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Book review: The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

Plot – 4
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 4
Romance – 4

In which an eighteen-year-old Mexican boy was mistaken for another Latino by an American girl who was traumatized by an incident with an involvement of an infamous Mexican gang.

Plot – I always state this whenever I review ya novels, I am not much of contemporary reader but let me tell you this, this book over here is golden.

The issues it deals with are prominent. It’s my first time reading a novel that has something do with with an Latinos getting deported due to their dark pasts in there homeland. To be honest, it felt refreshing reading this because it somehow broadened my view in such things.

That life outside my room is not rainbows and unicorns. That I should be taking myself for the privellage I have.

Of course, I do have some issues with the book itself but nothing major, let me assure you.

I do only wished the author somehow focused as well with the female protaginist’s said trauma and case.

Also, while reading this, I was shocked due to how cruel La Salvador was explained. I can’t really say if the author kinda exaggerated the whole La Salvador’s state, the gang fights and all because I personally didn’t witnessed it. Haven’t even step a foot in Mexico though I would love to someday.

This is the type of novel that is worthy of being a movie.

writing style – it hooked me the moment I read the first chapter. I mean, it’s direct to the point. No unnecessary and boring introduction. No sipping coffees or whatever.

Fast paced, that’s for sure. Read it in one sitting.

The climax was fine with me. Not too dramatic but not too dull. Smooth.

characters – they’re amazing. To tell you the truth, I think the novel was not lengthy enough for us to get to know the characters deeper.

1. Gretchen – The female lead’s character was especially not much given attention. Sure, there was character development. It’s just the lack of seeing who she really is.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like her because she’s straight to the point. Determined. When the secrets were spilled, she freaked out a bit but immediately get ovee it and tried fixing things up. That’s the type of ya heroine I need.

Like I said, I wished the author somehow focused as well with her case, not only with the male lead’s.

2. Phoenix – I feel so bad for all the things he’d been through. He’s a great brother. Smart. Patient.

I also love reading his point of views. How he complain about the overpriced cheese and all that. I mean, I completely agree with me.

romance – it was not the type of romance where you’ll find yourself blushing. I mean, of course, you’ll laugh at some point but the whole love story itself was touching.

Both characters themselves found each other to heal. To help one another in overcoming all the tragedies.

Somehow, they felt natural despite the fact it’s kinda insta-love. How first, they only see each other as friends. Someone to trust.

Anyways, as long as it is not love at first sight, I am fine with it.

Marie Marquardt is an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate.

How are these all connected? After many years as a researcher, service provider, and – most importantly – friend with immigrants to Georgia, I felt frustrated. I often spoke to groups about immigration and the need for immigration reform. I offered clear, rational explanations and data on why our immigration system needs to be repaired. And then I realized something: people only begin to care when they meet and get to know someone who is living inside this broken system. It’s been my great honor to have those very relationships over decades.

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Book review: Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil


Sam is a geek movie-buff with a ragtag group of loser friends who have been taking abuse from the popular kids for years. But when the super-cool Camilla moves to town, she surprises everyone by choosing to spend time with Sam’s group. Suddenly they go from geek to chic, and find that not everything boils down to us and them. With their social lives in flux, Sam and Camilla spend more and more time together. They become the best of friends, and Sam finds that he’s happier and more comfortable in his own skin than ever before. But eventually Sam must admit to himself that he’s fallen in love. If he confesses his true feelings to Camilla, will everything change again?

Well, it’s a bit cute, I must say.

I don’t read contemporaries but when u stumbled upon this on Good reads, the synopsis intrigued me so I said, why not?

Personally, I am not a fan of highschool romance because ugh, those things don’t really last. In short, I ended up not really enjoying the novel. Sorry.

Although, the two main leads are cute or whatever you want to call it. Call me a butch but their relationship would probably won’t last.

And if so, they’ll just have a divorce.

Melissa Keil is the author of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl which made the Inky Awards 2015 shortlist. The awards are presented by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria for local and international fiction, poetry, anthologies and graphic novels written for young adults.

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Book review: Dreamfall by Amy Plum

Plot – 5
Characters – 4
Writing style – 4
Romance – 5

In which a group of sleep-deprived teenagers got stuck in their nightmares together.

This is one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read, no joke. I can’t even read this when I am alone because it gives me chills.

Plot – hands down to the author for this. It is utterly genius. This is the type of novel you want your friends to talk about when alone in the dark.

The plot twists seriously got me, it’s been ages since I was actually shook from the revelation. Man, the last 20 pages were amazing!

Writing style – fast paced although there’s some boring moments. Right from the page 1, this whole thing got me hooked.

Read it in one sitting.

Characters – I love them all, okay? Especially the flirt even though the revelation about him.

I just wish we get to know more of their backstory and the messages about their nightmares.

Romance – minimal romance which is okay for me since the plot was really just amazing.

Although I have to be honest, at first, I kinda despite the whole romance because all they do were flirt to each other instead of really paying attention on how to survive this shit.

Spoiler:
It kinda intrigue me that Sinclair is a psycho but I just hope he’ll remain his romance with Cats although I don’t think that’s possible.

Since the day one, I already have a feeling CAta is gonna end up with Fergus which is kinda okay with me because they’re cute together. However, isn’t it a bit, I don’t know, awkward that they only ended up together because they have no choice? Fergus’ romantic interest in book 1 was actually imaginary while Sinclair was a psychopath which means he’ll probably kill them in the sequel.


Amy Plum is an American and French young-adult fiction writer, best known for her Die for Me series.

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Book review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Plot – 4
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 3.75
Romance – 4

In which ten years ago, a six-year-old princess witnessed the death of her mother and how her kingdom fell. Now, at the age of sixteen, known as the Ash Princess, Theo swore vengeance.

Plot – The plot to be honest was good but I guess it’s mostly because almost all the cliches or elements of a typicsl ya fantasy novel are in this one.

Truth be told, just after a few pages in, the plot already resembles The Falling Kingdoms though I have to say, I prefer Ash Princess than Falling Kingdoms.

1. First, the rightful queen was held as a political prisoner.
2. She has the enemies’ prince as a romantic-interest.
3. She also has a rebel as her other romantic-interest.
4. Maids as rebels.
5. The evil king murdered her own wife.
6. The late wife was a bit cray-cray.
7. Correct me if I am wrong but I think in the Falling Kingdoms, the evil king also tried to woo his political prisoner just like in this one.
8. There’s such thing as magical stones or whatever you want to call it.
9. Winter was the climate of the original place of the enemies.

And so on and so forth.

writing style – surprisingly, I do enjoyed the writing style. Fast-paced. Read it in one sitting. The twists and turns are passable though they’re a bit boring since I’ve read like a dozens of twists like that.

One thing I commend the author is her ability to make things emotional. Look, I am not the type of reader who cries at ya fantasy novels but in this case, I cried a little.

characters – I mean, they’re okay but not just the type of characters you’ll remember. Like I said, they’re generic. They’re like carbon-copies of every ya characters.

1. Theo – I can’t say whether I love her or loathe because like I said, she’s a typical ya heroine. Though of course, I still shall appreciate her determination and bravery even though her stubbornness sometimes makes my blood boil.
2. Soren – if you ask me, he’s too good to be true. He’s definitely this good golden boy with an evil father. He’s too lovesick and dreamy if you ask me to the point he doesn’t serves much in the plot except fr being the heroine’s romantic-interest. Though I have a feeling he’ll do something remarkablein the sequel.

romance – thanks to this novel, I realized how much I don’t really like love triangle. I mean, love triangle is fine with me as long as it’s clearly impossible for the other guy to end up with the heroine. Wanna know why? It’s because I don’t want to get my heart broken, my ships usually failed to sail.

One thing I find disturbing was the fact the heroine was okay with kissing two guys alternately.

Who are you? America Singer?

In one chapter, she was kissing the prince, scratch that, more like making out with him and then the next chapter, she let the rebel kiss her.

Also, the romance was insta-love which is a big no-no for me. Felt realky bland.

Will I read the sequel? I seriousky don’t know. Truth be told, right now, I do want to read the next installment but considering the sequel will come out in 2019? I don’t think so because like I said. The novel itself was not really remarkable.


Laura Sebastian grew up in South Florida and attended Savannah College of Art and Design. She has written a play published with Playscripts, Inc., and lives in New York City, where she spends her time writing fantasy novels, babysitting and interning in publishing. Ash Princess is her debut novel

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Book review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Plot – 3.5
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 3.5
Romance – 3.5

In which a seventeen-year-old girl moves to California to live with her dad and to meet her online friend.

plot – I was not a fan of films, whether it was released back in the 50s or like yesterday. That is why I was kinda hesitant to pick this novel up for I fear I might not understand a thing. Fortunately, despite my very limited knowledge about films, I still ended up finding the book okay.

Also, not that you care but the sole reason why I gave this a shot was due to my undying attraction towards my Youtube crush. In his case, he really do loves this. So long story short, I am not into contemporaries but decided to forget that for a moment for the sake of flirting. Yikes!

Anyways, one thing I noticed was that there was not a climax. I mean, of course, the revelation was considered as the climax but it just felt to bland to me. The fact that it was the boy who ascertained the secret first caught my attention. Why? Because I am tired of narrators discovering it first. For once, I want the persona to be clueless.

writing style – like I said, I am not really into contemporaries but somehow, I found myself kinda enjoying the novel. But how, you may ask. T’was because of the writing style. It was child friendly. Well, totally not because there was mature contents but hey, you get what I mean.

Fast-paced but boring, I admit. It was a descriptive but not too descriptive. The dialogues were okay, let myself chuckle and wince at some and shrug at most.

characters – cute but unremarkable. In short, they’re typical ya characters. All those family problems and dark past.

However, I do managed to see character development which I appreciate, by the way. Also, I cannot hell myself from experiencing culture shock at some parts *ahem, sex at a very young age*

Romance – not insta-love, thank the heavens for that. The romance was somewhere between aw-I-want-that-kind-of-love and will-surely-end-up-with-divorce.

Nevertheless, I just find the book okay. Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed considering I’ve heard great things about this.

Will I recommend it? Well, if you’re into summer love slash surfing whatever then this book is your soulmate.

Jenn Bennett is an American author of novels for teens and adults. Her notable works include Alex, Approximately, Starry Eyes, and The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. Her books have received critical acclaim and award recognition.
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Book review: Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Plot – 5
Writing style – 5
Characters – 4
Romance – 4

In which Olivia was forced to disguised herself as a boy ever since her late mother gave birth to her. Now, at the age of eighteen, with the help of her uncle whom she tried to steal from when she was still a street rat, Olivia is now a fine young lady.

plot – One thing I am impressed was that the author began the story in the interesting part already. Where Olivia Twist was already adopted by her uncle. Thank the heavens for that because it would absolutely be boring if we began on any unnecessary scenes.

I have to admit, I dived right into Olivia Twist without any knowledge about the original story of it. What? Sorry but I am not a huge fan of classics. Anyway, despite that fact, enjoying Olivia Twist was an easy thing to do.

What I also happened to admire about the novel was that it was action-packed. No dull and unnecessary moments. We wouldn’t want to read about how the protagonist prefer this to that, right? That oh, the weather is nice today. That oh, the birds are chirping outside her bedroom window.

The climax was an A+ for me since I really didn’t expect that. Though the said twist only lasted for like a couple of paragraphs, no problems though.

The “revelation” was immediately ascertained after 10 chapters or so which was good, by the way. Truth be told, I loathe it when girls who disguised themselves as boys took sooooooo long to spill out their “big revelation”

Writing style – somehow, the writing style reminds me of The Lady Jane’s which personally, I really do love since The Lady Jane is one of my favorite reads of all time.

Fast-paced. Read it in one sitting. The writing style was friendly.

One thing I am not, let’s say, satisfied was the dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, they’re hilarous and enough to turn your cheeks as red as a tomato. The thing is, most of the times, they felt a bit bland.

However, I applaud the author for her skills in writing monologues.

characters – they’re adorable and all but not to the point they’ll make it up to your favorite fictional characters.

Olivia – she is the type of character that you’ll find yourself wanting to be. What a strong independent woman, indeed. She has a heart made of gold. She’s like this straight-outta-Disney-movie character.

Jack – husband-material. Hopeless romantic. He resembles Flynn Rider. You know, that hot thief from Tangled.

Most of the times, I do enjoy his monologues. Truth be told, I find his character okay at the very beginning but as I read, I learn to appreciate him.

I would be lying if I say I was not annoyed at one point because he seriously got pissed off when Olivia decided to keep her virginity for her future husband. Uhm, like, what the hell, who are you to complain? Wrong move, man.

It would be really amazing if the author added more scenes with the orphans. I just want to get to know more of them.

romance – As long as it’s not insta-love, I am totally fine with it. Olivia Twist’s romance was somewhere between am-I-watching-disney-movie and am-I-reading-an-awful-Victorian-romance?

Anyways, obviously, Olivia and Jack are truly madly in love with each other. Enough to get themselves kill just to save each other’s asses.

The ending was too good to be true but hey, I am not complaining since I am a sucker for happy endings.


Lorie Langdon is co-author of DOON, a YA reimagining of the musical Brigadoon, available now from Blink/Harper Collins!
www.doonseries.com

A few years ago, she left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word.

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Book review: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

Plot – 4.5
Writing style – 4
Characters – 4
Romance – 4

In which a seventeen-year-old ballet dancer began to doubt her very existence due to the unknown past she kept on seeing. Along with the kitchen boy, they unravel the mystery about the ballet school.

Plot – The Midnight Dance has a unique plot, I must say though there plot holes are present.

I really am a sucker when it comes to human experiment which this book has though doesn’t much focuses on. Still, the plot was pretty clever.

One of the things I really do appreciate is that there are no huge quarrels between the students. I mean, of course, there was the annoying teacher’s pet slash two-faced-witch but that’s it. All she can do was roll her eyes heavenwards and be extra jelly.

The ending was okay. Happy ending. However, there are still unanswered questions.

Writing style – I have no problem with the author’s writing style. It isn’t too descriptive but I began to grew bored as I read, simply because of the happenings for it’s a bit cliche.

Anyways, despite my issue with the flow of the story, it’s still a fast-paced novel. Read it in one sitting.

The chapter 1 was pretty much boring so prepare yourselves.

Characters

Penny – she’s somewhere between okay and dull. Not the annoying type but not really remarkable.

She belongs to the cliche heroines category. She’s seriously the perfect heroine. The one with the *kinda* dark past, dauntless, kind, not into fashion, and lastly, every bachelor has their eyes on her.

Crickets – he’s my favorite character among all. My only complaint is that, the author didn’t really pay attention to his character. How old is he? What about the memories with his late mother? What occupation does he want to pursue after the tragedy? Obviously, he’ll be the one to inherit all the money but what the hell is he going to do with the money?

I guess that’s for us to find out.

Romance – the romance was insta-love which I always hate but in this cases, I do not detest it because both characters already shared memories before the tragedy. They’re were childhood friends.

I do only wish the author wrote childhood memories. Not just one scene which barely last a half a page.

Nikki Katz

Author | Editor | Consultant | Freelance Writer | Rocket Scientist | Reality TV Addict | Avid Book Reader | Social Media Nut … Not necessarily in that order 🙂

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Book review: Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

Plot – 4.5
Characters – 4.5
Romance – 5
Writing style – 5

Story about a hilarious 21-year-old girl got abducted by an immortal man who spreads plagues for trying to kill him.

Well, I heard lots of great things bout this novel so I would be lying if I say I don’t have high expectations but no worries for it managed to meet them.

Plot – first of, I applaud the author for writing a ya novel that involves the Holy Bible or God in short. I mean, not only is it hard to tackle, it’s also a very sensitive issue that may trigger some.

Anyways, like I said, what made this novel unique is that, not often do we stumble upon books that deals with the bible that have a touch of romance to it.

Although I have to say, most of my questions about God failed to answer but hey, who am I to complain? I only originally came here for the romance. Haha.

Characters – one thing for sure, the author made leads who actually are not dumb like usual ya leads especially heroines. As if the author truly knows how readers hate it when the heroine began acting so stupid just because there’s a handsome guy in front of her. How she didn’t do her plan because he’s a pretty boy. Duh.

Going back, the characters are so hilarious and sweet. And you know what made me drawn into the heroine? It’s that she’s 21 years old and not 16 years old. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being 16 because I was 16 once, like last year but my point is, it’s soooooo annoying to read characters who are sooooooooo young for their roles.

Romance – I like it. No need to explain. I mean, I enjoy reading their quarrels.

Writing style – I read it in one sitting. I cannot put in down. Fast paced.


Found in the forest when she was young, Laura Thalassa was raised by fairies, kidnapped by werewolves, and given over to vampires as repayment for a hundred year debt. She’s been brought back to life twice, and, with a single kiss, she woke her true love from eternal sleep. She now lives happily ever after with her undead prince in a castle in the woods.

… or something like that anyway.

When not writing, Laura can be found scarfing down guacamole, hoarding chocolate for the apocalypse, or curled up on the couch with a good book.

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Book review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Plot – 5
Writing style – 4.5
Characters – 4.5
Romance – 4.5

In which two clans quarrel each other to death but everything turned upside down when a girl ascertained that her brother is alive after all these years and is in the enemies’ side.

Plot – I love everything about the novel, I swear. There are no boring moments. Every page has its role in the book. There are many events in the book to the point you thought you just read a duology.

The novel gave me a bit of Wonder Woman and Black PAnther vibes for some reason.

And you know what, as far as I know, this is a stand-alone novel and usually, I don’t go well with them but in this case, I am totally fine. Why? Because I have a feeling this book belongs to the type of books where the book one was totally amazing but the sequel sucks.

Writing style – fast paced. Read it in on sitting. Like I stated, no dull moments. No unnecessary informational or flashbacks.

Direct to the point. Emotional. I rarely cry when reading this kind of genre but damn, this book sure is a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

Characters

Eelyn – despite her prejudice in the beginning, I immediately love her. She’s kickass, stubborn and has a heart made of gold that she isn’t aware of.

Kinds remind me of Throne of GLass’ heroine. The difference is, I love EeLyn more.

Fiske – what intrigued me the most about this fella was that, he was not mentioned as handsome which is a bit strange for YA novels. But you know what, that’s one of the things I like about him.

Responsible. Family-oriented. Truly has a heart made of gold. Husband material. Haha.

Iri – from the very beginning, he has this brother vibes on him. We can truly say he loves his sister so much.

To be honest, of all the characters, he is the one who is underrated.

I just wish the author shown more moments about this trio.

Romance – as long as it’s not insta-love, I am fine with it.

What I like about the romance is that, it’s not forced. Obviously, from the very beginning, you know who EeLyn will end up with but the author only began giving hints about how they feel about each other halfway through the book.

I just wish we get to see more about their romance. 🙂

Nevertheless, the ending was perfect. Will read more about the author’s other works.

Adrienne Young is the New York Times Bestselling author of Sky in the Deep. A born and bred Texan turned California girl, she is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

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Book review: To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Plot – 4
Writing style – 3.5
Characters – 4
Romance – 3.5

In which a siren and a pirate, both royalties end the long feud between the sea creatures and humans.

Plot – when I first read the synopsis, of course, I was intrigued. “A Little mermaid” retelling with an awesome twist.

Of course, I had some issues with the elements of the story especially the monologues.

The ending too was a complete disappointment for me. I think they are still unanswered questions. I get it, I don’t expect the couple to marry in the end like in the “Little Mermaid” but a girl could dream, right?

Nevertheless, the novel is exciting. who wouldn’t want to read stories with an involvement of pirates and princess-in-disguised?

Writing style – a bit slow paced especially in the beginning. Many dull moments, to be honest. The monologues and the dialogues don’t sit well with me.

Though I have to applause the author for writing two POV because we don’t always get to stumble upon more than one POV in ya.

Characters – I was merely intrigued at the fact that the heroine was somehow described similar to Ariel from the little mermaid. But wait, forgive me but I just can’t remember the color of Ariel’s eyes. Was it blue?

Anyways, I do appreciate the heroine’s backstory. Lira is an eighteen-year-old siren who has a reputation of killing human princes. I do admire her bravery throughout the book. Really.

Now for the male protagonist, I have to be honest with you, I just can’t connect with him. I find him really cliche. A prince who doesn’t want to be a prince in the first place. Ugh.

I was really, really bored when reading his POVs. Whining and thinking highly of himself are the only think he does. Truth be told.

Anyways, when the author introduces the male lead, I was excited because I thought he has a dark skin like his father because let’s be real, not everyday do we get to read male protagonist who isn’t fair.

Romance – I love that it’s not love at first sight but also, I hate how it became forced at the ending.

Sorry but I failed to see a chemistry between the two protagonists. Like I said, it felt forced. Heck, they didn’t even exchanged i-love-yous to each other, not that it’s important but still…

Throughout the whole novel, the author rarely hints about their romance. As soon as the heroine saved the Jeri’s life, suddenly, they have feelings for each other like what the hell?

There was no development in their romance. They were fighting and the next thing we know, they’re kissing while freezing to death.

Alexandra Christo decided to write books when she was four and her teacher told her she couldn’t be a fairy. She has a BA in Creative Writing and works as a copywriter in London, both of which make her sound more grown up than she feels. When she’s not busy