Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Otherbound

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nolan can never close his eyes. Every time he does, whether it is for blinking or sleeping, he is pulled into Amara’s mind. Amara is a servant in another world. Her job is to protect the cursed princess and do whatever it takes to stay alive. Although Nolan has been aware of Amara for years, she has no idea that he spends time in her head. When Nolan’s new medication causes him to take control of Amara, she becomes aware of him and shuts him out. They believe they are free from each other, but then they discover this breakthrough may not be all roses.

Otherbound is a story that alternates between a fantasy world and our world. Even though the story alternates between Amara and Nolan and two different worlds, readers will have no trouble following along with the events. Duyvis’ debut novel is action packed and the story progresses quickly and smoothly. As a refreshing stand-alone novel in this world of YA series, readers will enjoy starting and finishing this book without waiting for the next installment. This is not a “drop everything and read” book, but it was enjoyable and a welcome escape.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: When Mr. Dog Bites

When Mr. Dog Bites
When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dylan Mint has issues. It isn’t enough that at sixteen years old, he is still a virgin, he also has Tourette’s. He is constantly trying to control his swearing, the tics and what he calls “Mr. Dog.” During what Dylan thought was a routine doctor’s appointment; he overhears his mother and a doctor talking. Dylan learns that he is going to die in March and they are planning to keep it from him. In order to go out in style, Dylan sets three goals and goes after them with all his energy.

When Mr. Dog Bites includes all the thoughts and feelings that go through most sixteen year old boys, yet these thoughts are also random and spiral in nature due to Tourette’s. Conaghan was able to capture the essence of this disorder without demeaning the character. Readers will enjoy this book even if they don’t know anyone with these distracting characteristics. Many of the conversations that Dylan has with other characters had me laughing out loud and then looking around to see if anyone noticed. A fun read that has its own serious side.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Hacker

Hacker by Ted Dekker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nyah Parks needs $250,000 for an experimental treatment for her mother. What is a seventeen year old genius to do? She goes after the biggest job of her life, hacking into a data storage company to get them to hire her to update their security system. When this job goes wrong, she is suddenly way over her head and must complete one last hack. This hack will either save her or be her death.

Hacker is the third book in The Outlaw Chronicles. Although the first two books in this series are more companions than serial, this book is definitely part of the series with Austin from the first book, Eyes Wide Open, playing a large part. Readers who pick this book up without reading the first two will not have any trouble discovering the main story line. Hacker is another parable based on strong Christian beliefs that lead readers to question what they think is true. Dekker does not disappoint with an action packed thriller that keeps the eyes moving across the page.

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Take Me On

Take Me On
Take Me On by Katie McGarry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Haley has a national kickboxing title, but for the past 6 months she has refused to fight. Only one person knows why she stopped, and it is in his best interest not to tell. While coming home from getting her father’s medication she is forced with a choice. Let a stranger get beaten protecting her, or step in and fight the assailant. When school resumes she discovers that the mysterious stranger is now the new kid and he has his eyes on her. To make matters worse, he steps in (again) when she is confronted about the assault. In order to save face, West must fight a MMA cage match. Although he is a boxer, MMA is not the same. Haley decides she won’t fight, but she will help West train.

Take Me On is the newest and most thought provoking of the Pushing the Limits books. The first three books had a bad boy and good girl, but this book shakes the pattern up. West is rich but has a temper. Haley’s father lost his job a year earlier and she will do anything to keep her family together. Throw in fighting rivalry, family rifts on both sides and secrets that threaten to tear both people apart and you have a book you can’t put down. McGarry has really outdone herself with this book. It goes beyond a romance novel and touches on issues that most people can relate to, even if they never experienced it themselves. Can Haley get West ready in time? Will either of their families ever be whole again? Fans of the previous books will enjoy the cameo appearances of the characters from those books!

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: The Girl with the Windup Heart

The Girl with the Windup Heart
The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mila may be part automaton, but she is now a woman with a woman’s feelings. When her feelings toward Jack Dandy don’t seem to be reciprocated, she flees with her broken heart. As she strives for her independence away from her mentor and protector, she discovers her talents are loved in the West End’s circus. During this time, Finley Jayne and her friends are entering the Aether in order to rescue Griffin King. He is being held prisoner by The Machinist, but Finley will not accept defeat, especially when Griffin is at stake. Finley discovers truths about herself in the Aether and Griffin must face his greatest fear in order to possibly defeat The Machinist and leave the Aether.

The Girl with the Windup Heart is the fourth book in the Steampunk Chronicles. Readers who have followed Finley through the previous three books will quickly discover that this book is not mainly about her. The majority of the content is about Mila, but Cross does a superb job wrapping up the story lines that have been weaving in and out of the books. The Girl with the Windup Heart finishes as if the series is complete, but readers can see that Cross has created a group of characters so deep that additional stories or a spin off series could be possible. A satisfying read, but I don’t recommend any readers start with this book. Find the first book and read everything.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: We Are the Goldens

We Are the Goldens
We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nell used to call herself and her sister, Layla, Nellaya since there was no point in which one stopped and the other began. They were the same person. Then Layla starts school early and Nell starts school late and there are 2 grades separating them. With the beginning of Nell’s freshman year of high school, she yearns for the days they were one person. She quickly learns that her sister has changed and now there is a secret. After Nell discovers the truth and swears to not tell anyone, the pressure to be the perfect sister and daughter becomes unbearable.

We Are the Goldens is written as a letter from Nell to Layla. Readers are not kept in the dark about the primary secret, but an underlying secret climax is hinted at throughout. As Nell tries to find her place in high school and navigate the torrential dating paths, she quickly learns that even though those cheesy high school movies can’t be true, there are many facts they do get right and if she doesn’t want to become one of those stories, she must make an active effort herself. Reinhardt has created a story that will pull in readers without unnecessary side stories. This is a quick read with the bare bones of several stories that affect teenagers on a daily basis. Even if the reader hasn’t experienced any of these events, they can still loose themselves in a great read. With its short length, I can see this becoming popular with many reluctant readers.

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Oblivion

Oblivion by Sasha Dawn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Callie cannot remember what happened the night her father disappeared. She knows what she has been told. That is the fact that her father is missing, a girl named Hannah is missing and Callie was found in an abandoned apartment writing “I KILLED HIM” on the wall. Although her father is the reverend of the local church, she knows that he is not a good man and she suspects that his and Hannah’s disappearances are connected. Ever since she has returned from the first 36 hours of amnesia, she has periodic black outs and an overwhelming urge to write. The police believe her writings will lead them to the truth, but no one has been able to discover the connections.

Oblivion is a strange tale that will cause the reader to wonder where the author is going. Dawn creates a protagonist that is strong even with her many flaws. The story progresses nicely with enough teenage romance and drama to keep the average young adult reader happy, yet the mystery of the disappearances and Callie’s graphomania will entice readers who want a little meat. This is a stand-alone novel that will stand out, especially in this time of series fiction. The ending wraps up all the major questions and even answers a question I hadn’t thought of until the revelation occurred. Oblivion is a great read that will entertain a wide audience.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: A Dark Inheritance

A Dark Inheritance
A Dark Inheritance by Chris d'Lacey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Malone cannot control his urge to save a dog from jumping off a cliff, but after the fact he cannot explain why or how he was able to catch the dog. Especially since none of the police officers were able to get near it. He is told the dog belongs to one of his sick classmates, but when he inquires about the dog he begins to discover the truth. There seems to be a connection between this sick girl and an accident where another girl had been killed. If that is not enough, Michael is approached by secretive people and told that his father was helping their organization and it appears that he also has the skills needed to assist Unicorne. Who can Michael trust? What must he do to find out the answers to his questions?

A Dark Inheritance is the first book in a new series by Chris d’Lacey. I am sure that many readers of d’Lacey’s The Last Dragon Chronicles will pick this up because of the author, but be prepared for them not being anything alike. Although I knew it was a completely different series, the characters and their plight just didn’t grab my attention. The story progressed nicely and I enjoyed the experience, but at no time was I swept away with the tale. It is a good read, but should not be moved to the top of your TBR pile too quickly.

View all my reviews

Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: Dangerous Creatures

Dangerous Creatures
Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

No one can trust Ridley Duchannes. She is a Siren and fully Dark. With her powers, she makes others see and do what she wants. Wesley “Link” Lincoln is a quarter Incubus, yet he can’t seem to realize that Ridley is bad for him and continues to be her on again … off again boyfriend. As Link travels to New York City to try his hand at a music career, Ridley goes with him. She isn’t there as a supportive girlfriend though. During her last trip to NYC she lost two markers and one was a drummer. Ridley believes she can honor the marker and help her boyfriend along the way. Hey, he wants to be in a band and here is one that she has to supply the player. Unfortunately for all involved, there are darker forces at play and more than a gig is at stake.

Dangerous Creatures is the first book in a spin-off of the Beautiful Creatures series. Garcia and Stohl have taken characters that readers are already familiar with and develops the new storyline and the drama that ensues. I have to say that the first third of the book seemed very formulaic. If the reader is jumping into the book here without reading the first series, this may not be very obvious. Even with that flaw, the ending of the book was great. Readers will find many portions of the storyline coming to an end, yet as the end approaches a small twist occurs and the actual last page leaves such a cliffhanger that the reader may actually throw their book. You have been warned!

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: We Were Liars

We Were Liars
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cadence Sinclair Eastman comes from money. Her mother and aunts have always had it and can’t seem to do anything right. Since her grandmother has died, the aunts (and her mother) do everything they can to kiss up to their father who has the ability to re-pad their trust funds, or cut them off all together. Unfortunately, her family is keeping a secret. Cadence cannot remember parts of her fifteenth summer. She knows she woke up with most of her clothes missing and is now suffering from migraines, but no one will talk about that summer. It is now her seventeen summer and she is returning to the family’s island. Will she discover the truth of that fateful summer? Does she really want to know?

We Were Liars is one of those books that you really don’t know what to expect. The description you find inside the jacket is vague on purpose, so the reader spends a lot of time trying to guess. It worked! I am one of those readers who will skip the summary so that I can be surprised. This is not a long and drawn out book, so readers will quickly discover that they are flying through the pages. I will not give anything away since the publisher was being intentionally vague, but readers can expect to be surprised and hopefully not figure it until right before the big reveal. A great read that I highly recommend. Lockhart has really outdone herself on this one!

View all my reviews