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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Dead Boyfriend


The Dead Boyfriend
By: R.L. Stine
Reviewed by: Gray


            Anyone here loved the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine when they were younger? I did. And I was so overjoyed when I began reading YA and found his series for teens: Fear Street
             Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I felt like he tried too hard to relate to teens, and in trying to make his characters realistic, he ended up making them dull. I also could not stand the extreme mushy and over-the-top romances that EVERY SINGLE book had! But his newest book in the series has given me hope.
             The Dead Boyfriend is still a bit mushy, but it's better. R.L. Stine seems to have realized that even teens enjoy his cheesy charm and puns that he sprinkled in his Goosebumps series. Instead of being super annoyed with the characters as I usually am, I found myself  liking them, and even relating to them in some ways.


            Summary:

            Caitlin lived an average life as a tenth grader in her small high school, but then she met Blade. Obviously meant for each other, the pair hits it off and begins to date right off the bat. Despite her friends warnings that she is going to fast and that Blade might be a phony and that she might be taking things to seriously, Caitlin becomes completely smitten. But when Blade betrays her, she loses it. Caitlin snaps, and everything turns red. When she wakes up, Blade is dead-lying on the ground in a puddle of blood with her knife that she bought for self-defense when she walks home from her part time job laying beside him.
               But then, if Blade is dead how does she keep seeing him staring at her from the shadows? And why does he keep following her??


Rating: Four Stars. It was interesting to say the least.


If you read this book be warned; the plot twist will leave you stunned...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Truthwitch

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Reviewed by Elena


Truthwitch is an EPIC story about the Witchlands, a land where magic is part of everyday life. Witches, both male and female, can be found around every corner. In this land, noble-born Safiya and her best friend, or 'Threadsister' Iseult, get on the wrong side of the law when they are caught hijacking on the roads of their home. Safiya is a Truthwitch, and she can determine whether people speak lies or truth, a rare gift which makes her a potential pawn for many kingdoms. Iseult is a Threadwitch whose powers are refusing to cooperate. When they become the target for a bloodthirsty assassin named Aeduan who is bent on catching them, can they escape with their lives?

This book is so amazing I can barely sum it up. Imagine all your favorite qualities in a fantasy novel- swordplay, a bloodthirsty villain, strong friendships, magic, and romance. This book and its sequel, Windwitch, are most definitely not Christian. There is one kissing scene in Truthwitch, but it goes no farther. There is some minor bad language. It is semi-violent, not overly descriptive. The magical side of things never bothered me, but for those of you who are worried about that, the book is full of magic.

Read it. I will find you and make you.

Or just ask nicely... :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

DragonSpell


DragonSpell
By: Donita K. Paul
Reviewed by: Gray

         Magic. Evil. Quest. Dragons. Love.
             What more could one want in fantasy?


Summary:

        Kale was once a slave, but now she is forced into an unexpected journey to become a servant to the great and mysterious Paladin. Yet, this young teenage girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.
         But not all is well in the kingdom... Kale finds herself in the midst of danger as she sets out on a quest to find the last meech dragon egg, stolen by the foul and cunning Wizard Risto. She and her new comrades must race to save the hatchling and the human race before it's too late.


          This book was really good! It's Christian, so it has no swearing or sexual stuff, which is a breath of fresh air. It was well crafted, and I very much enjoyed it. It is the first book in the DragonKeeper Chronicles, and I have read the whole series, and I assure all of you that it stays just as good and gripping to the very end.

Rating: five stars.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry; reviewed by Novel Society

Do you know about the religious crusades?  The Spanish Inquisitions?  do you want to be blown away by what the church was doing centuries ago?  If you don't like upsetting stories-don't read this.  If you want to risk it, be prepared to read about very courageous people trying to live their simple lives but having to obey the church in every way, I mean every way. Printz Honor Book.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

          
A List of Cages
By: Robin Roe
Reviewed by: Gray


          Book Summary:

          When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. It might mean a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD... But he how can he complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends? Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--his ex foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.
          Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives..


         This book was really painful to read. Maybe it's because my family is fostering, and this book held all of my worst fears for the little guy we're taking care of. Julian goes through so much, and it all feels so real--too real. There were parts where tears streamed down my face, because I felt like I was right there. A List of Cages is a beautiful but brutally honest and raw gripping novel. It is very graphic, so I'd recommended it for a more mature audience of teens, since it deals with more heart wrenching things like abuse. It also has some swearing, and stuff like that.

            Rating: Four Stars. It was beautifully written, the characters were gripping to say the least, and it had an impact.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Just One Wish



         How have I not reviewed this book yet? It's so good!

        I love Janette Rallison's works. Her fun quirky characters. Her bubbly storyline. Her funny romances in her books. The life and love that shine through her novels is breathtaking. But this book was different… this book was better, if that's even possible. Usually her stories are lighthearted and happy, but this one had a bittersweet note to it, that just made it so much more beautiful.

        Summary:
      
        Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it's all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.
         But Annika's plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curve-ball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol will visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star and convincing him to come home with her for her little brother. Piece of cake, right?


         This book was so awesome. It's funny, endearing, and just full of hope. It has some romance, but not over the top or the cheesy “I'm going to barf” kind, but the sweet kind. I would recommend this to Robin Hood fans, since the actor that Annika is trying to see is playing Robin Hood in a TV series in the book.
          Rating: I give this book FIVE STARS!! It was lovely. You should read it.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Guest Review - Dreamhouse Kings



Dreamhouse Kings
By: Robert Liparulo
Reviewed By: LHE
        These six books tell the 8 day journey of the desperate family of a kidnapped loved one, *Spoiler alert* a house full of portals, and a mysterious lurker in the woods. Will all the loose threads tie together? How will the scattered pages be stapled together again? How will they restore their lives how it used to be? What even is reality anymore?
        Once you start reading this creepy, mysterious book, you won't be able to put it down. Once you think that they can't get any better, trust me, they'll surprise you. It shows how you can never give up hope. The last words you tell a person when you depart from one another matter. What if those words that roll off your tongue are the last words you say to that person? In the very last book (Frenzy), it shows how in the end, Love will fix your scars.
These books seem almost like horror books when you first start to read them, but they are very much Christian. The last book, especially, will bring you to tears.
         I give this book a 5 star rating. It's a perfect book for you book lovers to read. The events are well strung together, and there are no plot holes. Each book leaves you at the edge of your seat. Though, for younger readers, you might not want to read them at night.

Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky



Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky

Brilliant story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian.  Action packed with a touch of romance, all that is needed to make this a delicious read.  But what really fascinates me is how the main character Matty – (who becomes Maid Marian)  learns falconry and is “one” with her birds.  Each chapter opens with a bit on the art of falconry which helps you connect with the falcons and hawks that Matty keeps.  Excellent story on juvenile shelf but would be popular on Young Adult shelf.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Book Review: Suffer Love


Suffer Love
By: Ashley Herring Blake
Reviewed By: Gray

           Summary of this book, (taken from amazon).:
Just let it go.”
That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.
        Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.
Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

           This book was a contemporary romance, which is not really my type of genre, but I'm always up for reading new things. The cover and the title braced me for a mushy book...and mushy it was. It was like a soap opera in YA form. Also, I don't really know why this is in Young Adult, it seems to be more of a New Adult themed book, with it's language, topics, and characters. It wasn't horribly crude or anything, but it wasn't anywhere near clean. Even though the two main characters, Sam and Hadley are eighteen and seventeen, they feel more like super dramatic thirty year olds. I also feel like the entire plot of this book was apparent from the first page, I'm not going to say why, because I don't do spoilers. But it was one of those things where you're like “well, duh”, when something that should have been a secret is revealed about the plot. 
Good Points:
          It was beautifully written. Great grammar, storyline, and even the characters were likeable. It's fast-paced and an easy and a pretty enjoyable read. Some of the themes are admirable.
           All in all, I give this book two stars, since it felt a lot like a SUPER dramatic soap opera in book form. I also felt really cheated by the ending, it didn't tie anything together, fix anything, or even give you a shred of hope for the characters feeling better.
          If you like soap operas, romance, a more cliché romance storyline, and if you don't mind more racy and suggestive scenes, read this book! If not, I'd  recommend leaving this book on the shelf.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review: The Last Execution by Jesper Wung-Sung

        


The Last Execution
By: Jesper Wung-Sung
Reviewed by: Gray

         A baker. A messenger. A girl. A fly. A master carpenter. A dead sheriff’s son. A mayor. A priest. A poet. And a boy. What do these ten things have in common? They all take part in this haunting tale.

         This is a tale of woe, wrong doings, insanity, and murder. It is about a fifteen year old boy named Niels, who will be executed in twelve hours on Gallows Hill. Each chapter starts out with the phrase: There are ____ hours until the boy is to be executed on Gallows Hill. The book slowly counts down to this young man's death. As the hours trickle by, scattered thoughts of people on this matter are whispered in the pages and the boy's fear and insanity leak through the ink of the words in this book. This book is suspenseful, tragic, vivid, and utterly haunting. But the worst and most haunting thing isn't even a part of the story… it's not the beginning, middle, or end, it's in the Author's note, where the truth and past is revealed. The Last Execution will make you question everything, read with care.
          I give this book 5 stars. It had a compelling plot, it was well written, and the characters were real.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Lost Books Series

Hola!

The Lost Books by Ted Dekker is a series of six books telling the story of Johnis, Silvie, Billos, and Darsal- four teenagers living in a barren desert land in another time, another place. They and their people are known as the Forest Dwellers, for the god they worship, Elyon, has blessed His people with forest homes, sources of refuge from the dry desert and the horrific skin disease its heat causes. A war rages in the desert, though; a race of infidels called the Horde fight constantly to destroy the forests and their inhabitants. when Johnis, Silvie, Billos, and Darsal are given a quest to find the seven lost books of history which will supposedly save them from the Horde, can they succeed against a deadly enemy who seems determined to stop them?

These books are very Christian, and while they do not mention God's name directly, symbolism is used heavily. These books are amazing! I can hardly put them down!