Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

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Broken Things by Lauren Oliver and published by HarperCollins tells the story of how Mia, Brynn and the whole town were left reeling from the horrible murder of Summer.
Summer, Mia and Brynn were friends. The three girls pretended that a fantasy book world, Lovelorn, was real until the devastating loss of Summer. Five years later, Mia and Brynn try to piece all of the clues of this unsolved murder together. With the help of Mia’s friend Abby and Brynn’s cousin Wade, they scour the town and surrounding areas to solve this mystery. Twisting between make-believe and reality, the story spins seemingly in circles until the truth stands out clearly. Interesting, intense and emotionally jarring, Broken Things is a 5 star must read!

Chalk Houses by Tracy Clark

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Chalk houses by Tracy Clark tells the story of Talon who lives with her single mother that always seems to have a new boyfriend, drinks and is involved with drugs. The story begins on Talon’s sixteenth birthday and her mother doesn’t even remember what day it is. Talon’s goals are to educate herself and receive a degree in psychology and child development so she will be equipped to help neglected children and never be like her mother. She begins receiving emails from Aunt T, who supposedly wants to get to know Talon. They create a circle journal of communication with their emails. Talon has one true friend, Karalyn, who always gives Talon moral support. Gabby, Talon’s younger next door neighbor that lives with an aunt and uncle and is pretty much neglected by them, is under Talon’s wing of protection. Talon spreads out and tests relationship waters with others as she expands her social circle. She makes some dumb decisions and struggles with the consequences and in the meantime she discovers much more about her mother than she could have ever guessed at before. Chalk Houses is a coming of age, coming into your own work of literary art with its beautiful, dynamic characters and other characters that are horrific in their actions. The story comes full circle and is a real tear-jerker full of disappointment, hurt and hope. 5 heart expanding stars!

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

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Thanks to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for the opportunity to read and review A List of Cages by Robin Roe! Julian doesn’t feel as though he belongs anywhere, at school or at home where he lives with his uncle. He likes to hide in a small secret room behind the school stage where he can be alone and no one knows where he is. I immediately felt protective of Julian and hated how people assumed that he was stupid and treated him horribly. He’s had a tragic past and he’s presently living in an unhappy world. Adam knows Julian because his family fostered him for a while after the death of his parents until Julian’s Uncle Russell stepped into their lives and took Julian away. Uncle Russell is a force to be reckoned with and has more issues than anyone realizes. This tragic and touching realistic fiction story earns 5 stars!

Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis

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Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis involves an intense plot and new adult content that make this story racy and not for the faint of heart or prudish. The main character loses her parents in a drunk driving accident and is forced to live with her uncle and his family. She didn’t even know of the uncle’s existence until she learns he is now her legal guardian. Reminiscent of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, I can see this becoming a very popular series with its controversial content. Siobhan Davis’ writing is well done and cohesive with believable characters and true angst, 4 stars!

The Beast is an Animal

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The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale was offered to me as a download on my laptop for an exclusive study on how readers engage with books, thanks to Simon and Schuster and Jellybooks, Ltd!

The story opens with twin girls born to a mother and father living on a farm on the outskirts of a village. These girls are the mirror image of each other, from the way their hair curls to the birthmarks on their calves. The oldest girl has her features on the left, while the two minutes younger twin has her features on the right side. The wife and girls are banished because of the superstitious villagers who blame the mother and daughters for the lack of rain. The girls grow up, mostly alone because their mother dies when they are still quite young, and become wild, vengeful soul eaters. Chapter one introduces Alys. The twins, Benedicta and Angelica, talk to Alys and tell her to sleep. The next thing Alys knows is that she’s waking up in a grassy field. A red headed older man, Pawl (a trader), gives Alys a ride home. She has a foreboding feeling when she gets home, so Pawl stays with her. He looks for her parents and finds them dead. They visit other homes in the village and all of the parents are dead. Pawl finds homes for the children in a neighboring village. The Elders rule this village with strict beliefs and decide to build a gate around the homes. The children who survived the soul eaters, when their parents didn’t, are sent to guard the gate and livestock at night, since they are “protected”. Alys and Delwyn survive the night, but Delwyn’s brothers do not. Alys is treated differently and suspected of being a witch and is punished. She leaves the village and wanders in the wilderness. The Beast finds her and gives her a mission to find the soul eaters. The fantasy is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials because of the persecution. I rate The Beast is an Animal 4 stars, for the creative and dark world brought to life by Peternelle van Arsdale!

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker

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I won a digital copy of The Delphi Effect in a Goodreads giveaway! Thank you!

“Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley, Skyscape and Goodreads giveaways for the opportunity to read and review The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker!

A young woman, Anna, meets Molly’s grandfather to let him know that his deceased granddaughter wants to converse with him. Molly’s grandfather, Porter, at first full of skepticism, comes to believe in Anna and her abilities. After talking to Porter for the first few times, Anna finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, human trafficking and threats to her life. She meets and receives help from other people that have special abilities different from her own. Anna is captured while trying to rescue her friend, Deo, and she is put through experiments that test her abilities.

The first book in this trilogy, The Delphi Effect is suspenseful and unique. I really enjoyed the references to the Harry Potter series! The author’s note on factual information in this book is helpful for further research and interesting on its own. 4 stars!

Overdrive by Dawn Ius

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“Received an advance reader copy for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Overdrive by Dawn Ius! Julia, a teenage car thief living in a foster home with her ten year-old little sister, is busted during a car grab. Julia has been trying to become independent enough to raise her sister, Emma, on her own. She does not want to be separated from Emma and will do whatever it takes for them to stay together. I admire Julia because she loves her sister tremendously and by choice, wants to take care of her. Roger Montgomery wants to give Julia and Emma a place to live. Julia is suspicious, but feels like she has run out of options. A “Gone in Sixty Seconds” young adult story involving teenage foster kids and all the thrills and car chases as the movie. Eleanor, the amazing Mustang from the “Gone in Sixty Seconds” movie, even has a cameo appearance! Since I am a fan of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed this! It takes a while for the foster teenagers to mesh and get along, but after Roger tells them his secret, they get to know each other better and work well together. Roger seems a bit strange and the teenagers are cautious around him and unsure of his intentions. The teenagers figure out Roger’s secret and things change dramatically after that. Overdrive gets a 4 star rating because of its complex emotions, teamwork and the thrill of the chase!