Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review Day: Novellas/Short Stories

Today's I chose to review some novellas and short stories I have read. I have read all of these as e-books and may not be available in paper form.  Check Amazon to see. (sorry!) They are in no particular order, but I did give each a rating.  I tried to represent many different genres in this list.

1. Darkness Under The Sun (Novella) by Dean Koontz
Horror, Suspense, Murder Mystery, Dealing with Bullies, Fiction
One of the most twisted, scary, and ridiculous novellas/prequel by Koontz ever.  I get chills from how freaked out this novella makes me.  I love Dean Koontz as a writer and he definitely doesn't disappoint in this novella.  Koontz doesn't waste any time with describing his characters or the scenes.  He floods your senses and mind with powerful descriptions, which is one of Koontz's specialties.  One of the main characters is Alton Turner Blackwood.  A drifter who is severely disfigured, because of birth defects, with an extremely pessimistic view of the world.  He befriends a young boy, Howie, who was severely burned by his own Father at the age of 5.  The two create an odd pair, but very intriguing characters.  This is not a novel for the faint-of-heart or for those who dislike horror movies and books.  I give this novella 5 stars for writing but 4 stars for how much I like(d) it.  It keeps you guessing the entire time, but also has chills running up your spin.

2. The Hot Girl's Friend (Flirt! series) by Lisa Scott
Chick-Lit, Comedy, semi-Romance
We all know someone who's the *hot* girl with a best friend who's always got her back.  In this chick-lit short story there are two women in their mid-twenties who are cancer survivors just trying to live life to the fullest potential.  The *hot* girl's best friend is constantly trying to fend off the good-for-nothing men that go after her BFF; however, she in-inadvertently traded her happiness for her friends happiness.  When a cute bartender takes notice of this, will she be able to let herself be happy and live for herself? I'm giving this a  4.5 star rating.  Wonderful short story, can't wait to read the rest of them.

3. Down The Memory Hole by Bonnie Turner
Friendship, Dealing with Alzheimer's, Family, Fiction but Non-Fiction, YA
Sharing a bedroom with anyone is always difficult, but when it is your Grandpa with Alzheimer's it's even harder.  A young boy (Buzz) and his Grandfather share a bedroom for an entire summer.  Buzz thought it was going to ruin his summer, but then the unexpected happens.  Buzz becomes best friends with his Grandfather and doesn't ever want him to leave.   Buzz and his friend try to cure his Grandfather's Alzheimer's by re-creating the tragic accident that killed his Grandfather's brother.  Will it work?  Overall I give this short story 4 stars.

4. Reaper by Rachel Vincent (one of my favorites!!)
Fantasy, semi-Romance,  YA
A great *teaser* to Rachel Vincent's series (Soul Screamers; highly recommend them!).  I wish this one was longer.  Loved this so much! It's a short story about a boy who dies in a car accident, and his brother who *takes his brother's place* in death.  The 2nd brother is the older of the two, and becomes a Reaper (hence the title), and yes this is the traditional Reaper without the clothing.  This short story keeps you begging for more and gives you a new and *fresh* perspective on the "job" of a Reaper. I feel like you almost *have* to read this little short to get the whole back-story to the series; however the series is not about the brothers, but they do play very key roles in the novels. 5 stars for sure.  If I could award it more, I would! Instantly became one of my favorites!

Side Note: Please do not get offended by any of the fantasy themed books, novels, novellas, shorts, etc. that I review and rave about.

5. Countdown: A Joe Ledger Short Prequel Short Story to Patient Zero by Jonathon Maberry
Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
A collection of short intro stories to the actual books.  They are chocked full of mystery, heart pounding suspense and curiosity. The prequel gives you two different stories in one and is worth reading 10 times over.  All I could think during and after I read this prequel was I must read the full stories. If they are anything like the intro shorts, I won't be able to put them down.  This prequel is a *must* read if you are even remotely interested in the series. 5 stars for this collection!

6. Don't Ever Change by John H. Carroll
YA, Murder Mystery, Suspense, YA
When yearbooks come out, what was everyone writing in them? That simple little phrase 'don't ever change' or 'stay the same', or even the abbreviation STS.  But what would happen if you never changed from that day? The short story is about a high school boy who never changed because he was *cursed* by that simple little phrase.  It quickly turns from something innocent into a murder filled novel.  Will the curse ever be lifted allowing him to change?  I'm giving this a 3.5 star review.  The twist to the story was a little too daunting and harsh.

7. The Practice Date: A Novelette by Victorine E. Lieske
Comedy, Romance, YA, Chick-Lit, "Feel-Good"
A story that makes you say "awwwww..." and remember your first high school romance.  Such a sweet little novelette that brings many teen movies to mind.  All about a nerdy boy (Lance) who's out to impress and ask to prom a cheerleader girl (Tiffany) with the help of his childhood neighbor and best friend (Janie).  I'm giving this novelette 4 stars. Very quick read, but very cute.  Made me smile for sure.  So sweet and innocent. Makes you want to go to prom all over again (not).

Have a book to recommend? Have you read any of these already? If so, please email me or leave a comment with the subject line of *recommendation* or *review* along with the title and author.  Before you purchase these, consider Kindle Lending or visiting your local library first.  Don't have a Kindle friend yet? Look no further! I'm one! Happy reading!

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