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Search tags: Tonya-Hurley
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review 2018-11-03 07:27
Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it
The Blessed - Tonya Hurley

What I liked about this book is it was able to draw you in slowly to the plot and it unfolds gradually by introducing you to the main characters and their backgrounds. You can’t help but keep reading to see what will happen next. Your curiosity is piqued and it’s worth reading through. There is a chapter here and there that lets you think ‘Gee what the heck am I reading here’ but it makes up for it wholeheartedly towards the ending of the book.

 

The plot and the pace is slow but steady. You’re taken through each girl’s perspective and when they finally come together, if you can bypass the pettiness and mean girl attitude (some parts were quite fun to read, the comebacks are something to be filed away for future use should need arise) they actually do make a solid team. Each girl has their own story and their own pain to deal with. Of the three, I’d taken a liking to Cecilia. She’s a tough one and although all three have gone through a substantial amount of pain, Cecilia seems to be the most likable and the most independent (plus she’s a Rocker girl. Who doesn’t think Rocker Girls are cool?)

 

As the story unfolds, it gets chaotic towards the last third of the novel. Pretty good action - brutal at times so might not be for the faint of heart, and of course it leaves room for more things to come (two books follow after this one). Understandably this book might not be for everyone. Gratuitous swearing, references to Catholicism which may be offensive to some, some serious what the F chapters that make you wonder what kind of shrooms they’re on, and references to rape are mentioned in the book.

 

So while it may not be for everyone, I was surprised that I enjoyed reading this one so much. Although it took awhile for the book to gain momentum and this thing with Sebastian being a somewhat Charles Manson wannabe without the murders is a bit tedious, it was actually pretty good. However it comes across as a book that either you’ll really like, or you’ll really hate. So, when in doubt, just take it out of the library and save your money for other things.

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review 2017-09-15 17:03
Ghostgirl - Tonya Hurley

I'm kind of conflicted about this book. There were parts I liked and parts I didn't like. So please excuse the ramble that is about to follow.

I really liked the concept of the book. It took an old concept (ghostly unfinished business) and put a cool new spin on it. There were parts of the plot that really made me want to keep reading and I was intrigued by the storyline.

However, I absolutely hated the characters. They all felt so interchangeable. They didn't seem like individual entities, but like they were based off the same snarky, sarcastic archetype. Charlotte was the worst. She was just so dense, it was irritating. It's hard as a reader to know the character is doing everything wrong, but are too wrapped up in themselves to realize it. I finished this book quickly, partly because I wanted to get as far away from Charlotte as possible.

The writing wasn't that great either. There were some typos and a lot of awkward phrasing. I had to read a lot of sentences many times to figure out what the author meant to say. Also, many of the events are just not plausible. I'm not talking about the fantasy elements, I'm talking about the real, everyday stuff that would never happen (driver's ed debacle, everything surrounding the dance- convincing adults to use that location, cleaning up in time, etc.)

Most of the book is based on mean girl stereotypes and obsession over popularity. This led to many eye-roll moments as a reader and really frustrated me. The girls in the book are all horrible to each other (slut shaming, stereotyping, bullying, taking advantage of each other) and a lot of that doesn't really get resolved. Also, many of the comments came at awkward times and seemed out of character for the person who said it, reinforcing the whole interchangeable character thing. Most of the time it just felt like the author wanted to gain popularity by showing how snarky she herself could be. How's that for ironic for you.

I did like the cover, which was the reason I bought this book out of the clearance section in the first place. I also enjoyed the little shadow illustrations at the start of each chapter. It is definitely a cool little book.

But another tiny, little thing that impacted my opinion of this book was the physical book itself. I was first drawn to it, because of its tall, thin, coffin-like shape. However, once I started reading it, I realized how annoying this design decision was. It hurts your hand to try to read one-handed after a while, because it is so tall. But when I read it with two hands, I kept having to reposition my fingers, because they were always in the way of the text since the book is so narrow. It's a tiny point, but it definitely made reading this book less enjoyable.

So I'm still conflicted. I loved the idea of the book, but I hated the execution. I'm settling with 2 stars, because I think the things I didn't like outweighed what I did like about this book.

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review 2014-08-06 01:09
Loved it!
The Blessed - Tonya Hurley

Synopsis

Brooklyn teens Lucy, Cecilia and Agnes find themselves in the emergency room at Perpetual Help Hospital at the lowest point in their lives. Lucy, the superficial party girl; Cecilia, a drop out rock chick; and Agnes, a hopeless romantic. All rebels running from their lives and themselves, plagued by broken hearts and broken dreams.
Enter Sebastian: mysterious, compelling, seductive. 
He brings the girls together and seems to provide each of them with what they long for ... and they begin to heal.
But Sebastian is on the run - and soon the girls are hunted too ...

 

I read this standalone a while back and I really enjoyed it. Also the cover is amazing even thought I have a paperback with different cover but still...Yeah, so...*awkward silence* I did enjoy this book. So go and get it!! Now shush I am reading. 

 

 

I have this cover!

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review 2014-07-31 00:00
Homecoming
Homecoming - Tonya Hurley 3"5/10

I read the first book recommended by a friend —especially because of the quotes and references to Poe, an author we both like. I enjoyed it a lot because not only there were quotes and references to great writers, but also to music I loved. Despite its lack of originality (except for the fact that the main character is a ghost girl, for example), I loved how this book could lead teen girls —since it's the main audience for this kind of book — to wonderful literature like Edgar Allan Poe's.


Since I enjoyed the first book and I can't have a series unfinished (it has to be really bad to keep me from reading every book), I started this one, Homecoming, expecting great moments fangirling because of the quotes and references, which I had, but in general it wasn't as good as the first. It was kinda funny because in the first book I hated Charlotte's attitude and loved Scarlet's, and within this one I hated Scarlet's and quite liked Charlotte's. It's like the author had just reversed the roles, in such an obvious way that it made me dislike it.


This book is also about Petula, the character that everyone hates in the first book —the popular girl, of course. Here Petula is forced to learn a lesson about life and, well —death. We learn some things about her that make us see her through different perspective. At the end I even ended up loving her as a character, because at least she was the most honest about who she truly is, not like Charlotte or Scarlet who seem to change from this to that at every second. The book continues on its basic hollow essence —everything seems to be about what others think of you in the end—, but it's 'saved' in my point of view by a couple of life lessons and the fantastic quotes and references. However, it's not a book I'd recommend to adults (I'm still quite connected with my teen self so it's okay), and it's definitely not for every teenage girl either. Without some knowledge and a little maturity, its real meaning could be misinterpreted and twisted to the point of being a little dangerous to young girls.

Since I didn't want to talk much about the plot for those who haven't read the first book so I didn't spoil anything, this review can be confusing and look incomplete, but I hope you don't mind.



-E
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review 2014-02-10 00:00
Ghostgirl
Ghostgirl - Tonya Hurley 3,65.
Sí, es muy típico dentro de su atipicidad. Sí, el rollo de la popularidad y "ser la reina del baile" es algo que ya está muy exprimido de todas las maneras posibles, y éste no es más que otro ejemplo. Pero me lo he pasado en grande leyendo, y no puedo dejar de pensar en que me hubiera gustado leerlo hace unos cuantos años, cuando mi edad se adecuaba más a la que se dirigen este tipo de libros.
Además, está plagado de referencias a grandes escritores clásicos (Poe, Shelley, Woolf...) y otros más modernos (la infinidad de grupos, tanto más modernos -Death Cab For Cutie, My Chemical Romance- como ya establecidos "clásicos de la música" -The Cure, The Smiths, Radiohead-).
Para una entusiasta de la literatura y la música como soy yo, ésta es una forma de sonreír a cada referencia, y para adolescentes (o no tanto) aún desconocedores de muchas cosas, una forma de acercarle a tantas y tantas maravillas que merecen la pena.
Como lectura ligera tiene bastantes retazos de profundidad, y no deja de ser una forma diferente de ver la misma historia.
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