Saturday, September 17, 2016

Review: Demon Princess

Title: Demon Princess (Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales #1)
Author: Kassandra Lynn
Page Count: 162
Amazon
My Rating: 3 TURTLES: An enjoyable read, but I suggest check out if you like the topic before adding it to your to-read list.
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review


Description:
With her father gone and her brother missing, Demon Princess Adriana has to assume the throne, temporarily becoming the Demon King. The procession is underway, and the princess is nervous yet determined … until the unthinkable happens and she is summoned! Somehow, Aldric, a mage-in-training, has summoned the princess into the human kingdom. Now trapped, Adriana must hide her identity and escape before she loses her life in the hands of her mortal enemies.

Review:
This book had the potential to be a very interesting story. It is set in a fantasy world with two conflicting races, demons and humans, and the protagonist is a demon, which is an interesting perspective. Unfortunately, I felt that it fell flat in several areas that prevented me from fully enjoying it.

For one thing, I felt that the world building was incomplete. There were a lot of rules about the magic of the world and the set up of governments and culture that weren’t addressed. This made it hard for me to feel fully immersed in the world, and instead felt removed from everything. For example, when Adriana is first summoned everyone assumes she is human, and, even though “summon beasts” are enslaved to the will of their masters, the adults of the story don’t take any action to find out how she was summoned. It is explicitly said in the story that slavery is illegal and humans don’t get summoned, so I had a hard time believing no one with authority would have noticed something unusual.

I also felt like the plot was very linear. What I mean by that is that there were very few plot twists or subplots. Adriana repeats over and over to herself certain things that she will do… and then she does them. I expected that she would think some things initially and then change her mind about some things as the story developed, but she didn’t. Since the story is about a demon being dropped amongst the human world, among supposed enemies, as she gets to know and befriend some I would expect her to change her perspective about them and vice versa. I felt that this was not explored as much as it could of and seemed like a missed opportunity to me. Maybe this will be shown more in the following books, but I wish I’d seen more of it here.

Demon Princess certainly has a lot of potential. It has an interesting world, an interesting premise, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m fairly picky about what I like and don’t like, so just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it won’t be yours. If the description sounds intriguing to you, by all means check it out!


Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Spotlight: Keep Her

Keep Her, by Leora Krygier
She Writes Press
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
www.leorakrygier.net

About the Book:
Maddie does not believe in destiny. In fact, destiny is the furthest thing from the 17-year-old’s mindset. Drawing on instinct and intuition, she’s an artist who makes collages using photographs and castoff scraps. But when her brother becomes involved in an L.A. street gang, Maddie is unable to find inspiration. Just when she’s feeling completely lost, she meets young filmmaker Aiden. Fate, endangered whales and a worn copy of Moby Dick draw them together, but Aiden has a secret that threatens to destroy everything.


Author Bio:
I'm the author of "When She Sleeps" (Toby Press) a New York Public Library Selection for "Best Books for the Teen Age." I'm also a former Los Angeles Juvenile Court judge, and the author of "Juvenile Court - A Judge's Guide for Young Adults and their Parents" (Scarecrow Press)

But besides all that, I've lived in the heart of Paris and in a teeny apartment overlooking the town of Saint Tropez in the South of France. I now live in Los Angeles with my amazing husband, David.

I love the beach, dogs, chocolate, hiking the Santa Monica Mountain trails, and making my friends stop for me when I see a photograph I absolutely have to take. (In full disclosure, they usually don't stop and end up one block ahead of me, but that's okay)

I loved writing "Keep Her." Maddie is a little bit like me (sometimes) But her journey took me to some unexpected turns, and that's the fun of it.

Praise:

“Leora Krygier weaves an eloquent story about two star-crossed lovers. I absolutely loved this heartbreaking but uplifting tale.”

--- Linda Schreyer, author of Tears and Tequila

“A riveting, complex tale of adventure and love. Maddie and Aiden, both unmoored by loss, make their way—together.”

--- Sarah Lamstein, author of Hunger Moon

“A flood, a drought and saving endangered ocean animals are gently woven into Leora Krygier's new novel, Keep Her—a beautifully told tale of Maddie and Aiden, who discover themselves while navigating the magical world of meant-to-be love.”

--- Jackie Hirtz, co- author of Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush and New Girl on Salt Flat Road


"Krygier perfectly encapsulates all the emotional struggle that comes with losing a loved one - the guilt, the loss, the anger, the sadness. I really enjoyed reading Keep Her, and I think it's one book I would like to read again and again... it's the kind of book you would like to take your time over, while lying on the grass in the warm sunshine, unpicking and savoring emotions and secrets."
--- Marilyn Chin, The Salonniere's Apartments

"Leora Krygier is an artist, and words are her medium....Keep Her is a book that will draw you in with its wonderful story line, characters you will champion and cry with, and a new respect for how the classics, like Moby Dick, can still inspire us and touch our lives. Leora Krygier never disappoints."
--- Stephanie Corbett, Head of Circulation Services, Holmes County District Public Library, and Goodreads Reviewer


Excerpt:


      "He was looking at me. No, more like staring at me - as open as the old camera he was holding, a camera with a big hole where the lens was supposed to be, and the insides exposed.
       And I stared right back at him, taking in all his colors.
       Edges of sand-colored hair, soft, vein-blue eyes, and the green cover of the paperback book he was also holding.
       I was fourth in line at the camera store, waiting to pick up some prints I’d ordered weeks ago, and before I knew it, I felt it coming on again, that same tug of war, the two sides of my overcrowded head going at it – numbers on the left, images and colors on the right –each trying to get my complete attention – when the two sides of my brain did something they never did. They called a fifteen-second truce and pounded out a strange joint mission in two, short words, like an S.O.S.
      Rescue.

     Him.”



Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: Echoes

Title: Echoes
Author: Laura Tisdall
Page Count: 298
Amazon
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review

Description:
“There is truth to be shared. Let us begin…”
Volatile mathematical genius Mallory Park is living two lives. In one, she is balancing senior year with looking after her little brother and troubled ex-Marine father; in the other, she spends her nights glued to her laptop, breaking into some of the world’s most secure systems as the hacker Echo Six.
As part of a corruption-exposing cyber network called the Forum, Mallory is far more at ease among the codes and hidden identities of her online world than she has ever been in the real one, but when other hackers start to go missing, she finds herself caught up in a web of secrets that could have repercussions far beyond both.
When anyone can be a name on a screen, how do you know who to trust?

Review:
I loved this book! It is a suspenseful, intriguing YA novel with many twists and turns that surprised me. One thing I especially loved were the two main characters, Mallory and Warden. They had such distinct personalities and back stories that added a lot of depth to their character as well as their relationship. I also really liked how their different perspectives brought up some interesting moral discussions within the story. Another thing I really liked about their relationship, and especially their romance, was that it felt like it went at a realistic pace. Many YA novels fall into the insta-love trope to one degree or another, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it was nice to see a romance that was slower to build.
I also really enjoyed the hacking aspect of this story and the action. I remember thinking as I was reading it that it would make for a good movie or premise for a television show.
One thing that took me out of the story a bit, though, was the fact that Mallory uses a lot of British slang unironically, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me since she is an American who’s never lived in England. I know it’s because the book is written by an English writer and all the colloquialisms probably weren’t taken out in the editing process. (I know I’d have an impossible time knowing every single saying I was using that people wouldn’t say in England).
Overall, I would highly recommend this book. It does deal with some more mature topics, so I’d probably say later middle school on up readers would be the best fit for this. As far as I can tell it’s a standalone, and it’s a fast-paced read, so the story goes by very quickly and you don’t have to have the agony of waiting for the next installment. But that might not keep you from wanting more.

Books this reminded me of:
A Girl Named Digit (Digit #1)

Double Digit (Digit #2)




Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Spotlight: An Arrangement

Title: An Arrangement
Author: Lindsay Marie Miller
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2016

Synopsis
When Claire Andrews returns home from college for the summer, her little sister is rushed to the hospital due to a life-threatening heart condition. On her twenty-first birthday, Claire will receive a trust fund set aside by her late father with enough money to cover all medical expenses.

The catch?

Claire must marry a rich man or her access to the trust will be denied.

Her childhood crush, Benjamin Lewis, is a twenty-eight-year-old billionaire business mogul and New York City’s most eligible bachelor. When Ben agrees to marry Claire, her financial problems are solved.

But will the price Claire must pay in return be too much for her heart to bear?


Pre-Order Now for .99 cents!

Excerpt
“They can treat Amy,” I announced, staring blindly out the window. “It’s experimental stuff, but the doctors are going to do everything they can. It’s not too late.”
Mom breathed a sigh of relief, and I seemed to feel it more than see or hear it.
“Insurance won’t cover it, but I told Dr. Abrams that it wouldn’t be a problem.” I looked back over my shoulder at Mom, confused by the fearful look on her face. Her cropped black hair looked frazzled and worn, while her blue eyes, Amy’s eyes, shifted with terror and panic. “What? What is it?”
“Claire,” she cried, grabbing ahold of my wrist until I sat down in the chair beside her. “We can’t afford that. We don’t have the money.” The tears started up again, and I wanted to slap her for lying to me.
“What are you talking about?” I jerked at her shirtsleeve. “What do you mean we don’t have the money? Daddy left you a fortune!”
“Your father only left me with enough to live on until you girls came of age. That and the house.”
“Came of age?” I crossed my arms over my chest, while she dabbed her eyes with his handkerchief.
“The rest of your father’s wealth is in a trust fund that he set up especially for you girls. He wanted to take care of the two of you, maybe because he knew that I couldn’t.”
Wouldn’t was more like it.
“And why wasn’t I told about this? This mysterious trust fund?”
“Because you can’t access it until you turn twenty-one,” she clarified.
“My birthday’s next week,” I noted, stating aloud what we both already knew.
It was my twenty-first birthday to be exact.
“I know.” Her tears dried immediately, as she reached into her handbag to grab her phone. “I’ll call your father’s attorney. He drew up the contract. I think there were some other stipulations.”
“What do you mean?” My frustration resurfaced, while I watched her dial numbers on the LED touch screen. “What kind of stipulations?”
“In order to access all of the money in the trust…”
“Yeah,” I answered, nudging her on. “I have to be twenty-one. What else?”
“I think you have to be married, too.”
Married? How could that even be legal?
I sat down on the floor and held my head in my hands. Everything had happened too soon, making my world spin out of control. I penned a mental list in my head that summed up the main points of the day.
Amy was sick. And her condition, if not treated, was most likely fatal.
Insurance would not cover the experimental treatments, and Mom didn’t have the money to pay.
Instead, my late father’s wealth had been stowed away in a trust, which I would soon have access to.
As long as I married. As long as I had a husband. And all the while, Amy’s heart could be failing.
Money was the only way to save my sister, and at present, marriage was the only way to get the money.
I needed a husband by next week.
And I didn’t even have a boyfriend.

***
About the Author
LINDSAY MARIE MILLER was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, where she graduated from high school as Valedictorian. Afterwards, Lindsay attended Florida State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with an English Literature major, Psychology minor, and Specialized Studies in Markets and Institutions.

Lindsay is the author of the Jones Series, Jungle EyesEmerald Green, S.I.N.G.L.E. and An ArrangementAn incurable romantic at heart, she enjoys writing about strong heroines and the honorable gentleman who claim their hearts, often utilizing elements of suspense, adventure, or even comedy. While the context of her writing is diverse, one factor always remains at the center of every novel: Love. 

In her free time, Lindsay enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing songs. The author resides in her hometown of Tallahassee, FL, where she is currently working on her next novel.

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