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Archive for the ‘YA (ARC)’ Category

5 stars

 

 

by D. Maria Trimble542298_399037073521655_1928686311_n

Published November 25th 2012 by D. Maria Trimble

 

 

Summary:

When our young warrior, Amáne, with her dragon, Eshshah, embark on their quest to procure a dragon egg from Castle Teravinea, they discover the unimaginable cruelty of the tyrant who rules the kingdom … Only Amáne and Eshshah can put the true heir of Teravinea on the throne. Her mother’s final words, that she follow her heart, echo in Amáne’s thoughts. Convinced it is a path she cannot follow, she must neglect her happiness. Her duty to the throne comes first — even if it means sacrificing her friendship with Prince Ansel. The dragon and rider pair bravely face the dangerous mission that looms ahead.

 

 

Review:

As you know, if you have been reading my reviews, I LOVED the first book in this series and I was curious how things would develop for the various characters in the second book. I was hoping to see some character development and maybe even learn a bit more about some of the characters’ pasts, and the second installment, Amáne of Teravinea- The Prophecy, did not disappoint. I was so enthralled with this book that I literally could not put it down, or fall asleep for that matter. I stayed up until I had finished the entire book. It is not often that a book is so good that I stay up all night and read it.

There was a lot of action, adventure, and danger as Amáne goes on another quest, this time to try to acquire one of the dragon eggs that have been held hostage by King Galtero. The remaining Dragon Riders, who have been in hiding, need an egg so that they can try to figure out why there has not been another Dragon Rider chosen, even though the Hatching Ceremony had been held every year. While in the castle Amáne receives help from an unexpected source, one she had never expected to meet, especially in those circumstances and learns more about her linking mark with the black dragon. This is a fast paced book. If you read it too fast, there will definitely be parts that you miss.

In Amáne of Teravinea- The Prophecy, we also see more character development and a lot more romance. A good portion of this book is devoted to the growing romance between Amáne and Ansel but there is also another budding romance that develops in this book between two unlikely characters, you will just have to read the book to find out who this new couple is. With every book, I fall more in love with Ansel, he really seems like a great guy and by the end of the book Amáne and Ansel have even more in common than you or they would ever have imagined.

In the second installment of this series, Amáne is still a very strong and independent female, a great role model for young girls. She is smart and strong, even when she is thinking about Ansel or with Ansel, which is not something you often see in a female lead, often they act all stupid around a guy, but not Amáne, she keeps it together.

I am eagerly awaiting the third book in this series; I can’t wait to see how everything develops.

I recommend this book to anyone from grade 6 on up though adult. It is clean and wholesome, but has enough adventure, fighting, and romance to keep the reader interested.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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2321 star

 

 

by Emily Ford
Published February 8th 2012 by Ebook (first published January 1st 2012)

 

 

Summary:

AND THE STORY BEGINS…

In the early morning hours nearing her 17th birthday, Cat Townsend woke to the sudden blur of a mysterious unknown man sitting on the edge of her bed. She did not feel fear — rather a strange calmness overtook her. In an instant their eyes locked, he lightly touched her hand, and then he disappeared into the nothingness of night.

Caught in that undefined place between asleep and awake, the moment felt hazy and surreal. A chill ran down Cat’s spine as she glances at the time – it’s 2:32 a.m.

What unfolds in the first book of The Djinn Master’s Legacy trilogy, is young Cat’s personal struggle with the overwhelming choice to accept a destiny of magic. As she contemplates the merits of unparalleled power, her new and ordinary world in Savannah, Georgia is understandably shaken. The closer her decision gets, the more twisted her life with family, friends and boyfriend becomes. Will she choose to give up everything she cherishes?

 

 

Review:

I had high hopes when I read the synopsis of 2:32 A.M. I have never read a book about genies, except for Arabian Nights, so I was expecting something fresh and new, but I was sadly disappointed. This story is fresh and new, but that is about the only positive thing about it. The writing style is terrible, it is written as though a high school student wrote it and didn’t proof read it before turning it in, I am a teacher and have experience with this. The plot concept is interesting and fresh, but the book was very difficult for me to get through as I want to pull out my red pen and make corrections every couple pages, which could be problematic since it is an ebook.

The story jumps around a lot, time passes very quickly, it is a bit disconcerting. There is almost no development of the characters, except for Cat, but even then what we learn is mostly superficial. All of the other characters are static, even her brother, Hayden, and her boyfriend, Todd. Her female friends are even worse. They are all terrible examples of females, though quite stereotypical when it comes to high school cheerleaders, though they are not cheerleaders, more like football groupies.

Sex is a big part of this book, do I have sex with this guy that I have a superficial relationship with or not? Will he stay with me after, even when he goes away to college on a full scholarship as the most sought after quarterback? Lord, help me; I want to slap Cat in the face most of the time. She is so super annoying; I can’t seem to figure out what makes her so special.

Then Cat goes to summer camp and completely forgets about Todd once she meets the blond guy from her dreams, Rolf. I am so confused by this change in her personality, it isn’t like she is torn, she just seems like she has multiple personalities. Then all of a sudden she is all about Rolf- but wants to keep Todd in the background, in case things don’t work with Rolf.

I could go on and on about this book, but I will actually get annoyed if I do and I don’t want to ruin my day complaining about a book that had so much potential, but fell so short of the mark that it is unbelievable.

If you want to give this book a try, please do, but it isn’t a great book for teenagers since Cat makes having sex seem like something someone just does and doesn’t even get mad at Todd when he tries to coerce her into having sex with him before he goes away to school. As an adult, this book was so annoying, I stated a few reasons above, and I will not be reading any more books in this trilogy.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by D. María Trimble

Published May 23rd 2012 by D. Maria Trimble

 

 

Summary:

When a hero emerges in the Kingdom of Teravinea, he often rises from the ranks of the dragon riders. In the past, only one female has fit the profile. Until now … Fifteen-year-old Amáne finds herself witness to the hatching of a dragon egg. The painful linking rite creates a bond between the two that cannot be broken. She and her dragon, Eshshah, become the only dragon and rider in a kingdom that once abounded with the beautiful creatures and their riders. Amáne and Eshshah are thrown into a conflict that they do not yet understand. One thing is for certain — the fate of the kingdom rests upon their shoulders…

 

 

Review:

I don’t normally read books in the fantasy realm, but when Ms. Trimble asked me to read and review her book, I read the synopsis and thought it sounded pretty interesting.  I have only read one other dragon rider book and that was many years ago, so reading Amáne of Teravinea was fresh and very interesting for me.  The story flowed nicely and the plot was well developed.  There were plot twists that I didn’t see coming, danger around every corner, strong and fierce characters, and a bit of romance mixed in; the perfect combination of action, adventure, and boy meets girl.

I rarely read a story where all the characters, at least the good guys, are likeable, but I felt a connection to all the main characters in this book.  The characters had depth, and as the story progressed and we learned more about them, the main characters became more developed.  I really enjoyed the character and plot twists and I can’t wait to learn more as this series develops.

Amáne is a wonderful character.  She is a great example/role model for girls.  She is strong, independent, fierce, powerful, intelligent, and wholesome.  She is not weak in any way, well, except for a bit when it comes to Ansel.  Amáne shows maturity beyond her years most of the time, though she does still have some growing up to do as she learns the intricacies of being a dragon rider.  Amáne has to deal with a lot in a very short time, the death of her mother, her painful bonding with Eshshah, moving away from her home to live with the Healer, friends turning out to be quite different from what she had always believed, secret missions, and her feelings for Ansel; and in my opinion, she does a superb job facing all these new challenges head on, though not always in the manner that her mentor would approve of.  I look forward to seeing Amáne grow up and develop as her story progresses.

Ansel is a very likable character, after you get to know him.  At first he is spoiled and condescending, though you get to see more of his true colors as he befriends Amáne.  We don’t know much about his background, but I am hoping to learn more about what makes him tick as the story progresses.  Will he make a good king?  Only time will tell.

The Healer is also one of the main characters in this book.  She is there for Amáne when her mother passes and has always been a friend to the family, but she holds a great secret, one that may rock the very foundation of her relationship with Amáne.

I highly recommend Amáne of Teravinea to anyone from middle school on through adult.  It is clean, no swearing, wholesome, no sex or almost sex scenes, has two strong, independent female characters, some cute guys, a bit of romance, and a ton of action.  This is a perfect book for teachers to recommend to their students, especially if they are fans of book series such as The Kane Chronicles.  Every middle school library should have a copy, or two, and every English teacher should have a copy on their reading shelf.

Amáne of Teravinea is a page turner.  Once you start, you won’t want to stop reading until you reach the final page, and then you will be counting the days until book two comes out, just as I am.

PS- The cover of this book is amazing- especially if you buy the paper copy.  There are also great maps in this book to help the reader get a feel for the lay of the land.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Aimee Carter


Published July 31st 2012 by Harlequin Teen

 

 

Summary:

For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness….

Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal….

Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another….

James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others#151;but never knew true loss before….

Henry/Hades’s solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope.

 

 

Review:

This was almost more like a novella- or “extra book” to a series. It is not essential to reading the Goddess Test series, but if you were totally hooked after the first couple books and were craving more- this book is perfect.

Basically Ms. Carter goes thorough each of the main characters and gives you more background into their story, what makes them tick. She basically explains to readers the back story that was eluded to though out the first two novels that we were left to infer about, until this book.

There is mention of sex in a few of the stories, not romance novel graphic, but not just mentioned either. I am not sure there would be a way to write about Greek gods and goddesses without mentioning sex.

I highly recommend this book if you have read the previous books. It is super interesting and adds a lot to the series thus far. I would recommend you read this book after the second in the series so that you don’t ruin any of the plot twists in the main series by reading this first.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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Rapture (Fallen #4)

 

 

by Lauren Kate

Published June 12th 2012

Summary:

The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Review:

I wanted to like this book, I wanted to love this book, I really did, but, I was extremely disappointed in this ending.  Really, I found very few redeeming qualities to this story, the only two I can think of is that there was a huge plot twist, one I never saw coming and well, that this series, that I kept wanting to get better, but never did, is finally over.

This book makes Daniel look like an even bigger jerk/misogynist/overprotective guy than any of the previous books did.  Luce is the worst female role model I have seen in a YA book in quite a while.  She is weak, whinny, annoying, and indecisive, doesn’t get much worse for a female lead that we are supposed to love and care about than Luce. Good characters, characters that we had grown to love, die to protect this special and sacred “love” that Luce and Daniel reportedly have, in my opinion, for no good reason.  I don’t see any reason or proof that they love each other, maybe lust, or maybe interest, but Luce just jumped from one bad relationship right into another, this relationship is far from an example of a healthy relationship.

Lastly, and in some ways the most annoying this about this book for me, was that God was a woman.  As those of you who have followed my reviews or have read my profile on my blog will know, I am a Christian, my husband is actually a priest, and I feel very strongly that God wants us to recognize Him as a male.  I am not sure why writers feel the need to make God a woman, like it somehow makes their story better or more revolutionary.  Well it doesn’t, it actually annoys me and makes me strongly dislike their works.  I did not expect this book to follow any Christian doctrine, but come on; this is an important fact in my book.

In conclusion, if you have read the previous books, you kind of need to read this one for the closure factor, but be warned, it really isn’t all that good.  It is violent, but I don’t recall any sex in it.  It is appropriate for teenagers, as far as I can remember.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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The Unquiet

 

 

by Jeannine Garsee

Published July 17th 2012 by Bloomsbury

 

 

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents’ separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn’s bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be “touched” by Annaliese…or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about–not to mention her own–she can’t help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

 

 

Review:

I was apprehensive about reading this book since I knew the main character was bipolar and I know a few people who are bipolar.  I have also read quite a few books over the years written by, about, or to help people who know those with the condition.  So, needless to say, I am familiar with the illness but yet I was intrigued by the supernatural aspect of the story and how the author was going to blend the main character being bipolar with the seeing of ghosts, without making it cheesy.

I was quite impressed.  The representation of Rinn and how she acts without medication is spot on and not overly embellished, well except for the part about seeing ghosts.  The supernatural aspect aside, Miss Garsee portrayed the inner workings of the mind of someone who is bipolar and how they can think and act in a realistic way.

Now for the supernatural aspect; this part was, as was expected, farfetched, but yet had enough “reality” or at least the possibility of the situation being real, to make this part of the story acceptable.  I really loved the whole Annaliese portion of the story.

The third element was relationships.  There was a bit of a “like” triangle, but the whole relationship part got weird, kind of small town- only a few people to choose from kind of thing.  There were secret relationships, people dating friends ex’s, ect…  There was also a lot of secret keeping between so called friends.  This part of the story is very sad and I am not sure I really liked how things turned out for all of Rinn’s new friends, even Nate was affected, though she was able to help him.  Rinn’s mother was also confusing on the relationship front.  It seemed relationships started, but really just kind of stopped, abruptly.  Rinn’s mom definitely had some issues she needed to work through; she was not a good example for Rinn in any way.

Even though this book was geared toward YA’s in high school, there was strong violence and attempted sex- explicitly described.  Basically Rinn was trying to seduce Nate, but he said no.  I would not want my middle school kid to read some of these scenes; I am not sure I would want my high school student to read most of them.  I would recommend this book for 18 and up, no younger, but that decision is up to you.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Robin Wasserman

Published April 10th 2012 by Random House Children’s Books

 

 

Summary:

 It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

 

 

Review:

This book was better than I expected it to be, but not as great as everyone says it is.  The book of Blood and Shadow is full of twists and turns and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.  It is a mystery, historical fiction, and love story all rolled into one.

Nora is a likable character, but is also a bit dim witted at times.  There are so many things that have been going on around her that she somehow never saw or never realized were happening, it is just insane.  I got annoyed by her pretty quick.

Adriane is not at all likable, she seemed spoiled and obviously thought she could do whatever she wanted and didn’t care who she hurt in the process.

Max- well- I’m not sure how he fooled everyone so well.

All these people, Chris included, were supposed to be Nora’s best friends but yet she knew nothing about any of them in the end.  I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed at Nora’s stupidity, or sad that she somehow never knew any of her “friends” at all.

Even though this does not seem like a review with flying colors, overall The Book of Blood and Shadow was a good read.  It was both entertaining and fresh.  I have not read anything like it before.  Now it does have similarities to some popular movies and some would say, another well known book, but I saw it mostly as an original work that is worth reading.  I would recommend this book to older high school student through adults.  Both males and female would probably enjoy this book.  There is violence and references to sex, but nothing graphic.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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