Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: The Rains

The Rains (Untitled, #1)The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Creek’s Cause is used to severe weather phenomena, but when Asteroid 9918 Darwinia breaks up while entering the atmosphere, the rains that accompany it are anything but natural. Everyone eighteen years old and older are affected by particles in the air and seem to become the dreaded “Z” word. Chance and Patrick are able to fight off several infected adults and hide with other survivors in the local high school. This unknown parasite turns people as soon as they turn eighteen, and Patrick’s birthday is right around the corner. Will these children be able to understand the transformation before it affects Patrick? Will this infection be the end of human kind?

The Rains is the first book in a new post-apocalyptic series. Readers who reveled in the survivors of the Quarantine series will quickly see the similarities and differences with this new adventure. Hurwitz has created an end of world scenario that is frighteningly plausible, yet completely unbelievable. The issues these children and one adult are forced to deal with will have readers asking themselves how they would react. This first book has a satisfactory ending, yet the rest of the series is securely mapped out for several more volumes. A great read that will keep readers entertained throughout.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Moon Chosen

Moon ChosenMoon Chosen by P.C. Cast
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mari is an Earth Walker who has inherited healing powers from her mother, but she is forced to hide her true self in order to stay within her Clan. After a special animal chooses her as a companion, her destiny changes forever and she learns the truth about her father. Soon after this revelation her Clan is attacked and she draws on her powers to heal people and discovers that her dual nature makes her truly unique. How will Mari learn to use her powers without someone who also has these two natures? Who can she trust and how far is she willing to go for a people who would have trouble accepting her for who she really is?

Moon Chosen is the first book in the Tales of a New World series. Cast spent large portions of the book developing fascinating characters and world building, yet they were weaved expertly and actually added to the depth of the storyline. There were many side stories that are yet to be explored, so readers will definitely want to look for the next book in the series when it is released. Tales of a New World is a great new series based in a dystopian world with just a hint of supernatural powers thrown in.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Review: The Delphi Effect

The Delphi Effect The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anna Morgan has never been understood. She was abandoned as a child with a note letting the authorities know she was possessed. As a child she couldn’t understand what was happening, but as she matured she realized that sometimes she is linked with the spirit of people who have unfinished business. One of her random touches links her with the spirit of a girl who was murdered and this girl wants help contacting her grandfather and catching the killer. The trail of evidence leads to a conspiracy that spans several decades and may even go to the top level of the government. Anna must test her ability to separate herself from these hitchers as she delves deeper and deeper into this cover-up.

The Delphi Effect is the first book in a new trilogy with the same name. Readers will struggle alongside the characters as they piece out the secrets they keep even from themselves. The story moves along nicely and although there are a few predictable plot twists, the ending was satisfying without an unnecessary cliff hanger. Walker’s newest series is not full of time travel like The Chronos Files, but once readers commit to the newest storyline, they will look forward to the next book in the series.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Something in Between

Something in Between Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jasmine’s parents have always put high expectations on education. They have continuously told her that anything less than an A should just be considered an F. This philosophy has finally paid off. She has been selected for a national scholarship that will pay for all four years of college. Unfortunately, her parents have waited to tell her the truth. Their visas have expired and their family is now considered illegal. She is no longer eligible for scholarships and she might not be able to attend college at all. Jasmine rebels and turns to a boy showing interest in her, but struggles with the reality that his father is the Congressman blocking her path to citizenship.

Something in Between is a realistic fiction story that will grab readers by the heartstrings and not let go. The trials and heartbreak that the protagonist must overcome may be unique to a small subset of our population, but it is none the less relevant to readers of all ages. I truly enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They inspired me, provoked deeper thought and gave me a better understanding of what Jasmine was going through. A great read that I can’t stop telling people about.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Shutter

Shutter Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Day Baker is just getting a snack at a convenience store when she talks with a boy nearby. Little does she know that he has recently escaped from police custody. Although he isn’t armed and probably won’t hurt a random stranger, the authorities are looking for him and are continuing to check out his alibis. Day wants to look into the mystery she has been pulled into and as she continues to uncover hidden information, it seems as if she will never get to the real truth. Did Julian kill his father? If he really is innocent, then who was the perpetrator?

Shutter is a quickie thriller that can be easily finished in a weekend. Stolarz has created a realistic story that readers will have no problem understanding and a main character they can empathizing with. I almost felt like the finale of the adventure came too quickly and that it would have been more enjoyable with just a couple more chapters. This is a good read between a series or after a longer book.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Review: Small Great Things

Small Great Things Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ruth is doing what she has always wanted to do … helping bring newborn babies into the world. She has been doing this daunting task for over 20 years and still loves it. That is until she starts a newborn checkup and is told a few minutes later that she has been taken off the case. The parents have requested that no African American medical personnel touch their child. Unfortunately, the next day the child goes into cardiac distress and Ruth must decide if she should do CPR (and touch the baby) or follow her orders to stay away. The baby is now dead and Ruth is charged with murder. Faced with legal proceedings and a public outcry, Ruth must deal with the race issue head on.

Small Great Things is a timely story that presents events from three points of view. Ruth tells readers the story from the stand point of an African American woman that knows the difficulties experienced every day. Turk is a white supremacist who wants nothing more than to have the white race back in its dominating position. Kennedy is a white defense lawyer that truly believes that race is no longer an issue and should not have a part in this case. These three characters bring depth and insight into the pages and readers will reach the end feeling that they have understood everyone’s viewpoint, even if they don’t agree with it. This story is a monumental achievement and those who take the time to make it to the end will not be disappointed.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: Last Seen Leaving

Last Seen Leaving Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, has gone missing. Her friends at her new school have stories that don’t make sense and the police are asking questions that Flynn doesn’t feel comfortable answering. Everyone is looking to Flynn to explain her absence, but he doesn’t know anything. Can Flynn uncover the truth about what happened to January? Will he need to expose his own secret in order to prove his innocence?

Last Seen Leaving is a stand-alone mystery that will hook readers at the start and keep them turning pages throughout. Flynn is easy to sympathize with and as the mystery begins to unravel, readers will try and stay a step or two ahead of him. Roehrig has written an ending that is not easily guessed and I was quite happy with how everything finished. A good escape read for those who are tired of young adult series fiction.

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