Pieces of Revenge

Download eBook This review may contain some spoilers. Pieces of Revenge is the first book in the Titanium series, written by Valia Lind. It’s a young adult mystery with traces of romance. It’s also unnecessarily long and suffers as a result. For the ground covered, there’s no reason for the book to be as bloated as it is; the author spends far too long in her main character’s head, mulling over the same issues, and it begins to grate. Anastasia, or ‘Tasia’ as she’s often called, juggles her thirst for revenge with her romantic feelings for a boy. She’s been molded by vengeance, and she carries herself as a Jason Bourne type figure, quickly able to evaluate any given situation and threat. I’m not sure that I was exactly sold on her deftness; sure, we see her disarming and brutalizing thugs, surviving breakneck car chases, but because of the reliance on her internal struggle between honoring her family, and succumbing to the charms of a young man, the credibility of her fortitude crumbles. An editor would help here to trim the excess, and get us moving swiftly from point A to B. The writing style is decent, but lacks sparkle. And that’s down to the material. It’s an interesting premise, but nothing much else stands out. Neither the plot nor the characters. The romance feels rushed and unearned. That may be partly because I didn’t care much for the characters. And that’s even more telling for Tasia, whose family are wiped away before the novel begins. While such an action urges this reader to emphatize with the character, it does...

Pictures of You

Download eBook This review contains some spoilers. Read the blurb and Pictures of You appears to be a typical supernatural young adult suspense, but you don’t have to dig for long to discover a real heart and soul that helps carry this work high above many of its contemporaries. This novel – presented in diary format – is written with a kind of brevity and care that you’ll go a long way to find again. Despite its dark overtones – and at times I was genuinely surprised at the themes this book explored – every time I returned to reading, I felt as though I was receiving a nice warm hug, in spite of the wrath the story threw at me. Author T.J. Alexian says that the novel is about learning to accept the ghosts of our past, and for Ashes, our 16-year-old main character, she’ll be forced to face an onslaught before this story is through. Her older brother Daniel passed away some years before this story begins, and both Ashes and her mother are going through the motions of life. How can you ever recover from the loss of a young life? But her world is rocked when videos filmed on Daniel’s camcorder some years before suddenly begin surfacing on YouTube. The footage is filmed by her brother, but Ashes has never seen these videos before. As the videos increase in number, the mystery deepens. Who is behind this? And, more importantly, why? In any suspense novel, there is that dreaded line between entertaining your reader, and allowing them room to uncover the mystery for themselves. Pictures...