November 14, 2013

Latest Read: Bang by Lisa McMann

Here are the basics ...
Bang (Visions, Book 2) by Lisa McMann
Publication date: Oct 8, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. (Adapted goodreads.com
My thoughts…
The author's book dedication is: "To awesome green-eyed boys everywhere." Need I say more?

Just kidding, I plan to say a lot more. And like my review of Crash, I will honor Jules' love of lists and review the same way.

The good: 
  1. The writing. The writing is very informal and engaging. There's a great balance of getting serious when the moment calls for it (after all, they are trying to stop a shooting) but can delve just as easily into the funny, like during sibling moments or when Jules is rambling about her growing feelings for Sawyer. The whole tone felt like I was sitting in a high school cafeteria with one of my friends as she told me about cute guys, overbearing parents and you know, mind-boggling visions. 
  2. Jules. I love Jules. I really do. She cracks me up, is relatable and I admire her moral strength. I mean just because there are these visions, it doesn't mean she has to take action and help. But she does. There's something really young (more like age-appropriate) and candid about the way she talks that felt realistic. And seeing her get the guy made me happy too. As did watching her come into her own and realizing you can't always do everything your parents want you to do (it's a hard lesson!).
  3. Sibling love. Sawyer said it best when he hung out with all three DeMarco kids (Jules, her brother Trey and sister Rowan) for the first time - "I love you guys." Me too Sawyer, me too. There's an amazing camaraderie between them and they always have each other's backs, while being brutally honest at the same time. 
  4. Sawyer. It was definitely nice getting to know his character better and watching him explore his relationship with Jules beyond her stalking (err saving) him. (He brings the swoon and the cuteness, for sure.) I also thought him having the visions in book 2 was an interesting way to give us a different look at how deeply affecting they are. 
  5. Self-contained. Each book builds upon the other but both Crash and Bang had a separate vision to solve by the end. I appreciate that even though it's a series, each book has a self-contained plot. The only "cliffhanger" is - who's going to get a vision next? 
(Super minor) reservations:
  1. Oh my dogs.  I'm sorry! I tried but I still think this expression is very strange. That and Jule's tendency to add "dot-com" after certain comments.
  2. Powers that be.  Who is giving these visions to Jules and why? We still don't get any answers on that front, although we continue to see how these visions work. I hope the next book sheds some light on this.  
Do I recommend?: Yes! It's a fun (and somewhat light) paranormal series with characters I enjoy reading about. 

Happy reading! 

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