[622]: Shimmer by Paula Weston


The Mother of a Cliffhanger

Paula Weston knows how to write them and write them well. Practically every book in this series ended in the most painful way possible. Haze, in particular, was the most painful of all. So Shimmer started where Shadows ended – the Outcasts had no choice but to seek shelter at the Sanctuary while they figure out how to rescue Rafa and Taya from the Gatekeepers. For Gaby, it means that she might not have a choice but to ask for help from the same people who knowingly fed her to a hellion in the hopes of jogging her memory. Whatever their methods were, she knew that they have the angel-power to destroy the Gatekeepers and the iron room where Rafa and Taya were being held. Gaby has never been the most patient person, especially when waiting means knowing that Rafa is slowly being tortured to death.

The Sanctuary

In the cold mountains of Italy, Gaby and Jude will find out more about the women who built the iron room in Iowa. A secret society made up of women whose primary objective is to rid the Earth of rephaims by any means necessary. But the knowledge they unearth would bring more questions and traitors in their ranks. Regardless of what they find out, the rephaims would be more divided than ever.

Anxious Anticipation

By now I can say without a doubt that Paula Weston’s Rephaim series surpassed all the other angel series that I’ve held dear over the years. Angellfall by Susan Ee took forever to finish and when the series ender came out, it was big let down. Daughters of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor was great, but the installments were painfully too long and was saturated by purple prose that they didn’t resonate with me at all. There’s not a lot of angel books series that I follow. In fact, these were it. So I was really hoping that the Rephaim series would come through. Well, it did. And all the familiar feelings of anticipation and nervous anxiety came rushing back as soon as I held the book in the palm of my hands. I knew she was going to take me for one hell of a ride.

While Shimmer wasn’t as action packed as its predecessor, it was full of revelations that made me hold my breath. My head spun with every discovery – end over end because I can’t figure out all the implications of each revelation. Ms. Weston knows how to make my heart pound even if her characters barely lift a finger. And with Rafa’s absence, she knows that she has to make it up to us somehow.

I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist torturing us again, so heads up, this ends with yet another cliffhanger. I sure am glad I have Burn sitting prettily on my shelf because I for one wouldn’t be able to resist taking a peek at what really happened before Gaby’s and Jude’s memories were erased.

Shimmer is the kind of book that will activate all your sweat glands, will give you heart palpitations and a feeling of restless wanting for the next book. You’ve been warned.



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Shadows | Haze

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[522]: We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Tundra Books | Hardcover, 256 pp. | May 12, 2015 | Young Adult Fiction | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Truth be told, this book started off like a Middle Grade read. After all, the kids in here are only 13 and 14 year-olds. But as you get further into the book, scary, unpleasant things started happening. Things that kids this age should never have to go through. If I had any choice, that is.

I look at my 13 year-old, who by the way is about to start public school in September, and I’m immediately overcome with fear and worry. I want to believe that kids aren’t mean. I want to believe that kids are more kind than how most of the YA books have portrayed them to be nowadays. But we all know things happen beyond our control and whether we like it or not, we have to let our kidlets go out into the world.

This book is about Stewart. Thirteen-year-old boy-genius who thinks a little differently than kids his age. He is gifted, and possibly a card-carrying member of MENSA. His life was already on a tailspin with the sudden death of his mother. A year later, when his dad announces that they’re moving in with his girlfriend and her daughter, he was anxious. He’s always lived a regimented life. He goes to a small school for gifted kids. Now, not only is he moving in with a couple of strangers, he’s also about to go to a scary public school.

But even with all the upheavals in his life, he manages to keep an optimistic view of the world. Bullies never seem to bother him. And he always tries to be himself, even if it opens himself up to ridicule. Even his step sister Ashley treats him like a pariah. He reminds me of  Professor Don Tillman: unintentionally funny, quirky, strait-laced and serious. He warmed my heart, and felt this protective streak for him. I worried about him on his first day of school. And because he’s so smart, he got bumped a grade up. That landed him in the land of the giants.

Then there’s his step sister Ashley, who was the exact opposite of him. She’s on top of the social ladder, popular, not very smart, and mean as they come. She is a brat and just an unlikeable character altogether. I had to grit my teeth a few times because it was difficult reading her perspective.

The titular concept is actually quite brilliant. I read it a few times because I wanted to wrap my head around it. After a few tries, I hugged the shit out of the book because it was so perfect. I’ll leave it for you to digest. I hope you’ll give this book a try. It has underlying seriousness hidden in the banalities of a teenager’s life, but don’t hold that against this book. It is a sublime story about family, love, grief, and friendship.


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