Tag Archive | 13+

Book Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

FrozenRatingIt was supposed to be a harmless prank. Sophie and her best friend Jay were just having a little fun. When an Ouija board app on Jay’s phone predicts his death…which later occurs….Sophie is devastated and frightened.

The timing couldn’t be any worse—with her mother away on holiday, Sophie is sent to stay with her Uncle and cousins for a few weeks on the Isle of Skye. There’s a secret buried deep in the house on the hill they live. What used to be an old school house is haunted with memories of its former students…and then there are the frozen Charlottes.

Could there be a link between Sophie’s best friend’s death and the mysterious bumps in the night at her Uncle’s home? She just might have to risk her life to find out…

What I see: I LOVED THIS BOOK! What a fantastic spooky read for October! I read it during November and unfortunately Seattle got down to 18 degrees! That’s cold for us in the Pacific Northwest (well, those close to the city that is…). The funny thing was that the temperature was PERFECT for feeling the chill of the howling wind while reading this brilliant book.

Bell’s writing is strong, clear, creepy and engaging! Written with perfect hooks to keep to you turning pages and excellent redirection to delay the suspenseful ending. Relevant and mystical at the same time, Frozen Charlotte is a pleasantly paced and thrilling read for teens and adults alike. Ideal for October, this story is also great for when the deep winter cold has blanketed the land. If you’re looking for a story that is haunting with a hint of mystery, this is the book for you! Seriously, some of the imagery was truly terrifying. You’ll never look at dolls the same way again!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Stripes Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the lovely team at Stripes! I look forward to the next exciting titles from Red Eye!

Frozen Charlotte will be released in January 5th 2015!

Pre-order your copy now!

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Book Review: The One by Keira Cass

The One

Screen shot 2014-10-12 at 21.34.53The wait is finally over. The Selection is coming to a close. America is sure who Maxon will choose as his bride.

Or does he? The Selection is down to four girls, and as tensions rise within this love competition, they’re just as high outside of the palace. The war is getting worse. The enemy keeps pushing for the end of the castes and the royal family. Maxon’s caught in the middle. Between choosing a bride and learning to lead his country, all eyes are on this pretty boy prince. Who will he choose? How will the country react?

I’ve absolutely adored The Selection series. I didn’t want to, but I gave up about two chapters into the first book. There is just magic within these stories. The idea is simple: the story of a girl that doesn’t actually want to be a princess, but she cares about her family. America comes from good stock. For a teenager it’s no wonder she can’t decide what her heart wants at seventeen. She doesn’t buy into the fantasy of the future, which makes her actions more understandable. 

Also, for those that have read this book. Celeste. If anything, finishing the series alone for Celeste. 

Cass doesn’t hold back in this conclusion. I waited months before reading because I wasn’t ready for the series it end. But end it is and Cass does a wonderful job. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Book Review: Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler

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Please note this is the third book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series and may contain spoilers.

For my review on the first book Hunger.

For my review on the second book Rage.

Billy Ballard is the one kid at school that everyone either picks on or ignores. You know the kind. He can’t stick up for himself and doesn’t stand out in a good way. Poor Billy. Even the teachers and adults prefer to turn a blind eye. With a mother trying to support him and a grandfather with Alzheimer’s, well, home is no better place than school.

My heart went out to Billy. It seems that everyone nowadays is wrapped up with his or her own troubles and people choose to look the other way than to offer help or assistance. Then the white rider appears and Billy is giving his chance to fight for a life he doesn’t want to continue on with. Pestilence has gone insane and Billy is quested with finding him or taking his place.

This beautiful blend of Billy’s adventure as Pestilence to find the real white rider is a grieving, frightening and heart-beating ride. You feel the anguish; you feel Billy’s despair.

Yet, you want Billy to succeed. For once in his life you want this character to stop hiding against the wall and stand his ground! The character’s evolution will bring you to tears.

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Maze runner cover

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‘”If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.”

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.’

I. Loved. This. BOOK. 

The language – fantastic. 

The setting – aMAZing (haha)

The characters – brilliant

The creatures – I seriously need a visual, but the sounds – oh how the described sounds makes me want to hide!

The fact that you never really understand what’s going on – GIVE ME MORE NOW. 

Written with a tone that shoves the reader head first into something I can’t really describe, this is YA writing at the best! The mystery that hangs in the air is intoxicating and the harsh realities of the characters and their fates is heartbreaking. How I haven’t read this sooner? Biggest mistake of my reading life. 

My only hope is that the rest of the books in this series hold up the same. I am very excited to keep reading Dashner! 

Book Review: Split Second by Kasie West

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*Note – This is the second book in the Pivot Point Series – may contain spoilers
For my review on Pivot Point

“Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.”

I loved Pivot Point, adored it! I was bummed when I learned that another book was being added to make it a two book series – I thought it ended in a excellent way. 

I wish I could say I was wrong. The style of Addie’s two different points of view was unique and exciting. I feel slightly let down by having it go to a two different characters point of view. The pace is slow going too. It picks up, but I wasn’t as enchanted as before. 

Still, I’m glad there’s only two books in this series. Addie and us the readers, get the closure we need. It is interesting to see how Addie goes about living her life outside of the compound, again, and getting more information about the inside government of it was clever. The direction this book went was probably the best it could go. I don’t know if it’s silly, but I just wish there was more to the book? 

West’s writing is nevertheless engaging and her characters are still full of secrets even when us readers are being taken again on a second ride with Addie. I highly recommend reading West’s work, and I look forward to branching out to her other books, but I have to end by saying Pivot Point was better, but Split Second is ok too. 

Book Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key cover

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“Ruby can take care of herself.

She’s used to counting on no one and answering to nobody. But all of that changes when her mother vanishes and Ruby is sent to live with her older sister, Cora. Now Ruby’s got her own room in a fabulous new house, she’s going to private school, and—for the first time—feeling as if she has a future. Plus, there’s the adorable and sweet boy next door, Nate. Everything should be perfect. So why is Ruby so wary? And why is Nate keeping her at a distance? Ruby soon comes to realize that sometimes, in order to save yourself, you’ve got to reach out to someone else.”

I don’t know why I was so hesitant to Dessen’s books. I guess I let the covers fool me? What I thought was going to be a traditional YA romance turned out to be full of heart and struggles. I fell into this book – as literarily as I could, and finished it in three days (if that gives any indication). 

Lock and Key is amazing for the fact that it covers abuse, many different kinds at that. Not enough YA books cover these true harsh realities that kids these day face and need resources to help them evolve through. It’s why YA is important. These are outlets for kids to learn (and adults too-YA doesn’t judge it’s just meant to be read), gather strength or take what can from something dark. The rest can go into any number of way, but it’s that beginning, that start that there can be hope and help – THAT is the important message. 

I also loved how Ruby was strong the entire time. Her personality wasn’t likeable in the beginning, but then she grows on you the more the reader learns about her. Dessen’s writing style is also strategic, making this book not only engaging but she left me wanting more. It’s not in a thriller kind of sense. There are secrets littered throughout the pages and Dessen patiently leaves breadcrumbs in order for us to keep reading chapter after chapter. It’s a standout skill and I’m impressed with her writing. 

I will no longer shy away from Dessen’s book. Now I have seen the light and felt the feels. I can’t wait to read more of her work! 

Book Review: A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Beautiful Cover

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“We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be Forgotten…

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become–her mark on this earth, her very existence–is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny–no matter how dark the consequences.”

What I see: This is an interesting shorter YA. Charlotte’s story focuses on relationships. What begins as a standard YA blossoms into a story of heavenly assistance. As reader you’re torn between wanting Charlotte to have a life. Her childhood was tragic but she raises herself up, has a steady boyfriend, best friend and hopes and dreams for her future. Charlotte has to make a choice to continue on her destiny or reject it and turn to darkness. At the same time you want Charlotte to have her life, you’re always wondering what will come after should be complete her destiny’s task.

There is a lot of heartbreak as Charlotte continues her transition. The ending is smacked with surprises and the final chapter is only a thread. It’s excellently paced, with a continous flow and althought the endings feels completely different from the beginning, I am curious to see how Charlotte’s choice turns out.