Saturday, July 11, 2015

Snack Size Review: 5 stars to The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord



The Start of Me and You
By: Emery Lord

Published: March 31, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Genres: YA, Contemporary Romance, High School, Death, Recovery, Social Issues, Realistic Fiction, Family Drama


Technically 4.6 rounded to 5

Overview:
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics, The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Snack Size Review:
I loved Emery's debut novel, Open Road Summer. Her second book was just as brilliant. Paige is our main character, and she is still reeling from the death of her first boyfriend. I must say, it would have been more believable if they had been friends or dated for a longer time. It surprised me how horrifically and completely devastated she was. Granted, the people around her, save her trusty BFFs, were compounding the problems.

Overall I thought it an organic, filling read. It deals with several issues very well and I started to get a real emotional pull a few chapters in. Well done.



5 Star Review: Spellbinder by C.C. Hunter


Spellbinder (Shadow Falls Novella)
By: C.C.Hunter

Published: June 30, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Supernatural, Witches/Vampires/Shifters, Mystery, Action, Suspense, Romance



Overview:
When magic, romance and family secrets collide, the result is spellbinding!

Miranda Kane has always felt like a screw up–at least when it comes to her ability to wield magic. Her only sanctuary is Shadow Falls camp, where she’s learning to harness her powers as a witch. But thanks to her shapeshifter boyfriend who called it quits and ran off to Paris, both her heart and powers feel broken.

When she unexpectedly lands a top spot in a spell casting competition in France, she flies out with her best friends Kylie and Della. But her trip takes her straight into the heart of a dangerous supernatural mystery–and a heated romance. What Miranda doesn’t expect is for her investigation to unleash shocking revelations…about herself, her family, and her arch enemy. Now Miranda must step up and show everyone that she’s a witch to be reckoned with….before it’s too late.
 


Review:
My girl Miranda FINALLY gets to show her point of view. Whooo Hooooo!!



Miranda is probably the most overlooked character in the series. People probably write her off, but she is has a lot of layers. Deep, deep, DEEP down. HAHAHAHA... seriously.... she may give off the impression of a hyper and super easy going girl, but she has had a lot to deal with. However, I can only hold my book close to give her sympathy and her life takes several nose dives. The poor girl just can't seem to catch a break.



Anyone who has had their heart tramped with a herd of elephants can feel her pain. Then let's tag on her older issues with her parents and her mom's expectations. Plus her Dyslexia effecting her abilities. Fast forward to her trip to France where even more issues rear their ugly heads and things get dangerous.

This series is one of my all time favorites, and C.C. never lets it become stale or boring. The writing is fresh, meaningful, witty, gripping and I could binge read this all week. 

If you haven't read the series, then start with book one, Born at Midnight. You will get hooked. It's like crack. Well... since I've never done that, I say its like chocolate. Or bacon. You can not put it down, all willpower to stop is gone and you can't get enough. 
YUM!



Needless to say that I will be slightly hysterical in my glee when the next book comes out. 



4 Star Review: The Eternity Key by Bree Despain


The Eternity Key (Into the Dark, Book #2)
By: Bree Despain

Published: May 12, 2015 by EgmontUSA
Genres: YA, Greek Mythology, Modern Day, Action, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Mystery


Overview:
Fan-favorite author Bree Despain continues her modern-day romance trilogy inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with this second book in her Into the Dark series. 

Haden Lord, the disgraced Prince of the Underrealm, has chosen love over honor and will do everything in his power to protect Daphne Raines, the human girl he was supposed to bring to the Underrealm. Haden’s choice is put to the test as the Skylords and a figure from his past arrive in Olympus Hills with a plan that could destroy all of the realms.

Embracing her destiny as the Cypher, Daphne begins to understand the immense power of her musical ability to control the elements, but she must come to terms with her feelings for Haden and what she must sacrifice in order to protect him and her friends.

Believing the Key of Hades is the only thing that can stop the Underrealm Court from releasing the monstrous Keres on the mortal world, Haden, Daphne, and their friends set out to find the Key before Persephone’s Gate opens again on the spring equinox.

Review:
The crap got real in this second installment to the Into the Dark Series. It was hitting the fan... big time. With the stress the group faces back in Olympus Hills once again with the hunt for the key, Haden stewing over his feelings, the Skylords and the other figure wreck mayhem and havoc on their plans, I felt shoved into a pressure cooker like a ham on Sunday.

Let's start with Haden and everything he's dealing with. Visions of the Genie from Aladdin saying, "Tell Her the TRUTH!" kept dancing through my mind. Honestly, I got how he felt, but it seemed like overkill to drag it out.


Most of the time, I sat biting my nails or wanting to smack the characters over the head with their own book.


As you all know, I deeply value emotional response from a novel.... unless it is just really written badly. Then I say, UGH. Do not fret, this book was very well written, with lovely characters and tense scenes. Daphne is still written with a adolescent point of view (which is good as she is still young) but we see some growth, especially towards the end of the book. She starts to see things from others' points of view and learns that she needs for forgive others, even for her own sake. 

There were some scenes I felt dragged on a bit, a few story threads I felt neglected, but overall I was yet again impressed by the writing. I saw something coming along the way, and wished I could have chanted, "I KNEW IT!!" with someone when it came to pass. No spoilers, but you'll probably figure it out too. 


Bree has a knack of piling on the "oh no" moments at the tail end of her books. The last chapter had me shrieking. Seriously gave me a heart attack. NO PEAKING people, you have to read the whole thing!


So congratulations to Bree on another well done novel! Can't wait for book three!