Category Archives: Young Adult

Little Miss Somebody – Excerpt

Title: Little Miss Somebody
Author: Christy Lynn Abram
Genre: YA
Publisher: Humble Bee Publishing
Publishing date: July 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9780692386224
Purchase Link:Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Based on a true story
Fourteen-year-old Nikki is forced to leave her whole world behind when her mother makes an impulsive move to Missouri. Once in the heart of Saint Louis, her mother begins a vicious cycle of abuse and abandonment, leaving Nikki to fend for herself at her grandmother’s house, amidst her mother’s drug addicted siblings.
Humiliated, lacking resources, and feeling more than ever like a burden, Nikki decides to take matters into her own hands—when she embarks on a journey to find her father, a missing piece to the puzzle of her life. Along the way she unravels more pain and layers of family abuse, causing her to want to give up.
But she won’t give up. Not yet. Not Nikki. Not until she finds what she’s looking for. But, will Nikki find the love she desperately needs?

Little miss

Excerpt:

We walked across North Pointe Boulevard and up the street to the house. Meechie made fun of me, saying, “You almost got beat up today. What would you have done if I wasn’t on the bus?”
“They probably would’ve beat me up, but I would’ve fought as hard as I could.” I answered.
“Girl, please. Ain’t no probably about it. They would’ve beat your tail up.”
We both laughed as we approached the house. Uncle Lee was sitting on the front porch, smoking a cigarette and giving us the evil eye.
“What y’all laughing at?”
“Nothing! You’re always in somebody’s business,” said Meechie, rolling her eyes.
“You better watch your mouth, little girl, before I punch you in it!”
“Whatever! With your ole’ ugly self,” she mumbled as she opened the metal screen door.
Meechie and Uncle Lee didn’t get along. Uncle Lee was notorious for stealing everyone’s money and food. He was short, skinny and missing his two front teeth. When he was younger, everyone called him “Wheels” because he liked to roller skate. Everything changed when he got addicted to crack. Now, Uncle Lee spends his time washing cars for money and hiding in the basement until he get his next fix.I giggled under my breath and hurried to pass Uncle Lee before he started on me, but it was too late.
“What you laughing at, dirty little girl? That’s why you got ketchup on your pants.”
“So what! That’s why you don’t have any front teeth!” I said, sticking out my tongue. Meechie fell over in laughter.
“That was a good one!”
I was proud. Uncle Lee was always making fun of me. I had finally gotten payback. I wanted to say more, but he was infamous for trying to fight me and my cousins, and I’d had enough drama for one day. One time, he and Meechie got into a fight and she swung so hard her arm popped out of socket. She told me it hurt badly and she had to go to the hospital to get her shoulder bone “snapped” back in. Since then, every time she got into a fight, one or both of her arms would dislocate. It felt good to know Meechie would risk dislocating her arm to protect me. I loved Meechie. She always came through, no matter what.

AUTHOR BIO:

After enduring years of trauma and struggling with depression and PTSD, Christy Lynn Abram embarked on a journey to self-healing using holistic wellness as her guide. Now, as an Expressive Writing Coach and author, she teaches others how to love themselves healthy.
Christy is trained in eight healing modalities, including: a Reiki master, EFT practitioner, reflexologist, massage therapist, and a crystal healer, all of which aided in her discovery of how to heal herself naturally. These life-changing skills also served as the foundation to enhancing her gift as an intuitive healer. She has been recognized for her knowledge of the chakra system (by best-selling author of the Chakra Bible, Patricia Mercier), gemstone healing, and energy medicine. She also contributes to several online publications on the subject of holistic healing and offers individual coaching, e-courses, and workshops all designed to assist and encourage others on their journey toward a better, fuller life. Christy also loves to use her gift of writing to help others.
In her book Chakra Wellness: 7 Ways to Renew the Total she dives into the seven chakra centers from a mind-body-soul perspective. Readers learn how to discern key issues, heal imbalances, and maintain energetic barriers to eliminate stress and increase their overall well-being.
In her emotional novel, Little Miss Somebody, Christy wears her heart on her sleeve and delivers a poignant tale of love and sacrifice. Based on a true story, Little Miss Somebody will be released in July 2015.

d2e8e-buttonhosts

The Hybrid

Title: The Hybrid
Series: The Hybrid series #1
Author: Venus Morales
Genre: YA – Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Venus Morales
Publishing date: February 9th, 2015
ISBN: 9781508406471
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Ari is the daughter of Ares, the God of War. Half goddess and half Phoenician, she is raised by her father in secrecy until her 18th birthday, when he is forced to return to Olympus.
She chooses not follow her father, and decides to venture out into the mortal realm. There, Ari crosses paths with the archangel Julius, who bears a message from a seer. Ari must return to the Bayou to her late mother’s coven to regain her family crown, she is soon fighting for more than just the crown; she is fighting for her life, and the inner darkness that’s consuming her.
With 7 days to prepare for her trials and 7 days to fight for her life, Ari does the one thing she must do to survive; she forges herself into the weapon she was born to be.

My Review:

This book features a really strong heroine, Ari. she is the daughter of war and carry a few bloodthirsty vampire characteristics. She’s an arrogant kick-ass character. Additionally this book feature a vampire queen; Ily, so good to say this is a book that’s steaming with girlpower. Though the characters seems at times a bit too human for their eternal beings.
However girlpower aside, the book got a bit icky with me during the times when the author tried to make her characters be more human. Ily complaining about breaking nails, Hera ordering shoes from Ily, because that is obviously what the wife of Zeus and  a vampire queen spend their time doing. Though this could be a good way to bring in younger readers and make them relate to the characters. These kind of ticks made the book feel more like a teen-fiction while the other content of the book was clearly YA.
The concept of the book felt rather original, even though I enjoyed the premise more than reading the book. Some of the terminology in the book was distracting f.eks.: deamonons which was demons. Of course this is original, but it removed the story from the puseo-reality it is in to something further from or reality.
All in all it was a quick read, and the middle part was by far the best compared to the start and the ending.

AUTHOR BIO:

Who am I, you ask? I am a woman who wears many hats. A mother of 3 wonderful boys is my first and for most priority, and from there it trickles down. I’m a wife, a cook, a house cleaner and a mommy to two dogs and a lazy loveable cat. Then there’s my ulternate life.. The writer she is the kid who refuses to grow up. Stuck in a mind state of a teenager, who still has imaginary friends. The two halfs of me get along great!! As long as I let the writer out and listen to my imaginary friends tell me their story, then there’s no conflict. If I keep her caged up too long… Well… You know what they say, when you keep the beast caged up to long, it gets angry.
The life of a writer is who your born to be, not a job you just take on. It’s who I am.

City of Fae

Title: City of Fae
Author: Pippa DaCosta
Genre: Teens & YA, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publishing date: May 7th, 2015
ISBN: 9781408868720
Purchase Link: amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.
Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.

My Review:

I’m going to jump right in and say it, this book was a huge disappointment. This is a book I was really looking forward to read, the plot sounded interesting, the cover was gorgeous. But upon reading the pages, the story just fell flat.
Instead of a love triangle, we got  a love quadruple (if that’s even a thing), as if love triangles aren’t hard enough to pull off without too much jibber jabber. It is okay that a book needs drama, and romance is an important factor in YA-fiction, but enough is enough.
At several point it felt like the plot was hand-fed to me, expect you reader to be intelligent, don’t treat them as if they are stupid. The “big reveal” was revealed to the reader long before it was written in plain words.
The strongest point with this book was the plot, which by all means felt like a fresh breath in a otherwise swamped area. The plot was just executed poorly and with too much going on around it.

Pegasi & Prefects

Title:  Pegasi & Prefects
Series: Scholars and Sorcery #1)
Author: Eleanor Beresford
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: KoR Cubed
Publishing date: January 10th, 2015
ISBN: B00R7MZOJQ
Purchase Link:Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Charley’s final year at Fernleigh Manor is complicated by a runaway pegasus, unwanted Games Captainship, a dangerous new rival and, most of all, falling head over heels in love with another girl. What is a reluctant Senior Prefect to do?
A magical YA school story with a sapphic twist, the first in the Scholars and Sorcery series of lesbian YA fantasies.

My Review:

First off I don’t understand the need to label every books featuring a gay characters as a LGBT (or GLBT). We should stop alienate these kind of books if we really want equality.
The book however, felt a little like starting in the middle of a series that somehow tries to be Harry Potter just with a all-girl school. The writing style was elegant, but the story just felt too plain and simplistic. It starts off with the main character as a graduate student, and her breaking school rules. The concept of the whole world did just not agree with me, I felt like I was questioning everything. Eg. why would the school permit students to bring their Pegasuses with them, and then deny them to go to the stable and see them etc. I’m not too familiar with the boarding school concept in general, but it just felt like it went back to centuries and I did not grasp what and where this world is.
On a positive note, I did really like the cover.

The Choice

Title: The Choice
Series: The Sidhe #2
Author: Cindy Cipriano
Genre: YA, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Publishing date: June 9th, 2015
ISBN: 9781922200198
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: For Calum Ranson, seventh grade brings changes in his relationship with his parents and his friends, and a confrontation with his bully. Calum’s talents have also developed to a level unheard of in the Sidhe world, and he surprises everyone when he cleverly catches the person responsible for casting Finley out from the Otherworld.
When Calum goes against everything he knows is right, he makes a choice that may cost him his friendship with Laurel. An old friend steps in, but her mysterious ways leave Calum questioning her motivation.

My Review:

Irish mythology is much complimented in this story, and it is because of the overtone of mythology that I was interested in reading this story. This book is a second book in a series, and it did not read well as a stand alone novel, but I have decided to not let that cloud my opinion of the book.
The characters were well written and came alive on the page, they were interesting even though I knew little of their background. The themes of the story were clear: friendship and loyalty, and the story was well crafted around them.
Even though “The Choice” is the second book in a series, it did easily explain the Sidhe’s world with its rules and limitations, so it was easy to get into the story and understand the realm.
As an overall, “the choice” had a good and entertaining story, which was well written with a  fastidious attention to details, but the fantasy elements could have been stronger.

 

The Faerie Tree

Title: The Faerie Tree
Author: Jane Cable
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance
Publisher: Matador
Publishing date: April 28th, 2015
ISBN: 9781784622220
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours tragedy rips their dreams apart.
In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

My Review:

This was a book I was excited to read, mostly because the description said that the author was heavily influenced by paganism. However the element of paganism is somewhat lacking in the book, there is some of it but nowhere near as much as I was expecting when I read about it.
It is a typical “second chance” love-story, and it did not intrigue me as much as I would have liked. Though it is sweet and sad, it failed to engage my interest. In the end I just skimmed through the pages.

The Selection

Title: The Selection
Series: The Selection #1
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Teens & YA, Dystopian
Publisher: HarperCollins UK, Children’s
Publishing date: June 7th, 2012
ISBN: 9780007466726
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

My Review:

Wow, where to begin. This book was so much more than I expected it to be. I went into this book seeing a gorgeous cover and a tagline that was somewhat a  washed up crossover between Wither (By Lauren DeStefano) and The Hunger Games. When I started reading I could not put it down, and I put off reading it to the last possible moment, now I wish I started sooner.
The story of America is a gritty story of a poor girl thrown into a world of luxury. From Rags to riches. Her ability to be honest and genuine wins her Prince Maxon’s affection. Through her outspokenness and sometimes plain rudeness, there is a character who feels real. Another thing I really appreciated with this book is that the “love-triangle” is very downplayed (because I loathe love triangles).
America’s struggle is more about moving on from her first love and falling in love with Maxon. This get’s more complicated when her former love ends up being a guard at the palace. But because both the romances are built in a slow pace, the triangle become more realistic and reliable. In some way it is a futuristic Cinderella-story with a twist.
For future installments I hope the story of how the world evolved will come into view. Also the question of who the rebels are and what they want, remain unanswered, but hopefully the future books will answer these questions.
It’s years since this series was first published, and I sincerely regret not getting into these books sooner.

Reaper

Title: Reaper
Author:Kristi R. Johnson
Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Publishing date: February 12, 2015
ISBN: 9781612964775
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Ana “Reaper” Keating has moved onto the Hugo Liberal Arts College campus, forty minutes away from her hometown. Dorm life will be incredibly different from her life in the cave at the quarry. Reaper believes she will no longer be threatened by the powerful and wealthy Goldwater family that adopted her mother, Sue, when she was a child.
Then Mr. Paul’s son, Ian, enrolls at HuLAC, and Ana realizes that her days of dealing with the entitled and vengeful family are nowhere near over.

My Review:

The author’s writing style is fresh and to the point. The story is not particularly eventful, but the engaging writing keep you reading: descriptions are colorful and there is no excessive wordiness that tends to be the norm in other YA-fiction.
That aside it is also important to mention that the book does contain it’s share of action, and plot twist. And even though the “teenagers goes away to colleges” can be somewhat of a cliché, the author has her own twist.
It was very refreshing for me, personally, to read a book where I did not expect the ending.

Author interview:

Where did the inspiration from Reaper come from?
— I have often though about this and honestly, I don’t have a very clear or straightforward answer. I love superhero origin stories, and while my Reaper is not a superhero, I have long had the idea in my head of a female character being really handy with scythes that went by the nickname “Reaper.” I also like characters that live in offbeat places, such as lighthouses or caves.

And then there is my love of YA books. It is one of my favorite genres and I always lament that there aren’t enough of them set in college. I get why most of them take place in high school, but I remember how much of a mystery college was to me when I was still a junior or senior in high school and I think kids look to movies, television, and books for examples of what college will be like.

What is your favorite part of Reaper?
— My favorite part of Reaper is probably the scene where she is watching boxing with her dad, Jim. I actually took this moment from personal experience as one of my favorite memories growing up is of watching boxing with my dad. I have a lot of random knowledge about sports in general because of moments like those.

Does you favorite part of the book differ from your favorite part to write?
— Yes. I enjoyed writing the scene where Reaper and Jim are watching the boxing match, but I love world-building and had so much fun creating the Hugo Liberal Arts College (HuLAC) that Reaper attends. I loved describing the buildings, coming up with their names, everything. And I probably had even more fun with it because I took the names from one of my favorite stories, Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Which character (apart from main) did you enjoy the most?
— I easily enjoyed writing for Jim the most. Almost more so than Reaper. The man is just so ridiculously rigid and stern and generally intimidating. He is more or less both of my parents as one person, but without my dad’s sense of humor or my mom’s need to venture outside of her comfort zone once in awhile. Jim is a no nonsense person in a world that is full of it.

You wrote Reaper during NaNoWriMo 2013, how close or far from the “deadline” did you finish?
— If I remember correctly, I finished the initial 50,000 words at least a week before the end of the deadline. Then I took a rest until the new year and finished the 30,000 or so words in June of 2014.

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo after 2013?
— I did also participate in NaNoWriMo 2014 and it did result in another YA book. I just recently finished the last chapter so there is some heavy editing that needs to happen. With any luck I can find an interested publisher for this novel too.

Have you settled on a genre with Reaper? What kind of future works can we expect from you?
— I love reading YA, and it turns out that I enjoy writing it too. Of course, Reaper can also be thought of as suspense, or even mystery (sort of), but I don’t see myself doing much more than that. But I’m not all that into paranormal or romance YA either. Future novels will be more about issues that teens may face, like dealing with a difficult person who is only difficult because they are facing a hard situation, or being the only minority in a small town or other setting.

What is the best advice you would give to an aspiring writer? 
— This is going to seem frustratingly simplistic, but my best advice is to just write. To get the words out. They’re called first drafts for a reason. Just sit down and get the ideas on paper, or on the screen. It isn’t going to be perfect the first time, or even the second time, or the third. The transitions won’t be a smooth as they could be, and if you’re anything like me, there will be whole sentences that won’t even make sense. But that is what editing is for. You can be an aspiring writer all you want, but you won’t get anywhere unless you actually write something.

Excerpt:

Jim finally broke down a year ago when it looked like Sparky II was really done for and called Goldwater’s. Actually, that’s not quite true. Goldwater’s had known about Jim and I down here in the quarry for years, everyone did. It isn’t exactly a normal thing for a man to raise his daughter in a literal cave. Plus, I’ve gone to school with Ian, the youngest Goldwater, pretty much all my life. No doubt he heard about my lack of recirculated air he told his family.
Once word got around our small town of Mayer, Arizona that Jim Keating was looking for another Sparkman for his home to replace Sparky I, Goldwater’s offered to outfit the house with an indoor system for a ridiculously reasonable price, especially considering they’d have to work around the fact that it’s a cave, and not a small one, in a quarry. But Jim trusts the Goldwater family about as far as he can throw them, and held off until it looked like Sparky II was dead in the water. Naturally, because for whatever reason this is just how God likes to do things, Sparky II came back to life about a month after the central A/C was installed. Jim kept working at it, determined to use the Goldwater’s system as little as possible, if at all.
But Sparky II was down again, and had been for a month. So when I came back home after my first week at college to get the rest of my stuff, I had already gotten used to the constant air flow available to me in my dorm room, so the cave’s ability to trap high pressure air was even more oppressive than I had remembered. Knowing full well we’d have the same argument we’ve been having for the last seven years over the A/C, I turned the sucker on after Sparky II proved unresponsive and sat in front of the TV while waiting for the temperature to change.
Jim still doesn’t care at all for the Goldwaters. He still doesn’t like them, still doesn’t trust them, and I suspect is somewhat convinced that us using their A/C system will come back to bite us. He avoids them, and has instructed me to do so as well, which for me means avoiding Ian.
Which suits me fine.

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Waterfall

Title: Waterfall
Series: Teardrop #2
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Random House UK Children’s
Publishing date: May 7th, 2015
ISBN: 9780552567527
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Eureka’s tears have flooded the earth and now Atlantis is rising, along with its evil king, Atlas. Eureka is the only one who can stop him – but first she must learn how to fight.

My Review:

I was very excited about reading Waterfall. Previously I’ve read Fallen by Lauren Kate and I did really like her style of writing. All though it is clearly stated in Waterfalls description that it is a second book in a series, I took a chance on reading it. And I did find it rather confusing. It was very hard to get a set picture of the environment they were in, they were swimming in one moment, climbing in the next and so on. It could have been made cleared when, how and why the environment around them were changing. Maybe a more descriptive language would have helped the reader through the transitions of different environments. The whole experience has some sort of Wonderlandish overtones, but in order for them to enthrall the reader they should have been clearer.
The name of the main character, Eureka, is very distracting. Her name pops out on the page, not in a good way. It is a sort of extravagant word/name that’s very eye-catching and  creates an annoyance.
Another thing I didn’t care for was the love triangle, Eureka seemed to just shift between who she loved for no apparent reason at all. And as I am opposed to love triangles to begin with, I felt that this was something that could be cut as it did not give the story anything.
The story featured a lot of fantastic element, witches and prophecies among others, and they kind of flooded the story more than the water did. I wish it had been more focused on a few elements rather than bringing in so many.
It does feature quite a few quot worthy parts that are just beautiful and heart-achingly  true:

“Letting go of someone you loved wasn’t hard. There was no word for what it was, because even if you didn’t let them go they were still gone.” pp.21

In the end, what kept me reading through this book was Lauren Kate’s simplistic writing style. Her style of writing is easy to read, which again makes her books very quick reads. In the future I will keep checking out Lauren Kate’s books, but I do not think I will venture into more books in the Teardrop-series.

Kissed

Title: Kissed
Series: The Thorn Chronicles #1
Author: Kimberly Loth
Publisher: Independent (CreateSpace)
Publishing date: May 1st, 2914
ISBN: 9781505452952
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.cuk

Synopsis: Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father. Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses.

My Review:
I did have mixed expectations for this book. Whenever a book deals with cult life and takes up the theme of cults in our modern society I am always hesitant to pick up the book. The first few chapters were slow and the world was not properly established,  in a way that imposed Naomi’s confusion on to the reader. It could be a good or a bad thing, and at certain points I was tempted to put the book down.
What kept me reading was the small snippets at the beginning of each chapter. A retrospective Naomi described each following chapter through the use of roses. It was done in a very beautiful and poetic way. They indulged my interest long enough for the plot to dawn and for Naomi to grow on me so that I stuck with the book to the very end.
After reading about 25% of the book, the story starts to make sense, and the red thread is visible leading the reader to pick up the pieces of the puzzle. Sometime’s Naomi is a bit slow to piece things together, but that helps to give her a more humane quality. She makes mistakes.
Through I am not completely sold on the love triangle (personally I do not like love triangles). Her love for Kai seems to be more an overreacting to a damsel in distress scenario, while her compassion for Puck seems more sentience and is much better developed. And honestly, Puck seems to have her best interests in mind too.
Ruth was a character I appreciated, and -SPOILER ALLERT– because of her death I wish that she had a bigger significance. A well-timed death is something I always appreciate, but Ruth’s death seems a bit in vain, it didn’t have enough flare around it. SPOILER DONE.
While reading the book I tried to anticipate the end, and  I thought I had it all figured out, but then plot twist. The small twist towards the end was a pleasant surprise I appreciated very much. In retrospect it gave the whole story a kind of edge it needed. One more thing I appreciated very much; the book did not end on a cliffhanger, it could very well stand as a standalone book: well done!