Never Wake by Amy Plum, the sequel to Dreamfall, starts right where the first book left off. Dreamfall ended with the documented knowledge that one of the teens is a psychopath. The intensity is amplified and the suspense keeps building! The dream state is lasting longer and the void is shortening, so the teens are inside nightmares longer each time and their rest time will eventually disappear. They’re already struggling to survive while the nightmares become more dangerous. The intern observing the trial keeps taking detailed notes and she’s noticed the changes and believes the patients are dreaming and she’s trying to convince the researchers. She was also able to warn Fergus about one of the teens being a psychopath, but he fell back asleep before she stated the psychopath’s name. Neverwake’s intensity kept me glued to the book and this young adult horror full of unique, interesting characters earns 5 stars!
Dream Fall by Amy Plum involves a group of teenagers suffering from insomnia. They meet for the introduction of a medical treatment that’s supposed to help them all get full nights of sleep. This is a medical trial for these seven teenagers who are in the second batch of testing, the betas. One person, the alpha, has been successful with the treatment already. After the seven reach the dream state, there’s a power bump which causes them to enter a comatose state, according to the research doctors. But the teenagers are actually stuck in a horrifying dream world together. One by one, the dreaming teenagers realize that they are together in a combined dream state. None of them can remember the medical trial or any other short term happenings. While the teens sleep on, the doctors over the trial frantically try to fix their comatose state. As the group moves through each other’s nightmares, they began to recall where they are. The danger keeps increasing and death becomes all too real. The ending is a cliffhanger and the scariest part of the story. 4 stars for this young adult horror story!
Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins and Harper Teen continues right after the demons almost caught the group of Nephilim on the island. The demons are discussing traitors and set up a demon meeting. They suspect Anna and her father of rebellion and plan to take them down. She is constantly running to keep safe. Kaidan is sent by the demons to take care of Anna and if he doesn’t, they will kill him. The only way they can be safe together and keep Anna righteous for the sword, is by getting married. The rebellion Nephilim become closer and become true, loyal friends while they help each other survive. Everything comes to a head and suspense and intensity build as the rebels find out who’s on their side and who’s against them. 5 stars for the touching end to the Sweet Evil trilogy!
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins opens with a story from Rome in the 1700’s where two Nephilim are punished for loving each other. Six months have passed since book one and since Anna and Kaidan have seen each other. Kaidan and Anna know they need to stay apart for their own safety as well as the safety of the rebelling Nephilim and supporting demons. Anna has been given a mission and she’s going to be working with Kope. Their mission is to save a young woman in a part of the world where women are devalued, degraded and abused. Her name is Zania. Kope and Anna meet with two Nephilim and then their emotions get in the way, so they decide traveling together is too difficult. Anna then travels alone and she is finally able to have a conversation with Kaidan and they are finally honest with each other and learn how to make their relationship work. Unexpectedly, Kope and Kaidan work together, by wearing Arabic disguises and saving Zania by pretending to purchase her for slavery. Blake, Kaidan, Anna, Kope and Zania are forced to hide in the cold ocean water because the Dukes come to the island they are staying on. While shivering in the water, they are witnesses to a Nephilim murder by the Neph’s own father. The group works with Anna’s father, continually strategizing to build the rebellion up. Sweet Peril is just as exciting as the first book, Sweet Evil, in this supernatural series by Wendy Higgins. 5 stars!
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins is an intense ride with demons and angels. The opening reveals Anna’s beginnings as she’s born and blessed with the angelic spirit of her dying mother while her father looks on with a broken heart. Police break in and arrest her father, John LaGray, for international drug trafficking and his only remark to her is, “Just say no to drugs, will ya kid?” Fast forward to teen Anna attending a concert with her best friend, Jay. They’re enjoying the music when Anna notices the drummer. She sees others’ emotions as colors and the drummer hardly is showing any, only a small amount of red. She also notices how attractive he is. Kaidan, the drummer, keeps running into Anna after they meet backstage after the concert. He seems to know what she is and after Kaidan confronts Anna at a party, she talks to her adoptive mother, Patti and learns all the secrets that she knows about Anna’s past. Patti also warns Anna to distance herself, as far as possible, from Kaidan. Anna and Kaidan have difficulty keeping distance from each other and, due to lack of money, Patti is unable to take Anna on the trip to gather more information from her past by speaking to her imprisoned father and to Sister Ruth, the nun who was present at Anna’s birth, Kaidan offers to take Anna there. The meeting with Anna’s father goes well and she gains love and respect for him as he tells the story of his life-from living in Heaven to becoming a fallen angel, to loving Anna’s mother and to his time in prison. He gives her valuable advice and information and she leaves him feeling loved. Anna receives a call from a nun letting her know that Sister Ruth passed away but left all of her belongings to Anna. Kaidan and Anna decide to keep their distance from one another and when they do see each other it causes confusion. Anna’s learning to “work” to keep the demons at bay but she has to deal with the guilt afterward, each time she persuades someone to make an unwise choice. The intensity of Kaidan’s and Anna’s relationship is intoxicating and the pull between them is undeniable. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series, Sweet Peril. Supernatural deception and integrity all in one!
Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza has a bright, fun cover that entices readers. Kat has just started at a new school. Meg attends this school and the two of them become partners for their class Science Project. Neither one of them has any truly good friends and, little by little they grow a friendship beginning with their mutual love of a certain video game. Through the ups and downs of growing up and building relationships, Kat and Meg discover how to cope and enjoy their lives and accept themselves just as they are. You never know when you’re going to find a friend! The maturity level of the two main characters didn’t always feel consistent, but otherwise, this book is a fun read that young teens will be able to relate to. 3.5 stars for this realistic fiction written for teens.
House of furies by Madeleine Roux tells the story of Louisa, a fortune teller, who is given a gold coin by an older woman and offered a job at Coldthistle House. There’s more to the old woman than Louisa realizes and she’s not sure what to think of her. On their way to Coldthistle House, the wagon wheel breaks and a passing wagon stops to help them. These travelers are on their way to Coldthistle House too. Once Louisa finally reaches their destination, she finds out more than she bargained for and discovers that she will supposedly never leave. The art on the cover and introductions of the chapters are beautifully spooky and appropriate for the story. With interesting relationships and creepiness, I read this book nonstop. 4 Stars!
Eight Days on Planet Earth by Cat Jordan opens with Matthew relaxed and enjoying the summer break. Matthew is a normal, laid back teenager with a crush on his best friend’s older sister and a broken relationship with his own father. He sees a girl alone in the field by his house and wonders why she’s alone. He talks to her and she claims to be an alien from another planet, waiting for her ride home. They become friends and a large part of each other’s lives in a short amount of time. The twist in the story surprised me but brought great depth to this book and brought the realization of true faith to the forefront. 4 stars for this young adult book!
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau is an intense fantasy adventure. Carys and Andreus are royal twin siblings hiding a secret from the kingdom. When the power outage overwhelms Garden City, chaos follows. Andreus helps fix the outage problem right before their brother Micah and their father, the king, are brought home from the warfront by the King’s guards. Both Micah and the king have been killed and the only witnesses to their deaths are soon killed also. The secret the twins are hiding is the sickness Andreus suffers from; it causes him weakness and is supposedly the curse that the seer prophesied after the birth of the twins. The Elders have set up a tournament for Andreus and Carys to compete against each other for the throne, since both the king and his heir are dead. The winner will be the new ruler of their kingdom. They compete unwillingly and try to make the tournament go in favor of Andreus. The danger builds and the suspicion grows stronger as Andreus and Carys struggle to learn who they can trust. It saddened me how quickly Andreus believed that his worth was above everyone else’s. I love the ingenious, clever way the story is told with the alternating points of view of Carys and Andreus and how they overlap at times. This way of telling the story makes the reader’s emotions take a roller coaster ride. I would love to see a map in the sequel and I give this book 5 stars for the adventure and intrigue!
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight is an intense mystery that doesn’t completely unravel. Wylie has lost her mother in an accident and she can’t seem to overcome her loss. On top of this stress, her best friend Cassie is missing. Cassie’s boyfriend, Jasper, comes to Wylie’s house and shows her the texts he’s received from Cassie begging him to help her. Wylie and Jasper go on a treasure hunt of sorts looking for Cassie as they receive small clues a little at a time. They finally reach Cassie and the three of them find themselves in a situation comparable to a horror movie setting. Every time I thought I had the mystery figured out, something would change proving me wrong. The suspense and underlying mystery kept me reading to the end where, once again everything changed. I’m anxious to read the sequel, The Scattering. I give The Outliers 4 stars for a story that dropped the floor out from under me!