Purity by Jackson Pearce
ARC received for review from Little Brown
I wasn't sure about Purity when I first started reading it. I bounce back between really enjoying it and down right hating it, in the end my opinion falls right smack in the middle.
I sympathized with the main character of Shelby right away and I liked her quite a lot. Though she does some things I found annoying or immature, I respected her for wanting to honor both her mother and father's wishes while still trying to be her own person.
For people who are worried this book is just about a girl who bashes religion, I would like to say I didn't find it that way at all. Its much more about how Shelby wishes she had something like religion to have faith in; something that is always there for her no matter what, something she never questions. Unfortunately after her mother's death she doesn't find that religion does that for her anymore. The novel is about her journey to accept the things she can't change. To find faith and understanding in herself.
WOW, I didn't mean to ramble so much.
Anyways, while I obviously enjoyed the honesty and heart in Jackson Pearce's novel I had a harder time with its predictability. I felt like after about 20 or 30 pages you already knew how the novel was going to end and that doesn't really change. Some of the supporting characters feel flat for me as well. I do think the novel could be helpful to younger teens who are trying to deal with loss or thinking of losing their virginity. Its definitely the kind of book to be a conversation starter.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
I will start by saying that I think Anna Dressed in Blood is a spine-tingling debut with an awesome male protagonist. Then I will say if you've watch the series Supernatural on the CW, its likely to feel a bit too familiar.
The book is definitely scary...I couldn't read it late at night and it totally freaked me out. The writing is stellar, keeping a nice balance between the action, suspense and intimate moments. Cas & Anna are both well defined, multi-layered characters and I really believed their fascination towards each other. However, I didn't buy the romance AT ALL. But then again I'm not even sure I would call it that...it never seemed all that romantic to me.
The cast of supporting characters are all pretty awesome, especially Carmel and Thomas. They are certainly not the kind of characters that are thrown into the novel to stand around saying witty things or needing to be rescued. I really loved that we spent almost as much time with them as we did with Cas & Anna. Plus their developing feeling felt much more authentic to me, even if they weren't as focused on.
My only wish for the novel is that it hadn't shared so many similarities with the show Supernatural, from Cas' name to his father's death while hunting. I found those things to be very distracting, but if you are unfamiliar with the show and love horror/ghost stories then you'll likely love it. I am curious about how the author is going to keep the series going. The ending felt like a stand alone novel to me.