YVO’S SHORTIES #55 – Demonglass & Before Her Eyes

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time a YA fantasy sequel that was an unpleasant surprise for me and a very satisfying psychological thriller by an author I always seem to enjoy.


Title: Demonglass
(Hex Hall #2)
Author: Rachel Hawkins

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Finished reading: October 17th 2018
Pages: 365

“It sucks that we miss people like that. You think you’ve accepted that someone is out of your life, that you’ve grieved and it’s over, and then bam. One little thing, and you feel like you’ve lost that person all over again.”


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I really enjoyed the first book of the series, so when I was browsing proper Halloween themed books I thought about Demonglass almost immediately. I was fully expecting a repeat experience of Hex Hall, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards. While I had a blast reading the first book, sadly Demonglass suffers from the so-called ‘weak-sequel-syndrome’. Instead of being entertained, I found myself to be mostly frustrated and just wanting to get it over with, not caring about the outcome whatsoever. It’s not the writing, because I still liked it. It’s not the sarcasm, because that kind of humor almost always hits the mark for me. My main problem is with the tremendous overdose of romance and lack of a proper plot. Not only do we have to deal with a very very VERY annoying love triangle, but most of the time we have to suffer through Sophie pining over Archer and other romance-related nonsense. Most of the plot seems to be build around Sophie and her pining… That and love triangle related cringeworthiness. Basically, she’s mostly hiding out in the countryside and nothing much is happening until the end; the plot felt weak compared to the first book. Definitely not the reading experience I was hoping for, and I’m not sure if I want to read the final book after this (although I probably will just so I can cross off another series on my list).


Title: Before Her Eyes
Author: Jack Jordan

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: August 16th 2018
Publisher: Corvus
Finished reading: October 18th 2018
Pages: 448

“She often thought how much better off society would be if everyone were blind and incapable of making judgements on a person’s appearance.”


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Jack Jordan has done it again! Before Her Eyes is without doubt yet another powerful and dark story. Although not my favorite, the change to a detective thriller was a nice surprise and the writing was just as strong as I’ve become used to. If you are looking for something dark and twisty enough you will get all tangled up in the plot, Before Her Eyes is definitely an excellent choice. I liked how one of the main characters is blind, adding a whole different dimension to the story as our main witness can hear and feel, but not actually see the killer. This kind of ‘twisted’ relationship between the two without doubt added an original touch to the story. Before Her Eyes treats difficult themes as racism, abuse, rape, suicide, animal cruelty and violence, so trigger warnings are in place if you can’t stomach those. Things can get dark and disturbing at points, so make sure to brace yourself for some graphic scenes! Nothing is as it seems and I like how the story was able to mislead me. I always love when that happens! The only reason I didn’t end up giving it the highest rating is because of some of the more prominent characters I just really couldn’t stand. This negative feeling did influence my reading experience slightly. But overall there is no doubt that Before Her Eyes is a disturbing, twisted and misleading detective thriller that I can recommend to anyone who loves reading darker thrillers.


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BOOK REVIEW: Not If I See You First – by Eric Lindstrom

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Title: Not If I See You First
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Romance
First published: December 1st 2015
Finished reading: April 1st 2016
Pages: 310
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“People are full of things you don’t know but that doesn’t mean they’re secrets; you just don’t know everything yet.” He lets go. “And that’s good, otherwise, you’d have no reason to talk anymore.”

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As soon as I saw the cover and found out what this book was about, I knew I had to get a copy. As far as I know, there aren’t many books with a blind main character out there (the only one that comes to my mind right now is All The Light We Cannot See) and this story by Eric Lindstrom sounded more than promising. As soon I started reading Not If I See You First I was hooked. The prose is really engaging, the pace is fast and I like the way how the main character’s blindness isn’t displayed as a disability and more as a challenge. There is no doubt that Parker is a strong character, even though I don’t actually like all aspects of her character. It’s easy to say Not If I See You First was well on its way to receiving one of my highest ratings, up until the point one of my biggest fears of reading YA came true… And a love triangle was introduced. I know just about every YA story seems to have one lately and I tend tolerate them if they are not too annoying. In this case though, it’s easy to say the love triangle was quite frustrating and spoiled Not If I See You First for me. I personally think the story would have worked just as good or even better without a second love interest… But that’s just my humble opinion. The rest of the book is entertaining though, so I would still recommend it if you like the genre.

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Parker Grant didn’t only lose her mother in an accident many years ago, she also lost her sight. She has been learning to live with her blindness ever since, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be seen as weak. She created rules for the people around her: don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind and definitely never take advantage of her or her blindness. She doesn’t believe in second chances either, and her former best friend Scott found out the hard way… And Parker and Scott lost touch after an unfortunate middle grade incident. When Scott suddenly reappears in her life many years later, Parker doesn’t want to do anything to do with him. But it looks like things are not always as they seem, and sometimes rules are meant to be broken… And it seems like Parker will find out the hard way things are never that simple and obvious.

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There is no doubt that Not If I See You First is a fast-paced, entertaining and well written debut. The main character Parker can be annoying at times, but she does feel real and I liked the message behind her character that blindness by no means stops someone from chasing their dreams and doesn’t mean they are weak either. I would definitely have given this novel by Eric Lindstrom an even higher rating if it weren’t for the annoying love triangle… But the story is without doubt still worth reading anyway.