Review: Red Winter by Annette Marie

red-winterReviewed by Janelle

Kimura Emi has dedicated every waking moment of the last ten years to being the perfect kamigakari. Now, only a few short weeks remain before her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess begins. She’s heard tales of the good she will be capable of once she’s imbued with Amaterasu’s divine power. Not once has she doubted her responsibility, her purpose, nor has she deviated from the stringent preparation of mind, body, and soul.

That is, until the discovery of a book in an abandoned storehouse shatters her perceptions of what it means to be a kamigakari. Angry, frightened, and desperate to have one experience for herself, she makes a reckless choice that puts her in the path of danger… and Shiro. [Read more…]

Review: Sucker Punched by Kelley R Martin

sucker-punchedReviewed by Shelly

This is a mixed bag for me. I thought the plot moved well, the characters were well rounded, and the dialogue exceptional (the cussing was a big much, however I’m not casting stones) but the mixed feelings are about the hero. Good night, the hero was a real piece of work. I’ve read about some not nice heroes but Blake Whitmore, you win the prize. I’m sure there’s an audience for that kind of hero, but for me, not so much because dude, you’re a douche who I wouldn’t spit on if you were on fire. If it wasn’t for Kelley Martin’s passionate writing, I would have given up on him very early on. [Read more…]

Review: Falling by Allyn Lesley

fallingReviewed by Shelly

Disclaimer – I’ve read all of Allyn Lesley’s published stories and while Falling might not be a category, YA, that I would typically read, I decided to read it based on my history of her story telling. I didn’t even read the blurb before I started reading. For me, Lesley’s story telling skills are still as good as when I read book 1 in her ‘Deeper’ series. I wasn’t disappointed.

Lesley doesn’t write about your typical good guy hero. Absolutely not the guy next door nor the guy with all the friends because of his charming and witty personality. Oh no, her heroes barely know the word etiquette much less practice it. Dyllan Sterling is an absolute tool. His expressions are surly, he’s cantankerous and can be plain ole disagreeable. But he loves and is loved by his parents and older twin brothers which says a lot when you find out how he got his family. As Dyllan’s story unfolds and I got to know him better, he actually started growing on me. I’m not saying I started to like him, but I did start to accept him as he was. I did have my limits with him though, I’ll tell you in a second. [Read more…]

Guest Review: Challenging Destiny by Cherie Colyer

challenging-destinyReviewed by Ronelle

This. Book. Was. GREAT!

No, seriously, it was. I don’t usually read YA novels—I tend to find the characters angsty and one-dimensional—so I didn’t go into this with super high expectations. But I got a free copy, so I thought “hey, why not?”

Wow, was I blown away!

The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Logan and Ariana Ragsdale, a brother and his exactly-two-years-younger-sister. Disaster has followed them since childhood and they’ve lost everyone they’ve ever loved—except one another. They’ve learned to fend for themselves, trust no one, and to hide that there is something different about them. (Turns out that, in addition to matching birthmarks, Logan and Ariana share the ability to control others’ minds by simply suggesting what they want.) [Read more…]

Review: Until You by Penelope Douglas

until youReviewed by Joanna

This is a retelling of the steamy Bully novel, this time from Jared’s perspective. Bully is about the relationship between a guy and girl who were best friends at age 11, enemies at 14, and become lovers at 17. (It’s set in the last year of high school, so the steaminess is okay.)

Jared is the bully to start with and Tate is his victim. Then she comes back from a year away in Paris and won’t take his crap anymore. She owns him, and they come together like two wrecking balls. It’s not sweet and high-schooly. It’s sexy and a little bit dark and I can’t get enough of this series.

Now I don’t mind a retelling of a good book, if it’s done well. This is. There’s a lot more extra content and the perspective is so different. Some scenes we don’t see, some we get a totally different view on, now we don’t have Tate’s assumptions and reactions. [Read more…]

Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

bullyReviewed by Joanna

If you’re a sensitive soul who doesn’t like people being mean to other people by way of foreplay, then don’t read this book. If you like a tortured anti-hero who is too cool for school, sexy as hell and twisted by a terrible experience, then you really oughta read this book.

Tate has just returned from a year in France and is back in her original high school for her last year. Before she left, she was the victim of a campaign of petty bullying by her former best friend – Jared. [Read more…]

Review: Horde by Ann Aguirre

hordeReviewed by Jen

In a sea of YA series that find it edgy and cool to end miserably, it’s nice to find one that provides an ending that satisfies. If anything, the happy ending may be just a little too perfect, but I’d take than any day over a series that leaves its heroine crazy, alone, or dead. This should go without saying, in my opinion, but clearly not every author subscribes to this conventional wisdom. [Read more…]

Review: Outpost by Ann Aguirre

outpostReviewed by Jen

I’ve got to say, it’s interesting how this book can feel both like a next step and vast departure from book 1 at the same time.  In this stage of the journey for our characters, I still see what made me care about them. They hold on to their core identities as they evolve. Yet their circumstances are so very different, it changes everything. Gone are underground enclaves and mindless Eaters. Instead, we have a small town civilization with very old fashioned ideas and a threat they can’t even fathom. [Read more…]

Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

enclaveReviewed by Jen

I know there are more dystopian or post-apocalyptic YA series out there than you could shake a stick at, but if you haven’t tried this series before, now is the time. It’s dark and gritty, with great worldbuilding and solid character development. It’s engaging and moves quickly. I didn’t want to put it down and devoured it in one sitting.

Our lead character is Deuce, a 15 year-old girl, raised in an underground enclave after some kind of apocalypse. Life expectancy is short. 25 is considered ancient. And rules are inviolate. They exist to keep you alive. If you question them, you die. [Read more…]

Review: True by Erin McCarthy

trueReviewed by Jaimie

True is the first book in Erin McCarthy’s True Believers series and it’s one that has been sitting on my TBR pile for a while.  Since I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick lately, I figured now is as good of a time as any to check this one out.  I’m not going to say this was an all time favorite book, but I enjoyed it, and I’m going to grab the next book in the series.  It’s a fairly typical YA/NA  book so if you like those, then you will want to read this one.  I’ve read some of Ms. McCarthy’s books before and have always enjoyed them. This book was published in 2013, so its not a new release. If you are like me and you like to dive right into a series then this is a good start, since the rest are already out. [Read more…]