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Hi,  I'm Dani!  And I read, love, and blog about YA books!

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The Faerie War
Rachel Morgan
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Hurricane - Jenna-Lynne Duncan The night before her junior year of high school begins, Adriana has a strange dream that two new students have enrolled at her school. The very next day, she discovers that the student body is abuzz about the two new guys who have started classes at Ecole Classique – Hayden & Luke Boudreaux. She brushes it off as mere coincidence, until the premonitions keep occurring and one comes fatally true. Not only are her dreams frightening and have her questioning her self, but she finds herself increasingly perplexed by Hayden’s conflicting interest and disinterest in her. As the storm of questions, confusion and loneliness brew within her, a similar storm is swiftly approaching her beloved hometown of New Orleans. When the city begins to go into evacuate-or-buckle-down mode, Adriana decides to stay home and weather out the storm as best she can. Instead, she finds herself the victim of a kidnapping by the very boy she’s been crushing on. As her kidnappers drag her into the heart of the bayou and into the path of the approaching hurricane, she realizes with dread that in the resulting chaos she won’t be missed. Will she figure out why the Boudreaux brothers have taken her captive, and will she discover why she’s been having disturbing premonitions of the future? And most of all, will she survive? Adriana. While she is a character I sympathize with, she’s not one I felt a real connection to. I feel like I never got the full picture of who Adriana is, though Duncan does develop her fairly well. Maybe it’s because I find her personality hard to pin down. She’s quiet, reserved, not shy exactly, Ana just prefers to fade into the background. She longs for a “normal” life, full of friends, family, and trivial worries. Her home life is lonely – her mother gone, and her dad more concerned with his job, his girlfriend and Ana’s half-sister, than in pursuing a real relationship with her or in parenting his teenage daughter. It’s hinted that she’s had to take on a more adult role at times to keep them afloat, and I could never figure out if her dad was just clueless and neglectful or really a deadbeat. She has no involved, adult role models to speak of, and spends many of her days and nights alone, pouring her innermost thoughts into her journal. Ana’s this weird mix of anti-social, but not. She’s lonely and doesn’t feel like she knows how to relate to her few friends at school, yet she seems to at times purposefully seek out solitude instead of trying to connect to people. I wouldn’t call her a strong person necessarily, more like a survivor that circumstance has necessitated. She gets good and angry at times, but it doesn’t take much for her to fold, especially to Hayden or Luke. Though she does have her moments, I would’ve preferred a bit more backbone from Ana throughout. Hayden & Luke. Though I find them both very interesting, I feel like I know them even less than I know Adriana. Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with this. The two of them spend so much of the book being enigmas – at times incredibly unsettling ones at that – and I love the suspense and the mystery Duncan is able to create around their characters. On the other hand, by the time the big reveal rolls around there’s not much time to get to know them on a more personal level. In the end, I just find them to be a little bit distant and too mysterious. Romance. The set up between Ana & Hayden is somewhat “been there, done that.” New guy in school finds our not-especially-popular heroine to be the most fascinating girl he’s ever met. Nevertheless, it’s still fun, despite Hayden’s tendency to run a very polarized hot and cold. I wish Adriana had put up more resistance against him from the beginning, because even though he’s sweet and friendly when he’s running hot, there are things about Hayden that should set a girl’s warning bells a-ringing. Some pretty serious things, like being kidnapped by him. Kidnapped. But Adriana just can’t seem to resist the allure of his charm and his beautiful green eyes. It got way too serious, way too fast on Adriana’s part – especially in light of the kidnapping – for me to really get on board with this romance. Story. Despite the issues I had with the depth of the characters and the development of the romance, Duncan is pretty good at creating suspense, weaving a mystery and keeping that tension going. I blew through this book in an evening, because I just had to know what was going on. When the answers to the big, burning questions are revealed, it’s pretty interesting and fairly original, but I do wish Duncan had gone a little deeper into history and back story behind her paranormal world. That said, the reader is given the necessary pieces needed to figure out this particular mystery. Duncan does leave several big questions hanging until her second book. A fact which simultaneously annoys and pleases me, but ultimately leaves me curious and wanting to know more. Overall, set against stormy, beautifully mysterious New Orleans and boasting an interesting paranormal concept, Hurricane is a fun, fast, suspenseful read.