Tag Archives: Young adult

Review & #giveaway – Counting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart @MichaelFStewart @xpressotours

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Book details:

Counting Wolves
by Michael F. Stewart
Publication date: August 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

CWSynopsis:

The Breakfast Club meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales in the lair of an adolescent psych ward.

Milly’s evil stepmother commits her to a pediatric psych ward. That’s just what the wolf wants. With bunk mates like Red, who’s spiraling out of control; Pig, a fire-bug who claims Milly as her own—but just wants extra dessert—Vanet, a manic teen masquerading as a fairy godmother with wish-granting powers as likely to kill as to help; and the mysterious Wolfgang, rumored to roam for blood at night; it doesn’t take long for Milly to realize that only her dead mother’s book of tales can save her.

But Milly’s spells of protection weaken as her wolf stalks the hospital corridors. The ward’s a Dark Wood, and she’s not alone. As her power crumbles, she must let go of her magic and discover new weapons if she is to transform from hunted to hunter.

review

What a beautifully crafted book this is.

For me, the skill in the story telling is that the reader is never 100% sure what is real, and what is imagined: is this a story with a paranormal twist, or a touching and delicately handled depiction of mental illness.  The manner in which the narrative deals with that blurred line for Milly, meant that I was able to forge an emotional connection with her character, and, by extension, those around her.

Unflinching, yet not brash, this was an absorbing read.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (universal link) | B&N | Kobo

About the author

Michael F. Stewart is winner of both the 2015 Claymore Award and the 2014 inaugural Creation of Stories Award for best YA novel at the Toronto International Book Fair.

He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. In addition to his award winning Assured Destruction series, he has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights are published by Scholastic and early readers are out with Pearson Education.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS–a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s first Writer in Residence. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at www.michaelfstewart.com or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.

Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.

author links

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE

 

Review – Dark Lands: Requiem by Lyn I Kelly

Book & Author Details:

Dark Lands: Requiem by Lyn I. Kelly
Publication date: 10th September 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary

DarkLands.jpgWebb Thompson awakes, disoriented and fearful. He sees green grass and a black, boiling sky spread out before him. He finds his little sister nearby, unconscious. When he reaches her side, Sundown is alive. But now they have other problems: where are they, how did they get there, and what is that growling noise? Webb and Sundown have awakened in the Dark Lands-a world between life and death where sacred souls battle malevolent evil for control of the living realm, a battle of which mere mortals know nothing. How did Webb and Sundown come to this place? Are they living? Are they dead? Or are they something else?

review

I need to preface this review with an apology.  I have sat on this book for longer than I intended to, and for that I apologise.

So to the book.

Well, you are thrown into the action right from the first page.  And the confusion felt by the characters translates well from the page to the reader.

The story continues strongly, and although I found Webb to be frustrating as a character, I anticipate that this may have been the expected response to a well observed depiction of the predicted reaction of a typical teen.

I think that this book falls squarely within the young adult target audience, if not slightly younger.

Alhough short, this is a promising debut, and just about squeaks into the 4* arena.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (Universal Link)

About the author

Lyn I. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin. Writing since the age of eleven, he has been published in Diamond ComicsNewsweek and more. When he’s not writing or spending time with his wife and four children, he is also a marathoner. Kelly resides in Keller, Texas. Dark Lands: Requiem is his first novel.

author links

Website | Facebook

Review & #giveaway – Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock @TiffanyPitcock @xpressotours

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Book details:

Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

 

JF.jpgSynopsis:

A new spin on the classic smart-girl-and-bad-boy setup, this witty contemporary romance shows how easily a friendship – even one built on an elaborate lie – can become so much more.

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all.

Debut author Tiffany Pitcock delivers a spot-on depiction of first love and the high school rumor mill in Just Friends, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.

review

Is this a “spot-on depiction of first love” as the blurb claims?  Nope.  Not even close (at least, not based on my experience!) – this IS fiction after all.  However, that’s not to say that this is a bad story.  Far from it.

For a debut novel, this is pretty accomplished.  The twist in the bad boy/good girl tale is how it starts – with the quick thinking lie.  And if you accept that premise, then the rest of the story arc just slots right in.

Of course, there is the usual formula to follow, but this doesn’t feel like it was “written by numbers” There was sufficient depth to all the characters to breathe life into the story and ground it in a semblance of reality.

Overall, enjoyable.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (Universal Link) | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

About the author

23. Writer. Reader. Sarcastic.

I was born and raised in Arkansas, which isn’t terribly exciting. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I used to sit in class and write stories in my notebooks, thinking that everyone did. It turns out, everyone didn’t. I love writing because it means I’m putting my thoughts, feelings, and soul out there for someone else to read – for someone else to feel. The fact that someone can read my words, and empathize with my characters – characters that wouldn’t exist with out me, that I created from my mind – is such a wonderful concept to me. I could happily write for the rest of my life as long as there was one person out there who was affected by my words.

author links

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE