Sea of Strangers, the sequel to Island of Exiles. I don’t understand the different use of pronouns and it’s distracting but the author’s descriptive details make a scenic world once again. On their journey, the travelers encounter magic, other cultures, dangerous terrain and poisonous birds. They become a strong team and learn to work together and Khya learns that she’s capable of so much more than she ever could have believed. The ending is interesting and intense and my favorite part! 4 stars for a sequel with as much spirit as the first book of the Ryogan Chronicles!
The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison. I’m immediately drawn into the story because of the lovable two main characters, best friends Will and Georgie. Georgie is protecting Will’s secret. She will do anything to help him and when an old beau returns to town, the secret and Georgie’s loyalty are challenged. I love how the author approaches Will’s secret and the different points of view in the small southern town. This realistic situation with all of the stresses and anxiety rings true. One of my favorite scenes of the book is the escape of Georgie from Beau when they run into each other in Charleston while she’s supposedly on a date with Will; classic fun! The author brings a poignant story into our hearts and gives readers food for thought with the friendship, loyalty and honesty of wonderful and complicated characters. Young adult romance worth 5 stars!
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. Rumor loses his father when they’re attacked by Hellhounds and a dragon. A gargoyle, speaking their language, rode the dragon as its leader. When the gargoyle spoke he yelled to find Vala, so they seem to be searching for someone. Rumor’s dad ordered him to run and to warn others of an imminent attack. Rumor ends up in Epsilon. He meets with Dahlia, an old acquaintance. The hormones all over the place became confusing. Then we meet Jude who sees emotions and intentions of others in different colors. He knows deception and truth because of his sense; I did enjoy this power. Dahlia’s best friend Nyx wears hearing aids and they practice sign language together, which is awesome and interesting. Nyx has a crush on Dahlia and this became too sappy. The setting is eventually explained, a two hundred year-long journey from Earth to colonize in space. I kind of got tired of hearing about everyone being gay because if somewhere down the line there are no heterosexuals then we will become extinct and if colonization is a priority then reproducing should be a priority also. I guess maybe they can produce test tube babies or something similar. This book is more about categorizing sexual preferences and less about the plot, which was annoying to me. I enjoyed the descriptions of the chimera and found them interesting. I also enjoyed Braeden’s and Rumor’s sarcastic humor. The conflict and prejudice of the war on the Saharan moon took precedence for a while and that’s interesting enough to pull me into the story but then, for some reason, even though everyone is worried about death and impending battle in less than 16 hours, they act like they have time for sex. Attraction and love were being confused with each other. Just because you’re attracted to someone you just met, doesn’t mean you love them and I feel that too many people use the word “love” too lightly. 3.5 stars for the storyline and world building.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.
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 an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read and review How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. This story is about a dysfunctional flaky mother and her teenage daughter, Gracie, who is tired of how her mother acts. Her mother can’t settle down in one place for long AND she’s never in a relationship for long either AND she never takes the blame for her actions. This is all driving Gracie crazy because all Gracie wants is peace, happiness and contentment and to be able to focus on her goals. Gracie is a pianist and she wants to attend college in New York. She finally finds happiness with her friends, who are more of a family to her than her mother ever has been. Young adult content and LGBT diversity broaden the story to make an interesting realistic fiction read, 4 stars.
I voluntarily read and reviewed Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne. Finn is attending a camp for overachievers. The campers are divided into two teams and Finn becomes the reluctant leader of her team. Willa is the leader of another team. Several teams are created and given directions and rules to pretend each team and its territory (each team has been given a spot of land with different attributes) are a real part of civilization. The teams compete and combine together if they choose to, and see who creates and sustains their society. The story is about relationships and self-awareness as well as the skills of these select groups of students. It is also a survival adventure and part LGBT, tastefully written. The book is interesting because of the differences of leadership styles and skills and the array of personalities that make up each team. Realistic fiction and a well written young adult story; 4 stars! FYI: There’s a sequel planned for release in Fall of 2017, All the Ways to Here by Emily O’Beirne.
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker! As the story opens, Rebel is breaking into a rich London apartment. She thinks of herself as a modern day Robin Hood, but she keeps the loot for herself so she can make wishes. She’s an orphan living in a dreary institute run by an unkind matron and needs all the happiness she can find. She steals a golden vase, not realizing that it’s actually a vessel holding a jinni named Anjeline. Rebel has a heart condition and she ventures on a journey to free Anjeline and repair her own heart. Along the way, they run into a variety of characters and creatures, some friendly and some dangerous. Rebel learns about her parentage and all of its mysteries. This story brings fantasy, mythology, supernatural and LGBT together tastefully and smoothly. The author, J. C. Welker, has a goal, “…to work toward giving a voice to LGBTQ stories, while facing magic and monsters along the way. “. 4 stars for a job well done!
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 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!