Review | Spooky Love

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Synopsis:

After Margot Green helps move her older sister into the University of Miami dorms, she just wants to go home to New Jersey where she can wallow in her loneliness. Unfortunately for Margot, her parents decide to extend their trip to the Florida Keys where they sign up for a kooky tour of historic Key West. Margot is horrified to have to traipse around hotter-than-Hades Old Town with her embarrassing parents until she meets Sam, an enigmatic local, who convinces her to embark on a spooky adventure that will inevitably lead to discovery and heartache.

ONE NIGHT IS ALL YOU NEED is a 5,000-word YA short story that will appeal to both romance and mystery fans. ”

My Review:

This is a short story so my review is going to be pretty short too. This book was actually really weird. I knew it was a short story, but I didn’t expect it to end as abruptly as it did. I’m still not really sure what I read.

There wasn’t really anything that “spoopy” (spooky) and I was able to see the “plot twist” a mile away. There wasn’t really that much heartache, romance, or mystery either.

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Review | When Robots and Humans Collide

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Kindle Price: Unavailable*

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Akaela doesn’t know what fear is. She was built this way. But in a world where survival is no longer of the fittest, being fearless can become a deadly curse.

Proud and steeped in tradition, Akaela’s people, the Mayake, are dying. While they carry implanted nanobots and sophisticated chips to compensate for their crippled and diseased bodies, these enhancements come at a price. Aging technology and a lack of resources make the Mayakes vulnerable to their enemies and on the brink of extinction. As the elders cling blindly to the past, the only hope Akaela and her 16-year-old brother Athel have to save their own people is to challenge the system or die trying.”

My Review:

You know, this wasn’t so bad. Although, it doesn’t really end.

The synopsis drew me in after a friend suggested the book to me and I liked the cover too. It’s fascinating to think of people who are also partly cyborgs, with upgrades and nanobots for an immune system and so on.

I won’t say I’m disappointed by the book, because that isn’t true. Even so, I’m not quite thrilled.

The characters will realistic based on the world that the book is set in. I think there were at least two plot pushing characters but they didn’t really annoy me. I can’t say I really cared about the characters though. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t form a solid reader-character relationship.

The plot was pretty good, but the ending frustrated me. It wasn’t then normal young adult ending that you would expect, but instead a “the ending is the beginning” kind of thing. There were some plot twists that I definitely wasn’t expecting, so those were great surprises. Giorgi writing is good and I don’t have any complaints.

Would I Recommend Akaela? I don’t NOT recommend it. I don’t have any real issues with it, I think this just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Official Rating: 3/5

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

*This book is currently unavailable in stores.

Review | Princesses, Elves, and Humans

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Synopsis:

“Coal has lived most of his life in the fey realm with his elven best friend, but when a human child he promised to protect unintentionally breaks a law in front of the fey elite, he will have to choose between betraying his best friend or saving the child’s life.”

My Review:

The first couple of pages drew me in, and then after a few chapters, it lost me. It’s like riding a rollercoaster for the second time after two years and at first it’s “WHOO! Oh yeah!!” Then you’re like “oh, I remember these turns. This isn’t as fun as the first time.” The only difference is that I’ve ridden variations of this rollercoaster many many times.

Since only Coal is mentioned in the synopsis, I can’t talk about any of the characters. I loved Coal though. I would love to be his best friend. Coal was a gentle, kind, honest, and hardworking character to the point that he wasn’t a character, but a person. I truly appreciated him and I hope in the later books he gets the recognition he deserves.

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Review | White Lips, Pale Face

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Kindle Price: $3.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“I broke the surface and gulped in air, running my hands over my face to push the water away. A raindrop splattered on my cheek. He did not rise. Seven more raindrops in quick succession splattered against my skin. And still, he did not rise. The heavens opened and rain fell like a sheet, blanketing me, cutting me off from the rest of the world.

I thought it was the end of everything.

But I was wrong.

Brothers, Ruben and Judah Mitchell, used to be close, but that was before they met Cara Armistead. Once she moved in next door, the brothers grew further and further apart until the tension between them led to an event which left one dead and the other branded by the aftermath.

One year later, after the death of her baby brother destroyed her family, Lennon Donnelly has moved back to her home town of Puruwai. While visiting the cemetery she finds a boy sitting on a gravestone, a boy with secrets in his past, but someone who finally sees her. Accused by the town as a killer, he reaches out to Lennon, but as their relationship deepens, the events of the year before present themselves in a way no one could have imagined.

In this compelling ya romantic mystery, Forever Blue tells of the intertwining relationships of Lennon, Ruben, Judah and Cara. Spanning over two years, Abby Wilder creates a story of intrigue and suspicion that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

This story contains mild use of strong language and references to underage drinking and smoking.”

My Review:

What…did I just read? I truly have no clue as to what I just read. What??

There’s weird. And then there’s upside-down-turn-around-backwards-sideways-and-insane weird. Forever Blue was the latter.

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Review | In Which a Dragon Isn’t Enough

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Kindle Price: $6.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“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…”

My Review:

Ugh. I’m on a 3-star rating streak that I really do not want to be on. What I wouldn’t give to find a couple of 5 star books…or even 4 stars. Anything.

I wanted so badly to be impressed by this book. The synopsis looked great, the cover was great too, but I just felt that the writing let me down.

I don’t really have much to say about the characters. I didn’t really connect with any of them. It might be because Amáne is fifteen and I’m eighteen, going on nineteen, but I just couldn’t relate to anything she struggled with. I also felt that she lacked character development. Amáne has an anger issue and that was clear, so I thought that maybe Trimble was going to have her develop a better temper, but instead her anger issue just goes away. One minute she’s a raging ball of anger and needs to learn how to control herself, next she’s just in control. What gives? Go through the stages like the rest of us, Amáne!

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Review: Nika: A Seychatka Novella by D.H. Gibbs

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis

“Taken off the streets Nika is thrown into an unknown world where she’s held captive. As an orphan, she has been on the run and must find her way out before they discover her secret. But these people held the knowledge of her family and who she is. Will she be able to find out before her secret is revealed?

After hundreds of years, Demyan has finally found the rightful ruler of his race. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know who she is and is doing everything in her power to escape him. Time is running out and Demyan has to convince Nika to take her rightful place otherwise the battle will be lost and his race extinguished.”

My Review:

Hm. This book had many things I didn’t like, many things I didn’t mind, and a few things I liked. Will this review follow that order? Eh. Debateable.

I know that this is a novella, but in my opinion it needed more. It felt like Gibbs tried really hard for this novella to end on a cliffhanger, that so much of what I needed to read in order to want to continue was missing. Once I reached the cliffhanger, there was no silent screaming (which I often do when I want more), instead it was: Oh? That’s it? Alright, fine then.

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Review: Water Bearer by Wendi Christner

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Cassidy unintentionally set the fire that destroyed her family. Now that she has graduated high school, she spends one last summer with her best friend before she leaves the tiny farming community she grew up in. But this summer will change both their lives forever.

The endearing characters and bittersweet, moving story of everlasting love and forgiveness linger long beyond the final page. Written by the author of Writer’s Digest Short-Short Story winner “Throwing Stones.”

My Review:

I actually liked Water Bearer. I didn’t know who the author was, I barely read the synopsis (the second time around), and I kind of just dived in without checking to see how deep the water was. But, I only mildly bumped my head, which is a lot better than it could have been!

I need a word that’s in between like and love. Actually, I need this kind of setup: Hate < New Word(1) < Like < New Word(2) < Love < New Word(3). I need these words!! I’m feeling New Word #1 for the characters in this story.

On one hand, Cassidy and her best friend, Jared, have a very intimate relationship. I don’t mean XXX rated intimacy, but intimacy that goes deeper than hormones can go. Specifically speaking on their friendship, I liked to read about it because of how they are friends. They argue, they tease each other, they’re both comfortable with being who they are around each other, before anything else, Christner showed me their relationship as close friends.

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The Dream Protocol by Adara Flynn Quick

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Goodreads Synopsis:

“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.”

My Review:

Truthfully, I am not impressed. Also truthfully, I am not disappointed. It’s like waiting for a pie to finish baking and it smells really amazing and you take it out of the oven and you cut a slice and the crust is crisp. Then you bite into it, and you think Hm. Smells better than it tastes, but it’s still pretty good.

The concept is truly spectacular, let me be clear. A society where being old is the equivalent of being ruined and therefore, at thirty-five, you are cast away into Tìr na nÓg, what I can only assume is Heaven. Quick had a great synopsis, which is why I read the book in the first place, and I don’t have any “harsh” complaints. The reason for my rating is because I wasn’t as engrossed as I [wish I] could have been.

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Into the Dark by Brian Spangler

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

When Emily heard the first scream, she became concerned.
When she heard a second scream, she grew scared.
When she heard the third scream, she was struck with terror.
But it was what Emily could not hear that frightened her the most.

Emily wakes to find that her world has plummeted into darkness–the clouds have spilled out of the sky and taken the sun.
And there is more to the mist than just the dangers of being blind–the fog is poison, killing everything in its path. Their home is no match for the caustic fog, and her family is suddenly running for their lives.
But when she learns that the machines built to save the world could be the cause of the accident, Emily turns to her father–the original architect–with the hope that they can stop the environmental catastrophe. ”

My Review:

Meh. I don’t know how I feel about Into the Dark. This is book 3 of my #MakeMeRead It Readathon (even though it’s only supposed to be for a week). I made very few notes because it was just that kind of book. I can already feel in my reader bones that this review is going to be short, but let’s get started.

Emily Stark is our main character, our female protagonist. Now, notice that I did not say heroine, because truly, there is no “hero(ine)” in this book. I kind of liked Emily, but I wasn’t rooting for her either. I appreciated that Spangler made sure that survival was the first thing on her mind. When she sees the love interest, she questions if she’s allowed to feel infatuation, if it’s wrong given the circumstances. I liked that, because that’s realistic. I feel as if I don’t really know Emily. Sure, we’re in the middle of an apocalypse, so she wouldn’t be thinking about things that don’t really matter anymore, so it’s understandable. Even still, though she isn’t a cardboard character, I don’t really know her.

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Diamond Bonds by Jeff Kish (ARC Review)

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Era cares only of surpassing his father’s infamy as a master thief – until he stumbles onto a kidnapped girl and promises to return her home.

Dreaming of a quick and easy reward, Era and his thieving partner Jem set off to return the girl to her wealthy father. However, when bounty hunters and elemental mercenaries attack to recapture the girl, her claims of ignorance begin to ring hollow. When the girl’s own elemental talents are revealed, Era begins to question what else she may be hiding.

As Era fights off foe after foe with his untrained earth shaping skills, the temptation to simply collect the reward on her head sparks an inner conflict between his moral foundation and the future he has always wanted.”

My Review:

When Kish emailed me, he (politely) asked me if I would read his book and I calmly replied to his email in the most professional manner I could. Then I texted my friend in all capital letters (in an entirely unprofessional manner) my fears of what would I do if I didn’t like his book. You see, it’s way easier to hate a book when the author is rude. But it’s way harder to hate a book, when the author, this time being Kish, is respectful and polite. It’s always so very refreshing to talk to an author who doesn’t respond with a rather unappreciative tone. Nonetheless, my feelings cannot get in the way of an honest review, which is why I am most relieved to say that I did enjoy Kish’s book, Diamond Bonds.


I’m bound to honesty (how bad was that pun?) so I have to say that Diamond Bonds didn’t really have my interest until 85% or so into the book. That was, in my opinion, when the action truly started, along with a plot twist that quietly surprised me. I say quietly because I didn’t gasp, but was no less surprised.

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