Halfway Perfect is a young adult novel by Julie Cross and Mark Per**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Halfway Perfect is a young adult novel by Julie Cross and Mark Perini. It is about the not so pretty underside of the modeling world. I loved that Julie Cross paired up with a model turned writer to collaborate on this book. I thought that both Julie Cross and Mark Perini did an excellent job. I felt like I was at the castings with Eve, Elana and Alex. And while this book was darker than I initially thought it would be, it was a really good read.
Eve used to be an up and coming model when she was a young teenager, and then something happened and she walked away from the whole world right after she landed a huge designer shoot. It was scandalous. But Eve didn't care so much about the rumors that spread about her, and she starts the story enrolled at Columbia. I loved that she worked hard against everything working against her and got herself to an ivy league school. Props to her! In fact, overall I really loved Eve. There were a few minor incidents and things where I didn't agree with her decisions, but overall, I thought she was a great character. And the way that Julie Cross and Mark Perini slowly fed you more breadcrumb tidbits about her life and her past made it seem like we were always getting to know her better and better. I liked that. She was constantly developing as a character.
And her and Alex are so darn cute together. I loved the nicknames that gave each other in their phone. And I really liked how each of them interacted with Elana, who I thought was the most mature 14 year old in the world. I don't know how she did it all at such a young age. Halfway Perfect is part drama, part romance, part fictionalized expose, and totally addictive. I think this would make a great CW show. It has all the juicy drama that makes those shows fun. Halfway Perfect is a great read for those people that enjoy upper young adult romances with a side of drama and a dash of grit.
Flirty Dancing is such a fun read. It kind of reminded me of the Britis**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Flirty Dancing is such a fun read. It kind of reminded me of the British Georgia Nickelson series. Laugh out loud antics with a refreshingly levelheaded main character. I don't know how to best describe Bea. She is her own person, she is nice, has a good little group of friends (most of the time), is quirky funny, has eclectic interests and is such a great big sister. She just seems like a well rounded girl that I would love to be friends with. And she brings Flirty Dancing to life. I loved watching her Jive. The more she jive danced, the happier she got. It was like she just started glowing as the book went on. I know that sounds kind of dramatic and strange, but dancing really brought Bea to life. It was lovely to see.
In Flirty Dancing, a show like Britain's got Talent, was search for high school students all across the country. First up was dancing. And Bea's school was one of the schools on the auditions list, so naturally the whole school went crazy forming dance groups. First, of all I give Bea major props for even deciding to do a dance. She didn't have any training and she was already kind of picked on at school. And both of her best friends joined other dance groups, leaving Bea all alone. (I think if she really wanted to she could have joined Betty's group, but that is besides the point.) Just deciding to try out, won Bea huge points in my book. And then her grandma talked her into doing jive and swing dancing. I loved the throw back feel, plus I think Jive dancing is awesome. I had big band music playing in my head every time I watched Bea practice.
And then can we talk about Ollie?? And how awesome he is. This is a guy that is genuinely nice and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. I wish that more Ollie's went to my high school. He is a rare breed. He didn't even think twice about dancing with Bea, when his sister paired them up. He was never anything but totally nice and fun with her. I just loved Ollie. When Bea was made fun on right off the bat in the book, I was kind of worried that Ollie was going to take some warming up to her, because he was the hot guy, but that wasn't the case at all. Ollie is a gem.
Flirty Dancing is the first book in the Ladybirds series. The second book is already out in Australia and Britain, but I don't think we will get it until next year sometime. It is Betty's story. The Ladybirds is the name of the group that Bea, Betty, Kat and Pearl (the mean one.) formed when they were younger. I want to find out more about Pearl and Kat because I don't know what caused Pearl to turn into a mean girl, and Kat disappointed me with her sheep-ness in this book. But Jenny McLachlan is an author that I want to see lots more of. I love her writing style. Humor seems effortless in Flirty Dancing. I was smiling and laughing with every turn of the page. If you are looking for a Laugh out loud, flirty fun read, look no further than Flirty Dancing. It is great.
I love C.J. Duggan's books. She can write the heck out of New Adult con**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I love C.J. Duggan's books. She can write the heck out of New Adult contemporary romances. As an author on my auto-buy list, I was super excited to be a part of the Paradise City blog tour. Paradise City is the first book in C.J.'s Paradise series, which is a new adult contemporary romance series. Even though the main character is in high school, this had more of a new adult feel to it. Maybe younger new adult or a ya/na crossover. It is a little different than her Summer Boys series, in that each book does not work as a standalone. Here, you will need to read the series in order. And here, there is a cliffhanger. It caught me off guard because I have never experienced a cliffhanger in any of C.J. Duggan's other books, so I wasn't expecting it at all. And it is quite the cliffhanger, at that.
Cliffhanger aside, Paradise City is the same brand of feel good, fun and sexy romance that I have come to love from this author. I can't wait for the next book in the series already. Lexie grew up home schooled in a tiny Australian town. She is super smart, and for her 11th grade year in high school, her parents have finally agreed to let her move in with her aunt and cousin in the bigger town of Paradise. Lexie was so adorably excited about moving and going to a real high school. She was like a kid in the candy store when she got to Paradise. I loved it. She wanted ALL THE TEENAGE EXPERIENCES. And any good reader of new adult knows that means teenage romance.
I loved the way the students at school were divided into one of three different houses. I have no idea if that is how it is actually done in high school in Australia, but I would like to imagine that it is. Lexie totally got the best house too- Gilmore. (Gave me a total Gilmore Girls flashback) That is the house for the smart kids. The house for the beach bums, or cool kids was Kirkland, and that is where Boon and Luke and some of Lexie's cousin's friends are in. I knew right off the rat that most of the action was going to come from Lexie's interaction with this crowd. It took me a couple of minutes before I could get a read on Luke as a love interest, but once I did, I really enjoyed his interactions with Lexie.
Paradise City is a great romance with a great main character. I loved Lexie. A lot, a lot. And I liked the whole group of secondary characters as well. I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the next book, and getting to know them a little bit better. If you loved C.J. Duggan's Summer series, you should give Paradise City a try! And if you are new to C.J. Duggan's books, you need to get in the loop and grab all of her books. You will become addicted.
As Red As Blood is the first book in the Snow white trilogy, or th**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
As Red As Blood is the first book in the Snow white trilogy, or the Lumikki Andersson trilogy. I struggled with this book. It was originally written in Finnish and it takes placei n Finland, so maybe something was lost in translation, but I just could not get into this story. And that seems like a real shame to me, because I really, really liked the main girl Lumikki. I thought she was resilient, and smart. But the story was too jarring for me. The book felt kind of choppy and all over the place. The pace was brisk but the story felt like, scene. event. new person. confusing thing. scene. scene. without any explanations or time to catch your breath. I think for people that enjoy foreign or noir gritty crime thrillers might really love this, but it is not my normal read so the flow of the story was almost too big of a hurdle for me to overcome.
As I said before Lumikki is a great character. I went back and forth many times on what rating to give this book. I almost gave it 3 stars because I really enjoyed Lumikki. I loved how tough she was and when she stood up to the principals son early on, I cheered her on in my head. And I also liked the premise. She finds blood covered money hanging to dry in her school dark room. Umm, what??? That sounds like a crazy story! So I decided to give it a try, and it was kind of crazy, but it just wasn't really my thing. I feel like it might translate better on the tv or movie, but in a book, at least with this translation, something wasn't adding up for me to really get into the story.
As Red As Blood deals with a Finnish crime ring. Again a cool concept, and people that read crime thrillers or noir crime novels I think will love the snow white trilogy. The writing style is very distinct and the landscape felt very pungent, and fitting. It is a quick read, so I was glad that I stuck this one out. It was a good story, but not great for me. Lumikki is the winner of As Red As Blood. I wish I could have liked this one more, but I do hope people give this a shot if it sounds like your kind of read.
Words cannot express how excited I was when I found out this book was**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Words cannot express how excited I was when I found out this book was happening. It is a continuation/the novel length version of a short story published in a new adult anthology, called Breakaway. It was my favorite of the 14 stories in that anthology, and I wasn't the only one that thought that. This is what I wrote about Bunsen Burner Bingo in my review of the spring break anthology, "beyond adorable. I want to see a full length book with the story of Katy and Martin. I loved that Martin was both this super smart science geek and a hot frat guy. Katy was someone who was burned in the past and hides behind her clothes and her science. This short story was laugh out loud funny and I want more!" Penny Reid got an overwhelming response, asking for more Kaitlyn and Martin, and she answered our calls! Elements of chemistry was born! It is going to be told in 3 parts, Attraction, Heat and Capture, and I think those three parts make up the book Elements of Chemistry, which I think is book 1 in the Hypothesis series. It is a new adult romantic comedy.
Attraction starts off just where bunsen burner bingo started off, so you don't need to read the short story first to read this one. Penny Reid did a great job incorporating the short story, and expanding it to what I knew I would be an excellent novel. And she made the short story flow effortlessly into a longer story. It worked perfectly.
This is exactly the kind of new adult romance that I love. It is funny, sexy, well written with great characters, and the chemistry is sizzling. Elements of Chemistry: Attraction, is going to be a favorite of mine, so doubt about it. Kaitlin and Martin are o multidimensional, and such fantastic characters on their own that you can't help but root for them together. I love how special Katy is to Martin, without her even knowing it. It is a great spring break read, or heck, an anytime read. The three parts are being released in fairly quick succession, so you can enjoy parts 1 and 2 back to back if you wait until the end of April.
Martin and Kaitlin are making their way up the ranks of my favorite book couples. All in one short book. If you like romances that are laugh out loud funny, and sweet and sexy at the same time, the elements of chemistry series is for you! Read this series. Just do it.
Denton Little's Deathdate is a really funny, and strangely sweet read.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Denton Little's Deathdate is a really funny, and strangely sweet read. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like it. It is not the most believable book ever, but you just have to embrace the concept and go with it. If you can do that, you will have a blast on Denton's last 24 hours alive adventure. Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world in the future that is very much like the world we know today. Technology and living hasn't advanced too much, but there is one minor difference. In Denton's world, as soon as you are born they can tell you the date that you will die. They can't tell you how you will die, but they can predict 100% of the time, the day that you will die. And as you can imagine, this has caused some pretty strange customs to pop up.
Reading about the customs surrounding your deathdate were one of my favorite parts about this book. For instance, how would your funeral be if you actually spoke at it? And what kind of party would you throw if you knew it would be the night before you died? And Denton was an extra special case, because he was an "early". An "early" are those not so lucky individuals that die before they turn 18. Denton goes through all kinds of mini existential crisis's, so to speak in his last 24 hours, but he never stays down for too long.
This book is a ton of fun. I loved Denton. I loved, loved, loved his best friend Pow. I thought he was a great guy and so freakin' hilarious. Pow and Denton became friends in kindergarten because they were both earlies. Pow has a deathdate 1 month after Denton. So without spoiling the book, let me set the stage for you. Denton knows he is going to die in a day, but he has no idea what from. So he goes to his funeral, he goes to his party, and then he is supposed to sit in his house until "it" happens. But then Denton gets a weird purple splotch on his leg, and he freaks thinking that is he is going to die from, which yeah, I think is a valid concern. So he sets off to try and find out what it is, and he ends up unraveling a mystery. The mystery aspect of the book took me by surprise, but I was already in a jolly mood from Denton and Pow's adorable antics, so I happily went along for the ride.
Denton Little's Deathdate is a lighthearted read that is the most fun I have ever had reading or thinking about death. I don't think it is meant to be taken too seriously, and yes the deathdate thing didn't make a lot of sense the way it was explained, but who cares? The result was a story that will have you laughing your butt off and falling in love with a 17 year old guy that just wants to figure out what the heck is going on before he dies- "literally any minute now." This book was great. It is fresh and doesn't feel like every other ya out there. Give it a read.
3.5/5 Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same nam**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same name, about genies. I love the tagline for the book- "Forget everything you thought you knew about genies". Because right away, this tells me that it is going to be a pretty cool re-imagining. And it was. It took awhile to gain momentum, but once it did, I thought Becoming Jinn was a magical tale. I thought the world of Jinn that Lori Goldstein created was very rich and multifaceted. I liked how creative and detailed she was, but at the same time I do feel like it slowed down the start of the story a lot. There was a lot of world building but not a lot else. But once you push past the beginning, you not only have a good idea of what it is like to be a Jinn but also the plot starts to move along at a more brisk pace. It was easy for me to fall into the story then.
Azra just turned 16 and for her birthday gift she is given a cuff bracelet and a lamp. The lamp is a joke between all the sisters and cousins of the family because Jinn don't live in lamps, they live in houses. But still the youngest Jinn gets to be the keeper of the lamp. I thought that was cute. Much less cute was the bracelet that was the symbol of being enslaved as a Jinn to the ruling class of the Afrit. And Azra was less than excited to come into her Jinn powers, because it meant losing control. I liked Azra. I can see how she would be a love her or hate type character, but I choose to love her. I thought she was spunky. She was a little whiny, but I think it is important to note that she is 16. What 16 year old is not ever whiny. And I think she had just about as good of a reason as any to be a little bitter and whiny- she was becoming a genie- and is now at the total whim of other people. That would grind my gears a bit too.
I'm not going to say much about the romance. It was good. There is a love triangle, and love triangles are the hardest part of reviews for me to write about without giving anything away, so I will leave you with the two dudes names, and nothing more. Henry- Azra's long time friend, and Nate. More to come on this sub-plot after I read the second book.
Becoming Jinn is a really cool story. I have never read a young adult, or other, so this was a new experience for me. I don't have a lot to compare it to except Aladdin, and this is nothing like Aladdin. If you don't mind love triangles and you can push past the bit of info dump, for background purposes at the start, Becoming Jinn is a really great story. I think a ton of YA readers will love this one, and I am more than interested enough to continue the series. Lori Goldstein did a great job with her imaginative Debut Novel, Becoming Jinn.
The Summer I Fell is the first book in a contemporary New Adult se**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Summer I Fell is the first book in a contemporary New Adult series called, The Six. I felt like it should have been called the Seven, since all of the guys admitted that Riley was one of them and always has been. The Six are a group of six guys, Jared, Ace, Mark, Josh, Aiden & Eli , that are always together. They grew up together and they are a great group of friends. I really liked watching them interact, and I loved the way that they were with Riley. The Summer I fell is both a beautiful story and a heartbreaking story. The first half felt so carefree and fun, and I was smiling the whole time. You get to watch Riley discover her first love and hang out with a great group of friends. It is really great.
And then life starts to get in the way. They have all graduated high school and some are going in different directions. The second half of the book had a distinctly different feel than the first half. The second half of The Summer I fell took me by surprise. Without getting into spoilers, there are some pretty crazy events that happen that got my waterworks going. And I really wasn't expecting that. I thought we would continue to cruise on the good times and the smiles from the first half. But I guess I couldn't expect that to happen even if the "bad thing" didn't because all the guys were no longer together. They weren't "the six". They were individual guys each off doing their own thing. It was very bittersweet. It is one of the few new adult books that I will call a coming of age story. It was watching each of the members of the seven come into their own. The Summer I Fell is marked as New Adult, but I feel it is more of a crossover book. Falling somewhere in the range of upper YA to younger NA. Great for readers of both genres.
The Summer I Fell is part smiles, part tears, super sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time. It is reminiscent of the bittersweet feeling of summer ending. I really enjoyed this read, and I kind of need to continue on with the story. The Summer I Fell took me down a different emotional road than I was expecting. I had no idea it would make me feel quite as deeply as it did. And yes, there is a cliffhanger. And yes it is a big one. That is most of the reason why I need to continue on in this series. The ending completely GUTTED me. I have to know what happens next.
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me is a standalone contemporary romance that**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me is a standalone contemporary romance that will have you smiling and laughing non-stop. It is a followup book to Meredith Zeitlin's
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters
, but it is about an entirely different group of characters so I truly mean this when I say, you can read this book without having read the first book. They are not related other than the school is the same (I think). Sophomore Year is Greek to Me is such a fun read. I don't really have any criticisms of it so I am instead going to tell you a couple of things that I loved about the book.
1. I loved that Zona, a journalist-to-be, and her father, a Pulitzer prize winning writer, would communicate via post it notes in the form of newspaper headlines. They cracked me up! Even the totally snarky ones. I mean Zona is a 15 year old that was not too happy to be leaving her friends and school and whole life to be uprooted to spend 10th grade in Greece with her Dad. But the post-it notes are great. I loved the relationship between Zona and her dad.
2. I loved Zona herself. The book is told from her point of view and also through a series of hilarious article style excerpts of her life. She was writing about her life as if a newspaper was covering certain scenes and events from it, and they completely cracked me up. Zona is a very witty young lady!
3. I loved how adorable typical Zona was with her new crush. She is sometimes overly dramatic, sometimes too sarcastic, and all the time a 100% typical teenager. I have seen her reactions to waiting for a text a million times in my friends growing up and my campers at camp, and just about everywhere. I loved how relate able her story was. I don't mean typical in a bad way, I think Meredith Zeitlin did a fantastic job capturing the genuine essence of teens.
4. I loved the sweet and innocent romance that bloomed between Zona and the guy that I shall not name. (no spoilers here). And I also love that it didn't take over the story. Zona meeting her long lost family and her time spent in Greece was still the main focus. And speaking of family.
5. I loved the family message in Sophomore Year is Greek to Me. I thought it was really nice the way the family aspect of the story played out. And now one more thing for good measure.
6. I loved Zona's friendships with her New York friends. It is always so nice to see a supportive group of genuine friends. I loved their skype convos, and I really liked that they we always there for each other. It wasn't a one sided friendship.
Sophomore Year is Greek to Me is a fun adventure abroad. Zona is hilarious and I think teens (and not teens alike) will find her endearing and cute and will see a little bit of themselves in her. I loved learning about all aspects of her life. And her journey with friendships, and love and family was a great time. Read this book!
Bound is the first in the new adult paranormal romance series of t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Bound is the first in the new adult paranormal romance series of the same name. I really enjoyed Bound. I thought it was a great mixture of atypical romance, lots of paranormal creatures, curses, and magic. Yes, there is a lot going on in this book. AM Hudson kept revealing new layer after new layer as the story went on. I wouldn't really call them twists, but I felt like the plot just kept getting more developed and more complex as the story evolved. It was kind of a neat story telling technique. And I loved that while Bound had a very strong romance element, it was totally unlike any romance I have been reading. Ric and Lora are not like YA and NA couples. Not at all. You will have to read the book to know what I am saying because I don't want to ruin the story. But there is no insta love in this one. Ric and Lora are a series long work in progress kind of romance. And I am really digging that about them. A lot!
After I was done reading Bound, I found out that Lora's parents have a whole series devoted to their story. I had no idea! I don't know how much it will benefit you to read their story first since we never actually met her parents in Bound, but we did see them through phone calls. I kind of liked starting with Bound first before reading her parents series because like Lora, I was kept completely in the dark with what she was and what the mystery surrounding her and her family was. And if I had read the other series first, I might have known too much to fully enjoy Bound. Maybe not, though? I would be curious to see reader's thoughts that read Lora's parents series first.
Bound was a good read. It took a while for the story to initially get going. It wasn't a slow start per say. I thought the book moved at a consistently moderate pace, but I felt like the story took a while to pick up. And there were various minute intricacies of the story that I didn't love, but overall, I thought Bound held my attention enough and was a fun enough read that I will for sure be continuing on in the series. And I really want to give A.M. Hudson's other series a read. I think I will enjoy them. Fans of New Adult paranormals and fans of paranormals that involve a whole host of creatures, the Bound series would be a great match for you.
I absolutely loved Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh, so when I saw Captive was also by her I knew I had to read it ASAP. I have only read one other book about a girl falling for her captor, and it is a tricky subject for me. It is not something I could initially see myself doing in her situation, so in the past I have been wary of that idea, but I liked the first book I read with this theme. And I have to say Captive was great! I really, really liked it. Brighton Walsh write great characters that lend themselves to excellent romances. Within the first two pages of meeting Madison, I caught myself nodding my head along with her and thought to myself, "yep, been there done that." (note: I am not talking about the mother incident. I am talking about the getting dressed incident.) And just like that, I could identify with Madison. I know that may seem small, but it is the little details and unassuming sentences throughout the story that start to turn into magic with Captive. I just love Brighton Walsh's writing style.
Madison appears on the surface to lead a perfect life. She is super smart, super rich, and basically can have anything that she wants. But she doesn't have many (or any) friends, she is constantly taking care of her alcoholic mother, and her father is MIA all the time. I could feel her loneliness. It was a tangible thing throughout the whole story. And that just about broke my heart. But even though Madison was lonely and sad, she never gave up. This girl had spunk to spare. I loved that even when she was captured she was always paying attention, always looking for when and how she could make her next move. It made me admire the heck out her. And it gained Ghost's admiration too.
Captive is told mostly from Madison's point of view, but Ghost - or Gage- had a fair share of chapters spread throughout. I loved Gage's chapters because the more I got to know him the more I loved him. How can you not when you find out why he took the job? That is as close to a good reason as I could ever dream up. Brighton Walsh did such an excellent job making her characters redeemable. And she made the romance feel so very real. And so wonderful. I think Madison and Gage would have fallen for each other no matter how they met. Brighton Walsh made me a believer in captive/captor romances. Or at the very least, she made me a believer in hers. Brighton Walsh will make you swoon, make you feel, make you fall in love with Gage and Madison in Captive. If you have not read one of her books, you should. Right now.
Whoa! That is honestly the thought that keeps running through my h**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Whoa! That is honestly the thought that keeps running through my head. I just finished Push by Claire Wallis and my head is still spinning. This book is so totally messed up and crazy. And I don't care if it makes me messed up and crazy too, but I liked every send of this dysfunctional and dark thriller romance. The book is told in Emma and Davids point of view, and it alternates back and forth between the past and the present. But each chapter is clearly labeled, so I had no problem following the flow of the story. The book starts out with a chapter from each Emma and David's point of view describing the same event, and you are like "HOLY COW! Is what I think's about to happen, really about to happen??" And that sentence right there, should set the tone of the book. There will be a lot of Holy cow moments while reading Push.
You need to know right off the bat that Emma and David are messed up characters. They are. Know that and be ok with that because if you are a reader that can't handle dysfuntion, this is not the book for you. But if you like that kind of thing or if you are intrigued like I was, you should totally give Push a try because this will take you on one heck of an emotional and jaw dropping ride. And all I can say is you better hold on tight. Claire Wallis, I bow down to you. You totally messed with my head until I didn't know which way was up.
David has had 6 ex girlfriends that have all disappeared. And Emma acts like she has to prove to the world how strong she is, so when David comes into her like as a total creeper she doesn't immediately push him out. He is the apartment complex's handyman and when he comes in and immediately destroys her kitchen, I had another WTF moment. They are forced to spend time together and he rebuilds her kitchen and thus the crazy convoluted relationship they share glows into something kinda fascinating, kinda scary, and totally addictive. I won't even tell you how many times, I thought I had a theory about the crazy David, and how many times I was wrong. Well played Ms. Wallis. Well played.
Another thing I really liked about Push was that each of David's 6 ex girlfriends got a chapter spread out throughout Push so that you could get a glimpse into her story. And I have to tell you, each story delved a little bit into the madman that is David. I thought it really completed the picture that Claire Wallis so creepily and beautifully depicted. Push is a great read. Totally messed up, and totally different than anything else I have read in a long time. There is the mother of all cliffhangers though, so be prepared. Expect the unexpected.
I used to love R.L. Stine so much as a kid. I read the books, I watched**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I used to love R.L. Stine so much as a kid. I read the books, I watched the shows. I just loved it. So when I found out that his Fear Street series was being re-launched I was super excited. What actually started my love of R.L. Stine was the tv show, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" with the midnight society. I loved that show so much that I started looking for things like it, and I discovered the creepy magic that was R.L. Stine. Don't Stay Up Late is actually the second book in the Fear Street series, but I never read the first book and I was fine. They are each a different scary story. I liked Don't Stay Up Late. It transported me back to my childhood. It was a bit on the younger side for YA, so I think MG readers will enjoy it as well. It will be a great scary book for younger readers, and for YA readers looking for some new R.L. Stine to enjoy.
It was certainly not the scariest young adult book that I have read, but it did feel like his other books, which is honestly what I was looking for. I was looking for that Classic 90s fear street/midnight society sitting around the campfire and telling scary stories feeling. Don't stay up Late is the story of Lisa and a babysitting gig gone terribly wrong. I liked the babysitting aspect because again it added to the throwback feel of the stories. The writing is different than I am used to. It feels slightly more disjointed, but most of that I attributed to the main character Lisa and everything she was going through. She was jumping back and forth between personal tragedies, and therapists and then everything that was going on with Harry and in his house.
My hope is with this book that younger kids will get introduced to his work and go back to some of the original goosebump and fear street novels and read them. I think they will still have appeal today with the younger crowd. So while this book did scary me too much, I can see it being a fun and spooky hit read for some MG readers. I liked it for it's throwback feeling, and it really made me want to watch some Are You Afraid of the Dark?
I loved Awakening. It's a young adult dystopian. I don't read too many**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I loved Awakening. It's a young adult dystopian. I don't read too many dystopians anymore, and I am pretty picky when it comes to choosing which ones to read. I heard that Darian was going to be a swoon worthy guy, and I liked the technology aspect of Awakening, so I decided to give it a try. And I am very glad that I did. This was a dystopian that worked really well for me. I loved the romance in it and I thought the world was very well done. The idea of the dreamscape seemed half invasive and scary but a pretty big part of me wanted to try it out, especially since you get to see who your mate was revealed in the dreams. I thought that was a really cool idea, and for the most part people seemed to love it and the relationships seemed genuine and good fits for so much of the society. And then there is the terrorscape, which seemed just as terrifying as the name implies. However, I was left with lots of little questions, while reading the first half of the book. Click to view spoiler for some examples of the questions I had.
(view spoiler)[All of these thoughts were running through my head when started reading the book. Like why would the days of the week link up with how long you would have to live? And why did they start killing off the ones so young? they only get to live until 25? Doesn't the society need workers for longer than that? And also, why was Darian able to use other people's dreamscape machines while he was on the run? They sound super high tech, and everyone is chipped under the skin, so why couldn't the machines pick up on who the user was? And i'm not talking about the mixer that he used, that scrambles the brainwaves that the machine can read. But why doesn't the machine pick up on the id info from the users chip. That seemed like an oversight on this controlling government's part. (hide spoiler)]
Now don't get me wrong, I thought the world building was great, and I am sure that some of these questions will be answered and explained later on, but when I was initially reading, all of this stuff was running through my head. I have come to the conclusion that right now the dystopians that work the best for me are ones that center around technology. Something about them makes me feel like it could be possible for the world to end up like that, which makes it all the more interesting and terrifying to me. Does that make me weird? haha
I really loved Darian. I think he is such an easy guy to root for, even if he is noncompliant and thinks everyone else in the society are "sheep." He's not wrong, by the way. What surprises me the most is that anyone is capable of thinking that this guy could be a murderer. He is such a decent, stand up guy. And his lifetime crush on Desiree was adorable. Awakening starts off at a brisk pace and honestly only picks up in speed as the story goes on. I loved that, there is honestly not a boring moment in Awakening. I read this book in a single sitting and I didn't even realize how much time had passed when I finally looked up when I was done. That is a feeling I will never get sick of, because it means I was transported to the author's world and I was totally immersed in it. I can't wait to continue this series. Awakening is great for fans of YA dystopian and I would even encourage people who might be burnt out or new dystopians to try Awakening. I think it will be a series tons of people will love! I smell a hit all over this one and I can't wait for more.
Between Now and Never is a standalone contemporary/realistic fiction ro**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Between Now and Never is a standalone contemporary/realistic fiction romance story. I loved Laura Johnston's first novel, Rewind to You and I really loved it. It was a super sweet and light romance. I am going to tell you up front that Between Now and Never has a very different feel to it than Rewind to You did. It is not as sugary sweet, certainly not as light. I didn't love it as much as Rewind to You, but it was still a good story. (What can I say, I am just more of a happy and fluffy kind of gal.) Between Now and Never had kind of a forbidden romance, Montague and Capulet feuding family feel to it.
Julianna and Cody come from very different families and you can tell that it has impacted the way they grow up. Julianna's family is poor and her brother uses/deals drugs and because of that has money problems. To try and help, their mom committed a crime at her job and got sent to jail. Cody's dad is the FBI agent that sent her there. So you can see where there would be issues.
I ended up really liking and rooting for Cody and Julianna but it didn't start out that way. Cody is a really nice guy, but for some reason whenever he got around Julianna for the first couple of times, he acted like a cocky jerk. I have no idea but he wasn't like that in any other scenes or when she wasn't around. It was like he was putting on a very bad show for her. Not that it worked to impress her. It only turned her more off to him. And then there was Julianna. I get that she has had it rough, but it is a pet peeve of mine that when people get a tough break, that they act overly bitter and entitled to everyone and everything around them. Even the people that are being nice and did nothing wrong. They see the worst in everyone and think everyone is giving them the short end of the stick for no reason. Julianna grated on my nerves at the start and I had no idea how her and Cody were ever going to get a shot at working out.
But that is what kept me reading. I just had to see where the heck this story was going to go from the humdinger of a start that it had. Julianna was a little brat and Cody was involved in something so incredibly dangerous and awful. He was thrown into it. I felt so bad for him because he clearly didn't want to be in that situation but he wasn't given any choice. But Laura Johnston's writing is kind of magic. Even with my character annoyances, she made invested in their story. She made me like them. Which is incredible! When I don't initially like a character it is hard for me to come back from that. But I did.
Between Now and Never was different than my average read. But I liked that about it. It is good to step outside of your comfort zone every now and again. The character growth in Between Now and Then is the most impressive part. For these two star crossed individuals, I can guarantee you won't be able to predict their journey from the first page. Between Now and Never is a good read. Give it a try if you like your contemporaries with a little more drama and grit, and don't mind some darker issues thrown in.
Summer by Summer is a standalone young adult contemporary. Summer by Su**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Summer by Summer is a standalone young adult contemporary. Summer by Summer has so many layers to it, and it will take you by surprise. The cover seems unassuming enough, with a pretty girl on a beach, and the start of the summer is much of the same. Summer takes a summer nanny gig with a rich family vacationing in Belize. But then it shifts. Bray, the families older son, and Summer are stranded on a deserted island. And then when you are reading, it shifts again and again, but I won't give those away. Just know that every time I thought I got a grip on what this book was, it changed. I loved that because the pace and new layers kept me on my toes. Summer by Summer was a very nice story, and way more exciting than I originally anticipated.
It is published by Blink, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian publishing line Zondervan. It is a clean young adult novel, and the main character Summer used to be involved with her church youth group, so up front warning that religion is a theme in this book. It is not overly preachy, but it is a strong vein in the storyline. It comes up in a few different ways. I thought it tied in very nicely with the plot, but I did want to include that in my review because I know that some readers will want to know up front. The religion stemmed from an event that happened in Summer's past, and I loved the way the author kept digging and bringing up this event because each time she wove it into the storyline, I felt like I got to know Summer a little better. And my heart broke for the poor girl. Bray was right, she is super strong.
The romance in Summer by Summer is very predominant and such a sweet romance. I really liked Summer and Bray. I thought they jumped all over the place in their feelings at the start. They were annoyed, they disliked each other and then Bray did a 180 and was all of a sudden very nice, and then they liked each other. That was my only hiccup with the story, but very soon after that rollercoaster Summer and Bray were stranded and from that point forward, I thought their relationship progressed my more naturally. My only other gripe with the story was something that happened in the epilogue. I thought it was all very nice, but it is something that I just don't like seeing in the young adult books that I read. Personal preference of mine, but I can't say what it is without spoilers. (the event/action not the message)
Summer by Summer was a nice read. I enjoyed it, and the part that I liked most of all was that Heather Burch was able to keep me on my toes while reading. Just when I would start to think the plot was dragging a bit, she would change things up drastically and some whole other element that I wasn't expecting would be introduced. I am determined not to ruin the fun of this book with spoilers, so if you have read Summer by Summer please let me know because I would really liked to talk to someone about it! If you are looking for a very sweet, keep you on your toes clean YA- check out Summer by Summer.
I loved Open Road Summer by Emery Lord so much. (but then again, who didn't? Seriously, that book got such positive feedback it was awesome.) And I am beyond happy to say that she has done it again! All of the reviews that I have been reading for The Start of Me and You have been raving. I loved this book. I just want to hug it and have it with me at all times. Even now that I am done reading it. Emery Lord writes some of the best friendships I have ever read in young adult. I know that is a bold statement, but these are friendships that teens (and everyone) should look up to, and idolize. Paige, Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh are so there for one another. They would drop anything in a hot second if they thought one of their friends needed them. And they did. Over and over again. They never got sick of hearing someone complain about the same issue on repeat. They were patient, and understanding. Sure they got into little tiffs, but they always bounced back almost immediately. They were real best friends. I will never get sick of reading about this kind of supportive true friendship. I loved it. Not to mention, on top of that, the romance is great and the story makes you feel all kinds of warm and fuzzies.
The Start of Me and You takes place in a small town where one nickname or one incident can haunt you forever. For Paige that incident was when her new boyfriend drowned. Now she is always known as "girl whose boyfriend died" or Kyle's girlfriend, even though their relationship was still in the getting to know you phase. She was forever marked. I really felt for Paige, it was such a tough spot to be in and I applaud Emery Lord for describing the situation so well. There were facets of it that I hadn't even considered, but watching Paige live it took it to a whole different level for me. I love books that have lists, and the Start of Me and You had a list that Paige dubbed her new beginning list. I loved where her list took her. It took her to joining the quizbowl, which hello, I want to join one of those!!
I thought The Start of Me and You was a bit predictable in parts, but I enjoyed that about it because the things that I could predict were the things that I wanted to happen. Like the whole situation with her crush Ryan and his Cousin Max. This book is perfect for a feel good read. Case in point, I am still smiling as I sit here writing my review. I liked it even more than Open Road Summer. Emery Lord is on my auto buy list now because she knows how to write romances and more importantly, she knows how to write quality friendships. I can't get enough of her. The Start of Me and You is such a great book that I am already thinking about when I can re-read it. Fans of YA contemporary romance, of great characters and great friendships need to read The Start of Me and You.
Shaken Not Stirred is the fifth book in the Last Call Series by Sawyer**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Shaken Not Stirred is the fifth book in the Last Call Series by Sawyer Bennett. Each book can be read as a standalone, but the series follows a group of friends so it is always nice to be able to read them all. I would recommend reading at least one other book in the series before Shaken Not Stirred because Casey's character is a little different than the others and I feel like you get to know her a little better and appreciate her story more if you see her in the earlier books as a secondary character. I didn't read the first 2 books in the series. Rather, I started with the 3rd book- Sugar on the Edge, and I fell in love with Gavin, so I knew I would have to continue on to see more of their stories. And then I liked Wyatt's story, With a Twist, even more. And then I met Tenn. He is my favorite of them all. (so far.)
Sawyer Bennett just knows how to write really good contemporary romances. I go into her books confident that I will enjoy the characters and the story. On the cover of Shaken not Stirred, it said it was Tenn's story, in keeping with the guy theme, but the character that we know from the series is Casey (and Tenn is the guy match for her) so I went back and forth on that for a little, but eventually Tenn won out because I just love him so much, so heck yea this can be his story!
Tenn has trumped all the other guys for me. I just love his determination to go after what he wants. I love seeing the warm gooey marshmallow center of big tough guys. And he is a tough guy- but also a great guy. He is my favorite guy in the series so far. He would not give up on Casey. Even when Casey tried her hardest to get him to back away.
I liked Casey, but part of me just doesn't get her. She pushes absolutely every guy away. She is sweet, smart girl, but it is hard for me to relate to her because her actions are so different than me. In the end I felt like I could relate to her and I felt like I got to know her and her motivations well throughout the course of the story, but the way she uses and throws out guy after guy was hard for me to get past initially. I couldn't imagine her settling down. And I was also feeling a bit protective of Tenn. But Sawyer Bennett worked her magic and made it all work out. That's why I love reading her books so much. I can count on a good story out of them. One that no matter what, I will feel invested in. I don't want to give too much away about their story because the magic is in reading this series for yourself. The Last Call Series are great contemporary romances.
I can't even accurately convey how much I enjoyed Boys Don't Knit (In**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I can't even accurately convey how much I enjoyed Boys Don't Knit (In Public). This book is kind of my new obsession. It has everything. It's funny, it's heartwarming, it has an awesome male protagonist. I can't say enough good things about this book. Other than, I think everyone needs to read it. Ben is a high school student in the UK and he has a pretty typical group of friends. They always seem to be getting into very minor teen trouble, but what's funny is that is so not Ben. He is kind of the opposite of all his friends in that regard, but he goes along with them anyway. And of course, he is the one that gets caught red-handed. So off to probation he goes, where is gets a "give something back" community service punishment and he has to take a local class. With slim pickings available he chooses knitting, thinking at least it was taught by his young and hot high school teacher. (Spoiler Alert- It isn't.)
Boys Don't Knit is told entirely from Ben's point of view through the form of journal entries. With letters and excerpts of things thrown in as well. I loved that Ben narrated this book through his journal. He is the most adorable, great, quirky, and totally funny guy. I want to hang out with him. I want to be his friend. Ben's antics of his knitting class and his Give something back project had me smiling and laughing on every page. I put this book down multiple times, not because I was bored, but because I just didn't want it to end.
The writing is perfect for the story. Very conversational, and packed with pop culture references and jokes galore. I can't imagine anyone not getting a chuckle out of something from Boys Don't Knit. If you don't laugh while reading this book, I don't trust you. (unless you are a robot)Readers will fall in love with Ben. They will fall in love with his ragtag group of friends, and with all of Ben's knitting creations. I love the pattern names he comes up with. I love how much of a worrier he is. (he takes a wholistic approach to worrying- that is, he worries about everything all the time.) I loved absolutely everything about this book, even the excerpts from his friends "novel"- "50 Shades of Graham" Not to mention I thought the way everyone in Ben's life came together was a really nice heartwarming message. This book just worked for me on every level. I think there is something for everyone in Boys Don't Knit. The book comes out March 24th so you should pre-order your copy today because this is one that you will not want to miss. Quirky fun and humor at its' finest!
Tryst is a standalone new adult contemporary romance. It is a fun romp**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Tryst is a standalone new adult contemporary romance. It is a fun romp with the brothers best friend turned secret romance trope. It is a fun read that will have you fanning yourself. I am even more impressed when I found out that this was Alex Rosa's debut New Adult novel. Tryst is just what the name implies, a fun, sexy romance. It is the story of Skylar, a pre-med serious student and soccer player. She puts her schooling first, but after a nasty (and I do mean nasty) breakup she moves in with her older brother to continue attending college. I really did like the brother sister relationship that Skylar and Josh shared. I know she had her moments of doubt, but I feel like Josh really stepped up in the family department. (both of their parents passed away.)
And then you have Blake. Blake is josh's roommate and best friend out in LA. He is an enigma wrapped in a contradiction, but he is a yummy one at that. On one hand he seemed to open with Skylar, but in the other hand he didn't really open up about a lot of him at all. It takes a good part of the book to get to know Blake and the funny thing is, you don't even know that you don't know him until things start to get revealed. I know that sounds weird, but I was reading along and totally enjoying the story and I was thinking that Skylar was the one that needed to open up more, and that Blake was up front with her about himself. All that jazz and then bam, some stuff gets revealed about Blake and I was like "whoa! I had no idea he was even holding anything back." You just have to read to know what I am talking about. He is a complicated dude. But I really liked that about him. He is a good person at his core. And he has slamming chemistry with Skylar.
There are lots of roadblocks along the way and it has all the elements that you would expect this trope to have. The sneaking around leads to confusion and jealousy. It was a little predictable, but was nonetheless a very enjoyable ride. I can't wait to read more books by Alex Rosa. Tryst really delivered. If you are looking for a fun and sexy read, look no further than Tryst.
Fake Boobs is a standalone new adult contemporary. And before we even g**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Fake Boobs is a standalone new adult contemporary. And before we even get started, yes it is about fake boobs, but it is really about the larger picture of self esteem issues. I went back and forth with this book a little bit. There were a lot of things that I liked about the book, Fake Boobs, but there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. And not just about the main character, Tori. After I was done reading I sat back and tried to sort out my thoughts on the book and I kept coming back to the same thing, that the positive outweighed my annoyances.
So let's talk about the positive. I really liked Grant and Tori together. I liked the big picture of their relationship. I was very happy with the way everything left off, and I was happy that Grant wouldn't put up with Tori's nonsense, and at the same time he was more there for her than anyone else in her life was. I thought that Tori's journey was relate able and no matter how misguided she may have been, it was something that I think a lot of young women and teens would benefit from reading about. Sure, she had a very distorted view of herself and she made lots and lots of bad decisions, and she bugged me multiple times but it was all a part of her self discovery and self growth. She bugged me in the moment, but when I stepped back I found that I actually liked Tori quite a lot. And I loved that the story switched from her point of view to Grant's about half way through the book. I wasn't expecting that at all, but the events kind of rewound and were retold through his eyes. I thought it was a great writing technique for this story.
And now for my annoyances. I just said that Tori did a lot of stupid things and she was really misguided, and yes that bugged me but that annoyance was actually very fleeting and minimal. A big annoyance came from Grant. And I loved Grant, but he did what I hate a character (or anyone) doing. He decided what he thought was best for someone else and he just unilaterally made that decision. I can't tell you how much this grates on my nerves. Just sit down and talk to the other person instead of doing what you think they need. It wasn't Grant's decision to make, and like always it was wrong and royally messed things up. But like I said, it is a pet peeve of mine so that is probably why I rubbed me the wrong way.
Fake Boobs is the story of Tori and Grant just as much as it is the story of Tori's personal growth and becoming ok with who she was. It worked well as a standalone and the story felt well developed and complete. So yes, Fake Boobs is about Fake Boobs, but it's also more than that. I think it is worth a read.
Perfect Game is the fourth book in the Adult sports romance series, Nig**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Perfect Game is the fourth book in the Adult sports romance series, Night Games. The series each focuses on a different player on the baseball team, the New York Kings. Perfect Game focuses on Scott, who is a notorious womanizer. At this point, I am thinking that practically all the New York Kings are. The books are each complete standalones, but I will warn you that this one picks up right in the middle of a scene so it feels like you are initially missing something, but you aren't. That is just the way the book starts, but don't worry, once you get past those first two scenes everything starts to make sense and you get backstory. As a side note Perfect Game and the whole series is really an adult sports romance series, but it straddles the line between New Adult and adult because of the age of a few of the characters.
What I liked about Scott's story was that it felt very natural. Scott doesn't do commitment for his own reasons and while he stuck by that for a while he still couldn't get Carrie out of his head, so they kept hanging out. The funny thing to me was that Scott still felt like he wasn't committing when it was clear as day that he was. But anyway, the story is not without its ups and downs and roadblocks for the maybe happy pair. But throughout it all Carrie and Scott were a hoot and a half. I really loved their chemistry and their back and forth biting banter and bickering. They sure could keep each other on their toes. But they were sweet too. One of my favorite scenes was when Scott and Carrie were out at their first dinner and the waitress makes some kind of comment about Carrie getting a healthier dinner, and boy did she put her in her place. And Scott totally backed her up and then Carrie thanked him for having her back. I don't know why but I just thought that moment was great.
I love the winning formula that Collette West has with this series. The New York Kings are a great group of well developed (heh-heh) guys and each one of their stories is wonderful. I think Collette West really captures the world-wind universe of sports and sports players perfectly. This book is another home run in the series. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Adapted for Film is a contemporary romance that works as a standalone.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Adapted for Film is a contemporary romance that works as a standalone. That being said, I would like to pop into this world again and see what Aubrey and the characters are up to. I really dug Stacey Rourke's writing style and the way she told the story. The book starts out with a famous romance author being interviewed. You initially think the interview is for her book that has been turned into a major blockbuster movie, but you soon find out that the interview is for her upcoming, high profile wedding. But who is she getting married to? We have no idea as the reader. The interview is broken up and spread out throughout the book as she tells the story that has landed her with her fiance, and throughout it all you see the two main guys in the story and you can't help but go back and forth a couple of times with who it is going to be.
I hesitate to call this a love triangle, because there really only is friendship between Aubrey, Grayson and Kole up until the very end when the mystery guy is revealed, but it is very obvious that it will be one of the two of those guys that she ends up with. It is a cool premise and I had a lot of fun reading this story. I loved the idea of a story within a story. She is an author on the movie set of her book and she falls in love, while the movie is about an author on the movie set of her book that falls in love. It is really cool. And Aubrey has a wicked sense of humor. She cracked me up from page one all the way until the end. Another thing I loved about the book was that the production company making the movie was called Raven's Claw. That made me smile every time I saw it.
My only minor gripe with the story was that I wanted a little more in the second half of the book. I loved the set up of the friendships and I thought the story line flowed great. But I wanted a little more detail and day to day interaction between Aubrey and the guy she eventually ended up with. I loved them together and I feel like their development kind of coasted after a certain point. But even still, their journey was a very cute romantic comedy set up. I also should point out that even though her book is supposed to be very sexually charged, Adapted for Film was actually pretty tame. It was a nice read, but not racy by any means. I thought it was fitting for the storyline. If you are looking for a quick rom/com type read, Adapted for Film fits the bill.
Flunked is the first book in an adorable middle grade series called **You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Flunked is the first book in an adorable middle grade series called Fairy Tale Reform School. I really liked this book. It put a smile on my facethe whole time I was reading it. Yes, it was a younger read than I was used to, but it was perfectly suited for it's middle grade audience. The heroine is Gilly and is around 12 or 13. She is caught stealing a hair clip and is shipped off to the Fairy Tale Reform School for the mischievous children on the path to becoming a villain. I think this is such a cute idea for a magical and funny story.
I really like that we got to see the "crime" that Gilly committed to get sent to reform school as it played out, rather than just starting the book with her already there and flashing back on what brought her in. I thought it gave the readers a great perspective on what her family is like, and gave us an idea of who Gilly is. I had a hard time calling her a mini villain because she didn't seem even close to evil, but I thought she did have some flair and interesting qualities that are not anything like your typical heroine. It made her more likeable, as strange as that sounds.
I loved the fairy tale reform school setting. The professors were all ex-villains. Come on, you know that sounds like a fun school to be at! And Gilly's friends are great. This book kind of had an Ella Enchanted feel to it. I'm not completely sure why, because the story is not even close to the same, but I just kind of pictured the town and the schools to be the kind of setting from the Ella Enchanted movie with Anne Hathaway. That kind of colorful faux olde world setting? (I would really love someone else that has read the book to tell me if they felt the same way, or if I am just weird?)
Bottom Line: Flunked is a super cute book in what I think will be a great middle grade series. Heck, not just for tweens. I liked this series, and I will be continuing on with it. I loved the humor in Jen Calonita's writing. Not to mention Flunked was a whole lotta fun to read.
Bound by Duty is the first book in a young adult Fantasy series called**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Bound by Duty is the first book in a young adult Fantasy series called the Bound series. The second book in the series, Bound by Spells just came out a few weeks ago so now is the perfect time to start reading. I felt like Bound by Duty was more of an upper YA book or a YA/NA crossover because the main characters are in college. If you like YA fantasy, the bound series may be a good one for you to check out. I thought the book really built as the story goes on.
I have come to decide that heroines with magic or special abilities usually fall into one of two camps. First, that they had no idea they had abilities and/or there was a big secret kept from them and everything gets revealed at once and they are left to deal with the fallout. Or second, they know something about themselves is different, but they don't know the whole story. And that is the case here. Amelia knows she has powers and she knows she meant for the prince, but she only knows the tip of the iceberg. And Bound by Duty is the start of her journey to discover just what the heck is going on with her.
The start of Bound by Duty was kind of confusing, but if you stick with the book the anticipation and adventure really starts to build. My excitement level grew slowly overtime with the course of the story. In fact, it was complimentary to the progression that Amelia went on. As she learned more and found out more, I got more and more excited. That was kind of cool as a reader. It made me feel like I was right there next to her on her journey.
There are two guys in this story- Micah and Aiden and I am not going to say much more about them, because I feel like reviews that deal with multiple guys have a tendency to lean to one side and then before you know it, so much of the story is given away. Just be aware of the fact that there is a bit of a triangle here, and read on to figure where you fall. Or is it even a love triangle? (this is me, trying to be mysterious. heh.)
Bottom Line: Bound By Duty is an intriguing upper young adult fantasy. The beginning was a little hard for me to get through, but it got much better as the story goes on. So if you are like me, power through the beginning and see how you feel about the book by the end. I think you will enjoy it.
Dark and Twisted Games is Book One in the Hearts of Faeylon series, a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Dark and Twisted Games is Book One in the Hearts of Faeylon series, a young adult paranormal series. It is a series that has different paranormal creatures and it will appeal to fans of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series. I really enjoyed Dark and Twisted Games. It reminded me how much I love this sub genre of paranormal's. I want to read more! And the cliffhanger at the end is a humdinger! It even said "the end" and I about screamed until I looked on goodreads and saw that this was only the first book in the series. So don't worry- there will be more!
The main character Eden is a like a breath of fresh air. She is nothing like the popular girl or any kind of "typical" ya heroine. She is stubborn, doesn't take crap from anyone, but is one of the most genuinely nice girls I have seen in a while. I loved the scene with her and her classmate in gym class. You just don't see unselfish acts of kindness like that enough.
Eden knows something is up with the two new foster guys, Cardalian and Jaxson, but it was kind of comical how far off she was. I don't blame her, in the same circumstances I would have drawn a similar conclusion. Heidi Acosta does a great job with all of the characters. I do wish we got a little more of a glimpse inside Jaxson's head, but I have a feeling that will be coming in the next book. Heidi throws twist after turn after blindside at the readers and I could hardly catch my breath. I couldn't put Dark and Twisted Games down. The book ended far to quickly for my liking. I want more right now!
Bottom Line: if you like YA paranormal romance, Dark and Twisted games should be on your to-read list. I think it is great!