Friday, March 20, 2015

Review | Dust To Dust by Melissa C. Walker

Dust To Dust by Melissa C. Walker
Series: Ashes #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Borrowed
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon 

When Callie McPhee miraculously recovers from a tragic accident that should have taken her life, she thought her connection to the ghost world would be severed forever. And that she would never see Thatcher—the ghost she fell in love with in the hereafter—again. But when she receives unexpected signs from Thatcher, she's led down a dark road toward the angry souls who once tried to steal her soul's energy for another chance at life.

Now Callie must prevent the real world and the spirit world from colliding, and that could mean saying good-bye to people she'd never imagined she'd lose.
  (excerpt from Goodreads) 

This is the second book in the the Ashes Series. 
There are minor spoilers for the first book in this seriesso proceed at your own risk.  
I have tried to keep spoilers limited to what is included or alluded to in the summary. 

Dust to Dust by Melissa C. Walker

My Thoughts:  As the book begins, Callie is back on earth after the big reveal in the previous book. She continues to heal from injuries she sustained months ago, but she is mentally and emotionally different now - she isn't a risk-taker anymore, she isn't loud or overly-outgoing, and she is reeling from the heartbreak of losing Thatcher, her ghost Guide from the Prism. Callie has the support of her father in more ways than ever and they are mending their relationship, plus she has her boyfriend Nick and her best friend Carson by her side. Things are progressing well except that Callie has been experiencing unusual dreams and visions, and she is also wondering if she could be sensing Thatcher in the space around her. 

Callie is overjoyed when she realizes that she can sense Thatcher around her (she still has strong feelings for him), and she eventually learns that he is there to protect her...but from what?  


I enjoyed both Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust, which makes me happy because I'm such a big fan of Author Melissa C. Walker. This book is an easy continuation with an easy transition from one book to the next. To me, the two best plot lines in Dust to Dust are the good vs. evil plot thread with the poltergeists from Prism and the love triangle with Callie, Nick, and Thatcher. I loved these parts of the story because I genuinely didn't know what the final outcome would be until it was down to the wire. 

1. The poltergeists figured out in the first book that they could harness Callie's energy and use it to their benefit, causing all sorts of trouble both in Prism and on earth. NOW they are trying to take this a step further and cause permanent changes to things on earth, which can be devastating for some people, including some of the people that Callie loves most. Callie is willing to do anything in her power to stop these poltergeists and keep people safe, including risk her own life. 

There are instances of pure meanness by the poltergeists along with some pretty neat action sequences. This led up to a scene in which Callie had to make some big decisions - saving some that she loves could possibly risk losing others that she loves. There is plenty to go along with this plot thread and it is probably the driving force of the book, but getting too detailed here is not necessary. I just found it an interesting arc across the two books, I liked the trickster-antics of the poltergeists and their manipulative ways, and I appreciate all that they brought to the series even though they were the actual bad guys. 

2. This love triangle was so tricky! It was tricky in the first book and it was no less tricky in this installment. I'm not sure that I've come across a situation like this before in my own reading and I was actually surprised by how everything ended up - I liked it. I think there is more resolution than I could have hoped for. Still, with any love triangle, there is heartbreak and that is present here too. (I'm interested in seeing how readers respond here.) 

I also liked: 

3. The new character, Dylan. Most of the characters returned from the first book, which is always fun, but Dylan is a fresh, quirky voice in this book and it is actually very needed. Dylan's position in the story is quite original, he is funny, and he brings relief to the story during a couple of scenes that need it. 

4. Relationships. I love the way Callie and her father have a fresh, restored relationship after her accident, as if her brush with death has opened their eyes to how precious life is. This isn't a topic that is explored very often in young adult books from my experience, and I love seeing it written in a way that feels authentic and realistic across both of the books in this duology. I also love the relationship between Callie and her best friend, Carson. Carson is a little on the sometimes-annoying side, but Callie is too at times - what BFF isn't every now and then, right? What these two have is a friendship that transcends those annoying and trying times and appears quite genuine, a real love for one another, and I love that representation in this series. This is one thing that I notice consistently in Melissa C. Walker's books - great friendships. 

Melissa C. Walker's Ashes Series is certainly a departure from her contemporary young adult, but I enjoyed it. I think that if I'm honest, it's most fair to say that I love the contemporary the best, but this series is definitely fun. I love her take on the afterlife and ghosts, and I love that she is always able to bring a very subtle spiritual undertone to her stories without being annoying or hurtful. Dust to Dust is a fitting sequel to Ashes to Ashes - I loved these characters and I do feel that they are all where they should be, doing what they should be doing. I recommend Dust to Dust to readers that enjoy stories involving ghosts, great friendships, and restored family relationships. 


Dust to Dust will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult Paranormal - Ghosts
Romance: Love Triangle, interesting resolution.
Great Friendship 
Restored Family RelationshipGreat Setting: Charleston  

Dust to Dust by Melissa C. Walker
will be available for purchase on May 5, 2015.



Have you read any of Melissa C. Walker's books? 
Do you have a favorite? 
I LOVE THEM. I have a few left on the backlist. 


On Resurrecting My Contemporary Event

Hi everyone! 

You guys see this picture to the left? The one with my toes and my Coke and my Kindle? This is the cute picture I was using last year for my 2014 Contemporary Event, which was scheduled for July - I LOVE doing these every year, reading the contemporaries, talking about them, all of that. Some years have been more successful than others even though I haven't been doing it for that long. 

Last year, I was all set to do Contemporary Month by myself technically for the first time, which was totally fine. I picked July because, summer books yessss. (Although we all read contemps anytime, obviously.) And then life happened in the form of THE BIG MOVE on July 14th. Like, we found out that we had to move a couple weeks before then and we packed for like a week and then we moved on July 14th and then unpacked for the rest of the month. 

Event = completely ruined. 

Contemporary Month basically fizzled out before it even gained any momentum, because this move was unplanned and my family needed me - sometimes things like this happen in life. I mean, the name of the event was REAL LIFE HAPPENS, how appropriate, right? I was so sad about it then because I just love stories about real life, I love talking about them on my blog so much, and I just felt sad that I had three full boxes of contemps + a Kindle-full and there. they. sat

Until two days ago! 

In looking around lately at things that make me happy and keep my bloggy-momentum, I want to do my Contemporary Event. I love it so much. With things up in the air with my Dad, I'm not 100% sure what this event will look like yet exactly, to be honest. But I want to do it anyway. I unpacked my three boxes of contemporary books, and many of them were books that were to be given away - a few are from publishers (better late than never, right?) and some are books that I can give to new homes because I also have a digital copy. Also: 

Some of the contemporaries I want to read and talk about are books that I have for review and oops I'm a little behind, no better time! Some are summer books, perfect timing! Some are books that have been recommended to me and doggone it, I just want to read them. Some are rereads, and in some cases some are series I want to binge/finish. I want to review, I want to make lists, I want to have discussions. 

So, help me out here:  I don't know that it needs to be contained within one month exactly. Should it? Should there be one month of just contemporary? Or should there be other things in there too? (Probably.) Should it be spaced out over the length of summer? (This would give me wiggle room when I miss days, like with my Dad's physicians appointments and plus there are a lot of books, you guys.) Spacing it out would give me the time to take my time and blog the best that I can, which is my favorite way. BUT would people get tired of it? I doubt it, especially if they know it is an event, especially if I mix it with some other stuff - if it is over the summer, it shouldn't be the same thing over and over for the entire three-ish months. Variety, see. I have not done it this way before. If I do it this way, it will be new. 
ALSO: I'd like to use the same picture from up there! What do you think? It reminds me of where my old home, it's from my backyard and I'm a little homesick. Is that lame? Should I do a new one? Real life happened to me, and the name of the event was/will be REAL LIFE HAPPENS, so should I stick with the picture I didn't get to use or should I do a new one for 2015? TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS AND BE HONEST. Totally honest. 

That was a lot of stream-of-consciousness, but I guess what I'm asking is: what are your best ideas for my contemporary event? (That's presumptuous, isn't it?) In the past, I've always done one month of flat-out contemporary. I'm thinking that switching it up may be the best thing for me, but what do you guys think? I want you guys to be participants in the discussion, to talk to me about these books. You guys are much of the reason that I love contemporary in the first place, so it's important to me that you are with me

So, thoughts? Be honest, but please be nice about it!