I would call this set one, but the way things will be going, who knows whether I'll get to the others?
Secret Society by Tom Dolby
Review copy provided by HarperCollins
You may wonder why I choose to include this book in a series of "Halloween" reviews. But I think what makes it stand out from the other rich kids behaving badly books is the horror element: bad things happen to people who cross the Society. For those who like this genre, SECRET SOCIETY is probably fast-paced and interesting. For me, I really only liked Patch, who becomes an outsider when his best friend is tapped and he isn't. Then he makes a series of dumb mistakes and at the end I completely did not understand his motivation. (That is, aside from not wanting to die.) SECRET SOCIETY wasn't terrible, but I found it blah.
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Released by Simon & Schuster
Two brothers, a parent killed, fighting against demons. No, this isn't Supernatural. (But if anyone wants to lend me the third and/or fourth seasons, that'd be awesome.) I really enjoyed Nick's POV. It makes some of the twists obvious if you're paying attention, but it's an interesting headspace to get into and Sarah Rees Brennan does a very good job with it. Plus, she nearly broke my heart at the end. There's humor, action, sexiness, and humanity. While sometimes predictable, THE DEMON'S LEXICON never forgets to be diverting.
The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster
I've really been looking forward to THE HOLLOW, since Jessica Verday began promoting a year before it came out. It was not what I expected, which was a paranormal romance. There are no supernatural elements until the very end; instead, THE HOLLOW is like a standard teen story. As Abbey deals with her grief over the death of her best friend Kristen, she meets Caspian, who is the perfect guy except for his mysteriousness. That could have been a good story, but it feels like the only point of THE HOLLOW is to reach the end so that the fun stuff can be set up for the next book in the series. It moved slowly. I still want to read the next book, to see how Verday handles it when the supernatural elements are actually in play, but THE HOLLOW was disappointing.
Generation Dead: Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters
Released by Disney-Hyperion
Daniel Waters will be at the Austin Teen Book Festival this Saturday.
GENERATION DEAD was a polarizing book - some liked it, some didn't. KISS OF LIFE is more of the same, which means I liked it. I enjoy how Daniel Water's develops the zombies search for rights, while not making it exactly parallel to any real group. I did feel the villain, Pete, was less understandable in this book. (It's what makes the first book really get to me. His rationale made sense, as crazy as it was.) In this one, my emotional connection was to Adam, who is now having trouble expressing his since he can't control his body. I liked the almost poetic quality of his thoughts when he'd first returned from the dead. The books really strike true to me, despite being about zombies.