Teen & Young Adult Category

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Jane Blond International Spy

Jane Blond

Jane Blond, not to be confused with James Bond, isn’t your typical every day run of the mill teenager. Sure, she’s a fourteen year old girl trying to survive high school and all the petty drama that goes along with it. On top of the high school scene her dad’s in jail, her mom’s dating again, and she has an uncle who she suspects is a spy. However, she’s different then the other students, when her crush is kidnapped she doesn’t sit on the sidelines, she jumps right in and puts herself right in the middle of danger and does everything she can to save him. When the kidnapper’s plot starts to unravel and it’s clear that the President is in jeopardy, she knows that she can protect him and she’ll not let anyone stand in her way even when the bullets start flying.

This was a great book found in children’s literature, and I believe that children and teens will love it. Jane Blond is very likable and a modern day teenager hero. However, the author did such a great job writing it, that I loved it and I’m thirty-two. There was suspense, mystery, and a little crush that gives a little childhood romance. It’s very clean and I think my children would love it.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

A Healing Heart (Riverview Series) (Volume 1)

A Healing Heart

On the way home from a friend’s house one night, Bailey Walsh’s life was turned upside down.   A drunk driver forced her family off the road on a cold winter night, killing everybody in the car except for Bailey.  Bailey’s life was spared, but she wasn’t left untouched. Not only did she suffer broken bones and bruised ribs and now she suffers daily from a broken heart, she’s lost her smile and her love for life is gone.  Bailey moves in with her Mom’s identical twin sister and lives day to day suffering from survivor’s guilt.  She walks around constantly with rings around her eyes because even after 2 years she suffers nightly from nightmares.   Bailey has two protective best friends and a sweet two-year old that she tends to help her get through life and gives her a reason to go on every day.   However, Bailey may be able to learn to open her heart again when she accidentally runs into Collin McKenna, a senior, and his calm sweet nature wins her over and puts the smile back on her face.  Collin, Bailey’s friends, and Riley work together in their own special ways, and with all their love combined Bailey begins to heal and smile again.

My heart broke for Bailey, she lost everyone she loved in one night and she had to learn how to survive.  When Collin entered the picture I felt myself cheering and smiling for Bailey as she got ready for dates, the first time Collin held her hand, the first time he kissed her and I loved how so protective Collin is.  Not only does Collin take care of her but he also is very protective of his little sister after their mom walked out on them.  Bailey and Collin have both been dealt a tough hand in life, and together they mend each other.  What an amazing story of how love helps you heal, move forward and survive tragedies.  Melissa A. Hanson did a great job in creating characters, catching the raw emotions and sharing it through writing to her readers. I really enjoyed this book and already have A Healing Spirit on my list to read.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReviewReview

Fatal Exchange (A Christy Spy Novel Book 3)

Fatal Exchange

Christy Hadden is an extremely talented spy, and at 19 she has to be good. There are people that would love to see her fail and she needs to prove that she is very capable of her job. Christy is on assignment in Paris, and her next mission seems easy enough-grab a flash drive with damaging information on a high ranking public official and keeps the informant safe. However, things go from bad to worse after Christy grabbed the flash drive. Before she can even react the flash drive is taken from her and she gives chase, leaving her informant behind and he’s killed. Christy needs to earn back the respect of her director, and decides to go undercover as a pickpocket. After she hits the streets she begins to realize that Paris is full of thieves and nobody is safe as the streets are overrun by several pickpocket rings.

If you can get past the fact that such an accomplished spy is only 19, it’s a very good book. It’s full of action and suspense, and there is a little bit of romance towards the end of the novel. I haven’t read the other books in this series, but this book can be read on its own. I didn’t feel like I’ve lost anything in the story by not reading the previous books. I have read other books by Cindy M. Hogan and I really enjoy her as an author. I wouldn’t mind reading the other books in the series and get to see more of Christy in action. I didn’t give it a perfect rating because it was hard for me to imagine that the way the department was set up, as believable. For the director to totally disregard information that was continually being given to her, especially when it had to do with the safety of a whole team, frustrated me and didn’t seem real at all. To have so much anger and hate between an agent and her shadow, makes you think that there should have been some psychological testing going on, and you would want your agents to trust those that are working with them. It is a fictional novel, so I’m not extremely put out when it doesn’t seem realistic, but other than a few small things, the book was good.

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ReviewReviewReviewReview

 

A Christmas Kerril

A Christmas Kerril

Kerril is your typical teenage girl, living with her mom and attending the very prestigious and private school: Westerly Academy.  She’s also your classic Christmas Scrooge, if it has to do with Christmas she wants nothing to do with it.  Kerril struggles with the Christmas holiday since that dreaded day her dad and her mom decided to have an all-out fight at a Christmas party destroying any joy that Kerril had for the holiday.  To add to her dismay, Kerril has now been bullied into playing the star lead in a new take of the Christmas Carol by her over domineering teacher.  Alongside her is the very shy Adam who suffers from a speech impediment, and a misfit student who hates everybody.  While Kerril is trying to find time to learn a new play, go to school, get schoolwork done, and work, she also is juggling her ever present dreams that are hard to decipher between what is reality and what is dreaming.  These dreams focus around her past, the present, and the future.  Is she going to be able to learn from her dreams to help her make better decisions in her present life?  Her biggest decision in her life right now is trying to decide between the two boys in her life: Adam and Perry.  The draw back?  Perry is already taken.

I don’t often get books that I dislike.  However, when I get them I’m extremely honest and don’t hold back.  Unfortunately, A Christmas Kerril, falls under this topic.  I was very optimistic about this book; usually it can be fun to read a fun loving Christmas story during the holidays.  However, this book fell very short of my expectations and left bitter feelings of disgust.  The fact that Perry is taken doesn’t seem to affect Kerril, she has the feelings of guilt when she starts to pursue Perry, but that doesn’t stop her from the multiple times she make outs with him.  Kerril also doesn’t stop secretly meeting him when she discovers that his girlfriend may be suffering from a terminal disease.  I don’t have any respect for people who cheat, and I don’t have a desire to read anything about it.  This is not a story that I would recommend, especially during this holiday.

Rating: 

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Getting Kole for Christmas: A Young Adult Novella

Getting Kole for Christmas

What should be an exciting time in the Bronson home is anything but for one Bronson.  Kylie is starting to feel like the odd one out when all her sisters are getting the cutest invites to the Christmas dance.  Hiding under the ruse of indifference, Kylie tries to hide the pain of the rejection she continues to feel every time the doorbell rings and another sister goes squealing to the door to find their invite hiding in a clever disguise.  It probably wouldn’t hurt as much if she wasn’t in love with a certain boy, a boy who she wanted to take her to the dance.  There only seemed to be one big problem with being in love with him: Kole Kingston is her best friend and completely clueless of her feelings.  How do you get from being a best friend to being your boyfriend without losing the relationship you have?  Kylie doesn’t know how to answer that question and because of that, she’s unwilling to make the jump.

Getting Kole for Christmas is a very cute and clean romantic story of a young woman and her very handsome, very sweet, and absolutely perfect best friend.  I love reading Kylie’s journey into no man’s land between that scary line going from friendship to love.  Kimberly Krey does an amazing job at writing a smooth entertaining story.  She did such a great job with writing that I felt the years melt away and felt like I was a young woman again, fighting the feelings of a crush that may never develop into anything else.  Her writing is amazing and you can feel Kylie’s pain as time goes on and the dance gets closer, and you can’t help but to get a huge smile on your face when she finally gets her long awaited Christmas wish.

I’ve loved all of Kimberly’s books that I have read; I have just ordered another one in the mail.  I am so happy to say I’m glad I stumbled across my now favorite author.  And will keep all her books in my personal library.

Don’t forget to head over to the giveaway for this amazing Christmas read: Getting Kole for Christmas Giveaway. Giveaway ends 11/1/2015 at 9 AM.

 

Rating: Review

Kate Unmasked (Code of Silence Book 1)

Kate Unmasked

There aren’t very many teenagers like Kate Hamilton. Kate is an amazing high school student, getting A’s in all her classes and hanging out with the “good” crowd. Kate stays out of trouble and always listens to her parents, well usually; there is that little fact about a boyfriend her parents don’t know about. However, Kate isn’t content with her life quite yet; she is adopted and she wants nothing more than to know who her birth parents are. She’s invested her life savings into solving this mystery, only to come up disappointed time and time again. Kate is not a stranger to disappointment so when she receives news from the private investigator she’s hired, stating that they’ve come up empty; she is ready to give up hope, but an accidental discovery in the attic gets Kate and her star-struck best friend, Ellie, curious enough to start the search all over. It’s obvious now, that her parents have been keeping secrets from her and now it’s time for Kate to start keeping her own secrets. Loaded with just enough information to send her packing to New Jersey, Kate and Ellie team up on an adventure that was best left buried deep in the attic walls.

Cindy M. Hogan knows how to keep a reader guessing. Many twists kept me on the edge of my seat, I kept wondering if poor Kate was going to survive the streets or beaches of New Jersey. Ellie and her family were enough of a distraction that gave humor to a horrible situation; I just had to shake my head at their antics. In this Teen/Young Adult book, you can find humor, mystery, suspense, drama, murder, and romance. Definitely a book that I would recommend to a teen or an adult, it can be enjoyed by both age groups. The writing was smooth and transitions were flawless, I never felt lost and was able to sit back, put my feet up, drink my hot chocolate, and enjoy a very good book. Thank you Cindy M. Hogan for helping me escape into a world of intrigue.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: Review

 

 

Wishing for You (I Wish Book 2)

Wishing for You

Kimberley fought and beat cancer when she was a child, but as a teenager she struggles with the side effect of the chemo and the cancer; she has short term memory loss. Every day she is constantly recording conversations, marking notes in her iPad, and relies heavily on her mother. She is 18 and in her senior year in high school and the thought of going to any college scares her; she isn’t ready to face the world of the unknown. Kimberley is content to just take one day at a time and hang out with her best friends Lacey and Sean. Lacey had other plans for her, Lacey gives Kimberley the gift of having a genie, and it’s no ordinary genie, its Lacey’s ex-genie and ex-boyfriend, Grant.

With Grant helping her Kimberley is finding that she can find freedom and be independent. Kimberley is a very special young woman and finds that she is most happy when she’s able to help others, even to the point of giving her wishes away. When Kimberley learns horrible news about one of her best friends, she finds that she may have more strength and abilities than she ever gave herself credit for.

Wishing for you is a beautiful story about a young woman learning to have faith in herself and learning to rise above her disabilities. With the help of a caring genie and patient friends, Kimberley matures into a woman ready to take on the world. Grant’s story also begins to take its own direction and makes the reader hope that there may be something in store for him and Camarin, Sean’s special friend. The writing is smooth and just flows. It’s so easy to read and follow the story line. Sometimes as a mother of four it is hard for me to stay focused, especially if the book is not written as well, I never once had a problem putting the book down and starting right back up without a hitch. I loved the characters and liked how the book transitioned smoothly from I Wish to Wishing for You. It is the second book in the series and you could read it alone; however it gives a better insight into the characters if you were to read the first book first.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: Review

 

 

I Wish

I Wish

Lacey Linden is smart, talented, dedicated, and a protective big sister. Lacey is trying to finish out her senior year early so that she can work full time to support her grieving widowed mother and her young brother. Her mother has checked out of reality, and is drowning deep in depression so it is up to Lacey to put food on the table, pay the bills, and keep Henry safe and away from foster care. It’s not an easy task, and Lacey refuses to ask for help, she will do whatever it takes to keep their family together. While selling items at the local flee market for some much needed cash, Lacey stumbles across a beautiful music box that seems to call her name; the owner throws the magic box into the trade. When she arrives home, Lacey discovers that there is more to the music box than just music. She now is now the master to a very cute, very sweet, and very hardworking genie. For the next month she can make a wish every day. This is exactly the break that she has needed. Grant and Lacey must work together and learn from each other throughout his stay.
I get so excited when I stumble across a new talented author. This is the first time I have read a story about genies, I loved it! It’s definitely a new topic that I would like to read more of in the future. Lacey is such a strong independent character that you come to respect. I found myself caring for this young woman who loves her little brother so much, and I admired the spunk and courage she needs to carry the family through its rough times. It’s a bonus that we get to see such a sweet romance that blossoms between a genie and his master. I can’t wait to read the second book in the series.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Miranda’s Choice

Miranda's Choice

Miranda James is a typical teenage girl that is struggling with what life has thrown her way. Not only are her parents divorced, but her father is dating another woman and Miranda is not happy with the entire situation. Her attitude gets worse and she struggles to even carry on a conversation with her dad, fueling her anger and hate, her dad’s girlfriend calls her on her birthday to invite her to be a bridesmaid. Things couldn’t get worse. Along with her challenges, Miranda is having reoccurring dreams, unable to figure them out she starts to lash out at everyone around her. When everything seems to be coming to head, she is hanging with her best friend when suddenly her life takes an unexpected turn; she is brought into a world of mermaids. She’s about to find that life isn’t always greener on the other side.

I struggled at first to relate to Miranda, her hate seemed to take hold of the reader and it was hard to shake it off. I didn’t really start enjoying the story until the sea became her new life. Once in the mermaid’s village the story had twists and turns and held my interest. On the last page I was sorry to see it end.

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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