Author: Selene Castrovilla
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Publication Date: Nov 6th, 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary,Abuse,Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 5/5 stars ( A)
MELT is a brutal love story, set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz. Sixteen year old “good girl” Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park – where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts.) There, she meets Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? And then there’s his family's secret – about to be unleashed.
Told in dual first person, Joey's words are scattered on the page - reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason - until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?
MELT is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul
I received Melt from Last Syllable Books via NetGalley in exchange with an honest review.
No, this isn't a plot twist of The Wizard of Oz, but the author finds a way to revive some sub meanings in her story. Does that even make sense ???
Melt is a tale that will give you knots and butterflies in your stomach, yes both at once ! You are going to MELT on these pages.
This is such a captivating read from the start. I got so involved with the characters that I was afraid to leave them, afraid that I might miss out on something big if I stop reading.
The abusive scenes and acts are truly brutal and anyone who has gone through similar things would strongly relate to it.
I loved Doll, I mean Dorthy :) I liked how she doesn't care about what people say, how she gives people a chance to switch into their better side .She sees the good in those who were forced to undergo metamorphosis to withstand this harsh life.
It was very interesting for the characters to share their point of views in the same chapter. That way you get a good sense on what each character feels at that specific moment.
I did not like they way it was written at first, then I got used to it, then, I guess I understood why it was written in that way. I believe it was written in a way that the reader would catch what the character is saying or thinking in the same rate as the characters says or thinks it. And I ended up liking it.
Since I dive into stories without reading the entire blurb, I was surprised at the end when the author said that it was based on a true story. I was mind blown by that fact. It also gave me that feeling of , although there is lots of evil in this world, there is also good!
I am looking forward to read more of Selene's work.
I am giving MELT 5/5 stars and an A according to my rating scale
Title: The Night Garden
Author: Lisa Van Allen
Publisher:Random House, Ballantine Books
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Genre: Women's Fiction, Magical Realism
My Rating: 5/5 stars ( A- )
For fans of Sarah Addison Allen, Aimee Bender, and Alice Hoffman, The Night Garden is a luminous novel of love, forgiveness, and the possibilities that arise when you open your heart.
Nestled in the bucolic town of Green Valley in upstate New York, the Pennywort farm appears ordinary, yet at its center lies something remarkable: a wild maze of colorful gardens that reaches beyond the imagination. Local legend says that a visitor can gain answers to life’s most difficult problems simply by walking through its lush corridors.
Yet the labyrinth has never helped Olivia Pennywort, the garden’s beautiful and enigmatic caretaker. She has spent her entire life on her family’s land, harboring a secret that forces her to keep everyone at arm’s length. But when her childhood best friend, Sam Van Winkle, returns to the valley, Olivia begins to question her safe, isolated world and wonders if she at last has the courage to let someone in. As she and Sam reconnect, Olivia faces a difficult question: Is the garden maze that she has nurtured all of her life a safe haven or a prison?
I received an eARC of The Night House from Random House via edelweiss in exchange with an honest review.
This book is a great collision of Shatter Me's Juliette and the beauty of The Secret Garden , two of my favorite reads.
Lisa Van Allen has such an exquisite way of painting such a creative magical realem, then bringing to to life with her amazing description. Her writing is not only limited to this, but also the beauty of portraying a person's state of mind and the credibility of storytelling.
It took me a while to be absolutely into this book, but once I did, I couldn't but it down.This book gave me butterflies in my stomach and a few tears rolling down my face. You learn lots of important lessons about life, like how you may not fit in like anyone else and still be happy and like sometimes people do stupid things with intentions to protect you, then end up hurting you.That life can take something very important from you, yet you should keep looking for a way to cope with it and make the best of it.
It was told mainly from three different perspectives, where you got more up close and personal, and you get to learn about the character's past memories before any of the other characters, making you feel like a secret keeper.
Sometimes I got lost to if a certain character was dead or not. There was also that one sentence that I found to be a bit creepy, in an awkward way, but that did not effect my overview of this book.
I am looking forward to read more from this outstanding author with her beautiful descriptions, down to earth characters, and finally but not least, the captivating story.
I gave this book a 5/5 stars and an A- according to my own rating scale.
Title: War Kids
Author: Hayley J Lawson
Publication Date: August 20, 2014
Genre: War, Fiction
My Rating: 3/5 stars (C+)
When fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she
thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real
civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm
skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself.
Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada
crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom
With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they
try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group
together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to
stay vigilant in the face of war.
I received an eARC copy of this book directly from the author in return of an honest review .
This book is a great magnifying glass on what children in war witness and go through. When one of them loses a family
member and shed a tear, I also shed a tear. This is great to raise awareness on what kids are going through in countries with wars. A lot of people would not consider researching what injustice is
happening outside their own country
I loved how the author has showed how children, no matter what they go through, try to be happy even if it is after a great loss, even if it lasts only for a few moments.
The book is told from different point of views and sometimes we get an old memory of one of those characters;however, Jada dominates the story , as in, it basically revolves around her.
I believe that this is a work of fiction, as only few would go and do all of these things. I think that there should be at least on group of people who are willing to find the bad guy. Perhaps the freedom fighters could be this group, but I was looking for people who were not seeking a safe place. Someone to fight the bad guy, even if they are few, or if they end up dead .
The start of the story was the strongest part in this book. In my opinion, it was more important to show the world the concepts of tragic loss.
I am not sure if the book has a sequel, but it would be great if it did. The
ending was very interesting and I would be looking forward to read it
if it did.
The profit of this book will go to helping kids in Syria, so buy purchasing this book, you enjoy a great read and support a huge
I gave this book 3/5 stars, and C+ according to my rating scale.
Author: David Lapham Tt h
Title: Murder Me Dead
Publication Date: January 30th, 2002
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comics, Mystery
My Rating: 2/5 stars ( D+)
Hanging from the ceiling fan in their lavish Hollywood home. That's where Steven Russell finds his estranged wife, a tear-stained note in her pocket pouring out years of pain and regret. Is it suicide?
This comic is influenced by the old times and the old movies. It focuses
on human traits such as being naive, curious, abusive, abused, in love,
selfish,and much more.
In my opinion, the author has failed to show these characteristic in a proper way.Most of the reactions to certain events were unrealistic.Even the most naive person would wake up after being showered with lies for like a zillion times.
I did not like the characters. They seemed to show how second chances should be a really REALLY fresh start. You can't go from not caring to absolutely loving in one day and continue to be that through out the long run. Change is supposed to come over time accompanied with a some screw ups!
And then the mystery of a murder that no one seems to actually investigate. One group thinks that only one person did it, the others think that it was a suicide. I did not see any investigations happening or suspects being questioned . Is not this supposed to be a murder mystery.
Then comes the big ending; I honestly have no idea what that was supposed to mean.I did not understand what the ending was supposed to explain. If someone did, please help me understand the ending.
Now, speaking of the illustration, I think it was good. I like the drawings
and scene building. However, there were sometimes conversations that were not very clear. I am not sure if it was done on purpose or just a mistake.
I gave this book 2/5 stars and a D + according to my rating scale.
Title: The Panopticon
Author: Jenni Fagan
Publication date: April 22 2014
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
My Rating : 1/5 stars ( D- )
Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car. She is headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais is covered in blood. Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Now a counterculture outlaw, she knows that she can only rely on herself. And yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, fierce insight of a survivor.
Anais finds a sense of belonging among the residents of the Panopticon—they form intense bonds, and she soon becomes part of an ad-hoc family. Together, they struggle against the adults that keep them confined. But when she looks up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais realizes her fate: She is an anonymous part of an experiment, and she always was. Now it seems that the experiment is closing in.
My Review :
The plot of this story is definitely intriguing as it focuses the lens on events that could surprisingly be a true reflection on what happens in reality. It discusses issues that one would not easily find in other books.
I thought that this was going to be a YA read, but i came to realize that not every book with a teenage protagonist is going to be a YA book. However, this is not the reason I disliked the novel as I read books from almost every genre.
The writing was what pushed me away. This is the very first book that I could not finish reading it. I would understand if there are 3 or 4 characters who talk in slang due too poor education, low livings standards and so on, but not every single character in the book. The words couldnea and shouldnea got on my nerves , but still weren't the reason why I did not finish reading the book. Oh, by the way, those are slang Scottish words.
Transition was the reason; the way the author moved from one scene to another did not work for me. I would get lost on how the character reached that place and lose the connection of what happens in the events.
Did I mention that the word FUCKING is repeated at least twice per page? Like fucking brush, fucking couch,etc.. Overall I think the story has a strong plot with non appealing writing.
I gave this book 1 /5 stars and D- according to my own rating scale.
Title: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up
Author: Sara Hantz
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date : May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary , YA, Romance
My Rating : 3/5 stars
Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.
Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.
But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?
My Review :
I received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange with an honest review.
First of all I loved the cover, that being said, let me jump into the review !
I loved how Sara showed the effect of being a star on Abi gradually. This is a story of self development that starts from being shy and good, to kind of nasty, then eventually to a stronger better self.
The story itself is not that original. I kind of knew where the plot was going and nothing came to me to be shocking. However,I found the Kickboxing thing brilliant, adding a little bit of freshness to the plot.
This was a great,fast, and refreshing read with all of the drama and romance going on. I give it 3/5 stars.
Title: The feral Child
Author: Che Golden
Publisher: Quercus Books (US)
Release Date: Jun 13, 2014
Genre : Fantasy, Middle Grade, Magic, Fairies, Dark
Maddy, an orphan, is sick of her Irish town, and sick of her cousin Danny, one of the nastiest people you could meet. Mad as hell one evening, she crawls inside the grounds of the castle, the one place she has always been forbidden to go. Once inside, she is chased by a strange feral boy, who she suspects is one of the faerie: cruel, fantastical people who live among humans and exchange local children for their own.
When the boy returns to steal her neighbor Stephen into his world, Maddy and her cousins set off on a terrifying journey into a magical wilderness, determined to bring him back home. To do so, they must face an evil as old as the earth itself.
Maddy's journey will take you another part of this world ; a place fantasy, fairies, evil, reality are all blended to give you this fascinating book.
Although this supposed to be a Middle grade book, I was trapped in this world of fantasy and dangers. However, i think this might not be a bedtime story for children; it sometimes get kind of spooky, but not like horror movie. It is perfect for children, but not before sleep.
One of the things i enjoys is the character development of the Book's main characters . The loner, the bully, the friend, they all grow up on this journey and become closer than ever. They become what they are supposed to be, a family.
I just wished that the book had a few pictures. There were some beautiful descriptions that made feel like I should pause reading and go draw this fascination description of the Fairies and the Scenery.
The Feral child is actually a Trilogy and this is the first book in the series. I am looking forward to see what Che Golden's writing will hold in next book. I am going to give this book 5 /5 stars.
Title : Til Death ( Fractured Souls #1)
Author: Kate Evangelista
Release Date : March 4, 2014
Publisher : Entangled Teen
Summary: Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.
Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the piercing blue eyes and tousled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?
When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all .
Review:The book opens with Dillan finishing a mission in which we do not understand till later in the book. And he gets enrolled in a school where his Uncle teaches, he meets Selena. Selena is not your typical teenager, hence she often dreams of her death. Selena and Dillian get these electric shocks whenever they touch, which is still not clear why,but that is not the only thing that is Electric between those two. Their arguments are just so funny,and if you are like Dillan, you will enjoy them very much.
The Plot thickens when more information is revealed about the people who surround Selena, and when Dillan keeps on asking" What are you?" Selena's life becomes a real danger as Dillan's Nightmares keeps on haunting him about his previous mistakes. There is always something worth flipping the page for. This is one of those books where there is no "a boring chapter" in it. I would have finished in a shorter time, but then came my midterms. I honestly can't wait for the sequel to come out and I guess I have just added a new favorite author to my list. I give this book 5/5 stars
Book Title: Donna of the Dead
Author: Alison Kemper
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Release Date: March 4th , 2014
Format: eARC via NetGalley
Summary:Donna Pierce might hear voices, but that doesn’t mean she’s crazy. Probably.
The voices do serve their purpose, though—whenever Donna hears them, she knows she’s in danger. So when they start yelling at the top of their proverbial lungs, it’s no surprise she and her best friend, Deke, end up narrowly escaping a zombie horde. Alone without their families, they take refuge at their high school with the super-helpful nerds, the bossy class president, and—best of all?—Liam, hottie extraordinaire and Donna’s long-time crush. When Liam is around, it’s easy to forget about the moaning zombies, her dad’s plight to reach them, and how weird Deke is suddenly acting toward her.
But as the teens’ numbers dwindle and their escape plans fall apart, Donna has to listen to the secrets those voices in her head have been hiding. It seems not all the zombies are shuffling idiots, and the half-undead aren’t really down with kids like Donna.
Review: The first time I came across the title on Netgalley and knew that it is a Zombie Novel, i was like UGH no and I was about to press back , but I heard voices*REQUEST,REQUEST,REQUEST* :D And honestly I can not say how much I loved the book! It is definitely not what you expect from typical Zombie books, so yes , the plot is not Cheesy! Honestly, I want to reread it again very soon. Imagine if a Flu has the ability to destroy your Cerebral Function , and oh, did I mention that it spreads around by biting ! At first, I did not like Donna. She acts like a total jerk and kind of drives you nuts with her crush with Liam. Deke is one of the characters that you instantly fall in love with, not mention how funny he is. So,what happens when almost everyone has this Zombie disease? Apparently ,
a wide variety of people have to work together to resist being transformed .AS you read, you clearly see how people change, and I am not taking about some sappy changes! You get to see characters grow more mature and less self preservative along this journey of survival.Another thing I have to point out is that the fact that the author used Medicinal and Scientific information to show us how drastic the disease is and how we must use whatever we have to fight back is definitely impressive ! I honestly can't wait to read the next book,*There are two companion books to Donna of the Dead* and honestly the author , Alison Kemper , has made me look at Zombie Novels through a different lens,better ones. I give this book 5 stars/5
Book Title : Sin
Author: Sharron Riddle
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release date: Jan 13 , 2014
Summary: My name is Sin. I killed a man in self-defense when I was sixteen. Not something a girl wants to brag about. My dad wanted to lock me up in the nut house, but Mom sent me packing to my great aunts in St. Charles, IL. They’re ancient druid priestesses, and they make me look like a pacifist. I’d barely unpacked before the aunts sent me to find the stolen hellhounds. Without the hounds to herd them to the underworld, the souls of the dead are flocking to the cities in murders of crows. If they’re still hanging around after three days, they’ll turn into flesh eating, brain feasting zombies. Van, an annoying but uber-hot Fey Prince, joins us in the hunt to find the hounds before the zombies overrun St. Charles and turn the cities into cemeteries.
Review: Sin is not your average teenager, killing a man for self defence is just the beginning of her journey of unleashing her true identity . Instead of being send to therapy like her dad wanted, her mother sends her to her aunt who is a DRUID PRIESTESSES , interesting right? Put yourself in Sin's shoes, what would you do that you are only half human and that the dead's souls is trapped in our living world and would return if they stayed for more than three days, including all the evil ones! As if knowing all about this is not enough, she always seems to be distracted by Llaw ,the dark bad boy, and Van, an annoying Fey Prince. With the help of everyone, Sin seeks to find the Hounds to send the dead back to where they belong and along she unleashes a lot of secrets about her true identity and the world she lives in and her mother. The description is beyond amazing, there are some characters, like the elves, that I have a feeling that I have to draw and send them to Sharron Riddles ! Yes, it is that creative! The plot may sound like some other YA books, but the way the book is written and with all of what is going on, it stands out from the other plots. Then, you have the Love Triangle; it is one of those in which you don't know who you want Sin to be with cause you will be curious to know more about both of the Guys. The ending was kind of rushed. I felt like for such great problems, more losses should have been made and that the solution was a bit more elaborated. I Also, I was kind of not comfortable with how the Priestesses talked, I mean I know that being immortal and ancient , they must speak in Old English, still I found their conversations annoying. However, if you are a YA fan, then this book is for you, it will take you to places you have never seen and you will not be able to put this book down. I am not sure if there is going to be a sequel, but I think there should because I am kind of curious how things are going to go and whether Sin is going to regret her choices or not . I give this book 4 stars/5.
Check it here, on Amazon!