of paranormal/science fiction bent to it. There was a bit of a romance, which I thought was cute and sprung up a bit too quickly for me, but not enough to derail male readers into reading this book. I did find it to be a fast read and for the most part enjoyed it. Raabe has the potential to create a really great story here. If there was a little more attention given to the characters and fleshing out of the concept of superpowers, this book would have soared.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is a teen party where underage drinking takes place.

If you like this book try: Hidden Talents by David Lubar, Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman, Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney
5 Responses
  1. Books involving superpowers always make me want to know more about where the powers are coming from ... unless it's pure fantasy in which case it's okay if I don't get an answer :)

    I got Between a long time ago for review but gave up after, like two pages. I just wasn't in the mood to read it then and never felt like I was missing out on something great. Looks like I was right.

    Hope your next reads are better, Rummanah!

  2. I need to connect with my characters so it's too bad it was one dimensional.

    Oh and I'm with you. Sometimes I can totally handle the insta-love and sometimes it bugs me. If it was too fast for you, I know it would be for me.

  3. Candace Says:

    That's disappointing about Between because I have been planning to read it for awhile now. But I really appreciate your review because I would have been disappointed when discovering the instant love. Now I will be better prepared if I read it.

  4. Well, I appreciate your honesty. I sometimes can tolerate instalove while at other times it is annoying. I gather from your review this would be one that would not work for me. The second that is just too bad that there just wasn't a bit more attention to detail. Interesting story, though. Have a great weekend!

  5. Jenny Says:

    "One minute Aiden refuses to touch Lindsey because she is still a virgin and in the next few scenes they are skinny dipping and getting hot and heavy."

    Hmmm. That would be a little off-putting for sure. Sometimes the insta love can work with me depending on the circumstances, but I have a hard time understanding how she could be so okay with having just died that she's ready for a relationship. One would think there would be a little greater adjustment period:)

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