My Rating: 2 Stars
Select isn’t the type of novel that I usually go for, and as a result, I got mix feelings about it.
The novel tells the story of Julia Jaynes, a teenage girl that is banished by her family to a public high school for putting her family reputation on the line. Gifted with unusual abilities, Julia struggles to adapt in a world where she needs to find herself, what she truly wants and what she’s willing to do to get it. When she meets John Ford, once a tennis prodigy, she starts seeing the world outside the boundaries set by her social status and her over-protected life.
For me, this was an easy read: easy to follow, no need to think, just go with the flow. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with the story. The story-line is reasonably developed and the setting is a bit too cliche for my taste. I felt like it’s a bit too much teenage and family drama at some point and even though I understand that Julia had a sheltered life, some of her actions and reactions were a bit too much for me. Her wish for a strong male figure just made me feel like she is unable to deal with things herself and that didn’t set very well with me.
I would have liked to see a deeper description of emotions and connection between characters. I didn’t feel excitement or the need to keep reading the story even though I finished it. I like to feel like the story is unpredictable, and with this novel it was easy to see where it would end up.
The novel centres around the situations most teenagers go through: learning that life isn’t easy, that things change quickly and sometimes the people we get close to aren’t meant to stay in our lives forever.
I think the author still needs to polish her writing style a bit but the talent is there. I’m curious to read the next novel and see if there is an evolution.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Charlesbridge Teen. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Addictive, new and unforgettable. This novel is just as promising as its mysterious cover and I couldn’t put it down.
Grisham is Watcher, he turns into a gargoyle to get ride of fiends. When his uncle requests his help in Hidden Creek, Gris slowly begins to realise that there is more to the town than meets the eye. Piper is the exemplary teenage girl: perfect grades, popular with the boys and she is more than ready to leave Hidden Creek to go to the university. Haunted by nightmares and dealing with OCD, her life doesn’t get any easier, especially after the brutal murder of her dog Jester. Piper joins forces with Gris and together they try to solve the unexplained events that haunt the small town. From murder of animals to disappearances and grave robberies, nothing and no one are what they seem.
I got completely addicted to this book: the characters, the setting, the reality and the build-up of the mystery. The whole idea of gargoyles and fiends is brilliant and it was refreshing to read something a bit different when it comes to the YA genre. I also really enjoyed the mentioning of more sensitive topics like OCD and self-harm; it’s a way of showing the reality and the obstacles people with these issues have to go through every day. And the best part? It’s done brilliantly. This novel mixes romance with mystery and supernatural in a unique way and it was impossible not to be pulled into the story and its characters.
I really enjoyed the setting of the story: Hidden Creek. Right from the beginning, the atmosphere around it, I could feel that there was something more about this town and it definitely set the mood for the rest of the novel.
The characters are very well-developed and they are unique in their own way. It’s impossible not to like them and to truly feel for them. I completely connected with them. It’s impossible not to like Piper: she is perfectly imperfect and that’s refreshing. She struggles with accepting herself but at the same time she’s beautiful, incredibly stubborn, honest and spontaneous. Reading about her burst of happiness and excitement, made me feel excited for her. Her knowledge on people and her gift to detect lies is brilliant to read as well as her connection with Gris. I think they perfectly balance each other out. Gris is an amazing male protagonist: even though he is a gargoyle, he feels deeply and struggles to accept what he is, something he has in common with Piper.. He is head-strong, very loyal and always whiling to help. I absolutely loved the chemistry he has with Piper, they are perfect for one another.
Overall, a great read that I recommend to all the fans of supernatural YA. This is definitely a book that I get my hands on as soon as it comes out!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Entangled Teen, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
A great, gripping and refreshing debut! I would definitely jump into this world if I could!
The novel takes place in a steampunk world where genies grant wishes in exchange of a person's time. Elizabeth Wicker is a seventeen year-old with a heart condition that lives with her mother and attends school girls of her station. The protocol of this school, however, dictates that she will be sold to a noble family as a maid after she turns eighteen. So, once the time comes, Elizabeth is sold to her bully that is a member of one of the most powerful families in the country. Her nightmare of a life takes a darker turn when her mother is killed by a stranger and she is forced to turn to the time collectors. When she suddenly dies of a heart-attack, she is revived with a mechanical heart. Elizabeth races against time and is taken on a journey that will require a great sacrifice. Will she be able to make it? At what price?
A refreshing and gripping novel right from the very beginning. This was the first novel I read where genies have this kind of power over humans; it’s unique and very well thought. The story-line is pretty solid and it runs on a steady-pace. In the beginning the descriptions of this steampunk universe are great and the characters are all amazing. The third-person perspective allowed me to have a broader sense of the events, which I appreciate. The writing style is addictive and compelling.
Elizabeth is a good main character. She has the insecurities of a teenage-girl but she’s also impulsive and a fighter. A kind-hearted heroine with an innocent side, not afraid to do what she needs to: an admirable character that I could sympathise with. The chemistry with Klaus, the main male character, is nice and smooth. I would like to know more about his past but like this it just adds a very nice spice to the story, the fact that he’s the mysterious type.
A refreshing debut in a unique and unexplored world that I hope to read more about in the near future. I really enjoyed it and I recommend it to any readers looking for something different and new.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Ragnarok Publishing, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 3 Stars
An apocalyptic scenario with time-travelling and a story of romance: it’s the best way to describe this novel. An enjoyable, quick read.
This is the story of Isabel and Diego, a couple whose relationship could change the nightmare that they call reality. From a nuclear war to a deadly virus wiping out the human race, the world is at the end of the line. The solution: to travel back in time and change their relationship before it began. The race against time begins as Isabel journeys through the past and learns about love, loss and the power of forgiveness. Can she and Diego change the fate of the world?
I would definitely say this is more romance than sci-fi since the story-line is based on a couple and their relationship even if the post-apocalyptic reality is very well thought and developed. Although I’m not a big fan on having the romance running in the front lines, I found myself enjoying the interactions between Isabel and Diego. Their relationship, like them, is very real and human. In general, all the characters are quite likeable and I could relate at least in a point or two with them.
The story-line is well thought and organised and the style of writing pulled me into the story. The different points of view made me loose myself a few times since we see through the eyes of three different characters. The ending made my heart jump and I’m very curious to know the fate of the main characters in the next book.
I recommend this book to fans of romantic stories taking place in dystopian post-apocalyptic scenarios!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Rocky Mountain Press, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Another great novel! I’ve read another novel from this author and just like the first one, it was a delight to read.
Thibault's life is running smoothly: he has been accepted into Oxford University and he’s going on a road trip through Europe with his strange uncle Henry. Until life takes a turn that is starting with the introduction of Venus, Thibault’s American cousin with the mind of a poet and a unique character. Right after arriving to London, the young teenager gets more than he bargained for when he gets involved in a plot to bring down capitalism which includes the kidnapping and the blackmail of the CEO of a powerful mining company. Follow the journey of Thibault in his adventure through politics, tax evasion and love.
The style of writing is great and it really pulled me into the story and the characters. The story is seen through Thibault’s eyes and most of it is dialogue, which makes the novel both interactive and easy to follow.
The countries in the novel are also very interesting to read about. What I appreciated the most was the clear connection and reasoning between the story-line and the countries through which the characters travel to. Very well thought and organised. For me, I would have liked to see a bit more description of these wonderful places, but I know that wasn’t the point since the story is more focused on the characters and “the plan”.
Now to my favourite part: the characters. Thibault is a great main character and narrator: he’s a teenager in search of his path in life and in the process stumbles on love. He’s a sweet boy with a passion for art, not afraid to follow his dreams. At the same time he is a bit at loss when it comes to his feelings for Venus and his lack of literary knowledge is hilarious. Even after being pulled into an insane plan to bring down capitalism, Thibault always remains faithful to himself and his decisions. He is genuine and pure at heart even if he is a bit clueless at times. Venus is someone else entirely. As a poet and a writer, Venus is a know-it-all when it comes to literature, authors and their correspondent works. She is a great female lead: a very head-strong woman with an iron determination and fiery passion and I really enjoyed seeing how her relationship with Thibault develops throughout the story. I think they influence each other is the best way possible while realising that life isn’t all black and white and that the path of self-discovering of who they are and who they’re meant to be doesn’t come easy, but it’s worth it.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good adventure with a bit of comedy, fun and literature references!
Thank you James Leader for sending me a free copy of your novel in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
It took me a while to read it and to write since I was sick and decided to read it in full again after recovering!
A brilliant novel, there is no other way to say it. Dark Skull Hall has a bit of everything: emotion, adventure, thrilling moments and heart-stopping confrontations.
Decades before a massive war broke out between mages leaving a trail of bodies and destruction in its awake. The book tells us the story of Alyx Egalion, the daughter of a noble that knows nothing of war or mages that has her world turned upside-down. When Alyx learns that she is in fact a mage, she must leave everything behind in order to travel to the distant land of Tregaya where she is to learn her magic at Dark Skull Hall. Alyx soon learns that surviving the trip is a mere child play compared to the life that awaits her inside those medieval hallways. Nothing and no one is what they seem, secrets are waiting to be revealed and keeping the peace is not as easy as one would think.
I really enjoyed this universe. I would definitely love to jump into the world of Alyx and Dark Skull Hall (despite the life risks). The setting is great, very creative and fresh. I’m a huge fan of the medieval period and to have a fantasy novel with a touch of that is amazing. The style of writing was what made the story so easy to follow for me. I tend to get lost in the characters and mix them all up but here everything was connected so nicely that it is impossible not to relate to one of the students of Dark Hall.
Alyx is a great main character; I could see her evolution from the spoiled girl to someone that stands up to what she believes and her friends. I admire her ability to talk to people and integrate herself in a new world but also not being afraid to speaking her mind and keeping a cold-head in dangerous moments. I really liked the twins Dawn and Finn and Tarrick. As characters they bring light and optimism to the life and the adventures of Alyx but also the protection and the memories from home.
Definitely looking forward to the next volume and read more about this amazing universe!
I want to thank Lisa Cassidy for sending me a paper version of her great novel in exchange for an honest review!
My Rating: 5 Stars
5 stars and I regret nothing. I fell in love with this book, it’s perfect and I will definitely buy the paperback version.
The story starts with a young woman, injured and passed out on a beach with no recollection of who she is and she got there. When two boys approach her, Ann Baker as no choice but to follow them and hope for the best. When she’s taken to their home, a compound in the mountains, she's facing an impossible reality: she is The Lost One, one of the few Readers in the world with a power so strong it could bring their enemies to their knees. Surrounded by both friends and foes, Ann starts the adventure of a lifetime in a compound where everything counts and not everybody is what they seem.
A very engaging, fast-paced plot where every detail counts! It’s fresh, creative, passionate and it mixes a bit of everything, from action to the mystery, romance, supernatural and adventure. The style of writing is beautiful and very addictive. I couldn’t put it down and the descriptions were incredible. It was like living the story instead of just reading it. The pace of the story is also great, fast-paced, never a boring moment.
As for the characters, Ann is an incredible female protagonist. She has everything: wit, the strength of character, wisdom, instinct and always follows the path she thinks it’s right. I really enjoyed seeing her interaction with other characters, how naturally she fits in. Devon and Archer are every girl's dream: both are handsome, strong, and protective. Devon is the col, closed off type that acts like a bad-boy but deep down he cares; and Archer is the sweet, understanding type that will listen to everything and give good advice. I really enjoyed reading about their own little rivalry when it comes to Ann’s attention. I think they both have a great chemistry with Ann, can’t imagine whom she would pick.
The thing is: all the characters are very much human. I couldn’t actually feel that the special abilities the author describes were “supernatural”. It all seems very much “real”, very much human. There are flaws, rivalries, companionship, doubts, problems, which gives them depth.
Overall, probably one of the best YA books I’ve read so far. I highly recommend it!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
First of all, I have to say I'm a huge fan of Mr Rick Riordan's work and style. I've read quite a few of his books and the feeling never really changes.
The Sword of Summer is the first book of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard collection and it was absolutely brilliant! Fast-paced adventure filled with twists and a lot of humour... I mean buckets of humour!
About the story: Meet Magnus Chase, a troubled boy that lives in the streets after the mysterious death of his mother. Growing up not knowing who is the father was, imagine his surprise when one of the people that he has been avoiding finds him and tells him his dad is Norse god. Magnus life takes a big and fatal turn that will take him on a quest beyond the world of the living and into the world of Viking myths and legends. His mission? To prevent Ragnarok, the end of days. Guided by a prophecy, together with his three friends Magnus most travel the Nine Worlds in search of a weapon that has the power to change the course of destiny. Easy right? Oh, did I forget to mention the giants, fire-giants, trolls, resentful gods?
A great start for this series. There is nothing not to like, the characters, the settings, the plot and don't even get me started on the humorous conversations and chapter titles.
I really liked Magnus as a character. His spirit, his ability to face his fears, his loyalty, his courage and of course his sarcasm make him an epic hero that I want to read more of. Sam, the main female protagonist is incredible. She is a force of nature, not afraid to speak her mind and to follow her instincts. Despite being set aside for her lineage, Sam doesn't let others opinion bring her down.
The rest of the team Blitzen the dwarf and Hearth the elf complete the picture and add the spice to the story. With this group it really shows that you can't be good at everything, you're not perfect and that's okay because you are unique and you have friends that will always have your back. Their friendship is incredible and I could feel the strong bond between them right from the start.
Is this like Percy Jackson? No. Percy and Magnus are two very different characters with two very different destinies.
The second book is all ready to go on my Reading List and I can't wait to get my hands on those pages! Highly recommend it!
Some of my favourite quotes:
“I told my new friends that I was allergic to dismemberment. They just laughed and herded me toward the combat arena. This is why I don’t like making new friends.”
“The thing about talking swords…it’s hard to tell when they’re kidding. They have no facial expressions. Or faces.”
“No, Satan would be a schlub next to this guy. This guy is like Satan’s fashion consultant.”
“I don't expend my energy trying to fight the change of seasons. I focus on making sure the days I have, and the season I oversee, are as joyful, rich, and plentiful as possible.”
My Rating: 4 Stars
I'm not a fan of romantic novels but this one grabbed my attention because of the idea. It has originality even if the theme of YA follows the usual pattern.
In a world where people only see things in black and white, the colours appear when you find your soulmate. So far so easy, and it becomes easier when you find that your soulmate is in juvie for a very serious crime. Okay, maybe not that easy. How about, prove his innocence? But, is he truly innocent? Then why didn't he defend himself against the charges?
The style of writing kept me hooked to the pages and the storyline flows very nicely. The romance builds up from the beginning and it kept me anticipating when something would actually happen. The tension between the characters is very well described and I found myself thinking how would I react to a soulmate that is a real stubborn idiot that likes to offend people. However, the characters are very likeable. Libby is a strong female character that has a persistence of an army and only gets more fired up when she faces a challenge or a problem, which is exactly what she finds in Andrew, a wall of challenges and contradictions that will make her life very difficult. Andrew isn't what he seems. Behind the cold and indifferent attitude, he's tormented by the truth and refuses to open up to anyone.
I found that the end was a bit too predictable and long for what it was. It was really too much teenage-drama for me and a bit cliché. I would have liked to see a more mature approach since the whole adventure made the character face realities that go beyond adolescence.
In all, it was a fun, easy and quick read that will entertain. It's a debut novel but I think there definitely is potential. I recommend it.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Evernight Teen, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Just... Wow! A very captivating story, written in a beautiful style that takes on a journey alongside Britta, the main female character. It's very easy to follow, you don't get lost in the story. I really had the sense of adventure and feeling with this novel even though I knew the phases of the story: the fate of the world lies in the hands of a not-so-ordinary girl that is forced into a life-changing journey.
Ever the Hunted tells the story of Britta Flannery, a 17-year-old girl that has her world turned upside-down by the death of her father. When Cohen McKay, her father's apprentice disappears and is accused of his murder, Britta will embark on a dangerous journey in search of her father's killer, where she will discover that she holds the power to bring change into her chaotic world.
The first thing I fell in love with was the descriptions of the settings. I'm not a fan of descriptions, but the way these are written, it's like a melody, it just flows about and you just enjoy the sound. Even with its dangerous, it's a world that I would love to jump in.
The second thing I really enjoyed was the characters. Britta is an amazing protagonist, she adapts quickly to her surroundings, she's fearless and relentless. At the same time, she's also a teen in love and it's nice to see how all the emotions are perfectly balanced in one character.
The plot twists definitely shake things a bit but I can't say I was surprised. Then the cliffhanger at the end that will leave your nerves on edge.
A strong YA debut novel that is definitely worth your time!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher HMH Books for Young Readers, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.