Review: Just Friends by Monica Murphy

just-friends-amazon Have you ever read a book so crazy insane with angst that you wanna set it down and walk away, but you JUST CAN’T DO IT? Well, that is how I felt read Just Friends. My word… Teenage drama to the nth degree. Seriously.

Just Friends is about…well, friends. Friends and enemies. Frenemies really. The characters were so insane with teenage drama and feelings, I thought my head was going to explode. At one point I hated every single character. None of them were making good choices. They only cared about hooking up, which is true for most teenagers, but my word… Selfish, emotional and so over the top wishy washy. He likes her, but she doesn’t know if she likes him. But the he hooks up with someone else. But he really likes her, even though she doesn’t know if she can be with him. All of that and more. Teenage drama.

Now I say all of that, but in reality, I was sucked in from the very first chapter. I couldn’t take my eyes off the page. I needed to know what happens and who “really” like who, and why is she acting this way. GAH!!!!

If you stepped into your local high school, you would probably hear lots of the same conversations that were in the book. Ms. Murphy nailed the inner feelings and actions of teenage girls. Supremely. Not to mention that the boys were realistically stupid as always. Sex and sports.

I haven’t read an angst filled NA book in quite some time, so I wasn’t sure what my reactions were going to be. But it’s safe to say, there was a lot of yelling and “What are thinking?’ being shouted.Again, teenage drama. I know the characters are in high school, but they are doing lots of grown up things that I can’t label YA. This book will get your heart racing and tugging. Your heart will hurt and twist at the same time. So much fun.

And that ending? I need more NOW.

~Melpomene
Buy Just Friends HERE

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Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

empire Well, now…where to begin…I have so many feelings all jumbled up in my head. But, here goes.

This is the first book that I actually read with my children. My daughter read the first five books, including the prequels, last year, and my son was sucked into them after we went on vacation and we listened to the first one on our trip. So it was kinda fun reading along. It was crazy to be able to scream and yell and vent together.

Being that this is the 5th book in a series, you should be all ready to handle the amount of emotions that Sarah’s books will pull out of you. But this one was different. This book seemed more epic, if that’s even possible. So many storylines were going on at the same time, it was stressful. I kept waiting for the massive explosion from when they all crashed together. And let me tell you, explosion was exactly what we got. There were alliances made. Deals drawn. And that ending…my heart was messed up. My kids were NOT happy with that ending. They were yelling at me. I was laughing at them. I’m used to this kinds of devastation, but they are not.

While I was enjoying myself, this book seemed to take a turn for the NA world. Just a heads up there. This series, up til now, was pretty YA and the sexy scenes were fade to black. Not so with this one. It was quite descriptive and I had to block off a few spots for my teens. Now don’t get all huffy. I’m not about censorship, but I will do that for my kids. I like the sexy parts, but not for my kids. I won’t go into more about that, but I will say this, those scenes are the reason I gave this a 4 instead of a 5.

Besides all that, I will recommend this series if you like fantasy. Sarah creates worlds that are so unbelievable and yet they sound so real. I haven’t heard the audible for this one, but I did use it for my reread/relisten and the stories are even better when you hear them.

~Melpomene

Buy Empire of Storms HERE

Review: The Memory of Things by Gail Polisner

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For people over a certain age, it’s hard to remember a time when September 11 wasn’t part of our shared history. We’ll never forget where we were that fateful Tuesday morning fifteen years ago. But for younger people, it’s been relegated to an event found in history books. That’s why books like this one are so important.

When that first plane hit, Kyle was sitting in class just like any normal teenager. It soon become clear, however, that this was more than just an accident. Released from school, making his way home across the Brooklyn Bridge, he comes across something. At first glance, a bird. But upon closer inspection, a girl covered in ash and wearing a pair of feathery wings. And was she trying to jump off the bridge? Nevertheless, he saves her from herself, from the crowd of people walking across the bridge, from the chaos that ensued in those first days.

When he gets home, he realizes that she has no idea who she is and no memory of what happened. So this becomes his focus while at the same time trying to manage in such a time of tragedy. His mom and sister are stuck on the west coast. He doesn’t know where his police officer dad is or if he’s even still alive. And his Uncle Matt needs constant care after a tragic accident months ago. All this falls on Kyle’s young shoulders.

This is such a beautifully written story. Kyle’s story is our main one, with the girl’s voice told in poetic bits and pieces interspersed throughout. There’s a lot going on-fear of the unknown, a confusing teen romance, family dynamics, and just pure resilience. An excellent pick for both young and old!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Memory of Things

Review ~ June: A Novel, by Miranda Beverly-Whitemore

This is one of those books that I picked up without really knowing anything about, and in a way, I’m glad I did. Some of you may have enjoyed Beverly-Whitemore’s previous novel, Bittersweet, and I had heard a lot of good things about it, so I guess that influenced my decision in picking up this book. 

The plot centers around 25 year old Cassie who has inherited an old mansion in decay, in the middle of Ohio. Stuck with this crumbling house, Cassie is even more shocked when a man turns up claiming that she is also inheriting millions of dollars from a famous actor who has just died, and who claims that Cassie is his granddaughter. With this insane piece of news, Cassie is left wondering how, when, why her grandmother would meet, fall in love, and have a child with a famous Hollywood actor. Could it really be true? 

The story is split into two time periods: one in present day with Cassie and others investigating her grandmother’s life, and then we are transported to the 1950’s to meet the grandmother as a young woman. 

This novel kind of reminded me of the style found in novels such as Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Except this one lacked the humor. However, it is an easy read, with elements that make you want to continue and find out how it all pans out. Towards the end, it does get a little too convenient and “nice”, but overall this is not a bad read at all.

~ Pegasus 

June: A Novel 

Review: Salem’s Cipher by Jess Lourey

From San Francisco to Salem, Massachusetts, childhood friends Bel and Salem find themselves running away from psychopaths and toward hiding places for clues to a mystery they don’t even understand. In their quest to save their mothers, the presidential candidate, and the world, the women pick up more clues than they bargained for… and they find themselves. 

I’ve long admired Jess Lourey for her cozy mysteries (Murder by Month series, similar to Stephanie Plum books). So when Lourey came out with a gritty, suspenseful thriller I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m a happily-ever-after girl and I cover my eyes when a bad guy appears on the page! I took a chance and WOW am I glad I did. Salem’s Cipher is rich with art, history, geography, secret societies, conspiracy theories, federal agents, and cracking codes. I enjoyed the authentic friendship between the women, their mad MacGyver skills, and the sweet Mercy child. 

Even if this isn’t your usual genre, I urge you to take a few trips cross-country with this crew. It’s a little scary, a little bloody, and a lot fun!

-calliope 

Buy SALEM’S CIPHER

Review: The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

22609358I loved this novel. It was such a pleasant surprise. I’m not even sure what I loved the most about it…the layers of mysteries….the hints of things to come…the love story…the other love story…the past…the present…or the future…there are so many different things to love that it is hard to choose one…so I shall just say I loved them all..

Yes, this will be a long series…one that still has a long way to go…but regardless of the fact, each book proves to be a solid read all on their own merits…and I don’t believe it will prove to be complicated series that you’ll struggle to remember and catch up when you start a new book, trying to remember the last book…

Although the romance is very essence of this novel…it certainly isn’t a romance novel to me…I think the writing and the atmosphere and the places around the world are very bit a part of that essence as are any of the characters….I dare say that romance haters (is there such a thing) will love this series every bit as much as those that consider themselves romance lovers (which I would not classify myself as).

Yes, I have only read the first book…but it doesn’t matter…I have no doubt that they shall all be just as wonderful in their own way…that’s just how much I loved this novel…

Until next time…
Urania

Review copy provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy your copy now The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

Review: Detached by Christina Kilbourne

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There’s  a game my fellow Muses & I like to play from time to time.  We call it “Guess the Muse” and it involves guessing which one of our brilliant reviewers has written a certain review.  Yes, we are that predictable at times.  And I’ve been known to gravitate towards books involving young people facing issues of all kinds.  So for this review,  I’m staying true to form.

Anna is in a very dark place.  She enjoys nothing, feels nothing, even tastes nothing.  Everything in her life is just there.  So she dreams of an escape route, even going so far as to make a list of possible ways to commit suicide.  And she makes a few attempts, although none of them come close to being successful.  Until the very last one.

Depression and suicide in teens are always difficult topics to read about. But they’re   important ones because they’re  very real. This book does a good job of telling the story of one such teen in a way that’s entirely believable. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was hearing Anna’s story told from three different perspectives: Anna herself, her mother, and her best friend. It’s a reminder that these are issues that don’t just affect one person but instead everyone around that person.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Detached