Review: The Lonely Ones

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The Lonely Ones by: Kelsey Sutton

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Purchase links: Amazon    Barnes and Noble   Penguin Random House   Indie Bound

Fain hasn’t always been lonely. Her family used to be close; she used to have good friends. But as circumstances—and people—changed, Fain was left behind. That’s when the monsters appeared.

While her parents argue and her peers and siblings either pick on or simply ignore her, Fain spends time in a world of her own making. During the day, she crafts stories of fantastical adventures, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life alongside a legion of imaginary creatures, with Fain as their queen.

In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day, but when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk opening herself up to the fragile connections that can only be formed in the real world?

Told in lyrical free verse, The Lonely Ones reminds us of the need for imaginative play and the power of true friendship.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this E-ARC via Penguin Young Reader’s Group and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I am also participating in the Blog Tour for this book. 

I heard about this book from an email from Nichole at YAReads BlogTours. Nichole emailed asking whether or not I would be interested in participating in a blog tour for The Lonely Ones. At first I was skeptical as I have been hearing about all these blogger scandals. I checked out the website and I realized that I had heard about this blog before. I read the synopsis and I agreed. I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy the book once I started reading it. I am happy to report that I loved this book!

When Fain was younger her family used to be happy and close. Then one day her father lost his job as a car seller. Her mother was in law school at the time and she dropped out because of the bills. Then the fighting started. Her older siblings Dana and Tyler moved on. Tyler started dating and going to parties. While Dana became externally glued to her phone. Only her younger brother Peter interacted with her.

Upon moving the situation only worsened. The fights continued. Her father still had difficulty finding a job. Meanwhile her mother worked in a fast food restaurant. Dana and Tyler continue on as they were earlier and Peter continues to play with Fain. Fain despite having Peter feels alone. Her voice isn’t heard over the fighting and no one notices her. Then one day while she was sleeping some monsters come at her window and invite her to play. These monsters later become the only friends she has.

One day a new boy comes to their school. Much to Fain’s surprise the new boy Matthew actually talks to her. Fain’s not used to people interacting with so she has a hard time answering simple questions because she is in awe that someone actually saw her and is now speaking to her. Matthew continues to hang out with Fain. The two form a friendship. Fain’s neighbour Anna is another person who sees her and they occasionally talk. Eventually becoming friends. For awhile Fain stops talking to the monsters. And circumstances have it that Fain and her siblings become close again.

Then Matthew and Anna hurt her and she goes right back to the monsters. But this time she has her siblings by her side. And she’s okay with that. Eventually Anna and Fain make up and then she has Anna by her side as well. By the end of the book Fain has stopped talking to her monsters. Her family is happy and she has a real friend in Anna. 

The most interesting thing about this book is the writing style. Each chapter is short and formatted the way a poem is written. There are chapters titles that go along with the poem format. This was quite unique and enjoyable! The book is short and I had it finished in two hours.

The author did an excellent job with the characters! They are completely realistic and so are there interactions with one-another. While Fain’s family wasn’t happy all the time they were there for each other. Her friendship with Anna was sweet to read about! I connected with Fain. I understood where she was coming from. It was interesting to read about the monsters and the stories Fain wrote. I was happy when Fain stopped seeing the monsters and became friends with Anna and her family. It was also nice that there wasn’t a romance!

This book is about finding our own voice. And understanding that while you may feel like you don’t matter there is always someone who cares about you. It’s about family. No matter how tough your current situation is there is always someone by your side.

Overall this was a wonderful and touching book! I recommend it to everyone because this is an important read and everyone will be able to connect to Fain. Also keep a tissue box with you while reading.  

Review: Dead Is the New Black

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Dead Is the New Black by: Marlene Perez

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the pyschic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom-shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!

Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can’t help but suspect head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new “look.” Samantha appears a little . . . well, dead, and all the most popular kids at school are copying her style.

Is looking dead just another fashion trend for Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I had heard about this book series when I was in high school. But for some reason I didn’t read it then. One day a friend of mine on GR wrote a review for Dead is The New Black and I remembered how when I was in high school I was interested in it. Of course I added it and checked it out from the library. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

The book begins with Daisy coming to school. While walking in the hallway she sees her former best friend Samantha sporting a new look. One that consists of a lot of black and a coffin backpack. This isn’t the normal dress code for Samantha. But of course since she’s popular everyone else start to copy her.

For the next few weeks Samantha’s new clothing choice is all the school can about. It’s driving Daisy nuts. One day her mother comes home and mentions having trouble with a case. Her mother is a detective and she uses her powers to find the wrongdoers. Her mother has never asked any of her daughters for help. Feeling left out yet again for being human Daisy decides to look into the case as well.

This was better than I expected it to be! The book is written in first person in Daisy’s point of view. It’s really short so it made it easy to finish. The plot is interesting and engaging.

My favourite part of this book is the relationships. Daisy has a complicated relationship with Samantha. And Samantha wants to make it up to Daisy, because her intention was never to hurt Daisy. I’m glad that Daisy didn’t forgive her right away. It was realistic and made sense.

Daisy was close to her sisters. But there were many times in the book where Daisy felt left out because she was human and her sisters were keeping secrets from her. They didn’t do it to hurt Daisy. It was a realistic relationship and well done. While they did fight here-and-there they still cared for each other.

The powers were pretty cool! Rose (Daisy’s oldest sister) could read minds. Poppy (Daisy’s second oldest sister) could use telekinesis and her mother could read objects and tell you who touched it and so forth. There is an actual name for her mothers powers but I’ve forgotten it.

I did have three problems with Dead Is the New Black. I guess because this was so short I didn’t really get to know Daisy. I ended up feeling indifferent to her. The murder mystery wasn’t that good. It was pretty easy to figure out who the vampire was based on a certain clue. The romance between Ryan and Daisy came out of nowhere. One minute Daisy is telling you that Ryan has had a crush on Samantha since sixth grade. Then all of a sudden Ryan likes her. Part of it probably was because Daisy didn’t believe Ryan liked her that way. Nonetheless this was still a fun read!

Overall this was a fun book! I recommend it to people who are looking for a fast supernatural mystery series.  

Review: A Darker Shade of Sorcery

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A Darker Shade of Sorcery by: William Collins 

My Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

The lonely and grieving Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.
Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the more peculiar, like wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis.
In their free time Venators enjoy goblin soap-opera’s and underwater bubble travel, but they also understand that every new mission they’re given could be their last.
Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon magical creatures and shoot Spellzookas, Evan meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way.

He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn’t quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.

Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF

I received this E-ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review.

When I got the email from Collins asking me to read A Darker Shade of Sorcery I immediately said yes! I love fantasy and paranormal books! This sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this.

The book begins with Evan mentioning that his grandmother recently passed away. He is constantly haunted by her death and has nightmares about her. It doesn’t help that he has bullies bothering him everywhere he goes.

While trying yet again to outrun the bullies a monster appears. At first Evan doesn’t notice anything as his back is toward the monster. But the bullies faces go pale and one of them is murdered by the monster. Then Evan turns around and finds himself face-to-face with a horrifying monster. The monster speaks to him and kidnaps him.

This was a case of ‘It’s not you but me.’ As I continued to read I felt no connection to the story. While the pace was fast and it was engaging I felt nothing. I should’ve felt really bad for Evan but even when he mentioned his grandmother it didn’t pull on my heart strings. I have given this book a two star because the premise sounds interesting.

Overall this book was not for me. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good fantasy series.

Review: Tooth Goblins

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Tooth Goblins by: Ash Toroid 

My Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

When Ellie’s older brother is turning thirteen, she want’s to see the ‘transformation’ into a teenager for herself. Ellie hides in a cupboard and waits. She is shocked to witness her brother kidnapped by goblins and replaced with a clone. A passing Tooth-Fairy is drawn by the use of magic and gets caught up in the commotion, to discover that Ellie is descended from the legendary Merlin. Together they embark upon an adventure for Ellie to rescue her brother, whose destiny begins to take shape as he must attempt to incite a rebellion against the goblins that try to enslave him. The siblings’ combine their efforts with the fairies in their fateful struggle against the Tooth-Goblins.

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF 

I received this E-ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review.

When Toroid emailed me asking whether I would like to read her book, I jumped and agreed! It sounded so cool and very unique! Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book.

The book begins with Ellie explaining that her brother is turning 13. She’s not looking forward to it. Ellie has heard that teenagers are terrible people. She’s afraid that her brother will have a drastic change overnight.

As Ellie is getting ready to go to bed she hears a noise coming from her brother’s room. She goes to check it out and to her shock she sees pixies carrying her brother away. Having no idea what to do Ellie hides in the closet and tries to find something she can hit the pixies with.

This was a case of ‘It’s not you but me.’ I didn’t like the writing style. I found it to be weird and couldn’t bring myself to read any more. I have given this book two stars because it sounds like an interesting book. 

Overall this book is not for me. I recommend it to anyone looking for a Middle Grade fantasy standalone. 

Review: Endangered

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Endangered by: Dani Hoots

My Rating 2 of 5 Stars

Chrys has been in the Underworld for thousands of years, hidden away by her father, Hades, from all of the other gods. He’s afraid that if someone finds out about her, they will destroy her because of the dichotomous power that she holds, the power of life and death. So she has remained in the Palace of Hades all her life, making very few friends and always bored out of her mind.

Huntley would have never guessed that after he died he would wake up with a beautiful girl standing over him. And that she would be the Dark Lord of the Underworld’s daughter. Yet, for some reason, she keeps him around as her tutor, as if he knows anything about the world. But Huntley knows that all she really wants is a friend; being trapped in the Underworld can get pretty lonely.

That is, until Chrys decides she wants to run away to the human world after a big fight with her mother Persephone. Chrys claims her father is just over reacting and that nothing bad will come of it. There’s no way that the gods will notice she’s there for only a couple of days…right?

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF

I received this E-ARC via Victory Editing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I had heard about this book through some friends on GR. It sounded like a light fantasy which I enjoy so I requested it. Unfortunately I did not enjoy it.

The book begins with Chrys and her father Hades. Chrys has been told by her father that she needs to sit and watch him judge people. To see which parts of the underworld said people will go to. At this point Chrys is so used to the begging and screaming that she doesn’t care. The only thing Chrys wants is for this to be over so she can start her tutor session with Hunter.

I didn’t finish this because I felt that this was too light for my taste. I felt that at some point it would become ridiculous so I just dropped it. This book is not for me.

However there were some things that I liked. I liked the writing style and the relationship between Chrys and Hades. It was a sweet father-daughter relationship. And slightly complex. These aspects were not enough to save the book for me.

Overall this book was not for me. I recommend it to anyone looking for a light mythology book series.

Review: Dark Tide

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Dark Tide by: Jennifer Donnelly 

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book series was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Alyssa! Click on her name to read her review.

After finishing Rogue Wave I needed to read Dark Tide! That ending was very cruel. I have no idea how people managed to wait until October 2015 to read this book. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this! 

The book begins with a prologue in Astrid’s point of view. Astrid is on her way home. It’s been quite the journey and she’s nearly there. So far she’s managed to dodge the Death Riders. She stays in a hotel to rest for the night. As she gets ready to sleep the man with fully black eyes appears in the mirror. He knows Astrid’s secret and reaches out to her. Astrid feels drawn to him and does the same. Right before he can pull her through the mirror she sees that he has no iris. She jumps back and runs.

We are then taken to the first chapter in Sera’s point of view. It’s been two months since the events of Rogue Wave and she is now in charge of the Black Fins Resistance. With the help of Madhi they plan to steal some gold from her uncle Vallerio.

Neela and Yaz are apart of the Black Fins as well. Yaz is Sera’s second in command. Once they have their plan set they make their way to the palace. Mahdi pretending to love Lucia holds a party for her as a distraction while the Black Fins steal the gold. The plan goes a bit wrong and they are discovered. Still managing to make it out with the gold Sera and Sophia run.

While trying to outrun the Death Riders they come across a secret room. The two decide to rest for a bit because Sera’s tail is severely injured. As Sera takes in her surroundings she realizes that the room has statues of the Six the girls are descended from. And in the statues are their talisman’s. Sera makes a mental take and contacts the girls.

Dark Tide was much better than Rogue Wave! There are multiple point of views in this book. The author did a good job balancing all of them along with the plot. There is a larger focus on politics and new allegiances are made.

Sera now in charge of the Black Fin’s has become an inspiring leader. Throughout the book she continues to address issues such as food and shelter, without losing hope. Her relationship with Yaz was really sweet! Madhi doesn’t really come in but their still going strong.

Ling finds herself in a terrible situation. After finding out that Orfeo is alive she has been sent to a work camp to look for one of the talisman’s. Throughout her journey she fights for her survival. She realizes that not every strong person is going to remain strong forever, and that her mother was never weak. While at the camp she also meets someone   from her past.

Becca run into Astrid while searching for the talisman. The two of them become friends. Becca’s past is revealed in this book. It was quite sad. Once the two of them separate Becca searches for her talisman. Along the way she realizes that not everything goes according to plan.

Astrid is hiding a secret. While I didn’t find it that bad it really brought Astrid’s self esteem down. When she meets Becca she finds herself becoming friends with Becca. This goes against all her raising as she’s not supposed to be emotional. Once they separate Astrid returns home to terrible news. She meets someone very important and sets off with said person. Astrid realizes she has nothing to fear about her secret. She decides to do things her way and let people into her life.

Neela is present in the book but she doesn’t come in. Ava and Lucia’s point of views do come in. Surprisingly Lucia comes in more than Ava and Neela. As usual the female friendship was amazing! Becca and Astrid get love interests. I am looking forward to see where that goes. I also love the sibling relationship in this book! I liked Dark Tide way more than Rogue Wave! 

I didn’t have any issues with Dark Tide. But if I had to think of something I would say that I would’ve liked to read more about Ava. I feel like I don’t even know Ava. I’m sure she’ll become a bigger character in Sea Spell as she is still looking for her talisman.

Overall this was a great book! I recommend this series to anyone looking for a good mermaid series. I can’t wait to read Sea Spell which is the last book!

Review: Rogue Wave

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Rogue Wave by: Jennifer Donnelly 

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book series was recommended to me from my dear GR friend Alyssa! Click on her name to read her review.

After I finished reading Deep Blue I so badly wanted to read the rest of the series! I was only able to get to it now due to my reading schedule. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this!

The book begins with a prologue. In the point of view of the man with fully black eyes. He watches Serafina from a mirror. He could kill her that way at least he won’t have to worry about her getting in his way. As he watches her he realizes that killing her now would be pointless. If he kills her later on there’s a good chance that she’ll have the talisman’s. Once he steals the talisman’s from her and destroys everything she holds dear, then he’ll look into her eyes proving to her that darkness has won.

We are then taken to the first chapter which is in Serafina’s point of view. She and the rest of her friends fled into the mirror so that they could escape Traho’s army. While Sera is trying to get a way out of there she runs into Dolim. The man in charge of the mirror realm who eats people’s fears.

Dolim confront Sera and asks where she is going. She lies and says she’s going home. He eventually figures out that she’s lying and start feeding of off her fears. Sera feels absolutely helpless as Dolim continues to feed. When Dolim starts talking again Sera regains her strength. Sera tells Dolim everything she is afraid of until Dolim becomes so fat that he can’t move.

It is then revealed that Sera plans to go to the capital of Atlantis. Sera is hoping to find a clue and then she’ll make her way home. When she reaches the capital Sera runs into Ling. Ling explains that Ava was worried so she offered to go after Sera. After doing some investigating they decide to ask Lady Thalia some questions. Lady Thalia is one of the mirror people and from her the two find out a bit about Orfeo’s past, what some of the talismans are, and a particular person who was working with Orfeo.

Before finding out anymore the creatures guarding the capital come and start to attack the girls. Then Dolim appears with the man with fully black eyes. Sera has no choice but to destroy the mirror. The two of them fight off the monsters and manage to escape. Ling and Sera feel somewhat accomplished with the information they got from Lady Thalia. They wish each other luck and go their separate ways.

I didn’t like this book as much as Deep Blue but I enjoyed it nonetheless! You get two point of views in this book. Sera and Neela. Serafina thinks that she can find the location of the talismans through Merror’s progress. She doesn’t find what she’s looking for but with the help of some new friends she is able to pin point the locations. Sera focuses on finding Merrow’s talisman whom she is descended from. Along the way she finds out about the Black Fins rebellion. She also runs into Madhi her fiance. Throughout her journey Sera learns to accept her role as a future queen and becomes an amazing leader.

When Neela arrives home her parents think that she is an impostor judging by what she’s wearing. After they realize that she isn’t an impostor they welcome her with open arms. But after some time they believe there’s something wrong with Neela. She isn’t eating her favourite sweets and she still insists on keeping the outfit she came home in. Neela tries to explain her parents the situation with the talisman’s. Much to her surprise her parents think that she’s crazy. They actually call in a doctor and keep her locked in her room. Sera is able to contact her and tells her about the talisman Neela has to look for. Neela runs away from home and goes to search for the talisman. Neela gets some help from a friend to retrieve the talisman. Throughout her journey Neela learns to do what she wants and her way.

Ava does come in for one scene. Ling comes in with Serafina and at the end of the book. You are not sure what is happening with Astrid and Becca. Despite this you could feel the friendship between all the girls. 

Just like Deep Blue there is some action and lots of twists and turns. Old and new characters come in this book. I didn’t expect some of the old characters to be working with Traho let alone that they became main characters. I loved Sera and Neela’s character development! It was also nice to read about the Black Fins and Madhia and Yaz (Neela’s brother). I did not see some of those twists coming. Just like Deep Blue there is barely any romance but when it was present it was adorable!

I only had three problems with Rogue Wave. I felt that Deep Blue was much better than Rogue Wave. The book felt really jumpy and once Ling and Sera separate not much happens for awhile. I also felt that it lost some of it’s magic because the girls were separated and didn’t meet until towards the end. Nonetheless I enjoyed this!

Overall this was a really good book! I recommend this series to anyone looking for a good mermaid series.