Review: Stitch by Samantha Durante


stitch

ReviewStars-4

Read from May 25 to 27, 2016

Synopsis: Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results. Continue reading

Review: Bloodmark by Aurora Whittet


bloodmark

2 stars

Read from May 05 to 07, 2016

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny? Continue reading

Review: In the Enemy’s Service


intheenemysservice

ReviewStars-4

Read from April 19 to 24, 2016 — I own a copy
Synopsis: When the Malornian army invaded Alasia and Prince Jaymin was forced to flee for his life, what happened to those left behind? In the Enemy’s Service tells the story of ten-year-old Anya, imprisoned among other survivors and forced to work for the occupying troops. While pretending to follow orders and serve diligently in the palace, Anya discovers ingenious ways to spy on enemy officers and slip valuable information to the Alasian resistance.

But as she helps to craft plans that may eventually free Alasia, Anya accidentally uncovers a disturbing reference to her own family. Her fears are strengthened when she is confronted by a mysterious Malornian who seems somehow to know the truth behind the role she has been playing. Holding her life in his hands with that knowledge, he claims to bear information implicating her father in the betrayal that led to the Invasion itself. Continue reading

Review: Prison Nation by Jenni Merritt


prisonnation

3 stars

Read from January 28 to February 03, 2016

Synopsis: In the Nation, no one is innocent – not even the children born behind bars. Millie 942B has spent her entire life locked away with her criminal parents and countless other inmates. She believes in the Nation, in its strict laws and harsh punishments.

But when Millie is released on her eighteenth birthday, she finds things are nothing as she was taught. People vanish, never to be seen again. Lies cover every word. Trust is as fragile as ice.

And then there is Reed. Born and raised outside the Prison walls, his dreams and thoughts cause Millie to doubt everything she has ever believed.

What is truly worth fighting for? If she pushes too hard, she could lose her freedom. If she stays silent, she could lose herself. The clock is ticking, and Millie must find the truth before it is too late.

Bookish Things: 302 pages. The cover is deceptively soft, the story rather harsh, though still a reasonable YA Dystopian.

Where to buy: Amazon for $2.89 on kindle or $12.99 in paperback.

My Review: Prison Nation is a fantastic idea.

What would America be like if it sealed its boarders and the punishment for crimes (and even suspected crimes) became so harsh that the Nation needed massive prisons, large enough to house thousands and thousands of people?

You can find out, just by picking up this book.

Millie, our female protagonist experiences a significant personal journey throughout the book, but she does start out a little flat. I quite liked how things progressed, but I’d have liked a little more spunk from her early on.

The supporting cast was quite diverse, which was a welcome change from a lot of YA books, however, I was looking for a strong female role model for Millie and that was seriously lacking.

So, so far that’s quite a lot of positives, so why only 3 stars?

Well, the writing isn’t polished. There were a lot of adverbs and adjectives being used, a lot of scenes were overwritten, and could do with a cull, as well as quite a lot of repetition.

The formatting was also off, including sentences that ran together, missing words, added words, the spacing was off in parts and there were even some instances of homophone misuse!

With a hefty edit, this book would be a solid addition to the YA, Dystopian genre. As it is now, it’s an enjoyable read, but it feels unpolished and a little rough around the edges.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of What Tomorrow May Bring, that included this book, in return for an honest review.**

 

Review: Paladin


Paladin

ReviewStars-4

Read from December 08 to 13, 2015

Blurb: The debut novel from the #1 Fantasy writer on Wattpad is finally here!

Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.
But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.
Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.
As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.
A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart? Continue reading

Review: A curse of Ash and Iron


ACurseOfAshAndIron

ReviewStars-4

Read from October 26 to 30, 2015 — I own a copy

Synopsis: Benjamin Grimm knows the theater is much like real life. In 1876 Philadelphia, people play their parts, hiding behind the illusion of their lives, and never revealing their secrets.

When he reunites with his childhood friend Eleanor Banneker, he is delighted. His delight turns to dismay when he discovers she has been under a spell for the past 7 years, being forced to live as a servant in her own home, and he realizes how sinister some secrets can be.

She asks for his help, and he can’t refuse. Even if he doesn’t believe in ‘real’ magic, he can’t abandon her.

Ellie has spent the long years since her mother’s death under the watchful and unforgiving eye of her stepmother. Bewitched and hidden in plain sight, it seems no one can help Ellie escape. Not even her own father, who is under a spell of his own. When she sees Ben one evening, it seems he is immune to the magic that binds her, and her hope is rekindled along with her friendship.

But time is running short. If they do not find a way to break the spell before midnight on New Year’s Eve, then both Ellie and her father will be bound forever. Continue reading