YA Fantasy Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

skye-2Title and Author: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Published by: HarperCollins Publishers

Format: E-Book

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

Reviewed by: Madison

What to Expect: A gripping story of magic and romance set in a fantasy world based on the Romanov’s Russia. Read More

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Audio Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

monster callsTitle and Author: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker Books

Format: Audio

Narrator: Jason Isaacs

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Order Link: Amazon; Audible 

Reviewed by: Alisa

What to expect: A heart touching story about a boy coming to terms with his mother’s serious illness.

Blurb: The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

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YA Fantasy Review: Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

unicorn tracksUnicorn Tracks
by Julia Ember

Published by: Harmony Ink Press

Format: mobi

Genre: YA, Fantasy, F/F Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Abbi

What to expect: A deep and beautiful world. So many mythological creatures. Characters you can root for. A VILLAIN WITH KNIVES FOR TEETH.

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YA Fiction Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

ink and bone rachel caine
Ink and Bone (The Great Library Bk 1)  by Rachel Caine

Published by: Penguin Group (New American Library)

Format: Paperback ARC

Genre: YA, Alternate History

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Sara Beth

What to Expect: I will tell you what not to expect, despite what you have likely heard: this is not Harry Potter, and this is not the Hunger Games.
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YA Romance Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

wake lisa mcmannWake by Lisa McMann

Published by: Simon & Schuster

Format: Paperback

Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Abbi

What to expect: A weird power/curse, depending on your point of view. Realistic teen angst. The beginning of a trilogy about a girl who catches dreams. Read More

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YA Graphic Novel review: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya's Ghost coverAnya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Published by: First Second

Format: Paperback graphic novel

Buy it here: Amazon

Reviewed by: Judith

Rating: This sarcastic and poignant coming of age with a supernatural twist hits close to home and points out that so often what looks picture perfect just isn’t. YA + comics + supernatural = a spooky, gripping page turner for teens *and* adults. Get it for the beautifully crafted images and stay riveted by the profound message. Read More

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YA Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Published by: Simon and Schuster

Format: Paperback

Genre: YA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: all of the stars ever given anywhere, ever

If you’re here on I Love YA Fiction, you more than likely know that I…well, I love YA fiction. Really love it. I love the character development, the moment of self-awareness, the deepening maturity and the subtle change from child to adult. It’s a heady mix and beautiful to read. Only problem? I read so much of it over the last three years that it all got rather tired and monotonous; the dreaded B word cropped up quite a lot whenever I talked about books. You all know the B word, right? It’s the kiss of death for authors and reads alike: BORING. That’s right. All the YA books I read were just boring.

So when a friend suggested I give Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe a shot, I was skeptical and ready to be bored bored bored.

But ya know what? I was wrong wrong wrong! This book is outstanding! It’s all the best parts of YA with none of the BS. And if you’re anything like me, it’ll hook you just as quickly…

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YA/NA Review: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis

how to repair a mechanical heartHow to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services Inc

Format: Kindle edition

Genre: Contemporary YA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 10/10

Let me tell you a secret: I’m not sure why but I had it in my head that I didn’t like this book. Don’t look at me like that. Stop. Let me explain. I have a notoriously bad memory and it told me (repeatedly) that I’d tried How to Repair a Mechanical Heart before and for whatever reason, I just didn’t like it. No idea as to why and no idea where that came from but that voice inside of me kept whispering this crap for ages and it WAS WRONG! Dead wrong. Now, I don’t admit mistakes often – I’m an Aries, we’re perfect…and beautiful and wonderful and funny and amazingly humble – but I’m stating it for the record now, mea culpa and all that. This book is fabulous. No, wait. It’s more than that. It’s so cool that I’m sure in some alternate universe I have neon glitter pink font and some blinking gifs of celebrities screaming at anyone who will listen in order to show what an excellent read this is…cause it truly is!

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YA Review: Falling From the Sky by Nikki Godwin

Falling From the Sky by Nikki Godwin

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Format: Kindle

Reviewed by: Judith

Genre: YA

Final score: 9/10

No drama. Great storytelling. Interesting premise. Sexy protagonists. Slow build up and sexy delivery. No smut. Need I say more?

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YA review: Forbidden by Lori Adams

ForbiddenForbidden: The Soulkeepers by Lori Adams

Publisher: Flirt

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Onnica

Genre: YA

Final score: 5/10

It’s no secret that from time to time I just love, love, love to dive into a good paranormal YA book. Done well it can be so much fun – there’s the folklore, the romance and the coming of age of the heroine that makes her rise to her destiny and come into her own. So I was pretty excited about this book when I saw it on Netgalley and when the author made contact on Goodreads.

Plot: (taken from the book’s blurb) When Sophia St. James learns that she’ll be moving from Los Angeles to a podunk town somewhere in Connecticut for her senior year of high school, she isn’t expecting an otherworldly encounter. But there is more to Haven Hurst than meets the eye: it’s home to a family of Guardian Angels, and she is the only one who can see them in spirit form. Sophia soon realizes she wants to see much more of Michael, an irresistible yet volatile Guardian who seems drawn to her too.

As Michael battles his forbidden desire for the beautiful young newcomer, one of Hell’s most notorious Demon Knights arrives. Handsome and charismatic, Dante has come to claim the reincarnated soul of his lost lover trapped in Sophia. Cursed with the demon of Persuasion living inside him, Dante will use his seductive charms to lure Sophia into a dangerous game that ends with the kiss of death—unless Michael, who has captured Sophia’s heart, can now capture her soul.

Review: So although I love a bit of fantasy, usually that love doesn’t extend to angels/demons. It’s just a bridge too far and not even I can suspend my disbelief to that extent. Forbidden made me believe the realm of heavenly bodies and demons – that was not the problem. Ok, so what was the problem I hear you ask? First of all, it was the action – or rather, the inaction. A large portion of the book is Sophia and Michael engaging in terse conversations, sharing heated and hateful looks and then…nothing. One of the main ingredients in a fantasy book (in my humble opinion) should be action and the plot needs to move along at a steady pace. If there’s conflict between the hero and heroine then there need to be sparks and the heat should leap off the page at you. It started well, I was fully engaged then it flatlined until approximately 70% of the way through the book. Then suddenly I started getting answers and finally there was some action!

My second problem was that the plot chopped and changed, certain passages weren’t described well enough to evoke exactly what was going on – which led to me getting frustrated. The dialogue of Sophia’s friends (who I’m guessing were supposed to be latino?) was really over the top and made very little sense to me. Sophia was a typical teenage character and her tendency to whine and pick arguments at the wrong time did alienate me from her at times. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect with this book. Its stilted pace and dialogue wasn’t enough to draw me in, nor was the character development. Ironically however, there was enough action towards the end of the book to make me curious about book two, Awaken. So for these reasons I’m giving it 5/10.

Review based on the following:

How much I liked the heroine: 5 – I didn’t really. Sophia has settled with her father in a smalltown following the death of her mother. She’s worried about her dad who seems to have checked out of life completely and she’s nursing her own scars from an ex-boyfriend with anger management issues. I know she was a high school student who has been through stuff, but she was immature, judgemental and lacked grit. I need a fantasy heroine to grab life by the balls and get on with it rather than whine!

How much I liked the love interest: 6 – it was sweet once they started speaking to each other. A little Twilighty in places and unfortunately their ‘sparring’ did not work for me. But, I think their relationship will be better in Awaken.

How believable was the plot: 5 – Ok, not really relevant here, as we’re talking demons and angels, but in more experienced hands I doubt I’d have had such a hard time believing the story and caring about the characters.

How much I liked the writing style/editing etc: 5 – As mentioned above, I had real problems with the dialogue and the fact that some chapters made very little sense. I stuck with it, but it was really hard work. I’ve never written a book, so I don’t want to criticise too much, but it was a struggle to persevere.

Final score: 5/10 – an interesting premise, if the subsequent books drive the plot forward and develop the characters, then it will be a good series. Sadly, I won’t be pursuing it.

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