Tag Archives: young adult

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Book Review: Flirting With Fate, by J.C. Cervantes

I accepted a copy of J.C. CervantesFlirting With Fate for review, as part of it’s blog tour with Literary Bound Tours.

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Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she missed her grandmother’s mystical blessing— one that has been passed between the women of her family upon death for generations. Then Nana’s ghost appears with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed its target, landing with the boy from the night of the storm instead. Was it fate? Ava refuses to believe so.

With the help of her sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, she’s determined to reclaim her share of the family magic and set Nana free. For guarded Ava, befriending some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine protecting her heart— keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava embarks on her mission to retrieve the lost blessing, she starts to wonder if getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.

my review

This was a super sweet, low drama, young adult fantasy romance (probably closer to magical realism, honestly). True, the whole grandma can’t remember the details, but we have to do X, Y, and Z to succeed felt contrived. But not so much it ruined the story. I loved how solid the sisters’ faith in one another was. I appreciate that the different families had different, though equally valid responses to the trauma of lost family. (Though I 100% didn’t believe Achilles sudden 180° personality shift, even if it was explained.) I liked the way the older generation described fate, and that the book started out from fate’s perspective. The writing was clean and easy to read and the whole thing wrapped up satisfactorily. YA isn’t my go-to genre, but I still very much enjoyed this.

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Other Reviews:

REVIEW: Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes

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Book Review: Aurora’s End, by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I borrowed an audio copy of Aurora’s End*, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff through my local library. I reviewed books one and two, here.
Aurora's End audio cover

Is this the end?

What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course.

Wait. . . . Not. So. Fast.

When we last saw Squad 312, they were working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient superweapon threatened to obliterate Earth. Everything went horribly wrong, naturally.

But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the team has one last chance to rewrite theirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated.

Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem.

Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too.

Actually saving the galaxy, though?

Now that will take a miracle.

my review
I didn’t dislike this, but I also didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as the first two books (especially book one). Fin was one of my favorite characters and I admit to wishing he got more screen time here (in the book with him on the cover).

Similarly, what I so enjoyed about book one was the interplay between all of the characters. Here, they’re split into three grouping and don’t come together until the very end. I appreciated how each of their storylines wrapped around and became pertinent to the ending. But I missed seeing them all together, missed their humor and sarcasm.

Lastly, I was simply bored for the first half of this book. The second half had a bit more going for it (and even made me cry a little). But being bored for the first 5 or 6 hours of an audio book is hard to overcome. Plus, I thought the solution to the Ram problem was incredibly pat. I was not thrilled with the ending.

Having said all that, I did still like the overall sarcastic tone of the book, appreciated the amount of growth in the characters, and the narrative cast did a good job.

* Narrated by Kim Mai Guest, Johnathan McClain, Lincoln Hoppe, Donnabella Mortel, Jonathan Todd Ross, Erin Spencer, and  Steve West.

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Other Reveiws:

(Non-spoiler) Book Review: Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Book Review: Awakening, by Poppy Williams

Earlier this year Awakening (by Poppy Williams) was featured on Sadie’s Spotlight and I was given a copy of the book. And while my Awakening Challenge is technically finished, I couldn’t resist reading one last book with the title to bring 2021’s total to 15. It makes me laugh to scroll through my reviews page and see the same title go by again and again.

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★Every Hero Has a Beginning★

Raised by parents who work deep within the U.S. intelligence agency, Zoe Dixon has picked up a few skills along the way.

When her family moves to a new town, Zoe thinks it’s business as usual. But that all changes when a student turns up dead at her new school. Now, after years of keeping a low profile, Zoe has to decide whether she’ll step out of the shadows and use her skills for good.

As she digs deeper, she’ll uncover shocking truths that will change the course of her life forever.

my review

This is a perfectly enjoyable Young Adult adventure novel that I likely didn’t appreciate as much as I should have, being older than the intended audience. All the same, I like Zoe a lot. I thought the mystery was well-integrated, the possible future love interest sweet, and the writing/editing clean. I did think the sudden twist too jarring and didn’t find it particularly believable. It required some drastic changes in character and I thought didn’t even work toward the the stated goals. In fact, it seemed to me the effect would be just the opposite of those sought. (Sorry, being more clear would be a big spoiler.)

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