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review 2016-05-27 17:52
A ghost and a medium walk into a bar...
Holding Smoke - Elle Cosimano

Book Title:  Holding Smoke

Author:  Elle Cosimano

Series:  Stand Alone

Genre:  Young Adult

Publisher:  Disney Hyperion

Source:  ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


☆My Pick for Book Theme Song:  The Light by Disturbed  --For Smoke…



Ratings Breakdown


Plot:  5/5

Characters:  4.8/5

The Feels:  4.5/5

Theme:  5/5

Flow:  4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  No


Will I read more from this Author?  Yes, I will.


4.7/5 STARS

My Thoughts


I thoroughly enjoyed reading this because it wasn't bogged down with a silly romance (not that I don't like romance, it's just not what this is about) and overly descriptive prose, it just told a unique story of a kid who died for several minutes.  While dead he experienced an "out of body" ghostlike existence.   Once he was revived he eventually discovered when he was sleeping he could still be his ghostlike self.  From there the story ensues…with definite paranormal "I See Dead People" elements to it, and a healthy dose of mystery, this story is eerily satisfying.


*As a side note:  I've never received an arc that was so full of typos with odd paragraph breaks in the middle of sentences.  I hope the version that they sell is better than mine because it really made it difficult to read at times.


Sex Factor:  Not even a factor.


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review 2016-05-05 20:33
NetGalley Review: Holding Smoke
Holding Smoke - Elle Cosimano

I received this book to give an honest review.

I was very impressed with this book a lot more than I thought I would be. Especially from the beginning, the story started off pulling me in and I wanted to see where it was going to end. John "Smoke" is in a juvenile rehabilitation center he was accused of murdering his teacher and another person even though he says he only killed one.

Now when you see the nickname Smoke it makes you wonder why is that his nickname? Well the boy can leave his body how cool is that though no one can see him until one day it is Pink that sees him. You see Smoke died by the hands of his father (which you get that story as we progress) and was brought back to life. Now he can astral project even though this threads break a little each time he leaves. 

Pink is a different kind of character she is a bit mysterious and the only insight we have of her is when Smoke enters her home and she is taking care of her mother. I think the fact that Pink can see ghost is pretty cool and it seems that she has learned to kind of ignore them which is good I guess. 


Smoke does pretty good being in the Y by doing favors for his inmates though there is one person who has it out for him. I liked how the author incorporated how jobs for Smoke to do were given to him by the library. 

With the help of Pink his new friend that he met while doing a "job" he goes on a mission to prove his innocent but who is behind it all? It seems that the person I thought was considered the "bad guy" wasn't just a bit of a meany. Who will survive once the truth is out there? 

I think the author did a good job with the whole juvenile scenes we get a bit of insight on how they worked and I have to say with the paranormal thrown in there (which is just seeing ghosts and astral projection) it was a great mix. Especially as we are solving what really happened the day that Smoke's teacher and the random boy died. The characters felt really developed even the side characters like Ben. 

I highly recommend this YA. 

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review 2016-05-03 16:33
Nearly digging up the past...quite literally
Nearly Found - Elle Cosimano

Nearly Found is even better than the debut novel by Elle Cosimano.


Cosimano uses the same style in this sequel to make the reader never want to put the book down. If you thought, "hmmm, where could the story line go from here?' at the end of the first book, you obviously didn't think much about the surrounding characters...hint hint. 


Nearly tries hard to make amends with Anh and Jeremy, while trying to keep Reece within an arms reach. She gets into a bit of a pickle, with the same notes from before. But how could that be since TJ is in jail? 


Don't worry, it all comes together in the end and you'll be asking when a third book will be published. 


Riveting and full of surprises! I honestly cannot wait to see if Cosimano keeps going on with Nearly's character. I know its a YA title, but seriously, aren't they the best?!







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review 2016-03-02 16:03
Homicide, powers, and Nearly Boswell
Nearly Gone - Elle Cosimano

This was such a great read, especially being from Maryland and knowing locations in DC and Virginia. Elle Cosimano grew up under the supervision of a teacher and an maximum security guard, so she knows a bit about YA and the government sector. Living in DC, this book was a great way to showcase her knowledge of the area for the reader. 


Now, with that all being said, this book is full of mystery and thriller. Nearly Boswell is sort of this rough 16 year old who might as well be a genius. She is competing for a scholarship while decoding messages in the classifieds every Friday. This gets her into some deep trouble when her tutor subjects start going missing...and dying. 


Well-written with all the right details and emotions, this YA book is a must read! Cosimano puts enough suspense in it without feeling like this can't be solved- of course not without a few obstacles in the way. The 'powers' i speak of in the title of this post will make sense when you actually read it! I can't give it away!


4.5 stars just because it may take a while to get the full circle of the plot, especially when it comes to Nearly's family and her 'power'. Nearly Found is on the way to my house and I cannot wait to read what is next for Nearly. 



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review 2015-08-22 00:00
Nearly Gone
Nearly Gone - Elle Cosimano

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

Nearly Gone is a book that I was recently drawn to thanks to #booksfortrade. It totally escaped my notice when it came out in March 2014, but since I am always a fan of YA murder mysteries, I quickly snatched it up. Unfortunately, I found Nearly Gone to be another YA thriller that could've spectacular had it had less irritating characters. While I did ultimately enjoy the mystery, the rest of the book underwhelmed me.

Nearly is an obsessive character that will do whatever it takes to find what she needs, no matter who she unwittingly steps on along the way. She is not clueless to the feelings of the people around her, but she rarely seems to think about them on her journey to find the missing puzzles of…well…everything. She also has a hard time listening to anyone else advice besides her own. This makes her hard to stand as the narrator of Nearly Gone.

Her obsession with searching the personal ads for messages from her father. This is one obsession she has had for years and has recently caused her friendship with best friend Jeremy to suffer and her already strained relationship with her mother to become even more tense. Though I can understand why she is trying to find him, seeing as he might have the answers to why she can feel people’s emotions with a simple touch. It’s this obsession that leads her to realize that the killer who has been offing the students she tutors has learned of said obsession and is now communicating with her, while also pinning the murders on her.

I get her need to solve this horrifyingly personal crime, find out who the serial killer is and clear her good name. What I don’t understand is the need to alienate everyone Nearly came into contact by listening to no one except the (figurative) voice in her head that keeps getting her into stupid situations and those around her killed. What does she do when she realizes the students she is assign to tutor turn up dead? She hopes they don’t turn up dead and continues to search for hidden messages without involving the police. All so she can get that community service credit and qualify for that science scholarship.

If you haven’t realized yet, Nearly is an idiot.

Reece was nothing special

This is mostly because he was the least frustrating of the two. Reece takes an assignment from the police in exchange for an erased police record so he can start over and change his life. He is sent to Nearly’s school to get close to her and uncover any evidence that she might be involved in the death of the students she tutored. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he’s in love with her and needs to be saved from herself. I normally don’t like heroes that feel the need to fix everything for their love interests, but let’s be honest, if anyone needs saving, it’s Nearly.

To be honest, he just really didn’t stand out when compared to other YA heroes. There isn’t anything about him that makes him special, except that he wants to be a better person and atone for all the mistakes he made in his life, like getting his brother killed.
The mystery was fun, but the research was iffy

The mystery angle is really what saved this book for me. Serial killer mysteries are a dime-a-dozen in adult fiction, but it’s always new and exciting when I come across one that is young adult. I had to keep reading more, because there was no way I was going to stop until the killer had been found. When I find out who the murderer was, I was floored! I thought I had it all figured out, but boy I was wrong wrong wrong.

The only issue I had was the bits of information that the author threw at us here and there that brought me to an expected conclusion: Cosimano didn’t put nearly enough research into the process as I would have liked. For one, hospitals might look like they have lax security, but they’re pretty secure, especially when the patient is a) a minor and b) recouping from an attempted assault. There were more issues here and there that took away from the plot, but all-in-all, I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book.

So basically, Nearly Gone was flawed

I didn’t care for the characters or the romance plot, but the mystery was successful in keeping my attention. I will probably pick up the sequel, (mostly because I want to know what could possibly come after capturing a serial killer), but it’s not all that high up on my list of books I have to have. I will probably wind up checking it out at the library or something.
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