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Ari Bookzilla

A serial reader.

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Unmasking the Spy
Janet Kent
Kelly Favor
Iris Blaire
The Nature of Cruelty
L.H. Cosway
Karen Marie Moning
Varian Krylov
The Liberator
Victoria Scott
Abby Road
Ophelia London
The Pollen Path - Adriana Devoy In some ways, this book is even better than [b:Blue Rose in Chelsea|15831797|Blue Rose in Chelsea|Adriana Devoy|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1345183141s/15831797.jpg|21567209] (and I really enjoyed that book). Once again, Adriana Devoy creates amazing multi-faceted characters that you genuinely care about and a story that floats in all directions at once, but never loses its thread.Now, here's the interesting part about this - it is told from a thirteen year old girl's perspective, Ally, and while you do get to know her, the story is majorly focused on secondary characters, her family, her three aunts, and their pursuers/friends. So it's not really teen fiction while being teen fiction.I really liked this format even though my initial reaction was "Uh, I can't really get into reading about thirteen year-olds anymore."Luckily, I still gave it a chance, and I'm really glad I did.Ally seems very mature for her age. Some might find this unbelievable, but since I have a sister exactly her age that grew up with two much older sisters, I can vouch that it can be genuine. There is nothing naive about Ally, she is filled with hearsay wisdom, and most importantly, she understands everything that's going on around her.Ally's parents were awesome, and you can see that despite everything they went through there was genuine affection between them and they are making the best of what life has given them (or rather, took away from them).I loved reading about the girls, Mimi, Ally's real aunt that mothers her more than being her friend, always keeps her cool about her and is just a tad afraid to take the chances life gives her, Jess, a young music prodigy with that is trying so hard to be anything but, and Jewel, animal loving, hotheaded girl that is so off her path I thought surely she would never find the right one.You can just feel how close these three friends are, the dynamics between them was awesome. They offer comfort, they pick fights, they hate on men in their lives, they're there for each other through every one of their ups and downs. You can tell that when it comes to their friendship, nothing is more important.I won't pick favorites because I got attached to all three of them, but ironically, I identified the most with Jewel. Sometimes in books you feel a character speaks to you, and Jewel and I, we're like minds. I really wanted her to pull through because she needed a victory for once! I won't even think about what this says about me, so let's just leave it at that.The way they treat Ally, as if she's one of them, rather than "dumb" down to her level, I really liked that.The romantic aspect of this book isn't really the usual. It's not the main focus of the story, and while there are romantic elements to it, I thought it was so much more. Ultimately, this is a story about great friendship.I liked the men, too.I feel like I need to talk about Tristan! He starts out as the bastard ex-boyfriend, and the way they talk about him, you will come to realize it's just what girls do - they gang up on him because he's the ex. You get to know him, though, and he isn't nearly as bad (or I would say he's not bad at all).Noah, on the other hand, I started off rocky with. He seemed so condescending towards Jess that I just couldn't help rooting for Tristan. I did change my mind about him towards the end, though. I would say this is one of the rare occasions where the author managed to play with my emotions and have me feel guilty for rooting for the other guy.And finally, Kenny. I loved, loved, loved Kenny! He was my favorite of the guys, with his easy wit and caring, and I was really rooting for him.I'd talk about Mickey, too, but we didn't really see much of him. What I did see, I liked. He was an unlikely hero that I didn't give second thought until it became obvious he would be very important.So, the writing. As with the other book, I really liked it. It's incredibly readable, and despite being on the long-ish side I breezed through it (after I stalled in the beginning, I hate it when life gets in the way of my reading).It's really engaging and keeps you interested, sometimes even laughing at all the mishaps the characters get themselves into (Kenny and Poodle Plan :D, the angel plan, or Brett's house stakeout). Oh, there's a very funny cat-eats-moondust scene.I loved the way you sort of get these little episodes of their lives rather than a seamless story.I think these characters will stay with me. I like that her heroines seem to have this creative/caring streak to them - Jessie and Ally play the piano, Mimi is a great horticultural designer, Jewel always rescues and cares for stray animals.The story is a bit slower in pace, but that's okay, I sort of expected that for some reason.There is also a religious aspect to the story, but it is weaved into it without being preachy. I really liked that.Now, you know, I'm a HEA kind of girl, and I was a bit bothered that some of the things are left very open in the epilogue. I needed closure when it came to those things.Another thing that bothered me was how everything was sort of magically resolved in the end. The author gave it thought before, preparing you that it will be important, but I still thought that things like those don't happen in real life.This is a really clean read, for those who like to know these things upfront.So it's official then, Adriana Devoy is going on my autobuy list. I don't think she can write anything I don't like. And I just can't seem to write a short review for her books. Sheesh.(Again, I know I always complain about covers, so I might as well complain again. I think it doesn't do the book justice, at all.)