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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Release Date: April 24th 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Such a great story. From the characters to the different tribes, this world of war, family, loyalty, and adventure had me invested from beginning to end. 

I must start out by saying Eelyn is quite a strong young woman, and her strength was depicted not only when it came to fighting next to her father and other men in her village, but it's also her willpower and sheer determination to survive in the enemy's camp and make it home. Yes, she could be rash at times and put herself and others at risk, but Eelyn was true to her heart and would make that leap without hesitation, something not many could do. I actually liked how fearless she was, some may find her impulsive but in those situations, her reaction was understandable. And although she went through hell at the beginning of being captured, it was interesting how she eased up toward Fiske's family and their way of life. Eelyn is definitely a warrior to the core, but she also showed a softer, vulnerable side to Fiske's little brother and in time towards him and his family. But honestly, if she remained pissed at her brother for the entire story, I'd be okay with that too. In spite of the fact that she also felt guilty about what happened to him and how he ended up with the Riki people.

The relationship between Eelyn and Fiske was a growing one, and there was a lot of tension to break through before their defenses started to fizzle away. But I loved that. The story moved at a steady pace and there was never a lagging moment, but with those two, it slowed down a bit, as if to give them time to allow their true emotions to come forth. And I liked the choices they made at the end because with both being from opposite clans that have warred for centuries, I was concerned with how things would turn out and if they'd give their hearts this freedom to love no matter what. 

There's not much else I could say without giving too much away, other than the fact that it was interesting seeing how a mutual enemy could finally unite two warring clans and potentially put an end to a belief, which was crazy to think that people would fight based on something like that anyway. I mean, the fact that they had children learning how to kill and sending them out to war at the age of twelve was truly scary. I doubt I could survive in such a situation. But although I hate wars and people fighting for power or just because they happen to come from different villages, I must say I do like that women are treated equally and are trained and placed at the forefront to fight alongside the men. And this story proves that women can be just as tough and heroic, and not only love and hold the family down. So kudos to Adrienne for delivering such a fantastic and well-written story and I look forward to her next work. 

Adrienne  YoungAbout the Author
Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger

Series: Follow Me Back #2
Release date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow. 

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

A.V. GeigerAbout the Author
A.V. Geiger writes contemporary young adult fiction. Her debut novel, FOLLOW ME BACK, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in 2017. 
A.V. is a popular author on Wattpad, where her original fiction has frequently ranked #1 in the Mystery/Thriller genre. Her writing career began as a hobby, posting celebrity fanfiction online, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with fan culture and social media. 

She lives with her family in New Jersey.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Review: Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis

Release date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

*Publisher provided ebook via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really loved this story! Tiffany Sly Lives Here is full of humor, sad and relatable moments, a complex family situation, and interesting neighbors one might call crazy but I found it all refreshingly different. A wonderful novel from a great storyteller. 

Tiffany has recently lost her mother to cancer and is preparing to leave her grandmother, best friend, and all that is familiar and safe behind to move in with a father she knows nothing about. But before leaving Chicago, another man comes forward claiming to be her real father. Fearing she might end up in an episode of Maury with paternity test drama, Tiffany keeps this to herself and still leaves her hometown, which I understand because that's a lot to deal with on top of her mother's death. To Tiffany's surprise, her rich father has a wife and four other children. No one prepared her for that, and she was certainly not expecting Anthony Stone to be so religious and controlling. His character had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head constantly. And every time he'd say something inconsiderate or just utterly off, I'd get frustrated with his wife and wish for Tiffany to tell him about her other father. 

It was easy to hope one man was her real father, just for being so polar opposite to the other and being so much nicer and open. But even while Tiffany was having a hard time, she had a gut feeling who her real father was. 

Aside from the two father drama of the story, I did like her younger siblings, even London. No matter how stuck-up she was. Her attitude was kind of understandable, being that she was the eldest for a while and here comes this other older daughter changing things up in her life. London's character was a story in itself and admittedly, I laughed when she ended up in that dilemma because of how she presented herself to the outside world. 

There were other interesting aspects of the story that took us away from the family drama now and then. For instance, I liked the moments where Tiffany made an effort with her stepmother and was willing to help with her youngest sister. It always brought a smile to my face and I wished Anthony would make as much of an effort. And the Stones' neighbors and their son were such lovable people. Tiffany's connection with Marcus was a delight, accepting him in spite of his difference and how everyone else treated him. Marcus has a warm and polite nature. It was so sad learning about his problem, but I loved that he lived without fear and celebrated every moment with his family. More power to him and his mothers.

I don't want to give too much away. I'll just conclude by saying this story will have you laughing, clenching your fists in anger, and tearing up. And you go through these emotions from start to finish. It's one of those books you don't want to pass on. I highly recommend reading this one! 


About the Author

Dana L. Davis
Dana L. Davis is a writer of novels for teens, and also a successful Hollywood actress with previous series regular roles as: Carmen Phillips on TNT’s Franklin and Bash, head Cheerleader Chastity Church on 10 Things I Hate About You; modern day mimic Monica Dawson on NBC’s cult series Heroes; and Felica Jones on ABC’s The Nine. In addition to her work on screen, Dana has become a motivational speaker for teens. Her stirring assemblies empower and encourage youth, gifting them the tools and steps to value their inner beauty. Davis was raised in the Midwest and currently resides in Los Angeles with her 5-year-old daughter.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Review: Future Lost by Elizabeth Briggs

Series: Future Shock #3
Release date: April 3rd 2018
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
It’s been a year since Elena and Adam were first recruited by Aether Corporation and six months since they destroyed the accelerator, finally putting an end to Project Chronos and their involvement with Aether. Now they’re trying to move on with their lives. Elena’s in college and Adam is working on making genicote, his cure for cancer, safe for the public.

But genicote has become a dangerous fixation for Adam. He’ll do anything to figure it out, and when he goes missing, Elena realizes that he’s done the unthinkable: he went to Aether for help with the cure. To Elena’s horror, she discovers that Aether has created a new accelerator. Adam betrayed her trust and has traveled into the future to find the fix for his cure, but he didn’t come back when he was supposed to. Desperate to find him, Elena decides to risk future shock and time travels once more.

This future is nothing like they’ve seen before. Someone has weaponized Adam’s cure and created a dangerous pandemic, leading to the destruction of civilization. If Elena can’t find Adam and stop this, everyone is at risk. And someone will do anything to keep her from succeeding.

*Publisher approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Future Lost had my emotions all over the place. I was switching between excitement and frustration. One minute I'm annoyed with Adam for still keeping secrets from Elena and acting foolishly when he's not even good at taking care of himself or helping anyone else for that matter. The next minute I'm upset with Elena for always being so tough and throwing blame around. It's also the third book and she's still struggling to trust others. Then again, Adam never made it easy for her. Whatever the case, this has been a thrill ride for me, this time-traveling trilogy, and while I did enjoy it, I'm happy that it has come to an end for the characters sake. They can finally move on from Vincent and everything to do with Aether and can find some speck of normalcy. 

That being said, I must say I do love where Elizabeth went with this book. Developing a darker future with a pandemic the travelers hadn't experienced before, and unraveling their somewhat peaceful lives in the present. It was evident things were going to start falling apart in the current time from the moment Adam did what he did at the beginning of the story. There was just too much information going back to Vincent and Aether, so it was a matter of time before someone decided to go ahead and abuse those futuristic developments without waiting that many years to do it. 

As for the identity of the person who hopped a ride back to the present and added to the chaos, I had guessed it right away, but that aspect of the story was still interesting in itself because Elena and Adam were kept busy in between trying to figure out how to prevent the horrible events of the future and keeping themselves and their friends safe. Although, it was easy to blame Adam for causing all that tragedy with the way he'd been obsessing over developing genicote. Perhaps if he'd taken his time instead of rushing the process, a lot of things wouldn't have transpired. But then again, if they hadn't taken that first trip in book one, maybe everything that happened afterward could have been avoided. Still, towards the end of the story, I understood Adam's intentions and looked at things from his perspective. He wholeheartedly wanted to help people and rid the world of this horrible disease. It wasn't his fault that evil people took something meant to heal and turned it into something so devastating. 

Overall, a great ending to this exciting trilogy. Once again, the writing is fluid with no lagging, keeping you interested from start to finish. I couldn't wait to see how things would work out and if all the travelers would be saved. And while their relationship had its complications, I still rooted for the love between Elena and Adam and I'm satisfied with how the author left things. If you haven't started this trilogy I recommend picking it up, especially if you're into Sci-Fi and time travel. You won't be disappointed.

Elizabeth BriggsAbout the Author
Elizabeth Briggs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Future Shock trilogy and the Chasing The Dream series. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Release date: March 20th 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The Hate U Give meets All American Boys in this striking and heartbreaking debut novel, commenting on current race relations in America. 

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Tyler Johnson Was Here is a stunning account of police brutality in modern America.

*Publisher approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My only issue with the book is that it wasn't longer and that some scenes felt too quick. Aside from that, this story is so real and depicts exactly what is happening in this country. The number of Marvins in the news and those not mentioned at all are frighteningly high. There's absolutely nothing fiction about it. So from start to finish, every scene of racial discrimination, in school and within the community, was undeniably accurate and can be related to. And even more painful is that my review comes at a time when another defenseless black man is brutally murdered by police. I mean, shot several times in his back. Why is this happening? When will black lives truly start to matter and not be seen as less than?

My heart broke while reading Tyler Johnson Was Here, experiencing the heartache of a mother whose son was taken away, and a brother wanting to stand up for his twin and doing something to get more people to open their eyes to the injustices faced by black people daily. 

I highly recommend giving this one a read and do not compare it to The Hate U Give the way the blurb and others have. This is Jay Coles story. There is substance in the writing. The characters exist and they live outside of the pages. 

Jay ColesAbout the Author
Jay Coles is a MG and YA author. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with two dogs nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde. Also, Jay is a teacher, blogger, composer/musician and a proud member of ASCAP!


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