Mill Valley, California has some weird stuff going on and Miles, the local doctor, is starting to take notice. Several patients have been complaining that loved ones just don't seem like themselves. At first, he dismisses this claim but as more and more people step forward claiming that family members have been replaced by replicas, he decides to investigate. Bringing along his love interest, Becky, and his psychiatrist friend Mannie, things start turning up leading him to suspect things definitely aren't what they appear in Mill Valley.
I once had a girlfriend who claimed this was the scariest movie she ever watched. Now I haven't seen the movie, but the book certainly had a creepy feel to it. Well written, though it does falter at the end, this book is a quick, fun read that hearkens back to old-school sci-fi horror. While this book won't completely change your literary life, it's worth picking up. The characters aren't very developed, but that's okay - in a book like this you don't expect them to be. The plot has holes all in it, but the author tells you that in the very opening sentence. I admired this admission and it actually made the story more enjoyable.
Alice is dating Luke, a popular guy at the high school, but his ex, Celeste, keeps hinting that he's cheating on Alice with her. Alice's best friend, Harvey, who is madly in love with her, has to sit back and watch her date a guy that doesn't even care about her. All of this high school drama comes crashing down when Alice is unexpectedly diagnosed with leukemia. Her prognosis was grim so she decides to finally do things that she's been wanting to do for a while including seeking revenge on those who have wronged her. However, she suddenly goes into remission and now has to live with consequences of her actions and face the ones she hurt.
This book is essentially every YA-romance novel cliche all thrown together - love, cancer, betrayal, and an ending. Unfortunately, Murphy adds nothing of value to this genre, using cancer as a foot-in-the-door to write a novel that is supposed to pull heartstrings but instead produce one unlikeable protagonist. Reading this novel, I wanted to grab Harvey by the neck and tell him to stand up for himself, I wanted to grab Alice by the neck and tell her that just because she's dying doesn't mean she treat people terribly. But instead, I just read on, eventually reaching the conclusion, closing the book, never to open it again. Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't terrible, it read fast, was well-paced, but felt a little disjointed between the back-and-forth narration.
If you're a fan of YA, and you love stories with cancer (i.e. The Fault in Our Stars), check it out. You may like it more than me, you may groan less than me, and you may in fact post a better review than me.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Angela is a top student who is excelling in many different extracurricular activities, all in an effort to be accepted by the college of her dreams: Harvard. Just like her father, Angela is hoping to become a proud alum and will stop at nothing to make that dream come true. Her mother, Nora, is a top real estate agent who has been trying to sell an $8 million dollar home but can't due to unrealistic owners. She is also striving to keep her picture-perfect family together because she believes her husband Gabe is having an affair with his new intern. All of their lives begin spiraling out of control and truths come out that may shatter the family and all they have ever known.
Have you ever had a friend of family member come visit and for the first day everything was great? But then come day two things are just good, and by three you're ready for them to leave again? But they don't. They stick around, wearing out their welcome. By day ten, you're about to snap. That's this book. It starts off pretty good actually, but it is so unnecessarily long. Agonizingly long. I was hoping for a great conclusion filled with drama, despair, something that would make this book worth it but the conclusion was flatter than a two day old soda.
There's not much redeeming about this book. I didn't care for the characters, had no sympathy for them, and when the ending happened, I was happy I was done with the book. I wish I could say I liked this book because the writing is pretty well done, its just a whole heaping pile of bore.
NASA discovers a lost, derelict ship floating out in space and decides to investigate it. They assemble a team comprised of many experts in their fields including Dr. Jane Halloway - a specialist in dead and dying languages. According to all the reports, all of NASA's tests have confirmed the ship is empty. They were wrong.
Once aboard, the ship begins speaking to Dr. Halloway. Thinking she is crazy, she quickly realizes that the voices she hears are inside her head from the ship. "You are home," they tell her. But what danger lurks on this once-thought empty vessel will have the reader on the edge of his/her seat. If she is going to survive, Dr. Halloway has to decide who to trust - the ship that knows everything about her or her crew.
Wells really does a spectacular job at setting up an original plot here utilizing linguistics as a branch of science applicable to alien spacecraft. The characters feel real, well developed, and the reader is able to empathize with each one as they face their own trials.
This book moves fast so hang on because its a good one. Many sci-fi novels have adapted the "lost ship" premise but this book feels different. Stated as the first in a series, though no other follow up books have been released, the ending definitely sets up an opening for more and after reading this one, I believe most readers will be chomping for more.
UPDATE: Jenn Foehner Wells has just released the sequel, Remanence so make sure you check it out!
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.