Thursday, January 2, 2014

Surprising and Intense

A story that completely catches you off-guard is an experience in and of itself. One that catches you off-guard, kicks you in the cojones and dances a jog on top of them is something you can't miss! Andrew Klavan's Nightmare City did just that... if I had cojones. 

Tom Harding believes in the integrity of journalism. He was just an average teen in high school until he wrote and published an article that exposed his championship high school football team for using steroids to win the championship a couple of years earlier. Tom had sources and hard evidence, but like any respectable journalist, he maintained their requested anonymity with a ferocity. Even when the principal and football coach pulled him in and threatened him, he refused to give them his sources or to retract the story. It was true and Tom believed in the truth. 

When Tom wakes up in the morning, something about the day feels off. He looks outside to see the marine fog has crept far inland and seems to be blanketing the neighborhood. Even creepier, the whole neighborhood seems eerily quiet. When he goes downstairs to get his mother, she is nowhere to be found. Then he hears his brother's voice calling to him from the basement rec room. The only problem is his brother died in the service six months earlier. Tom realizes something is deeply wrong and when he sees a woman outside, he tries to follow her. He doesn't think anything of the mist that seems to be enveloping him, until he realizes something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong. And then he sees them. The creatures. They are all around him, coming for him...

OK. I am going to warn you about something, but I am not going to give away the surprise. This book is NOTHING like the description I just gave, but that is all I am going to give you because the real story, the surprise twist in the story is too good to ruin for any reader. I started reading this book and thought, "OK. Decent horror story. I'm enjoying this!" And then, about 100 pages in it threw me on the ground and beat the crap out of me. The whole story was nothing like I expected. There was nothing to indicate this about the blurb or the cover, but it was a total twist. And man, did I love it! So, if you are going to read this story (and you should), make sure you go into it with an open mind! 

Everything about this story makes it a brilliant option for reluctant readers. It is exciting and fast-paced, and you will flip that last page and be just as stunned as I was! In fact, I ended up starting this book very late last night and stayed up until 2am to finish it in one sitting. That's how fun of a read it was! I plan to use this book for those tough boys who don't like to read anything. It will knock them off their chairs! Klavan has done a great job with the young adult genre. It is full of simple language but is still a complex and intricate story I couldn't get enough of and never got bored with. Loved it! 

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