Book Review: Star-Crossed

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by Pintip Dunn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 2nd 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary:

In a world where nutrition can be transferred via a pill, and society is split into Eaters and Non-Eaters, seventeen-year-old Princess Vela has a grave dilemma. Her father, the king, is dying, and only a transplant of organs from a healthy Non-Eater boy will save him.

Vela is tasked with choosing a boy fit to die for the king, which is impossible enough. But then Carr, the boy she’s loved all her life, emerges as the best candidate in the Bittersweet Trials. And he’s determined to win, because by doing so, he can save the life of his Non-Eater sister.

Refusing to accept losing the boy she loves, Vela bends the rules and cheats. But when someone begins to sabotage the Trials, Vela must reevaluate her own integrity—and learn the true sacrifice of becoming a ruler.

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Purchase links can be found here: https://entangledpublishing.com/star-crossed.html

My Review

An unusual world, a very unusual plot and beautiful characters – that’s the best way to describe the story. I am trying to analyze it as objectively as possible, as there are some items I did not particularly liked. But if something is not ok by my standards, doesn’t mean it’s not ok by yours.

The blurb is very interesting and promises an intense story about a potential queen, trying to do what is right for her people, her family and herself. Although, it’s difficult to find a solution that would benefit all. Here is where the conflict starts. Her crush is willing to give his life for her father, her people are starving and forced to consume pills that would appease their hunger – pills produced by those who are able to eat healthy. The internal conflict is good, the characters are great and express their emotions in a beautiful manner, but I would like to insist upon the theme that is in the center of attention.

4

Lack of food brings people to develop new alternatives that are not necessarily the healthiest choices. This is very similar to our days – food is becoming less and less healthy and at some point, we lost the ability to appreciate the real taste of natural food. While I am not fond of the abundance of meal discussions, I do appreciate the innovative element and the effort the author has done to integrate it into Vela’s story.

Intrigue, twists and turns, food and much more – this book will not bore you at all, but it will leave you either hungrier than ever, or more satiated than ever J 4 stars J

 

 

https://countdownsbyerin.com/cd/entangled/2018/october/star-crossed/ 

About the AuthorPintip+cropped

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and MALICE.

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Book Review: Blood Crescent

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Blood CrescentBloodCrescentbookone-stevie mccoy
by S.M. McCoy
Genre: YA Fantasy Paranormal
Release Date: September 21st 2018

Summary:

While investigating her mother’s disappearance Crystal’s bloodline leads a supernatural council to hunt her down for her latent magic. Love, lies, and long buried secrets change her life forever.

Sixteen-year-old Crystal Dylan has been marked by the waning crescent due to her latent diviner heritage. The magic from her is a beacon to any nearby supernatural beings, especially energy serpents, vampires sent by the Divine Council to capture her. She never believed in the strange, the superstitious, or magical until she started looking for her long-thought-dead mother. Too many attacks on her aura have left her drained, dying, and vulnerable leaving Victor no choice but to try anything to help her, even the serpent’s kiss.

The Divine Council was looking for the lost heir, and Damien, a drawn class serpent, was their retrieval system with an agenda of his own. Crystal’s memories are being manipulated, and she struggles to find the truth about who she loves, what happened to her mother, who she is, and how to stay alive long enough to figure it all out.

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My Review

This book frustrated me on so many levels, mainly because I was making my own scenarios and started liking some of the characters, only to realize nothing is as it seems, or at least how I thought it would be. That’s mostly why I liked it so much!

S.M. McCoy brings a new series, full of mystical beings and magic. “Blood Crescent” is only the beginning of something so much more. Our main character Chrystal’s life is turned upside down when she realizes her mother may still be alive. Oh, and she comes from a long line of people with special ties to magic.  Well, what’s so special about that? We have the same good guy, bad guy stuff, we have a quest for self-discovery and her desire to find her family.

Other than that, we have an incredible writer! The world is built incredibly and the magic system is so complex, I even got lost at some point. And the characters are some questionable, other still under development. Because Chrystal is only at the beginning of her journey.

We have a love triangle, maybe. Because I am not sure who I like best, I am not sure who Chrystal likes and if she makes a good or bad choice in the end. What I know exactly is that I am not tired of her story and that I DO WANT more!

“Blood Crescent” is only the beginning and this universe holds the promise of so much more! I cannot wait to discover what we have next. For now, I’m giving it 4 stars, but I am 100% sure that the next installments will blow me away. In case of book 1, the beginning was a little slow and at times I was a little confused with everything going on. But other than that, I loved the book and I loved the main character! Enjoy !

About the Authors.m. mccoy
Stevie Marie is the author of young adult paranormal fantasy and the Divine Series. Born within the apex of another universe, where magic flows like leaky faucets, and forged from the fires of the Underrealm she dug her way to Earth and reluctantly participates in human society, secretly returning to her home world to relay the stories of her monsters, and the troubled love of her people. When she isn’t writing she’s crafting clothing in her sewing room, cuddling her significant-other creature, or pretending to adult by managing a portfolio of properties for an accounting business in the rainy city of Seattle, Washington.

 

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Book Review: Dickensen Academy

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Dickensen AcademyDickensen Academy Book Cover
by Christine Grabowski
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 12th 2018
The Wild Rose Press, Inc

Summary: 

This school may be her dream come true…or her worst nightmare.

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

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Buy Links:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dickensen-academy-map-success/dp/B07G71747S

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dickensen-academy-christine-grabowski/1129315140?ean=2940161849330

Apple:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dickensen-academy/id1419915501?mt=11

The Wild Rose Press:

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6044-dickensen-academy.html

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/sgjRes7zPLQ

My Review

This was such a refreshing novel! I loved the setting, I loved our main character and her decision to succeed. There are so many interesting things happening here, but the most important of all, we see a young teenager develop. That’s what captured me.

In a world where we now lose sight of how to create a moral support for our kids, we have a book about a girl who only wants to succeed and be great in school. Yes, she has a strict family and yes, this is a book in which things can happen as the author imagines them. But Christine Grabowski managed to create a character that should inspire our young generations. Autumn Mattison is starting Dickensen Academy, a boarding school that is out of the ordinary. The school has secrets and its students help nurture them. Autumn must be special in order to be fully accepted. She needs to have some special skills or abilities to be able to rise to the school standards. So she pushes herself harder and harder.

The action is very interesting, easy to follow and with twists and unforeseen events. But what mostly captured my attention was Autumn and her relationship with her family, with her new friends and with herself. She experiences a deeper connection with Ben, a friendship that may turn into more. She becomes a more matured version of herself. The academy has shaped her well, as it should have.

As sated a bit earlier in my review, we live in a world where technology dictates. Our kids (generally speaking, as mine are not born yet) spend more time with a video game than face to face interactions and we, as adults, need to guide them to the right direction and teach them how to never give up their dreams and always fight to achieve them.  That’s the beauty in this book. I would have wanted to see more from the other characters but all in all, I’m giving it a 4.5 star rating. Beautiful writing, I’ve flown through it. I hope you’ll like it as well J

About the AuthorChristine Grabowski

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

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Website: http://christinegrabowski.com

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Book Review: Her Revolution

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by C.S. Hand
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release date: August 8th 2018

Summary:

For fans of Divergent, Red Rising, and The Hunger Games comes a gripping new tale of ambition, treachery, and love.

When what appears as a prank on arrogant ambassadors at an exotic vacation city turns out to be the first tremors of a revolution, the Enlightened Council of Castillia turns to its 11-year old undefeated military prodigy and her loyal Guardians for help.

After all, it was Innocence who liberated the Jewel of All Cities in the first place. Everyone knows she will be the last to let it slip from her grasp. But why would anyone want to leave Castillia? Its laws are just. Its Council is democratically elected. It has liberated more cities than any other Republic, past or present.

But Castillia has enemies, that’s for sure.

Sedition is the favorite trick of the southern Republic Ausonia. In fact, the exotic vacation city used to belong to Ausonia—and they have always wanted it back. But could those hedonists really organize anything between all their dancing and drinking? Or has Vesper, the mighty Republic to the North finally woken from its slumber? It has plenty of old scores to settle with Castillia and it’s palm-lined streets.

Squashing the uprising and re-uniting the town and her city could be the perfect way to end the most legendary military career Castillia has ever known and begin a new, exhilarating life as a prominent politician. But it also might just be the perfect way to start what Innocence has secretly always yearned for: her own Empire.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FY4WK18

My Review

This is one of those books that gripped me from the beginning. I am mostly a Romance reader, but indulging in a SciFi, dystopian from time to time is not such a bad thing, especially since it’s worth my time.

The plot is as intriguing as the blurb makes it. It’s a complicated and complex world, a mix between people and cities and politics and hidden agendas. The author did such a great job in imagining the places and the situations. It felt awesome!  What made me love it more, were the chapter headers, with the crowns and quotes. It brought me to the necessary mental state for the action to happen. Extra points for that, definitely!

The main character felt one tiny bit off, but I got used to her. She is very young and has to stand (too) strong and face all that’s coming but she makes a great heroine and I hope to see her grow in the coming books.

For a reader like me, who is not planning on reading “The Hunger Games” soon and has the “Divergent” books still wrapped up in the foil they came (for about 3 years, and I am not kidding, honestly! I can add a picture!), “Her Golden City” is a series worth following. I like the cover, I like the overall presentation of the e-book and I intend to get myself a physical copy and follow up with the series!

Let me know how this book sounds to you in the comments below or if you have read any similar series. Until next time, happy reading!

About the Authorchristopher-scott-hand-kissing-books

C. S. Hand loves philosophy, literature, and science-fiction and fantasy books. He studied British Romanticism at Cambridge before leaving to translate great science-fiction and fantasy books. You can read more about his 3 great loves here.

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Book Review: Pete & Daisy

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by Tani Hanes

Genre: NA Romance

Release date: May 14th 2018

Summary:

He needs a place to live, she needs a baby daddy.

Pietro Santangelo and Marguerite White are students at prestigious Columbia University in New York City. She is a fun-loving, free spirit who finds herself in a bit of a familial bind, he is an exchange student with a chronic case of poverty. They concoct a plan that they think will work, not realizing how much changes with two simple words.

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My Review

Pete and Daisy are such a sweet couple! I loved them from the very start. They both have a need that needs to me bet – either for a father for a child or a place to live. These needs tie them together.  Who could have imagined it could lead somewhere new?  Well, they sure did not!

Their story is so much fun and the writing is so easy and beautiful. The book is perfect for a relaxing evening, with a coup of something good, after a long long day at work (or at least a stressful day). Which is why I enjoyed it so much. The atmosphere the author has created with these characters and their life together made me feel all sorts of good things inside. So I cannot but appreciate it!

Our main characters are far from your normal protagonists in love stories. They are far from perfect, far from rich and far from a perfect family. But they respect their commitment and try to do the best they can in a less than perfect situation. I loved Daisy’s determination to be there for her child, as reckless as her life may be. I loved Pete’s commitment to her and her baby.

I would have given the story all my 5 stars if it were not for the small confusions here and there with the characters and some conflict situations (if I can call them like that) felt a bit artificial. I wanted more complicated stuff (yup, I wanted more complicated… than not having a home and not being in a true relationship, I’m difficult, I know! )

All in all, this is a perfect book for a relaxing evening. Believe me, it really helped relieve some of my stress and some of that tension after a loaded week! This is my first book by Tani Hanes, but I have a feeling it will not be my last J Happy reading!

 

About the AuthorSAMSUNG CSC

My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I’m from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I’m punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I’m very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn’t spell “acoustic” for 40 years. I’ve wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don’t wait as long as I did, it’s pointless, and very frustrating!

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