Category Archives: Young Adult Paranomal

Book Review of Freeks by Amanda Hockings

FreeksTitle: Freeks

Author: Amanda Hocking

Release Date:  January 3rd, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible?

Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future.

She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review:  I was interested in this book, because I liked the idea of the whole carnival side show lifestyle.  I find that kind of thing fascinating and thought it would be interesting to see what life was like from the perspective of someone living in that life.  The book is classified as Young Adult, but I think I would amend it to be New Adult.  The protagonist was an older teen and dealt with issues that would keep younger teen from easily relating with Mara.  I did like Mara, I thought she had a good head on her shoulders and was interested to follow her on her journey.  She made smart choices and I liked that she stood up for what she wanted and believed in.

From the summary of the book, I thought we would follow the carnival and there would be a little mystery about an animal or something that is causing problems in the town they travel too.  And for three fourths of the book that is what we are lead to believe, but the last fifty pages or so, the story just starts getting strange.  It veers off in a direction I did not see coming and not in a good way.  Don’t get me wrong, I love paranormal and mysteries, but this book just took a detour that did not really fit with the rest of the story and actually made me dislike it by the time I reached the end.  There were too many things happening and the core of the story is lost in all of the random side directions the plot took.

The writing was okay, but not the best.  I felt like issues were skimmed over that could have been flushed out more and the ending wrapped up too quickly and with too many unanswered questions.  I really wanted to like this book, and for a while I was enjoying it, but the ending just left me disappointed.  I don’t think I will be looking into this author anymore after this simply because I did not enjoy her style or book as much as I had hoped.  The material for a good book is there, it was just not executed well.

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FTC: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

 

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Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crowsTitle:  Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: September 29th, 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Summary from Goodreads.com 

My Review:  I know the term “book hangover” can seem strange to some people, but I am convinced it is a real thing and this book has given me a huge one. I have read a little over 10 books since reading Six of Crows, and it is still fresh in my mind and consumes a lot of my thoughts, haha. I work as a librarian and every student who comes in searching for a good book, this is the first one I recommend to them. I cannot even really describe it to them, I just say it is a mix of Ocean’s Eleven heist scheme, some fantastic characters that all live in some awesome fantasy world. That is a poor summary I know, but there is so much to this book, and so many complex and amazing characters, I have a hard time putting all of it into a simple summary. I do know that I am not wrong with my excessive love for this book though because every student or person I recommend it to comes back loving it and often one of their friends wants to take it and check it out in their place.

Then there is Kaz Brekker. He is probably my new favorite character, ever. I love everything about that shady guy and can easily see why he can get a team of people to follow him, maybe right into their own dooms. He alone is worth reading this book for.

I have not read the other books by Leigh that take place in the same world, so I am not sure if there are crossovers or anything like that from that series, but I know I loved this book without having to read them at all. Now that I have though and I have to wait for months (sobs) for the second book to come out, I will probably go ahead and give Shadow and Bone a shot just to try and hold me over until I can get back to Kaz and the gang again.

Cannot say enough good things about this book, love, love, love it and am excited for Crooked Kingdom this fall.

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Book Review of Fated by Alyson Noel

Title: Fated

Author: Alyson Noel

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Release Date: November 13th, 2012

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before…but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: I read Alyson’s Immortal series and loved the first couple of books, but the series started to drag for me towards the end. I was leery to pick up another series by Alyson, but the summary just sounded too interesting and I did like the first few books in the Immortals series and hoped that would be the case with the Soul Seekers as well.

Fated follows the life of Daire, she is a sixteen year old girl who has never really had a place to call home. She and her mother travel so much and as a result they never put down roots. Daire doesn’t really mind this and thinks she is not missing anything. She does however have strange things happen to her often, like time slowing down or visions of glowing people. She never confides these things to anyone for fear of them thinking she is crazy. However, one day when the visions spiral out of control, she goes into a fit and has to be taken to a hospital. The doctors say she has had a psychotic break and recommend her mother put her in a hospital. Forced with not knowing what to do next her mother takes Daire to her to stay with long lost grandmother in New Mexico since she says she can help her. Daire is not too happy about this turn of events until she starts to make friends and gets closer to her grandmother. She likes having people around her that care for her and she starts to settle into life in Enchantment.

Daire’s grandmother teaches her how to harness the power she has been given and I enjoyed the mythology that Alyson painted for us. It is not one I have seen explored too much and I found the Native American twist on all of it very interesting. There is a guide at the beginning of the book to acclimate you to all the sprits that inhabit this world and I did find myself referring to it a couple of times. The Native American culture really permeates this pages and I was very absorbed in learning more about this world.

Fated does have some romance weaved in, but it is really a story about Daire discovering who she is. We follow her while she tries to navigate this new world that she has been suddenly thrust into and learns about her past and what her future holds. I did enjoy Daire as a character, she is self-reliant, but still has some trust issues to work through. She does not want to let people get close, but once the walls come down she is loyal to those she loves.

As for the guys, there are two in here, Cade and Dace. Who also happen to be twins, one light, and one dark. Daire has had dreams for the past six months that all revolve around Dace. She thinks they are figments of her imagination until she comes face to face with him in high school. She gets tongue tied and is not quite sure what to make of him. They have a slow building romance which was very sweet and appropriate for their age and the circumstances they found themselves in. Sometimes in young adult paranormal the love interest can be an insta-love and there is no build up whatsoever. It was nice to see Alyson have her characters get to know one another and take their time building a relationship.

Overall, I did enjoy this book and the characters in it. However, I do not see myself picking up the next book. I did like what I was reading, but I am not compelled to look into the life of Daire anymore. I will read reviews of future books and see how it is received and might give it a try depending on what others say. If you read Alyson’s Immortals series and liked it, then odds are you will like Fated as well. I would read a couple of chapters see what you think and decide from there. Or check around and see what others think as well. Alyson is a good writer and has developed a very interesting mythology for this book, but I am just not wowed by the overall storyline.

FTC: I received this ARC for review as part of the Amazon Vine program.