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When There’s Somethin’ Strange In the Neighborhood

Meghan reviews Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Series (Books 1-2), which had her on the edge of her seat.

When There’s Somethin’ Strange In the Neighborhood

BOOK REPORT for the Darkest Powers Series (Book 1-2) by Kelley Armstrong

BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Easy Peasy
Bonus Factor: Heroes, Reform School
Relationship Status: Spring Break Hookup

The Deal:

Chloe Saunders moves around a lot. Her mom died when she was a little kid, and she's been raised mainly by her aunt Lauren while her dad runs around being Mr. Corporate Absentee Father. On the day she gets her first period (so Judy Blume), she also starts seeing ghosts. She gets chased by the scary melting ghost of a janitor who'd been killed in an accident at her high school, and gets locked up in a group home for mentally disturbed kids. But she KNOWS she's not schizophrenic, yo. When she starts poking around (like you do) and discovers at least one kid has mysteriously disappeared from Lyle House -- and her roommate gets carted away by men in white coats after having an uncontrolled telekinetic fit -- she teams up with resident hot boy Simon and his weird, slightly creepy foster brother Derek to figure out just WHAT is going on.

Ok, since this is a series, I don't want to spoil the first book by talking toooo much about the second, but there is some serious underhanded shizz going on, and natch some awesome runnin' from the law. Oh, and a wickedly nasty mean girl.

BFF Charm: Yay!

I'd totally give Chloe a BFF charm. She can wear it on the chain next to the amulet her mom gave her to keep her from seeing the ghosts in the basement when she was a little girl! And then we can talk about movies and write screenplays together, cos Chloe wants to be a director a la Dawson Leery when she grows up. I'd roll my eyes and give her a friendly shove when she starts getting too Dawson on me and talks about how if this were a movie, blah blah blah, but really I'd be impressed by her skillz. Plus, we could make a movie about our adventures later! Or she could at least invite me to the red carpet premiere of her first movie! And I swear I wouldn't make it on Go Fug Yourself with my outfit!

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

This really a 5-going-on-8 cos I can TELL there's gonna be some awesome sparks in the third book! Of which HarperTeen is releasing a few preview chapters at a time before it comes out in April (plus you can read all of Book 1 online)! Simon's way cute with his blond hair (from his Swedish mother) and dark skin and almond eyes (from his Asian dad), but his brother Derek has a way about him and let me tell you (small spoiler here):

He's nowhere NEAR as creepy as you think. Trust me. Sizzle.

Talky Talk: Easy Peasy

So Kelley Armstrong won't be winning any awards for her complex and poetical writing, but she tells a good story and knows how to keep you turning the pages! You know how you start to get annoyed when you read a series, and it seems like every time you turn around, the protagonists are running and hiding from the bad guys YET AGAIN? Well, Armstrong knows how to have you on the edge of your seat, not annoyed. Plus, she's pretty badass at the last-minute twists and reveals.

Bonus Factor: Heroes

Y'all, this book has some serious heroes shizz going on. Like, mysterious powers and genetic modification and a creepy shadow corporation and divided loyalties and people not being who you think they are. Except instead of being able to fly, it's all supernatural stuff like werewolves and fire demons and seeing ghosts.

Bonus Factor: Reform School

So Lyle House isn't exactly reform school, but it is a bunch of kids living together away from home. And "psychiatric group home" really isn't something to joke about or glorify as a bonus factor, ya know?

Casting Call:

Hayden Panettiere as Chloe

Ok, so Hayden's kind of annoying, but she's tiny and blond and cheerful and perky, and so's Chloe. And Chloe's not annoying.

Leonardo Nam as Simon

Kierstin Koppel as Tori

Taylor Lautner as Derek

Spoilerish! About Taylor Lautner ....

Totally typecasting the poor guy here.

Relationship Status: Spring Break Hookup

These books are exciting and fun while they last, but I don't know if they'd even have the heat to make it through a summer fling. They're more like that hot guy who lives down the street from your grandmother who you hook up with the last two days of spring break when you tell her you're just going to go out for a run. You don't expect any kind of commitment with -- you're not going to start texting or even think about him when you go back to school -- but if you bump into him over Thanksgiving or something, it won't be super awkward, and you might hook up again.

Meghan Miller's photo About the Author: Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas and writer for Forever Young Adult. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.