Reviews


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Us Three

by Mia Kerick
- rating

"Review from Breann"

What a story. What a wonderful, beautiful story.

Three boys--Zander, Nate and Casey, who are all trying to make it through high school--are put together for a project. How could they have known that it just might have been the best thing that ever happened to them? But it was.

The chemistry between these three was off the charts. They fit together so perfectly, whether it was two of them together or all three of them together, I could feel all the emotion flowing between them. What they had was unexpected for the boys. While they were working together, this strong and solid bond was forming and they had no idea. They had no idea that they could have two people in their life that meant so much to them, that without all three of them there, it just wasn't the same. Just two would have never worked.

The main focus of US THREE was the terrible bullying. The bullying was heavy. It was intense and gut-wrenching. This poor boy, Casey, who is just trying to get by, just won't be left alone. The mean girls won't let him be. It's incredibly brave of him to return to school after the horrible things that were done to him. I loved, absolutely loved, how Nate and Zander were there for Casey. They were both there but in completely different ways. They helped in their own way, and both were equally loving and effective in their efforts.

Casey, Nate and Zander's characters were written flawlessly. Flawlessly, I tell you! They were three very distinct and different people. Their dialogue and choices were true to who they were every single time. The way they comforted and loved each other was different for each of them and I could see their individuality shine through in every scene.

The story is written from all three of their POVs. Sounds exhausting, right? Having to keep up with three different POV's and all male? But each boy had a different way of telling their side of the story and every time the POV switched, I hadn't realized how much I needed to hear from one of the other three. I don't even have a favorite character and there wasn't one I preferred to read about. I really adored hearing from all of them because they were so different and they were special to me for different reasons. Casey, Zander and Nate all had a story to tell and they had their own way of doing it. Which, again, fit perfectly with their character.

US THREE is one of the best books I've read this year. It wasn't an easy read, but it was definitely beautiful and honest. There were some horribly difficult moments and some romantic and sweet moments. It was intense, but completely worth it.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

151 Days

by John Goode
- rating

"Review from Pat Henshaw"

You'd think with only five months left before graduation that Foster High and its senior class would only have smooth sailing. If you really thought so, you haven't been following John Goode's series at all or you haven't been in high school for a very long time.

The previous book in the series, End of the Innocence, brought the tales of Foster Texas High School through the first half of senior year when something cataclysmic occurred, an event so horrific that it reverberated through the tiny town of Foster.

Be warned: To get the most enjoyment out of this two-book look at Foster High's senior year, it's imperative to read the the books in order. Although readers will be brought up to date at the beginning of 151 DAYS, John Goode is making an incredibly important point in these books, a point that is blunted if one reads this book first and then decides to read the previous one.

The event from End of the Innocence is still on everyone's mind as the second half of senior year begins. And this tragedy is causing everyone to look inward.

Brainy Kyle Stilleno and baseball star Brad Graymark are still together, and Foster High's principal still resents their abnormal relationship being accepted by so many students, faculty, parents, and residents of Foster. The stir that Kyle and Brad made coming together has affected more than just the students, and past sins, especially the long ago death of a prominent citizen's son by a hit-and-run driver, are being dug up to join the pall that's fallen over the town from recent events.

If all of this sounds just a little oblique and hazy, it's because I'd hate to spoil the shock value of the previous book which permeates and centers this book. End of the Innocence is one of those books that will live in readers' minds if they are blindsided by the horrible event, and will be blunted and robbed of its power if readers know what happens in advance.

So as the snippy Robbie, the town's blatantly gay character, would say, "Suck it up and read Innocence already." If you read both books, I can promise you laughter, sorrow, and at the end elation. As a bonus there are no sex scenes, so readers can give this to teens and adults to enjoy.

What I can tell you is that John Goode's stories are grounded in today's high school experiences and aren't farfetched at all, which make them even more gritty. Fortunately, however, the author is an optimist and not a pessimist. His message is one of hope and happiness. He sees the next generation not in terms of doom and gloom, but in terms of righting past wrongs and building a better world.

As far as 151 DAYS is concerned, he ties up the series on a positive note even though the steps leading up to the good news is rocky. It's a journey well worth taking.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Death Sworn

by Leah Cypess
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

Leah Cypess grabs the reader from the first page, first paragraph. You identify immediately wtih Ileni, with her fears and hopes and trepidation, and the mystery of her situation draws you in to turn the pages. Moreover, the author layers the clues like tidbits, inexorably drawing the reader forward in a compelling read.

In a treaty between their peoples, Ileni was sent to teach magic to a group of assassins living in a cave. In reality, she was sent because she was expendable to her people, and her real motive was to find what had happened to her two predecessors, who had died within months of each other. She discovered that the truth was not what it seems, and that the cave hid more secrets than she could've imagined.

The entire story happened in the caves that the assassins lived in, and the worldbuilding was amazing, in that the author can make the caves sound interesting and even beautiful, with the mention of the glowstones and the riot of colors when all the stones were lit up. I went to visit some caves once in Tasmania and I can understand how Ileni felt, how when she first entered the caves, as if she was being pressed down into the earth, the thought that at any moment, the mountains above would come crushing down and bury her alive in there. And how she'd crave the open air and the sky, after weeks of living underground.

The story was told entirely from Ileni's point of view, and it's a good thing I like Ileni. She was real, with her fears and frustrations and heartache and fatalism, and it's easy to like her and to root for her. She was the wildcard in the master's (the leader of the assassins) plans, having been once the most powerful sorceress of her people. But her power fizzed out, leaving her with no power at all, an ordinary. Why this happened wasn't explained at all; just that this could happen to anybody. I hope this could be explained in the next book, because for sure the story wouldn't just end this way! However, while some YA series seem to have books 2 and 3 for the sake of having sequels (though how this trend came about, I'm not too sure. Because if the first book wasn't that compelling in the first place, why would people bother to read the next books?), this wasn't the case with DEATH SWORN. There's a very legitimate reason for the sequel/s and I, for one, am looking forward to them.

Sorin was the dangerous assassin, feral and fierce, who was assigned to protect Ileni. He certainly caught my imagination! There was no insta-love between them, but instead they circled around one another at the start, until the inevitable happens. However, I wish there could've been more romantic development between them; their relationship could've used the additional scenes to cement their feelings for one another. As it is, I felt that their relationship was like a flickering candle, liable to be snuffed out at any moment. However, perhaps the author has plans for this and intended to give it more substance in the next book/s. I certainly hope so.

The story flowed well, and the writing was imaginative and interesting, the plot throwing out twists and turns that shocked and amazed. However, I do wish we could've seen more of Ileni's thought processes to support her actions, especially toward the end. That said, I've read some YA books, only to be disappointed at the juvenile writing and thin plot. This is certainly not one of them! I'm glad to have discovered this gem. A great YA read, one adults can enjoy and one I highly recommend. I can't wait for the next book!

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

"Review from Victoria Lane"

Don your intergalactic spacesuits, BEYOND by Maureen A. Miller will take you to unknown galaxies and introduce you to some odd beings. This young adult science fiction novel is a fantastic read, and I give it 4 stars.

In the novel, seventeen-year-old Aimee Patterson is accidentally abducted by aliens while out for a walk, and due to the rotation of the galaxies, can't be returned to her planet for five Earth years. While on the Guardian ship Horus, Aimee meets a lot of people--some really handsome, some creepy--and has some interesting experiences. When the ship is affected by a disease, Aimee must work with Warrior Zak to find a cure.

I really liked this novel. For someone who hasn't read much true science fiction, BEYOND is a great introduction into the genre. The technological ideas will blow your mind. I imagined a much more complex plot with schemers and master manipulators, but in the end the plot was straightforward and simple. Whether that added to or detracted from the book, I'm not sure; I enjoyed reading it either way.

I would have liked some more distinction of time on the ship. Understandably, time on the ship is not the same as Earth time, but based on Aimee's routine, it seems like she is only away from Earth for three Earth nights before being returned. The reader only knows of 2 times that Aimee sleeps and one meal; yet Aimee is told that it will be something like an Earth month that she has to remain on the ship before being able to return to Earth, and her body grows into a more adult womanly figure. Time paradoxes aside, the passage of time in the novel was not clearly illustrated, and so it was a tad difficult to get my bearings.

The romance was sweet and a great illustration of the sublime nature of teenage love, but the issue with time makes it difficult for me to determine whether the declarations of love are believable.

On the technical side, the pace was well done, and there weren't any grammatical issues that detracted from my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, this was a great novel, and I look forward to reading the next in the series, telling us what happened to Zak after Aimee is returned to Earth.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Jewel

by Amy Ewing
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

THE JEWEL is a compelling dystopian read with fascinating, superb worldbuilding.

Violet is a surrogate, and once she has finished her training, she's off to the Jewel to be auctioned off to the royalty. In The Lone City, the royalty cannot bear a child to full term (probably due to too much inbreeding). However, it seems the poorest girls are able to wield Auguries (a magic power that can determine color, shape and personality of the fetus, among other things), and they are trained then auctioned off to the royal ladies.

Violet is bought by the Duchess of the Lake, who is not all that bad, when compared with other owners. Yet, even with having the best clothes, food, water, she chafes against the loss of freedom and her power to choose. Luckily, she meets Lucien, someone who's working to bring her out of the Jewel and back to her family, but before that happens, she meets Ash and a forbidden romance sparks between them...

As with most dystopian YA books, THE JEWEL is set in a place where choices are taken away from young people, in this case, teenage girls (and boys, too, actually). The author depicted the importance of this freedom to choose perfectly in lots of scenes, especially once it has been taken away, how Violet is so grateful when people gave her the power to make even the smallest choice.

Violet is a great character; she's smart, determined and she's loyal to friends and family. She faces her situation with bravery and courage, and she knows to take the opportunities life directs her way. She's the blazing life force of the book, as she should be, since the story is told in her first person point of view. Ash, her romantic interest, on the other hand, comes across as a bit passive. True, they are both under the same scenario, both under the Duchess's thumb, but Violet has her moments of defiance, wherein she dared to stay true to herself, while Ash is careful to stay within the boundaries of his situation. Well, aside from embarking in a forbidden romance with Violet, that is. I suppose I like my heroes more...active, more Alpha, and Ash just doesn't come across as that way. Maybe he'll have a more active role in the sequels; I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

I like the scenes of warmth and humanity that are peppered throughout the novel--like the scene of Violet with her family, how she and Raven promised never to forget each other--especially when these are juxtaposed against the cold cruelty of their situation at the holding facility, the auction, and especially their lives among the Royalty.

Twists and turns also abound in the book, especially toward the latter part of the book, and there are also threads that are left hanging, that I hope would be resolved or revealed in subsequent installments. I do feel that there is more to the world that isn't revealed in this book, especially that last revelation at the end that hints to something more. I did guess that there's more to that character than meets the eye and I'm glad to see my theory proven correct. I can't wait to see if that character will have a more central role in Violet's life; certainly that character seems to have more potential for development than Ash.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the next installments! I hope the author continues to deliver riveting stories as this one!

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Taste

by Kate Evangelista
- rating

"Review from VRValicento"

When Phoenix McKay was caught on school grounds after curfew, it should have resulted in immediate expulsion. Instead, it resulted in avid curiosity about the Tall, Dark, and Mysterious Night Student, Demitri.

Barinkoff Academy has a strict rule regarding curfew and when Phoenix wakes up in the library after curfew, she has very few options. While trying to find a way back to the dorms, she runs into a group of Night Students that no one knew the school had. This group of students is threatening to taste her flesh and not interested in helping her get back to the dorms. She is saved from being "tasted" by Demitri.

Demitri peaks Phoenix's interest because he will not answer her questions, shows her things about her school she did not know, and then drops her off at the dorms. But curiosity may have gotten the best of Phoenix McKay this time. To get answers to her questions, she agrees to be a test subject for the story's mad scientist, Dray. The experiment is intended to save the Zhamvy people. The Zhamvy are flesh-eaters that have not eaten human flesh in centuries, and are dying. The goal of Dray's experiment is to save his people. But it has one great side effect--Phoenix's and Demitri's romance. What started as an attraction or curiosity turned into love.

TASTE is an interesting story. It has a lot to offer the reader. It has mystery, romance, royalty, espionage, and action. The characters are an interesting group of people. They might be flesh-eating royals, but they really are just like anyone you know. I really enjoyed TASTE and had difficulty putting it down.

If reading about zombies or flesh-eaters is not your cup of tea, forget that it is part of the story. This is a story about a girl that meets a boy. She is curious about that boy, wants to know more about him and his friends, and then does what she can to stay with him.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Phoenix Island

by John Dixon
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

Amazing and engrossing! Just when I thought I knew how the story would end, John Dixon surprised me yet again.

Carl Freeman is a sixteen year old orphan who jumped in once again to defend a stranger at a cost--he winds up in trouble and is sent to Phoenix Island, a boot camp for troubled teens. Determined to lead a new life, he tries to be on his best behavior, only to discover that Phoenix Island is hiding something sinister--that they were training kids to become mercenaries and killers...

Despite being an orphan, a promise Carl made to his father defined him--his actions, his moral compass--and may be his saving grace. Certainly, it made him into the boy that we meet in the story, a boy who channeled his aggression to save the weaker persons, who are usually the victims of bullies. Carl is a sympathetic hero; we feel for him, for his struggles, his need to do what he think is right despite the fallout to him, as he couldn't break his promise to his father. He's already a great character from the outset, but the author made him even better with his growth and development throughout the story, such that we, as the reader, also grow with him in his realizations and enlightenment.

The author certainly didn't spare him or the other characters in the story, like best friend Ross or the girl Carl liked--Octavia. What they went through, the army-like conditions, the barbaric and Spartan-like existence, the sweat box...the descriptions are so realistic that they brought vivid images to mind. Especially when Carl was being outfitted with a new brain. (Sorry, I cringed.)

The story was fast-paced, making for engrossing reading, with enough twists and turns to surprise me again and again. The ending, while unexpected, was satisfactory; a fitting ending. Of all the YA books I've read, excepting for The Hunger Games, this is the first time I hope this is merely the first book in a trilogy. I can't wait to continue Carl's story!

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Grim

by Ellen Hopkins; Amanda Hocking; Julie Kagawa; Claudia Gray; Rachel Hawkins; Kimberly Derting; Myra McEntire; Malinda Lo; Sarah Rees-Brennan; Jackson Pearce; Christine Johnson; Jeri Smith Ready; Shaun David Hutchinson; Saundra Mitchell; Sonia Gensler ; Tess
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

GRIM is a wonderful, varied collection of fairy tale retellings from talented authors, with romance, adventure, tragedy, and enough of the mythic and mystic to make you gasp with the same wonder and awe as when you were reading beloved fairy tales once upon a time (i.e. when you were younger).

The tales were as varied as there were authors. There were sixteen in all, so each story is short. Still, I have to applaud the authors for making each tale interesting and complete. Some stories I couldn't identify which fairy tale they were based on, but I love those that I could. I especially love those with twists that turn the story on its head, like The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa and Untethered by Sonia Gensler, and beautiful, romantic stories like A Real Boy by Claudia Gray. Sarah Rees Brennan's Beauty and the Chad is a fun retelling of Beauty of the Beast, providing plenty of laughs, especially with the funny Beast...er, Chad. Fans of the Disney movie will see echoes of it in the dancing teapots and the characters' dialogue. And a bit of Spiderman.

Sharper Than a Serpent's Tongue is Christine Johnson's modern take on Diamonds and Toads. Dina wasn't really evil like older daughter in the original fairy tale, but was sharp-tongued and assertive. I like that we are left with a question at the end, and also a subtle message that we are really masters of our own destiny, despite blessings or curses that are heaped upon us. However, I do think Clara (the kind daughter) is being rewarded for the wrong thing, for keeping silent when she should have spoken up, which might give girls the wrong message.

Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready, which is The Velveteen Rabbit meets Puss in Boots, is also a noteworthy addition to the anthology. I like it for the message it tries to bring across, about not forgetting the friends who helped us on our way to success

There's something for everyone, whatever it is you may like. The best thing is that these stories are short, so if you're busy, you can read a story or two for a short break, then come back to it again later. Great, too, for teens with short attention span. LOL If you love fairy tales, you have to read this and experience again the wonder of magic and myth.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Sweetest Scent

by Susan Laine
- rating

"Review from Susan Mac Nicol"

Beautifully written!

Bro Sumner is deeply in love with his girlfriend Lacey Adair. It doesn't matter that Lacey is actually a Lance, a young man who prefers the prettiness of dresses and make up and femininity to that of being a regular seventeen-year-old male.

The couple is crazy in love with each other and doesn't see a future where the other one is not around. But they have many challenges to face. Lacey's father, a drunk, a bully, stricken with grief by the death of his wife, Lacey's mother. A man who refuses to accept his son is gay, let alone likes dressing like a woman. There are the usual school bullies, the ones who don't see beneath the love the two have for each other and only see two men together, one of whom is effeminate and pretty.

They have their own conflicts, those of wondering whether they are doing the right thing, whether their relationship will last into the future as both of them follow different career paths and try and make a life together.

Bro's deaf brother Sebastian and his life partner Jordan try to help the couple, as do Kevin and Jack, the other role models in Bro's life, themselves lovers and partners. But in the end, it's about Lacey's ability to deal with her father, to rise above the ugliness inside him and see him for what he truly is. A lonely, grief stricken man. It's about Bro's struggle to let Lacey grow, to see that she's stronger than he gives her credit for, and to try to stop protecting her all the time. And most of all, it's about two young people learning to accept what life throws at them and getting through it together.

THE SWEETEST SCENT is a beautifully written story about life and love, loss and gain, absolution and acceptance. The characters will rip your heart out, their innocence and joy make you weep, the emotions running through the book will leap out of the pages to smack you in the face and leave you wondrous.

Susan Laine has put a lot of love and thought and understanding into writing this story. Her talent in depicting the lives of teenagers fraught with love, laughter, sadness and heartbreak shines through and makes you root for Bro and Lacey every step of the way.

If you haven't read any of Susan Laine's books, then read her Senses and Sensations books from start to finish. You won't regret you did.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Gilded

by Renita Pizzitola
- rating

"Review from preppea"

Renita Pizzitola once again delivers a well-constructed and beautifully written young adult story about the Fae.

GILDED continues the story of a half-faerie girl named Kyla (Kylie) who was raised by humans but brought back to the faerie realm upon turning 18. In Gossamer, Kylie escaped from the faerie kingdom to avoid a betrothal she didn't want. Woodland fae teach her how to wield her fae magic but before she can master her abilities, she is forced to return to the faerie kingdom to save a friend.

GILDED is truly a coming-of-age story wrapped in a faerie package. It's the story of an extremely strong and powerful girl struggling to recognize what everyone else sees in her. Kylie is only just beginning to realize how special her magic is and finds herself wrestling with the responsibility that so much power brings. She doubts herself just as any 18 year old would, wondering if she's really as strong as everyone thinks she is, or if she'll fail everyone who believes in her.

I loved the journey Kylie is on. The entire story is detailed; easy to grasp but constantly adding something new. Kylie finally figures out why King Alastar is so determined to control her and she must figure out a way to convince him she's not a threat before he inadvertently forces her into doing the very thing he fears most. GILDED ends on the perfect kind of cliffhanger – not so frustrating that the reader is in a heartrending panic until book #3 comes out but enough of one that the reader is definitely going to want to continue the series to see what happens next.

The reason for my 4 (versus 5) star rating is that while I loved the fae world the author created, I didn't quite feel the romantic element in this story. I realize that this is a young adult story and as such there is a fine line in how much can be described, but I'm actually referring more to how I felt about Kylie and Grant as a couple versus what they did. When Kylie described her love for Grant, I just didn't experience it for myself. When she was kissing him, I was just reading about the kiss versus getting swept up in it. And while I love a good paranormal story, it MUST have that tangible emotional experience for me to truly gush about it. In this case, I wanted to feel the angsty, torturous ache that I would feel if I fell in love only to have it ripped away from me. That for me would have taken this fantastic story and incredible world and pushed it into the next level of stardom.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Twin Sense

by Lydia Sharp
- rating

"Review from KJane"

TWIN SENSE by Lydia Sharp is a funny, charming coming-of-age short story. This will have you giggling, tearing up and, for the older audience, thinking back to your high school days with all the beautiful mishaps that went with it. TWIN SENSE is for readers who enjoy short YA books with a GLBT twist that leaves a smile on your face and your heart warmed.

Layna is dating Kevin, a wealthy Taylor twin. Kevin's brother, Keith, is dating Sherri when he isn't romping around with other girls. Kevin seems like a great match for Layna, especially in comparison to bad boy Keith who has let Sherri down one too many times. However, things start to get complicated for Layna when Kevin surprises her with a special gift at their high school's spring formal. This gift put Layna in a bind where she will have to make a tough choice, and fast! Unfortunately, Layna's choice won't be easy when all she can think about is Sherri. What will Layna do and how will her choice affect everybody else?

I have to say this story really struck a chord with me. In just a short number of pages, this story brought real characters to life and explained in a beautiful yet comical way how confusing coming of age can be. Even though the characters were set in a common backdrop (high school) and given stereotypical backgrounds (the wealthy, attractive twins, the alleged school slut, the confused virgin), there was something so real and unique about each one of them.

This is a cute story that gets to the core of what it's like for a young girl to make some "adult" decisions and discover herself in the process. I enjoyed this story immensely and recommend it to all readers, but especially to those who love humorous yet thoughtful pieces with GLBT themes.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Countdown

by Michelle Rowen
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

COUNTDOWN delights with high-octane action and edge-of-your-seat suspense, as well as twists and turns that I never saw coming.

Countdown is a televised reality show which use hardened male criminals as contestants. They had go through six levels of challenges, which they had to complete within a certain period of time. Not completing it in time means death.

But for the first time ever, they chose Kira as one of the contestants. Kira, a sixteen-year-old thief, never thought to be fighting for her life after stealing a pair of red shoes. Nor could she imagine that she'd be teamed up with a handsome, eighteen-year-old boy called Rogan, who allegedly murdered nine college girls. What's worse, they were fitted with implants in their head, wherein she couldn't be ninety feet away from Rogan or she'd die.

How will she get out of this alive?

COUNTDOWN is set in a post-apocalyptic future, when a plague wiped away about sixty percent of the world population. In this world, the technology is much advanced, with artificial intelligence and implants in a person's head allowing him to subscribe and watch shows. It's a world more relatable than other dystopian worlds in the genre, as it's a world that we could foresee happening in the future.

The pace of the story is just right, with a mix of action and dialogue (revelations) to keep the reader enthralled and engaged. It was interesting to see how Kira and Rogan would be able to get past all six levels, and what happens next when they did. The plot was realistic enough, with unexpected twists and turns to keep things exciting. I love the chemistry between the two main characters and I enjoyed their sarcastic wit and banter, which earned a laugh or two from me. Toward the end, what Rogan said was enough to make my romantic heart all a-flutter.

"...Now that they're (the implants) out, I still feel like I shouldn't be more than ninety feet away from you or I might die."


Be still, my heart.

However, I thought the things they needed to neutralize the villain were almost too handy. The stuff they needed was there for them to use when they need it, so much so that they seemed a bit contrived. Nothing is that easy in life, as we know it. But other than that, I enjoyed this story a lot.

If you like The Hunger Games and reality TV and post-apocalyptic settings, check out this book. You won't be disappointed.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Sacrifices We Make

by Sophie Bonaste
- rating

"Review from Breann"

THE SACRIFICES WE MAKE really brings to light some of the harsh realities that young, gay teens have to face.

Adam grew up in a very religious setting, which is perfectly fine, but his family went into the realm of hatred, ignorance and intolerance of anything that went against their very strict belief system. Adam was getting to an age where he was starting to form his own beliefs and thoughts about life and what is right and wrong. Fortunately, he saw through their hypocrisy and chose a different path.

Adam's parents have him do charity work by volunteering at the homeless shelter on the other side of town. This was the best thing that could have ever happened to Adam because he was able to meet Mickey. Mickey was a homeless boy his age that frequented the shelter. Adam and Mickey became instant best friends and formed an inseparable bond.

Their insta-love wasn't love right away, but it was still insta. Yet, it was completely believable. Here's why, Adam has never found anyone he could relate to. Nobody he could be completely honest and himself with. Well, he found that someone in Mickey and he was going to hold on tight and never let go. Because of his inexperience with friendship, Adam had no idea that their hugs, constant touches and hand holding was not the norm for teenage boys who were only besties. Once he realized this, he had a minor freak-out period but, like I said, he still wasn't letting go.

I just adored these two boys and the loving way they took care of each other. Mickey never pushed Adam for more than he could give. He never pushed him to go against his family because that would result in Adam hurting himself. Mickey sacrificed a lot in order to keep Adam safe from his family. In turn, Adam also made a sacrifice that turned his whole world upside down. Together they were able to fight some really tough battles. What they lacked in a real family, they were able to make with each other. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

What stopped this from being a five star read was that the dialogue felt stilted and, at times, flowed unnaturally. What irked me the most was that in the dialogue the characters almost never used contractions. It would go like this, "I am sorry, Mother, but I will not be able to help." I was okay with this for a while, but when I would come across "I am" when in my head I'm reading "I'm," it really threw me out of the story. It would cause me to have to go back and reread it the way the author had written it, not how I had assumed it was written in my head. This seems very minor, but reading this stiff type of dialogue throughout the book caused my enjoyment to lessen. I think this was used in an effort to further prove the formality in the family, but ultimately, it felt forced.

I was able to look past the writing because I was so utterly engaged in this story. I couldn't put it down until I knew these boys were together and safe. I loved these characters and I loved their story. It's one I'll be remembering for some time.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Disintegrate

by Christine Klocek-Lim
- rating

"Review from Victoria Lane"

DISINTEGRATE by Christine Klocek-Lim provides a fantastic new look at the blessings and horrors of genetic mutations in humans. I give it 3 stars.

In the novel, Emily lives the typical poor college student life, eating ramen noodles and barely scraping enough money together for tuition and books, but Emily is anything but typical. Due to some scientific experiments performed by her parents, Emily has the power to manipulate inorganic material and disintegrate organic material.

One night while suffering a bout of insomnia, Emily is drawn by an odd sort of buzzing to a dive bar, where a guy named Jax is playing the guitar. As it turns out, Jax shares Emily's buzz, and when a group of mercenaries attack the club, Jax and Emily realize they share more than a mere attraction. Together they will have to figure out how to survive and build a life as their world disintegrates.

On the whole I enjoyed DISINTEGRATE. The characters were believable, and the plot action-packed. I appreciated the young adult aspect of the novel; the romance was sweet and realistic.

I would have liked to see more of an introduction to the characters and their issues in the beginning. It felt like I had been dropped into the middle of the story. Likewise, the ending felt incomplete and unresolved. I wondered if I missed something or if this was the second book in a trilogy. This was a major issue for me the entire book because I had so many questions that were not answered. Hence, the three star rating instead of four.

Notwithstanding my unanswered questions, DISINTEGRATE was a quick read and well worth the effort.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Violet Midnight

by Lynn Rush
- rating

"Review from preppea"

When Jake and Emma meet at a college frat party, they are instantly drawn to each other and quickly realize they have a lot more than their attraction for each other in common. Two years ago they both woke up on opposite side of the country with weird tattoos on their wrists and no memory of how they got there. While Emma quickly found Gabriel, a man open to fate and willing to help her research her tattoo and the meaning behind it, Jake moved from state to state, having much less luck in discovering his destiny.

When they meet each other, Emma teaches Jake about his abilities and together they train and continue to research the history and meaning of their tattoos. While the action scenes in VIOLET MIDNIGHT were interesting and kept the story moving, I found the character development lacking and the characters themselves flat. Not only did I feel like the main characters got a surface description but little depth, the minor characters had even less personality. One character in particular I actually had to go back and reread to see if I'd missed the chapter where he'd been introduced. Aside from a mention of his college major and fraternity affiliation, "Greg" was little more than an occasional crutch and felt like he'd been added to the story at the last minute with little regard to his actual personality.

As a whole, VIOLET MIDNIGHT felt like a skeleton – the bones of the story were there but all the meat that should have filled it up was missing. Each chapter felt like it skipped material and the majority of the book I felt like I was missing some crucial depth. The nickname "Vamps" irritated me and I felt no connection with Emma and Jake and certainly not the 10 days it took them to fall in love. I'm usually a big fan of paranormal romance but this just felt forced – the romance and the paranormal.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Nowhere

by Marysue G. Hobika
- rating

"Review from I ♥ Bookie Nookie"

NOWHERE quickly entices readers with the age-old hook of opposites attract, but this story is far from typical as author Marysue G. Hobika brings the reluctant city girl Mikayla to the country town of Railroad Mills.

The fastest way to rock a teenager's world is to force them to pick up their action-packed city life, leave their friends in the middle of their senior year and move to a town so small there's not even a red light! Yeah, that is exactly what Mikayla, or "Mike" as her friends called her, is forced to endure when tragedy strikes.

Mike is a feisty one and I love that about her! A tomboy at heart, she is the polar-opposite of her sister, Emma. While Mike initially resists the allure of the small town atmosphere, Emma seizes the opportunity to flaunt her stuff and "own" the school as one of the popular kids. Mike's miserable attitude is tolerable because she is suffering a terrible loss, but her negativity was beginning to wear on me there for a minute. When she finally pulled her head out of her butt, the transformation of her mindset about "Nowhere" was a pleasure to watch as the distaste morph into adoration of the small town pleasures Railroad Mills has to offer. One of those small town pleasures just happens to be none other than the hot-bodied, faded denim clad, cowboy boot wearing James Muldoon. Now THAT is something that just might be worth sticking around for!

James, also known as Dooner, is a doll! Dooner is the kid you would love for your daughter to date and the boy you would want your son to be like. He's been in "Nowhere" his entire life and he is itching to go somewhere, anywhere other than another small podunk-town like Railroad Mills. As the local football star, he is praying for a scholarship to take him to better places – that is until he caught sight of the long-legged beauty he comes to know as "Mike." It is obvious from the get-go that Mike is going to be a challenge, he can see the fire in her eyes and he can't wait to feel their burn.

Growing up in a small town, I could totally relate to some of the antics these teenagers got into on a quest to entertain themselves. Marysue G. Hobika concocts a believable and entertaining story with a wonderful cast of characters in NOWHERE. It is a great story that is sure to please those who love a feel good romance, at any age.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Brother's Keeper

by Elizabeth Finn
- rating

"Review from preppea"

Ever read an erotica book that didn't actually involve sex? No? Me either – until now! Elizabeth Finn takes the virgin story to a whole new level with this story about a best friend's brother who finds out a terrible secret and vows to protect the girl at all costs.

When we meet Rowan, she's in her final year of high school and just trying to make it through until she can leave for college on the ballet scholarship she's earned. For the majority of her life she's been hiding just how abusive her alcoholic father is, but one night her best friend's older brother finds out. Logan is 7 years older than Rowan and though she turns 18 early in the story, he still fights the feelings he has for her not only because of her age, but also because he has already accepted a job across the country and is set to move at the end of the year.

Rowan begs for Logan to keep quiet about what he's learned of her father and in exchange he makes her promise to stay in his guest bedroom whenever her father is out drinking. Logan fights his attraction as long as he can, but eventually he's left with only one vow left – he won't take her virginity only to leave her months later.

And so the most erotic and sensual non-sex story ensues, and boy, is it hot! I think this might be the first book of Elizabeth Finn's where I actually could have done with a few less erotic scenes (even before Logan and Rowan got together, their imaginations were already steamy and descriptive and it eventually become almost overkill). But the best thing about this author is that she doesn't rely on her sex scenes to make up for a mediocre story; she packs in action and characters that are three-dimensional and believable. The kind of characters you care about and root for – and can't get enough of!


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

If You Find Me

by Emily Murdoch
- rating

"Review from I ♥ Bookie Nookie"

IF YOU FIND ME is a gut-wrenching tale of abuse and abandonment. It will make you want to hug every child you see and protect them from the evils of the world.

Children should have the luxury to behave as such and they are supposed to be loved and protected from all harm. Fifteen-year old Carey has not had this luxury in her short life. As the daughter of a meth addicted, mentally ill mother, Carey has had to take on the role that should have been her mother's responsibility – the role of provider, teacher and disciplinarian to her younger sister has sadly fallen into her capable teenaged hands.

When Carey was very young, her mother whisked her away to a camper in the dense and secluded national forest that she now calls home. When her mother gives birth to a little baby, her mother is unable to care for the child and irresponsibly leaves them to fend for themselves for days, weeks and months at a time. Carey is forced to grow up much faster than any child should ever have to. Until one wonderful day, when their whereabouts is finally discovered by a man she comes to know as her father and is taken to a world filled with modern conveniences that most "normal" people take for granted every day. Although this world is scary and foreign to Carey and her baby sister, Nessa, they quickly learn what it means to truly be loved and cherished and most of all protected.

Carey is such a strong character. I love her! I love how she grabs the bull by the horns and hangs on for dear life – because she knows that is the only way to survive the vicious bucking ride-of-a-life she has been thrown into. Witnessing the transformation of Carey and Nessa was uplifting and emotional. Although their story is a very sad tale, it really forces you to stop and think about how a simpler life is not always such a bad thing – though few would actually want to live it.

IF YOU FIND ME is a wonderful story for all ages – a word of caution, there are recollections of rape, abuse and drug use, but the story overall is one to be enjoyed by all. Pull up a chair, grab a tissue and hug your children because this is an emotional novel you will not want to put down until you have read the very last page.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Flightless

by Keri Neal
- rating

"Review from JCCeleste"

When an angel falls and finds his chance of redemption in the protection of his previous charge, he must fight not only archangels, crazy teenage girls, and his own heart, but he must discover the truth behind his charge's secret, before he loses her, his wings and something infinitely precious he is afraid to name.

At 35,000 words, FLIGHTLESS is a good novella. We are introduced to Pen (our fallen angel) and Jade (his charge) and we become familiar with this world which launches a series.

The story changes perspectives between Pen and Jade, and we watch their relationship morph into something unexpected from both sides, yet completely natural. Their tenderness, the expression of their love for each other, while held in check by external forces, was fun to watch unfold. I also liked the way the dynamics of the side characters kept changing. Given the length of the story, Ms. Neal paints "stereotypical" characters who are anything but, and she manages to capture a lot about people with brief strokes.

I really would mark FLIGHTLESS as a 4.5, because I had a hard time putting it down, but it's not quite a 5 because I didn't immediately wish I could read the next story, or go out and buy other books by the same author. It met its purpose quite well, but I read so many books now that to really earn a 5, I have to finish totally enthusiastic about a world or an author.

That said, I'm interested in this one. The series has serious potential, and the author has a cool way of bringing the subject of angels and their universe to life. I look forward to more works by Ms. Neal.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

by Rachel Cohn; David Levithan
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

My attention was caught by the summary of DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES, and I am happy to report that this book is a total delight and has resulted in me smiling and chuckling throughout the entire story.

On a visit to the Strand (bookstore) several days before Christmas, Dash came across a red notebook with instructions...or dares. He performed them successfully, and learned that the notebook owner was a girl named Lily. He hit upon a bright idea to come up with his own dares for Lily. And the game continues...

The dares were fun to read, but what saved this book from a boring read of stunts were the personalities and character that were being revealed about the protagonists, how they managed to connect via the red Moleskine notebook. Yet, there's also a deeper exploration of this connection: Was Dash entranced by the real Lily or his idea of her? And vice-versa. What happens should they meet?

The chapters alternated between Dash and Lily, narrated from the first person point of view. The book was never boring, the pace just right, urging the reader along from chapter to chapter.

I do wish there had been more scenes of Dash and Lily when they were finally together. Maybe because of this, I felt their chemistry more when they were exchanging the notebook than when they were together in the flesh. Perhaps this was what the authors meant about expectations and reality. I do feel that Dash and Lily shared their deepest and innermost thoughts and feelings more through the notebook, and the profoundness of their thoughts caused me to stop and ponder at times.

Witty and snarky, with more than a hint of seriousness, DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES will charm and delight not only teens but also adults like me!

Everything, Everything
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller--now a major motion picture starring Amandla Stenberg as Maddy and Nick Robinson as Olly.

Risk everything . . . for love.

What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Everything, Everything will make you laugh, cry, and feel everything in between. It's an innovative, inspiring, and heartbreakingly romantic debut novel that unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.

Earth's End
A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.
Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire's conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

Life in the Lucky Zone
Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Taylor lives a charmed life—always the lead in school plays, possessor of a healthy entourage and a hot boyfriend. But then she gets dumped and screws up her audition for the spring play. The Theater teacher picks Trey Berger, a gamer who irritates her by simply opening his mouth, to run lines with her. Could things get any worse?

Trey can barely tolerate Lindsey. It’s bad enough their best friends are dating and he has to see Lindsey outside of school. Rehearse together? Trey would rather chill with his live-in grandmother who has Dementia.

As the semester continues, Trey discovers there’s more to Lindsey than the persona she puts on for everyone else’s benefit. And that Lindsey might be someone he could care about. A lot.

While Lindsey tries to change her luck and heal from the breakup, Trey slowly becomes her best friend. He makes her laugh and holds her when she cries. Could he possibly become something more?

Displaced
Chevelle Donahue thought going into work would be just like any other boring day at the mall. Sure, there was her annoying co-worker Wicken Sanders, and a promotional visit from teen heartthrob Timber Hudson, to watch and keep her entertained. But who was she kidding? Working retail was lame no matter what happened.

A terrorist attack changes everything - an attack from aliens of all things. The patrons are given two options: comply or else. Complying means giving in to a new set of rules and changing her entire life. "Or else" means she has no chance of going home again.

She must figure out the truth behind why the aliens are holding everyone hostage. In doing so, she risks her chance at freedom - but by the time she learns what's really happening, she might not want it.

The Passage, a Dance, & a Little White Dress
It's been a week since 17-year-old Zoe Jabril found out her best friend is a Guardian Angel, her boyfriend is a Nephilim, and a fellow classmate is a Fairy. What makes Zoe so special? She’s destined to unify Enlightens to battle evil—that is, if Demons don’t kill her first.

With "Project: Enlightens Unite" underway, Zoe learns the history of the area wolf pack and realizes she's in a race against time to get her newly discovered talents under control. Despite struggling to fight a mysterious attraction to her new neighbor, rescue her boyfriend from Demons, and travel into Fairyland to convince the Summer King to join the fight, Zoe must still attend high school classes so her nosy parents don’t suspect anything is out of the ordinary before Demons can mount another attack.

Zoe will need all the help she can get, from the most unlikely of sources, if she’s to save her boyfriend's life and prevent the Devil from escaping Hell on her eighteenth birthday.

Holding Up the Universe
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

More Than We Can Tell
Rev works hard to keep the demons of the time before his adoption at bay ... until a letter from his father after his 18th birthday brings the trauma of his childhood hurtling back.

Emma escapes real life by perfecting the online game she built from scratch. Coding is way easier than facing her parents' nasty relationship or the growing distance with her best friend ... But when an online troll's harassment starts to escalate, she fears for her safety.

When Rev and Emma meet, they're buckling under the weight of their secrets. Though both of them find it hard to put their problems into words, they connect instantly and deeply. Rev and Emma's problems might be worlds apart, but they promise to help each other no matter what.

But promises are made to be tested and some things hurt more than we can tell.

Gemina
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Kisses On A Paper Airplane
Drama student Hannah Evans isn't kissing any frogs on her path to find Prince Charming. She's determined to share the perfect first kiss -- with the perfect boy -- in the perfect place -- or she's not kissing at all.

When Hannah meets a cute ginger-haired boy in first class lounge in the London airport, she knows he's 'The One.'

Pop star Theo Callahan is on the road to get as far away as possible from his back-stabbing best friend, and his supermodel girlfriend who broke his heart. Until one shy smile from Hannah has him rethinking all of his travel plans.

Theo is smitten, but he's worried she's just a groupie in search of the ultimate selfie. Can Theo learn to trust Hannah in time to share one perfect first kiss, or will Hannah be forced to kiss a frog?

Coral and Bone
Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.

Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can't help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.

Coming Up for Air
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie's focus and free time is spent swimming. She's not only striving to earn scholarships―she's training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team, and cheers her on. But Levi's already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed. And it's not until Maggie's away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the "typical" high school experience she's missed by being in the pool.

No one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?

Soulmated
Two souls. One Fate. The power of choice.

All eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan—an Irish royal empath—wants to do is stop the frustrating search for the elusive girl destined to be his soulmate. The rare union will cement his family's standing in empath politics and give the couple legendary powers, painting a bullseye on Liam's back—and hers.

All Indian-American Laxshmi Kapadia wants is to free herself from her traditional mother's ultimatum: graduate from high school early and go to medical school, or have her marriage arranged. Neither allow her to pursue her dreams of a career in dancing or of falling in love.

When Liam moves in next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately drawn to the purity of her emotions, and she sees in this charming Irish boy a future with the freedom to follow her heart. But Liam's father will never consent if she's not The One. And Laxshmi's mom won't even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. But hiding their relationship can’t keep them from becoming targets of a dark and ancient group determined to destroy the soulmated.

What will these two risk to choose their own fate?

A Mortal Song
Sora's life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother's last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents' true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world's natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she's ever known.

With its breathtaking action, heart-wrenching conflict, and unexpected romance, this vivid standalone YA fantasy will delight fans of Julie Kagawa and Laini Taylor.

Just One of the Boys
Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons.But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality...even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates...

Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning...

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning--a few locker room scenes are included...

Bittersweet
To save the Faery world and her mother’s life, seventeen year old Lorelei sacrificed everything, and the dangerous bargains she made in Nevermore had lasting repercussions.

Now safely back in her own world, Lorelei seems the same to her high school friends and her supernatural boyfriend in spite of the dark magic growing within her. Yet love across dimensions is complicated, especially when an invisible veil between the two worlds is sealing, threatening to separate Lorelei and Adrius forever.

Nightmares from the Nevermore tighten their icy hold, when someone arrives determined to destroy Lorelei’s world, starting with those closest to her.

Once again she’s forced to choose between her family....her friends… and a love that was ill-fated from the start.

Supermassive
Eighteen-year-old Ing is torn apart by two conflicting emotions: his numbing grief for his dead mother and his enduring love for a boy named Ellis. Four years ago, while visiting his grandmother in a remote part of Norway, his mother died the same day he kissed Ellis, his summer friend. Convinced that moving to Norway will solve his issues, Ing faces his first setback when he can’t bear to talk about his mother or go anywhere near the river where she drowned. The second blow comes when he meets Ellis at school and Ellis acts like nothing happened between them.

Ing resolves to rekindle their friendship, but his infatuation only grows as he gets to know the stunning and matured Ellis. When heart-shattering secrets surface, Ing’s resolve to bare his soul to Ellis starts to unravel. Forced to face his mother's death, he second-guesses his decision to move. His growing closeness with Ellis also frightens him, because if Ellis rejects him, he'll have no one left to love. Ing must decide what losses he is willing to endure and what chances to take in order to gain resolution.

Fire And Ice
OPTIONED FOR MOTION PICTURE!

Adventure wasn’t something Lorelei Alundra was interested in. Gifted with two other-worldly talents for singing and healing, she’s always shied away from her gifts and the spotlight, preferring quiet anonymity, over attention and fame. But when she meets the enigmatic Adrius, with his dark and dangerous mystique and eyes that could see into her soul, her uneventful life becomes irrevocably altered.

Adrius turns up in every one of her classes and knows more about her than any newcomer should. Including the condition of her mother who is suffering from a mysterious illness. Accepting his offer to help leads her into a terrifying and thrilling world, where Elves are even hotter than Legolas, and Faeries.... are nothing like Tinkerbell. The two magical beings are fire and ice opposites. One Lorelei can’t help falling for, and the other she's compelled to be with.

Now she’s trapped, expected to prevent a war between witches and faeries, or forfeit her mother’s life. Nothing is what it seems. Not her family. Not the Fey. Not even Adrius, whose feelings for her balance precariously between desire and danger. Despite her better judgment, she can’t say away from him.
As secrets unravel and unsettling truths are revealed, Lorelei must fight to save much more than her mother’s life. One mistake could put the fate of his world, and her soul in jeopardy.

But hey, no pressure… right.

The Volk Advent
An orphaned Siberian teen loses her job and home on Christmas Eve. Left on the streets to freeze, Faina flees to an abandoned castle for shelter. At the castle, she discovers the animal-torn body of a local recluse. No wonder Eurasian wolves are not recommended for the first-time pet owner. Can a girl with no past, preserve her future from accusations of murderer and a pack of escaped wolves?

Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-Travel Adventure
You only THINK you know what happened at Waterloo

The real story involved more monsters. And a lot more time travel

It’s 1815, and Wellington’s badly-outnumbered army stares across the field of Waterloo at Napoleon’s forces. Desperate to hold until reinforcements arrive, Wellington calls upon a race of monsters created by a mad Genevese scientist 25 years before.

It’s 1815, and a discontented young lady sitting in a rose garden receives a mysterious gift: a pocket watch that, when opened, displays scenes from all eras of history. Past…and future.

It’s 1885, and a small band of resistance fighters are resorting to increasingly extreme methods in their efforts to overthrow a steampunk Empire whose clockwork gears are slick with its subjects’ blood.

Are these events connected?

Oh, come now. That would be telling.

That Night
It can take a whole day to figure out what happened…that night.

On what was to be just another Monday morning at school, Luke’s girlfriend Jessica is nowhere to be found. Names like ‘psycho lover’ follow Luke to his locker, even from his best friend. Luke soon learns Jessica tried to kill herself at a party from the previous Saturday night, and she’s blaming him. With posts on FaceBook feeding the rumors of what happened that night, the school has to investigate.

Torn between worry, guilt, loyalty, priorities, and an urgency to clear his name and protect hers, he has to find her—he loves her no matter what. The teacher in the middle of the investigation is also the same one to provide academic and character references for Luke’s college applications due by the end of the week. Luke knows he’s not to blame, but with no contact from Jessica and everyone blaming him for what happened, he’s at risk of losing everything—Jessica and his dreams of being a mechanic—all because of what happened that night.

Starr Lost, Book Two of the Starr Fall Series
A Starr falls, and a family is found.

On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.

Di, a mutual friend and anti-everything is a no-brainer, plus her Taser will come in handy. Frank, Starr’s BFF, will put his life on the line for her. Ben and Coda, not to be outdone by Starr’s friends, also swear their allegiance. Christian’s the only hold out. He knows what the Organization is capable of. He has the beaten body to prove it, but when Starr wants something, she gets it.

Now that the team’s together, everything should be perfect. Trouble is Starr loves Christian but so does Di. And Frank, well, he’s never been very good at hiding his love for Starr. Will his four-year long crush on her threaten the safety of the team?

Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.

Learning to Swim
"Learning to Swim is a darkly romantic beginning to what promises to be an unusual contemporary YA fantasy series." --Serena Chase, USA Today

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

The Impossible Vastness of Us
"I know how to watch my back. I'm the only one that ever has."

India Maxwell hasn't just moved across the country—she's plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It's taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she's living in one of Boston's wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom's fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister's clique of friends, including Eloise's gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend, Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India's not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school's golden couple, aren't all they seem to be. In fact, everyone's life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what's left are truths that are brutal, beautiful and big enough to change them forever…

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again.

Flipping the Scales
Meredith and Marina’s lives have been flipped upside down.

When the translucent skirt that straight-A-student Meredith finds hidden on the beach gets wet, it transforms her legs into a mermaid tail. Despite the evidence in front of her, she insists that becoming a mythical creature isn’t scientifically possible.

Marina is allowed to experience one day per moon cycle among the humans. After hiding her tail on the beach that morning, she takes her first timid steps on land. When she returns at sunset to find it missing, she is left stranded and alone.

For the first time in her life, Meredith doesn’t have all the answers. As she searches for a way to return to normal before the next full moon, she makes waves among the school of mermaids. Meanwhile, Marina uncovers information about her past, and for the first time in her life, she must stand on her own two feet and take the lead on her own adventure.

As Meredith senses her human side slipping away, a forbidden way to change back entices her. But it comes with a consequence: Marina wouldn’t be able to return to the ocean.

Crooked Kingdom
The highly anticipated sequel to the thrilling #1 New York Times-bestselling Six of Crows.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets?a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

A Drop of Night
Modern-day teenagers meet a palace of terrors locked up since the French Revolution in this haunting, genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann, the internationally bestselling author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot. A Drop of Night will thrill fans of Neal Shusterman and Jessica Khoury.

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she's been looking for―she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens―bitter, iron-hearted Anouk, gentle Will, bubbly Lilly, and crazy Jules―soon find themselves trapped in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined.

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th-century French girls can only dream of: money, designer dresses, suitors, and a secure future. Except she can’t quite commit to a life of dull luxury and she suspects she may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithy in the family's steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love—only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure, and restitution await her if she can survive the voyage.

Based on the true story of The Daughters of the King, Louis the XIV’s social program to settle the wilds of Canada with women of noble birth, Marguerite’s steampunk adventure follows in the footsteps of nearly one thousand brave women and girls who were rewarded handsomely for trekking across the pirate infested Atlantic to a strange land.

"The writing is solid and the world-building – that clever combination of historical detail and Ms. Statham’s imagination – is excellent."~ The Australia Times Books

Put It Out There (Britannia Beach 1)
Returning home to Britannia Beach a year after her life was shattered is bittersweet for Derian Lafleur. Although some things settle back into place, others don’t click like they used to…especially her friendship with Trevor Maverty.

Derian suddenly wishes the boy next door would see her as more than just a kid sister type. She tries to be everything she thinks he’s looking for— bolder, more experienced – but is that who she wants to be?

With the fate of her family’s historic inn on the line and Trevor making life more complicated by the day, Derian struggles to manage her unexpected feelings, and deal with a past she’s not quite ready to leave behind.

Bound by Duty
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

An Enchantment of Ravens
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Until Friday Night
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

The Distance from A to Z
This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between who she is and who he is is worth the risk.

Genesis Girl
Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeal’s are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king–a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

Descent: Son of a Mermaid ~ Book One
Shea MacNamara's life just got complicated. When a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, fifteen-year-old Shea moves to Cape Cod to live with a grandmother he's never met. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he meets a girl along the shore who changes his life.

Forever.

Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from humans, where bloody war rages between opposing clans. A fragile peace accord hinges on marriage between the royal families, but treachery and magick lurk in every shadow.

With Kae's help, Shea discovers his true heritage and finds that his destiny lies somewhere far below the ocean's surface.