Sunday, December 21, 2014

Losing Logan/Haunting Zoe by Sherry Ficklin Review

Hey all and Happy Sunday! I've been a busy guy this weekend with blog posts and sprucing up the blog, did you notice that it's now snowing on here? I hope the flakes aren't too terribly distracting! I sure thought they were fun though! Anyway, this morning I have something different for you guys. My first ever review of an audiobook! I am going to post my thoughts on the novel just as though I would a regular book and then in the end I will list some of my thoughts about my first trip into the Audible world! This time on the chopping block? Losing Logan AND Haunting Zoe by Sherry D. Ficklin! Here's a bit about the book(s) and author before we get to my thoughts:

What if the one thing you never meant to hold on to, is the one thing you can’t let go of?

Normally finding a hot guy in her bedroom wouldn’t irritate Zoe so badly, but finding her childhood friend Logan there is a big problem. Mostly because he’s dead.

As the only person he can make contact with, he talks Zoe into helping him put together the pieces surrounding his mysterious death so he can move on.

Thrust into his world of ultra popular rich kids, Zoe is out of her element and caught in the cross-hairs of Logan’s suspicious ex-girlfriend and the friends he left behind, each of whom had a reason to want him dead. The deeper they dig to find the truth, the closer Zoe gets to a killer who would do anything to protect his secrets. And that’s just the start of her problems because Zoe is falling for a dead guy.

Sherry D. Ficklin
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Find Sherry F. Ficklin

My Thoughts:

Losing Logan was definitely one of the more different and original books I have read in quite some time. While the idea of ghosts is certainly not foreign to this reader, the way in which Sherry Ficklin gives us this ghost definitely was. What if the ghost could only be seen by one person? What if, in moments of extreme emotion, the ghost was able to feel, to be touched? Well, that changes the entire ballgame doesn't it? Enter my first ever ghost love story. LOL. 

That is definitely a joke, Losing Logan was not a romance. This is a paranormal young adult novel through and through. Sure there is a romantic element that ultimately sees the story through to its' end, but the overarching themes of this novel definitely stay closer to the paranormal genre than romance.

Speaking of themes, Ficklin really knocks this one out of the part. In addition to the craziness of high school, Zoe must face other harsh realities: acceptance, responsibility, judgement. That's not even including all the struggles she faces with her ever growing popularity over the course of the novel. Zoe has her work cut out for her. We all remember the awkward high school stage, but Sherry really portrays it to perfection!

I'm a little at fault here when writing this review. As you guys know, I usually include my favorite quotes and passages from the novel in my reviews, but since this one was an audiobook, I don't have any to share. Had this been a physical/ebook copy, I am sure I would have had some quotes. This book was actually really funny. A whole lot funnier than I would have ever imagined. Zoe is quick witted, sarcastic, and extremely comical at times. Zoe is my kind of friend. I love a girl who can hold her own and Zoe doesn't play around!

When it comes to Logan, I wasn't quite as impressed. Logan kind of got on my nerves at times. Why? Probably because Ficklin wrote him as the perfect high school male. He is exactly how I remember all the other guys in high school to be. Extremely immature, pompous, cocky, and slightly perverted. While he supplied a few great moments in the novel, most of the time I was just ready for him to move on. I really didn't get what Zoe saw in him, even as a ghost. I will say it was really interesting to read more about him in Haunting Zoe, but by the time I had finished Losing Logan, I was glad his and Zoe's storyline was over. 

On the topic of ending storylines, I have a few thoughts. While I loved this story, I was kind of glad to see it end as a standalone. Ficklin often has posted that she gets lots of requests for a sequel to this novel. I really didn't see the appeal in a sequel. Not because it wasn't awesome, but because Ficklin wraps up the story pretty perfectly. For the most part all of our characters have completed and fulfilled storylines by the time out story closes. I have a lot of respect for that. Writing a standalone in this day and age isn't easy. Readers are greedy and sometimes authors don't want to say goodbye to their characters. I believe Sherry Ficklin did the perfect thing by writing a short novella in the form of a prequel told from Logan's perspective. It gave fans more Logan and Zoe, but didn't ruin her original vision for Losing Logan at all! 

In the end, I really enjoyed Losing Logan, I thought it was original, deeply moving, and gave great, realistic insight to how this situation would be handled in a real life scenario. I particularly enjoyed that. I always enjoy when the paranormal novels are at least somewhat realistic. I mean, as realistic as a teenage drama filled romance can be between a mortal and a ghost, that is. All in all, I am granting Losing Logan by Sherry Ficklin a well deserved 4-star review. Sherry recently announced that she has some plans for the future that may give us some more glimpses into the world she created here, and I know I'll definitely be checking those out! Kudos to you Sherry Ficklin!

Haunting Zoe

Logan woke up with a big problem. He’s extremely dead. No one from his former life seems able to see or hear him, making his afterlife little more than a miserable nightmare. That is, until the day of his funeral, when the bitterly sarcastic Zoe, a friend from his childhood, starts calling him out at his own wake. Now his only chance at moving on means dealing with his sordid past—and the girl he never really got over.

My Thoughts

This will be super short. Haunting Zoe is the prequel novella to Losing Logan. It gives us some really useful insight into Logan's story before he and Zoe 'meet' at Logan's funeral. Now, here's my biggest issue with this. It isn't so much a novella as it is a chapter. This only clocks in at a little over twenty pages, the rest of it is just chapter one of Losing Logan. I was a little disappointed in that, but overall I found this to be rather interesting. Logan definitely grew on a me a bit during these 20+ pages. He got a little more... human for me! It was pretty awesome. Usually I wouldn't have even reviewed this, but just these few pages really made me have a bit more respect for Logan and his story that we ultimately see played out in Losing Logan. Definitely another 4-star read here! Glad I picked this one up! By the way, it's free!

So what about this being my first audiobook? While I do see the allure of an audiobook, I am not sure I will ever find myself to be a huge fan of them. All of my friends who listen to audiobooks religiously do it during their commutes to and from work. I live less than 5 minutes from work and don't have a need to do much traveling otherwise. Now I do make a 10 hour roadtrip about once every 6-8 weeks and believe that audiobooks will be very awesome for those trips. If you don't spend hours a day in a vehicle, honestly it's both cheaper and easier to probably just read the book yourself. Granted I got this one for free (thanks Sherry!), I'm not sure I could ever see myself paying $30-$50 for an audiobook, but that's just me. Others swear by them. 

Another issue I found while listening to this was my attention span. I was having to listen to some of the chapters more than once because I kept zoning out and would think "wait, what just happened?". It was nothing on the fault of the author or narrator (in fact, I rather enjoyed this narrator), I just think the audiobook format made it a bit more difficult for me to get into the book when I didn't have to force myself to follow words on a page. 

Like I said, audiobooks will probably never replace physical or ebooks for me, but it was definitely a fun experience! Thanks to Sherry, I still have one more audiobook to check out and it's one I've really been pumped to read. I am hoping this is another awesome experience for me! 

Well folks, that's all I have for you on the topics of Losing Logan and Haunting Zoe today! What do you guys think? Sound like something that may be up your alley? I high recommend checking them out! You won't be disappointed. With this, I am finally caught up on my reviews and will now be reviewing novels as I read them. Which hopefully means more reviews for you guys! Oh well, enjoy the rest of your weekend and get pumped, only 4 days until Christmas! Woo! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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