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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Vanished Books One & Two: When Lightning Strikes; Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You)

Vanished: When Lightning Strikes & Code Name Cassandra - Meg Cabot Ah, omnibus editions. When Lightning Strikes: Unlike the first Mediator book, this doesn’t really grab me into the series at first. Which is a let-down seeing that a lot of the book focuses on how Jess gets her power in the first place.The problem is the pacing of the plot—the whole book takes place within a week, two weeks tops. Jess hasn’t explored the limits of what she can do after three phone calls, although she doesn’t seem particularly disturbed by the fact that she knows where people are. I can understand the FBI getting involved after the first dead body, but if she’s calling from different locations, it would have been more intriguing if Jess had been doing this for a while and then people catch on to “Hey, someone from Indiana knows where all of these kids are.”I do like how Jess approaches the morality of what she does, though. I like that she gets pissed when people start asking her about she’ll do with the reward money. Once she realizes that not everything’s as black-and-white as it seems, Jess does take steps to make sure that she’s not involved anymore. Of course, again, she doesn’t really realize that she’s out forever, but she catches on pretty quickly.Jess is an interesting character—I like how she’s quick to defend the people she cares about, and that’s she’s willing to stand up for herself. She’s more of a tomboy, and not just in the “I don’t like to wear dresses!” vein. (Also, I love her “MOTORCYCLE *DROOOL*”) Rob’s more of the strong, silent bad boy with a heart of gold, so he’s a little bit better than most of Meg Cabot’s other love interests. The only other character who interests me is Jess’s brother, Douglas. You can see that he’s got problems and how much that affects his family. Other than that, no one really stands out.Since this is an omnibus edition, I don’t mind it too much now that the opening’s a little bland. (And again, an updated edition—cue my brain screeching when Jess talks about buying a PS3.) As such, we have book 2 to automatically follow up.Code Name Cassandra: What I really like about this book is that it shows how much Jess still has to deal with being “Lightning Girl” with the Feds and the public. From the end of the last book, she had a good reason for claiming to have lost her powers and I like that while she tries to keep one step ahead of Agents Smith and Johnson, they’re clearly more experienced and trip her up. And Jess’s reply is to snark. Ah, I love her.That said, I’m really not a fan of the central mystery in this volume. It doesn’t have the same action and uncertainty as book one had, and a lot of it just feels like a way for Jess to slip up. I’m also not really a fan of the summer camp setting; while it’s nice to get away from the high school element for a while, there’s not much that really happens.All in all, Book 2 feels more like a filler volume compared to the rest of the series. You see more character development if anything (although with Jess, there’s really not much to her aside from softening up a tiny bit). It’s not a bad book, but in terms of plot, there’s not much there.