A Reader's Heart

Focuses on reviews of Young Adult novels with honesty and integrity.  My ratings and reviews vary on how I feel about the book.   



Rise of the Fire Tamer - Kailin Gow

A high fantasy within a game? Ogres, trolls, zombies and not to mention a dragon. What more could you ask for?Rise of the Fire Tamer is a novel about a group of five teens who win a chance to explore a game that their favorite game creator has made. All of them make their way to castle - not knowing that their lives, particularly one life is about to change forever. Each face challenges as they try to win the game that would make them the ruler of Anachronia. But is the game really a game or is it something more? I will leave you with that, instead of continuing to regurgitate the book description.


There seemed to be five main characters in this book, however it appeared there were only possibly two, maybe three, that the story revolved around. That was Gem and Sparks and a secondary character, Roolrick.


The other three main characters felt like they were there just to make up numbers. That being said though, this is only the first book of a series so it could be that the others come into play more in those books. I really enjoyed this story, mainly because I liked how it started as realistic fiction and then went off into high fantasy. I loved the mythical creatures that came into play and how words were used as weapons. And, I also enjoyed the interactions with the dragon and Gem.


There was also a subtle conspiracy in the book that made me want to kick a character for his stupidity But, even then I couldn't hate him because I could understand his reasoning for the things he chose to do.The pace was enjoyable too. I like books that don't bored me to death and this one didn't. This one made me want to go on to read the next in the series.


The writing style of this book felt familiar to me as well. I'm sure it was in the J K Rowling style. It just had that vibe about it - especially at the beginning.I would recommend this to anyone who likes high adventure and a writing style that is somewhat different.Now for my rating:- three out of five stars.

Unfaded - Sarah Ripley

Dark, real and so heartrendingly tragic.


'Unfaded' is a story of a girl who doesn't know she's lived her life so many times before - with the same tragic results. Mia has almost everything a girl could want - a loving family, an adoring boyfriend, good friends and a life she loves. That all changes when Kian comes onto the scene and she finds out out her normal life isn't actually all that normal - just history about to repeat itself.


What I really enjoyed about this book is that Mai was a strong, forceful character. She knew how to stand up for herself and, yet, could be vulnerable all at the same time. She wasn't one to be told what to do and if she had to fight she did. I loved that this character had a somewhat normal family. She had a father, her father's girlfriend and a granny that I just plain adored. Mai was a developed character. I knew some of her hates, likes and her fears. She also had flaws - such as lying to her parents and boyfriend to do what she wanted. I must admit that some of it was to protect them from danger.


Kian seemed like such a tortured character to me. He was old, yes, but it wasn't creepy old, because when it came right down to it Mai was the same age as he was. He just didn't get killed off and then reincarnated like Mai had. I just can't imagine living my life trying to chase down someone I loved, but having no idea what they looked like, finding them, only to lose them time and time again. All because I couldn't overpower the bad guys. Oh, alright, Kian was a little stupid there. You'd have thought he would have teamed up with a few people before now in his attempt to save Mai or Apani (her real name). I think the reason he didn't was that he just didn't trust them - the only person he trusted was Micah.


And, as I said earlier, I just plain adored Granny. She was such a character even though she suffered from Alzheimer's. Even though she called Mai, Helen (after her dead daughter) there was no denying the close connection between her and Mai. I like to think that she saw more than she was letting on. She was relatable too.


There were some things she did that were so line with her condition. I wanted to hug her so terribly bad.I didn't like Connor. Well, I did, before he got turned into this idiot. I guess I can understand it though. I wouldn't have liked my boyfriend sniffing around another girl, especially when I could sense that they shared something with each other that I never could. I just wish he hadn't turned into such an unlikable character though. That disappointed me.


The writing style, particularly Mai's voice, was a favorite of mine, and the story line was different from what I've usually read. Sure, there were familiar elements in it like the supernatural, the guy that you just knew the heroine would drop everything for, and the bad guy element where they were out to kill the heroine. But, and, yes, there is a but, it was different enough that it kept me intrigued to read more.


There were flashback scenes in it of Mai's past lives that made me connect with the whole plot line. I got sucked into the whole reincarnation/unrequited love thing - even if it was only one-sided.The only things that disappointed me about this book was the length. I felt it was too long. Some of it could have been cut out or condensed down instead of being drawn out. My concentration broke away from the book several times because I kept wishing it would just hurry up already. And, also, I wished that I had seen Mai and her sister (supposedly a bad guy) Dialexia meet up. Still, that only makes me wish for a sequel.


I would recommend this to anyone who likes paranormal/fantasy books.  Now for my rating:- four out of five stars.

Heart of the Ocean - Heather B. Moore

Heartrendingly tragic and wonderfully beautiful all at the same time.


Eliza goes to Maybrook after her reputation is damaged by the man she refused to marry. While there she get's involved in a mystery of a young woman's death and the spirit that cries out for peace. Also, during that time, she meets the young woman's now grown son and it becomes the story about the struggle to find peace from turmoil and finding love with the right person before it's too late.


I've always had a thing about ghosts and history and when both were brought together in this book, I knew that I was going to end up enjoying this book. And, I was right, I did. I haven't read many books based in Puritan times, but this book made my heart bleed at the narrow-minded unfairness of it all. For a group of people who lived their lives religiously, they didn't show an ounce of kindness - at all. Poor, poor Helena and her poor son, Jon. Still, as sad as her death was, it was what started this journey into finding a killer and for two people finding love - the right kind of love - not the superficial, political version of it.


There was something amusing and frustrating about how the two main characters kept missing each other. One, who didn't want to get married to the wrong person, the other only too willing to in this weird belief that he didn't want to end up like his father. I couldn't help feeling that he continued with his actions, he would have been worse.


I loved how the conflicts were resolved in this book and how it all came out in an ending I adored. There were surprises and I had a theory at the beginning of the book which was totally on the wrong path. I was seeing conspiracies that weren't there. I love it when books can do that to me.


The characters were something special to me too. Each had their own pasts which was behind the choices they made. I felt connected to both of them, but especially Eliza. I couldn't help, but identify myself in her - some of her beliefs echoing mine. There was a good 'feel' vibe to the book which the characters helped to create. And the secondary characters only built on that too. Gus and Ruth. Both very complex secondary characters.


The only thing that I could mention that was even remotely negative was that near the very end of the book there is a description of a gravestone for Helena that was wrong. If the dates had been right, Helena would have been seven or eight when she had Jon. But considering it was a proof of the book I was given to review, it can be very easily overlooked.I would recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction and mystery.


Now for my rating:- four out of five stars.

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Trilogy Series #1)

Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers

Gritty, intense and downright awe-inspiring are only a few of the words I have to describe this book. A book that I fell in love with after reading only a few pages.


Ismae is a young woman of only seventeen. who is forced to marry a man she doesn't want by a father who reviles her. Only on her wedding night things go terribly wrong and it leads her down the path to a life only few women of medieval times can imagine. She becomes a Death maiden - a woman feared by most and held under suspicion by many others. After becoming trained, she, under the orders of convent, ventures out to kill anyone who bears the 'mark' of treason. It is only when she is at court that she finds that all is not what it seems and that the closest allies can be, in truth, a harsh enemy.


This book was simply incredible and so unusual that I was hooked from the first few pages. The story of how a young woman could become a force to be reckoned with appealed to me - especially given the era. There was just something so fascinating about a girl who was trained in poisons, weapons and even in court life. The imagery of this book was wonderful and it sucked me into a world of words that was only heightened by my sense of imagination. Not to mention that there was a realism to the book that didn't shy away from deaths. The innocent died in this book. Characters, that I didn't think would, died.


Ismae was a character who grew from strength to strength as the book continued. She began to question everything she knew even as she struggled to keep to her 'Saint's' desires. She was cast as a dark character, but I couldn't help seeing her as a lighter one. I loved how she became more knowing of what surrounded her and started believing that there was a better way or even that people deserved second chances instead of just being blindly killed.To help her with this was Duval, half-brother to Anne, the Duchess of Brittany. Duval had a loyalty to his sister that just couldn't be faulted. He also had a ways of making Ismae think even while she tried to get the better of him by following him around. He was a clever and intriguing character - one I couldn't help but love. He taunted and teased her.


And one of the things, I absolutely loved about this book was how the relationship between Ismae and Duval was taken slow and easy. It was lovely to read about them falling in love - almost against their will. There's just something about this kind of romance and gives you a warm squishy feeling, almost as if you are falling in love at the same time they are - which you are and with the characters themselves. I have to laugh at myself when I think how sappy I am over this part of the book.


Each secondary character almost seemed necessary to the book. Even the ones who are only mentioned very briefly. They all add to the mystique of this book. I don't think there is anything that I can blatantly pick out as being annoying or that grated on my nerves. I think I was too fascinated by the idea of a female assassin in medieval times.The pace of the story was enjoyable, even if at times a little slow. But because the story line and the characters held my interest the pace didn't bother me one bit.


I would recommend this book to everyone. I don't think I've ever done that before, but I will for this book, because I just loved it that much.Now for my rating:- five out of five stars.

Storm (Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental Series #1)

Storm - Brigid Kemmerer

Storm is simply magical. There is no other word that I can use that would describe how Brigid Kemmerer pulled me into her story and kept me there.


This book is about four brothers, who each deal with a different elemental power. The main character, Chris Merrick, is a water element who Becca helps save in the parking lot when he was being beaten to death. From there Becca is pulled into a world she did not ask to be in.The characters were wonderful. In a family of four brothers, Chris seemed to be his own separate person. I know that sounds weird, but his brothers, Gabriel and Nick, are twins and Michael seemed more like a father then the brother he was. I really liked how they worked as a family unit, especially the younger three.Chris was a boy who had been through a lot in his life and it just seemed to keep getting worse, even after Becca came into it, because she brought her own troubles. He was loyal, friendly and brave. He did what he could for the people he loved. At times, he was insecure and, at other times, well, just plain stupid. But, he usually had company in the form of his brothers when he was being completely stupid.


Becca was a girl who had an unearned bad reputation, who ended up saving Chris from being beaten up. She was bright kind and somewhat insecure, particularly in standing up for herself. She was brave when it came to helping people and the type who would befriend anyone. She also had family troubles, especially when her father came to town.Hunter is another character I have to mention. I know a lot of people will think otherwise, but I just didn't like him. I don't know what it was that put me off him, but it could have been the way his character was written. He always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't like his attitude towards the Merricks.


As I read on, I understood why he was like that, but it just wasn't enough to make me like him. If there was a love triangle, I fully admit to being Team Chris. At least he was there when Becca truly needed help.The story line itself was really enjoyable. But, I'm a little biased because I love elemental stories. It helped that there was never a dull moment so I didn't have any chance to get bored. The ending really did hold a hint of the unexpected, although some of it was very predictable, especially with what I found out about Becca at the end of the book.


All that aside though, everything flowed nicely and I really enjoyed Brigid's writing style. I also enjoyed that fact that this book was written in third voice, which allowed me into the heads of other characters, apart from just Becca. Sometimes, I miss that when I'm reading first-voice books.I would recommend this to anyone who like paranormal stories, especially if it involves the elements. And, if you don't mind love triangles, well, there's a touch of that in there as well.


Now for my rating.Four out of five stars,

The Pool Theory - Alexa Nazzaro

Social issues spill over in this contemporary novel about a young boy who has to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.So many questions came to mind when I was reading this book. How many times have teenagers have had unprotected sex? -raises hand- Or even adults? Let's not leave them out - even if this book is based on teenagers having unprotected sex. How many have believed in a theory that if they had sex a certain way or at a certain time it acted a birth control method? Or risked unprotected sex that could lead to a sexually-transmitted disease like HIV?


'The Pool Theory' addresses all these issues in one thought-provoking novel. Kye Preston believed in a 'Pool Theory'. Believed in it until Annie Cooper, a summer fling, turned up and announced she was pregnant and told him it was his.The strength in this story comes in the fact that it was told in the male POV and we can get to see a teenage pregnancy through the eyes of the father, not the mother. Most books deal with the girl being pregnant and the boy who made her that way is vilified, especially if he doesn't support her the way he should. Kye's story is a good reminder that both sides of the pregnancy are affected. Kye had his own life ahead of him, an almost girlfriend, and a life. In a matter of moments, he was going through pregnancy, abortion and adoption issues. The only thing he's not going through is the physical changes.


This happens all the time in real life.I really think this book was written to make people, particularly teenagers, think about their attitudes towards girls and, yes, boys who find themselves in a situation that they never pictured themselves in. In fact, this book showed slut-shaming at its worst. Why should a person be bullied, or looked down on, because they find themselves in an unfortunate position?


As I mentioned earlier, this book was thought-provoking.It's hard to talk about characters because there are too many I can talk about. They weren't straight-forward characters. Several had me second-guessing them to the point where I wasn't sure if I like them. They had a nice realism to them.Despite the subject matter, 'The Pool Theory' was a quick, almost light, read. The writing flowed well and I would say it almost had an open ending - which is great if you like them. Not so much if you don't.


It's not an entirely clean book, but since it was a book that dealt with teenage sex the scenes were quite tame.All in all, I did enjoy this book, because the story line was something I don't often read much of. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about social issues.Now for my rating:-Three out of five stars(This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for a honest review)

Body and Soul - Jamie Loeak

This book gave me a different review of human/demon interaction. It was like it took old age 'possession' and mixed it with a modern day life. In this book, Jamie Loek, makes her demons the kind that can possess people.


Kate is a teenager who moves to a small seaside town with her parents after they get a new job. On one of the first days she's there she meets Rico and Adriana and is thrown into a world where any moment she could lose her body and soul to a demon who would kill her when he gave it up.I have to admit that when I first started reading this book, I had to wonder if I was going to finish it.


The writing just seemed...awkward and didn't flow as well as I thought it should have. The story line was alright though, and I wanted to find out more about what was going to happen. I think what kept me going was that it did seem to improve as I continued on. I won't say it was the most brilliant writing I have ever seen because, if I did, I'd be lying.


The characters were okay. Kate suffered from her mother never really having anything to do with her. Added to that was the fact that her mother was in denial over her actions as well. Donovan was the best character in the book, I think, although Adriana was a close second. I thought Donovan struggled the most with what he was. What he did at the end of the book was unexpected, but it was the part I loved most about the book.Kate and Rico didn't stand out in the book for me.


There was a lot more that could have been done with those characters to make me connect more with them. Their back story could have been developed better. I only got glimpses into their past lives. I was told that Rico and the others had done terrible things, but I didn't feel like they had. I've read some books that have made me feel the character's pain and this book didn't do that.


Well, actually, I take some of that back. There was a part at the end of the book that touched me more than the whole book did. It was just sad that there wasn't that level of emotion throughout the whole book.And, I really liked the way Jamie represented Light and Darkness. It was a really unique twist on it and it gains extra points from me.Even though this book had some really good parts - the writing style, the lack of character development, and the feeling that I was being told the same thing over and over again spoiled the book for me.


I don't know who I would recommend this book to. I guess anyone who likes Angels/Demons would like to give it a shot.For the first time in a long time, I'm really torn on how to rate this. I didn't really like this book, but I am curious about whether the second book would be better. I'll have to think about whether to read it or not. For this book, though, I have to go with my honest feelings.And that is :- one out of five stars.

Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick

Told in the voice of Alex, this is a spine-chilling tale about could happen if there had been a strong magnetic pulse.


It's the story about how a world could change in just the blink of an eye - and you could lose your whole family in less than a second.Alex goes to the woods to find closure from her parents death. Dying herself, she chose to scatter her parents ashes in the place they loved. What she didn't expect was to find herself fighting for her life along with two others. Tom, a young soldier and Ellie, a young girl who hates the world and everyone in it.What I liked about this book was the characters.


This book gave me a chance to support each of the main characters. I could understand Ellie and her rebellious nature, Tom's anguish at losing his best friend and the part he played in it, and Alex's determination to do something that would honor her parents, before she died herself.I even enjoyed the secondary characters that came into the book further down the track. I really liked Chris. I'm not sure I see a love triangle coming into this or not, but if there is, I'm going to have a tough choice deciding what 'team' I'd be on. I love both Tom and Chris.


There was a sense of desperation about the book. A sadness in the way that friends and family could become flesh-eating monsters, all from the whim of fate. I couldn't even say they were actually zombies, because these flesh-eating monsters were still alive. They were cannibals. My skin crawled when I read about them. I just couldn't imagine ever doing that myself and I hope I never come across that situation.I think, on the whole, the story line was great. It was like you had the flesh-eating monsters, but there was also something going on between the characters themselves.


I won't go into the story line in detail because that really would be spoiling the enjoyment you would get from reading this book yourself.The only problem that I could see with the book was the pace. I almost gave up half-way through because the story didn't seem to be going anywhere. All I can say is, don't give up. It gets better halfway through the book when something is added to the plot line. I will definitely be going on to read the sequel because of it.I would recommend this to anyone who has a love of science fiction or dystopian novels. And if you enjoy zombie-like books - this will be right up your alley.


Now for my rating :- three out of five stars.

The Jelly Bean Crisis

The Jelly Bean Crisis - Jolene Stockman

This book was a book I had wanted to read forever - a book I entered two giveaways to win and lost out each time. I was absolutely thrilled when Jolene Stockman gave me a chance to read it.


Jolene had me hooked on her book from page one. The reason - I found it extraordinarily relatable. I was that girl who was living the life her mother wanted to me to live and had to fight for my freedom. But in Poppy's case it was her father. The whole story was about a girl's fight to live her own life, and to make choices that were right for her, instead of fulfilling her family's expectations for her. Every single person has a right to that. It was about trying to make sure that the decisions she made now would be the right ones for her in the future.


'The Jelly Bean Theory' was also something I could relate to. 'The Jelly Bean Theory' is about leaving the best stuff for last and getting through that unpleasant stuff first. But, it's more than that because what you may consider awful may be someone's idea of heaven. It's all about perception. You need to read this book to understand what I mean and I really recommend that you do. I loved the truth that was mixed up with this book and I absolutely loved that I could identify with this character.


I've had trouble being able to identify with the characters in the books I've been reading lately, but this book was just what I needed. It was like having a piece of chocolate when you're a chocoholic and you haven't had any for weeks.  Although, the idea of a 'gap month' was pretty odd, I guess it worked in this book. It gave the character a chance to experience different kind of jobs to find out if that was the direction she wanted to go in.


The jobs were interesting and varied, but I had to wonder if they would really fall into place like that in the 'real' world - and then I realized it didn't matter. Because it wasn't about the jobs - it was about what she learned from them.I also liked the touch of romance in this book. It wasn't all in your face like some books are and it wasn't insta-love either. In fact, it really wasn't a big part of the book at all, but there was a slender thread in it all the same.


I really liked Poppy. She was the type of girl who thought she had all her plans in place, and then realized she didn't and that she really had no idea what she wanted, or even if she was doing the right thing. She was a strong, yet funny, character who interacted with other people well. The secondary characters were awesome as well. You had parents who were there and who were actually in the book quite a bit. You had friends and the complications that came about when the friends were in school and Poppy wasn't. You also had other family members, including a grandmother who, along with Poppy's mother, supported everything Poppy did - even to the point of giving her son, Poppy's father, a hard time.


The characters in this book were real and that was what sold me on this book more than anything else.If there were problems in the book, I didn't notice them. I was too busy enjoying the story to pick the technical sides the book apart. Sometimes when you're really enjoying a book, you don't notice anything that bugs you about it. That's how it was for me with this book.  


Anyway, my gushing is now over and I'll now give my rating:- five out of five stars.

Sheltered - Debra Chapoton

I didn't know what to expect when I was asked to read this, but I am so glad I did. This book exceeded any preconceptions I may have had when I first read the synopsis. To be honest, I was expecting demons of the kind I had other books, but the demonic forces at play in this book reminded me of the Exorcist and Paranormal Activity.


It was haunting, chilling and quite freaky.It starts off with Ben, who uses a house with an untold past to help teens in desperate situations. Little does he realize what kind of forces are about to unleash themselves. The whole story line of this book kept me pivoted on the book all the way through. I must admit that it was the characters that held my interest the most - especially Emily, Cori, Adam and Chuck.


Each of them had serious issues - issues some people face everyday. And that's what made this book special. It's not very often that I read about characters that have their own distinct voice, but these characters do.


You have Megan, who actually seems to have a normal background until you read on and find out what made her move into the house. Then there's Ben - the boy who is quite wealthy, but not in a way where he is obnoxious. He cares and tries to take everyone into consideration until he meets Megan. What he doesn't realize is how his actions affected Emily, who was quite dependent on him. Emily, whose fragile hold on the world is wrapped around the boy who saved her from the streets - Ben.  There's a lot that not known about her, which adds to her mystery, but leads to her character not being developed as much as it could be. I really wanted to know more about her past.  


Cori, who was so angry with the whole world. She came across as hating everyone, but she had a vulnerable side as well. She was obsessive about some things - particularly her bedroom. She was the one who seemed to live in the outside world more - and had more independence than any of the others. Well, I think so.And Adam and Chuck - two characters who share a secret - one I didn't pick up on until I read more. They were unexpected and their grasp on reality was even worse than Emily's and she was bad. I'd really like to go into more about them, but for more information you need to read the book.


Imagine having that group of people sharing a house with a horrifying untold past and you can just imagine the outcome - or can you? It's the way the book unfolds that held me spellbound, and even as I write this it's like I'm rereading it and the ending all over again. An ending that makes me hope that there is a sequel.


There were only minimal things that I could mention about the book that I wasn't quite sure of. First, the characters' background. I would have loved to have known more about them. There just didn't seem to be enough of it for me. The other was the way Ben ended up with the house. It just didn't seem possible that a kid would be able to do that without someone finding out a lot sooner than they did. But, other than that there was nothing else I noticed or cared to mention.


So, now to my rating. I bet you have no doubts about what it will be.


Five out of five stars.

Talisman Of El - Alecia Stone

Fantastic, compelling and just plain outright awesome! There was just something about this book that I really loved. From the prologue onwards, Alecia Stone's 'Talisman of El' had me hooked. I think it was the pace of the story. I just didn't have the chance to get bored in the slightest.


There was something about the writing style of this book that appealed to me strongly and I really hope there is a sequel to this, because I would definitely buy it.This book felt real it dealt with the insecurities, resentments, fears and turmoils of the relationships between the characters. I think it had a touch of everything. I especially liked the relationship that developed between Charlie and Derkein. They were two of my most favorite characters.


The world-building of this novel was good too. I could see how our world worked in conjunction with the second world in this book. And, there were scenes that were totally unexpected and actually quite revealing. I never in a million years would have thought that this book would feature the kind of fantasy creature it did. I thought it was heading in a totally different direction. But, because of that unexpected element, it made me even more interested to see where this book was headed. And it definitely did not disappoint.I like books with a sense of adventure and purpose and that was something this book had.


The characters were always having something happen to them. Haha the number of times that a certain someone passed out because of something dangerous ended up being quite funny, even though it wasn't a humorous book. It's just that it happened so many times!


Overall, I loved this book. It was a quick, action-packed and fun read that had me turning the pages without wanting to put the book down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy novels.


Now for my rating:-Four out of five stars.


Adorkable - Sarra Manning

Sarra Manning's pitch makes Jeane and Michael sound like the kind of cliched characters that you don't want to read about. You're missing out on a really good book if you let that stop you. Sure, there are some things in the book that you'll think 'ugh, that's not realistic', but that's the entire charm of this book.


The book starts off by Michael approaching Jeane at a jumble sale where he plants the seeds that his girlfriend and her boyfriend are cheating on them. Jeanne thinks he's nuts. That's until she starts seeing that what Michael says may be true. There's a definite love/hate relationship between them and, I have to admit, I didn't understand her attitude. In fact, it's one of the things that annoyed me at the start. But then I started to learn more about Jeane and a lot of her attitude is something that she hides behind to stop people from seeing her vulnerability.


Jeane is the girl who is self-made. The girl who, through pure luck, founded a business based on her lifestyle. I thought it was all unrealistic until I remembered the IT gurus who became self-made millionaires at an early age. So it made me rethink that anything may be possible. The impression I got from her was that she needed something to replace what was missing in her life - her family.


Michael is a character that does have it all. I can't really think of anything going against him. He has two parents who love each other, two younger sisters who drive him nuts, but who he still cares about. Possibly the only thing that makes him uncomfortable is the pressure his mom puts on him regarding his education. Oh, and the girlfriend who cheats.


It was the secondary characters, Barney and Scarlett, crush on each other that started the romance and drama between Jeane and Michael. Barney and Scarlett are dependable characters, but each have hidden depths which come to the forefront during the book. I thought they were cute, even if a little odd.


The story is told in two voices Jeane's and Michael's. I loved reading about how each of them were feeling at the time. There's a lot of adventure in this book, a lot of denial and a lot of falling in love without knowing it. It does contain swearing and extremely mild sex scenes. But, on the whole, the plot was highly entertaining. There were times where I laughed, and other times when I could have cried. And moments when I thought my heart would break.


This book is for everyone who admits to being a dork, or who walks to the beat of a different drummer. Also for those who like happy endings, like I do, because, honestly, there's enough unhappy endings in the real world without wanting to read them in books.  


Anyway, now it's time for my rating:- four out of five stars.

Mortal Ghost - L. Lee Lowe

This book has elements of just about everything in it. It started off as realistic fiction. Girl meets boy, who somehow ends up staying with the girl's family. But added to that is that the boy, Jesse, has flashbacks about his past, and visions of a boy he has never met, while having conversations with something that could be a computer. And, if that isn't enough, he also has fire-starting and healing powers.


It is quite well-written, even with the confusion of so many genres appearing in the same book. It was also highly entertaining, mostly because you never knew what was going to happen next. I couldn't stop reading it, mainly because I kept having to decipher just what was happening.As I read on, I could understand the title of this book. In some ways, Jesse was a ghost. Someone who was there, but who wasn't who he thought he was. I really liked his vulnerability. He held a lot of guilt over his past and a belief that he was better off alone. He also had to live with the gifts he had been given - even if he considered some of them a curse. He's also trying to find out who he is. What teenager doesn't ask themselves at one time who they are? I know I did. And that's what draws me to this book - the underlying realism to it - even when it's anything, but that.


Some of the scenes written are very intense and I wonder if L. Lee Lowe wrote purely for fun or if there was some hidden meaning behind the writing. In one scene, the one with the man hanging from the tree, it felt almost spiritual to me. As if Jesse had to put something to rest before he could move on. Like letting go of his past so he could live the life he should be living and not the one he was. And, I know it may only be me reading into it, but it reminds me of Shakespeare's 'As you like it' - 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...'


In some ways that's how it feels. It's like Jesse is a puppet with someone else pulling the strings, especially with Red and the others.Sarah, another character, is what held Jesse together. She's the one who gives him hope. She goes through a similar hell to Jesse and yet at the same time different. In some ways, she's also his downfall or at least the guys she hung around with were. There are other characters I adore as well, like Sarah's dad, Finn. He gave Jesse support when he needed it and was there for him when no other male figure was.


This whole novel was complicated, gave me hope of a happy ending for the characters, and was bittersweet. I can't go to much into why it's bittersweet because it would contain spoilers. I didn't consider the book a light read, well, it was a light read at the start and evolved from there. To be honest, some of it I didn't understand at all, mainly because, as I mentioned earlier, there was more than one or two genres in it. But even so, it didn't stop me from liking it. The book is also longer than most, so it will take more time to read.I think this book is best suited to someone who prefers a challenging book, because that's how I found it.


And now, since I don't have anything more to add, here is my rating :three out of five stars.

Six Weeks to Yehidah - Melissa Studdard

When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a book about a young girl and two sheep. That's what it was about when I started reading Chapter One. I had settled down to read an entertaining story about their relationship. But the book was so much more than that. It was a story about self-discovery.


The world that Melissa Studdard introduced to me was an exciting one, even if at times it confused me. Each 'test' that Annalise had to take was one that any human being could learn, but in Annalise's case it was a journey of choosing whether to live or die. There's a sense of spirituality about this book, not anything blatantly obvious, just an idea that there is something out there after death. It's a book that I think young adults and adults can appreciate. In fact, I can think of one young friend I have in cyberspace where this book might be right up her alley.


Also, there is a sense of magic in this book that made me think that the author's imagination had gone wild and was on steroids. This book was in no way what I expected. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect, but Melissa's Six Weeks to Yedidah surpassed my expectations.Anyway, along the way she meets characters that are both funny and also wise. They helped her to learn how to find her way back to people she loves. It's really hard to describe them because they are beyond normal characters.


There's one character, Bob, who acts as her guide in the world she ends up in, and one who has special meaning to her, only she doesn't know it. I only guessed what the relationship was between towards the end of the book.Then there are the other characters like Mabel and Mimi, her sheep. The friendship they had with Annalise changed as the story went on. They sang as well. It's one of things that made me laugh. I just found it so funny and it was part of the charm of the book.


This is not a light book to read. You have to concentrate and I think each person will take something out of it that is slightly different to anyone else. It will mean different things to people. The story was also well-written, although I can't shake the feeling that there was a fair bit of info-dumping at times. Also, people may have a hard time understanding some of it. That being said though, it shouldn't stop people from reading it.


And now here's my rating:-4 out of 5 stars.

Article 5

Article 5 -

First of all, I have to say this - I absolutely loved this book.However I do have to say this because it was at the back of my mind throughout the entire reading of this book.WHERE WAS THE WORLD-BUILDING?!I had so many questions running through my head. How did the war start? What happened that was so bad that there was a war to begin with? Who decided who was in charge? And the list goes on... As much as I love a book I hate there not being a background to the world an author has created. It drives me nuts.Anyway, now that I have that mini-rant out of the way I can now go on with what I loved about this book - and that was everything else.


To summarize this book quickly, this book was about Ember and her race to save her mom from the Moral Militia, while trying to avoid them. To help her do this is her ex-boyfriend Chase Jennings. Only things don't go to plan.  As my initial statement said, I can't imagine living in the world that Ember lived in - where it was illegal have given birth to an illegitimate child or in being an illegitimate child. And this is where the lack of world-building comes in - how on earth did it get so bad that it came to this? The people of this world lived in fear - never knowing when one of them might have been arrested for not doing or believing something they should. Taken away to never be seen again.


But I loved the world Kristen Simmons created anyway. I love worlds that are fraught with tension and action and she definitely created that. I love rebellion movements, especially against something that was so unjust to begin with.Even the soldiers lived with tension. Almost all of them had been drafted, but they could also have been indicted for an Article breach or shot for going AWOL. And the reformation centers were horrible. They were designed to crush the spirit out of people.


I really like Ember as a character, as well as her voice. She was spunky and wasn't the type to give up. She stayed strong almost right throughout the book - until about the end, but she'd have to have been made of stone not to be upset. Almost everything about her was kind of intense, but not in a bad way.And I also like Chase. He risked everything for Ember - partly because of her mom, but also because of her.


The flashback scenes between Ember and him made me realize a lot about him that I wouldn't have understood if it hadn't had been there. It explained Ember and his past and why things were like they were in present day.I think anyone who likes dystopic or post-apocolyptic books will like this book. I know I did. Even with the world-building issues it had, it was an amazing book.


Now for my rating.


 Five out of five stars.


Farsighted - Emlyn Chand

To summarize, Alex is a boy who has visions about a boy named Dax. His main mission is to stop Dax from killing the girl he has fallen in love with - Simmi. To assist him with this he has his Dad, Miss Teak and her daughter, Shapri and Simmi. Emlyn Chand's, Farsighted should have been a book that kept me riveted. It had all the elements. Paranormal abilities, mystery and romance - all things that I really enjoy reading about. The trouble is, sadly, it didn't. I had trouble keeping my interest in it. Parts of it even confused me. Were there two Simmi's?


But, even though I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would, I can't say that it was a terrible book. I liked the concept of the hero having an obvious flaw - being blind. Alex tried to live his life how he wanted to live it - even if he had a bully. A bully who didn't care about his disability. I don't know how a boy thinks, but he seemed to have the traits a teenage boy would have. He sulked a bit, had a girl he crushed on who only thought of him as a friend and protective in his way. Oh, he had a normal Mom and Dad, but he had his issues with both of them. He also had some traits I didn't like. Actually, when I think about it, he was developed really well.


The other characters were okay, but I didn't connect with any of them except maybe Dax - and he was the bad guy. Emily's Dax showed levels. He was a bad guy or was he? It's one of the books where you can't let your perceptions of a character cloud your judgement. I really liked the words of advice at the start of each chapter. It gave a little glimpse into Alex's journey and what each chapter was going to be about. It was cleverly done. I love things like that.


What I didn't like was the ending. I just felt it didn't fit what was previously written. It was too much and, I laugh as I write this - considering the subject matter, not realistic enough. People couldn't expect to live a normal life after what happened. There would be questions asked and people who would see things that weren't normal - even if they weren't psychic.All in all, I think that anyone who likes paranormal books should give this book a chance. Just because it didn't make me go RAWR with excitement, doesn't mean it won't for someone else.


So now for my rating:- two out of five stars.

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