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Monday, February 13, 2012

"Life Eternal" by Yvonne Woon~Dead Beautiful Series is Hot!!

Published by:  Hyperion
Pages:  408
Genre:  YA Fiction/Paranormal/Suspense
Author's website:  http://www.yvonnewoon.com/

Cover Rating:
Beautiful cover, but I'm not sure I know from the cover images exactly what the book is about.  I can see it is coming from a cold and snow-encrusted region, the canary in a cage is an interesting image, and the stony arch denotes an entry into an aged place.  Otherwise, the girl is just pretty and we aren't sure how she relates to the title.  Love the font used and the proper placement of title and author, as well as the designation that this is one in the series of the Dead Beautiful novels.  The black scroll and lettering against the white and pale blue background is beautiful.   Rating:  B+


Renée Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Renée can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin. Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul. Just when Renée has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters—brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can’t shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it. Renée thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Renée. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short

Yvonne Woon grew up in Massachusetts, where she attended Worcester Academy. She is currently a graduate student at Columbia University, obtaining a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction. Dead Beautiful is her first book 

*Please find out more interesting things about Ms Woon on her website:  www.yvonnewoon.com

The Bookish Dame Reviews:
Interesting book.  It's the talent of a good author that draws you in to want to read more about her main character.  It's the capability of a gifted author that makes a character come to life such that the reader almost believes she's in that character's skin!  And, it's the genius of an author that plots a story from fantasy and couches it in a real world setting, then makes you believe it could actually happen!  Yvonne Woon is an author of awesome talents just like these.  She had me captivated with interest in her characters right from the beginning.

I enjoyed this story about "monitors," people born with the talent to sense death or the undead...and who are charged with the duty of tracking them and putting them to "rest."  The central figure in "Life Eternal" is Renee Winters, a 17 year old, orphaned, "rebirthed" monitor who is suspected of being immortal after having died in a previous year at her school, and then becoming "reactivated."  Although Renee was actually only switching souls with her boyfriend, Dante, (whom we can only know best after having read the 1st book in this Dead Beautiful Series) the rest of the Monitoring world, including her grandfather, isn't sure just what really happened to her.  It's a central bone of contention in this book of the series, as is Renee and Dante's quest to keep themselves and their love alive.

Rich in detail and characterization, in a make-believe world in Maine and Montreal that actually seems possible at times, and in the depth of loving relationships between friends and family, this book is a very good read.  I love fantasy, paranormals like this one!  The ghoulish isn't made into too much a farse, it's made to feel close to real, and I love that. And, as an aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms Woon's references to the intellectual: libraries, book stacks, professorial types and such. Yummy reading highlights for a bookaholic...

If you're looking for an engaging, suspense read on the paranormal side with some kindly, intelligent figures and a very good storyline, this book is for you.  Yvonne Woon is a snappy writer, young and upbeat with a smooth sense of dialog and a way with words. Her introduction of the Nine Sisters adds a welcomed depth to her series. It's great fun to read her book. And, I relish the fact that this is only the 2nd book in the series...the ending left me hanging on for the next one coming!! Good young adult fiction that adults will like very much.  We need this series in our collection!

5 Stars


See Also:
   This is the first book in the "Dead Beautiful Series" by Yvonne Woon


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