Teri Polen’s Sarah is a pleasingly creepy young adult horror. Fans of Supernatural will be delighted with this book. If you’ve ever watched any of those typical high-school rom-coms/dramas where guys make a bet to trick a girl, and boo’d at the screen, you’ll enjoy Sarah. It’s a twisted take on a classic plot that will make horror fans cheer. This is the version they were waiting on.
Cain and his best friend Finn are good kids that both have their heads screwed on straight. Cain took on a lot of responsibility after his dad’s death, and that definitely made him grow up a bit. Finn, too, has had his share of problems. They could be the male version of Mary-Sues if Polen hadn’t written in some believable flaws. But they’re not perfect, and that makes all the difference. Quick tempers, wicked tongues, and Finn’s desire to needle every one around him means that at any given time, someone’s probably thinking about punching him. Or Cain. Or both. The rest of the characters are appropriately likable or detestable. Except for Lindsay. She’s a bit of a non-entity.
I liked that the author made a few salient points in Sarah about the mindset towards sexual assault. There was more than one conversation or interaction when I just sat back in my chair and sighed after reading it. It was utterly realistic. Teenagers are, as a rule of thumb, very selfish individuals, and it seems like jocks in particular excel in this. They think they can get away with anything, and/or that the world revolves around them. It’s behavior that’s either never corrected, or not corrected until it’s too late.
Hasn’t recent events proven that if a boy can score several touchdowns per game, who cares how many girls he assaults, right? We all know they were asking for it anyways. Or if adult males make enough money, they can do anything they want to girls, because they believe they are more important than the girls are. And these types of beliefs are constantly getting reinforced in today’s society.
It’s disturbing and disgusting and Teri Polen shows the reader a path to douche-hood that hundreds of young men start down every day.
I did, however, have one huge problem with Sarah. Sarah, herself. Well, her dialogue to be specific. For the most part, I liked her. I liked seeing the change. I puzzled over what, exactly, was going on with her. Yes, I thought she was vengeance-crazed ghost thing, but she was a fun vengeance-crazed ghost thing. Until she opened her mouth. Pretty much every time she started talking, it was like someone just hit the ‘off’ button on my interest in the story.
I understand that her background means that we could expect a certain amount of dialogue that seemed unusual for her age range. I was fully willing to accept that. But Sarah presented with lines that went between disturbingly formal and super-villain monolog. Luckily, her talkative scenes appear in bursts, so for most of the story it’s really not an issue.
Sarah is a book that takes a bit to get going, but overall it’s an easy, enjoyable creepy read. I was definitely hooked fairly early on, and read the book in two bursts over two days. It comes in at just under 200 pages, so it’s not something that demands a lot of your time. If you like horror, but don’t like it too gory or scary, this will probably be a great choice. Teri Polen did a pretty solid job.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley for review consideration
Non spoiler, all feels review
I need to make some chocolate chip cookies.
Separated but never separate. Mercy and Adam, win the Best Couple award. He listens to her, he trusts her, unwaveringly, she is the same way back at him. It is a beautiful thing.
What a painful ride for Mercy. She is shattered, beaten, stolen, scared, and alone. It hurt my heart to travel with her through some of her difficulties. I was seriously worried about her mental health, she was completely immersed in Hades. Never underestimate the trickster with a brain is the lesson to be learned here. I'm seriously tempted to go get a Coyote tattoo. Mercy is the woman I'd love to be.
Adam, what they put him through was horrendous. Vampire's politics are spinning nut-bags with spikes. How cruel is it that Ms. Briggs created the perfect man on these pages ? Every woman deserves and Adam in her life. I know I want one. He is Alpha, it's what he is, but Mercy is more than all that is for him. He makes that very clear in this book, when his trust in his mate allows him to stay in that role. He cuts into his own heart to do as she would want done. - Yeh it had me swooning deep inside. I can almost forget about his nasty crusty ex.
In final conclusion, I loved it, LOVED IT
First Contact is a paranormal horror story with a couple unexpected elements to it. The authors that make up the Kat Green team did a good job in presenting a story that read easily and engagingly. Sloane is an interesting character that is on a quest that most people who have lost someone they love can understand. Sometimes you’re driven by grief to do things that don’t make sense.
The pacing is good and quick in First Contact. Everything happens in a short amount of time. It almost seems too short before you remember that in haunted houses anything can happen. The dialogue creepy and suitable. There was a red herring thrown in that almost got me, I’ll admit. I particularly liked near the end when Sloane had gotten in over her head. The descriptions were well done enough that everything was easy to visualize. I wouldn’t want to suffer the way many of the victims did, that’s for sure.
However, there were some problems with First Contact. Mainly, Sloane’s an idiot that’s completely lacking in common sense. The bad guy all but screams “You’re next, missy!” and she walks right into danger. Repeatedly. A person that she trusts tells her “Don’t do (x) yet, wait for me.” and she refuses to listen to him. And at the point where she’s really being stupid, it’s no longer as much about finding the ghost of her dead fiance as it is finding out what’s going on. This takes her from a mostly believable character to one that feels like she’s written just to get into the scary situations. A tool for the authors to scare us through that feels like nothing more than that.
First Contact felt like it didn’t take me long at all to finish it, and I definitely enjoyed myself. With that being said, I can’t say I’ll be on the lookout for anything from Kat Green in the future. It was a good read, but not good enough to make me want to come back for more. It just didn’t have enough of an impact, or feel original enough, for me to want to see what they do in the future.
Overall, a good read, though.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book whilst participating in a book tour hosted through YA Bound Blog tours.
I recently went to Tennessee to visit my Daughter who lives in Chattanooga. While there as with any city I visit I looked for and found a book about hauntings in the area. This is the book I found. This book contains 28 stories from all over Tennessee, not just Chattanooga where my Daughter lives. While it is not as good as a lot of the Haunting books I have collected over the years it is not bad either. I liked that addresses for some of the haunted locations are included. Most do not come with addresses. I like that there are some fist hand accounts of the hauntings in the book, instead of just the lore. I like that there is some history. Some of the stories were a bit vague though. And in a state the size of Tennessee the writer only came up with 28 stories. I will be taking this book with me next time I go visit my Daughter though and hopefully we can go to some of the places listed. I would love to experience some of the hauntings myself.