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.
I voluntarily read and reviewed Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis. Just when I thought there couldn’t be any more surprises, more pop up in this book, the third installment in The Kennedy Boys series! As the story is opening, Kyler runs in anger and doesn’t even tell Faye where he’s going. He won’t respond to her texts, frustrating and worrying her even more. This leaves Faye to deal with her own surprises without him, so they are both alone in their struggles. Kyler meets his biological father and turns away with complete disbelief and disgust. And the surprises keep coming, loaded with twists and turns. The relationship between Kyler and Faye is cute, sometimes cheesy, to the annoyance of everyone around them. They are mature for their age and I suppose it’s because of the difficult experiences they have lived through, which makes their lives anything but dull. 5 stars for this new-adult romance and mystery story!
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!
The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins confronts many difficult and possibly controversial circumstances. A young woman lives with her father, but they never stay in one place very long. Ariel loves her father when he isn’t drinking or being too overprotective. Other times he is abusive and angry. Ariel and her father finally stay in one place for an entire school year and she makes friends that she feels comfortable with. She is struggling with her sexuality because her father has always claimed that her mother is a lesbian. Ariel isn’t sure about what she wants or who she wants it with. Another story is being told alternately with Ariel’s. Maya also struggles with family situations and friendships. The stories of these two young women hold a strong, emotional mystery that knocked my socks off! In Ellen Hopkins standard writing, the mystery unfolds. 4 stars for an emotional book full of growth!
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the chance to read and review Touching Fate by Brenda Drake! This fun and interesting story kept me entertained. Alternating points of view with Reese, a young man with a family curse which will make him die on his eighteenth birthday, and Aster, a young woman who unknowingly has a family curse that can change people’s fates. The two meet at a local carnival and Reese discovers that Aster is a fate changer. Since his family has known about the curse, Reese realizes that Aster can change his soon-to-be future fate. At first, he just wants to get to know her so that she will help him, but they fall in love with each other. Aster discovers her family curse because of a psychic at the carnival and her grandmother eventually explains everything to her, after tragedy has already struck. Aster’s grandmother has kept the curse a secret to protect the family, but she learns that this was narrow minded. Some swearing and a small sex scene that is vaguely detailed – just a heads up for people who might not want to read that. The story’s cohesiveness and charming characters made me a happy reader – 4 stars!
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga is interesting from the very beginning. The author alludes to stress factors on the main character, Jazz, and this kept me curious and wanting to learn all about him. I can see this book improving readers’ vocabulary and increasing interest in and gaining knowledge of science because of the way the author writes, making it extremely real, but not too gory. Jazz tries to deal with the fact that his father is a serial killer who raised Jazz to be exactly like him. Metaphors and similes help with understanding how Jazz grew up. The intensity cranks up when Jazz visits his father, Billy Dent, the notorious serial killer, in prison. Wow! The writing flows well and Barry Lyga brings Jazz into our world as a believable person that is dealing with tremendous stress. An unexpected ending leading into the next book made me want to immediately continue reading the series. 5 stars!
Game by Barry Lyga, the second book in the Jasper Dent series, dives right into a mystery. An added aspect to this book, alternating Jazz’ and Connie’s points of view, make this story even more entertaining. Connie’s point of view helps the reader understand how other people see Jazz, instead of just hearing his thoughts. Howie’s personality adds comic relief and made me giggle out loud.
Jazz has been taken to New York to help solve a new serial killer mystery. Morales, an FBI agent that worked on the Billy Dent case, offers to work with Jazz to find his father and kill him. Jazz still struggles with not trusting himself and this is interfering with his relationship with Connie. The book ends with three major cliffhangers! Aaahhh! I do not want to add spoilers, so I am keeping the extreme cliffhangers to myself. 😉 5 stars!
I put off reading Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga because I did not want this series to end! The third book of the Jasper Dent series takes off where Game ended. Jazz is still locked in a storage unit, Billy has Connie and Howie wakes up in the hospital. Billy saves Jazz, then kills the Hat killer. Connie discovers that she is locked up with Jazz’ mother and they are trying to help each other. Jazz’ aunt has disappeared and his grandmother is in the hospital. Nonstop action, intensity and surprises amp up the suspense in this final book.
Jazz will do anything to save his mother and it looks like he will do things he never believed he could, to protect her. The danger increases and the mystery unfolds, while the story delves deeper into the perverse childhood of Jazz. Twisting and unpredictable, this story never failed to enthrall and entertain me. 5 stars!
The Jasper Dent series is perfect for young adults who like to read horror stories!
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks to Entangled Teen for the arc of Chasing Truth by Julie Cross! Wow, what a ride! This adventure, mystery, thriller, romance, young adult story held my attention from beginning to end.
Chasing Truth is cleverly written, with complex main characters and side characters, and mysterious because the main character has hidden agendas and a secrecy surrounding her. I like Ellie (Eleanor) with her clever, quick wit and the fact that she seems to care about people and also values integrity in others. Ellie’s friend, Simon, supposedly committed suicide but the investigation into his death is ongoing. This book is hard to put down and I just wanted to keep reading, but alas, life needs to be lived;).
I loved this line, “This makes me hate him 2 percent less, which is useful when I have to pretend not to hate him”. I laughed out loud! It’s priceless! Out of context, this line doesn’t make much sense, but when you get to know Ellie and how she is dealing with her con-artist background while trying to be normal, it makes great dialogue!
The mysterious background of Ellie and the mystery surrounding Simon’s death kept me riveted throughout the book, 5 stars!
Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Shadow of a Girl by Shannon Greenland! Eve has never felt love from her family or the people she has grown up around. Her only friend risks everything to help Eve escape her horrible and tragic life. Once she escapes, Eve is continually hiding from her prison like past while trying to learn how to enjoy life with her new acquaintances. She never truly feels free. West is interesting and entertaining from the first time Eve meets him and West has secrets of his own… Shadow of a Girl deals with difficult issues, such as abuse and overcoming it and how much of a struggle that can be and even more. Amazing character development! This realistic story will empower! 5 stars!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the arc of Love Blind by Christa Desir and Jolene Perry! A teenage boy, Kyle, as the main character in chapter one, then Hailey for chapter two. Alternating between Kyle and Hailey each chapter lets the reader live in both of their worlds better than first person point of view would have. Hailey has been diagnosed as legally blind (the ophthalmologist tells her she has “old-people eyes”),lives with her two adoptive moms and she has a list of fears to overcome. Hailey is the singer in the band, Blinders On, with her two friends. Kyle lives with his single mom and he’s dealing with being painfully shy and getting bullied at school. Kyle and Hailey meet and become reluctant friends and begin to work on Hailey’s fear list. In the meantime, Hailey talks Kyle into making his own list. Some use of the “F” word, but it fits in with the situations discussed in the book. Love Blind fits in the young adult genre because of its swearing and sex language. This book deals with some intense, tough issues: extreme bullying, losing virginity, hpv, dysfunctional families, blindness, being adopted, gay parents, sexuality and love with creative writing and care. One of my greatest fears is becoming blind and I admire anyone who has dealt with blindness. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and grew to care about them, with their dynamic personalities, humor and drama. The story is intense and deep with an inconclusive ending that leaves the mind to wonder about the characters’ futures.