The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson (Review)

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“White Frost has only ever known the darkness. Everything outside of her closed society is The Unknown – a strange and dangerous place accessible to only a chosen few. White’s only glimpse of the world beyond comes from her beloved cousin in the form of mysterious collections of words that hint at astonishing wonders. When an accident upends her simple existence, she’s given an unlikely chance to see the truth for herself. What she finds is greater and more terrible than she could have imagined, and before long she is forced to make the most important choice of her life: does she accept her safe, limited world that she’s known or take a desperate gamble in a world not meant for her with the Boy with Words?”

My Review:

The Boy with Words wasn’t what I expected it to be. I wanted to know what the backstory behind the title was, if this was going to be some bad cheesy love story, if White was going to lead some major rebellion or not…so many questions, all of them answered.

Wilson presented our world in a new light and I love how she did it. I was gently caught off guard and pleasantly surprised with her writing ability, the characters she created, and the plot that she wove. For once, there is no huge rebellion led by a severely under-qualified cardboard cut-out heroine. For once, one teenaged girl hasn’t held all the knowledge since she was born. For once, she isn’t unbearably decisive between two love interests. Gosh, what a masterpiece this was.

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Flotilla by Daniel Haight (ARC Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Flotilla is a book for young adults and fans of Juvenile Dystopian Fiction about the world that is coming to our oceans. Jim Westfield is a messed-up kid thrown into the anarchic community his father lives on where they raise fish on the ocean when they aren’t breaking the law. This is a world filled with strange and dangerous characters that threaten Jim and his family’s lives when a terrorist attack hits Los Angeles. Now Jim must rise above his past if he wants to survive his future.

This whirlwind experience over two summers paints a vivid picture of risk and hardship. It takes a deeply moving look at the impact of sustainable technology on some hilariously dysfunctional characters.

Readers and reviewers are calling Flotilla ‘highly original, ‘intense and action packed’ and ‘for anyone who loves adventure.'”

 

My Review:

Today, everyone, history has been made. I remember mentioning my short attention span (at least I think I remember) a couple of times, and yes, it’s definitely still a piece of me. It cackles its way around while I’m trying to focus and oh look! If I enter this giveaway, I could win $10. But wait! Look! Here’s three more giveaways to enter, instead of completing your responsibilities! And that cycle has slurped up a good 5 hours (yeah…5 hours) of my day before. (And no, I haven’t won anything yet.) My friends roll their eyes when they send me a video and I groan, How long is it? Do I have to watch all of it? I suppose it’s pretty funny, considering how many hours I spend reading and working on this blog of mine. But, nonetheless, you didn’t click on this book review to hear about my attention span, so here’s why I mentioned it.

Flotilla took me about (and I used that word loosely) 4 hours or more to read. *Gasp* *Scream* *Evident shock!* I know, right? All the times I’ve complained about a book dragging itself across my eyes as I begged for it to speed up, and I spent 4 hours or more reading one book? And get this: The pace is slow.

Okay. Okay. These aren’t bad things, in case it came across that way. It was just a shocking revelation for me that I stuck with Flotilla. So, why did I stick with Flotilla?

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Valley of the Moon by Bronwyn Archer (ARC Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“There’s just one semester left at the Briar School for Girls in Sonoma, CA. But it will take more than straight As for Lana Goodwin to survive . . .

***
Senior year is not going well for 17-year-old Lana Goodwin. Her father’s vintage car business is about to crash and burn, the nicest (and cutest) teacher at school was fired under a cloud of scandal, and her hot sort-of boyfriend may or may not have something big to hide.

She’s also totally over being the class pauper. It’s bad enough her dad was briefly married to the head of the board—the rich, cruel, impeccably groomed Ramona Crawford. What’s worse is going to school with her vindictive ex-stepsister, who never misses an opportunity to make her life hell. Not ever.

It also happens to be the tenth anniversary of her mother’s suicide. No one knows why Annie Goodwin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge the day after Christmas. She didn’t leave a note. She wasn’t sick. Even Lana’s father can’t explain it. Ten years later, someone—or something—starts sending her clues about her mother’s past.

Before Lana can escape to college, she finds herself in a life-or-death race to uncover her mother’s long-buried secrets.

Can she claim her birthright before her future and her life are snatched away?

Valley of the Moon is a modern-day fairy tale with some intense themes.

A contemporary YA romantic mystery for ages 14 and up.”

My Review:

TRIGGER WARNING: Mention of rape and child abuse

 

I did not like Valley of the Moon. “But wait, Paige. You gave it 4 stars?” Yes, I did. The reason for the rating is quite simple. Even though I didn’t like it, the book still was written well.

The writing was excellent. I loved the similes Archer included like, “His face blurred, like a wet photograph smeared by a thumb…” and “The sound of her heels was like a metronome in the quiet showroom. TICK TICK TICK TICK.” Archer’s writing style is sound and keeps a steady pace. I could see the different reactions of characters and imagine the details provided as if I was watching a movie. The dialogue was great too with realistic responses that varied from character to character.

Of all the characters, I liked Lana the best. I felt that she was strong, even though life had beat her like eggs, put her in a frying pan, and then scrambled her. I didn’t agree with some of the choices she’d made, or the way she would ignore obvious issues, but she was still a good character. I can’t say I can relate to her, but I’m sure some people can.

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Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily (ARC Review)

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.”

My Review:

Well, if I hadn’t had my tear ducts removed and my heart wasn’t completely stone, I’d be balling right now. Welcome to Sortilege Falls captivated my interest and tore my emotions to shreds. Gosh, I can barely even talk about it.

I adore Grape Merriweather. I literally adore her. I love how much she eats and that even when she’s called fat, she continues to eat because that’s what she loves to do. It’s not in an unhealthy way either, she just has a great appetite. It reminded me of myself, truthfully, which I loved and could relate to. Grape is about as unique as her name is and if I ever have kids, I just might name one of my kids after her. She asked questions, stuck up for herself and her friends, and consistently handled herself so well. Grape was funny, serious, kind, inquisitive, intelligent, and an all around amazing character.

The other characters were great too. The Models, Grape’s brother (Brad), Mandy, the family members, and some oddballs that were included. I admit that I got attached to them, which made it even harder to let go of this book.

The plot? Gracious the plot had me spellbound. I definitely have some serious responsibilities that need to be done today (at the time I’m writing this review), but yet, I spent my day reading this book. No regrets, though. It was worth it. Welcome to Sortilege Falls has a bit of a thriller and mystery vibe, which I enjoyed. It was basically the foundation of the whole book, but it still didn’t overpower other things, like relationships and dialogue. I really enjoyed it and I’m trying my best to not give spoilers.

Heily can write well and man, I almost wish she couldn’t. There’s a certain feeling of helplessness I get whenever a book throws my heart around like a rag-doll and yet I can’t stop reading. Hats and beanies off to you, Heily.

There doesn’t seem to be a sequel, but I kind of wish there was. All loose ends were tied up, but Heily made the great decision of leaving there a possibility for another book. I look forward to hearing news about a possible upcoming sequel.

 

Would I Recommend Welcome to Sortilege Falls? I definitely would. Excellent writing, a sound and intriguing plot, well-constructed characters, and a pinch of humor, what’s not to love? It just came out yesterday on the 31st so you don’t have to wait to grab your copy. Plus, there’s currently a giveaway where the prize is a free copy of Welcome to Sortilege Falls! You can enter here.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Alice in No-Mans-Land by James Knapp (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

When her escape pod falls to earth, crashing in Ypsilanti Bloc, privileged seventeen-year-old Alice Walshe is dashed from the wonderland of wealth and prosperity into a ruined, walled city overrun with militias, gangs, and even cannibals. On top of this horror, her younger brother’s escape pod is missing.

Alice isn’t naïve – she’s always known blocs like Ypsilanti exist, left behind after a foodborne illness ravished the country decades earlier and left pockets of severe urban decay in its wake. Men like her father – a major player at Cerulean Holdings – renew the devastated blocs and bring stability back into the areas. But, Ypsilanti is even worse than the tales she’s heard, and rumor has it the bloc is faced with the threat of extermination by Cerulean, not renewal.

Trapped within Ypsilanti’s borders and left for dead, Alice teams up with a pair of teen scavengers who tracked the wreck of her pod. Despite their rough exterior and vulgar speech, they’re her only option for navigating the hostile and violent environment of Ypsilanti, finding her brother, and getting out of No-Man’s-Land alive..”

My Review:

Trigger Warning: Rape Mention

 

Alright, let’s be honest. I was wary. Alice in No-Mans-Lands? I had assumed it would be something like Alice in Wonderland and I was ready to roll my eyes as I read. So, thank you, Knapp, for proving my incredibly wrong.

I’m going to jump straight into it. Knapp played my emotions like a violinist plays a violin. I was sad, annoyed, angry, intrigued, surprised, and the entire book had me reeling with feelings. Hats and beanies off to you, Knapp.

Alice Walshe, oldest child and only daughter of Yuric Walshe, is stuck in no-mans land. And for once, the main female character’s mission isn’t to ‘save her people.” Instead, she is shoved into a world that was never her own, a world that she doesn’t understand and never thought she needed to, and must fend for herself.

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Among Wolves by R.A. Hakok (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“It has been ten years since the Last Day, and the Juvies huddle inside the mountain, waiting for the world to thaw. But outside the storms still rage, and supplies are running low. Kane says they are the Chosen Ones, but sixteen-year-old Gabriel isn’t so sure.
Then while out scavenging Gabriel finds a bloodstained map. The blood’s not a problem, nor are the frozen remains of the person it once belonged to; there’s far worse to be found in any Walmart or Piggly Wiggly you care to wander into. Except this one he recognizes. It shouldn’t be here. Now all Gabriel can think of is how he’s going to get back to Eden and let Kane know what he’s found.
But Gabriel’s troubles are only just beginning. For things are not as they seem in Eden, and soon he will face a much larger problem: how to get Mags and the other Juvies out.”

My Review:

I don’t think I ever want to read Among Wolves again. Confused?

I know, I know. I gave Among Wolves a 5/5 star rating, so you would assume that that means I would recommend it (and you would assume right). So why, Paige, would you recommend a book to your followers if you wouldn’t ever read it again?

Because it was just that amazing and terrifying.

I was honestly expecting Among Wolves to be a bad cliche book. The synopsis tipped me off with the key phrase “Last Day.” What cliche Young Adult novel in the apocalypse genre doesn’t have something along the lines of “Last Day” to mark the final day everything was fine with the world? So, my expectations were rather low and although low expectations are easier to exceed, Hakok did not take any easy routes to impress me.

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The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Review)

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Kindle Price: $9.68

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

In this deliciously creepy novel by the author of the critically acclaimed Cuckoo Song, the fruit of a magical tree uncovers dangerous truths.

It was not enough. All knowledge- any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.

Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot supress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter…

My Review:

I neither condone nor enjoy dabbling in lying. I take honesty very seriously. But is it okay to lie when you are searching for the truth?

Say hello to Faith Sunderly, a young woman, around 15, who must answer that questions. She is stuck in a time where women are believed to not have the mental capacity to be clever. A time when Faith is mistakenly taught that it is wrong, unGodly even, for her to be interested in science and things that were deemed only appropriate for men. And yet, Faith is incredibly interested and I loved her completely and entirely. It didn’t take long for her to cease being a character and become a real person with emotional reactions. I was constantly impressed with how clever Faith was and her amazing intuition, often I was a step behind her as hints and clues were being revealed. After she finds the Lie Tree, she begins to contribute to develop into a character with depth that I have only rarely seen. Faith is a remarkable character and I am thoroughly pleased with her.

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Mercy’s Prince by Katy Huth Jones (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“As second son of the King of Levathia, seventeen-year-old Valerian desires the quiet life of a scholarly monk. But when he fails to save his older brother in battle, Valerian must instead become crown prince. While a traitorous knight schemes against him, Valerian meets Mercy, a pacifist Healer with whom he can speak mind-to-mind like the great dragons. Their bond emboldens Valerian to seek out the legendary dragons and ask for their help against the monsters who killed his brother. Can Valerian survive the traitor’s assassins long enough to find the dragons? And if he does, can he convince them to lay aside their hatred of humans and help him save the land from destruction?”

My Review:

I’m honestly impressed with Mercy’s Prince. The title is beautiful and unlike other titles I’ve seen and the plot, characters, and writing were just as wonderful.

Ever tried to cut a pie for people who are insistent on everyone having the same sized slice? It’s pretty difficult. But Jones perfectly managed to slice this “book pie” in equal parts for character development, romance, and adventure. There was still one thing that made me feel a bit sick, but as you can see, Mercy’s Prince still received a perfect rating.

Mercy was a valiant and a young woman worthy of the title heroine, despite being the youngest I [believe I] have read about (she’s fourteen). In every situation, she is thinking ahead and thinking critically. No matter the circumstances, even if she was grieving, Mercy picked up her burdens and persevered until things got better. She constantly used the knowledge she had gained from her elders and just by living as she did and used it to her advantage. I especially admired that Mercy neither gave up her pacifist ways nor broke her oath. She had many opportunities to do so and given everything she had gone through, she could have dropped it and blamed it on others. But I admired her all the more for honoring her promise and doing her best to continue to live as usual. I don’t recall very much development, but considering Mercy’s natural personality, I didn’t find it ‘gripeable.’

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Defects by Sarah Noffke (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities.
Em is a Defect—one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead—but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.”

My Review:

What an amazing ride. I have read countless paranormal books filled with people that have super powers or special abilities of some sort. But this one as truly impressed me.

Em Fuller is an amazing young woman. She endures constant verbal and sometimes physical about from her entire family save her younger sister and her ‘tutu.’ Yet, she manages to stay a lovely, but rebellious woman that always asks questions and never accepts the truth from liars. After being brainwashed for seventeen years of her life, she finally finds the truth and makes choices recklessly, but also carefully. You would think that that wouldn’t be possible, but it is with Em. There are many things that she doesn’t know about herself that she is exposed to later on and it makes this read that much more interesting. Unlike normal books, the plot doesn’t start with Em hating the government. It starts with her compliant to it, respecting it, and then realizing otherwise. I loved that. I already knew the government was corrupt, it always is in Dystopian novels, but it was still incredibly engaging to find out why. Em also doesn’t look in a mirror and describe herself, an easy way for authors to give details about the character, instead, she focuses on true matters at hand. (Because really, main characters already know what they look like, why would they randomly describe themselves?) Em remains focused, curious, and determined throughout the entire plot, never giving up, always thinking, and always planning. She was an incredibly lovable character.

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For Ever by C.J. Valle (Review)

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“For Ever starts now

A faded memory, something I saw behind Ever Casey’s eyes, begins to claw its way to the surface, and fuzzy impressions from my second day at Springview High School make the skin on my arms crawl. My limbs grow cold with fear. Whatever I saw in his mind was indistinct, but unmistakably sinister.
It hadn’t been nothing behind Ever Casey’s eyes. It had been something evil. Something he didn’t want me to see.
***
Sixteen-year-old Wren Sullivan doesn’t want to know what other people are thinking about her—because most of the time it sucks. Too bad since that’s what happens every time she looks into someone’s eyes.
When she moves to Portland, Oregon, after her parents’ divorce, she finally encounters someone whose thoughts are off limits. Looking into Ever Casey’s eyes, she finds … nothing. Or is there something he doesn’t want her to see there that will put her and anyone near her in danger?”

My Review:

When I saw the title and the cover of For Ever, I was scared that I would end up reading the book and finding out that it would be a disappointing story of two teens promising each other forever. I am so thankful that I was wrong.

Even though Wren is the main character, I need to talk about Ever first. Ever Casey is a mysterious male character written in the proper way. Valle omitted the stereotypical scenes of the male love interest treating the main female character with deplorable manners. Instead of the usual Young Adult genre plot that consists of the male yelling, “STAY AWAY FROM ME. DON’T YOU GET IT? I’M BAD FOR YOU. I WILL HURT YOU.” (which is actually terrifying and I have to say, I would stay away) until he just “can’t stay away anymore” because he “loves” her, and all is suddenly forgiven, Valle has Ever chooses an effectively mysterious path: He ignores her. I refuse to give away too much information, but Ever is a wonderful male main character. I could appreciate him in how he treats Wren, the way he treats the people that are associated with her, his (normal) levels of protection over certain people, and so on. His vast knowledge of the world and life and humanity, yet his almost innocent curiosity with Wren is, dare I say it, sexy. It may be too far to say that Ever is one of my favorite male main characters, but it is quite possible.

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