Friday, September 16, 2016

The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker byKat Spears Book Review

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Luke Grayson’s life might as well be over when he’s sent to live with his Baptist pastor father in rural Tennessee after getting kicked out of his DC private school. His soulless stepmother is none too pleased to have him, and Luke’s bad boy status has done him no favors with his new principal or the local police chief. He’s also an easy target for Grant Parker, the local golden boy with a violent streak, who has the community of Ashland under his thumb and Luke directly in his crosshairs.
But things go topsy-turvy when, after a freak accident, Luke replaces Grant at the top of the social pyramid. This fish out of water has suddenly gone from social outcast to hero in a matter of twenty-four hours. For the students who have lived in fear of Grant all their lives, this is a welcome change. But Luke’s newfound fame comes with a price. Nobody knows the truth about what really happened to Grant Parker except for Luke, and the longer he keeps living the lie, the more like Grant he becomes.
REVIEW
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
*A special thanks to the author and the publisher for this review copy*

The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker--is typical Spears contemporary. Solid characters, with real-life issues. 
In, The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker, we meet . He's forced to live with his father, after a series of events--the mother can no longer handle. She decides that it's best for to live with his father during senior year. doesn't think it's a good idea obviously--and comes to the small town with a negative opinion. He can do without his  preacher dad, and cookie-cutter step mother riding his back. And Grant Parker, hometown hero, and all-around bully--he could do without him too.

The only good thing about this small town is Penny--resident beauty, and Grant Parker's girlfriend.

Things are going pretty crappily, until a freak accident makes things worse for Luke. His once quiet miserable life--gets really interesting, in a put him on a pedestal--small town kind of way. 

What I really liked about this book, and Kat Spear's others books is her flawed characters--they tend to be as normal as can be. None of the guys are otherworldly beautiful--and even the girls that are, aren't perfect. Spears makes it a point to keep her characters as true to life as possible. That always makes her books easy to relate to, and this is no exception. 

It was a nice reading experience for me to watch the characters go through life--in the normal way that an everyday person might.

Despite that, I have to say there was a lack of connection for me with the main character--I think it's because I had no emotional experiences to connect to--but again, that could just be me. Luke wasn't a very emotional guy--at least not until the very end. 

What I also liked was the relationships that Luke had--they were a reflection of his person. You get to see the different sides, and the struggles of his personality. You get to see Luke grow--always good to see in these kinds of contemporaries. 

It was also nice to have a little bit of the religious aspect. It in no way is a major part of this story--but I liked seeing the two sides of it, and how by the end--Luke might have just switched positions.

All in all, I was pleased with this read--it wasn't my favorite of Spears'--I don't think anything can take the place of Sway--(Yes, I'm still talking about Sway in my third review for Kat Spears' novels) but, this was worth reading--as are all of her books. 

I think readers will be pleased with the characters--how real they are, and the turn of events. A worthwhile contemporary read. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Three Truths And A Lie by Brent Hartinger Book Review

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Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really,really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never,will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeves.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.
 

REVIEW
THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS
* A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*
This review can also be found on Young Adult Book Central  HERE

Warning:Slight sexual content.

One of the better YA mysteries/thrillers I've read. I'm still not entirely sure I'm sold on the ending (I retract that statement--you'll see why), but the story itself definitely had me going.

What I liked: The pacing and the suspense of this story was dead on. It drew me in from page one. I was flipping through the pages furiously trying to figure out what was going to happen next. I was feeling very Sherlock-ish--except not smart enough to figure it out as fast. But, it didn't stop me from coming up with different scenarios, and what-if's.

The mystery: I honestly didn't know who was up to what, it was all very, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer.' Even as the story went on, I was pretty clueless despite my suspicions. (I wasn't right by the way.)

With a plethora of YA mysteries that kind of fall flat, this one wins in the most important categories--readability, suspense, untrustworthy characters (these kinds of characters help a mystery succeed in my book.), a mystery that can't be solved in the first half of the book--and finally being able to keep me on my toes. 

What I disliked:What I can say I didn't really care for is my lack of connection to the characters--I cared more about what happened to them, then I cared about what happened to them--if that makes any sense. It wasn't so much the characters but the circumstances. There was a lack of connect to the audience. I think it's because we don't get much back story. I'm not entirely sure it's necessary in a mystery but it might have given me something, or rather someone to root for.

Conclusion: Definitely one of the better YA mysteries--a nice addition to a mystery lover's library.

Strong points: Solid-ending, keeps you guessing and on your feet. Good suspense and mystery

Weak points: Romance is a little weak, and the characters could have been more interesting.

Still worth picking up!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Call by Peadar O'Guilin Book Review

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3 minutes and 4 seconds.
The length of time every teenager is 'Called', from the moment they vanish to the moment they reappear.
9 out of 10 children return dead.
Even the survivors are changed.
The nation must survive.
Nessa, Megan and Anto are at a training school - to give them some chance to fight back. Their enemy is brutal and unforgiving. But Nessa is determined to come back alive. Determined to prove that her polio-twisted legs won't get her killed.
But her enemies don't just live in the Grey Land. There are people closer to home who will go to any length to see her, and the nation, fail...
 

REVIEW
Three Out of Five Stars
*A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*
This review can also be found on Young Adults Books Central here!

This is one of the more stranger books I've read, but it was unique in every way. Think Miss Peregrine's Home for Pecuilar Children meets anything Tim Burton can come up with--in a weird dystopian world. Got that? Okay good. :)

The Call is not for the tame or the faint-hearted. At times it got quite gruesome, and quite often stepped outside of reality.

In The Call, there are several POV's--for the most part the transition between POV's were seamless--but at times, it wasn't causing me to stumble in my reading a bit.  

But, this was a unique book with a unique premise and even more unique characters.

In fact it is the "uniqueness" of this novel that is its strong suit. It's definitely unlike anything I've ever read, and I think those of you who enjoy all things strange will revel in this book--and it's other worldliness. 

It's absolutely otherworldly.

To be honest, my thoughts are a little jumbled on this one. On the one hand, this was interesting, and unique book. On the other, I am completely weirded out and couldn't explain this book if I tried.

It's one of those books you have to read to understand--but be warned it's a scary place to be. 

If I had to say, I'd say it's worth reading if you really enjoy horror, and don't mind a little blood. Pretty perfect for the upcoming holiday--Halloween, of course. *insert evil laugh here.*

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sisters of Blood and Spirit (The Sisters of Blood and Spirit, #1) by Kady Cross

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Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living. 


Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn’t exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she’s not ready to join her sister in the afterlife. 


Now the guy who saved Lark’s life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

REVIEW
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
Okay so, here we go, I'm going to attempt to write a review...

Sisters of Blood and Spirit. I can't really recall what originally attracted me to this one. I think it was something about the cover, regardless of that small detail--I picked it up.

Now knowing the story features a ghost, might have deterred me--there's something about ghost stories that I don't typically gravitate towards. I don't have any real reason, it's just a strange fact. 


Anyway back to the story, Lark's twin sister, Wren, is dead born. She never made it to this side of the plane. But, she manages to still be able to cling to the living, spending most of her time here on earth in spectral form.

Lark on the other hand wanted to die at one point, feeling an odd sense of belonging to the dead--I think it has a lot to do with never feeling like she belongs. Plus, in the "afterlife," she'd have her sister.

So, one day she tries to kill herself, and fails--thwarted by Mace--who finds her with the help of her sister, and medium Kevin. But now Mace--and his friends need Lark's help. They're being stalked by a dead serial-killer--who's decided even in death he'll kill.

It's like an episode of Scooby Doo. 

The story itself was pretty fun. The ghost catching, and the romance--but it would have been better suited for a younger YA reader. I definitely think this is story I would have enjoyed more, as a newer YA reader. When I was just testing the waters. Now as a seasoned YA reader, I would probably pass on these kinds of books.

Why: Romance:  Sweet but better suited for younger readers.
The story: Fun but predictable. I mean we all thought Scooby Doo was fun but, we knew what would happen at the end.
The ghosts: Not all that scary, but amusing.

Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad story just pretty middle of the road.

The characters themselves were pretty cookie cutter--aside from the twins. They were pretty bad a** in their own right. They had a good sense of humor, and I liked their closeness. 

All in all it was a decent book, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. But if you like ghosts, and might be interested in reading another series. I'd give this one a try. Just keep in mind, it's probably not gonna blow you away, but you'll probably have a good time with it.




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West Book Review

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What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?


While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?


REVIEW
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS
* A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*
This review can also be found on YOUNG ADULT BOOK CENTRAL
PS I Like You--thank you for saving me, saving my blog--because I was beginning to fear I'd never be back. 

This book was cute with a capital cute--and that's saying something, because I did not like On The Fence. I thought I would read, On The Fence, and be done with Ms. West. Because I was not impressed. I didn't hate the book but I thought she might be one of those authors that wouldn't live up to the hype.

She surely shut my mouth with this one. I really enjoyed this, let's get into why:

WHAT I LIKED: The characters, they weren't very, like, out there or anything but they felt very real,and very true to real life. Everything about them seemed like something, or someone I can actually see, and feel. They felt real. So, A plus. 

The letters: I was a total sucker for the letters, the secrecy--the whole secret admirer vibe. It made me swoon, and I was just as excited to see who the other person was, as Lily was.

Isabel: She was never catty, or overly pushy. She wasn't the standard best friend that seem to jump into the pages of some of these novels. She was supportive, even when she might not have wanted to be. She was a true friend, and I can get with that.

Her family: Aww man, they were so dysfunctional--but they were stars of the show. Her brothers--were so, brotherly. Her Mom and Dad were funny. I kind of wish there was more of them in the story.

Discovering who the letters were from: This was the cutest part of the book, the reveal. I don't want to get into it because it feels spoiler-y but it was the cutest of cuteness. I really liked how it all concluded.

I don't have any dislikes or qualms, I was happy--and it finally got me to write a review so win-win.

A nice addition to any YA contemporary lovers shelf.