Quickie Review: View from Forever by Charles Sheehan-Miles

view from foreverA View from Forever by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult M/F Novella

Format: Kindle ARC

Score: 9/10

Plot: Dylan Paris is a working class kid from Atlanta. A former high school dropout who is trying to clean up his act, Dylan is stunned to be selected for a six-week foreign exchange program to Israel.

Alex Thompson is the daughter of a wealthy US Ambassador. Several weeks overseas with an exchange program is just what she needs to get out from under her over-controlling parents.

They only have five weeks before they go back to their homes.

They have completely different lives.

The last thing either of them want or need is to fall in love.

Review: Just to be clear, I am a die-hard Charles Sheehan-Miles fan. This guy can write. No, really. He can write articulated, moving, heart-felt characters in these totally plausible situations that’ll have you spending the first half of every book falling in love with the characters and the second half having your heart ripped out by them. It’s a delicious combination and Charles definitely knows how to work it. In fact, he is the undisputed master of what I like to call nuanced coming of age NA. He writes a heady blend of nostalgia, teenage angst, and mature characterization. A View from Forever is a perfect example of this. This is a prequel novella to his highly lauded, Just Remember to Breathe, but it can most definitely be read as a standalone. In it we get to see how two characters meet, fall in love, and are separated by circumstances outside of their very limited control. It’s a sweet backstory that is only hinted at in Just Remember to Breathe but it puts their later relationship in a more dramatic context and gives us deeper insight into Dylan and Alex’s motivations. The book reads a bit young – more mature YA than NA – which is fitting with the age of the main characters. Watching these two tip-toe around new feelings and setting it against the exotic backdrop of Israel certainly makes for some heady reading. The romance is top-notch, the build up to it long and tension filled. But it’s also 100% PG which is frankly, a breath of fresh air in a time of glamorized sex among teens. All in all, a lovely edition to The Thompson Sisters’ canon.

What you’ll enjoy: the writing is phenomenal – Charles knows how to plot and build suspense until you’re just begging for something, anything!, to happen to force the characters’ hands; there is a sort of dreamy nostalgia to this story that will make you long for those care-free days when you had nothing more stressful going in life than falling in love; steamy international setting; totally clean with only a hint of kissing to whet your smutty appetite.

What you might not enjoy: honestly, there’s not much to dislike! Possibly the short length and what feels like a bit of a forced side-story about a missing friend of Dylan’s. All in all, the good far outweighs the bad with this one.

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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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New Book Push: The Write Stuff by Tiffany King

If you haven’t heard of Tiffany King, you are missing out on one of the sweetest, most enthusiastic writers in the business! This girl has it all – she’s that rare combination of sweet, sassy, happy go lucky with the added bonus of being a really good writer. It’s rare to meet someone with a heart of gold but seriously, if you were to use that expression in relation to authors, she’s the first one that comes to mind. And now, this awesome lady has a new book out. YES! She writes feel good stories that linger long after they’re over and this newest one is no exception.  Here it is! (Plus HOLY SEXY BOOK COVER):

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Book Reveal: We Won’t Feel A Thing by J.C. Lillis

Today on ILYAF, we’re featuring an upcoming YA release by J.C. Lillis. Now, if you don’t know J.C. Lillis, let’s change that right now! Last year, she wrote and released an amazing YA love story about two nerd boys falling in love. It was an unusual pairing of comic books, YA, and gay fiction and it really struck a chord with us. It’s called How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and if it were ever in a cover art contest (is that a thing?!), she would totally win.  See why? Read More

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NA Review: Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt

Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt CoverTell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt

Publisher: Carina Press

Format: Kindle ARC

Reviewed by: Judith

Genre: NA Contemporary

Score: 5/10

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Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefield Legacy

Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefield Legacy, by Kate William

Publisher: Bantam Books, 1992

Format: Paper! (BTW – I swear I did not steal this from a library! I’m not sure where I actually purchased it but I’ve never been to the Maricopa County Library.) In honor of Father’s Day (which thank you Judith for making me do this, it’s the only reason I remembered this weekend is Father’s Day) I’m going old school and reviewing the Sweet Valley Saga book about the twins’ father’s ancestors. Who knew so much could happen in only 150 years!

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What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 30, 2012)

Format: Kindle

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 7/10

Plot: It’s hard keeping secrets while growing up on a small island. But popular and charismatic Jake Hayes has a doozy: he’s been in love with his friend, Samantha Shay, for years. The night of Homecoming, he parties a little too hard and thanks to too much beer, decides to finally tell Sam how he feels. But disaster strikes and he winds up in the hospital after a horrific accident. Now Jake is mute thanks to a T-bar that embedded in his throat and he has to struggle to work his way back to some semblance of normal life. He’s juggling sign language classes, his family’s constant worry that something is wrong, an overzealous female classmate, and a growing relationship with Samantha. When the problems with her home life come to the surface, Jake realizes that his own problems aren’t the only ones out there and his relationship with her is tested to its limit. Will their relationship be able to handle his lack of voice and her tough home life? And more importantly, if their relationship does make it, will Sam ever get to hear Jake say how much he truly loves her?

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Torched by Andrea Lynn Colt

Torched by Andrea Lynn Colt

Publisher: Andrea Lynn Colt Books (September 6, 2012)

Format: Kindle Edition

Reviewed by: Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide

First off, a big thanks to the author, Andrea Lynn Colt, for approaching me to review her book, TORCHED. I have to say that at that point I hadn’t been reading a lot of contemporaries since my first loves are dystopians and paranormals, but TORCHED sounded like it had a bit of a mystery in it and could easily sneak its way into my heart. I have to confess that it actually took me a really long time to read, but mostly due to the fact that it was on my Kindle and I just keep forgetting about all the books I have on my Kindle because I frequently revel in the glory that is my bookcase and then panic because of all the books that sit on it that I haven’t read yet. Anyway, I’m glad I finally finished and I promise that I’m working much harder on reading my Kindle books!

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