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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 


In Which Edward Cullen Gets a Smack Down: Fearscape by Nenia Campbell

Fearscape - Nenia Campbell

Disclaimer: Just because I'm friends with the author does not mean I'm gushing about the book because I'm friends.  I try my best to be unbiased.  But seriously this is a pretty awesome book.


I've had this one on my Kindle for awhile, when the last book in this series was published I sort of bought them in a mad dash.  Lots of my friends liked them and even though horror isn't a genre I generally go to it's October I'm being festive.
Which meant I decided to go on a read Fearscape.
Overall, the book had a lot going for it.  It's more or less if Edward Cullen went certifiable and wasn't a vampire with a Bella who actually has a personality and parents that care.
Well, it's more than that.  But all those YA tropes you hate, Nenia sort of points out what's wrong with them.  I especially love how Val acts like a fourteen year old.  A lot of the stupid stuff she does is because she's fourteen.  And while I didn't like some of the choices she made it made perfect sense.
That's what this book's biggest strength was that you truly got a sense who all your characters were and they went beyond their tropes, especially Gavin.
Gavin is just one of those characters that you can't help but love for being a sicko.  I don't ship him and Val.  I never will ship him and Val romantically, but God they have such a creepy connection it works. And I really liked reading his journal entires as sick as they were, they added insight into the character.
I also liked Val, I think because while she might seem to fit into that YA heroine mode, she actually is her own character.  Nenia adds quirks and layers to her.  From her animal obsession, to picking at her jeans, that makes her not seem like another cardboard yawn fest.  Also, she grows and is affected by her circumstances like all the other characters in this book.  I also really like the fact that she had parents who actually acted like parents.
Yay for that.
Also I learned about toygers.  How could I not know about toygers?  
Thank you Nenia for educating me on something big that I was missing in my life.  Obviously, I missed a very important episode of Cats 101 (and $600 isn't a bad deal, fyi).
For the most part the plot was intriguing too.  However, I just felt like the book pacing was off.  It's a little short and I felt like if there was a little more meat to it, the suspense could've even been more off the charts.  Also, because of the length I felt like some things were just rushed and while Gavin, Val, and her mother were well developed other characters were not as much.  That doesn't mean the side characters weren't worth while.  I enjoyed the interaction between Val and her friends, I just didn't get to know the friends as much as I would otherwise.  Like, I would've liked to see  Lisa interact with Gavin a bit.
Also, in the beginning I felt like there were some info dumps made about the characters.  Honestly, I could've been okay without them since I think Nenia did a pretty good job of showing these characteristics (at least when it came to the main cast).
Overall, I really enjoyed this one.  It's not perfect, but it's probably one of the better independent books I've read.  If you're into horror, or at the very least want an Edward Cullen wannabe to get a smack down you should give this book a try.  
Rating: Seven out of ten pumpkins (no pumpkins in the book, but I'm being festive).
Source: http://howdyyal.blogspot.com/2013/10/fearscape-nenia-campbell.html