Goddess of the Night by Lynne Ewing

Title: Goddess of the Night
Author: Lynne Ewing
Length: 294 pages
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: 2014 Series Challenge hosted by A Novel challenge

What it’s About: Vanessa, Catty, Serena, and Jimena are Goddesses of the moon and each have their own special powers that they must use to defeat and ancient evil called the Atrox and their followers. Vanessa can become invisible, Catty can time travel, Serena has the ability to read minds, and Jimena has premonitions.

The Good: When this series first came out, or at least when I first started reading it, I loved it. The concept was different than what was out there at the time, and the same can be said now. I love how the four girls have vastly different personalities, but they become friends very fast. I like the California setting. It helps warm me up when I’m feeling a bit too cold. Ewing has a flair for descriptions, and making you feel every scene of the book. I guess it’s from her background as a screen writer.

The Bad: The girls are wooden. in fact all the characters are wood, even, sadly, the “hippy” type characters. I guess it’s understandable since this was the first book in the series. Vanessa was the worst. She was the central character of the book, but I just didn’t care about her. I wanted to slap her most of the time. She was too afraid to do anything “wrong” including, but not limited to prank phone calls…. Yeah. Then there are the unrealistic situations. If my best friend in the whole world went missing, I would not A) keep it from my mom for a week, or B) get dolled up in a too short dress and body glitter and follow a guy I don’t know into a neighborhood I’m unfamiliar with.

Final Thoughts: When I first read this series, I got to book 5 and then the books went out of print. I scoured used book stores and yard sales to find the remaining eight books and complete the series, and I’ve finally done it, and I’m happy. I’m even happy to re-read the series, but maybe it’s first book syndrome or maybe it’s something else, but I think I’ve out grown the series. We’ll see.

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The unseemly education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

Title: The unseemly education of Anne Merchant
Author: Joanna Wiebe
Length: 272 pages
Genre: YA
Format: epub
Rating: 2/5
Why I read it: Debut Author Challenge

What it’s About: After her mom’s death, Anne is sent to a very exclusive boarding school to compete with other students to be valedictorian. While there, Anne realizes there is more to this school than meets the eye and she sets out to find out the school’s secrets.

The Good: This was a fast paced book and a quick read. I wouldn’t say I liked Anne, or even really connected with her, except when Wiebe described Anne’s grief over her mom. My dad died nearly six years ago and I still cry when driving through a part of town that is heavy with memories of him. I don’t know if it’s because it’s winter, but when Wiebe wrote about the cold, I could feel it as if I were outside, and I loved how devious the baddies were. Not to mention the twist ending, that was straight out of left field for me.

The Bad: All that said, this book went right into weird very quickly. Starting with the school itself. The school is supposed to be secret, and seems like only super rich kids attend, yet Anne ends up there and doesn’t know how her dad could afford it. And she doesn’t question that very much at all until maybe halfway through. Second, every student there is supposed to be competing to be Valedictorian, but the one student who isn’t gets to stay anyway? That is the WHOLE POINT of the school. And Anne, who seemingly took an oath to question things, doesn’t do that great of a job questioning anything. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to weird.

Final Thoughts: This was definitely an interesting concept, and incredibly creative and original, but it fell short of the entertaining mark for me. True, I couldn’t put it down, but I just wanted to see where the strange road was leading. There were times this book got downright disturbing, and made me over think things, but not so much that I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t recommend it in a hurry.