Review: Hole in the Middle by Kendra Fortmeyer

I gotta admit, this one made me skeptical at first. The whole (no pun intended) concept seemed so far fetched that I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to play out. But there’s something about this author, something about the way she blends words together to tell one heck of a story.

Morgan has always been different. Born with a hole in her torso, she’s struggled to fit in. Very few people know her secret, but she stills struggles with accepting herself. An absent father and a perfectionist, demanding mother don’t help matters any. Finally, she decides she’s tired of hiding her body under bulky sweaters and sweatshirts. So she bares her secret, slowly at first. As secrets go, though, it snowballs out of control. Wishing she could take it all back but unable to…

And then there’s Howie. He’s her exact opposite. Literally. Where Morgan has a hole in her abdomen, Howie has a protruding lump of flesh. Could their shared abnormalities be the key to curing them both?

This is such a good story. Beyond the medical concerns and insecurities and body image issues, it’s a story of accepting yourself. Not only for Morgan but for those around her. It’s a message we could all use more of in today’s world of staged perfection.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Hole in the Middle

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Review: Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little

This was a new kind of story for me. Name a type of teenage issue and I’ve probably read about it. But I can honestly say, I’ve never read a book where one of the characters has Leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease as it’s referred to in the story.

Abby is your typical mean girl. She’s a beautiful cheerleader who runs with only the popular kids and is obsessed with looks. Anything less than perfection gets a sneer and a condescending remark from Abby and her band of BFFs. Her life is pretty much perfect, so when she develops a small rash she’s not overly concerned. Even when it starts to spread and other symptoms pop up, she never imagines it could be anything major.

And then she finally receives her diagnosis…Hansen’s Disease/aka Leprosy. All of a sudden her whole world is turned upside down. And she’s no longer one of the pretty people. Shipped off to a special facility for treatment, she starts to see that maybe looks aren’t everything.

I didn’t like Abby for much of this story. I thought she was a self-centered, mean little snot. But that’s okay. Because you don’t have to love a character. The point is that the author makes you feel SOMETHING about them.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Confessions of a Teenage Leper

Review: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf


Boy, I wish I knew this was gonna be a trilogy before I started. Towards the end I was getting nervous and then BAM. So now I sit here waiting……

I went in blind so I really didn’t have any idea what it was about. To be honest, in the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish. Her inner voice kept reminding us about the same thing over and over and over again. It was getting rather annoying. But I stuck with it and ended up hooked.

Zera was torn between doing what she needed to do and what she wanted to do. She’s on a mission that, if it was just about her, her decisions would’ve been easier to make. But since it’s not only about her, she has to come to terms with what she really is and why she’s really here.

Personally I liked the prince’s bodyguard more than anyone. He was quick witted and duty bound to the prince. He was always there to say what others were thinking, even if he should keep it to himself. Without him, I probably would’ve quit the book early on.

I liked the premise of the story. I really did, even though I pretty much knew what was going to happen. The ending, while exciting, wasn’t a surprise to me. I knew it. I know this all sounds negative, but I think teens will like it. It was a sweet romance with very exciting undertones. I look forward the next one.

~Melpomene

Buy Bring me Their Hearts https://amzn.to/2KrBfgl

Quick review: Legion by Julie Kagawa


I’m stressed. Totally stressed. This is the beginning of the end. Very action packed and tense. So many battles, both physically and emotionally. The ending I never saw coming. Now I am both nervous and excited to read the final book.

However, I will say that I now know how my daughter felt when reading the Iron Fey books. My heart is with the other guy. This is a bittersweet read now. But I’m dying to know what happens, so I’m pushing through. I think this book had more of the romance aspect in it, compared to the others.

What I like about this series is that we get many POVs. Not only from Ember and her soldier and rogue, but also her brother. I liked knowing what was happening from the inside of Talon and what their plans are. Although I totally didn’t agree with them, and they added to my stress, it was nice to know what Dante was thinking.

Who knew a YA book would have me feeling this way? I am almost afraid to continue on, but I’m pulling up my big girl panties and diving in.

~Melpomene

Talon https://amzn.to/2IPw8BA
Rogue https://amzn.to/2xbB0zA
Soldier https://amzn.to/2kq4VuD
Legion https://amzn.to/2xcGXML

Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber


Seriously‽‽ Now what am I supposed to do‽‽ This is not how I expected this story to go at all. If you read Caraval, you know how it ended. It wasn’t cut and dry. There was still more fun to be had.

Legendary was an experience. Definitely one of a kind. Magical and mysterious with more jaw dropping scenes than I ever expected. The game has changed. This time, everything is real…or is it…

Romance played a bigger role in Legendary than in Caraval. But while it was still familial, there was way more romantic love throughout it. In fact that’s probably why I enjoyed this one more. Lots of swoony scenes that had me all twitterpated.

Dante had my heart fluttering. I know he was the typical bad boy before, and he had his moments here, but he definitely showed his true colors in this one. Pleasantly surprised by him. And then just plain, downright surprised at him.

Jacks left me with a lot of unanswered questions. There’s so much more to him that we didn’t get to see. But since he’s a master at trickery, I fell under his spell.

Many times I forgot that Tella was only 16 years old. Sometimes she can act like the flighty school girl but most of the time she made difficult decisions that would give us mature adults pause. I really liked her. I think more than her sister even. My heart felt what she felt. It raced when her was racing. It hurt when hers hurt. Part of me hopes we eventually get more from her. Even a little short story. I feel like her story isn’t done yet. She has a lot of life to live.

The conclusion was way more open ended than I was expecting. In fact, it left me reeling. I can honestly say that I’m not sure how I feel. I think I wanted a definitive ending. I wanted a choice to be made…and yet there was. Gah!! I want more!! My head is still spinning.

And I’m editing this now because the author just announced that we WILL be getting a third book! Holy moly. I am so excited now. I need more.

~Melpomene

Grab both books:
Caraval https://amzn.to/2GkC7kG
Legendary https://amzn.to/2pUnTMA

Quick Review: Soldier by Julie Kagawa


A YA love triangle with dragons. That’s all that needs to be said.

I kid…

Sorta…

Ember and joined Cobalt and is still struggling with the exit of Garret. She is torn between two boys, a dragon or a soldier. Both seem to be pulling her in their directions. But she’s not sure what to do.

Even though Garret left, he can’t seem to forget Ember. When he discovers something extremely disturbing about The Order, he must go back to the states and see if he can help make things right.

Another exciting installment in the Talon series that left me breathless. I’m about to dive into the next book. I’m so glad I waited till they were all complete. This really is a fun YA series. It’s been added to my list of recs.

On a side note, my non reader son read these books and thoroughly enjoyed them. He is currently rushing me to finish so he can talk about them. That’s saying something. It’s nice to find books like this.

~Melpomene

Grab
Talon https://amzn.to/2GiEr77
Rogue https://amzn.to/2KqyiIx
Soldier https://amzn.to/2Kt7K9B

Quick review: Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

I haven’t read a single contemporary YA in over four months. So this story was like a breath a fresh air. A nice change a pace. A second chance romance with music intertwined throughout it. In fact my heart was all a flutter.

After breaking her heart two years ago, Virginia(Vee) and Cam will be spending the summer, along with their friends, in a bus touring for a band contest/reality show. What could go wrong?

After having her heart broken two years ago, Virginia(Vee), will be spending the summer touring the country, for a rock band/reality show, in a bus filled with her friends, and Cam. Cam, the one who did the breaking of her heart. Cam, the reason she moved away, is now going to be a bed away from her for three months. What’s a girl to do?

This book alternates between the past and current while showing you what went wrong in the past and how it affected the future. Lots of secrets and heartaches. But with love at the center of it.

Since I’m an adult, most of the time, I could see what was happening before they did. I wanted to reach in and bonk their heads together. They needed to share their pain, not hold it inside. If you can’t be truthful to the one you love, you must not love them completely. Cam lived through something horrific and held on to it, not sharing, until it was too much for Vee. And without sharing that, he kept a piece of him from her and it festered.

But when these two finally were forced to confront their demons, the light shined down upon them. The heavens opened up. The angels sang the Hallelujah chorus. OK, I’m being dramatic. Channeling my inner dramatic 20-something self. All in all, when these two finally opened up, all was well in their world. They could move forward together.

~Melpomene

Grab Love Songs & Other Lies https://amzn.to/2F7CPMI