Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some Boys by Patty Blount

Some Boys
 
“Some girls say no.  Some boys don’t’ listen…

…I can’t help thinking of a stupid riddle—if a girl’s attacked in the forest and no one’s around to see it or hear it, did it really happen?”

 

Some Boys by Patty Blount is another golden cautionary tale for the new YA culture.  Growing up we all went to parties where perhaps we did things that our parents would ground us for life, but lately people have been commenting on how teenagers these days have more freedom and are exposed to serious issues much earlier than teenagers from a decade ago ( I was a teenager a decade ago).  The first book I read of hers was Send, where she explored technology and the misuse of it, and how teens are not aware of the implications of their actions via texts, emails, or social media.  While I think people should read for enjoyment, there should always be cautionary tales mixed in, especially in YA.  Some Boys is the cautionary tale of dating in high school, girl code, and underage drinking. 

Grace is having one hell of a month.  After going to a party and getting trashed, she is raped by the golden boy Zac.  No one believes her, why should they?  Grace dresses provocatively, she’s in your face, and frankly she did date Zac, clearly she feels jilted and is spreading lies to get back at him.  But why would Ian, Zac’s best friend, find Grace in the middle of the woods with her underpants around her ankle, unconscious, and alone?  Why would she insist to go to the hospital, if it wasn’t rape?  And why have her once bright eyes gone dim and frightened?

Ian is Zac’s best friend and teammate.  He knows Zac since he was little, and he knows that Zac will always have his back.  Zac’s a ladies man and sometimes girls don’t realize it’s all about casualness with Zac.  But why did Zac have to ask Grace out first?  Why did she date Zac?  And why is she lying about what happened that night?  After spending a week of forced labor together, aka detention, Ian starts questioning that night, Zac, Grace, himself, and how people treat each other.  Why would a girl let two guys touch her at once, is it because her best friend needs a wingman?  Why do girls insist on wearing too much make-up? 

Blount explores teenage angst, teenage romance, and how society treats victims like criminals.  It is just one big he said she said, and until solid proof is found most of the time the girl is labeled a slut.  Does a girl deserve to be raped because she wears what she wants, because she drinks too much, because she flirted?  Do adults act/react better than students when faced with a rape crime?  Why do we all feel the need to bash people until it’s too late, and once the truth is out there is no taking back the words, the gestures, and the crime?   I would say I really liked this book, but at times I found myself so angry at the adults in the novel.  I am still a “new adult/young adult” and I work with young adults (high school students), I cannot believe the way the adults reacted to Grace’s situation and the constant flow of insults.  Even if they had to remain un-bias since no evidence was given, they are the one group of people that must make children feel safe not ignored and defeated.  I liked the message and how it was presented to the YA world, and frankly more books need to keep questioning the WHY people act the way they do to a crisis like this.  I think that is what Ian represented.  He wasn’t perfect, but boy did he learn a lot from this experience.

 

4 out of 5 stars, than you NetGalley!

Fire Wish by Amber Lough



The Fire Wish (The Jinni Wars, #1)

Fire Wish by Amber Lough brings the story of a jinni, a prince, and soon to be princess in Baghdad to life.  In a world where humans and jinni have fought to the death in a bloody world, there are two girls who can change everything.  More than a decade ago there was a war between the jinni and the human race, triumphantly the humans won against the devils; however, the threat never was erased from their minds.  More than a decade ago jinni were enslaved to do the bidding of humans without being able to escape, their people were killed, and they ultimately created an uprising; however, they need to finish what they started and get the lamp, which was used to communicate between the worlds.  One lamp is housed in the palace of Baghdad; the other in the caves of the jinni community, neither one has been lit since that terrible night. 

Zayele loves to climb, run around, and be there for her brother, who lost his sights.  Her life changes the night the vizier enters her town.  He is her cousin, but also the savior of the war against the jinni.  Everyone owes their life to him, and he works for the King.  He has come in search of a bride for the prince, and she has been selected.

Najwa is a jinni training to be a spy for the war.  Her training advances due to her being able to enter the palace, a place no other jinni can enter.  This will mean more assignments and a rush order on her graduating to the spy unit, and secretly more time to see the prince she cannot seem to forget.  When she crosses paths with Zayele, she is forced to grant Zayele a wish that will put both of them in danger.  Now Zayele and Najwa have switched place, and on top of trading lives both must walk a careful line less they be killed by their enemy.  Secrets, wishes, and some pretty nice kisses have been all wrapped into this nice neat package.  Buy, borrow, read and enjoy!

 

Thank You Edelweiss.  3 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard

Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #3)

Since Eleanor Fitt was introduced in the first book, Something Strange and Deadly, I have been madly in love with the covers, story, characters, and who doesn’t like an unhealthy dose of necromancy during the Victorian age?  Gail Carriger introduced me to the world of Steam Punk and I fell in love with heroines who were thrust into supernatural Victorian adventures with nothing more than a parasol for protection.  For the conclusion of this lovely and strange series adventure, mystery, and complications were not hard to find and the ending leaves readers thinking about the book even after they put it down.  As an avid fan of the series I did not appreciate how self-centered Eleanor had become by the third book, although I do understand it showed readers how power can change a person.  The setting was amazing.  Through this series readers have enjoyed Philadelphia, London, Paris and now Egypt being overrun with the dead, and the last setting really shined.  The spirit hunters are on the run in search of Jie, after she was kidnapped by Marcus, and Eleanor is keeping her secrets and her demon close.  Oliver is changing subtly, and it might not be the change he wants.  Allison steals away with Eleanor, Oliver, and the spirit hunters in search of Marcus and Jie.  As a fan I am happy with the way things ended, but I will have to say one or two things about the ending.  Dennard pulled a Roth.  From now on when an author kills a major character I will call it a Roth; however, Dennard is not guilty of a pointless death.  I understand why it happened and it’s not like the character took it upon them to change the whole plan and kill themselves.  It was sad beyond repair, and I will leave it at that.  Follow our wonderful Misfit in her last adventure with the spirit hunters!

4 out of 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss, and thank you Dennard for your lovely story!
 
 
If you are interested here are books 1 and 2, respectively:
1. Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)                                    2. A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)
 
 
 

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)

“Two days ago, a man had come to the Drunken Dog, introducing himself as James and asking for Kyra by name.  He’d moved with a deliberate confidence, and his gaze had swept over the room, evaluating and dismissing each of its occupants.  When Kyra had finally approached him, James laid out an unusual offer.  There was a ruby in the Palace compound.  He wanted her to fetch it for him, and he was willing to pay.”

Kyra is known for her stealthy ways, which have come in handy for her and her customers.  Almost like a Robin Hood, Kyra steals from the rich and gives to the poor.  Being an orphan, with the help of Flick and Bella, Kyra has dug out a place of her own, where she is needed.  With the request of a new client, all these good things she has found to make her life a bit brighter might disappear forever.  Tasked with finding a sizable ruby in the Palace compound, Kyra sets out to accomplish this new feat; however, things don’t go as planned and pretty soon she finds herself a member of the Assassin’s Guild.  Not completely sure she made the decisions Kyra starts noticing what the Guild is stealing, and also how their raids may be in connection to the Demon Cat Riders (yes, demon cat riders, they are demon-cats who apparently ride?).  Soon Kyra makes a wrong move, and finds herself at the clutches of Tristam, a royal knight.  Tristam lost his friend and comrade to the Demon Cats, and has promised to avenge his death, but first he must figure out who is stealing into the night to rob from the magistrates and the compound.  With Kyra in his custody, Tristam soon realizes that this will be difficult, and that not all criminals choose to be criminals.  Once the enemy becomes the ally, the truth behind Kyra’s past begins to leak out.  Will Kyra be able to accept her choices, who she is, and what she needs to still do?  Will Tristam find his revenge, figure out how to defeat the Assassin’s Guild, and follow the just path?  Is James really that bad… yes, I can already answer that one for the readers.  A great new supernatural YA novel with espionage, intrigue, and mayhap a kiss or two.  Can’t wait to see where Kyra, Tristam, and that devil of James end up in the next installation. 

3.5 stars out of 5.  Thanks Net Galley.   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton

Where Silence Gathers (Some Quiet Place, #2)

“Revenge finds me just as I finish my uncle’s bottle of rum.  He settles down beside me and dangles his legs off the edge of the bridge.  I don’t look at him, and for a few minutes neither of us says a word.  Plumes of air leave my mouth with every breath.  It’s still too cold for crickets, so the night is utterly silent.  If I listen hard enough, I can almost hear the stars whispering to each other.  Cruel, biting whispers.” 

Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton is the second book in her series Some Quiet Place.  Alex Tate watched her family die, as the lone survivor anger seethes and unravels under skin.  On the day her parents died, she met the emotion Revenge and from that moment on they have been the best of friends.  Now at 17, Alex must face the fact that the man who took her family away is getting out of jail, and she can face it as long as Revenge is beside her.  Knowing that Revenge is an emotion and not human doesn’t make things any less complicated for Alex.  Dealing with her past and her present dilemmas are not the only things catapulting her to an end, but also Forgiveness makes an appearance.  Now she has a choice, must make a choice, and must figure out the secrets of her parents past.  A great addition to Sutton’s series about those who can see the emotions that fuel human choices and the choices we make.

4 out of 5 stars.  Thank You NetGalley.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

The Half Life of Molly Pierce

Molly Pierce has just walked into her own nightmare, she is now aware of what is going on in her life.  Sometimes Molly wakes up and she’s driving down a road with no clue as to where she  is going and why she is going that way, or she wakes up in 3 minutes has passed by, never really understanding what happened and where she went when she zoned out.  One morning she wakes up from a zone out and realizes someone is chasing her on their motorcycle.  Feeling like she has to flee Molly tries to drive faster, the end result is that the motorcyclist gets hit by a car and eventually ends up with severe mortal wounds.  The real problem is that the victim, Lyle Avery, knows her but she doesn’t know him.  He’s too familiar with him and too intimate in those last moments of his life, and the one thing she cannot get out of her head is that he called her Mabel.  Now with Lyle dead, Molly wants to figure out whom he was, who his brother, Sayer, is, and why it feels like she should know who both are.  Not realizing that half her life has been kept from her, Molly is determined to figure out what makes her black out as well.  The only person with the key to her past and secrets is her, and she will have to work hard to finally realize the connection between her, the two brothers, her therapist, and her family.  At some point, all things must be uncovered.

Such a creepy story about mental health.  This is not a supernatural book or even a paranormal book; it deals with a mental health issue that can be relatable to readers who find themselves in Molly’s shoes or even know someone who works like Molly (hopefully with less drama and casualties). 

3.5 Stars out of 5.  Thank You Edelweiss.

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson


The Vanishing Season
 

“It seems that this town has an appetite for the young; it swallows them whole, right into its very dirt.  A key is buried under the front stairs on Water Street.  This is my work.  This is the one thing I have to do.  I am looking for the things that are buried.”

This is the story of two girls, a boy, and a ghost.  When girls start disappearing in Door County in the fall, Maggie and her parents are alarmed, as the new residents of the town.  Even with the threat looming over the town, Maggie still finds herself befriending the beautiful Pauline and her odd best friend Liam.  In the span of time it takes fall to turn to winter Maggie loses a friend and gains a love, but not everything can stay golden.  This is not a ghost story, but the entity that occasionally makes itself present in the story is very tied to Maggie, Pauline, and Liam.  It feels a strong connection and has a need to protect them.  As the past and present collide Maggie’s true story unfolds and the season of the vanishing girls eventually ends.  A different read in 2014 if you need to take a break from completing ending series, dystopian novels, and paranormal/sci-fi novels.

3 out of 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss.

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5)



This was such a fun read, which brought back great memories of Mercy Falls.  Cole is the character that you find yourself loving even with all his antics, but Isabel was not a character I want to have lunch with, let alone root for in the book.  If anything I wish poor Cole would find someone new, and less childishness-wrapped-in-maturity.  For fans of the Mercy Falls trilogy this will be a great continuation in this world of wolves and the people that love them.  New characters, fresh venue, and a bad-boy-rock star- wolf on the prowl for his beta.

3.5 stars out of 5.  Thank You NetGalley

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Broken Heart Diet by Tom Formaro

The Broken Heart Diet
The Broken Heart Diet by Tom Formaro is a delectable romance full of good food, great friends, and broken hearts.  Dante Palermo is on top of the world; he will soon open is first restaurant and he is about to ask the woman of his dreams to marry him.  All is as he has planned, that is until Abby crushes his heart and declines his marriage proposal.  Devastated, Dante returns to San Francisco, where he finds himself in a funk.  Not only is he depressed and losing weight, he just learned that his backing partner is on the run for fraud.  Once Dante finds a way to fix his restaurant issue, he still finds himself broken hearted, discontent, and pining for the one that got away.  Visited by the ghost of his Nona, Dante is given the gift to cure broken hearts with his food; however, he will not be able to cure his own heart by cooking food, he must learn to rise above his pain and funk.  With great friends at his side, Dante begins to have good fortune with the restaurant and life seems to be picking up—but can he ever recover from his broken heart, and is all that he needs and wants already in his possession?  A great light read, with some great food involved. 

4 out of 5 stars.  Thanks NetGalley.