Teen/YA books

Have you noticed lately that the YA books seem to be creeping into the NA realm?? Well, as a parent of a couple of tweens, I sure have. And let me tell you, I am not one bit happy.

I don’t want to shelter my kids too much, but I would like them to remain innocent for as long as possible. There is no reason for YA books to have excessive language or sex in them, whether or not it’s a closed door scene. I’m not trying to be a prude, but I have a real problem with this. It seems that all the books geared toward girls, have a heavy dose of romance and many go a bit overboard. Since my almost 13 yr old daughter wants to read “more YA and less ‘kids’ books” (her words), I wish there were more teen books out there. I have been reading a few with her lately and here are a couple that I think are absolutely perfect tween/YA books.

Now, a couple of these are christian romances, but they’re teen romances. These kids don’t need to read about adult feelings and emotions. They need to be kids and be silly, not be subjected to books about things they can’t possibly understand yet.

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Edenbrooke, by Julianne Donaldson

This is one of my daughter’s absolute favorite books. I had to go out and order a signed copy for Christmas last year, because she had to hold in her hands. She was in love with this book.

To quote my review, “This book was so full of sweet romance that my eyes were prickling the whole entire time. I fell in love all over again. I feel like twirling with my eyes closed.”

I think I may need a reread of this one soon. Go HERE to read my full review.

Up next is another by Julianne. This one is my favorite of hers.

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Blackmoore, by Julianne Donaldson

Is it possible to have too much love?? Well, this story surely did.

For the last 20% of the book I don’t think my tears stopped falling. This story was about love, love, and more love. Love that hurts. Love that rips you up. Love that puts you back together.

I loved the emotional turmoil and the gut retching feeling I had. Although I almost had to stop, it was too much for me.

I think my daughter even shed a couple of tears. I love books like this.

Go HERE for Clio’s full review.

Up next is my daughter’s all time favorite. She even read it twice in two days. If I’d let her, she’d keep reading this one over and over again.
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Eyes of the Woods, by Eden Fierce

This is a paranormal YA romance that was written by a 14 yr old!! So I knew it would be perfect for daughter. ANd I was right.

“The action was fantastic! My nerves did get the better of me a few times. I was so very curious to what happening, I couldn’t put it down. There were a couple of sad parts that may be hard to read. But as I thought about what these kids watch on TV or video games, they would be used to things much worse.”

Go HERE for my full review.

This is our current read.
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Matched, by Ally Condie

I read this series a few years back. So I don’t remember much of of it. I know that it’s romance, but I don’t remember any sex. So far we are up to chapter 10 and so far, she is dying to read faster. I’m pretty sure this is a safe read, but I’m not taking any chances. So as I read for myself, I am sneaking in 5-7 chapters of this each day.

It’s a dystopian book, so there isn’t any language I have to deal with. I love most dystopians, for that very reason.

I’m hoping to review this, when I am done. Meanwhile go HERE to grab a copy for yourself.

Well, I am off to read. I’ll keep you posted, if I discover any more. And if you find any, please let me know!

~Melpomene

Buy:
Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance

Blackmoore (Proper Romances)

Eyes of the Woods

Matched

Review: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

20140629-113045-41445247.jpgA teenage boy is gunned down in the middle of a bad neighborhood. Was he a gang member? Was he armed? Why was the shooter, who happens to be white, released without being charged? These are all questions brought to light in the first several chapters of this thought-provoking book by Kekla Magoon.

The story is told from multiple perspectives. We hear from almost everyone involved. There are the boys Tariq, the victim, grew up with. Most of them have given in to the allure of gang life. There’s Tariq’s family, including his little sister Tina. We have a well-known reverend who has come to town to help shed light on what really happened while at the same time advancing his political career. There’s the shopkeeper who spoke with Tariq right before his death. And there’s the shooter himself. The only person we don’t hear from is Tariq, but he’s dead. Sometimes when a story is told by so many different people it gets convoluted and loses my interest, but not in this case.

So this is the kind of book that’s sure to evoke deep emotion in some people, controversy among others. At first glance, it’s hard to find sympathy for many of the main characters. They are, after all, hardened gang members who deal in drugs and death. But if the reader takes the time to think a little deeper about the story, this is really a commentary on how our society views and treats members of certain racial and economic classes. And although the book certainly does bear some similarity to the fairly recent Trayvon Martin case, incidents like the one described in the book are sadly common enough that the author could have been writing about any one of them. A great read for those willing to go into the story with an open mind.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: How It Went Down

Review: Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin

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Looking for a cozy, warm-hearted read on a chilly day? Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Cafe is full of yummy baked goods, loving friends, and sweet romance… not to mention lots of snow!

Lily and Damon must plan their wedding among the ups and downs of real life. I liked that Damon was so supportive and loving, but it was a little too convenient that he always walked into the cafe at just the right moment!

Lily’s friendships and family relationships were believable and fun. Her woes seemed real and would have me on the same emotional roller coaster she was riding! The characters dealt with heartbreak – from whatever cause – although things did happen a little more neatly than they do in real life. (Of course! Or else it wouldn’t be a romance!)

My favorite part of any romance is the happily ever after. Here, there are some predictable twists and turns on the way, along with a very interesting wedding cake.

It was a little bizarre reading a British romance set in a small, northeastern American town with an important character having a southern American dialect. And even more bizarre when I would read British vocabulary (braces for suspenders) after reading a southern accent in a northern town! But I managed through it for this charming Christmas romance.

-Calliope

buy CHRISTMAS WEDDING AT THE GINGERBREAD CAFE

Review: Mr. Beautiful, by R.K.Lilley

01bea LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!! James Cavendish is my guy. That other guy, in the new movie, has NOTHING on him. If I was single and actually liked going on a plane, I’d totally consider being a flight attendant, just to find my own Mr. Cavendish.

Synopsis
I’ve been remade four times in my life.

It is a distinct feeling. Impossible to mistake. The very marked sensation of being unraveled and reknit into a new thing, a new person. It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, but above all, it is unstoppable.

I was remade when my parents died, went from a happy childhood, into navigating a very dark world, with endless responsibilities, surrounded by enemies, and despairingly alone.

It happened again at the hands of a cowardly predator. I’d become angrier with that one, more cynical, and it undoubtedly turned me into the kinky f**k I was today.

The third happened swiftly. One day I looked up into a pair of pale blue eyes and saw the other half of my soul. Checkmate. I went from a completely controlled existence, a life where I made every decision with cold calculation, to a man overcome with feelings and emotions that were foreign but somehow wonderful.

And all too soon after that cataclysmic change was this fourth one, this one where I begged a God I’d never entertained to spare the life of a woman that I could not live without.

Right off the bat, this story took us a ride of love and loss and healing and forgiveness. This is a retelling of the past three stories, but with a twist. I was very happy with the path that R.K. took in writing this. I was always wanting to hear the guy’s feelings. I love guy’s POVs. So I am completely happy with all the glimpses she shared with us.

“Somehow, I knew, just knew, deep in my gut, where certainties held the most sway, that I would never have enough of her.

I was lost. I was found.”

I have been dying for this!! James beats and other Dom, in my eyes. So I am thrilled to read his past and present pov. So many things going on in his dirty little mind. Who knew how insatiable that man really was!! Whew! That is my favorite part of him. ;) I also love how protective he is of Bianca. Some could say he’s overprotective, but he loves her and wants no one getting between them.

“I saved her life. She saved my soul.”

Reading Stephan’s POV was downright emotional. I had no clue the life he had. I am so glad he meet Bianca, when he did. She saved him just as he saved her. He had the weight of the world, on his shoulders, from his actions, but he moved past them, to be the other part of her soul. Without him, Bianca would not have survived.

Since the timelines all intertwine, we get to see Tristan and see behind the scenes as he works towards getting Danika’s trust back. I liked seeing that. Poor Danika had no choice. Tristan was determined and was going to get her.

The best part for me was seeing the future. I won’t say anything that happens, but I’m glad to see they’re all happy and still a bit crazy. I found myself cracking up at their lives and how they’re all still friends, even many years later.

“I’d hold onto her with the last breath in my body. My final thought would be that I hadn’t gotten enough, I just knew it.”

*swoon*

~Melpomene

Buy Mr. Beautiful (Up In The Air Book 4)

Get caught up first:
In Flight (Up In The Air Book 1)

Mile High (Up In The Air Book 2)

Grounded (Up In The Air Book 3)

Review: One in a Million (Lucky Harbor #12) by Jill Shalvis

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One in a Million is the tale of Callie and Tanner. I’m going to tell you why I’m so in love with Tanner and EVERY Lucky Harbor character I’ve ever read.

Jill Shalvis has a way of making Lucky Harbor heroes ultra-alpha with a big dose of sensitivity and adorableness. It’s a talent. A skill. A miracle even. The men have muscles and brains and businesses and big hearts and deep souls. They are perfect.

Even though Tanner is clueless or selfish or begrudging at times, he still wants what’s best for Callie… And he wants Callie. Sigh. I live for watching the guy want the girl. He’s all meeting her for coffee and bringing her doughnuts and remembering that she gave him a Valentine in high school. See? Perfection.

And Callie. Well, she doesn’t believe in love. In her wedding planning business, she has seen too many brides focus on the wedding rather than the marriage. When Callie realizes she has loved Tanner for a long, long time, she puts up her defenses, leaving Tanner wondering.

She finally caves, of course. There’s a meeting of the minds and a heart-to-heart. And grandma Lucille? She makes sure this one in a million love story is happily ever after #12. :)

-calliope

buy ONE IN A MILLION

Review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

*1So weird…this of course was real life vs Murakami’s imagination. I absolutely love how this man can stump me on one single sentence for minutes at a time…I just read them over and over again….this book was not like that….it was pretty straight and to the point….with most of his books I give them 4 stars right off the bat and then go back a month later and bump it up to 5 because, honestly, it sometimes takes me that long to fully appreciate him….yes, a month later, I still often think of the latest Murakami book I have read. It’s true…for me, his words become part of me…they seep into my very bone marrow…but for whatever reason, this one got 5 stars right off the bat….why? I am not sure…I just know it deserves it….stupid reason, but there you have it…and really, who knew he could run 60 plus miles in a single day? Who knew he has more albums than I have books? But most of all, I felt a real connection to him after reading this book. I don’t write. When I write down my thoughts they start to consume me. I lose control. It is a very scary thing for me. It’s why I avoid it when I can…Murakami spends some time in this book explaining why he must run to offset the unhealthiness of his imagination…How you have to go deep inside you to be able to tap your creative vein…if you don’t stay healthy on the outside, the inside will take over….me? I just have never learned how to do that…I fear one day I would just bleed out….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Review and Giveaway: Living with Regret(Rain#3), by Lisa De Jong

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“Sometimes true friends make the best true loves.”

I knew going into this book, that it was going to toy with my emotions, so I was sort of prepared. But yet, not really.

Synopsis
I had my whole life mapped out. Perfect guy. Perfect friends. Everything was exactly the way I wanted it.

That was until that night–the one I can’t remember. It’s all my fault, and now the memories are all I have left of him. Of us.

My guilt drowns me until Sam Shea steps back into my life and helps me to the surface. He slowly opens my heart and crawls deep inside before I even realize what’s happening. I know I don’t deserve him.

While I’m trying to get used to my new life, pieces of that night slowly start to come back to me. Lies and secrets shatter everything I thought I knew.

Maybe I’m not the only one living with regret.

Holy heartache!!! Rachel wakes up, in a hospital bed, with no memory of how she got there. She doesn’t remember the final 24 hours of her “perfect” life before it was turned upside down. The only people that seem to want to help her, without any hidden agendas, are her friends, Kate, who she met in college, and Sam, the next door neighbor. But since Kate’s hours away, Sam’s the only friend she’s got to rely on. They may have lost touch, in the past few years, but he was always there when she needed him. And she needs him now.

Sam hasn’t had the best life, but he always cared for Rachel. He would take away her pain and heartache, if he could. He wants to show her that because she’s a live, she needs to make the most of what she’s been given. She needs to learn to forgive herself and move on. But that is most definitely easier said than done.

Rachel has always cared for Sam, even when she was dating someone else. He was her best friend. But lines are beginning to blur and she’s not sure what to do about that. Little does she know that his feelings run a bit deeper than friendship. But he slowly begins to show her.

“Life doesn’t always give you a second chance, so when it does, seize it, If you don’t, you might always regret it.”

I loved Sam. He was the most caring, patient, swoon worthy guy I’ve read about, in a long time. Some of his lines were so sweet, they made me tear up. He knew the right things to say to Rachel, to help her on the path of forgiveness and discovery.

“There’s no need to run when everything you want is right in front of you.”

I was totally cheering for Sam, but I understood that Rachel needed space to get her head on straight. As she starts to slowly get snapshots from that night, you start to realize that things weren’t always so clear. Just when I thought I understood, some thing else would come out of left field and slam right into me. I wouldn’t call them twists, but more like pieces to a puzzle. You really don’t know what you’re looking at, til all the pieces are in place. But putting those pieces together creates more heartache than the poor girl was ready for.

Life changes quickly with the turn of a key. If it’s the right one, it can unlock something fantastic, but if it’s wrong, it stops you in your tracks.

After much heartache and lots of discovery, Rachel finds out the truth about herself and the many people around her. But most important, she learns that living with regret isn’t living at all.


When you’re lost, the only thing left is to be found.
You can be lost in sadness and found in happiness
Lost in regret but found in forgiveness.
the key to being found comes from within…
No one is going to hand it to you.
…Life isn’t meant to be that easy.

~Melpomene

LWR - RD

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Buy

Read the first two books:
When It Rains (Rains Standalone Book 1)

Changing Forever (Rains Standalone Book 2)

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