The Turning Point (1)

Hey y'all! This morning I was reading a book (per usual) and thinking of reviewers that stopped reading at the halfway point, wrote down what they had been thinking up until then, and then read the book and finished the review. I was thinking about how much I did that but I never actually wrote it down, and how many people did that. So I decided to make it a feature, also to update y'all on what I'm reading. I'm probably going to try to do these once a week on Wednesdays, since it's about the middle of the week (school week for me). Right now this is just going to be a feature, but feel free to join in if you'd like to turn it into a small meme. Anyways, my reads this week are The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby, Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter, and Fracture by Megan Miranda.

Three ordinary children are brought together by extraordinary events. . .Giuseppe is an orphaned street musician from Italy, who was sold by his uncle to work as a slave for an evil padrone in the U.S. But when a mysterious green violin enters his life he begins to imagine a life of freedom.Hannah is a soft-hearted, strong-willed girl from the tenements, who supports her family as a hotel maid when tragedy strikes and her father can no longer work. She learns about a hidden treasure, which she knows will save her family -- if she can find it.And Frederick, the talented and intense clockmaker's apprentice, seeks to learn the truth about his mother while trying to forget the nightmares of the orphanage where she left him. He is determined to build an automaton and enter the clockmakers' guild -- if only he can create a working head.Together, the three discover they have phenomenal power when they team up as friends, and that they can overcome even the darkest of fears.

I saw this at my book fair and proceeded to immediately snatch it up. I remembered seeing a review on a blog that I frequent a few months ago, although this book came out in October of 2010. Not to mention that this was by the same author as Icefall which had come to me very highly recommended.Right now I'm at page 108 of this debut, and I am completely engrossed. I just think that this book is brilliant. The author is so skilled and it makes it intriguing for those that the book is intended as an MG, but it's also going to be fascinating for young adults and adults.The characters have made me fall in love with them already. Giuseppe  is a loyal sweetheart, although from his demeanor, he would probably prefer to be called a gruff orphan. He's tough, but he has a heart of gold that he needs for navigating the streets and simply surviving from his master. He's much smarter than the people around him, and has a yearning to get home to Italy.Frederick is really intelligent. He has the mind of a genius and is trying to figure out how to use it. He reminds me of Sticky from The Mysterious Benedict Society and I just love reading about him. I just adore his blustering awkwardness and love for his craft. He's incredibly entertaining.Hannah's curiosity and numbed spirit make her one to watch. She's willing to do anything for family, but she has given up so much for them. She's very open and honest in some parts of her life, while in others, she lies to herself about whether she's happy or not. She's loyal and refreshing, and it's strange to think that she's only a year younger than me, while she seems wise beyond her years, which I always love to read about.The adventure itself is one that I can tell will be a rollicking, fun ride that I won't want to end. It's drawn me in already so far and is just very complex. The writing in this is amazing, and Matthew J. Kirby has a natural talent for choosing the right words and for description. I'm so happy I decided to buy this book because I love it so far.

Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1)

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams,  Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

 To be honest, I was excited about this because of the paranormal camp aspect, and I've been disappointed so far. I was imagining it to have a bit more of a Hex Hall vibe. I don't really connect with it that well.
Kylie doesn't stand out to me that much and I just don't sympathize with her at all. She's strange, but not in an understandable way. I feel like it would have been better if the author had chosen to write this in first person instead of third because I just feel detached from Kylie. I don't think that she's going to turn out to be a very memorable main character, and I usually look for likable characters in a book first.
The plot seems interesting, but I find myself doubting what the author tells us. It's an excellent idea, and who knows, the ending  could be absolutely fantastic, but I don't find myself itching to know what happens. There's one thing about Kylie that's supposed to be a huge part of the story, but I just don't think it's a very big deal. I find myself asking what the big deal is, and I would have understood if the author had chosen to slowly explain what was going on to the protagonist. Kylie seems to know exactly what's going on and why it's important, which irks me.
This book has enough potential to keep me going though. I have the feeling that it's going to get better towards the end, and I hope so. Guess y'all will just have to see in my review!
By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….
I love this book. It hasn't been spotlighted as much as it should, but the writing is fantastic and Delaney is such an absorbing main character. I love how Megan propels us into the action right away and in the first say, fifty pages, I'm already on the edge of my seat.
This is such a winter book. I'm not actually sure whether this is a contemporary or a paranormal book yet, but I can't wait to find out. Usually I hate when I can't classify a book at it's beginning, but for this, it works.
Delaney and Decker are such relatable characters and I find myself truly caring about them. I think that this is a stand alone, but these are such truly memorable characters that I don't want to let them go if it is.
I love the cavalier way that the author will say things, and we just feel the way of life that Delaney and Dexter are used to. I can't even start to talk about this book right now because I'm thinking about it too much and want to go back to reading.
Be prepared for a very gushy review.
If you'd like to make your own "Turning Point" post, comment! I haven't yet figured out how exactly to link up, but I'd love to see it, and you don't have to participate in it like a meme. Or if you're one of those people who does the half-and-half reviews, leave me a comment so that I can check it out! I'd love to see how you do and how I can improve these posts.