Review: On the Fringe is such a wonderful book that focuses on the power of love. It involves friendship, family, and a past event that may destroy itReview: On the Fringe is such a wonderful book that focuses on the power of love. It involves friendship, family, and a past event that may destroy it all.
Claire and Daniel have been friends for a long time. They, along with their siblings, have been stuck together since they were young. The story is from the point of view of Daniel and Claire. This allows readers to not only get Claire's perspective, but to see how Daniel viewed their relationship early on. We get to read about their childhood and how little events started the attraction that eventually made them love each other.
Then, right when Claire and Daniel were wanting to come forward with their feelings, he is killed. Now Claire is trying to deal with her feelings and she isn't able to really share it with anyone because their siblings didn't know she liked him. She suffers in silence and you can't help but connect with her character during this time. It's easy to see how the hurt and regrets were destroying her.
But Daniel isn't as far away as Claire thinks, and after she has an accident on her birthday, she gets to see him again. Daniel saves her and, in turn, they get the ability to see each other at the same time each night. These parts were some of my favorites in the book. The characters were finally able to break down the walls they had up and tell each other what they had been thinking all these years.
On the Fringe isn't just about lost love though, it contains a character that wishes to destroy Daniel and his connection with Claire. Daniel turns into Claire's protector and Courtney did a great job weaving in drama with the ghost elements.
This is a very enjoyable read. I'm normally not a big fan of ghost stories but this one manages to bring together all the elements needed to connect with the characters, understand their connection, and be on the edge of your seat as you follow along. I can't wait to read more from Courtney!...more
Review: This is the second book in the Mythos Academy series and I am really enjoying these books! In Kiss of Frost, Gwen has the unfortunate/fortunatReview: This is the second book in the Mythos Academy series and I am really enjoying these books! In Kiss of Frost, Gwen has the unfortunate/fortunate pleasure of working with Logan Quinn as he tries to kick her butt into shape. Ahh, how I love Logan! This book picks up just a few weeks after Touch of Frost ends so we get right back into the swing of things.
This book takes us away from the academy for a bit as the students go on a ski trip. But danger seems to follow Gwen because someone is out to kill her on the slopes. Gwen's trip is sidetracked as she tries to figure out who, or what, is causing her harm. She is one of those characters who really likes to tackle something on her own, but we all know how that normally turns out.
While all of the danger lurks around the corner, this book goes deeper into the life of Logan--which was great! He was such a mystery in Touch of Frost so it was nice to get to know him and some of the other students in Gwen's circle. Logan is still a bit mysterious, and fights his feelings for Gwen, but their connection seemed to grow a great deal! It seemed that even more than Gwen, Logan is the character that changes the most.
The only real complaint I have with this book is the same one I had with Touch of Frost-- it's a bit repetitive when talking about Gwen's gift. Also, a few of the parts were a little predictable but were still very well written and developed. While I may have figured out the "who" behind certain things, I didn't figure out the "why" till much later. Made it very interesting!
Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series is full of intense mystery and drama! Kiss of Frost carries on with the same terrific story developments, and expands greatly on the character I have grown to love. I can't wait to read book 3, Dark Frost!...more
Crush Control is a really cute story with a fun twist! Willow and her mother have been in Vegas for years doing a hypnotism show. Now they are back inCrush Control is a really cute story with a fun twist! Willow and her mother have been in Vegas for years doing a hypnotism show. Now they are back in their small town and Willow is doing her best to adjust. It is made a little easier when her best friend Max is by her side. They have been best friends since childhood and it's nice to see a friendly face.
But things aren't exactly turning out great when she finds out Max is dating someone else. Willow doesn't know what to do to get his undivided attention so she comes up with an idea to hypnotize hotty Quinton into falling in love with her. But hypnotism is nothing to mess with and Willow gets a little more attention than she bargained for.
Crush Control has a ton of hilarious moments as poor Quinton turns into the world's most perfect boyfriend. But maybe he's a little too perfect. Every girl likes a little romance but it was so funny to see Quinton pull out all the stops in order to make Willow happy. And even better to see all the insane ways Willow tried to break the spell.
Willow was a fun character and I enjoyed her quirky personality. Max was terrific and it was interesting to see his conflicting emotions when it came to Willow and his girlfriend. A lot of those interactions reminded me of typical high-school drama.
Crush Control is a really adorable, light read that will have people cracking up. It's funny to see how mind control may not be the right answer when it comes to finding true love. ...more
Wow, this book was not at all what I expected. Due to the topic, it can be a difficult book to read. I wasn't expecting this to be a book with so much emotional pull. These Things Hidden is from the perspective of 4 women, Allison, Brynn, Claire, and Charm. In the beginning, Allison is just leaving prison after 5 years behind bars. She has the hard task of going back into the world without the support of her family. Her sister Brynn and her parents have all abandoned her. With some support she is able to get into a house with other women in similar situations but even then, her journey has a long way to go.
Brynn is fighting her own demons. She constantly thinks about the night that changed her life and put her sister in jail. She wonders how it could have changed and how her help altered the outcome. Charm and Claire, at first, seemed disconnected from the story -but not in a bad way. It just takes a while for all the pieces to come together and see where each character fits.
Claire owns a small bookstore and she is the mother of a little boy, through adoption, and she's happy with her quaint life with her son and husband.
Charm is a customer of the bookstore and she is a nursing student taking care of her stepfather. He has cancer and doesn't have much longer to live. At first, it took a lot of guessing for me to try to find out what all these women had in common. Ultimately, it's the little boy, Joshua, but the way they are connected still completely shocked me.
Each point-of-view takes us back to the night Allison got in trouble. Each young lady remembers every detail of the part they played and for Claire, the moment she got the child she had desired for so long. Eventually, through this re-telling, we begin to understand the history of this little boy. After a while, each woman is thrown onto the same path and more of the details begin to unravel.
I was completely amazed by the complexity of this plot. I was left feeling utterly shocked and amazed at what this story laid out. Although it was far from my normal read, I was completely mesmerized. The way Heather was able to detail this story blew me away. She gave us small bits of information in each chapter that never gave too much away at one time. That startling development is left till the very end.
This is a story that truly touched my heart. These women all start on a route that brings them directly to their common thread, Joshua. The young boy with the sparkling personality. Something that came to mind was the phrase "things aren't always as they seem" and I can promise you that this book will bring a shocking ending. These Things Hidden is a compelling story that will leave you completely breathless. ...more
Small Town Sinners is one of the first books I've read that has such a strong focus in religion. Typically, books can get "preachy" or unrealistic wheSmall Town Sinners is one of the first books I've read that has such a strong focus in religion. Typically, books can get "preachy" or unrealistic when it comes to talking about teens and religion. That did not happen in this book.
Small Town Sinners is about a young girl named Lacey. She is from a very religious family and has been in church all of her life. Her beliefs are based upon her parent's beliefs- which is common for teenagers her age. But while her church gets ready to put on Hell House (a type of play) Lacey begins to finally question all of the previous ideas she has about herself and others.
Since Lacey's father is a pastor at the church, she is always involved in the activities they put on. Hell House is the biggest thing of the year and Lacey would do anything to play the part of "abortion girl". Then Ty comes into town and he opens up a door beyond worrying about the church play. He helps her come to terms with herself and see past what her parents have put in front of her.
Lacey was a wonderful character because she did seem very realistic. When she talked throughout the book I kept thinking "wow, I knew young girls who sounded just like that when I was growing up"..and it was true. I went to church till I was 16 and grew up around a lot of very religious people. It seemed as if many of the teenagers (mainly girls) would recite their feelings as if it had been rehearsed. It never felt like that was really their original thoughts. That was the same feeling I got with Lacey. Although sometimes she was so naive it was scary, she was a fascinating character to follow.
Ty, on the other hand, was the more experienced character. He would talk to Lacey in a way that never forced her beliefs to change, but it helped her question her own ideas. Lacey's friends Dean and Starla Joy were wonderful as well. They both grew up in the church as well and were facing their own battles.
Melissa Walker did an outstanding job tackling a difficult topic for teenagers. Small Town Sinners shows how teens and young adults can find their own path to spirituality.
Full of thought-provoking dialogue and appealing characters, Small Town Sinners is great for anyone who has ever questioned their idea of religion. ...more
This was my first time reading a book by Alyssa B. Sheinmel and it did not disappoint! I rarely get the chance to read a book from a boys point of vieThis was my first time reading a book by Alyssa B. Sheinmel and it did not disappoint! I rarely get the chance to read a book from a boys point of view. This one pulled that off beautifully! It's from the point-of-view of Nick, a 16-year-old boy who seems to have a typical high school life. He has a best friend, a crush, and a loving family.
Nick slowly pursues Eden (the crush) and it's adorable to watch their relationship progress. They had that nice, romantic connection that helps the reader really get to know each character. I honestly loved Eden. She was a strong young girl, with a sweet personality and a fierce love for Nick. She honestly cared about him deeply and their relationship was more than puppy love.
Nick was a great character. Alyssa did a great job getting into the mind of a teenage boy. Nick was frustrating at times because he seemed to displace his anger, which is something most guys do. His anger stemmed from a secret he discovered his father was keeping. It wasn't something horrific, but it threw Nick's world upside down. Everything he thought he knew about his parents was then questioned.
I have to mention another character I absolutely loved, Stevie. Stevie is the best friend of Nick and he was perfect! Not perfect as in nothing was wrong with him, but he was the picture perfect representation of a great best friend. He was funny, interesting, caring, and a great addition to this story. He was able to give Nick some insight when he was unable to see past his anger.
This story was wonderful and although I felt the ending left some things hanging, it was a very well-rounded book. It really opened up the life of Nick and allowed us to see how one moment can change every other aspect of a life. The Lucky Kind is full of intense emotion, teenage drama, and a level of love from friends and family rarely seen in young adult novels. ...more
Review: When I first spotted this cover I knew I had to read the book! I'm so glad I decided to pick it up. You Against Me brings in a large family elReview: When I first spotted this cover I knew I had to read the book! I'm so glad I decided to pick it up. You Against Me brings in a large family element into a story--but in this case we get 2 families. It is a very powerful story about the love for family and doing what is right.
At the beginning of the story we meet Mikey. His sister has just been raped and everyone in the family is struggling with how to cope. Mikey has no idea what he could do to make his sister feel better. He's a young guy who seems like many other teenage boys. He works, has a best friend, has dreams, but he hates that his little sister has had to deal with such a horrible situation. Soon he decides to take matters into his own hands and find out more about her attacker--Tom.
Tom is Ellie's brother. Ellie is a sweet, young girl who deeply loves her family and big brother. They have always had a great relationship, and in the beginning of the book she cannot figure out why Tom has been accused of such a horrible crime. As people are welcoming Tom home from jail (before the real trial begins) Mikey shows up at their house. Ellie has no idea who Mikey is but through their conversations she begins to have feelings for him. Although Mikey is aware that he shouldn't be messing with Tom's sister, he can't seem to get her out of his mind.
Mikey and Ellie have a lot of very sweet moments. I could feel their emotions but they were not just linked to each other. I could feel how desperate each character was to save their families. It seemed the entire world was on their shoulders and they relied on each other to help with the load. It was a very moving journey!
Eventually Ellie begins to question what she witnessed the night Mikey's sister was attacked and that brings even more emotion into the story. I felt horrible for what Ellie had to go through. This was a story that really had no easy answer. Usually it's never too hard to figure out the correct path for a character but I could honestly say that Ellie had no easy choice.
You Against Me is a very touching novel. It carries an powerful message with 2 main characters who many people can relate to and sympathize with....more
This was my first experience reading a book by Alyxandra Harvey and I was very impressed with the story and her writing style. Haunting Violet is a caThis was my first experience reading a book by Alyxandra Harvey and I was very impressed with the story and her writing style. Haunting Violet is a captivating historical novel set in England during the 1800s.
Violet is a young girl who is forced to go along with her mother's dishonest ways of making money. Her mother pretends to be a medium and she gets money from people who have lost a family member. She uses tricks and cons to make the family members believe that they are truly seeing and hearing their loved ones. Colin is there with Violet from the beginning. He was a orphan and Violet's mother hired him to help her carry out her schemes.
Violet's mother sees a great opportunity for herself when she is invited to Lord Jasper's estate and she wants Violet to grab the interest of the wealthy Xavier at the same time. But soon Violet is thrown into a mystery she never expected. A real ghost is following her around and it's up to her to find out more about this ghost. This takes her on some very scary adventures but luckily she has Colin there to help her.
Violet's relationship with Colin was wonderful to follow. They had a great friendship that seemed to slowly grow into something more. Along with Colin, Violet becomes friends with Elizabeth and the three of them try to unravel the mystery of what happened to the ghostly young girl together.
I'm typically not a huge fan of historical novels but Alyxandra Harvey did a fantastic job at portraying this time period. It truly felt like I was right there with the characters and the descriptions were fantastic. Violet was a terrific character who showed great courage and compassion. This book was much more than simply a ghost story and I will definitely be reading more from Alyxandra. ...more
I've always been a fan of Elizabeth Scott and her books. The idea behind this book really grabbed my attention and it was a wonderful read.
The storyI've always been a fan of Elizabeth Scott and her books. The idea behind this book really grabbed my attention and it was a wonderful read.
The story follows Abby. Abby and her family are going through a terrible time because Abby's older sister Tess is in a coma. Abby visits her every day and is sure her sister will wake up soon. Abby constantly compares herself to her older sister. She doesn't feel that she deserves real happiness. It was easy to see where her feelings came from and how her emotions were ruining so many parts of her life. While visiting her sister, Abby meets Eli. He works there at the hospital and Abby feels he is just the person to get Tess to wake up. I wanted Abby to have more of a fighting spirit when it come to Eli. It was obvious that he enjoyed her company but she wasn't able to see it.
Eli was adorable. He really brought some sunshine to this story. Although he had issues of his own, I enjoyed seeing his personality come forward through the plot. This was one time where Abby noticed that things are not always as they seem. Eli wasn't as perfect as she felt he was. He had problems he was dealing with as well and that allowed Abby to see that maybe her sister's life wasn't perfect either.
Between Here and Forever had several surprising moments. I enjoyed watching the story unfold one piece at a time. I did think that some of the dialogue between Abby and Eli was a little hard to follow. Since both characters struggled with their self-esteem, they often left sentences hanging and wouldn't say exactly what they felt. This sometimes interrupted the flow of the story.
Between Here and Forever shows how a young girl can let comparisons take over her life and how not every life is as perfect as it looks from the outside. Abby gained strength throughout the story and was able to eventually stand on her own. I could see the power behind her 'outside' personality. The subtle chemistry between her and Eli was just the touch this book needed. Abby's journey led her to finally feel she deserved happiness and love. ...more
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is so mysterious and creepy! I love how the summary is simple and leaves a lot up to the readers' imaginations. One of myThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is so mysterious and creepy! I love how the summary is simple and leaves a lot up to the readers' imaginations. One of my pet peeves is when a book summary tells the entire plot. So in that aspect, this book was perfectly presented! The mystery behind the story really makes the reader have to keep going in order to figure out what's going on.
I won't give any spoilers away because that is the fun part of this book, but I will say that Michelle Hodkin really created a fascinating world around these characters and I can't wait to see what happens to them next! First, we have Mara. Mara was in an accident and suddenly can't remember what happened. But, that's not all. She is having some disturbing images come to her and they have drastic consequences for her present life.
I enjoyed Mara's character but sometimes she confused me. She didn't question things as often as I feel I would have under the same circumstances. Sometimes she seemed to maybe contradict herself with her feelings and actions. It's hard to explain, but even with that, she was a very intriguing character. Noah Shaw, the other main character in this novel, was wonderful! He felt more realistic to me.
Mara's family was fabulous! I loved how she had brothers and she interacted with her family. That can be rare to see in a YA book. There was no disconnect between the plot and her family life. Everything molded very well together. Daniel, her older brother, was my favorite!
This book grabbed me from the first page but lost me a little around the middle of the book. It got a little confusing but that may have been because so much of the story was a mystery. It was hard to determine what exactly was going on. But the creativity of the story and detailed writing make up for that.
Overall, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a truly enchanting tale and one that could continue in so many different directions! ...more
Review: I've always been a fan of werewolf books and this one absolutely lived up to my expectations. Dirty Blood puts a twist on the typical werewolfReview: I've always been a fan of werewolf books and this one absolutely lived up to my expectations. Dirty Blood puts a twist on the typical werewolf tale because it involves a hunter who is just learning about the world she never knew existed.
After Tara has a fight with her boyfriend she runs into trouble on her way home. A girl attacks her and then suddenly the girl is a wolf. Tara manages to kill the wolf/girl but she has no idea what just happened. Then a guy shows up acting like a girl turning into a wolf is something completely normal.Yeah, sure. Happens every day. The next morning Tara wakes up with the stranger in her room. Wes- who just happens to be a total hotty- tries to explain things to Tara but it all seems insane. Werewolves exist, she killed one, and Wes IS one.
Eventually Tara finds out that she is more connected to the werewolf world than she imagined. She is a hunter. It's her job to kill werewolves but there is a group of them who are trying to work with hunters and keep peace. But things are not so simple. Someone is after Tara and is willing to harm the ones she loves in order to get to her. Maybe she is more important than she first realized?
Tara and Wes have a love/hate, give/take relationship at first. This was a good thing because it allowed them to slowly evolve and get to know one another. Tara was a wonderful lead character and it was easy to see her strength and determination. Wes was frustrating at times but someone I really enjoyed. Heather Hildenbrand created a complex world and history for these characters and it was easy to feel connected to their way of life.
Dirty Blood is the start of a fascinating werewolf tale full of twists, turns, and action. I can't wait to see what Heather has in store for these characters next!...more
Review: Amanda Grace (aka Amanda Hubbard) really knows how to put a spin on contemporary themes. This is a quick read but as with Amanda's previous boReview: Amanda Grace (aka Amanda Hubbard) really knows how to put a spin on contemporary themes. This is a quick read but as with Amanda's previous book But I Love Him, it is highly emotional and significant for teens.
Sam seemed like a typical teenage girl. She wasn't super popular, great with the guys, or someone people noticed often. She does have a fabulous best friend, Nick. She likes Nick and just wanted him to notice her as more than a friend. She takes a chance by going after a popular guy, Carter. She takes her chance at Carter's party and is horribly embarrassed when he not only turns her down, but says some mean comments as well. Since she's drunk she falls down, rips her shirt, looks a mess, and runs out of his room crying. A girl sees her and makes some assumptions for what went on in the bedroom. This one event causes a string of events that change a lot of lives.
I liked that Sam was relatable but I do think she made some bad decisions when it came to setting the record straight. She had some times early on where it seemed it would have been easier to tell the truth than to put up with what was going on around her. Plus, she wasn't exactly shy. She wasn't afraid to tell people off most of the time. If she would have been really shy I might have believed her more when she just seemed too afraid to tell the truth.
I loved how this story comes from a completely different perspective on a situation that, sadly, happens a lot. Usually the girl may be trying desperately to get people to believe her. Now, we see a group of teens that turn on a guy for the wrong reasons. Sam had all the support she could ever want from her peers.
One of her biggest supporters was Nick. Nick was wonderful. You could tell he had a deep love for Sam and that showed a lot with his actions. Sam didn't have a lot of affection at home and her dad was pretty much a jerk so I think Sam turned to Nick a lot to just feel the love she craved.
In Too Deep is a book with an important message for how rumors can get out of control. It is a great book for teens who may not feel the truth is worth telling. Rumors can drastically change lives and it may be impossible to get out of the cycle.
Recommended: Great book for teens and contemporary lovers. Quick read with a great message. ...more