Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 104)

Book Review – Broken Skies (Broken Skies #1) by Theresa Kay

In anticipation for the final book in this trilogy releasing 10/26th, I re-read the first two books. They were just as amazing the second time around and strongly held on to their 5 Star Ratings! So check out my review for Broken Skies below. Ohhhh and make sure to grab it on Amazon, it’s FREE right now! Next week I’ll be posting my reviews for Fractures Suns and Shattered Stars. Enjoy!

Book Review – Broken Skies (Broken Skies #1) by Theresa KayBroken Skies (Broken Skies #1)
by Theresa Kay
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Plagued by nightmares and panic attacks, seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell wants nothing more than a life of seclusion with only her twin brother for company. So when he's kidnapped by Earth's reclusive alien settlers, the E'rikon, she'll do anything to get him back--even form an alliance with a teenage E'rikon boy left behind by the same ship that took her brother.

Jax agrees to act as a guide, and in return, the alien agrees to sneak her past the human-proof barrier surrounding the E'rikon city. Too bad it's not that simple. Jax soon finds that she's drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales on his back--and he's equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn't know the alien's true motives, and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.

With the aliens and the humans at odds, the connection forming between the two teens has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets in motion a chain of events that threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.

Review:

Broken Skies gripped me to the core and was truly outstanding.  The story continually built and became more intricate, causing me to become obsessed with this book.  It’s all I can think about.  Seriously.  The pages were scattered with hardships and butterfly inducing moments that were breathtaking.  I never wanted this book to end.

“It’s going to be okay,” he says.
But I know it’s not.  I don’t know if anything is ever going to be okay again.

After the war left 10% of the population alive, the aliens, known as the E’rikon, arrived to share Earth.  They kept to themselves, until a group of them kidnapped Jax’s brother, Jace.  In the commotion, a teenage E’rikon was left behind with no way to navigate home.  In a desperate attempt to get her brother back, Jax agrees to help navigate Lir to his city in exchange for getting inside to find her brother.  What started out as a simple journey, escalated into something that kept me on the edge of my seat!

The fingers of one hand curl into claws, perfect for ripping and tearing.  I won’t go quietly.  Icy fear has no place in my body now.  Instead, I’m filled with fire, burning me from the inside out and just waiting to be released.

I already knew I loved Jax the first few pages into Broken Skies.  She was resourceful, savvy and I loved that she was the one responsible for taking care of them for their journey.  Whenever she opened her mouth and fumbled over some words or would start blabbering, she made me laugh, smile and truly care for her.  But at the same point, she is somewhat broken.  She has hardships from her past that she struggles with, and I desperately wanted her to overcome them.

“You are everything I was taught humans were not.”

Lir was charming, sarcastic and I fell head over heals in love with him.  He was gentle, sweet, sincere, sexy and smart.  I honestly could not get enough of him!  And of course I still felt that way about him, even after he kept secrets from Jax.  Although, they were wonderful secrets that added so much depth.  Ohhhhh, Lir was everything I love in a male character.

Lir stands and reaches a hand out to me.  I eye it for a moment before accepting it and allowing him to pull me to my feet.  Trust has to start somewhere, I guess.

Jax and Lir were unforgettable characters.  And when they were together, their relationship was sweet, slow and natural.  Nothing was rushed.  Nothing was forced.  It was so much fun to watch them evolve.  Sigh, I am still on a book high.  This book was so much fun and I’m dying until I can read the second book. But until then, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  You must discover this world, characters and story!  I look forward to reading the rest of Theresa Kay’s books, because her storytelling has enraptured me!  

***ARC was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iTunes (click on title) & Book Depository (click on book #)
Broken Skies theresa kay
Broken Skies #1
Reviews:

Jen
fractured suns theresa kay
Fractured Suns #2
Reviews:

Jen

Shattered Stars #3

 

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW:  The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

I see why people call Holly Black ‘Queen of the Faeries’. Hoooly wow. What a delightfully dark, twisty novel.

If you know anything about me, I’m all about the court politics & intrigue, villains & anti-heroes, and schemes within plots within schemes. This book had my name written ALL over it.

Okay so here’s the basic rundown without giving away too much. Jude and Taryn are twins. Vivi is their older sister. It turns out, Vivi’s real father, Madoc, is fae. When the girls are young, he comes for Vivi, kills their parents, and sees Jude and Taryn as his responsibilities since their mother was his… ex. To put it lightly. He whisks them away to Faerie to be raised alongside his family. Having grown up with Madoc as the only father they knew, Taryn and Jude have come to love him like a father, while Vivi promises to always hate him for what he did.

Being the general’s daughters, Jude and her sisters are raised alongside the High King’s sons and daughters. Each sibling has their own group of friends, spies, etc.

Enter Cardan.

Cardan is the youngest prince, and on the surface, the cruelest. Anyone who gets in his way, annoys him, or disrespect him, ends up paying dearly. Jude hates him with a passion, to say the least. He has that whole ‘school bully’ syndrome and is impossibly arrogant (all the makings of a delicious prince, amirite?)

Jude just wants to belong. Unlike her sister, she loves the land of Faerie. She wants to belong. Her dream is to become a knight. She wants a position of power that will earn her freedom and respect. But after being bullied and harassed by Cardan and his lackeys, Jude is fed up.

“My good intentions evaporate on the wind. My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins. I do not have much power, but here is what I have – I can force his hand. Cardan might want to hurt me, but I can make him want to hurt me worse.”

So we have a bit of a prank war, but a life-threatening one. Jude stops trying to control her temper, and she starts fighting back. She gets in a few good swings at Cardan, which royally pisses him off in the most delightful way. It catches the attention of the rest of the royal family, including Prince Dain. He meets Jude in secret and offers her a position of power if she spies for him. Dain is the chosen son, the one that will inherit the crown via his father’s favor.

So Jude accepts his offer and becomes part of his ‘Court of Shadows’.

Political games insue. Jude gets in over her head. (Or does she?)

I don’t want to say more than that, but that’s the general idea of the opening. Only, it becomes so much more. Jude discovers secrets within secrets about the court, and with the coronation coming up, things get especially intense. Not to mention, her twin sister says she has a secret lover but she refuses to reveal his identity.

When shit hits the fan, oh man, it gets SO good. The ending was phenomenal, and the sequel is set up to be AMAZING and I dont know how I’m going to wait… *screams into the void*

That. Epilogue.

Help.

Bah, ok. Anyway… Jude is a fantastic main character. She’s cunning, witty, and so supremely dark. Perhaps darker than Cardan himself at times. She’s complex (so is everyone else) and relatable and easily has one of the strongest voices I’ve come across in a YA novel. I loved how complicated things get with her sisters and Madoc’s family, and how buried some of the secrets are. Oh man. What a cool (and awful) family dynamic. I also looooved how vivid the royal family is. Of course, Cardan is my favorite, because I am utterly helpless when it comes to characters like him. Is there ever something between him and Jude, you ask? I admit nothing, but if you could pass me your fan…

Ugh, and the world. Holly Black’s writing is lush in every way imaginable, and she excels in bringing such a fantastical world to life. None of it felt made up. She doesn’t shy away from anything dark, either. This isn’t a pretty fairie land, folks. Here be monsters.

BOOK REVIEW – The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

BOOK REVIEW – The Distance Between Us by Kasie WestThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Money can't buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom's porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he's tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she's smart enough to know his interest won't last. Because if there's one thing she's learned from her mother's warnings, it's that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander's loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn't a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she'd ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

Review:

The Distance Between Us was such a cute story, yet I struggled with quite a few things.  So here are some of my thoughts……..

An adorable story-line –

He laughs a little. “You live above a porcelain-doll store; your best friend lives in a cemetery. You’ve pretty much grown up surrounded by creepy things. Is there anything you’re afraid of?”
You.

Carmen and Xander both wanted to figure out what they were going to be when they’re older, since they’re both slated to take over their family’s businesses.  They created these career days that I loved.  And those moments always led to scenes where my emotions were the strongest.  But even before that I loved watching their tentative friendship form.  It was such a cute story, and it was so easy to devour.

A girl I wasn’t the hugest fan of –

Before him, I thought I knew if a guy was flirting with me. But he says things so subtly, so smoothly, that it’s hard to tell if it’s purposeful or if he’s just playing along with my jokes.

So confession time, I’m awful at getting sarcastic humor at times.  My whole family laughed at me, during our weekly Sunday dinner last weekend, because I didn’t catch my Aunt being sarcastic.  Multiple times in her texts.  So my sporadic ineptitude towards sarcasm may have played a huge role in why I never clicked or connected with Caymen.  You see, Caymen’s like the queen of sarcasm and dry humor all rolled into one person.  I tried again and again to connect and get her humor, yet I continually failed at it. It was so frustrating.

A boy that I was obsessed about –

He lowers the visor in front of me and flips open the mirror. “You still have paint on your face.” He runs a finger down my cheek, tracing the paint line. My breath catches for a moment when his finger seems to linger a second longer than necessary.

Xander MADE this book for me.  He was thoughtful, caring, and compassionate towards Caymen.  He was also persistent, charming and I loved how he initiated the friendship between the two of them.  And that he kept coming around and helped the friendship grow.  He was such a good guy, and it was impossible to not fall hard for him.

Lack of communication –

I didn’t want my mom to have bad feelings toward him. Somehow the guy had managed to climb out of the box full of people I had already labeled off-limits with a permanent marker and he’d become different. And now, much to my irritation, I feel some form of loyalty to Xander Spence.
I had to change this immediately.

So the two main conflicts in this book stemmed from lack of communication.  And it wasn’t like the people involved in the lack of communication weren’t around one another countless times.  They didn’t have missed opportunities to ask questions.  It was just never done, and the questions were never asked.  Unfortunately that can be a book pet peeve of mine depending upon how it’s handled, and I struggled with how both of the situations were handled.

A HFN that didn’t sit well with me –

This is the second book I’ve read by this author where that last page didn’t leave me feeling all smiley and happy.  Sometimes I struggle with HFN (Happily For Nows) because there’s still so much up in the air.  And in this case there were still sooooo many things that needed to be worked out, figured out or I just wanted to know what happened.  I wish there were a few more chapters explaining what happened so that way some of the outstanding issues would be resolved.

So now I’m left wondering if maybe this author and I aren’t that great of a fit after all?  Oh my gosh, I just don’t know.  I loved On the Fence, but The Fill-In Boyfriend had one of those HFN endings where I needed more.  I still have PS I Like You sitting on my shelf and Pivot Point sitting in my Kindle, so I guess I’ll find out if this author truly isn’t a good fit for me after reading those two books.  Here’s hoping if you pick this up you’ll enjoy it much more than I did!

BOOK REVIEW – Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman

BOOK REVIEW – Ninja Girl by Cookie O’GormanNinja Girl by Cookie O'Gorman
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass--literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow's never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she's not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.

One stolen kiss…

Ash Stryker's senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he's stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad's received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won't let her get away again.

One interesting job proposition…

After a seemingly random attack, Ash's mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash's personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow's kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash's family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?

Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:

Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.

Review:

Ninja Girl was the most adorable story ever.  Seriously, I can’t get over how cute it was!  I picked this book up because I fell madly in love with Adorkable, this author’s first release.  And now I’ve fallen just as hard for her second release, Ninja Girl.  So if you adore ya romance that makes you smile, laugh and leaves you feeling oh so happy, then I highly recommend Ninja Girl!  And Adorkable too, if you haven’t read that one yet.

“Alright, alright,” I shrugged. “You caught me. I’m here for you.”
“Me?” she said in surprise. God, she was cute when she was confused. “Why?”
I couldn’t resist. Leaning in close, my gaze locked on her, I plucked the eyelash from her cheek and blew it off my finger, loving the way her eyes widened. “I just wanted to see you, ninja girl. That so hard to believe?”

Now you have to know, I had already fallen for Ash Stryker in Adorkable.  So I was over the moon happy to hear that he was going to get his own book!  But things have changed since Adorkable ended.  Ash had to move to a new school.  And this one didn’t have a soccer team, soccer’s his passion in life fyi.  As if that wasn’t enough, his father had been receiving threats to get him to drop out of the Senate race.  So security guards had been hired to protect them.  And down the road, Snow would be one of them.

Turning, I said, “Listen, I’m sorry, okay? What happened at the movies was a mistake.”
“So, you’re saying you accidentally jumped into my lap and your lips just fell onto mine? Sounds like the best mistake ever.”

Snow-Swoon Lee met Ash for the first time at the movie theater, when he was with two of his security guards.  The other girls at the theater were making fun of her for being clueless about boys.  Snow knew she was inexperienced, but she wanted to show them she wasn’t as clueless as they thought she was.  So Snow literally dropped in, stole a kiss from Ash, and escaped from his security guards.  It was so fierce and brave, I loved it!  Her confidence over what she could physically do was amazing and made me so proud of her.  It was so easy to like Snow right away.

He looked up suddenly. “I think it’s a great idea.”
“You do?” I asked. “Good Lord, why?”
In answer, he simply shook his head. “Anything that involves you guarding my body can’t be all bad now, can it?”

From that one interaction, leads to more.  And after an attack, Snow got hired to guard and protect Ash at school.  And thanks to getting to alternate between the two of them, we got to hear how much Ash was interested in Snow.  He was determined to kiss her again, but with Snow taking her job seriously it wasn’t going to be easy.   So I kept wondering how Ash was going to get Snow to cave.

“You know, you’re kind of arrogant,” I said.
“And you’re kind of beautiful.” Ash smiled and nodded to the bar while I tried to recover. Who said things like that?

Thankfully Ash was beyond cocky and confident.  He knew exactly what he wanted, and that was Snow.  And Ash wasn’t afraid to let it be known.  So his attempts at even just talking with Snow had me cracking up while also sighing at the same time.  Ash was seductive while also being hilarious without even trying. And I quickly got caught up in his spell!  Granted he made mistakes at times, but I loved that he wasn’t perfect.  It made me love him and his faults that much more.

Min sighed. “Snow-Soon Lee, I love you and your violent ways. You’re the best friend a girl could ask for.”
I hadn’t known how much I needed to hear those words until she said them. “Love you, too, Min.”

Besides Snow and Ash there were so many other wonderful things in the pages.  Such as previous characters, since we got to see Sally and Becks *jumps up and down*.  Also I adored the side characters.  Snow’s best friends Min-Hee and Bae Bae had so much depth.  And if that wasn’t enough, I was shocked to find that I had sweaty palms during some moments.  Wheeeeee that was fun!

Ash Stryker was dangerous, I decided. The small jolts in my stomach could easily turn into a wildfire. I’d have to lock down my shields if I didn’t want to get burned.

So yes I definitely recommend Ninja Girl, plus Adorkable if you haven’t read that yet!  Or if you’ve read Adorkable and loved Ash then there’s a good chance that you’ll fall madly in love with this book too!  Cookie O’Gorman has officially gone onto my favorite authors list, and I can’t wait to read all of her future releases!

P.S. I’m going to throw out a huge random guess that the next book is about Sadie.  Fingers crossed.

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

BOOK REVIEW: The Midnight Dance by Nikki KatzThe Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When the music stops, the dance begins.

Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

I’m… not quite sure how to feel. On one hand, the writing was absolutely lovely, but I think the story was a bit of a miss for me personally, though that might be due to personal preferences! But let me say this first- this would make an incredible film! Can someone please make this into a movie? Thanksssss.

Penny is one of many dancers held up in the Master’s estate. At the beginning, she starts to realize her memories are off kilter and something is very wrong. Despite being drawn to the (very handsome) Master (the owner of the estate), Penny discovers he’s doing something to manipulate all the girls. (Sounds cool right?)

I was super into the first few chapters. The plot takes no time to dive you in deep, and I was totally into the whole Master concept. So much in fact, that I think it set my hopes too high for the end. I was expecting some majorly cool plot twists and while there were a few small ones, nothing really caught me off guard. So that’s probably my fault-my expectation levels with the whole mystery thing were sky high, so I was sad when there were no big surprises. I DID like the few small ones though. I also felt like there were quite a few loop holes, but it could be that I missed some important details.

The concept was strong, but the characterization fell a bit flat for me. The focus was much more on the present circumstances and mystery vs the character’s pasts or personalities, so I had a difficult time connecting to anyone, especially at the beginning. I get it, everything was supposed to be a mystery, but since the mystery aspect didn’t have many surprises, I just had a hard time with it.

The Master totally had ‘Darkling’ vibes, and I LOVED that bit, but he kinda disappointed me in the end. It was cool that we saw bits of his story in the past but it didn’t feel like strong enough motivation for him to become who he was. I’m SUPER particular about my villains though, so I doubt anyone else will feel the same.

Now I know that all sounds a bit negative, but trust me, those are all personal opinions that I doubt others will share. This book had MANY redeeming qualities. For instance, the setting was SO COOL and the writing (which I mentioned earlier) was absolutely lovely. While the mystery aspect was a bit of a let down for me personally, the story was still really cool and I really enjoyed several bits. I would definitely read another book by Nikki because she’s an extremely talented author.

So all in all, If you’re in the mood for a mystery/semi-thriller with hints of romance, check out this book!

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