The Delusion by Laura Gallier Review

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Synopsis: By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded–until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil–everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

My Thoughts: I’m sitting here, trying to decide what adjective to use to begin this review. I want to give this book the credit and recognition it deserves. Amazing doesn’t seem like a “good enough” word to describe this book….

This book provides a visual picture of spiritual warfare…the invisible battle that wages each and every moment of every day around every person on Earth between the dark and light forces. I have never read a book that described this battle in such a clear way. There were moments that I had to put the book down and ponder what I had just read. There were moments when I got goosebumps, thinking about this war that is real but not seen by human eyes. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, flying through the pages, but nervous to see what was ahead.

This was a life-changing book for me. It changes the way I look at prayer and interceding for people with prayer, it showed how truly important prayer is in a very cool way.

The story shows how demonic forces can oppress Christians and possess non-Christians. There were some terrifying scenes that are more terrifying when you realize that this book, although fictional, is based on Biblical truths.

The book is a young adult story, focused around teenagers but would definitely be a good read for teens as well as adults. Because of the difficult and gritty content, I would recommend that it not be read by anyone under the age of 16.

My only problem is that it ended on a slight cliffhanger and I need more of the story! I am eagerly awaiting book 2. I highly recommend this book, it is my top rated book of 2017 so far.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers to review.

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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine Review

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Synopsis: Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

My Thoughts: I requested this book with slight apprehension because this genre is far from my comfort zone. I do not tend to go for fantasy or paranormal but I do love books and libraries as well as dystopian stories so I decided to give it a go.

The story was unlike anything I’ve read before…a world where owning physical copies of books is forbidden and The Great Library controls everything that people read. It follows Jess Brightwell, who is a book smuggler for his father but gets the opportunity to train to enter the library’s service.

I was on board for the first half of the story, I loved the atmosphere and the things that occurred during the training. Towards the middle of the story, a mission needs to be accomplished and that’s when I started to lose interest. I just wasn’t excited about the subject and what was happening.

The concept of this story was very unique and clever but the world building was a bit lacking. I had difficulty picturing some things as they were described because I felt there weren’t enough details.

Overall, I was pleased with this book for an “out of my comfort zone”, non-preferred genre book. I found it interesting and enjoyed the adventure but I don’t feel compelled to pick up the rest of the books in the series.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Auctor Trilogy by T.R. Wolf Review

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Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Addie Auctor’s mother is murdered by her father, she must confront many secrets that her family has hidden from her. The worst of these secrets is that Addie’s father, Donovan Hawthorne, is still hunting Addie because of an ancient blood feud between her mother’s family, the Auctors, and her father’s family, the House of Hawthorne. In order to be protected from the House of Hawthorne, Addie and her brother, Augustus, are sent to Initiation at an exclusive University, the Wicked Cabal.
Initiation is nothing like Addie expects. She is immediately separated from Augustus and thrown in with four complete strangers – Fallon, Maddox, Liam, and Tempe. Addie must try to forge friendships with her fellow Initiates while they solve clues, battle mystical creatures, and explore increasingly dangerous places.
Readers of all ages will love this adventure filled with suspense, treachery, and romance.

My Thoughts: I was a bit hesitant to read this book when the author contacted me because the genre is a bit out of my comfort zone but the cover of it convinced me to give it a try. I am very glad that I gave it a chance, it was a perfect book to read for someone who is just getting into fantasy…it has some fantastical creatures but the majority of the story feels more like a dystopian or adventuresome story.

I really enjoyed the story…the author was great at imagery and world building. The story is very atmospheric, I felt as if I was right there with the characters, trudging through the forests, caves, and obstacles of initiation to the Wicked Cabal.

There was a lot of suspense and the story was full of action and adventure. I found myself flipping pages quickly to find out what would happen next. The pacing was great…the story had 481 pages but I found myself at the halfway point in no time.

I wasn’t a fan of the romance in the story, it felt quite forced and ingenuine (but I rarely like romance in books). I also felt that the characters lacked a lot of common sense in many circumstances, which was a bit frustrating.

Overall, I was very pleased with this book and would definitely pick up the next one when it comes out, I’m very curious to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy or who is interested in dipping their feet in the genre.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: In Remember to Forget from Watty Award-winning author Ashley Royer, Levi has refused to speak since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Delia, and can’t seem to come out of his depression and hindering self-doubt. Desperate to make some positive change in Levi’s life, his mother sends him to live with his father in Maine. Though the idea of moving from Australia to America seems completely daunting, Levi passively accepts his fate, but once he lands faces personal struggles and self-doubt at the same time he and his dad battle through resentment and misunderstanding. And then, while at therapy, Levi meets Delilah, a girl who eerily reminds him of someone he lost.

My Thoughts: This book was sweet. One thing that makes it unique is the fact that it is told in a first person narrative by Levi, a male, and Delilah. I haven’t read many books that are narrated from a male perspective, so I enjoyed that. I really disliked Levi for the first half of the book. He has selective mutism, which means he doesn’t speak but the reader gets to hear his thoughts as he is narrating. He seems very ungrateful and kind of mean in the beginning of the book. He is dealing with a lot of grief and pain because of a tragedy but I still found him unlikable at first. As the story progressed, Levi became much more endearing but the change seemed a bit too instantaneous.

Delilah was a great character throughout the book. I loved that she was understanding and kind, even when it would be difficult.

The romance in the story was very sweet. It was nice to see these two teenagers taking things very slow which seems to be extremely rare in YA contemporary books. I also appreciated the fact that there was no swearing or sexual scenes in the book. It was also nice to see the characters relating to their parents and actually listening to their advice.

The writing was not the best but, considering that the author is 17 years old, I’m impressed. There was a moment in the book that is very unrealistic (having to do with patient privacy) but because it wasn’t a major plot point, it didn’t bother me too much.

To be honest, I am not a fan of YA contemporary books…I find them very boring and a bit tedious. But as far as this book goes, it was enjoyable for what it was. I’m just realizing more and more that the genre isn’t for me.

My Rating: 3 stars

 

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

 

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki Review

summerGenre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult

Plot According to Goodreads: Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

My Thoughts: I am fairly new to graphic novels and I’m guessing that this review will reflect that. This is the story of Rose, whose family goes to the same beach town for vacation each summer. She and her friend Windy spend the summer together, experiencing many ups and downs. Based on the cover, I expected a cute coming of age story directed at ages 10-16…my expectations were not accurate. I was surprised (and a bit disappointed) by the graphic sexual content and language in this book. My personal opinion is that books like this should have some kind of rating sticker on the cover to caution parents of the content inside. The cover of the book looks very middle-grade to me, which is why I was surprised by the story, which is definitely directed more to older teens but features girls that seem to be around 12 years old. Overall, I really enjoyed the story…it mixed the innocence of youth with the grittiness and reality of adulthood. The artwork was amazing, definitely one of my favorite things about this book. I loved the characters but I didn’t feel connected to them. There were parts of the story that felt a bit rushed and not quite sorted out completely.

Overall, this was a good story but I wish the cover wasn’t made in a way that draws in an audience that is too young to be exposed to the content inside.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular_comp9.inddGenre: Non-Fiction, Young Adult

Judging the Cover: This cover is adorable, I love the vintage feel, which really goes along with the story.

Plot According to Goodreads: Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?
The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.

My Thoughts: I really wish this book would have been available in 1994…the 14-year-old me would have loved it. Middle School is an extremely difficult time and acceptance and being liked is so important…

mePopularity was something I always wanted but never achieved. I loved how this book comes to the conclusion that the outward appearance isn’t as important as personality and kindness. There were some great lessons to be learned in the book and it was a lot of fun to read some of the tips from the 50s. Maya was a very determined, driven young lady and I admired her courage (I would never have been able to do most of the things she did when I was in 8th grade).

The story is definitely more geared toward the teenage population…there were some moments that were a bit boring to me. Overall, this was a great book that I am going to encourage my daughter to read when she hits those difficult middle school years.

My Rating: 3/5 stars.

Trance by Linda Gerber Review

tranceGenre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Judging the Cover: This cover has a holographic effect to it that I really like.

Plot According to Goodreads: Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what’s to come: a trance. She’s pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she’s never been able to stop it; not even when the vision was of her mother’s fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn’s life, she begins having trances about another car accident.

My Thoughts: The premise of this book sounded very interesting to me, so I was eager to read it. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

The Good: The main character, Ashlyn has a pretty rough life…her mother was killed in a car accident where Ashlyn was the driver, her father is practically absent from her life, and her sister moved away and Ashlyn has no way of contacting her…not to mention the fact that Ashlyn experiences premonitions that she is unable to control. I really felt sympathy for Ashlyn and felt that her character was well developed. Romance in books usually annoys me, especially young adult romance, but the romance in this book was sweet and realistic.

What I didn’t Like: The entire story felt like a huge buildup that didn’t really amount to much. The story dragged a lot in the middle and the ending was extremely predictable. I am not a fan of paranormal elements or things that have to do with the occult, so I didn’t like the numerology element.

My Rating: 2/5 stars. This wasn’t the book for me.