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

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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

Quick review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Not enough stars!! When I first saw this cover, I knew I had to read it. I didn’t even care what it was about. I just knew that I needed it. And let me tell you, I am so glad I did. I just finished this and now I’m sitting here with a big dorky smile on my face. Such a good book. Exciting and adventurous. Romantic and sweet. It’s just like Amazon said, Wonder Woman meets Vikings. I am dying to listen to the audible. I bet it’s gonna be just as amazing.

Eelyn is a warrior. Raised to believe the Riki are enemies. But when she’s captured and enslaved by them, she comes to the realization that they aren’t much different than her own clan. In fact, she learns that if they’re being honest, they have a common goal, and sets out to show them that. There are a few surprises for her and us, but it makes the story that much more exciting.

I loved the romance weaved throughout this. It’s very subtle. I wondered if there was even going to be a romance, and amazingly I was okay if there wasn’t. I was that hooked. But when it showed up, I was super happy. All stories need a little love.

There’s so much I wanna say, but I’ll let you read it and enjoy it for yourself. But the best part is that it’s a standalone! This wonderful story is all wrapped up in one spectacular package. It’s also going on my YA list. The teens in my life will love this. I can’t wait till my daughter reads this book. She’s gonna love it. LOVE IT. Ax and knife throwing is a hobby of hers.

This is Adrienne Young’s debut and I’m telling you, I found a new author to obsess over. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Melpomene

Buy Sky in the Deep https://amzn.to/2Hm7rvZ

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.”
My goodness!! I am so excited after finishing this book! I pretty must wanna write, “GO READ THIS!” and just leave it at that, but I won’t.

I’ve been told by quite a few people that this book is super fun and intriguing, and will keep you on your toes. And they were so very right. I had so many theories as I was reading. It’s hard to know what’s going to happen when you’re told not to believe anything to you see or hear.

It’s only a game…

Famous last words.

Scarlett and Tella have grown up under the evil hand of their father. In fact, his scenes had me wincing quite a bit. Evil is an understatement. But the girls have a chance to run away to Caraval for a few days and escape their life, before Scarlett is forced to marry someone she’s never met. But things don’t turn out the way that they hoped. The game has a way of changing you, if you’re not too careful.

When Tella is kidnapped, the game gets more real. Scarlett must rely on the help of Julian, the sailor who seems to have an ulterior motive behind his actions, in order to rescue her before the five days is up. Scarlett has always done what needs to be done, in order to protect her sister, so this will push her far beyond her imagination.

As she spends more and more time with Julian, she starts to question everything about him. Romance has no place in this game. By the end, no matter what her feelings are for Julian, it’s all about her sister. Scar will do whatever it takes to find Tella and escape their father.

This is another YA book I’ll be adding to my list. No only is there a sweet romance in the background, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat and have you constantly guessing. A real page turner. In fact, if you liked the movie Now You See Me, then you will like this book. Nothing is real, and yet it is. It’s only a game, and yet it isn’t…

SO.MUCH.FUN.

~Melpomene

Buy Caraval https://amzn.to/2IiEYHh

Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I’m always a bit suspicious when one book is compared to another. It’s for that very reason I was hesitant to consider this one, described in one review as “the next Harry Potter.” But the blurb was intriguing enough to encourage me to give it a try. And I’m glad I did.

Stevie Bell has achieved her goal. Being accepted at the exclusive Ellingham Academy is all she’s wanted for a very long time. But it’s not for the reason most people would think. It’s a fabulous private school, for sure. And for a highly gifted child such as herself, it’s a dream come true. Stevie, however, has other motives. As a budding young detective, she’s obsessed with solving a decades-old mystery. What exactly happened at Ellingham Academy all those years ago when the owner’s wife and daughter disappeared? Stevie is certain that SHE can be the one to figure it out. Of course, her present day world isn’t without risks of its own…

I absolutely love this character. She’s smart and determined and confident. The other characters aren’t bad, but it’s Stevie who steals the show. The story is told alternately in present times and the time of the original crime. The author allows us to get into Stevie’s head as she works out the details of the original crime while simultaneously dealing with current events. My only complaint is that the book ends with a MAJOR cliffhanger leading me to wait impatiently for the next book.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Truly Devious

Review: Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

When was the last time you finished a book and immediately sat down and wrote out a list of people who MUST read this book? When I finished this, that’s exactly what I did. The first, my kids, then my homeschool co-op teens, then some moms of those teens, then a few scattered friends who I know would get a kick out of this. And then I pretty much went on IG and FB and shouted it from the rooftops there. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!!! Thought provoking and exciting and I can’t wait for everyone to read this.

When I first got Pacifica, I almost skipped the author’s note and went right to the story. I’m so glad I didn’t. The author’s note is where the magic begins. It’s where the background story comes from. It’s the first time your heart is squeezed. And it’s definitely not the last.

When you read dystopians, part of you thinks, “This could never happen. We won’t let it happen.” But when I was reading this book, I kept thinking, “Crap. This could totally happen. And that would be horrific.” Basically climate change and the affects it has on our planet. But that’s not the hardest part of this story. The people, and what’s happening right under their noses, that’s the hardest part. They thought the government knew what was best for them and they just went along with it. But when the story is uncovered, they realize it’s far from anything they’ve ever heard of.

I think the best part of this book was the friendships. I was cheering everyone on. Marin, who was a pirate’s daughter and Ross, the president’s son, set out to rescue Ross’ friend, Adam, the vice president’s son, and it is non stop action. Like stomach twisting action. I couldn’t stop reading, for fear of something happening and I miss it. 🙂 Silly, I know, but I was so invested in these characters, I wouldn’t stop until they found their way back to safety. Now there is a little bit of love brewing on the high seas, but can you blame them? People who’ve gone through traumatic experiences tend to react that way. But it’s teen friendly, so no worries.

I have never read a Kristen Simmons book, but if they’re anything like this one, she’s found a new fan and I’ve found a new autobuy author. This story is now added to my ever growing “You need to read these YA books!” list. And all those people who are on my list above, better act surprised when they all get copies for Christmas.

~Melpomene

Buy Pacifica http://amzn.to/2FqHGxt

Review: In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

Books about teens with mental illness are hit or miss for me. Usually not very good and full of cliches, but every now and then a true keeper comes along. This latest tale from Gae Polisner is definitely one of the latter.

Klee’s had a lot to deal with in his young life. Not only did his dad kill himself, but Klee was the one to find him afterwards. His mom, hoping for a fresh start, uproots them from his beloved New York City. He doesn’t really fit in at his new school and basically resigns himself to just getting by until he graduates and can begin a new life.

But then he meets Sarah. And everything changes. She becomes his reason for being. She’s his polar opposite. And he can’t imagine his life without her. Sarah, however, isn’t as commital. Eventually it all becomes too much for Klee and he makes a desperate attempt to end the pain he’s feeling.

This author does an outstanding job of taking us inside Klee’s head, imagining what he must be thinking and feeling. So much trauma at such a young age…leading up to the incident and his recovery period afterwards.

A word of warning: Although this one is classified as young adult, I’d suggest it for the older end of the spectrum. The message is important but it’s pretty sexually descriptive. An insightful story!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: In Sight of Stars