Posts Categorized: YA fiction

The Summer After You and Me

14 Apr, 2017 by in 2015, YA fiction Leave a comment

The Summer After You and Me

The Summer After You and Me

by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
three-half-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

I was really excited to read this one because I visited the New Jersey coastal towns after hurricane Sandy. Our roots are from the area, and when the author mentioned the small town in her story it made it all worth it. The descriptions of  the town and venues give the book a local summer flavor. There were a few sketchy things for me as a reader, however.

-the relationship between Lucy and her friends as well as her brother Liam. It seems she was left alone quite a bit and her best friends and family pick the wrong side.

-the “F” word is thrown in and is out of place. The story could have been told without language

-Main interest Connor needs some more redeeming qualities besides being cute and charming. I found his character lacking

-The point of view switched too much form past to present for readers to really catch up and understand what happened between Connor and Lucy

The good?

-Lucy wants to be a marine biologist. She is smart, studies and is writing a thesis on marine animals. She’s down to earth and works hard

-Volunteer work is highlighted and encouraged

-The geography and scenery of New Jersey is woven in

-Not too heavy for a summer beach read that can be finished in one day.

 

Content: drinking, swearing

 

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By Your Side by Kasie West

14 Feb, 2017 by in contemp, kasie west, YA fiction Leave a comment

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West is one of my go to authors for YA contemp. By Your Side features two high school students locked in the local library together. One by choice, the other not so much. The plot takes a while to progress as both characters are guarded. But, once it gets going after the lock in, there is a lot to love. I enjoyed the coming of age and progression both Dax and Autumn have to go through. Autumn suffers from an anxiety disorder which is inhibiting her everyday life, Dax, a foster child who has led a rough life. Both are perfectly flawed and learning to navigate their trials.

A clean teen read with some kissing and chemistry, this one is a great pick for Valentine’s Day! It teaches the importance of finding who you are and following your heart regardless of pressure from friends. about_ the_author
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson. _DSC6406

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I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl Release Day Spotlight

18 Oct, 2016 by in balzer & bray, gretchen mcneil, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Balzer & Bray in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

by Gretchen McNeil
Published by Balzer & Bray on October 18, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
Buy the BookGoodreads
Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself. She'll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn't all it's cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she's messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

Happy Book Birthday!

Breview

This book had me laughing out loud as Beatrice tries to reinvent herself and her group of friends using mathematical formulas. She’s “Math Girl, ” working on a scholarship to MIT, and she’s tired of her friends being bullied. Simple enough, Beatrice figures out a way to start over one day as Trixie, “manic pixie dream girl.” Her best friend Gabe reminds me a bit of Duckie in Sixteen Candles. Gretchen McNeil does a great job exploring the meaning of true friendship and the pitfalls of popularity.

Favorite character? Spencer

Content: heavy swearing, LGBTQ relationships, mature issues with parents.

About the Author


Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59.  In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

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Book Breview~ Jewel by Amy Ewing

20 Oct, 2014 by in amy ewing, dystopian, harperteen, lone city, YA fiction 2 comments

I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Breview~ Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel

by Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #1
Published by Harper Teen on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 358
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: HarperCollins
Buy the BookGoodreads
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

The Cover

LOVE! Picked it up because of the gorgeous shimmery cover. It reminds me of The Winner’s Curse. I am like a moth to the flame with covers of girls in beautiful ball gowns.

Liked

The ending. Surprise twist and lots of suspense. This is a cliffhanger, so you will have to pick up book two.

The complex characters. These dutchesses, their sons, servants and companions have a lot going on.

Jewel moves along at a fast pace, it is easy to read in one sitting. You are repulsed, yet drawn to the story at the same time.

Didn’t Like

The idea of another human being both a surrogate mother and servant at the same time is creepy. Complete misuse of women’s bodies and souls. There is a dark dystopian edge to all that is shiny and glitters in Jewel.

Lots of drama. Jewel’s society and royalty are glitsy, glamour and corrupt taken to the extreme.

Couldn’t figure out the augeries–genetic mutations that involve the owner’s ability to make magic.

Content

sex, moderate violence, servitude and use of women.

About the Author

amyewing
Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.
She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.

facebook * website * twitter

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Blog Tour and Author Guest Post: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

06 Apr, 2014 by in book tour, bree despain, egmont, utah authors, YA fiction 7 comments

shadow_prince

 

Book Summary

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s The Shadow Prince will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.

Purchase * Goodreads

Author Guest Post

Incorporating Mythology into THE SHADOW PRINCE, Part Two

Yesterday, I presented Part One of this post over on Jenna Does Books (http://jennadoesbooks.com/) in which I discussed the mythology that inspired the character of Daphne Raines from THE SHADOW PRINCE. Today, I want to share with you the mythological inspirations behind her counterpart (and co-narrator) Haden Lord.

While Daphne is the embodiment of someone who believes in free will, choices, and goals, Haden is the embodiment of somebody who believes whole-heartedly in fate and destiny. So much so that if someone suggests that they have a choice in their own path in life, he considers this to be a blasphemous statement. Obviously, this puts him at odds with Daphne from their very first meeting.

Haden is based loosely on the Greek god Hades, but his inspiration comes from two very different places. The first inspiration for this book came from the song, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Deathcab for Cutie. This song got me thinking about the idea of someone choosing to follow someone else “into the dark” (or the unknown, as I like to think of it) for the sake of love. But then I started thinking about what it would be like to be the person who had to ask their beloved to follow him into the dark. What if this person believed this was their destiny—and that the fate of the world depended on it? But what if it also meant that the person they loved would be put in grave danger, and may even die? The conflicted emotions this conjured inside of me were what I created the character of Haden around.

The second inspiration for Haden came from the concept of the “Hero’s Journey” or the Monomyth as Joseph Campbell calls this idea in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell postures that there is a basic pattern that thousands of stories from the most ancient to the modern day follow.

The pattern goes like this:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” – Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. p.23.

This pattern can be found in many Greek myths such as Hercules and Perseus, and is definitely the basis of more modern stories such as THE LORD OF THE RINGS, STAR WARS, and HARRY POTTER. In researching mythology and story telling in preparation for writing THE SHADOW PRINCE, I encountered stories that followed the hero’s journey over and over again, and became interested in the idea of using this pattern—but also turning it on its head in the process. Instead of taking a character from the “common” world and thrusting him into a supernatural one, I decided to do the opposite. I took Haden out of the mystical Underrealm and plopped him into our modern human world.

Typically in the hero’s journey, the hero is presented with supernatural tools such as a magic wand or an elfin sword—but Haden has his sword and armor taken away from him and instead given an iPhone, credit card, and Youtube in order to navigate the human world. While some of the challenges Haden faces would be called “fabulous forces” some of his biggest trials come from ordinary, everyday things like surviving the school cafeteria, learning how to sing, and figuring out how to get a girl to like you without causing her to punch you in the face instead. And the “boon” Haden is supposed to bring back to his realm (Daphne herself) has no interest in participating in Haden’s quest—which puts the idea of decisive victory pretty much out of the question.

So what is a hero, who believes whole-heartedly in destiny, supposed to do when his fated quest gets completely messed up? THE SHADOW PRINCE is my exploration of this question.

About the Author

Bree Despain is the author of The Dark Divine trilogy: The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, and The Savage Grace. She rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off from college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. You can visit her online at www.breedespain.com.

The Giveaway

One Signed Copy of The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain compliemnts of Egmont USA. US/Canada only. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: Surfacing by Shana Norris

25 Mar, 2014 by in mermaids, netgalley, paranormal, shana norris, swans landing, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Surfacing by Shana Norris

Surfacing

by Shana Norris
Series: Swans Landing #1
Published by Shana Norris on December 19th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
three-half-stars
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.

But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.

As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.

Surfacing is the first book in the Swans Landing series.

I downloaded Surfacing off of Netgalley drawn by the idea of a remote seaside town, reached only via ferry and intrigued by the legend of mer people or “finfolk.” Main character Mara is thrown into a situation she is less than fond of when her mother passes away and she’s sent to live with her father who she know nothing about.All of her life she’s felt abandoned by him, and now she will have to live with him in Swan’s Landing. Form the moment she arrives in town she can tell she’s not welcome. There’s the strange woman who tells her “she’s not supposed to be here”, and a division amongst the town people– Mara seems to be right int he middle of the heated battle. Only she’s not sure why?

Why is it that no one will tell her why she is being bullied and singled out, or why there is so much tension in this new hometown?

I enjoyed the premise and legend behind Surfacing as well as the cover and the back story included on the author’s website. I also liked that the school staff, townspeople and teens take a stand against bullying. However, the voice of both Mara and her nemesis Sailor started to grate on me after a while as they were so full of attitude, anger and drama. This definitely feels YA, but the angst was a bit heavy handed for my taste. Love triangles are not my favorite either, and Mara leaves my favorite pick in the dark about what is really going on.  I liked it enough to finish and read the sneak peek of book two, but it’s probably not a book I would buy for my shelves. I did like the fleshing out of each character, enough so that I felt I knew them. I enjoyed seeing progress in the relationship between daughter and father. I also really love it when indie authors put their works on Netgalley so we can be exposed to a wide variety of YA titles. Thanks to the author and Netgalley for a chance to read it!

Content: older teen (highlight to reveal) in depth talk of sex, co ed sleepovers, swearing, bullying, violence between adult and child.

heather

Author Bio

shana norris

I was born August 19, on my parents’ first wedding anniversary, in a small town in eastern North Carolina. I’m the oldest of four children. I’m a leo, which means I’m supposed to be bossy, interfering, and intolerant. But I’m also supposed to be broad-minded, warm-hearted, and creative, so maybe it all evens out.

I’ve always loved books. My parents would read my favorite books to me so often that I’d memorize them before I had learned how to read. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are of my mom taking my siblings and me to the public library. I’d always check out a big stack of books and then have them all read within a week. The first time I can remember writing a story that wasn’t for school, but simply because I wanted to write, was when I was eight years old. I wrote and illustrated a book called The Lonely Rectangle. It was a story about a rectangle that had been thrown in the trash and felt unloved until someone found it and took it home to use as a table. No, it was not a box or anything like that, it was just a plain rectangle. I have no clue why I decided to write about a geometric shape. It wasn’t like I was particularly fond of math or anything.

I spent my junior year of high school and part of my senior year living just outside of West Palm Beach, Florida, where my family moved to the summer I turned sixteen. I had a hard time making friends, but the good thing that came out of it was that I started to spend a lot of time online since I had no one to hang out with after school. That was when I discovered online journals written by teen girls and even started my own, which I wrote under a pen name. It was that experience with online journals in 1996-1997, the predecessor of today’s blogs, that helped inspire Something to Blog About.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. Well, actually I wanted to be a ballerina, an archaeologist, a teacher, AND a writer, all at the same time. But after a while I figured out that I’d never taken a ballet lesson in my life, I didn’t particularly like to get dirty, and I hated being in a classroom all day, so that really only left writer as my future job. My family advised me to get a back up plan, which meant, “study something else in school that you can earn a living at while waiting for your books to sell.” So I studied graphic design, tested out of as many classes as I possibly could to avoid sitting in so many classrooms, and got my degree.

I’m still a web designer by day and write my books during my lunch hours and at night. I currently live in North Carolina with my husband and our menagerie of pets: two dogs–Chloe and Zoey–and five cats–Elmo, Bandit, Kit, BC, and Butter.

Fin the author on Facebook * twitter * pinterest

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ARC Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

05 Feb, 2014 by in book review, Uncategorized, YA contemporary, YA fiction 2 comments

I received this book for free from Feiwel and Friends in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

by Katie Finn
on May 13, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
four-half-stars
Source: Feiwel and Friends
Buy the BookGoodreads
Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

Summer time, the Hamptons, a cute boy and a case of a mistaken identity…check. Unexpected twist ending which leaves reader in a  cliffhanger…check! Fun, YA contemp that you can breeze through while on vacation…yes.

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend kept a smile on my face almost the entire time I was reading. Gemma is sent to stay with her father for the summer while her mom and step dad are off to Scotland. But she dreads the Hamptons! Scene of a huge life changing summer that snowballed into a lot of hurt, she’s trying to avoid the place of her crime. But when she meets a cute boy on the bus and his sister comes to pick him up the cat is out of the bag…or not.

Gemma is desperately hoping her nemesis Hallie won’t remember who she is,  and that the name printed on her coffee cup can be her alter identity for the time being while she explores things with Josh.

But things just keep getting weirder and weirder! A babysitting job turned nightmare, food poisoning, stolen shoes and a malfunctioning swimsuit are among the crazy happenings that keep Gemma on her toes. She keeps falling into such embarassing situations that publicly humiliate her, yet Josh seems to truly care. And Gemma finds herself drawn to him even though sister Hallie has warned her not to hurt him. Josh is a keeper!

I loved the writing, the characters and the ultimate lesson that honesty always is the best policy. While it is somewhat predictable there is enough of a plot twist that I predict readers will be pulled in for the entire series, not just book one. I would like to feel, smell and hear more about the setting in the next books as the Hamptons are perfect for summer.

I would recommend Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend. Add it to your reading list!

Content (highlight to reveal): one swear word, bullying.

heather

About The Author

katie_finn
Katie Finn grew up in Connecticut, in a town that looks an awful lot like Putnam. During high school, she was a total theater devotee (like Madison) and never dreamed she’d be a writer. But lots of Katie’s high school misadventures have made it into her books…which just goes to show that you never know!

She currently lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house she wishes was a lot closer to the beach.

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Book Review and Blog Tour: The Guardian 2 by Gerald N. Lund

10 Jan, 2014 by in deseret book, gerald n lund, ya, YA fiction Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Guardian 2 by Gerald N. Lund

The Guardian, Book 2: To Run With The Swift

by Gerald N. Lund
Series: The Guardian
Published by Deseret Book on November 7, 2013
Genres: Fiction, LDS, Young Adult
Pages: 587
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
After Danni McAllister and her family escaped from El Cobra and his kidnapping ring, they thought life would basically return to normal. Little did they know that their peril had just begun.

As secrets from the past begin to unfold, it becomes evident that the motives driving the attacks on the McAllister family go much deeper than money—and they're not going to stop anytime soon. Now, as Danni faces evils even more sinister than before, she has to wonder if even the Guardian will be equal to the dangers ahead.

The whole family will love this page-turning conclusion to the story of Le Gardien, the enchanted pouch that guides, protects, and teaches those who have it in their keeping.

Amazon Book Summary

From the bombed-out ruins of Munich, Germany, in the last days of World War II to a lavish present-day castle in Switzerland, this sequel to The Guardian (published in Fall 2013), weaves a vivid, heart-stopping tale of resilience, resolve, and revenge as Danni McAllister and her family discover the real reason they have been targeted by international terrorists. The astonishing secrets and unexpected powers of the pouch, dating back nearly two hundred years, take center stage in a plot filled with surprising twists and turns as Danni finds herself locked in an extraordinary battle of courage and fortitude that will determine the fate of her family and her role as the Keeper of the Pouch—or risk losing both forever.

From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund, this action-packed novel for the entire family originated as a series of bedtime stories told to his children when they were growing up. In the spirit of The Alliance, Freedom Factor, and Leverage Point, the author blends gripping, fast-paced adventure and suspense with a timeless message for readers of all ages.

Review

This is the first book I have ever read by Gerald N. Lund…I know, right?!! I jumped into book two of the series after a Deseret Book Blog Tour invitation, without reading book one, which I would not recommend. I think readers will miss a lot of the back story if they try to read out this series of order. But once I started to piece together names and the plot, and the circumstance surrounding the heirloom pouch called Le Guardian,  I loved the writing. There is a ton of suspense, plenty of action and good family principles. The villains are villainous indeed, and the mysterious plot twists make it unpredictable. The main character’s first name is Carruthers which is one of my husband’s family names, so the story is that much more personal for us! The setting vacillates between small town Utah and Lake Powell, which makes it fun . If you like books with espionage, history and a bit of magic then pick up The Guardian series.

heather

Excerpt

We stopped a few feet inside the mine to let our eyes adjust to the darkened tunnel.Cody started to push his way past Dad, but Dad’s arm shot out and held him back. 

“Jean-Henri,” he cried. “Look!” He was pointing forward, directing his light at the floor. 

I moved up to see better. Suddenly the chills were back, only this time they were hitting every cell in my body. The dirt floor was covered with footprints. No, not footprints. Boot prints. And none of us had worn that kind of boots when we were in here before.

About the AuthorGerald_Lund

Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from BYU. He also did extensive graduate work in New Testament studies at Pepperdine University, and studied Hebrew at the University of Judaism. He is a prolific author and speaker. His novels include The Work and the Glory SeriesThe Kingdom and the Crown Trilogy, Fire of the CovenantThe Undauntedand his newest series,The Guardian. He has also written several books on gospel topics, including a doctrinal trilogy exploring our relationship with Heavenly Father and how He expresses His love to His children.

During his thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, Gerald N. Lund served as seminary teacher, institute teacher and director, curriculum writer, director of college curriculum, and zone administrator. His church callings have included servings as stake president and bishop. He also served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.

 

“I write because I love to teach.”
– Gerald N. Lund

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YA Ebook Deals From HarperTeen- Epic Deals

03 Sep, 2013 by in YA fiction Leave a comment

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Not Your Average Fairy Tale Blog Tour, Review and Kindle Giveaway

02 Oct, 2012 by in YA fiction 34 comments

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the Blog Tour for Not Your Average Fairytale by Chantele Sedgwick. Here’s what we thought about this fun book…
Not Your Average Fairy Tale
by Chantele Sedgwick
Paperback, 224 pages
Published: August 1, 2012
by Crescent Moon Press
ISBN: 1937254658
Book source: Author
4 Stars
Book Summary from Goodreads: Armed with wings and a blue wand, being a fairy godmother should be easy … unless your name is Ash, and you’re a dude.

Ash Summerland has it all–good looks, popularity, and the best grades at The Academy of Magical Beings. Ready to complete his last assignment in order to graduate, Ash is confident he will get the apprenticeship he wants. When he opens the letter from the Council, he is shocked to discover he has been assigned to apprentice Lady Shenelle, Keeper of Happy Endings. A.K.A. the head fairy godmother. Ash is forced to grant three wishes to a troubled human girl named Kendall, and ultimately give her a “happy ever after”. But Kendall turns out to be more than he bargained for. Still grieving over her father’s death, Kendall doesn’t want anything to do with him. And worst of all, she doesn’t believe in happy endings.

Cathy’s Review: Ash Summerland knows that he’s got it made! He’s a handsome guy going to school at The Academy of Magical Beings, and did I mention that he’s also at the top of his class. He just knows that  he will get to Apprentice Master Night and be a Sandman, just like he’s always wanted. But things go horribly wrong when he opens the envelope containing his letter from the Council about his apprenticeship.  Instead of being able to be an apprentice for the Sandman, he’s going to be an apprentice for Lady Shenelle, the Fairy Godmother. How can this happen, Ash is a guy, not a girl. He goes straight to Lady Shenelle to see if she can fix this dreadful mistake, but is told that the Council feels that he needs to spend some time working for her. He must complete this apprenticeship to graduate and he must get his assignment to make three wishes that Ash will then grant and do a good job doing it, or all of his hard work will go out the window! Things get even worse when Ash meets his assignment, Kendall, she’s a young lady that has been severely hurt, both in an accident and after by everyone around her. She has no desire to believe that Ash is her “Fairy Godmother” and she can trust him and ask him for the wishes of her heart. She’s seen enough to know that “Happily Ever After” isn’t just around the corner. Can Ash convince her that there can be happy endings? 

This was a cute take on a Fairy Tale. I loved Ash, he was so funny trying to do what a fairy godmother would do, but really having no idea because he is a guy not a girl. Kendall was a sweet girl, I loved how vulnerable she was about life after her accident, you kind of get glimpses of her life before the accident through what her friends or her sister say about her, but you don’t really witness that first hand.  This book had action, a touch of romance, bad guys and good guys who try to teach the bad guys a lesson. I’ve always been a big  believer in happily ever after, so I enjoy when that happens in books. I also really like that this one left itself wide open for a sequel, I love to read books that have sequels!

Content: Clean

About the author: Chantele Sedgwick grew up playing the harp and singing. Little did anyone know, she always had stories floating around in her head. After she had her second baby, she finally realized she should probably write them down. Pursuing publication was something she only dreamed about, but now her dream is coming true. The discovery of a first love, first kisses, and the many emotions teens go through, pushed Chantele to find her niche in writing teen fiction. Some of her stories share a few of her own experiences, but most of them are just fantasies she wished happened to her as a teen. She’s a sucker for a great love story and always enjoys a happy ending. She tends to have a thing for the “bad boys” in books, unless they’re total jerks. Then she’ll root for the good guy.When she’s not writing, Chantele can be found spending time with her husband and three beautiful kids, or driving her sisters crazy with random story ideas. NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAIRY TALE is her first book.
Find out more about Chantele Sedgwick: Goodreads/ Website/ Blog
The Giveaway: Chantele has donated a KINDLE + 2 e-copies of her book for the blog tour giveaway. Fill out the form below to enter. Good Luck!

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