Pushing the Limits was a book that focused on many different serious issues and how teens handled them. Echo, the girl protagonist of the novel, was d...morePushing the Limits was a book that focused on many different serious issues and how teens handled them. Echo, the girl protagonist of the novel, was dealing with her parents’ divorce, her military brother’s death, and a horrific event that left her scarred. Noah, the boy protagonist, was dealing with his parents’ death and the ruthless foster cares system. All of these were issues that need to be talked about in YA more, and Pushing the Limits gave a good look at what happens in the aftermath of these issues. I felt like Echo and Noah provided a raw and intriguing look into the emotions. Their individual points of view kept me captivated and reading to find out what would happen next. I felt terrible that so many bad things happened to such kind characters, but I realize that these issues helped them become the people they were. Also, these issues were what first drew them together and help each other.
The romance of the book was another point that drew me in. Echo and Noah’s relationship was a difficult one, but it was touching how much they wanted to make it work despite the odds. Noah was so caring to Echo, and tried to be a better person for her. Echo in return brought a sort of sanity and grounding to Noah’s life of turmoil. I think the fact that the book alternated between their two points of view added something to the book. It was nice to see that they were both sincere and be able to see both sides of the story. I think Noah and Echo definitely belonged together, and made such a cute couple.
Overall, Pushing the Limits is a great contemporary novel that will really get readers thinking and rooting for the characters. (less)
Dark Companion was an alluring novel full of intrigue, covered up secrets, and back-stabbing. The twists and turns of the plot kept me on the edge of...moreDark Companion was an alluring novel full of intrigue, covered up secrets, and back-stabbing. The twists and turns of the plot kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire novel. Jane, the main character, was always discovering a new detail about her posh boarding school and the mysterious family that ran it. When the final, and biggest, secret was revealed I was shocked. I had been speculating and going over each new piece evidence for the entire book, but I never could have guessed it. It was interesting and unique, and afterwards no one was safe anymore.
Jane was a great main character. She was smart, especially when it came to math and science. However, she was not just book smart. Because of her harsh life, Jane was cunning and brave in stressful situations. I loved her back story and how it had shaped Jane. She would not have been that person without these experiences. Another of my favorite characters was Mary Violet, an outspoken and hilarious girl who befriends Jane. Despite her rough upbringing, Mary Violet immediately accepted Jane into her group and tried to be a true friend. She was innocent and was always cracking jokes that had both me and Jane laughing. It was like Mary Violet was a breath of fresh air in between the more heavy topics in Jane’s life.
Overall, Dark Companion was a great paranormal novel with lots of suspense. I would recommend it to people who like either of these things. (less)
Dead Time was a book all about the mysteries. Rose, the main character, was first involved with a murder mystery three years prior to the story where...moreDead Time was a book all about the mysteries. Rose, the main character, was first involved with a murder mystery three years prior to the story where her mother and her mother’s boyfriend disappeared. No one has seen them since and a lot has changed since then. Then, Rose is witness to two murders of students at her school. All three murders were intriguing and different. As the novel progressed, all three murders get tied up as new evidence is discovered. The author did a good job of spreading out the evidence so that it never overwhelmed me. However, I wish there had been more focus by Rose on the murder of her parents as more information was revealed. She seemed too caught up in the murder of the other student when before she had no connection to them. Hopefully this changed in the next book.
Rose was a hard character to like. I did not understand why she did not trust the police and was willing to compromise missions over this. They did everything they could to solve the mysteries and it wasn’t their fault they were unable to completely solve the murders. She was also unhelpful and unkind to everyone she met, usually without reason. I liked Jacob, her mother’s boyfriend’s son, much better. He seemed to be smart, charming, and kind throughout the novel. Also, Jacob was much more focused on the parent’s murder, which I loved.
Overall, Dead Time is an okay novel. It would be a great choice for those looking for a murder mystery. (less)
Dark Kiss was a darkly dangerous novel that started with the kiss that changed Samantha’s life. The kiss left her feeling cold and empty. The kiss lea...moreDark Kiss was a darkly dangerous novel that started with the kiss that changed Samantha’s life. The kiss left her feeling cold and empty. The kiss leads her to Bishop and his crazy mission. The kiss is the beginning of the end. And from that kiss came I novel that I fell in love with. The plot was engaging and twisting. I was shocked by each new detail that was revealed, and trust me there, there was a lot of secrets revealed. The author weaves the concept of angels and demons working together beautifully to create a world where anything goes. Throughout the novel, the lines between good and evil were blurred. It fit in perfectly with the unique idea of someone stealing souls through kisses. This idea was so different that I was instantly hooked and was not disappointed as the details of how the “dark kiss” came to be were brought to light.
I loved the angel and demon characters even more than I did Samantha. Each was very unique and struck the reader in a very different way. Bishop was the leader of the group and was an angel and the love interest of the story. He struggled with being in charge of such a large mission, but I could see why Samantha fell for him. Zach, another angel, was my personal favorite because he was so sincere and kind to everyone. His special power was healing. There was another angel, Conner, but he did not play that big of a role in the story with me. Then there was Roth, whose only power was to be rude and mean to everyone in the story. He was basically the opposite of Zach. Lastly, there was Kraven who was a demon who could also be good. He was the most complex of the five and I cannot wait to discover his secrets in the sequel.
Dark Kiss is a novel worth checking out. It is perfect for someone looking for a dark and dangerous romance. (less)
Transcendence was a novel full of mystery and suspense. The main mystery of the novel focused on the main character Cole trying to discover who was af...moreTranscendence was a novel full of mystery and suspense. The main mystery of the novel focused on the main character Cole trying to discover who was after her. This was because in a past life of Cole’s, she had possibly killed this person. I loved how Cole gathered clues from flashes from her past life. Each new flash brought new questions that had me on the edge of my seat. Her life as a famous musician sounded exciting and glamorous. I think it was cool how this career path factored into Cole’s current life. It was a nice detail.
The idea of reincarnation was an interesting one that got me thinking. I loved how the author created a race of people called Akhet with the special talent of remembering past lives. Cole’s journey to discover her Akhet status was interesting. I learned so many new interesting things from her past lives about things like the Tower of London. I have always been fascinated by the royalty of Europe and I thought it was nice to learn new things.
Overall, Transcendence was a good book with an interesting behind it. (less)
The Académie took me to a place of intrigue and beauty at a boarding school for the rich and famous of Paris. The story revolves around future first d...moreThe Académie took me to a place of intrigue and beauty at a boarding school for the rich and famous of Paris. The story revolves around future first daughter Eliza Monroe, who upon enrolling in a boarding school in France is dragged into a complex series of relationships. Eliza can be a bit hard to like; she comes off as a sort of snobbish rich girl who doesn’t know how good she has it. Most of the drama at her school involves Hortense and Caroline, both relations of the famous Bonaparte and mortal enemies. The strain between these two was interesting and complex. They were both distinct as characters, and seem to use Eliza as another thing to compete about. Then there was Madeleine, the neglected daughter of a famous actress who lives in her mother’s shadow, who relation to the story is not revealed until later in the story. I felt a range of emotions about this character, so I think each reader can identify with her situation in a different way. I know it is a lot of characters to keep track of, but once you get the hang of them all the Academie is a really good story.
This was a great historical fiction novel that really shows the true story about the Bonaparte family. (less)
The third and final installment in the Notebook series, The Jade Notebook was a combination of a sweet romance and a terrifying mystery. After their m...moreThe third and final installment in the Notebook series, The Jade Notebook was a combination of a sweet romance and a terrifying mystery. After their many troubles together as a couple, it seems like Wendell and Zeeta have finally found paradise together. They were such a great match; they complimented each other perfectly. I was glad they had each other to lean on throughout the many difficulties their respective families put them through. As for the mystery of the stolen baby sea turtle eggs, I loved the twists and turns the author took as new evidence was revealed. I was surprised in the end who the culprit turned out to be. I honestly never suspected that person of pulling off such a heinous crime. However, I did think Zeeta could have realized who her father was on the island before she did. It seemed so obvious with all the clues she found.
The island setting was truly magic. It sucked you in with its lush descriptions and easy going ways. I think that Zeeta, Wendell, and Layla have finally found a place where they can all be happy. It was quite a challenge for the roaming pairs. The beach was such a lovely place; I felt like I could go take a dip in the jade waters. You may just find me scheduling a vacation to Mazunte, Mexico soon.
If you haven’t checked out the first two books in this series, I recommend that you do. I promise that you will fall for these characters just like I did. (less)
Wanderlove is a story of when to move forward and when to look back. For Bria and Rowan, the choice is usually to move forward and forget the past. I...moreWanderlove is a story of when to move forward and when to look back. For Bria and Rowan, the choice is usually to move forward and forget the past. I thought this was an interesting motto, for someone to adopt. Bria certainly needed to adopt it when it came to her old boyfriend who left her and destroyed her dreams. When it came to him, normally brave Bria turned into a spineless girl. As for Rowan, despite him having introduced the motto he did need to look in the past. I wanted to help him realize that always running from things will not work forever. I think he just needed the right person to love to do it. The relationship between the two was odd, but the romance was genuine. I think they made a cute couple.
The settings of this book were nothing short of amazing. They made me want to pack up a suitcase and book a flight to South America. The descriptions the author wrote were well-throughout and amazingly descriptive. Each place, from the Mayan ruins to the bustling cities to the life-filled rainforest, was unique in its own way. I loved the seaside town that completes this duo’s journey. Everything there was peaceful and life moved at a slower place. It was the sort of place where everyone knew their neighbors and I could tell why Bria got so much inspiration there.
This book is amazing and will give you wanderlove by the time you read the last page. (less)
Shadows on the Moon had one of the most interesting main characters I have ever read about. She starts out as Suzume, a happy and somewhat spoiled gir...moreShadows on the Moon had one of the most interesting main characters I have ever read about. She starts out as Suzume, a happy and somewhat spoiled girl. In this incarnation, Suzume is innocent and believes in love and family. After the death of her father and cousin, Suzume is forced to take on a new identity and live with her mother and her other’s husband. This incarnation is depressed and a little suicidal; this was my least favorite incarnation. Because of the tragedy she witnessed, she is also very numb to her new reality. Later, she becomes Rin, a slow servant girl. Rin seemed rather nice and she actually was happy for a time. Things were uncomplicated in this incarnation. Lastly, there was Yue who was the beautiful and distant girl driven by revenge. While beautiful, this incarnation was hollow.
I fell I love with the setting of Shadows on the Moon. It was loosely based off of Japan, and I could tell the author spent a lot of time coming up with it. All the translations and aspects of Japanese culture seemed to be accurate as well. The setting was beautiful, full of nature and life. I would visit the Moon Lands anytime. The power of shadow-weaving also enchanted me. The idea of being able to transform your appearance at will was unique. I think that would be a rather handy trick; it certainly was for Suzume.
I fell in love with this story, and I think anyone (young or old) would as well. (less)
In the second installment of the Spellbound series, Spellcaster, Emma must face down yet another evil plot against her and her true love Brendan. The...moreIn the second installment of the Spellbound series, Spellcaster, Emma must face down yet another evil plot against her and her true love Brendan. The plot of the story was more face paced than the previous book. The stakes were higher, the tension thicker, and it had me turning pages at a breakneck speed. I loved the final showdown between Emma and the great evil that want her power. It was full of spells and close calls. The fact that Emma was actually concentrating on learning how to use her witch powers was cool and hilarious at times. I admire her dedication at sticking with it even when it seemed like all hope was lost.
The relationship with Emma and Brendan was as sweet and cute as ever. I can tell that they are soul mates; they just seem to complete each other. It is so nice that Brendan wants to protect Emma from the craziness of both high school and the paranormal. He is a true model boyfriend. In Spellcaster, unlike Spellbound, things actually get rough for the dream couple for a while. I hated that they couldn’t get past the arguments and realize that all each of them really wanted was the other safe and sound. Overall, Spellcaster was a way more suspenseful version of Spellbound. (less)
Getting Over Garrett Delany was the cute summer read I have been looking for. Sadie was a girl in love/obsessed when she realizes that the apple of he...moreGetting Over Garrett Delany was the cute summer read I have been looking for. Sadie was a girl in love/obsessed when she realizes that the apple of her eye is never going to come around. So, she embarks on a 12 step plan to get over him and move on with her life. The plot was endearing and relatable. What girl doesn’t want advice about how to get over her insanely unattainable crush? Seriously though, the book was well written with a cast of mixed characters and a plot that kept me flipping pages.
Sadie by far went through the most changes as the story wore on. She started out as a pathetic copy of Garrett without a life of her own who could not seem to get it into her thick skull that Garrett was never coming around. I didn’t much care for this Sadie and wanted to slap her across the face. However, thanks to new friends and a much needed wakeup call, Sadie transformed into someone I would love to be friends with. She finally was her own person, and not just a mold of some guy. Girl Power!
Full of hilarious meltdowns, heartfelt moments, and plain fun, Getting over Garrett Delany is perfect for a day at the beach. (less)
My favorite part of Unbreak My Heart was the plot. The author took an interesting look at the heart-breaking that the story revolves around by not tel...moreMy favorite part of Unbreak My Heart was the plot. The author took an interesting look at the heart-breaking that the story revolves around by not telling it in chronological order. Instead, it switches between Clem’s year of heartbreak and her summer of romance and healing after. Slowly, as the two halves merged, I finally understood the events leading up to Clem’s boat trip.
The romance between Clem and James was so sweet. I could tell it was just what Clem needed to get over her last drama filled relationship. I thought it was nice how James put up with Clem rejecting him several times before finally agreeing to go out with him. He was so great to her. The aspect of the entire relationship occurring on a boat was unique as well. It meant an array of different locations as the story progressed. I loved reading about so many new places, and each was so well described. The settings made me want to schedule a boating trip with my family.
Overall, this was a very sweet book, a perfect summer read. (less)
Red Heart Tattoo is a story of loss and destruction. After a bomb goes off at Edison High, all of the characters are irreversibly changed. They must a...moreRed Heart Tattoo is a story of loss and destruction. After a bomb goes off at Edison High, all of the characters are irreversibly changed. They must all now deal with injuries, both inside and out, and the loss of those they love. This was a very moving book that pulls at the heartstrings. It truly made me consider the idea of what a bomb going off would mean for a school and a community. This is not a book for everybody. It deals with serious issues like death, blindness, and hate. But, if you can handle it, I promise you will not be the same after reading it.
Now for some information about the main characters. One is Morgan, the girl who was blinded by the explosion. Before the bomb she had everything from money to the perfect boyfriend to her looks. She now has to deal with learning to get around with no eyes and the fact that her old boyfriend Trent is dead. Morgan narrates most of the story. Roth is a loner who is barely passing high school and is always in trouble. However, he is a nice guy who is there for Morgan in the aftermath and helps her cope. They made a great couple. There is also a look inside the bombers heads as they plotted to take down their classmates. Truly scary stuff going through those boys heads. It is like they didn’t even understand the consequences of their actions, what they were really going to do. As I said, not a book for everyone, but still a powerful and moving book. Red Heart Tattoo will stay with you long after the last page. (less)
Sirenz Back in Fashion was just the right mixture of paranormal and humor. Meg and Shar’s sarcastic comments about their predicaments had me laughing...moreSirenz Back in Fashion was just the right mixture of paranormal and humor. Meg and Shar’s sarcastic comments about their predicaments had me laughing the entire time. They made sure the book did not get too serious and bogged down in the negative. Instead, it was a light read that flowed easily from one chapter to the next. He paranormal Hades was just as charming and cunning as in the last book. Hades was willing to do anything to make sure Shar was his, and he was crafty about going about it. Though in my experience, forcing a girl to go to the underworld is not the typical way to win her heart.
It is still amazing that after the strained relationship of the last book, Shar and Meg are now friends. I can tell they are close now though by the way that they both worry about each other throughout the book. They each care about the other’s safety at the hands of the evil Hades. It was a really sweet element of the book for me. I thought it was cute that Shar got so jealous of the girl’s new assignment hanging out with Meg. It just proved that she really did like Meg after all.
Sirenz Back in Fashion is a fun summer read that will have you in stiches. (less)
Halflings was all about the romance and the paranormal. The love triangle between Nicki, Mace, and Raven was exciting and full of choices to be made....moreHalflings was all about the romance and the paranormal. The love triangle between Nicki, Mace, and Raven was exciting and full of choices to be made. Mace was the ultimate good boy who always obeyed the rules set out for him by his guardian. He didn’t mean to fall for Nicki, but he was willing to do anything to keep her safe. Mace was, in short, the nice guy. Raven on the other hand was the bad boy of the group. In the past, he was known for breaking hearts and had an air of not caring about anyone at all. However, he slowly lets his guard down for Nicki for some reason and shows what a nice, protective, sweet person he can be. I think either Mace or Raven would be a good fit for Nicki, but it is up to her to decide who she wants to be with.
The aspect of the Halflings was unique! I loved all the cool powers the boy Halflings had, from super strength to the ability to travel to other realms. I felt bad that the Halflings had such a dire future ahead of them for no other reason than their birth parents. It made me want to cry with sympathy. The hellhounds truly scared me as well; they were big, black, and murderous.
A great read from the writing to the characters to the plot. (less)