Review: Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff is one YA romance that swept me up quickly. I couldn’t read fast enough. The plot was that juicy…and addictive. The characters felt real. Their dilemmas had me laughing, crying, and left wondering what next.

A young finds her her boyfriend in an unexpected situation. To Sari, it looked like betrayal and felt like it too. Her boyfriend, Zev, tried to explain but Sari wasn’t having any of it. She just wanted to leave immediately and be rid of him. But love, if  real, doesn’t back down nor die. Nor does it give up that easily. Sari will have to find the answers to how to deal with the shocking betrayal and decide where her and Zev’s fate lie.

Shani Petroff had me hooked. This book was a lot of fun. I really like the teenagers that were created. First love, kisses, and the confusion of what to do in those cases led me back to a time when I too, was that young. Overall, I recommend this romantic and heartfelt tale to all readers.

Extra Attention: New Releases for Early August

Extra Attention

Author of Factory Man and Truevine Beth Macy investigates the opioid crisis in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America (Little, Brown and Company, 8/7).

The late Hans Rosling, along with co-authors Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund, gives ten reasons why we are wrong about the world around us in Factfulness (Flatiron, 8/3)*. Bill Gates recommends it as “one of the most important books I’ve ever read.”

Spotlight: Young Adult

This month we spotlight ten key young adult titles, including:

  • Brandy Colbert, Finding Yvonne (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 8/7)
  • Somaiya Daud, Mirage (Flatiron Books, 8/28)
  • John Feinstein, The Prodigy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 8/28)
  • Kit Frick, See All the Stars (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 8/14)
  • Zach Hines, Nine (HarperTeen, 8/7)
  • Kody Keplinger, That’s Not What Happened* (Scholastic, 8/28)
  • Lindsey Klingele, The Truth Lies Here (HarperTeen, 8/21)
  • Maggie Lehrman, The Last Best Story (Balzer + Bray, 8/7)
  • Gretchen McNeil, #MurderTrending (Freeform, 8/7)
  • Linsey Miller, Ruin of Stars (Sourcebooks Fire, 8/28)
Literary Favorites and Emerging Talents

Among titles sure to attract attention are:

Debut Fiction

Among the new writers with the most anticipated first works of fiction in the early part of August:

  • Caz Frear, Sweet Little Lies (Harper, 8/14)
  • Crystal Hana Kim, If You Leave Me (William Morrow, 8/7)
  • Ling Ma, Severance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 8/14)
Commercial Fiction

The big names with new books out in the first half of the month include:

  • Dathan Auerbach, Bad Man (Doubleday, 8/7)
  • Louise Candlish, Our House* (Berkley, 8/7)
  • T. Greenwood, Rust & Stardust (St. Martin’s Press, 8/7)
  • Linnea Hartsuyker, The Sea Queen (Harper, 8/14)
  • Kristan Higgins, Good Luck With That* (Berkley, 8/7)
  • Nuala O’Connor, Becoming Belle (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 8/7)
  • James Patterson, Texas Ranger (Little, Brown, 8/13)
  • Lori Rader-Day, Under a Dark Sky (William Morrow, 8/7)
  • M.J. Rose, Tiffany Blues (Atria Books, 8/7)
  • Lisa Scottoline, Feared (St. Martin’s Press, 8/14)
  • Olen Steinhauer, The Middleman (Minotaur Books, 8/7)
Nonfiction

Prominent and notable authors with new nonfiction releases:

Review: How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You by Tara Eglington

How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You (Aurora Skye #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

After a perfect first kiss, Aurora’s second kiss lands her boyfriend in the hospital, and her matchmaking strategies start to backfire in this sequel to Tara Eglington’s How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You.

For a girl who shares her name with a princess (aka Sleeping Beauty), Aurora Skye’s romantic life seems fathoms away from a fairy tale. Sure, she’s landed her prince charming, Hayden Paris. And she got her wish—one first kiss with all the knee-trembling, butterfly-inducing gloriousness she’d hoped for. But instead of happily ever after, their second kiss landed Hayden in the emergency room. If that’s not mortifying enough, the whole school is now referring to her as “Lethal Lips.”

When Aurora’s best friend decides to run for class president and offers up Aurora’s matchmaking service as one of her campaign initiatives, the kissing games begin. Aurora has to convince everyone that her program works—but that might be hard to do when it seems like her own love life might be falling apart.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You by Tara Eglington is a lighthearted read. It’s funny, sweet, and realistic. I loved Aurora’s list for finding the perfect guy. Do not settle for anything else than what you are worthy for-according to Aurora. I wished I had met this teenage girl when I was in high school. She’s cool, caring, and energetic. Aurora has waited a long time for her first kiss and got it. Her second kiss turned out to be a disaster and from there life got messy for her. The trials, friendship, and relationship stuff was fun to follow. It felt like I knew her for years. Out of all the YA contemporary fiction novels that I have read, this one beats them all. The morals, laugh out loud moments, and heart melting scenes made this a special read. Overall, I recommend to readers everywhere.

Review: Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith

Red Velvet Crush

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Rock music, a broken family, challenging sisters, and the crush of first love—Red Velvet Crush has everything you need in a summer read. For fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite PlaylistEleanor & Park, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

Teddy Lee’s mother ran off when she was in second grade. And ever since, Teddy Lee, the often-overshadowed middle kid, has tried to keep her family together. But her older brother Winston usually keeps himself busy with smoking, drinking, and girls, and who knows what else. Her younger sister Billie is occupied with her shoplifting habit and boys . . . and who knows what else. So when Teddy Lee finally takes the songs she’s always written and forms a band, maybe it’ll bring everyone closer together, maybe it’ll be her time to shine. Unless Billie steals the spotlight—and the boy—just like she always does. Christina Meredith explores the complicated relationship of sisters—both the unconditional love and the unavoidable resentments—in a novel full of music, urgency, the first blushes of love, and the undeniable excitement of hitting the road.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith is a deep story of two sisters. One of them is always being overshadowed by the other one. Teddy Lee just wants her family to be a family again. So, she comes up with an idea and let it roll. But it isn’t too long before her sister, Billie once again takes over…and things go down hill from there. I liked Teddy. She seemed likable and wanting what’s good for others. Her family is in this broken weird phrase. One that cannot be shaken. Her father loves her and her sister. He raised them when the mother left and still sends stuff to Billie despite what she does. Christina Meredith realistically displayed a dysfunctional family, teenagers, and dreams. I found it all interesting.

Review: I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

I'm Not Missing

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain is a heartfelt YA novel. I followed a young Latina girl as she went through abandonment from her mom and her so-called best friend, Sydney. The girls relationship felt more one-sided. Miranda was more of a friend to Sydney than Sydney was to her. I was glad that Miranda didn’t have such a toxic friend in her life. It was sad but in a good way. Miranda is a protagonist that was easy to love. She’s bright, kind, and energetic. Her life seemed empty until she fell in love with a guy. Nick is a top boy scout and is headed to Harvard. Miranda is headed to Brown. Their colleges are pretty close…and it’s up to them to see where their stars lay.

Carrie Fountain had me falling in love with her characters. A young girl trying to step out into the light after being hidden away by a friend. Sydney was rude, obnoxious, and overbearing. She kept her friend in the dark, literally. The two girls had one connection other than that, they were complete opposites. I cried, laughed, and cheered as Miranda found herself. She totally blossomed by the ending. Overall, this novel was spectacular.

Review: The Rainmaker by Petra Landon


 

 

Synopsis:

As they race to untangle the past and thwart a power-hungry Wizard, Tasia must face her toughest decision yet. Can she take a leap of faith and risk her deadliest secret?

Tasia Armstrong is no longer a nondescript, friendless and naïve Wizard flying under the radar on the fringes of Chosen society. With her fate now publicly entwined with that of a powerful Shifter Pack, she must navigate the minefield of Pack politics while keeping her secrets and cover safe from the Chosen who hunt her. With a Pack to defend her, a powerful Alpha to protect her interests and friends to watch her back, her life is a far cry from before. But living with the Shifters holds new challenges for a Chosen more used to the shadows.

The stakes have never been higher as old fault lines, long-buried secrets, Wizard dysfunction, and Lady Bethesda’s ruthless machinations draw the Chosen ever closer to a civil war. While Tasia grapples to avoid the pitfalls and confront her demons, it is an unlikely nemesis who forces her to face her moment of truth. Tasia finds herself at the crossroads – at stake are her carefully constructed house of cards and her tangled relationship with the man who holds her enemies at bay. Will Tasia risk opening Pandora’s Box or will she disappear into the shadows again?

Author’s Note: The Rainmaker continues the story from The Prophecy. The books are not standalone and are intended to be read in order.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Rainmaker by Petra Landon is the second installment to this exciting paranormal fantasy series. Here, three sisters are crucial to fulfill a prophecy that none of them really know about…their mother is using them to create the prophecy foretold. Chaos, danger, and risks are involved on both sides. War seems inevitable seeing as one woman wants to destroy would be alliances among different beings as well as use certain sides for her own agendas.

I found this story intriguing. Plenty of action to keep the plot moving at a great pace. So many things are involved and the end game could result for the worse. Wizards, weres, and vampires are found as cast members. Each one has a particular tie in this tug of war. Enemies are everywhere and it’s only a mattter of time before things break apart. Tasia is the leading protagonist and most likable character. Her life is barely hanging onto a thread. So many choices and so little time…I highly recommend this second novel to readers worldwide.

Review: The Scent of Rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl–Rose–running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father’s age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery is an intriguing novel about Mormons and their cults. Young girls are expected to marry older men with dozens of wives. This is sexual abuse and outrageous. Inside this story is about one young woman with dreams of her own who escapes that life and runs for it. Animal cruelty is also found here, as well. I felt outraged. It was both sad, frustrating and frightening to read. This kind of stuff still happens, today. The writer has done her research into these topics that are covered in her novel. It is both an eye opener and a nightmare. The plot itself was engaging. I was hooked on following Rose, the main protagonist and her new found friend, Adian. Together, they both are running away from their lives. Escaping from things they should not have to worry about but do. Overall, this book was a good read. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Return of the Continuums (book 2)

Return of the Continuums (The Continuum Trilogy #2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As Myra Jackson and her friends set out to find the First Continuum, Captain Aero Wright and two companions from the outer space Second Continuum find themselves banished for treason and stranded on Earth. Wright has vowed to complete his late father’s mission to recolonize their ancestral planet, but his true mission is to find the mysterious girl who haunts his dreams. Meanwhile, Myra and the young refugees of the underwater Thirteenth Continuum must make an unlikely ally if they are going to survive the hostile surface world and reach their destination, the nexus of humanity’s hope for survival. As their paths begin to converge, the Beacons that guide and connect Myra and Aero begin to prove their power, and a shadowy force with a centuries-old grudge reveals itself.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Return of the Continuums by Jennifer Brody is a great YA dystopian novel. It continues off where the first novel left off. A bunch of teens working together to finish a quest. The obstacles that await them are challenging. It kind of reminds me a little of Star Wars and the Jedi. They have lost a lot of people for cause that may or may not win. Loss, grief, struggles, war, and survival are themes found in this book. Only two characters hold the burden of survival on their shoulders. Determined, they continue their journey for hope. For those looking for action, adventure, and fantasy…this, is a must read. It contains all of these elements.

Review: Nature’s Confession

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The epic tale of two teens in a fight to save a warming planet . . . the universe . . . and their love. A cli-fi quest full of romance, honor, and adventure.

 

LitPick 5-Star-Review Award winner
#1 Top Fiction Read (ARC) of 2014, Marinovich Books

 

Best of a New Genre, included in “12 Works of Climate Fiction Everyone Should Read”
Eco-Fiction Honorable Mention
5-Star Foreword review

When a smart-mouthed, mixed-race teen wonders why the work that needs to be done pays nothing compared to the busywork glorified on holovision news, the search for answers takes him on the wildest journey of anyone’s lifetime. Their planet is choked with pollution. They can’t do anything about it . . . or can they? With the girl of his dreams, he inadvertently invents living computers. Just as the human race allows corporations to pollute Earth into total desolation, institute martial law and enslave humanity, the two teens set out to save civilization. Can they thwart polluters of Earth and other fertile planets? The heroes come into their own in different kinds of relationships in this diverse, multicultural romance. Along the way, they enlist the help of female droid Any Gynoid, who uncovers cutting-edge scientific mysteries. Their quest takes them through the Big Bang and back. Will Starliament tear them from the project and unleash ‘intelligent’ life’s habitual pollution, or will youth lead the way to a new way of coexisting with Nature?

Nature’s Confession couldn’t be more timely, amidst the largest climate change march in world history when world leaders converged for an emergency UN Climate Summit in New York City. With illustrations and topics for discussion at the back of the book, JL Morin entertains questions about busywork; economic incentives to pollute; sustainable energy; exploitation; cyborgs; the sanctity of Nature; and many kinds of relationships in this diverse, multicultural romance.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Nature’s Confession by J. L. Morin is an interesting science fiction read. There are a lot strong messages about our environment. I actually liked that. Many of us forget about the impact of our action on/in our environments. Pollution is one major issue that we still have not found a solution for…our cities are so polluted no one thinks of the pollution as an issue. Because they have grown so used to it. If you can’t see the stars at night, there is too much pollution where one lives. J. L. Morin entertained me as I dug further into the book while bringing up these issues. I found it engaging to read. Not many fictional writers bother to address real world issues like pollution into their stories. Overall, I recommend Nature’s Confession to readers everywhere.

Review: The Breathing Sea I

Synopsis:

Second Place in Epic Fantasy, Virtual FantasyCon 2017!

Dasha is a gift from the gods. Only she’s not very gifted. Or at least so it seems to her.

Eighteen years ago, Dasha’s mother made a bargain with the gods. She would bear a gods-touched child, one who would stand on the threshold between the worlds, human and divine. Dasha is that child, now almost ready to become a woman, and one day take her mother’s place as Empress of all of Zem’. Except that Dasha is shy, lonely, and one of the least magically inclined girls in the Known World. Instead she has fits and uncontrollable visions. When she sets off with her father on her first journey away from her home kremlin, she hopes she will finally find someone who can help her come into her powers. But those whom she finds only want to use her instead. What will it take for her to unlock the abilities hidden within her, and take up her proper place in the world?

The sequel to the award-winning novel “The Midnight Land,” “The Breathing Sea” returns to the land of Zem’, where animals speak, trees walk, and women rule. Filled with allusions to Russian history, literature, and fairy tales, this coming-of-age tale straddles the line between high fantasy and literary fiction.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Breathing Sea I by E.P. Clark is an interesting fantasy. This novel features women as the rulers. The matriarch theme is unusual in most fiction novels. However, for this tale, it works great. The plot was steady. It contained a lot of magic, power, and action. Dasha has a heavy weigh on her shoulders. Sometimes it was hard to connect with her others times it was easy. I believe Dasha still needs a bit more time to mature fully. Yet she still holds potential as the main protagonist. Dasha goes on a journey to find her way in the world she lives within as well as what she may fully be capable of doing. I found that journey quest intriguing. Overall, The Breathing Sea was entertaining and held my interest.

Review: Road to Eugenica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two dimensions – And the girl who connects them.

Yesterday, Drea Smith couldn’t do anything spectacular—even walking and texting at the same time was a challenge. But today, she suddenly has more answers than Google, can speak and understand numerous languages, and she can fight. Like a boss.

Super freaky.

Drea has no idea where her encyclopedic knowledge has come from, but she’ll take it when she discovers someone out there knows her secret and wants her badly. And that they’ve been searching for her since she was born.

Since she was created.

With the help of her best friend Dylan, who just wants to keep her safe, and Maddox, a mysterious new boy who is prepared to get her answers, Drea will have to push her new skills to their limit as she uncovers nothing is quite what it seems.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Road to Eugencia by A.M. Rose is an intriguing YA science fiction/fantasy tale. A young teen has her entire life flipped upside down and inside out…it’s torn apart. First, she comes down sick, then, there’s a car crash and her dad doesn’t make it. Her mom is not who she thought she was. And then, there’s two guys. One of them is her best friend forever, Dylan. He’s crazy about Drea. Dylan wants to keep her safe. Next is Maddox. He too, wants to keep her safe.

Road to Eugencia is full of action, suspense, and danger. The attraction Drea feels towards Dylan feels real. After going through all the hell, Drea has to figure out whose after her and why. Staying safe, will be difficult. But with Dylan, Drea feels safe.

The shadowing from the end of this novel, has me wondering everything I thought I knew about Drea’s situation and her best friend, Dylan. I can’t wait to read the next book! Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Weightless

Synopsis:

When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Sarah Bannan’s deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Weightless by Sarah Bannan is a novel everyone should read. It’s about bullying, manipulation, and disaster. Loss, grief, uncertainty and coming of age themes are woven into the plot. One girl went from being a typical teenager to dying. Bullying happened. Maybe, she was to blame as well. But the horrifying elements of the attacks against her made me cringe.

Carolyn Lessing was popular. Loved and hated. Yet, it all began with dating a senior. From there her life changed dramatically. Drama increased. From a jealous ex to thrown glass, Carolyn experienced it all. Blood, taunting, and harassment never stopped. I felt sorry for Carolyn. She didn’t deserve what she received.

Sarah Bannan took me back to the era of being a high schooler. That’s a time, I would love to forget. I thought I had it bad…until, I read this book. Carolyn suffered worse. Her whole life got torn to shreds and inside out…

No one helped her.

The worst part, she really didn’t seek for help either.

Teenagers are cruel. They’re not saints. That image and philosophy can be seen on every page. I was shocked. These things actually happen to teens everywhere. Some have it even worse than Carolyn did. A life is changed and gone forever, a community destroyed, a family never whole, and the memory will haunt forever…

Weightless by Sarah Bannan is a great read. I was hooked. I didn’t like the tormentors much. Their personalities probably describe how real ones act and feel. But it just made me move as far away from them as possible. I’m still wanting to know why they did it. The book left me wondering why…so much pain and hurt was felt. It’s a sad novel.

Review: The History Makers

Synopsis:

What would the world be like today had the greatest civilization never fallen?

By the time Spanish explorers reached the Americas, the Aztec Empire was one of the greatest powers in the world. The ancient priests would slaughter human sacrifices, sometimes by the thousands, all under the pretext that their gods needed blood to make the sun rise every day. What would have happened had this empire prevailed over the Spanish and survived to this day? How would its bloodthirsty theocracy fit in with our world?

Myla is an upper-class teenager in modern-day Azteca, partying her days away with her friends and the man who has claimed her as his wife. On her seventeenth birthday, she is finally “enlightened” and told the truth: that the Priesthood is lying to everyone. Then, in an intriguing twist of fate, she finds herself in the hands of Aztec’s rebels and their leader, Tezca.

Myla must now sort through all the lies she has been told her whole life and confront old secrets buried deep. Can she trust these people? Are they terrorists or freedom-fighting revolutionaries? And will she join them to dismantle the theocracy and its lies, or will the price she would be made to pay be too high?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The History Makers by Val Bodurtha is a fascinating novel for historical lovers, like myself. I found myself of immediately taken with the story. A what if journey that is just as enticing as it is frightening. Take a major historical empire and seeing it survive…is amazing. But their way of living…is something that would horrify all. Human sacrifices. Not just one sacrifice but thousands just to keep a tradition of ruling alive. Imagine living your life among people and a culture that believe human bloodshed is the way to keep their Gods happy…then, to find doubt within that culture. Are they really telling lies and killing innocents or is it just another plot to over take the already existing empire?

Val Bodurtha’s writing is haunting. I was hooked. It kept me turning the pages. Myla is a character that I really enjoyed following. She developed into a stronger character as the tale unfolded. I liked her from the beginning and loved her overall transformation, too. Intrigue, danger, coming of age, and some romance can be found in this exciting adventure. The History Makers spins the Aztec culture and life into a modern world. It was quite good to read. I recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this unrequited love story will appeal to fans of Jennifer Niven, John Green, and Jesse Andrews.

Seriously, how can you see a person nearly every day of your life and never think a thing of it, then all of a sudden, one day, it’s different? You see that goofy grin a thousand times and just laugh. But goofy grin #1,001 nearly stops your heart?

Right. That sounds like a bad movie already.

Matt Wainwright is constantly sabotaged by the overdramatic movie director in his head. He can’t tell his best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her, he implodes on the JV basketball team, and the only place he feels normal is in Mr. Ellis’s English class, discussing the greatest fart scenes in literature and writing poems about pissed-off candy-cane lumberjacks.

If this were a movie, everything would work out perfectly. Tabby would discover that Matt’s madly in love with her, be overcome with emotion, and would fall into his arms. Maybe in the rain.

But that’s not how it works. Matt watches Tabby get swept away by senior basketball star and all-around great guy Liam Branson. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough, but screwing up and losing her as a friend is even worse.

After a tragic accident, Matt finds himself left on the sidelines, on the verge of spiraling out of control and losing everything that matters to him. From debut author Jared Reck comes a fiercely funny and heart-wrenching novel about love, longing, and what happens when life as you know it changes in an instant.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck is just as sad and emotionally entertaining as The Fault in Our Stars movie. But there’s more hope, humor, and love to go around in this story. Two friends who mattered to each other more than they originally thought. A guy who couldn’t tell his BFF that he was in  love with her. Then, she gets swept up by another guy, and the animal inside him goes wild. Anger, jealousy, and hurt soon follow Matt. Matt wants Tabby. But Branson beat him to it. He acts out and as fate will have it, he loses her altogether. This novel felt so real it was hard to put it down…the pagesflew by and the character, Matt, made it interesting. I cried just as much as watching the sad movie, The Faukt in Our Stars. So sad…be prepared to have a tissue box handy, because Jared Reck will score a triple home run…

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Haunting the Deep

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous “ship of dreams”—a story made all the more fascinating because the author’s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather is deeply engaging. Spooky, intriguing, and mysterious scenes keep me turning the pages. I love historical events. Here, the writer has brought another historical event to life. The terror of the horrible fate is relived once again. That alone brought chills to my spine. Then, there was the drama that the teen, Sam, faced. Someone is causing her trouble and if it’s not stopped soon, she could be added into that terrible fate…

Adriana Mather’s writing is good. I felt intrigued. My curiosity got the better of me as I continued to read. The main protagonist, Sam is very likable. Sam seems like a very normal teenage girl her age. She goes through the same issues every teen girl goes through…which makes t easy enough to connect with her. Themes of witchcraft and bullying are found on these pages. The ties to Salem witch trials and the Titanic made this one spectacular read. Overall, I enjoyed following the characters. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I recommend Haunting the Deep to readers everywhere.

Review: The Breathless

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen is a dark interesting read. The pages are deep and spooky. The plot was okay but it dragged a lot to me. I felt like I was going slow pace in a creepy horror film. This novel, was originally intended to be a suspense title. Yet, it wasn’t. Many explanations for things were left out completely. Plus, the scary factor was turned up full notch. Dark magic, Gothic mystery, and secrets that will entice readers every time. I was curious. My curiosity got the better of me with this read. It was good but could have been written better in my opinion. The characters were mysterious. Nobody but one person knows the real answers. Then, a book provides some interesting facts…and it’s like things may fall into place after all. But then, like I said, some more explanations were needed in several spots. I wasn’t sure of some things. Overall, this was an intriguing yet dark tale. If you’re a fan of Stephen King, the scary factor of this book would be your fit.

Review: Danny and the Dreamweaver

Synopsis:

Danny is a grumpy video-game junky. He daydreams in school and has a long-standing rivalry with his neighbor.
Yet Danny soon finds himself ensnared in a bizarre dream. Controlling his dream is Nostrildamus, an odd-looking creature with a huge nose and no eyes, yet can oddly see into the future.
Taken on a time-traveling hunt to solve an art-related mystery, Danny meets strange looking artists, like Hippopotamus Bosch and Michelanjello, while Nostrildamus tries to impart subtle pearls of wisdom.
Yet, what does it all mean? And what effect, if any, will all this have on Danny?

Find out in “Danny and the DreamWeaver,” an imaginative adventure of criminal intrigue, time travel, and art history, infused into a bizarre dream that will have you scratching your head and smiling, until the end! 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Danny and the Dreamweaver by Mark Poe is one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read. The cover also caught my attention. It was strange looking and made me wonder what it was about…

Inside this intriguing yet fascinating story, was a teen who meet a nose figure in a dream. From there, the main character, a teenage boy, learns a lot about famous artists as well as life. I love art and this story covered it in an interesting way. Mark Poe was creative. His book took me on an adventure. It was part fantasy and part time travel. Educational yet entertaining. I would recommend this book to YA readers everywhere. 

Review: The Woods 





Synopsis:

David Barnes returns home from boarding school, only to find that the life he left behind is completely different. Lost in a town he no longer knows, David falls into a downward spiral until awakened by a reality he never anticipated.

The first novel by Christopher F. Viceconte, The Woods is a contemporary coming-of-age story about struggling to find one’s place in the world. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Woods by Christopher F. Viceconte is a realistic story. One detail a troubled teenage boy’s life. I was intrigued. The book had a dark spin to it. I had to know what was going to happen to the main character, David Barnes. The whole story was easy to connect with and follow along. Entertaining, believable, and well-written. I recommend this tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Crowns of Croswald 

Synopsis:

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret… 
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night is an exciting YA fantasy. This novel reminded me so much of my favorite series by J.K. Rolling. The Harry Potter Series…yes, this tale has so many similarities to thafamous series but still holds many differences that makes it interesting. 

The main character, Ivy, is fascinating. She is going to school as a scrivenist yet she holds something more in herself than she knows. Secrets will soon come out and Ivy will be taking on an adventure of a lifetime. Just like Harry Potter, Ivy, finds herself into trouble, danger, and drama. I loved it. The Harry Potter Serieshasended and this first book to a wonderful series is just beginning…I am thrilled to have gotten this book to read. Magic, mystery, dwarves, and a dragon. Evil is lurking close by and Ivy hasn’t faced the worst of it yet. A Queen is after Ivy. But Ivy has an opportunity to escape and maybe defeat this evil queen. I can’t wait to see what D.E. Night brings in the next book. Thrilling, full of action, suspense, and fun. I was completely engaged from the beginning to end. This, is now, my new favorite fantasy author. Overall, I highly recommend The Crowns of Croswald to readers worldwide. 

Review: Unraveling 






Synopsis:

What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about–like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something–or someone–is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections–and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Unraveling by Sara Ella is an unforgettable fantasy. The second book in the trilogy set. I was hooked. A magical place full of action, suspense, and intrigue. It was an epic emotional journey. One that swept me off my seat and pulled me directly into its world. The main character El is quite interesting. Determined, brave, and hopeful. Her connection to Ky, a ghost is lost in a way. But still lingers. Only if El can remember…him. The story was heartfelt, engaging, and romantic. Fast-paced. The danger, mystery, and characters have pulled me in closer to the world. I can’t wait to read the next book. Sara Ella writes well. I got lost within her pages. Felt the rush of excitement, fear, and loss. This is one book that I recommend not only to teens, but also to adults. It was addictive. Superb. Unraveling is a masterpiece readers must read. 

Review: The Covens of Elmeeria 





Synopsis:

Princess Nia and her people have always publicly hated all witches. Witches are evil. Witches are cruel. But in one night, Nia must convince a deadly coven of sorceresses to help her defeat an army, or her family will be executed. Nia has always been adored by the masses. She is beyond reproach. Her one secret is that she was born a witch.

The Covens of Elmeeria centers on Crown Princess Nia and the beautiful garden kingdom of Elmeeria. Nia and her parents, King Roo and Queen Bloom, are loved and celebrated by their people, but are also guarding a grave secret. Both Queen Bloom and Princess Nia are witches, and are terrified that the people of their kingdom will find out about them. What makes matters worse is that outside the great wall that surrounds Elmeeria is a banished coven of sorceresses, despised and ridiculed by the populace for their strange, dark powers. The popular royals want no association with the isolated enchantresses, but after their realm is invaded, Nia must travel through forbidden and treacherous lands to find the coven’s lair and beg them for their help.

Nia desperately wants to prove that she can be a strong, capable leader, but what she doesn’t realize is that all power comes with sacrifice, and that to save the lives of her family she might have to lose the love of her people.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Coven of Elmeeria by Miguel Lopez de Leon is an exciting adventure. A book made perfectly for young adults. Magic, evil forces, and kingdoms are found on the pages. Choices will soon have to be made. A royal family is in danger. Their daughter, the crown princess, will do everything she can to get help. Help that comes in the form of a coven of witches. Ones that were chased out by the kingdom. The crown princess, Nia, is related to the witches. Both her and her mom are witches. I found this twist interesting. It showers readers with the themes of family, good versus evil, and sacrifices. Love for her parents causes Nia to reach out for help. A brave young woman fighting for what she loves. Inspiring, entertaining, and full of paranormal elements. Overall, I recommend The Coven of Elmeeria to readers everywhere.

Review: Before I Fall

Synopsis:

With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is a stunning YA novel. Inside, I was immediately sucked into the protagonist’s mind. Everything, she said, did, or felt….felt like I was doing it all. Creepy in a way. This book is packed high with emotions. Anger, loss, love, and sadness. Every page was engaging. Entertaining. The ending was epic. The pacing of this book felt a bit slow. It was mostly a steady pace all the way through it. Lauren Oliver does have a talent for writing. I opened up this title and got lost. Teenagers go through so many dramas and emotions that I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride. Ups and downs…craziness everywhere. Strong, bold, and dramatic. The effect worked. I was hooked. Before I Fall, is a recommended read. Beware you may need a tissue box….

Review: Mine





Synopsis:

Anika Mason—simple name. Brown hair—average color. Blue eyes—she wished they were brown. But somehow she’s attracted the attention of the new boy at highschool, and he is becoming quite obsessive and possessive over her. She needs to figure out how to get rid of him, fast. But when she’s forced to lie about having a boyfriend to get him to leave her alone, she gives the name of the biggest player in the school; Brady Morrison. Not only did she not like him, but he barely knew she existed. And now she had to pretend she was dating him. Wonderful.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Mine by A. N. Senerella is an exciting YA novel. Inside, I found a young high school student avoiding the new guy. She makes up a lie and then has to live it. Unlike most stories, the pretend boyfriend, goes with it. I thought that was interesting. Then, A.N. Senerella holds yet another surprise. But then something dark and tragic happens…the tale gets more intense and darker with each page as I went through a stalkerish account from the new guy’s point of view. Intriguing. Mine is a perfect title for this book. As I was led further into the plot, I was hooked. Romance, mystery, and drama. Anika Mason is an ordinary girl whose life becomes visible and emotional. A. N. Senerella’ writing is fun to follow. I enjoyed following each of the characters as the tale unfolded. Overall, Mine is a great YA contemporary read. 

Review: Bucket List





Synopsis:

Leah’s run-of-the-mill teenage life has never been too eventful. That is, until the boy-next-door who’s just moved in, turns out to be none other than her old childhood best friend, Damon. Rekindling their friendship, the two become inseparable and life seems perfect, until Leah learns a tragic secret; Damon is terminally ill and has only one more year to live. 
With the clock ticking and time precious, Leah and Damon decide to embark on an adventure to have the time of their lives and cross out every to-do on their ‘Bucket List’. 
On your last journey of a lifetime, what would you hope to find?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Bucket List by Emily Ruben is just as good as her previous novel, I Was A Bitch. Here, I instantly liked the main characters. Two old friends catching up again after five years. I liked their teasing banter. I can feel their emotions as if I were in their shoes. The story is entertaining and enjoyable to read. Humor, friendship, and adventure are inside this incredible book. Once more, Emily Ruben has lured me into her world of fiction. I recommend this novel to young adults and adults everywhere. 

Review: Nahia by Patricia Bossano




Synopsis:

She looks like a maiden of eighteen (acts like one too) but the Faery Nahia is sixty-seven when her future husband, a human, is born. 

Twenty-eight years pass before Anahi a sees him and follows her heart – she hides her true identity from him, she forsakes her home, and joins the human family she had promised long ago to watch over and keep from harm. 

Shortly after a daughter is born, Nahia’s true identity is discovered and she returns to the realm troubled by her blunder; she has changed the family’s genetic footprint. 

Chastised and with no hope of renewing the ties, Nahia watches from afar and becomes the silent giver of cradle gifts to new generations of shared descendants.

When the Faery Queen and the Keeper of the Forest, whose magic sustains the Faery dimension, are slain, the realm plunges into a dormant state.

To save her home, Nahia must obey her mother’s final instructions; perform the awakening ritual, become the new Faery Queen, and provide a vessel of royal descent for the keeper of the forest to inhabit. 

Trouble is, the royal descendant is also a baby girl she promised long ago to never harm. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Nahia by Patricia Bossano is the latest book in the Faery series. Perfectly suited for teens and adults alike. This YA novel hold a lot more than beats the eyes. One particular Faery, Nahia, has a lot going on in her life. Mistakes happen and now, she has to make some tough decisions. The two worlds of humans and fairies alike come together. Powerfully written. Patricia Bossano knows how to engage her readers. I felt pulled from my seat and straight into her new world. The magical tale consisted of an emotional journey that tugged at my heart. Adventure, action, and romance. Suspenseful and entertaining, I highly recommend this book to readers worldwide. It’s a fantasy I won’t forget. 

Review: Cradle Gift




Synopsis:

On the day she was born, Maite received a cradle gift from the faery Nahia-a gift that allows her to travel into other worlds while in a dream state.

At seventeen, Maite’s mortal world is torn apart with the tragic loss of her parents. Uprooted from the only home she’s ever known and isolated in a foreign country, the young woman struggles to make sense of her new life. But the conflict in the realm of Faery is about to bleed over into Maite’s reality. She finds herself in the middle of an ancient struggle between Nahia and the Beautiful One as they furiously clash for control over the realm.

Through her Cradle Gift, Maite uncovers the extent of the Faery Realm’s involvement in her life, and in her quest to come to terms with it, Maite has the help of best friend Emily, and David; a young man whose interest in genetics illuminates possibilities that will change her identity forever.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cradle Gift by Patricia Bossano is the second novel in this exciting YA series. This second fantasy book, was magical. The writing was well done. The characters popped out of the pages. Engaging scenes that carried many themes like loss, friendship, and courage. Cradle Gift sends readers like myself deep into the plot. The troubles are only just beginning….a young seventeen-year-old girl has a gift that will spin her entire world out of order. Maite’s two worlds are about to clash and it will soon involve a long struggle that will try tearing her apart. The ending was epic…I can’t get enough of this talented writer’s world of fiction. Her characters will never be forgotten. Overall, I highly recommend the Cradle Gift to all. 

How growing up in a female-dominated family influenced my stories, characters, and the overall inspiration for writing the Fair Fae Trilogy.” By Patricia Bossano





How growing up in a female-dominated family influenced my stories, characters, and the overall inspiration for writing the Fair Fae Trilogy. ” 

By Patricia Bossano

In general English, Matriarchy is a form of social organization in which descent and relationship are reckoned through the female line. It is also defined as a social system in which females hold primary power, predominate in roles of leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.

Present day matriarchal societies include: the Mosuo (near the border of Tibet), the Minangkabau of Indonesia, the Akan people of Ghana, the Bribri in Costa Rica, to name a few, but there are also the legendary Amazons, scores of fabled early feminists, mythological sisterhoods, and of course, Faerie, which in my opinion is the ultimate form of a matriarchal clan.
Each community of troop faeries is ruled by a Faery Queen, the first of them originating in Italy—where the sun is said to shine at its loveliest. From there they spread to different parts of the world during the expansion of the Roman Empire, seeking remote locations to set up their underground realms, learning the language of their host countries and adopting the more intriguing customs practiced there, as an act of silent diplomacy.

Being that the smallest structure of society is a family unit, I looked to my own in order to write what I know. On my mother’s side, women are in the majority so I say the beauty, the experiences, and the paradoxical personalities of the females in my family, directly influenced me and inspired the magic of Faery Sight, Cradle Gift and Nahia—true story!

Through my novels, I hope to give you a heartfelt snapshot of the life-journey of my characters who, like me, are part of a grand matriarchal clan celebrating not only the onward, dynamic spirit of the family but also the magical relationship between mothers, daughters and sisters. My dreams of publication became a reality through their support and encouragement, so in return, I feel compelled to be at best, an inspiration to them, and at a minimum, a source of entertainment.
I’m doing my utmost to paint for them a realistic picture of the magical world inside of us—the realm of faerie is the place where mundane abilities can be magnified through perspective and attitude. Sure, a full-fledged faery can fly and shape shift at will, but there is no less magic in the human dimension—I think faerie is an achievable state of being we can aspire to. In the human dimension, our spirits can soar and we may reinvent ourselves as we navigate each day. Buoyed by confidence, we are driven to accomplish ordinary feats and transform them into astonishing ones—such as waking up in the morning with a word of gratitude to the cosmos, thus creating a positive mood for the day ahead. Simply smiling to cause your brain to release endorphins, because we all know how life-altering those little neurotransmitters are…

Clean out your desktop and see how clearheaded you feel afterward—seriously, Feng Shui is practical magic at its best!
Whenever I feel discouraged and like I’m a rookie at life, I choose to see the ordinary as extraordinary and focus on the brightest aspect of any given situation. That seemingly insignificant shift in attitude gives me the satisfaction of knowing I’m doing the right thing, which in turn makes me smile (see above for what smiling does), and enthusiasm bubbles up inside me.

I believe faeries are due to surface all over the planet as nurturing forces of creation and restoration. I think my troop of full-blooded, hybrid fairies is part of a worldwide movement to explore the new, unlearn some of the old, and carry on with heightened awareness.

Review: Faery Sight

Synopsis:

The realm of faery is breached and for the first time, Celeste comes face to face with a human. He strikes her as an extraordinary specimen and although they have yet to speak, her heart is racing. But Paloma, Celeste’s mother, is on her deathbed and before she breathes her last, the gruesome circumstances of Celeste’s birth are revealed, thus establishing the reasons why Celeste must leave the realm – her home. Grieving for her mother and dreading her inevitable entry into a world she knows is led by a woman bent on destroying her, Celeste yearns for one more glimpse of that handsome intruder.
Displeased with Celeste’s foolish longings, Nahia, Celeste’s birth sister, reminds her of a certain arrangement, also disclosed by Paloma, which means that when Celeste reenters the human world she views as contemptible, she will do so as the bride of a complete stranger.
Celeste has never been one to shirk or delay, but she won’t allow her romantic hopes to be dashed. She is compelled to fulfill the promise made to her dying mother, and she must satisfy Nahia, but above all, she must be free to give her heart to whomever she pleases.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Faery Sight by Patricia Bossano is one of the most fascinating YA reads, I’ve ever read. The book was deeply engaging from the start. I love it when novels suck me into their characters’ lives. Here, I met an interesting young lady, Celeste. She knows of the Faery world. A world must humans aren’t aware of…then her world turns crazy. Her mother tells her shocking things and now, it’s up to Celeste to choose her destiny. Rich, entertaining, and epic. This story has it a lot to offer. Righting wrongs, chasing down a sorceress, and returning back to a Faery world to claim the place as a rightful heir. Themes like loss, grief, love, and courage are found within the  novel. The charcaters both bad and good make this a must read. I felt like I was really there experiencing it all first hand. Well-told. Patricia Bossano has cleverly peaked my interest with her writing. I can’t wait to read more by her. Overall, I recommend Faery Sight to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow



Synopsis:

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber is a fascinating YA book. The race to find answers is thrilling. A young girl loses her brother and a young man is worried he lost her, Sofi. Sofi isn’t sure if her brother is really gone or not. Miguel may know something…only now, he’s being blackmailed. Can an online gamer and an Abassador find a way to beat the odds?

Sofi is clever. She’s a charcater that I can easily connect to. Her loss and grief over her brother pulled me closer to her. When she thinks her brother may not be gone likeeveryone states…she goes searching for the truth. Her determination and bravery make this a worthy adventure. Then there’s Miguel. He is in a difficult position. Not sure of who Sofi really is but is pulled to her by a connection, soon leads him into danger. Video games and aliens are taken to a whole level in this stunning tale. Intrigue, suspense, and a deadly plot will keep readers sucked into The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. Mary Weber’s talent can be seen through her words. Every page absorbed me into the conflict…overall, I highly recommend this novel. 

Review: Dragonsoul

Synopsis:

Littlehorn is the last dragon, born into a world that wants him dead.

The dragon’s blue scales and orange eyes are a stark contrast to the dull gray around him. The sky is gray. The ground is gray. Everything is gray, even the skin, eyes, and hair of every other living creature, including humans.

When Denyth, a simple farmer dreaming of a world of color beyond the gray encounters Littlehorn, the two set out on a journey to find the truth of where Littlehorn came from and if there truly is a world of color beyond the gray.

But Denyth isn’t the only human who knows of Littlehorn’s existence. A dragon-hunter named Zero, who has dedicated his entire life to purging anything of color, is coming after Littlehorn to finish the job.

Dragon and human flee together to the colorful land called Evenar, coming across a host of odd, colorful creatures, including a cat-like shapeshifter who can hear the land, a pacifist troll who wields a club the size of a tree trunk, and even a group of walruses who can talk.

Just as they think that they have found paradise, they discover a terrible secret: humanity wasn’t responsible for the fall of dragons after all.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Dragonsoul by Kayl Karadijian is an interesting YA fantasy. I liked the two worlds created by this writer. One of color and life and the other full of gray and doom. The farmer boy who finds the last dragon egg made my heart melt. The two new friends travel in the world of color…where there are other fascinating characters. While the dragon hunter tracks the farmer down down to kill his new friend the dragon, aka Littlehorn. For those who love adventure, fantasy, and a good journey, this is definitely a novel to read. I was captivated by the plot from the beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend Dragonsoul to all. 

Review: Goodbye Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison? (less)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a stunning YA novel. Instantly, the plot dragged me into its depth. Deep, emotional, and troubling. As I read further, I wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be. Intrigue, sheer curiosity, and the intensity of the tale hooked me. Friends, death, loss, and uncertainty are major themes found on every page. The main character, Carver Briggs, has a way of luring me further into his life journey. Blame, angry, and heated moments are sure to follow…overall, Goodbye Days has the effect of breaking me into a million pieces and pulling me back together. That kind of epic adventure is truly one worth reading. I recommend this title by Jeff Zentner to readers worldwide. Whether one is a teen or an adult, the pages will send you falling into the book.

Review: Dear Yvette 

Synopsis:

All sixteen year old Yvette Simmons wanted was to disappear. Problem is: she has too many demons for that. Yvette’s life changed forever after a street fight over a boy ended in a second degree murder charge. Forced to start all over again, she’s sentenced to live in a group home far from anything or anyone she’s ever known. She manages to keep her past hidden, until a local cutie, known as Brooklyn, steps in. Slowly, Yvette lets him into her heart and he gives her the summer of her dreams…

 

But in Yvette’s world things are never as they seem. 

 

Brooklyn has a few secrets of his own and Yvette’s past comes back with a vengeance. Will she face life head-on? Will she return to her old ways? Or will an unexpected letter decide her fate?
“Simone’s story is reminiscent of Sistah Souljah’s groundbreaking The Coldest Winter Ever…a hard hitting tale of the inner city’s unforgiving streets.” —Library Journal 

 

“Simone knows how to tell a story…and she can also bring the drama.” —RT Book Reviews

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Dear Yvette by Ni-Ni Simone is an interesting YA novel. An urban fiction read that has all of the drama, action, and stakes readers want. Criminal activity, past murder charge, and the difficulty of restarting a life. Yvette Simons will have a challenge at every corner. Staying away from everything she knew will prove hard. Then to add to the intensity of the plot, she finds herself attracted to a good looking guy. But whether he will break or make her new life is for readers to see…

Ni-Ni Simone has a way of capturing the street life of young adults inside of her books. The teens come to life. Their choices are scary and drastic. I was left to holding my breath waiting for anything to tilt Yvette’s life. A life that felt like is was hanging onto a thin thread. Intriguing, exciting, and believable. The plot was like a rollercoaster ride. Overall, I recommend this to readers. 

Review: Follow Me Back



Synopsis:

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts Follow Me Back is the first book of a new duology. Written for the online generation this thriller will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murder at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Rating: 3-stars

Review

Follow Me Back by A. V. Geiger is an intriguing YA read. Dark, sinister, and crazy. There’s a few moments of sweetness by both characters. But their actions are spontaneous. Readers won’t know what to expect especially towards the end. So, there’s this popular guy who wants to escape his current life and then there’s this girl who suffered greatly. She puts her energy into writing about the popular guy, Eric. Tessa seems normal but she’s really not what readers think she is. Major plot twists are everywhere. Surprises are found throughout this read. 

I love being in suspense and being kept on my toes at all times but this novel left me more confused than anything. These two characters communicate via Twitter. Eric falls for Tessa whom he has never met before…and Tessa is obsessed with him. Eric has a fear he’ll be next in line for death…and that to me seemed like a foreshadowing insight. Because the unexpected and totally not fully played out ending was an outcome of his greatest fear. 

At first, I was like, wait did she really kill him or injure him enough that he’s almost dead but still alive…but I guess someone has died at this horrible ending. One moment they’re in the car talking, Eric loves Tessa, but she pushes him away. Then out of nowhere she’s like, okay,  come on in with me, everything is okay. The next scene…the ending was shocking and cut too short. However, many have found this perfect. I have never read a novel where I was so confused…and this book, Follow Me Back did just that. Other than that, I think the plot sounds great, just needs to be rewritten. Has a promising ring to it. Overall, I was disappointed…as a reader. 

Review: The Roanoke Girls 




Synopsis

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel is a coming of age story that will captivate readers worldwide. The whole story was an eye opener of how the real world can be so cruel to the innocent. A family with the most dark secrets that will eventually come to light at the end…two elderly family members that should have been the ones that others could rely on…were the real monsters. The scenes made my skin crawl. The horror of what those Roanoke girls went through…was devastating. I can actually see this story being a realistic one. One of the Roanoke girls will make it out alive but the darkness will still continue to surround her. Leaving behind the family was the best thing Lane Roanoke could have done. Her mother and cousin have suffered greatly. One monster is arrested and the other goes free. Not enough evidence to arrest him, too. Sad what can happen in a family and how fast it crumbles. Amy Engel’s writing was great. Her characters felt real. The truth of what happened will stay with me forever…a haunting kind of read. Overall, I recommend The Roanoke Girls to all. 

Review: Rayna 




Synopsis:

Rayna escaped the bordello as a teenager. She meets a Buddhist monk that helps her to learn that life is worth living again. She learns different languages and several studies of martial arts. Rayna also has a secret. Without warning, time will stop moving. Only Rayna is allowed to move in this frozen world. She can not control it, but uses it to her advantage to seek revenge on those that have hurt her.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Rayna by R. K. Marts is a wonderful YA fantasy. One that instantly draws out an emotional attachment to the protagonist. I felt her sadness, anger, and frustrations. Then, the knowledge about her birth mom only led my curiosity out further. 

Rayna is a young girl who spent her entire life in an orphanage. The kids teased her because of her pretty looks. She has never known her mother. Soon, she’s adopted and and that’s where the plot takes a knife to one’s heart. Dark, frightening, and sad. Rayna will experience things girls herage never should have to go through…yet it still happens. From there she escapes and friends a monk. A man who defended her. I wanted to hug the monk. After that the plot spirals readers further on a journey of revenge, discovery, and a mission for truth. 

R. K. Marts’ book was easy to read. Following along, was simple. Danger, violence, sex, arejust a few themes inside this tale. I would recommend this YA read to those eighteen or older due to the adult content. Beside that, the story was powerfully told and engaging to read. I recommend Rayna to readers worldwide. 

Review: Red As Blood



Synopsis:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Six of Crows—this international bestseller is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that chills to the bone, and not just because of the icy winter setting. 

Lumikki Andersson has made it a rule to stay out of things that do not involve her. She knows all too well that trouble comes to those who stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. But Lumikki’s rule is put to the test when she uncovers thousands of washed Euro notes hung to dry in her school’s darkroom and three of her classmates with blood on their hands. Literally. 

 A web of lies and deception now has Lumikki on the run from those determined to get the money back—no matter the cost. At the center of the chaos: Polar Bear, the mythical drug lord who has managed to remain anonymous despite his lavish parties and notorious reputation. If Lumikki hopes to make it out alive, she’ll have to uncover the entire operation.

 Even the cold Finnish winter can’t hide a culprit determined to stain the streets red.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka is a striking new YA thriller. I was drawn into the dark adventure ahead of me. The character, Lumikki Andersson, is a phenomenal protagonist. Her past experiences help her in her current situation. Deadly, frightening, and suspenseful. Lumikki ends up involved in something no other other would want to be involved within…death lies on the future. Hanging in the air like a heavy blanket that one can’t shake off. Only time will tell, if Lumikki can get the answers before something ends up happening to her. 

Salla Simukka has enticed me into her world of fiction. I have read many fantasy novels but this was definitely one that caught my attention. The plot showed potential. Needs a bit of kinking out…otherwise it was brilliant. The main character seems to have skills that are too good for this first piece in the series. I would have liked to see her struggle a bit more with her abilities aka skills versus her being perfectly skilled. Although her past seems to make her perfect skills believable yet…still. She’s young yet and shouldn’t have it well-tuned.  She should learn what flaws are in her best skills and get them sharper as each book comes out…instead of already being perfect in book one. All in all, the character intrigues me. She’s determined and brace enough to risk her own life. That,are me really connect and like her a lot. Overall, I recommend this dangerous tale, As Red As Blood, to all. 

Review: RJ (The Age of Innocence)



Synopsis

After the loss of his mother, innocent and reclusive Roger must learn to move on, but to him, that is like having faith that the stars will ever find him the perfect girl. Certainly, that girl can’t be Jessica, the shallow and venomous daughter, of the woman his father has started dating. His unwilling affection for this girl, however, tells him otherwise.

Fate has its own plan in store.

The pair’s unexpected and tragic trip to Verona, Italy puts them on the doorsteps of Romeo and Juliet and inadvertently becomes the catalyst to bind these two together throughout eternity. 

Only experience can change his hardened heart.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

RJ the Age of Innocence by Tim Soeder is a stunning young adult romance. A contemporary piece featuring loss, new beginnings, and an unexpected romance. The loss of a mother and wife forces a father to move his son to a new place. But Roger just isn’t feeling at home. Then, enters Jessica. Once Roger meets her their lives change. Jessica might become his sister. But fate has other plans. Jessica is popular unlike Roger, aka RJ. Jessica’s attitude is crazy. I would label her as the queen bee. As the story develops readers will see why. Yet despite her attitude issues, RJ is finding it hard to forget about her. She’s taking up his thoughts…Tim Soeder has created a novel where I can easily lose myself within it. I felt like I was watching a movie versus reading a book. Vivid, engaging, and funny. Overall, I recommend RJ the Age of Innocence to all. 

Review: Zenn Diagram 




Synopsis:

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues. 

Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant is a YA novel that will only bait readers but hook them as well. Instantly, I fell in love with the main characters. Especially, Eva Walker. She’s unique. Everything that she touches that is alive or belongs to that live being sends her spinning with their emotions. That’s why she appears as a freak to most. Eva tutors peers in math. Math is her world. She loves it. Then, a new guy comes and she ends up tutoring him. However, he’s different too. Eva can’t stop herself from liking Zenn. Zenn is a guy that readers will gravitate towards immediately. Eva’s hidden ability will send her a shocking truth. That will bring some risks that is interesting to watch unfold. Wendy Brant’s writing is highly engaging from the first page to the last. Although, she has written books, Zenn Diagram is her first debut novel to be published. This read is fast-paced, entertaining, and mysterious. I loved it. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere. Adults everywhere will fall for Wendy Brant’s book as well as the teens. 

Review: Vault of Dreams 

Synopsis:

Albanland. Emerald hills and ice blue lochs, bordered by Nørds raiders and the haughty monarchs of South Angle, each dynasty eager to seize lands weakened by a civil war in which a usurper has risen to seize the cloven throne.

Morgance, Faer Princess of the Night.

And by her side, the fearsome Ultan Skölhammer, sworn Guardian of the Crown.

But Rhoswen, rightful heir to the throne, princess in exile, leads a final uprising from the depths of the forest, an uprising that twists together the lives of the most unlikely companions.

A notorious thief accused of a crime she did not commit.

A baird apprentice searching for the meaning of life.

A pair of brothers who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

And a gypsy bound to the ancient artifact known only as the Vault of Dreams. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor is is an outstanding YA novel. I read a lot of YA books and this one has beat them all. Luke Taylor has created a fictional world where the rightful ruler is fighting to gain her throne back. War breaks out, loyalty is shown, and a budding romance begins. This fantasy novel has everything. Action, adventure, friendships, and a fight worth reading. Absolutely, an epic tale. 

The Vault of Dreams reads as vividly as the Lord of Rings books. I was hooked. The rightful queen, Arelyn, is a character to hold. Watching her, throughout the pages was fun.  Niles is another interesting character. Him and Finleigh are great. Finleigh is a young gsypie. Niles turns into a Lord at such a young age. Morgance is a bold and strong character. Evil too. Arelyn and Finleigh become friends. Two good charcaters. I liked them both. Strong female protagonists.  Each character both bad and good added to the plot. The exciting part was that each got to tell the story from their point of view. That was a susrpise. Most writers who try this, end up losing readers due to the point of view taking away or not adding enough to the story. I found the changing point of views to being good. It was like stepping into each character’s soul. Understanding them better. I easily see this book as a crossover read. Both yong adults and adult alike will get lost in within this world. Luke Taylor has outdone himself in this spectacular piece. I look forward to reading more by him in the future. 

Review: The Fifth Petal 


Synopsis:

Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, investigates a 25-year-old triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed one Halloween night. Aided by Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims who has returned to town, Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter in Salem’s past. Callie, who has always been gifted with premonitions, begins to struggle with visions she doesn’t quite understand and an attraction to a man who has unknown connections to her mother’s murder. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and sometime-aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry is an enchanting read. Immediately, I was drawn ino the fictional world surrounding Salem’s dark past. The characters are quite interesting. One has visions. A local sheriff, John Rafferty, wants to find out if the murders are related to black arts or just vengeance. That’s where the new person, Callie Cahill, comes in handy. Her visions help. At first she struggles with the content of them, but soon manages. Then, there’s the lace reader who helps her husband, John Rafferty. An elderly lady being accused of the crimes is not sitting well with any of them. They need proof and they need to find the real killer before it’s too late. But digging into the past and present will be more dangerous than they think.  Brunonia Barry has created a spellbinding read. I was hooked. The plot itself was enough to drag me further into the tale. The characters kept me guessing as to what lies ahead. Action, adventure, and history coming alive on every page. I loved how the writer took a dark moment in history and wove it into a stunning piece. Overall, I highly recommend The Fifth Petal to readers worldwide.

Review: Unfolding

Synopsis:

Jonah wishes he could get the girl, but he’s an outcast and she’s the most perfect girl he knows.
And their futures seemed destined to fork apart: Jonah’s physical condition is debilitating, and epileptic seizures fill his life with frustration. Whereas Stormi is seemingly carefree, and navigates life by sensing things before they happen. And her most recent premonition is urging her to leave town.
When Stormi begs Jonah for help, he finds himself swept into a dark mystery his small town has been keeping for years. And the answers Stormi needs about her own past could possibly destroy everything Jonah has ever known—including his growing relationship with Stormi herself.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen is one of the best suspenseful tales I have read. Education, dark, and intriguing. Every page lured me further into the world of chaos. A young guy suffering from scoliosis and seizures is the leading caharacter. One that made me fall deeper into the story. His life is a shroud of mystery. A darkness overcomes his town. He secretly loves his best friend Stormi. She is unusual in ways. Normal in most but her sense of things is peculiar. As the plot comes to an end, readers will be stuck in awe and suspense. Stunning, clever, and engaging. I couldn’t stop reading this new YA book. Jonathan Friesen has captivated me with his new book. I am now looking forward to reading more of his future works. Overall, I highly recommend Unfolding to all. 

Review: Holding Up the Universe 

Synopsis:

A New York Times Bestseller

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.  

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. 
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is one brilliant masterpiece. Her story is one that should be read by all. The meanings of true love, acceptance, and finding strength in oneself are found. The tale features two high school students. Each with their own set of issues. High school is tough enough without all the drama and issues that a person is dealt with in life. Obesity is one popular topic discussed inside this read. Then, there’s a new one I haven’t heard of before…the way Jennifer Niven wove them into her book was wonderful. I got to see the bad and good sides to each character. One of the characters, Jack, has a lot going at his home. A dad who cheats and there’s his memory of remembering who is who. Imagine not remembering who was your friend versus your enemy…

Holding Up the Universe was realistic in every way. It wasn’t a happy little fairy tale. Neither character was perfect. That in itself, made this book stand out to me. Raw, believable, and engaging. Then, there’s the female leading character, Libby. The fattest girl her age. Self-image is scary. Especially, when a girl is way over the normal weight. Getting down to normal weight would be the toughest obstacle…yet Libby doesn’t let that stop her from living. I wanted to root for both Jack and Libby. They inspired me in ways. Life’s hard, so push back harder. They both accept one another and each other. That was one of the highlights. Acceptance. Humans need that as much as they need to socialize. Overall, I really enjoyed reading Jennifer Niven’s work. I highly recommend it to others. 

Review: The Garden City Rules 




Synopsis:

Kathryn “Kat” is bursting with excitement and anticipation to begin high school. She is hoping, as most girls do, for acceptance, popularity, and, most of all, a boyfriend. But the sudden death of her father changes everything. Her family begins to unravel. Her mother becomes absent, and she finds herself in trouble and sent away.

Devotedly, Steve, her oldest brother, rescues her and takes on the responsibility of raising her and her brothers. They keep a watchful and protective eye over her as she begins her long awaited high school years. High school brings her everything she wanted—acceptance, popularity, and a boyfriend—as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her past.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Garden City Rules by Michelle Courtney is a contemporary YA piece that readers won’t be forgetting any time soon. The plot immediately draws readers into its emotional rollercoaster ride. Sad, tragic, and beautifully written. There was so much inside this book. I was easily able to identity with not just the main character but all of the characters. Their story took me in deeper. I felt their pain, their frustrations and the tensions were real. Growing up while trying to do what’s right for one’s siblings is hard. Without parents in the picture, it’s left to the older or oldest sibling to carry the burden. Life is hard enough without losing people one loves. But as the story progressed, it went from sad to peaceful. The understanding and love was powerful. Watching the characters grow, was interesting. Definitely, a page turner. Michelle Courtney not only wrote about loss and grief,  it also about struggling with popularity, acceptance, and dating. Responsibility was another important theme. This book was super easy to read. The plot went by faster than I thought.  The Garden City Rules is one read that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. 

Review: Elementals



Synopsis:

*USA TODAY called Elementals a “must read!”*

MAGICAL. ROMANTIC. ADDICTING.



Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods… but she doesn’t know it until she moves to a new town and discovers a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she never knew existed.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole and four others — including mysterious bad-boy Blake — are gifted with elemental powers. But the comet has another effect — it opens the portal to another dimension that has imprisoned the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes, it’s up to Nicole and the others to follow a cryptic prophecy in time to save the town… and possibly the world.
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Elementals: The Prophecy of the Shadows by Michelle Madow is phenomenal. Once I started reading, I was immediately drawn into the novel. Magic, witches, power, and a mystery. It is similar to Harry Potter in tiny ways. But not by much…it’s interesting. Yes, I have read about witches using the elements as their power source. However, this puts a new perspective on the topic. Power that should only be mentally done…turns into much more. Physical abilities to use elements makes the characters quite more frightening. Imagine harnessing power, like electricity in your mind..then having it released into the open. Bad things can happen. Like accidentally cutting oneself or finding that one has a healing power. 

Michell Madow has created a novel, where the main character doesn’t know she’s a witch. Hence, a similarity to Harry Potter. Until brought up in the world of magic neither knew about themselves. Or the powers they possess. Inside Elementals: The Prophecy of the Shadow, I got to meet a group of teen witches/wizards. This group of teens come from high pure families to a mixture of half-witch and half-human. Some members like one girl, can make for the deadliest enemy ever. A girl who doesn’t mind using magic in bad ways on those she considers in her way. Then, there’s another young girl. Kate is smart and quiet. She’s the good girl. I liked her instantly. Then another teen. Chris is a bit cook you but seems cool. Last but not least, there’s a guy that makes Nicole feel in love. But he’s taken…and it’s complicated. Soon, they all find out about a prophecy that seems to involve them and their new powers. They search for clues and go on a journey of a lifetime. I found myself turning the pages in a haste to read it all. I was intrigued, fascinated, and hooked. Romance, suspense, and danger. Overall, I highly recommend this YA novel to all. 

Review: Girl in Pieces


Synopsis:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow is a phenomenal read. She has taken readers into a portion of humanity’s darkest moments to show what some go through in life. These kind of reads are frightening. Because they show what could and does happen to others. The greatest conflict ever is pain. Pain is the pressure life puts upon us. Here, we see what a young teenage girl has to take. Life pulled the rug from under feet more times then I or the character herself would like. Pain is that numbing sensation that eats at our souls until we can’t feel anymore. Kathleen Glasgow depicts a realtor protrait of suffering and survival. Emotional and physical pain. Life isn’t pretty nor easy. It’s a constant battle against our demons and the bad that comes our way.

Girl in Pieces is is deep. Keeps readers turning the pages. I found myself lost within Charlotte’s life. I was placed immediately into her shoes. I cried so hard. The frustrations and anger came off the pages until life situations took that away. Then, there was nothing. Yet, in that moment pain was at the core. Women everywhere think they have it hardest and that no one else knows…this read shows that not everyone has it well. Even thought it’s fiction the tale was so believable, I could have sworn it was nonfiction. Heart wrenching, beautifully told, and well-developed. Kathleen Glasgow has brought a masterpiece into the world.

Review: Cross-Out

Synopsis:

Cross-out…

17-year-old Jaime “Kimo” Flores is weeks away from graduation at Chavez High in Bell Gardens. Jaime has his foot in three worlds: he’s a talented art student; he’s a promising future cop in a Police Explorer program; and, as “Kimo,” he’s the informal leader of a crew of graffiti writers. A drive-by shooting results in the death of a gang member just released from jail. Things heat up when Posse leaders demand retribution for the death of their man. They are intent on first identifying, then hunting down the occupants of the drive-by vehicle. In this small community in southeastern Los Angeles, the continuation high school is considered one of the best in the state. Families work hard to earn a living. The police in town try to keep the streets safe, but these positives camouflage deadly and vindictive forces in the community. Nothing is quite what it seems. This story reveals a rare look into the guarded worlds of graffiti crews and street gangs. These subcultures are seen through Jaime’s eyes as he struggles to stay ahead of the malevolence that is cutting down those closest to him. Jaime’s worlds can no longer be separated. He must choose before others choose for him.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cross-Out by Roger Cannon is a must read for all. Teens and adults need to read this book. It portrays the realistic side of a teen being stuck in the crosshairs of danger. Choices have to made before there isn’t time to choose. Urban street life comes alive on every page. The main character, Jamie, is the teen who is living it rough. He has secrets like the rest of us. His is the fact of living three separate lives which will clash time and time again, if he doesn’t do something about it. His family could be in danger. The intensity of his dreadful situation builds. Keeping me satisfied and hoping for the best. I want to sympathize and shake that kid. Taking his problems on his own may not be the solution. Bold, deadly, and entertaining. Cross-Out is about a community that also has a darkness. Good and evil living together…one will win. Suspenseful and cleverly written, Roger Cannon pulled me deep into his story. The title is a symbol…which readers will find once they begun this journey…overall, I highly recommend this crime novel to all. 

Review: Kitty Hawk & The Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost

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Synopsis:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight.

As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn about and experience as much of our amazing world as they can – just like Kitty Hawk herself.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

 Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading is superb. Once more, I have been dragged into the adventures and mysteries that Kitty Hawk takes me through…she is truly a phenomenal character. Kitty is a teenage pilot who goes about traveling the world and solving mysteries. Sort of like Nancy Drew but much more interesting. Iain Reading has created a world of fiction that both entertains and educates readers. I love that about this series. Florida Keys is where this story takes place. Once there, Kitty finds mysterious situations that will only peak readers’ curiosity even more. Intriguing, spontaneous, and dangerous. Kitty Hawk had me holding my breath. Her bold ways of finding the truth is  crazy fun. Iain Reading kept me guessing with every page. The characters were perfectly suited for this book. I can see this novel as a cross-over read. All ages can find something to love about Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost. Travel from home and engage in fun activities. Fast-paced and brilliantly woven…I highly recommend this to readers everywhere. 

Review: Losing Deseret


Synopsis:

For Mormon teenagers, their Bishop is one of the most important people in their lives, second only to their parents. What happens if the Bishop abuses his authority and misbehaves? Badly…

Chris is Mormon, from a long line of Mormons–the church is his life. But as high-school graduation approaches, the secret perversions of his bishop are uncovered and tear at the fabric of his life and faith. Unable to look away, he picks at the carefully constructed layers, and the more strings he pulls, the more things unravel, until the light in his world is replaced with evil and perversion, and he is forced to confront the ambiguous and murky division between good and evil.

Rating:

Review:

Losing Deseret by Brice Bogle is an interesting coming of age story. It immediately plunges readers into the realities of life. Things that should be pure are sometimes the most corrupted and evil bodies that the characters will ever know. Religion is the center for everything. Many civilizations have based their ways on a religion of some sorts. Religion is a system for humans to organize their lives and when that part fails them…things change. 

Brice Bogle has created a novel that will leaves readers questioning everything. Losing Deseret is deep, thought provoking, and entertaining. It was very easy to relate to Chris. He’s the main character telling readers the story. His life is believable from the beginning to end. Important role models have major impacts on one’s life and this book shown exactly that. Plus, it allowed me to watch Chris mature as a young man. His journey was beautifully woven in a way that keeps readers in…Losing Deseret has a lot of social and religious issues. That made it a must read. I enjoyed reading this novel, and I look forward to reading more by Brice Bogle in the future. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: Pepper’s Ghost

Pepper's Ghost by [Auten, William]

 

Synopsis:

Charlotte Alexandra Long is determined to create her own life, but severe reverberations await her at the crossroads of each decision and always the possibility that the very thing she put in place on her own terms could be wiped away by an uncertain future. As Pepper’s Ghost weaves in and out of her experiences as a teen and young adult, and locations in the South and Midwest, Alex emerges from the remains of young Charlotte, but her evolving identity will never escape being an outsider in society’s eyes. After a series of ill-fitting jobs, Alex joins a traveling amusement company as a sideshow performer, where illusion and reality interplay through the metaphor of an old theater trick. She faces challenges from her troubled but devoted father, her self-absorbed mother, a spectrum of circus employees, and emotional ties to memories and places that give solace in times of ambiguity and loneliness.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Pepper’s Ghost by William Auten is a YA read that will lure readers into its depth. The young character, Charlotte Alexandra, aka Alex, is interesting. She is unlike most leading female characters. What she really is surprised me…her journey was one wild roller-coaster ride after another.  The dynamics of family life are played throughout this read. The parents make the life for Alex a bit more complex than should be. I liked how as a main character she was constantly challenged. Alex took on each challenge moving through life the best she could do. Sometimes things worked out and sometimes not. William Auten portrayed the realities of life along with fantasy in way the just made readers like myself more curious. Memories…and emotions were strong, it was easy to be swept up within them. Pepper’s Ghost is a coming of age tale that comes off as entertaining, mysterious, and deep. The plot was developed and the pace was steady. Overall, I recommend it to all.

Review: Did I Mention I Miss You?

 

Synopsis:

It’s been a year since Eden last spoke to Tyler. After his sudden departure, she left for Chicago for college and found a new boyfriend—someone who (hopefully) won’t run when things get tough, like Tyler did. But as school breaks up for the summer, she heads back to Los Angeles. And she’s not the only one with that idea…

Despite their break-up, Tyler’s determined to rekindle what they once had. He’s restarted his life and he wants her in it. Eden’s not sure where to begin in finally forgiving him. But when a tragedy draws them together, Eden must search her heart and decide if Tyler is worth the risk once and for all.

In Did I Mention I Miss You?, the explosive finale to Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak, and forbidden romance.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Did I Mention I Miss You? by Estelle Maskame is well-written and a deeply emotional read. I would recommend this book for those 18 and above…due to adult content. I would not want any fourteen-year-old reading this tale. Which, it says it’s suited for…other than that, this was a superb novel. The emotions coming forth from the scenes and the feelings from the characters were realistic. I can see them acting the way they did. Both main characters grew up…and changed into happy individuals. Their lives were so full of angry,  destruction, and troubles that it was nice to see things work out…eventually. There are a lot of major issues mentioned within this one title. Drugs, alcohol, sex…and step-siblings by marriage. I didn’t like the fact that family members could be in a romantic relationship, but they weren’t family by blood. It just felt so weird reading about it. But it was about two teens falling in love and struggling to make things right. I felt sympathy for both of them. Almost felt like the Romeo and Juliet tale in many ways…Estelle Maskame did an excellent job in portraying her characters as real life people. I thought it was great how she took something that happens and shows how it could work out in the end. There were still some issues to work through among the cast of characters but for the most part, I think the ending was perfect. I thought this novel was highly engaging and I recommend to readers. 

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