Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Review: Where I Found You by Heidi R. Kling

Where I Found You (Sea, #1)Where I Found You

Author: Heidi R. Kling
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 307
Release date: 4th December 2017
Genre: Young adult Contemporary

Synopsis (Goodreads): After her mother's plane went missing over the Indian Ocean, seventeen-year-old Sienna Jones gave up everything she loved about living in California. No more surfing. No more swimming. No more ocean, period. Playing it safe, hiding from the world, is the best call. 

Until her dad throws down the challenge of a lifetime: spend the summer with his humanitarian team in Indonesia, working with orphans who lost everything in a massive tsunami. 

The day they arrive, Sienna meets a mysterious boy named Deni, whose dark, intense eyes make her heart race. Their stolen nights force her to open up and live in a way she thought she couldn't anymore. When she’s with Deni, she remembers the girl she used to be… and starts to feel like the woman he sees in her. 

A woman he wants for his own.

Gulp.

But when Deni’s past comes looking for him, Sienna’s faced with losing another person she loves. She can’t do it. Not again. 

Fortunately, this time, she has a plan.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars

Where I Found You is the first book in the Sea series by Heidi R. Kling and
follows the story of seventeen year-old Sienna Jones who after three years is finding it hard to move on with life following the tragic death of her mother and is being encouraged by her friends and father to start to do things that she once loved like swimming and surfing, something that she hasn’t been able to do. When her father purchases her a plane ticket to accompany his team on a humanitarian project to tsunami devastated Indonesia she is most reticent but agrees to go along.

What I did enjoy about Where I found You was learning about the Indonesian culture and customs and how the Indonesian people were dealing with the after effects of the Tsunami, it was utter devastation to see how affected the children and the area that was hit were coping and how they were attempting to move on and rebuild their lives. Sienna was working with a group of orphaned children and helping them with their loss through therapy, this aspect was written well.

What I didn’t enjoy was the rushed romance, I didn’t feel the connection between Sienna and Deni at all and everything happened so quickly; it was too much, unrealistic and the way Sienna continually defied the strict traditions and the rules of the orphanage as well as her father made her look like a spoiled brat. I didn’t enjoy this aspect whatsoever; she didn’t seem to show any respect at all.

Sienna was a character that didn’t grow on me over the course of the book and Deni was a bit mysterious and secretive, he was a bit of an unknown; I did like the secondary characters – the children of the pesantren (orphanage) showed strength and resilience despite their PTSD and were able to connect with Sienna as she too suffers with night terrors and grief over the loss of her mother; reading the conflict between Sienna and her father was difficult as well as her loathing towards his Team Hope colleague Vera who he had started to show affection towards. I was keen to see the relationship between Sienna and Spider explored further.

Where I Found You is a book about grief and loss but also hope; the author has written about one of the most devastating natural disasters and you are saddened and reminded of the utter loss and turmoil that the Indonesian people experienced, it was heart-wrenching.

Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book and I won’t be continuing with this series. Thank you to Entangled Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Where I Found You.



Heidi R. KlingAbout the author: Heidi R. Kling writes books about normal girls in fantastic situations. 

Her debut novel SEA (Penguin/Putnam) was a finalist for Northern California Book of the Year," an IndieNext Summer Pick, Goodreads “Mover and Shaker," Scholastic Reading Pick, and Gateway Reader’s Award Finalist among other generous accolades. SEA, which launched June, 2010, is a bittersweet love story set in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 Indonesian tsunami, and is set to relaunch with Entangled Teen December 4 as WHERE I FOUND YOU (Sea series #1) with its sequel WHERE THE SEA TAKES ME out April, 2018! 

After earning her MFA in Writing for Children from the New School in New York, Heidi returned to the Bay Area where she lives with her family in a tiny seaside village like the towns in her books.

She's also the author of the acclaimed PAINT MY BODY RED (for fans of Speak and 13 Reasons Why), bestselling romantic comedy NOT OKAY, CUPID and the Spellspinners of Melas County series about feuding witches and warlocks. 

Please visit her on twitter (Heidi R. Kling) where she loves to live-tweet TV shows, overuse gifs and chat with her readers about books, love and travel. She's very fortunate to write stories for a living and is grateful to you for reading them!
http://heidirkling.com

Monday, 8 January 2018

Review: This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

This Heart of MineTHIS HEART OF MINE

Author: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA
Pages: 384
Release date: 27th February 2018

Synopsis: A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I had just finished the Mortician’s Daughter by C.C. Hunter when I saw This Heart of Mine pop up on Netgalley and despite initially not thinking that I would enjoy it as much as I have her Shadow Falls series and also the new One Foot in the Grave series, I found this heart-warming story truly wonderful.

Our main character is Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie who is being kept alive by an artificial heart after contracting a virus; she is confined to her home until a donor heart is received. Matt is in need of extra credits at school so he agrees to tutor Leah, their connection is instant but she is a little clueless about who he is as he is an identical twin to Eric.

When tragedy strikes, Leah receives the long awaited call to receive a new heart but guilt hits as she knows someone died for her to live and that person is Matt’s brother Eric. Eric was an organ donor so his brave decision provided her with life.

Eric apparently commit suicide, something Matt vehemently denies; after the transplant both he and Leah are again bought together through visions / dreams they both have of what could have possibly happened so begin to investigate Eric’s relationships and the events which led up to his death.

Leah was such a wonderful character, warm, caring and strong but she had a fear of things going wrong and never looked too far into the future; her relationship with her parents is wonderful despite her mother’s overbearing behaviour but you could see the love that they had for each other. Matt was strong and determined; he had lost so much with the recent passing of both his father and his brother so I could never quite grasp his behaviour and whether he was living in the belief that his twin wouldn’t kill himself or if he was suffering from post-traumatic grief; it was hard to tell and I was eager to find out what had happened. All of the characters were written very well, I especially loved Leah’s heart doctor.

I really enjoyed the romance aspect; I did have my doubts initially, wondering if Matt was drawn to Leah because Eric was their connection through the donor heart but they truly complimented each other well; there were a few tough moments; especially for Leah but they both stood by one another; I just wish she could have been more forthcoming about what she had to endure daily.

C.C. Hunter’s writing is gripping and had me hooked right from the start; I can’t fault the characters or the wonderfully heart-warming and also mysterious storyline; I enjoyed it all. If you haven’t picked up a book by this fabulous author, you are truly missing out!

Thank you kindly to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter.



C.C. HunterAbout the author: C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Review: One Foot in the Grave (The Mortician’s Daughter #1) by C.C. Hunter

One Foot in the Grave (The Mortician’s Daughter # 1)One Foot in the Grave

Author: C.C. Hunter
Series: The Mortician’s Daughter
Pages: 325
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Release date: 31st October 2017

Synopsis:

Her dad’s job is with the dead . . . and he’s bringing his work home with him.

Once again, seventeen-year-old Riley Smith is the new kid in school and her dad’s career has her back to being dubbed a freak. Truth is, she’s a much bigger freak than her classmates think. The only company she keeps these days is the dead who follow Dad home from work. She can see them. She can speak to them. And Fate seems to think she can help them solve their last problems so that they can move on to the other side. Which is odd, because with the loss of her mother and her father’s alcoholism, she’s got enough problems of her own.

But nothing could prepare her for the next tormented young spirit who darkens Riley’s door. The young woman’s death wasn’t the accident everyone believes. Soon Riley finds herself face-to-face with the killer and her only protection comes in the form of another spirit, Hayden, a boy her age with a heart-melting smile and understanding eyes that make her feel safe. If she can escape becoming the killer’s next victim, Riley knows she’ll have to help Hayden move on too, but what if she can’t let him go?

Links


Review: 5 out of 5 stars

One Foot in the Grave is the first book in The Mortician’s Daughter series by C.C. Hunter. I have adored everything that I have read by this wonderful author so I was eager to dive into this and it didn’t fail to disappoint.

Our MC is seventeen-year-old Riley Smith, the daughter of a mortician who seems to bring the ghosts home with him much to Riley’s annoyance as she has the ability to communicate and see the dead as well as help them to resolve their issues and move on.

Riley was such a great character, she has never fit in at school because of her father’s occupation and her mother died when she was four years-old but she is ready for a new start in her new school and to start afresh. It is her second move in a short period of time as her father keeps losing his jobs, she believes as a result of him being a closet alcoholic but she hasn’t been able to prove it.

When a ghost comes to Riley, she realises that he is very different to the others, he looks different and is more ‘real’, he is also very clearly hiding something but she can’t stop her growing feelings for him the more time that they spend together clearly knowing that there can be no future between them.

I thought Hayden was great and I was able to guess his story from the beginning but I wanted to know more! I loved his interactions with Riley but I never felt a romance was a possibility especially when there was someone ‘living’, Jacob Adams that was paying her attention. It was a strange love-triangle.

The story also follows a ghost who has come to Riley begging for help to find her ring to pass on to her family but Riley soon realises that she didn’t die by accident and when she stumbles across the location she also stumbles across the murderer who has his sights now on Riley.

There was a lot going on in this book which made for an exciting read! Between Riley’s feelings between two boys, her father’s issues, her ghostly problems, a serial rapist with Riley on his mind; it was entertaining and mysterious with a great cast of characters. The ending has also left me eager for the next book in the series, Two Feet in the Grave.

If you are after a mysterious, entertaining and well-written paranormal YA, I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to EverAfter Romance via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review One Foot in the Grave.



C.C. HunterAbout the author: C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Review: Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls #2) by Julie Cross

Breaking the Ice by Julie CrossBreaking the Ice

Author: Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls
Pages: 300
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release date: 26th December 2017

Links


Synopsis:

Haley Stevenson seems like she's got it all together: cheer captain, "Princess" of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she's struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she's sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He's always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he's finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.
But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who's ready to break all the rules.

Each book in the Juniper Falls series is STANDALONE:
* Off the Ice
* Breaking the Ice

Review: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Breaking the Ice is a light-hearted read by Julie Cross and is a part of the Juniper Falls series.

Our MC’s are Haley Stevenson and Fletcher Scott, both great characters but they couldn’t be any more different.

Haley is the Princess of Juniper Falls and is involved in everything, she is a sweetheart but also quite a sticky beak. Fletcher has quite a few secrets, he’s reserved, nerdy and doesn’t like anyone to know his business; they complimented each other well but their interactions at times did drive me completely crazy!

The plot is quite predictable; Haley is struggling academically so she takes her civics class during summer school, this is where she learns more about Fletcher and inserts herself into his life to improve her GPA. Fletcher loves hockey and yearns for less bench time and more time on the ice but with his health issues it hasn’t been a possibility. This book was entertaining and was without all the unnecessary YA angst.

The romance was done well but there was a lot of push and pull and no clearly defined relationship between them but Haley knew upfront that Fletcher wasn't a committed sort of guy; they complimented each other well and communicated in a way which didn't leave room for miscommunication which I liked but I would have liked a few more mushy, romantic scenes between them, I felt like the ending was very rushed for them.

All of the side characters were wonderful! I do hope we see more of them in the next books, especially Jamie.

Julie Cross’s writing is great and there quite a few laugh out loud moments but I did also find that there were parts of the book where I found myself skimming. Breaking the Ice is also the second book in the series but it can most definitely be read as a stand-alone, I never at all felt lost.

Thank you to Entangled Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Breaking the Ice.


Julie CrossAbout the author: Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. Shes a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Review: Seize Today (Forget Tomorrow #3) by Pintip Dunn


Author: Pintip Dunn
Series: Forget Tomorrow #3
Pages: 300
Published: Entangled Teen
Release date: 3rd October 2017

Synopsis: The third book in the New York Times bestselling and RITA®-award-winning Forget Tomorrow series is a thrilling conclusion to an epic trilogy.

Seventeen-year-old precognitive Olivia Dresden is an optimist. Since different versions of people's futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn't have to believe in human decency. She can literally see the path to goodness in each person—if only he or she would make the right decision. No one is more conflicted than her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, and Olivia is fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be. 

But when the Chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia is forced to reevaluate her notions of love and faith. With Ryder's help, Olivia must come to terms with who her mother is in the present—and stop her before she destroys the world.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Seize Today is the third book in the Forget Tomorrow series by Pintip Dunn and takes place six months after Remember Yesterday ends. This is a series which needs to be read in order to fully understand and appreciate what has happened.

Seize Today is seventeen year-old precognitive Olivia’s book, she is the daughter of Chairwoman Dresden and can see different pathways a person can take in their future; after being in hiding she has emerged to try to stop her mother from creating mass genocide. Olivia was an interesting character and one who I really felt for, she has been isolated for a majority of her life and hasn’t felt love or had any real friendships until Jessa and Tanner.

In this book, the fast paced plot progresses as we continue to learn about the follow on effects from the first two books and future memories and learn of a new virus causing people to more or less disappear; it is essentially a race for Olivia, Jessa and their team to stop a vision that she had as a small child as well as a more recent memory which saw Ryder Russell from the rebel underground kill her.

Ryder is Jessa’s best friend and someone who doesn’t easily trust, he has felt loss and betrayal and doesn’t let anyone close but after Olivia saves him from her mother he sees something in her and slowly begins to let her into his world. The romance wasn’t at the forefront of this book as it has been in the others but it was one that I enjoyed as it bought Olivia closer to someone and form more than a friendship; she yearned for someone that would love her, I enjoyed their interactions and the way he came to care for her.

I have to admit the sci-fi components of this book were a little lost on me at times and I did find myself skimming; other than this I couldn’t fault it. Pintip Dunn’s writing is engaging, the creative world that she has written is unique and the characters were all amazing! Chairwoman Dresden was crazy but as the villain was perfectly written.

Everything was tied up neatly in the conclusion to this series and I am saddened that it has come to an end; getting to know each of these wonderful characters and delving into this creative world has been an amazing experience and I look forward to reading more books by this fabulous author.

Thank you to Entangled Teen via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Seize Today.



Pintip DunnABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. 

Pintip’s novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. It is also a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, the MASL Truman Award, and the Tome Society IT list. In addition, THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. 

Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, SEIZE TODAY, and GIRL ON THE VERGE.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Review: Trust by Kylie Scott


Author: Kylie Scott
Publisher: Self
Release date: 18th July 2017
Genre: YA/NA contemporary
Pages: 382

Synopsis: Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

Trust is a book that took me by surprise, after reading the synopsis I was eager to delve into this book which was raw and real with likeable characters and an interesting story-line.

Our MC’s are John Cole and Edie Millen, complete opposites but bought together by a traumatic event which affected them both. When Edie has enough of her private school life she moves to the local public school and again meets up with John.

These characters share a connection, John understands what Edie is going through emotionally and vice versa; they support one another and get what each are feeling, they are both needing support and rely on one another to get through each day.

Edie wasn’t your typical YA heroine, not stick figure perfect or popular but she was kind-hearted and strong, the way that she dealt with the event was very different to John's response to it all; I really liked John – he had his issues and has made mistakes but he was working through them and trying to be a better person.

The story-line in a nutshell is about Edie and John being held up in a convenience store, their feelings and the way they deal with what happened to them and the aftermath and their growing friendship and feelings towards one another.

What let it down for me was I found the plot to be unclear and inconsistent at times, there was a lot happening. The pacing started off at a rapid pace but throughout the rest of the book it was varied; I also found the ending to be quite rushed.

Overall, I enjoyed Kylie Scott’s writing style and the way she dealt with serious issues, I also liked her interesting characters but the points above did let it down for me.

Thank you to Kylie Scott via Netgalley for the opportunity to read Trust.