Release by Patrick Ness

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I received Release by Patrick Ness through a Goodreads giveaway! Adam is plugging along until he can be on his own in one more year, when he graduates high school and can leave his small town. A strict family and a priest father with a lot of rules make him feel suffocated at times. His perfect brother, Marty, shocks Adam with the news that he got a woman pregnant and she’s not the girlfriend the family knows. Everything is changing and it seems to be happening all in the span of one day. This book contains graphic sexual content and belongs in LGBT and new adult genres, to make the reader aware. The characters are realistic with realistic problems and faults. The story comes full circle and I can see it helping readers deal with acceptance. I never truly understood the ghost part of the story other than making a point with the title. 4 stars for a well-written book with a punch.

Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

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I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis, is the second book of The Kennedy Boys series and broken hearts are as prominent as the dysfunction in this family. More secrets come out into the open and cause more family distress, along with one of Kyler’s brothers being accused of rape. Faye shows extreme maturity and true empathy for the situation that her mother and her new guardian James found themselves in many years ago. I appreciate how open minded she tries to be and this shows that she is wise for her age. Her wisdom helps everyone else deal with their struggles. This second book has so much going on that it is intense reading! Siobhan Davis pulls it all together so well and in such a smooth way that makes the suspense build and when the ending hit, I just wanted to read the next book in the series immediately! I am in awe of Siobhan’s writing and I love her style. She has taken a good story and made it great and brings the characters to life realistically. I am looking forward to reading more about the Kennedy boys! 5 stars for this engrossing romantic story!

Off the Ice by Julie Cross

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Actually, 4.5 stars!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Off the Ice by Julie Cross. This first book in her Juniper Falls series is told by Tate and Claire through alternating points of view beginning in the prologue. The story picks up one year later in Chapter One. Claire is two years older than Tate and she has taken a semester off of college because her dad has an inoperable brain tumor and she wants to be with him and help him and her mother. Tate is a high school junior and a varsity hockey player. The two have known each other since they were children and now their friendship is growing into something more. Tate feels like he has to live with his father overshadowing everything he does and it’s suffocating him. Tate and Claire each have their own problems to deal with while trying to figure out their relationship and their future plans. A mature and realistic story line shows that being a young adult isn’t always easy and the people around you are either helpful or harmful. 4.5 stars for a young adult story with the gritty situations that make it feel real!

Reliquary by Sarah Fine

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Reliquary by Sarah Fine is the first book in this interesting new adult series. Mattie, the main character, begins the story in first person point of view while she is preparing for her engagement party. Mattie is engaged to Ben and they plan on marrying soon. She believes that Ben is her Mr. Right. Mattie’s grandfather warns her about Ben in such a vague way that she becomes exasperated with him. He warns her, but will not give her any reasons and will not answer her questions in a way that will help her understand. The next morning, Mattie wakes and looks for Ben, but all she finds is his cellphone on the road and his pacemaker in the mailbox. Ben is a young man, but he has a heart condition, so this terrifies Mattie. She gets shunned by the detective working on the case, so she decides to search for him on her own. Mattie discovers magic and how people use it as a drug and she becomes deeply involved in a world she never knew existed. She also learns about powers she didn’t know she carried and, whether Mattie wants to or not, she is drawn into the magic community and will do whatever it takes to save Ben. 4 stars for a unique take on magic!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I have finally gotten around to reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This book is monumental and legendary in how it faces life head on. The story contains everything from adolescence that defines us – teen angst, popularity or lack thereof, family struggles, dysfunctional families and the relationships that we form during this impressionable time that will help shape our futures. Empowering and overwhelming, this contemporary classic bears its soul for the world to see, learn from and to grow with- 5 stars!

First Contact by Kat Green

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Thanks to YABoundBookTours for the opportunity to read and review First Contact by Kat de Falla and Rachel Green (Kat Green)!
First Contact marks the beginning of the Haunts for Sale series. Sloane is a paranormal real estate agent that searches for haunted houses that her customers want to purchase. She’s using this guise to search for her fiance, Michael, who was killed by a drunk driver just weeks before their wedding. He had a motto for being patient and now Sloane is following it to search for him: “…be patient and if things weren’t working out, give it a year and a day.” This is now Sloane’s mantra to keep her going. The haunting mystery holds suspense and creepiness throughout the whole story. The romance factor adds a nice, warm touch to the spooky tale. Lovable protagonists and horrible antagonists kept me on my toes! I give this book 4 stars and recommend it to anyone wanting a macabre, spooky adult read!

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 Flame and the Arrow

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Thank you to Emigh Cannaday for the opportunity to read and review her book, The Flame and the Arrow! This new adult book begins with Annika, a musician who has recently broken up with her fiance and she is talking to her best friend, James, about the events in her life. Annika travels to her Uncle Vince’s home in Bulgaria for a well-deserved respite and to recover from the breakup. She goes for a hike in the wilderness and loses her way back to Uncle Vince’s home. She eventually sees a person and that person is someone she met in town earlier. Annika follows her and they end up in a cave with two other women. Things become strange as they are transported to a different world through a portal, which then closes. The three women reveal that they are wood nymphs and inform Annika that she is one too. She resides with an elven family after the portal has closed and everyone suspects that she belongs in their world. Finn and his father, Ambrose, show Annika the family tree and she discovers that she is part of their world through her mother’s ancestors. Annika begins to have a tumultuous relationship with Talvi, Finn’s brother. The family puts together a group that will be battle ready to find and rescue a member of the family that has been kidnapped, another interesting part of this story. Annika falls in love, learns a lot about herself and becomes somewhat transformed. The writing flows, character development is strong and the story and worlds are elaborate and interesting. The Flame and the Arrow is the beginning of a new adult series about Annika and her life entangled in mystery, intrigue, complicated relationships and romance!

All is Not Forgotten

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Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the arc of All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker! Jenny Kramer attends a high school party where she is raped and left on the grass afterwards. A treatment to erase horrible memories from your mind has been created and is used on Jenny to erase the trauma. The treatment erases the memories from your mind, but they live on in the soul and body. Jenny can’t remember the rape because of the treatment, so she can’t point out the rapist, but she remembers useless information that she can’t place, such as a strong odor, a song, and why she was outside in the first place. I like how the story is told by the psychiatrist and, through his point of view, shows the emotional upheaval of everyone involved and the precarious nature of being a therapist. The whole controversy surrounding the memory treatment brings up a barrage of questions and what-ifs.

Another person, Sean Logan, has been given the memory treatment also, after he lost his SEAL comrades and his right arm while he was activated. The treatment has made healing difficult for Sean also.

The parental advice hits the nail on the head: “We need our parents to love us without condition, without logic, and beyond reason.” This is true for a person to be able to grow up with a strong self-esteem and would be ideal for all of us. The hypocritical statement made by the therapist about his own children soon after telling Jenny’s father to let his anger go, feels very selfish and one-sided. “If we can’t protect our own children, we are wretched.” Sad to say, the world is a big place and we can’t be with our children 24/7 and that is very hard on parents who want to be there for their children.

A lot of food for thought and the tables keep turning in this psychological thriller!

Three Truths and a Lie

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Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the arc of Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger! This suspenseful mystery thriller involves four friends who go away for the weekend. Rob, Liam, Galen and Mia all go to Mia’s family cabin in logging territory. They play the game Three Truths and a Lie and after that, strange things start to happen and they wonder if someone wants to cause them harm. The suspense builds and the mystery stays unsolved. The story winds itself around to the beginning of the weekend and all is explained. This book contains some explicit sex, just to be warned, but is psychologically twisted and maddeningly interesting and a wonderful mystery thriller read!