Review: Any Boy But You

any-boy-but-you

SUMMARY

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. Hecan’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Pages: 201 Pages

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: February 6, 2017

About the Author

julie-hammerle

Julie Hammerle is the author of THE SOUND OF US (Entangled TEEN, 2016). Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

REVIEW

I really wanted to like this book. And I did. But not as much as I was hoping. The writing itself wasn’t too blame. Julie Hammerle is able to pull you in and keep you there with her talent for setting up awkward scenes. It was a cute story and for those fans of You’ve Got Mail, it may be just what you are looking for.

But I wasn’t looking to read a teen version of You’ve got Mail mixed with a dash of Gilmore Girls. I wanted original. In most romantic comedies you know who the girl is going to end up with from the very beginning. It’s a given. But you are there for the journey. You want to know how they are going to end up together. I didn’t feel I was given that. It followed an already scripted story with a few differences (ex: Minnesota instead of New York, Sports stores instead of Bookstores, etc.)

I also didn’t connect to the main character, Elena, as much as I would have liked. She was nice with everyone but Oliver, and with him she was flat out mean. Overly so. To where you are pitying him. I liked Oliver, a lot. But then I was only able to root for one of them, which kinda sucked.

So, all in all I am going to have to give it 3 out of 5 Stars.

Content (0 being none and 5 being A LOT)

Language: 4

Not a ton of language, but when there was, it was usually the F-word. It didn’t match the tone of the book.

Sexual: 1

Sexual innuendos, but nothing big.

Violence: 0

No violence

AVAILABILITY

Any Boy But You is available both digitally and in paperback. To purchase it or read more reviews, click on the image below.

Happy Reading!!!

Review: Graven Idols (Order and Chaos #2)

graven-idols

SUMMARY

Once Palmer Tash and Brier Chastain found out they were the incarnations of Order and Chaos, their lives were turned upside down. Living in a battle-scarred area, they begin to feel that their blessings are more like curses.

Reports of cults taking over the countryside begin to filter into their starving city. But Brier is slowly losing her mind, and Palmer’s abilities are becoming increasingly erratic. The pair must work together to maintain harmony, or their out-of-balance powers could destroy the world.

Length: 223 Pages

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: Sept. 7, 2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Dall

Jessica Dall finished her first novel at the age of fifteen and has been hooked on writing ever since. In the past few years, she has published two novels, The Copper Witch and The Porcelain Child, along with a number of short stories that have appeared in both magazines and anthologies. In college, Jessica interned at a publishing house, where her “writing hobby” slowly turned into a variety of writing careers. She currently works as both as an editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC. When not busy editing, writing, or teaching, Jessica enjoys crafting and piano, and spending time with her friends and family. She can most often be found at her home in Maryland with a notebook and her much-loved, sometimes-neglected husband.

REVIEW 

I was really excited to read Graven Idols because I LOVED the first book in the Order and Chaos series, Raining Embers. (Read the review HEREGraven Idols picks up the story right where it left off, so you’ll want to make sure to read the books in order. It took a little bit for my memory to catch up with me as I was reading, but Jessica Dall does a good job helping me realize where we are in the story.

Although this was certainly a fun read, I didn’t feel nearly as connected with the characters as I did in the first book. I felt they were pretty one-dimensional, vague, and left me wanting more. The plot was entertaining enough, but seemed like a lot of what already occurred in the first book was happening all over again, just a different setting. I was hoping for more originality to help develop both the characters and the story.

A moment of honest: It takes a lot for me to really enjoy a series beyond the first book. So, maybe I’m just hard to please.

That being said, I love Jessica Dall’s writing style and am giving Graven Images 4 out of 5 Stars.

CONTENT (0 being none and 5 being A LOT)

Violence: 2

Quite a bit of fighting, but most of it is fantastical and not very graphic

Language: 1

A couple curse words, but nothing big

Sexual: 2

References to sex and innuendos sprinkled throughout, but nothing graphic

AVAILABILITY

Graven Images is available both digitally and in paperback. Click on the image below to purchase it or read other reviews.

Happy Reading!!!

Review: Island of Exiles

island-of-exiles

SUMMARY

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.

On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run―a betrayal and a death sentence.

Length: 400 Pages

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: February 14, 2017

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

erica-cameron

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, asexual, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance. Riptide’s new YA imprint Triton Books will release both books in the Assassins series, Discord and Nemesis, in 2016. The Ryogan Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy set to launch through Entangled Teen, will launch in 2017 with Island of Exiles.

Visit Erica online at byericacameron.com

 

REVIEW

It is rare for me to know I am going to love a book just from the first page. This was one of those books. Erica Cameron’s writing is breathtaking and I couldn’t put Island of Exiles down.

I’ll admit there were times I got hung up by unfamiliar words, and because the setting is in a tribal-like village, there were a lot of them. Also, from what I could tell, there were three genders in the tribe, instead of two. This wasn’t explained and since Erica was using a third set of unfamiliar pronouns, it took me a bit to realize it wasn’t a type-o. And then I still stumbled over them.

To be fair, Erica provides a comprehensive glossary of all of the terms used. But it is in the back of the book and I didn’t discover this until after finishing the novel.

All that being said though, I LOVED this book. I read it before going to bed, and then as soon as I woke up. If you are worried that it is another ‘government conspiracy, the people have to fight back’ kind  of book, then let me ease your mind. It is different than anything I’ve read and you’d be crazy not to pick it up. Erica’s world-building is perfect, and she has a way of making you care about every one of the characters from the beginning.

I definitely have to give Island of Exiles 5 out of 5 Stars.

CONTENT

Language: No vulgar language

Sexual: Some passionate kissing and references to sex

Violence: Fantastical violence, nothing graphic

AVAILABILITY

Island of Exiles is available both digitally and in paperback. Pre-order now for an awesome valentine’s day gift for someone you love, or for yourself! Click on the image below for more info.

Happy Reading!!!

Review:Guardian of Secrets

I was able to be a part of the cover reveal for Library Jumpers #2, and now it is actually here!

guardian-of-secrets_updated500

SUMMARY

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

Length: 400 Pages

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Release Date: Feb 7, 2017

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brenda Drake

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 REVIEW

I have reviewed several of Brenda Drake’s novels on this site, but I have to say, this has been my favorite. I wish I had read Thief of Lies again before reading Guardian of Secrets  though, because there were many times I was trying to recall who certain characters were, or specific events that had happened. Brenda Drake did a decent job in her attempt to jog my memory throughout the novel, but I still felt lost at times.

That aside, Guardian of Secrets brought out a lot more dynamics between the characters. I felt a lot more connected to them. There were also new characters, settings and dangers that really took things to a new level.   Like in the first novel, you aren’t always sure who the good or bad guys, even at the end. I loved how she kept me guessing.

I highly recommend reading Guardian of secrets (after reading Thief of Lies, the first book in the Library Jumpers series). I am giving it 4 out of 5 Stars.

CONTENT (0 being none and 5 being A LOT)

Language: 2

There is some light language throughout

Violence: 2

Fantastical violence throughout, but nothing graphic

Sexual: 1

Innuendos but nothing major

AVAILABILITY:

Guardian of Secrets is available both digitally and in hardcover. If you pre-order today, you can get 33% off the list price, so click on the image below to snag it before the price goes up!

Happy Reading!

Review: Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure

penelope-gilbert

SUMMARY

When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she’s going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.

Target Age: 8-12

Length: 250 pages

Publisher: Clean Reads

Release Date: September 7, 2016

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.

REVIEW

This is a delightful middle grade novel that both you and your children will enjoy. It started a bit slow for me, and the fact that Penelope turns herself into a stapler is taken a little too seriously (I mean, come on, its hilarious…a stapler?)

I really started enjoying the story when Penelope finds herself ripped away from her home and is taken on a crazy adventure as she discovers who she really is, and who her friends are. I wasn’t quite as connected to the characters as I would have liked, but the story is entertaining and kept me wanting to know more. Emily Steward does an awesome job setting up the world in the clouds, and made me want to visit there myself. Pirate fights in the sky? AWESOME.

Overall, this was an entertaining read and I am giving it 4 out of 5 Stars.

AVAILABILITY

Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure is available both digitally and in paperback. You can click HERE for more info. And as always,

HAPPY READING!!!

Review: Under a Brass Moon

As you can see, I’ve been branching out lately. This is my first anthology review. Let me know if you would like to see more!

under-a-brass-moon

SUMMARY

A moon of gears and wires shines down upon a world of clockwork creations and humming airships. What adventures await the heroes in top hats and heroines in corsets?

Eighteen authors wait at the kingdom’s entrance. They smile and beckon you inside their stories.

Do you accept the offered lantern and follow?

Length: 455 Pages

Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Release Date: July 28, 2016

REVIEW

Under a Brass Moon is an interesting steampunk anthology that feels more YA than adult. This is my first anthology review, and its kind of tricky because there were a few stories that I loved, and others that I really struggled getting through. There were about 18 authors so you can imagine the variety that exists within its pages. Rather than give details about every author here in the review, I have included a link at the end of the post that you can click and learn more.

Even though there were 18 authors, there were 26 stories because some of the authors did multiple stories. A couple of my favorites were The Balloon Thief by Jessica Gunn and Henry the Taylor by Grant Eagar, but most of the stories were mediocre. I can think of one in particular that I didn’t even want to finish. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific as to what I liked and what I didn’t like in this review, but I would have to review each story separately.

I am going to have give the anthology 3 out of 5 Stars

Availability

Under a Brass Moon is available both digitally and in paperback. You can click the image below to purchase it, see other reviews, and learn more about the authors.

Happy Reading!

Review: Cursing Fate (The Fated #2)

cursing-fate

SUMMARY

There’s something strange about the Layne sisters, and Wade Diaz wants nothing to do with them. Especially the one who ripped his heart out and set it on fire before tossing it in the garbage several months ago. Iris. He can’t even think her name without unconsciously rubbing the spot in his chest where she left a gaping hole. But now her sisters are claiming some evil spirit is after his soul, and Iris is the only one who can save him. Well, at least his heart would stop hurting, right? Didn’t sound so bad.

Iris Layne has always been the sweet sister. She’s kind to everyone, including her best friend Wade… Until she makes a horrible mistake and breaks his heart. All she wants is to go back to before ‘the dumping’. Of course, Wade would rather see her in hell first. But then Iris touches her sister’s tarot cards and unleashes an evil curse intent on playing a deadly game where no one Iris loves is safe, especially Wade.

How do you convince someone they need your help when you’re the one who hurt them most?

Release Date: November 21, 2016

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Brenda Drake

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

REVIEW

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in the second book of the Fated series. This second book is from the viewpoint of Astrid’s younger sister, Iris, which I thought was great to get another perspective on the whole “cursed family” thing. But it actually made the whole thing was more confusing for me. If you haven’t read the first one, Touching Fate, you’ll definitely want to read it before jumping into this one. And even with me having read it (though I admit it was about a year ago), I still felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters introduced in the first few pages.

Iris is at a school science fair, and it seems everyone that the author wanted to introduce in the book, were at that fair. To make it more complex, Iris was in the first book, but just barely, and I never felt like I knew her very well. So I am thrown in with a main character that I don’t connect with yet, and I don’t feel like Brenda Drake ever developed her in this book like she could have–like she assumed I already felt a connection. I felt similarly with how Iris’s love interest, Wade, was portrayed as well.

It’s a cool concept, but I didn’t feel really drawn in until about 3/4 of the way through the book when things were really getting crazy. Most of it seemed like back and forth “I love her and she’s hot, but I don’t trust her” from Wade and “leave me alone crazy witch in my head, oh hi Wade, I love you, please trust me,” from Iris.

I really wanted to like the book, but I’m going to have to give it 2.5 stars.

CONTENT (0-5 with 0 being none and 5 being A LOT)

Language: 3 -Some language including several uses of the F-word

Sexual: 3-Some references to sex, and an almost-sex scene

Violence: 2-Some punches were thrown, but it was pretty mild

AVAILABILITY

Cursing Fate is available both digitally and in paperback. Click on the link below for more information.

Happy Reading!