Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: The Power Club by Greg Gildersleeve

The Power Club The Power Club by Greg Gildersleeve
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from Red Coat Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Damon lives in the district because he has a supernatural power - he can conjure darkness around himself, making everyone near him blind by the darkness. Everyone who lives in the district has a power, a gift, and they must stay there if they want to keep their power - per the government's rules.

Damon loves his power, and he wants to join a Power Club so he will then be able to use his power in public. Otherwise, he has to not use it, and Damon definitely doesn't want to do that.

When he tries out for a group with Kyle, Danner and Vee, they reject him because his power isn't that cool and not very useful for them. But when Damon gets ganged up by 3 older kids and Damon is the one who wins, they decide he is pretty cool, and he joins their Power Club along with Ali and Denise.

Pretty soon, though, Damon doesn't just want to be a part of the Power Club - he wants to be a hero and save people who are in trouble. But when his group, the government, and the bullies who ganged up on his all try to stop Damon in different ways, Damon has to make sure that he is really doing what he wants, or if it would be too much of a risk overall.

This was such a fast read! Seriously, just a couple of hours and I was done! Whoo! I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a great way to incorporate the idea of wanting to be different and unique, while being surrounded by people who just want to be ordinary and normal.

I got the feeling that there may be another novel coming in the future, the way that Greg Gildersleeve ended this novel, but maybe it was more for the effect of things are going to happen, but you as the reader will have to figure it out in your own imagination. Could be either, but if there is another book, I can definitely see a lot of middle-grade readers very happy about it.

This has a lot of relationship issues that the characters had to work through and they had their own personalities and ambitions in life, so it was nice to see kids so young want something so strong to work toward.

While this is definitely a light read that will keep kids entertained, it has a lot of subtle messages hidden in the text that I feel like parents will really enjoy and would want to read along with their kids.

Very much enjoyed it! :)

View all my reviews

Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aza's best friend Daisy hears about a billionaire from their area has gone missing, and Daisy is determined to find out information about him so they can get the $100,000 reward. And since Aza knows the billionaire's son, Davis, Aza is the go to person to start smoozing up to Davis. It also doesn't help that Aza kinda sorta likes Davis, so talking to him after a long time of no talking is a bit stressful for Aza.

And Aza doesn't need any more stress in her life because of her condition that she is in - spiraling from one thought to another to another and another until Aza can't escape from the quicksand that is her own thoughts and mind. But Aza is learning how to cope with it...she thinks...maybe.

Having the mystery of Davis's father is a great distraction, though, even if she is conflicted on how to keep her investigation separate from her feelings for Davis.

The longer Aza keeps her symptons to herself, the more her thoughts are taking over, but Aza is FINE... right? Aza is going to have to figure out what life really means and what she wants from life in order for her to overcome the inner struggles that are fighting their way to the top, before she is too far gone.

I adore John Green. His novels are so inspiring and enjoyable and addicting. This novel was the perfect follow-up novel to The Fault in Our Stars because it is so original and unique and powerful. It is completely different, and yet it is it's own novel that takes the reader away to a whole other side of the word "illness" and makes the reader understand circumstances that they may never have experienced if they never read this book.

The beginning of this book jumps you right into Aza's mind - the spiraling and the vastness where your thoughts can take you to. The never ending spiral that will take you away from society and trap you where no one can reach you.

To make that the first scene for the readers to experience was an amazing idea by John Green. It has the readers instantly understand what Aza goes through and how difficult it is for her, even if it may be hard to explain to the people around her.

There were moments in this novel where I was in Aza's head with her, where I literally felt like I was having those conversations and how I thought it would never end. John Green did an amazing job giving readers an inside look at this mental illness that Aza has, which shows just how much of an amazing writer he is.

All of the characters in this book were partially broken - either with a disease, missing parents, or poverty. These characters are not perfect, even if they are situated in a perfect world. This definitely showed how an everyday, normal person really lives, and how they live day by day.

Aza's friends and family are not perfect, and they make mistakes that hurt others, but the one thing that was very prominent in this book is forgiveness and acceptance, and I love that so much. There is not enough of that in today's world, and to be able to read it in a novel is just amazing for me.

I am so glad that I finally read this book and that I own a signed copy of this book. I definitely won't be forgetting this story any time soon, and I will now be looking forward to John Green's next novel, whenever that may be :)

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Iron Trial The Iron Trial by Holly Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Call has grown up learning to hate magic from his father. But because both of his parents were taught to use magic, Call has to go through a series of tests to see if he is going to be trained for the next 5 years. So, naturally, Call is going to fail his test. It shouldn't be too hard, since he is always failing something in life and if there is anything physical ed related, his injured leg with his limp will help him out in that case.

Except Call is failing so terribly, that he actually gets picked by a Master! Call doesn't want to go, but it seems that he doesn't have a choice in the matter and leaves that very day without his father.

Now Call has to try to fail his lessons, so then he might get to go home that way. After being told that won't work - that instead his magic would be bound, locked, and he will always feel like a part of himself is lost - does Call then start to really become serious in learning how to use the elements and be one of the best in his class.

Then dark, hidden secrets start to get unraveled - things that Call would have never dreamed of. With these new revelations, Call has to determine what to do, because a war is abrewing, and it seems that Call might be in the middle of it...

I actually enjoyed this novel a lot! I loved the inner struggle that Call had the entire time. I felt so bad for him being bullied in normal school, and then when his new friends stood up for him in magic school? It seriously made me feel warm and fuzzy to know that he finally belongs somewhere.

I know a lot of readers have said this is a Harry Potter alike novel, and I admit that I can see that, but I don't think that this book is a Harry Potter book. There are so many differences, but if everyone is only going to focus on the similarities, then of course that is all you are going to see. The main difference though? Call doesn't want to be there, and Harry did. That alone tells you that these are two different people and two different stories. For people to base this book and give it a low rating because of a few similarities of a popular series is ridiculous and immature.

I loved the first month of training for Call, Tamara and Aaron. I can just picture the three of them getting so annoyed by having to separate sand into different piles, but I can also see how that is strengthening their magical skills.

The only reason I'm not instantly picking up the next books in the series is because the 5th and final book is not published yet. I'm not going to get so involved and committed to this series, only to have to wait 10 months to read the ending. So I'll probably either re-read the book, or hopefully remember the important parts of this first book, and then dive into the next 4 books of the series to see how it ends. I have a good idea, but I still need to know!

I definitely enjoyed this book and it will be a great series to recommend to readers who have enjoyed Harry Potter and Percy Jackson :)

View all my reviews

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends with Us It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This is so intense.

I'm not doing my typical synopsis of the book, and then my thoughts/comments. This book just needs to be read to be able to understand the depth of the story and to fully understand how raw this book is.

I love Colleen Hoover and everything she has written. And this book? The fact that it was based on aspects of her life and she was brave enough to write about it in a way to make all readers comprehend and completely understand how this event changes everyone's lives - whether it be the people causing the issue or the ones who witnessed it - is so amazing.

I could never in a million years know what Lily was feeling during this novel. I say that I would be the strong one, the one that wouldn't fall into the statistics, but I will never know until I am in that situation - which I hope to Hell that I never am. And for her to go through that feeling twice in her life, through 2 different viewpoints of it? It's so sad and gut wrenching.

Ryle and Atlas are both great guys for completely different reasons. I loved being able to read about Lily and Ryle's relationship as it was happening, and I loved reading Lily and Atlas's relationship through the letters Lily wrote when she was 15-16. Both loves of Lily's life were necessary, even if many would disagree with this sentence. Lily became the great person she did because of these two men that she fell in love with and the experiences she went through with each of them.

I am so, so, so mad that it took me this long to read this book. Seriously, I had no excuse because it's been on my personal bookshelf at my home since the day it was released into the world.

But honestly? I'm glad I decided to wait and really get connected with this book - to really feel what I needed to feel. And waiting a couple of years to ensure that I'm more mature and older, to really understand the consequences of decisions and to better know myself, was worth it. I have never gone through this event - not really - but being able to understand how I would have acted during this helps me feel the raw, bitterness of this story.

If you are like me and have been wanting to read this, but haven't gotten around to it, I would highly recommending opening up the book and start reading. Because it won't take long to get sucked into this story, and then you will be hooked until the very end.

Colleen Hoover is a goddess of writing, and I have 2 more of her novels sitting unread on my shelf that I will find and start reading soon to make up for my stupidness of leaving her books hanging.

Such a great, great novel.

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: Forlorn by Gina Detwiler

Forlorn Forlorn by Gina Detwiler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Grace has had a lot of bad luck so far in her 17 years, but little does she know that she has a guardian angel who has been saving her over and over. And it all started when she was in a car accident with her parents. Grace was the only survivor, and there was no humanly way she should have survived that accident.

Now, she has just survived another incident when a student comes to school with a gun and starts shooting. Her guardian angel was there with her, but so was Jared - a hot loner who isn't who he seems to be. In fact, he's a Nephilim - a hybrid of human and angel. And ever since he saved Grace's life, she can't stay away from him.

Grace has a way to stop the demons from winning the never-ending war, and she is going to find a way to make it happen and save Jared from being changed by his father. Even though Grace is only human, she has been thrust into the supernatural world throughout her whole life, and now she is going to find a way to save the boy she loves.

This book...wasn't really for me, to be honest. I love a good romance and a good story about fallen angels/supernatural aspects, but I just couldn't connect to this novel. The different point of views was hard to keep track of at the beginning because the reader wasn't introduced very well. Then Grace isn't a really likable character for me. The author didn't really give a lot of emotions when it came to Grace - something for the reader to REALLY feel when it was her point of view. One minute she is hunky dory, curious about Jared, then the next she is madly in love, but doesn't really have the emotional aspect to show us readers.

It was just very distant for me.

And then the angel/Nephilim aspect was a little too teachery for me, and not very well because the narration would go in and out when they were telling the characters about the history.

I don't know...sadly it just didn't keep me as entertained as I would have liked it, and I found a lot of reasons to get distracted from reading, which is never a good sign for me.

I was hoping for something more, but I'm sure that other readers will enjoy this story a lot better than I did when it comes out on the 30th!

I'm very glad that I was able to get an eARC of this book, and I will look into the author to give her other books another chance in the future :)

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Say You'll Remember Me Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Drix took the fall for a crime he didn't commit, and now, 1 year later, he is a changed man. Through the governor's program, the Second Chance Program, he really has changed his ways. Before he was following the path of his father, high all of the time, drinking excessively, playing in a band that was a bad influence, and he was falling apart. He was only wanting to escape the pressures of life, but now that he has gone through this rehabilitation program, Drix wants more for himself and his family. He wants to fight his way to succeed and make something of his life.

When he sees a cute girl getting harassed by college guys, Drix decides to help her. Before he would have fought the other two boys for being jerks, but now he just made sure to keep by Elle's side and that the college guys got the message to leave her alone.

What Drix didn't know was he was protecting the governor's daughter, Ellison, and putting himself in her life in a way he never thought could be possible. Because the governor is essential his new "boss" and Drix definitely isn't good enough to be with the governor's daughter, as an ex-criminal (to the public eye, at least).

Elle is so tired of everyone treating her differently. If it's not the admiration she gets from her thousands of fans on social media, then it's harassment like what she is going through at the fair. All she wants to do is play Wack-A-Mole. Why can't a girl play a game in peace, without someone ruining her alone time?!

When she gets saved by the boy that she has heard her father talk about, she wasn't expecting to be so attracted to him. But she is, and she knows that her father would never let her be with him. Even them being friends is not good enough for her father, and since he is in the process of being re-elected for a higher slot, Elle cannot make any mistakes to ruin his election.

Elle has always been harshly criticized by her parents. She needs to be perfect, because she is representing her father. And now, she is taking a larger part of her fathers election campaign, so she really needs to do everything right on par.

But when Elle is with Drix, she can be her true self. She doesn't have to worry about what the media or what her family will say, she just DOES. Her smiles and laughs are completely pure - no forcefulness behind them.

Sadly they can't be together, or else it will ruin her father's program and his campaign for election. But when the real criminal who framed Drix is revealed, both Drix and Elle are going to have to figure out what is the most important thing in the life and make a decision on what they are going to do, because no matter which choice they make, it will destroy something else that means the world to them.

I love Katie McGarry. All of her books are superb and she always gets me feeling so many emotions. This book was just as amazing as her other ones, and I'm so glad I got an eARC!

Drix is a great guy. Sure, he was a terrible person a year ago, but he has changed and now he knows that he cannot be that guy anymore. Not because he is being watched by the media, but because that guy was going nowhere and Drix wants more for himself, and for his younger sister who was starting to follow his path. So everything he does, every decision he has to make, has it's toll on him. He is so guarded, because he knows how terrible life can be, and he won't get his hopes up, just to have them be crushed over and over.

But with Elle, he starts to hope, and it is the most beautiful thing to read about. Seeing him open up to Elle is amazing and it makes the reader see just how much he wants to be the best person he can be.

And poor Elle. I feel so much for her. Seriously, I don't know how she let her parents control her life the way they were. Her parents should be so ashamed at how they treated her because Elle is just a teenager. She is not the run running for any political chair, and she should be able to live her life like a normal teenager, instead of being the perfect person. I guess that appearances mean everything, but there has to be a limit on how to treat someone, and her parents crossed it way over too many times.

I loved seeing Elle do the things that she wanted to do. It broke my heart in the scene where Drix is teaching Elle how to play an instrument, and she was too scared to touch any of them, because the last time she did at a political event, her mother slapped her hands and yelled at her. The memory of that time made Elle never want to touch another musical instrument again, and watching her mentally struggle when Drix was making her play was heartbreaking.

Drix and Elle are so good for each other, but they let other things in their life stop them from doing what they want to do, so having them together was great for the self confidence.

And the story about Thor, their dog, literally broke my heart. I was sobbing and remembering memories of the same thing that I went through, so McGarry definitely knew what would really connect with readers.

This was an amazing novel and I'm so glad that I got a chance to read this. I know that all of Katie McGarry's fans will love it, and even newbies to McGarry will fall in love with this hearbreakingly, but inspiring novel about second chances.

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Review: Bound by Kirsten Weiss

Bound Bound by Kirsten Weiss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this free eARC novel from Red Coat Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Karin and her sisters Jayce and Lenore have lived int he town of Doyle their whole life. When their mother died in childbirth with the three of them, their aunt Ellen took them in and raised them, while also teaching them about the magic in their family.

Bad news is about to hit the town of Doyle for the Bonheim sisters. Their aunt's cancer came back and it is in her bones, spreading throughout their whole body. And to make matters worse, Karin and Jayce found a dead body in Jayce's coffee shop. Now the police are suspecting Jayce, even though the culprit is out free somewhere.

Jayce gets a lawyer from out of town - Nick - to help her get free and clear from the charges. Karein doesn't expect to be as attracted to him as she finds herself to be, though. Now, Karin has to figure out who is framing her sister, how to save her aunt from this disease that is killing her, and how to end the family curse that will kill her and her sisters if they have children.

Things in Doyle just got a lot harder for the Bonheim triplets...

I haven't read a witchcraft novel for a long time, and I realized how much I missed it! I really enjoyed the story of these three sisters and boy do they have a lot of drama to go through in this book.

And it's nice that there is normal family troubles along with the supernatural issues that are happening. Plus Karin is also falling in love, so that is a normal, everyday thing that happens and keeps the book separated between different types of issues so it's not as smothering for one piece over the other.

I was also pleasantly surprised that I didn't figure out the real culprit! I can usually figure it out way before it is revealed and then I'm like, oh, that was obvious, but this one stumped me until the last minute! But I also didn't really have a good suspect in mind because it was a very tricky situation!

I may have to keep my eye out for the next books in this series - I especially want to read Lenore's story since she is an introvert and a bookworm who works in a bookstore :)

I'm very glad that I got this as a free eARC and I will be keeping my eyes out for the next in the series!

View all my reviews