Posts Categorized: YA ficiton

YA Content Review- Unearthed

24 Aug, 2012 by in YA ficiton 1 comment

by Lara Stauffer
Paperback, 288 pages
Published: July 10th 2012
by Cedar Fort Books
ISBN13: 9780882909813
Book source: Netgalley
4 1/2 stars
Book Summary from The pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker. “Sorry folks, it’s a bit choppy this last part. We’re slightly ahead of schedule, and the current time is 5:13 p.m. Temperature is a balmy 89 degrees, and there’s a nice wind from the east at about eight miles per hour. In other words, a perfect day for lying on a beach.”
Except I won’t be lying on a beach, Matt thought irritably. I’m going to go stare into some big crack in the ground and pretend I’m enjoying myself.

Matt’s never understood how his father could be more interested in piles of ancient rocks than his own son. While Matt was playing his way through championships and earning a basketball scholarship to Duke, his dad was always gone—too busy digging up dust to notice anything going on in the current century.

But now that he’s agreed to spend an entire month at one of his father’s digs, Matt’s about to discover a whole lot more than he bargained for in the wonders of a mysterious city that’s been lost for centuries.

This thrilling adventure is bursting with action, laugh out loud humor, and maybe even a little romance. A guaranteed page-turner from cover to cover!

Cathy’s review: Matt has never really been interested in his father’s job as an archaeologist. In fact, it’s driven a huge wedge between them to the point that Matt has no interest in anything his father is doing, including anything in Church. His dad is getting ready to head to Mexico for a big dig and his mom would love for him to go before he heads to Duke for his basketball scholarship. As his dad gets ready to leave for the dig, there’s a big earthquake in Mexico, causing a fissure to open at the dig site and exposing…something. No one really knows, what they do know is that it’s time to get down there. Matt’s dad puts getting things together to go into high gear, meanwhile Taryn, a girl that Matt has known forever and has never really liked or gotten along with because she seems a little awkward, bribes Matt into going to Mexico to see just what his dad does for a living by telling him she will tutor him with any class that he needs help with for an entire year. Matt goes, unwillingly, but little does he know that his life is about to change forever. With the help of Taryn he’s able to see that what his dad does has value, and may be a little bit interesting and that he’s been selfish and vain, and he’s able to make an astonishing find.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way that Matt grew from a self-absorbed party boy at the beginning of the book to a really nice guy by the end. I thought that the story was fun and engaging. I have never been on an archaeological dig and will probably never go on one, but through the eyes of Matt, I kind of understand the excitement of finding something really old that no one else has seen in a really long time. I enjoyed the way the story related to the scriptures, and I really enjoyed when the two time periods were represented side by side. The scriptures came more alive for me, especially the part filled with Gadianton robbers, which will also help teenagers, definitely a good thing! 

Content: talks about teenage drinking and making out, but you don’t really “see” any of it

About the author: A lifelong member of the LDS Church, Lara Stauffer grew up wanting to write. A voracious reader, she loved the escape a good read would always provide. Her writing has been shaped by a deep love of the things of the past, and Unearthed is the result of her fascination with history and the people of the Book of Mormon. Lara is the author of the blogs Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom and The Potted Pen, and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter. She currently lives with her husband and four children (and a maltipoo named Maggie) in North Carolina.            
Find out more about Lara Stauffer: Goodreads/ Website

Content Review- The Lost Curse

17 Aug, 2012 by in T Lynn Adams, YA ficiton Leave a comment

The Lost Curse
by T Lynn Adams
Paperback, 304 pages
Published: July 10, 2012
by Cedar Fort, Inc
ISBN: 1599559552
Book source: Netgalley
4 stars
Book Summary from Goodreads: Easing his pace, Jonathon advanced only inches at a time. Instinct heightened beneath unseen eyes and he knew he moved in the presence of a creature that could kill him. As he progressed forward, his light caught a presence to his left… a human presence. The dark image startled him and Jonathon whirled to face the threat, the beam of his headlamp cutting into the darkness.

Jonathon’s had more than enough adventure for one lifetime. That’s why he’s planning to spend this summer camping in quiet central Utah with his Peruvian friend, Severino. But when the two of them accidentally discover an ancient artifact, they wind up in more danger than ever! 

Now Jonathon, Severino, and their new friend, Tallie, will have to choose between protecting a secret that’s been hidden for centuries or saving their own lives!

A perfect combination of action, thrills, suspense, and a hint of romance, this is a cover-to-cover adventure that you simply can’t miss. Join forces with this dynamic trio of teens as they delve deep into the mysteries of the past. An entertaining read that’s sure to keep you guessing!

Cathy’s review: After picking Severino up from the airport, Jonathon is excited to get to the plans he has had for his Peruvian friend. He plans to show Severino a whole new life in America, so hopefully Severino will see that there is more to life than the terrorist Shining Path group that he belongs to in Peru. They want to go camping in the desert canyons surrounding Kanosh and spend some time with Jonathon’s friend Tallie there. What they don’t plan on finding is an ancient artifact that was left by the Spaniards and may lead to a gold mine, and people that want the artifact and the gold mine and it’s contents for themselves. This puts the three of them in tons of danger that they hadn’t been planning on. What will they be willing to do in order to keep the others, especially Tally safe?

I enjoyed this book. I was glad to see a second story about Severino and Jonathon, I really enjoyed Tombs of Terror, set in Peru, and was glad to see this one set in Utah. I thought that the character development was good, I cared about what happened to the characters and that’s a big thing for me. There was plenty of action and bad guys in this book which makes the plot move right along. I enjoyed the story, and I wonder how many artifacts there really are like the books talk about in the deserts of Utah. I like that a book’s story can make me wonder things like that, it makes the book seem a little more real to me.

Contents: Clean, but tense situations

About the author: Confession time: I’m terrified of spiders, can’t fry eggs, and my inability to bake a chocolate chip cookie has become family legend. But blessings come from weaknesses. None of my children have a pet tarantula. My husband volunteers to fry the eggs for breakfast. And all of my sons and daughters are expert cookie bakers. Life if like that–it compensates for our weaknesses by sending others into our lives. Isn’t that wonderful? Writing books and reading them is another wonderful way we can strengthen ourselves and others. I believe it is a writer’s duty to craft words that lift people and help them feel better about their personal lives and those around them, to see the good in life. That is a responsibility I take very seriously.
Find out more about T Lynn Adams: Goodreads/ Blog

Book Review- Girl Steals Guy

12 Jan, 2012 by in YA ficiton Leave a comment

Borrowing Abby Grace #2
by Kelly Green
ebook 271KB file size
Published October 21, 2011
by Backlit Fiction
Book Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.75

As Abby has learned, she is now a Shadow, sent to inhabit the lives of strangers in trouble. Dropped into the life of a gorgeous senior with a heartbroken best friend, Abby is instructed to “reunite the lovers” by her cute but maddening Guardian, a 19th century ghostly teenager named Will. Now Abby must navigate high school keg parties, football games and power couples, only to discover that love and revenge are sometimes the same thing.

This second installment in the Abby Grace series was as entertaining and intriguing as the first (find my review here). Abby is a Shadow and as such becomes someone else in order to help them solve  life problem. Her instructions to “reunite the lovers” seem obvious, but over time she discovers that her first thoughts might have been wrong. I enjoyed getting to know Will (Abby’s Guardian who helps her navigate her missions) a little more in this installment. We see a friendship start to develop between Abby and Will as Abby tries to navigate the High School party scene. The content was a little darker and edgier this time around, which at times made me a little uncomfortable, but all in all I enjoyed following Abby Grace in her attempts to fix the lives of others (and possibly her own).

This ebook is a quick read, but doesn’t feel too short. You can easily read it in an afternoon, so it is the perfect weekend read.

Content: some language, high school students discussing sexual activity and drinking in a party scene, homosexuality.

Learn more on the author’s siteGoodreads and buy the Kindle edition for only 99 cents now on Amazon.

My Fairy Grandmother by Aubrey Mace

19 Feb, 2010 by in book review, utah authors, YA ficiton 1 comment

Product Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Bonneville Books; 1 edition (March 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599552175

Product Description from Amazon
Descended from fairies? It sounds unbelievable, but according to Kaitlin’s grandmother Viola, it s true. In spite of her initial reluctance to visit Viola, Kaitlin finds herself being drawn into Viola s stories of elegant castles, evil counts, and exciting escapades. But as Kaitlin learns more about her family, Kaitlin s mother becomes increasingly concerned about Viola s mental health. Good thing Kaitlin knows better! From the author of Spare Change, this enchanting tale shows how a good story can bring a whole family together.

quote from the book…”Everyone comes to this earth and lives their life. It might be a long life or it might be short, but most of the basic details are uninteresting. We go about our daily chores, we might marry, we might have children, and we die … Each of us has one story worth telling, one moment of glory and triumph or pain and despair; something that defines us. It might be one second, or it could extend over several years, but for better or worse, it is the most interesting part of who we are.”

I bought this book at the Utah Atuthorpalooza because I love fairies and the cover was even glitttery! Cheesy, but oh so true for me…I judge a book my it’s cover! I got to page 66 and almost put it away because the main villain of the book Count Diavolo is just so evil. I asked Aubrey about him and how she came up with his character, she responded “Count Diavolo was a really fun character to write. I don’t get a chance to write the really evil characters in chick lit, so it was a refreshing change for me. I can’t say that he was really based on any one character in fiction– just bits and pieces of the scariest guy I could imagine!” that pretty much sums him up!

Plowing through all of this evil ways I came to really enjoy the story and wanted to find out what happened! The tale is spun into t a little fishing net that pulls you in and makes you have to keep reading!

Set in the modern day, the books is mainly written as told by a grandmother to her 10 year old granddaughter about her heritage. Much like a fairytale, there are heroes, morals and a little bit of magic. It is a message of courage and hope in the midst of absolute loss. The end leaves me wondering if there will be a sequel? Who is the other fairy?

But, I guess I will have to ask Aubrey at our upcoming online author chat next Wednesday. We are giving away a signed My Fairy Gradnmother” to one lucky participant of our author chat with her on Wednesday February 24th, 2010 at 7:30 PM MST. Come chat with Aubrey and win her third, most recent book!

"Darklight" by Lesley Livingston

24 Jan, 2010 by in review, YA ficiton Leave a comment

published by HarperTeen
Released December 22nd 2009

Hardcover, 312 pages
4 stars

Summary from Goodreads “Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom…or part them forever.

The fans who flocked to Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange will fall hard for Darklight, the soaringly romantic second book in the trilogy. Breathless high stakes and vividly magical characters make this a can’t-miss fantasy for readers of Melissa Marr and Holly Black.”

Summary from Harper Teen “

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie’s enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.”

I just put this book down after tearing through it in 24 hours. What amazing ride. I loved Wondrous Strange, the prequel, but I must say Darklight blew me away.

Kelley is plagued by dark dreams as she is separated from her new found warrior love, Sonny. She begins to see in night visions, his dark side and the power of destruction and loyalty which lies within his heart. Meanwhile, Sonny, a Janus warrior for the fairy King, is stuck fighting alone for his life in the fairy realm.

As Kelly is left in the mortal world, she seeks the comfort and protection of Sonny’s friends left behind. Danger lurks for them and her in Central Park as they step knee deep into a danger. The story uncovers Kelly’s deep rooted royal power., royal secrets from four fairy realms, hidden pasts and plots for murder. Darklight will have you on the edge of your seat with all of the plot twists and rich imagery. It is a tale woven with all you could ever imagine. Leprechauns, fairies, sirens, wolves and mortals become wrapped up in a battle that puts both human and fae worlds at risk.

Visit Lesley Livingston’s website here: