Need by Joelle Charbonneau
**This review is based on ARC from Netgalley, release date 11/3/15.
Kaylee is a high school student at Nottawa High School and is invited to the social networking site, NEED, which grants “needs” to its members by asking them to fulfill a task. Kaylee’s brother is in need of a kidney transplant and she has exhausted all possibilities that she knows of to help him, and had made herself an outcast in the process. She is just one of many character’s in this book and the story is told from multiple viewpoints. As students are becoming members of NEED, they notice that they are only allowed to invite other students from Nottawa High School and nowhere else. As the membership grows, the tasks they have to perform to fulfill their wishes get increasingly dangerous and harmful to others, even resulting in deaths. Will Kaylee and the others figure out who is behind NEED in time and will they be able to save anymore of their peers from dying? Also, what has to happen for Kaylee’s wish for a kidney donor for her brother to come true?
I still have not read The Testing series by the same author, though it has been on TBR list for quite some time. I may need to move it up some now, because I can see that it might be intriguing. The idea behind this book was really good and I can see my high school students enjoying it, but I think it could’ve been a little less confusing…maybe fewer characters to follow. I guess most of the characters were essential to the story in some way, but you went so long without reading about a few of them between their parts of the story that you forgot what happened with them in the first place. I still found myself staying up late to finish this though, and I will recommend it to students when it comes into the library.
My rating: 4/5
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 8/25/15.
I was absolutely obsessed with The Diviners when it came out and have been waiting and waiting and waiting on this second book, it took soooo long! Anyway, Let me give you a little summary and then I will share my thoughts.
The second installment in The Diviners series is based around the dreamworld. We meet a new character, Ling, that is a dream walker like a character from the first book, Henry. Together, they can enter dreams and manipulate things to their liking. We also have some of our favorite characters from the first book–Evie (can read objects), Sam (can put people in a daze), Theta (who doesn’t want people to know about her ability), Memphis (who has been known as the Harlem Healer), Jericho, Mabel, and so on. Sam is focused on trying to find out what his mother was involved in with a government program called Project Buffalo and he enlists the help of Evie while working at her uncle’s museum trying to find clues that may lead him to the answers he seeks. There is also a sleeping sickness spreading quickly through Chinatown that is a mystery to everyone, no one knows the cause or cure. Henry and Ling are doing more and more dreamwalking in order to see those that they have become close with in the dreamworld, which is causing them to become less functional in the real world. Ling eventually discovers what is really going on with the people they are spending time with in their dreams and it is far from what they thought was happening. This team of friends set out to find what/who is causing the sleeping sickness and to eliminate the problem, while putting their own lives in danger.
So, this book had a LOT going on….my summary is just a tiny snippet of it all. While I adored the first book, I only loved this one. Still good! I felt like it had much less of a creepy factor for some reason, though there were still some definite creepy moments. I will always adore the 1920s era, so I love how much research Libba Bray has put into making her characters and settings authentic. They use all the right lingo and I find myself trying to throw some of it into my daily convo while reading these books. 🙂 It seemed like there were several sections that I could have just skipped right over and still wouldn’t have been confused towards the end. It also took a long time to get to the action and suspense. I do appreciate the detail that this author goes into and, again, love all the research she puts into making her story seem genuine. I also love the characters and character building. I loved all the characters in their own way and they each had their own flaws. They seemed like real people as you read through the story. I will still definitely recommend this book to others and I will await anxiously for the next installment.
My rating: 5/5
If you haven’t read either book yet, check out this trailer, it will give you the chills. Amazing!