A Review of Polly: A Novel by Amy Bryant

The back cover reads: “If you’re looking for Polly Clark, she’ll be the girl wearing Doc Martens and a Bad Brains T-shirt at the punk show. She’ll be (almost) losing her virginity to a high school dropout, accompanied by the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” She’ll be looking for her artistic soul while trying to solve the mysteries of guys, life, her seriously dysfunctional family . . . and herself.In eight chapters, Polly is shaped by eight relationships in this honest, tender, original, and utterly endearing story of one girl’s stumbles and successes in the world of punked-out 1980s suburban romance — the unforgettable debut of an extraordinary new voice in contemporary fiction.”

The book is about a girl named Polly Clark who lives in Reston, VA with her mom and step-father.  Music is a huge part of the story: starting off with The Go-Go’s and ending with grunge in the early 90’s as she’s in college.
  Each of the eight chapters is named after which guy she likes or is dating during that time period.  The story covers her life from eighth grade to college and during that time, she never really finds what she’s looking for in a relationship. 
  Her relationship with her parents seems strained at times, but her mother does care about her.  She’s usually surprised when William, her step-father, does something nice for her.  Her friends are a major part of the story and they help her get through some tough times.  I’m happy that she had them and they made the story better.
  Once she goes to college things start out rough for her, but they get better after the traumatic events in the Brendan chapter.  She discovers that she really likes art and she gets closer to her college friends.  She also seems to grow up a bit and be more careful.
  It was really neat reading about all of the 80’s punk and hardcore bands since I’ve listened to most of the ones mentioned in the book (The Ramones, Minor Threat, etc.).  I also liked the interview with the author that’s in the back of the book.  It gave some great insight into the story, much of which is based on the author’s own life as a teenager.

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Review of Betrayed (House of Night #2) by P.C. & Kristin Cast

Betrayed is the second book in the House of Night series. I like how the story progressed over the course of the book. The first few chapters are a recap of the first book, Marked, and then the story picks up a month after it left off.
In this book, the reader learns more about Zoey’s affinities as well as the affinities of her friends, she gains an ally, loses a friend, makes an enemy, and her love life stays complicated. She still can’t choose between fellow fledgling Erik or her human ex-boyfriend, Heath, whom she’s Imprinted with.
I liked seeing Zoey get more comfortable with her powers and her place as the leader of the Dark Daughters, but I do feel like she bosses her friends around a bit. A new character named Jack was introduced and I’m interested to see what his role in things at the House of Night will be.
I’ll be reading the third book, Chosen, as soon as it gets to my house.

Review of The Medium by C.J. Archer

The Medium by C.J. Archer is about a girl named Emily Chambers who is a medium living in historic London.  Her and her sister, Celia, perform séances for people.  During one of the séances, a demon is unleashed from an amulet that Celia purchased from a street vendor. The book is the story of the events that followed.

I like Emily’s character because she’s not a ditsy society girl.  She’s intelligent and has a mind of her own.  Unfortunately, that gets her into trouble as it wasn’t considered ladylike during the time in which she lived and she has to be accompanied by a male most of the time.  Her and Jacob are the main characters, while George and Celia are kind of secondary characters.  George is featured more than Celia though.

Jacob is a spirit sent from the Otherworld (spirit realm) to help her catch the demon and Emily is also trying to solve the mystery of his murder.  He’s different from most spirits because he appears solid to her instead of see-through like the other spirits.  She can also touch him. The two end up having feelings for each other and grow closer as things get more dangerous.

George Culvert is an expert in demonology and helps Emily a lot by escorting her places and helping her get meetings with suspects.  He has feeling for her, which she doesn’t return, and I felt a bad for him.  He ends up being a good friend to her though.

The story itself is pretty good.  It slowed down a little bit near the halfway point, but picked right back up and had some good action in the second half.  I feel like this book can be read on it’s own, but I want to read the rest of the trilogy.  The kindle edition is currently free on Amazon.