Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Review: Red Kicks


Caley’s new home is much different than the disciplined but comfortable life he was used to. As a rising martial arts champion whose adoptive father produces martial arts movies, Caley’s danger comes in the form of formal competitions not the daily fear of gang violence. But the change also brings new opportunities. For the first time, Caley has a real friend, Quinn, and he is attending school instead of his usual on-set tutoring. As their friendship grows, Quinn guides Caley through the maze of gang wars and rivalries while trying to discover his own place in his world. Among the people that Caley befriends, six year old Nicky strikes a chord in Caley that he can’t explain. He feels like he needs to protect the child from the brutality of his life. Nicky’s sudden disappearance brings Caley full circle to confront his own forgotten past as Quinn learns the real meaning of loyalty and friendship. jerjonji’s new novel exposes the realities of gang life without stereotyping characters.

My Review

This is "Red Kicks" by jerjonji. This book is 352 pages raising awareness about gang violence.

When Caley transfers locations, because of a terrible mistake he made the pressure is all on him. That is, until he meets Quinn, a young gang member, having the same problems as him, but more extreme. They become friends after a teacher makes them work together to bring up their grades. Then there's little Nicky that takes an instant liking to Caley and Quinn. What Caley and Quinn don't know is that what used to be gang rivalry is now turning into a bloodbath with secrets on both sides of the war. Nicky doesn't know that him existing is dangerous to everyone, including himself. Why is there a war between gangs? Is Nicky safe? What will happen to Caley and Quinn's forbidden friendship?

This was a very good book!! I definitely recommend you read this book to raise your awareness of gang violence, which is why jerjonji wrote this book. I applaud you, jerjonji, for your great job on this book. I will warn you guys that it is quite sad, but it has a great ending. I would recommend this for young adults, because of sexual themes and graphic violence, but teen can read it if their parents allow.  

These Last Few Months and Pentatonix

I know it has been a few months of silence from my side and for that I am really, truly sorry. You must remember that I am a teenager with lots of homework, stress, etc. and I am also a high school swimmer, which makes it difficult to blog when practice takes up my time everyday after school. I have been going through a really tough time and my family and friends have been trying to support as I hope all my readers will too. I would like to thank Tara Benham, Erin Hayes, and Susan Burdorf for all their support and, of course, my mom. So I have a story that really scared the crap out of me and inspired me at the same time and I would like to hope that it would inspire you too.

When I learned of the acapella group, Pentatonix, I was ecstatic, because I have always wanted to do what they do so well. They are truly good at what they do and it has always inspired me to be my best. Lately I haven't been listening to them, because I became lost in thoughts and actions of bad people, like my bullies. Then, I was listening to a random playlist and Pentatonix singing "Hallelujah" started to play. I realized how much I needed that boost of confidence that it brought me and started to break out of my funk. Then mom scared the crap out of me by saying Mitch was thinning out and had lost his hair. She said he looked like he had cancer and I, legit, started to scream and was in tears, because I enjoy all of Pentatonix equally, but if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be Mitch. I frantically started to search the internet, trying to see if it was true and luckily he just decided to shave his hair and he's naturally just skinny. 

What does this have to do with my blog and author's books, you ask? Well, every author you will meet will tell you about what inspired them to be an author, blogger, or anything really. I love hearing about how someone came to realize something about themselves and it is really inspiring. Pentatonix inspired me in many ways and this isn't just me fan-girling either. They helped me through some of my roughest times and they helped me get over my fear of singing in front of others. I may even start a separate youtube channel specifically for singing and singing my own written music(I'm still figuring that part out, but I have ideas). I would really appreciate it if you would at least listen to the song I named and I even have the video below, so please check it out.  

I know this would never happen, but I do hope that Pentatonix will eventually see this post. I've thought about doing this post for weeks, but I've been extremely busy, so I never thought it would be happening. I hope you enjoy this post even though it isn't a book review. I will have a post up later today or tomorrow, so stay tuned. I would like to thank you all again for sticking with me even though it has been pretty rough. Until next time, check out the video below please.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Book Review: Air Awakens - The Air Awakens Series


A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all--the Crown Prince Aldrik--she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she's known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she's always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla's indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

My Review

This is the first book in a five book series by Elise Kova. This book is 342 pages long.

Hated and feared by many, the sorcerers live in the confinement of the Tower to study in peace. That is, until a library apprentice grabs the attention of one of the most powerful sorcerers ever and the crown prince. The apprentice, Vhalla, isn't just a normal girl, though. She not only saved, the prince, Aldrik's life, but created a magical bond that lead to the discovery of her very rare and special magic. There is a war raging and no one can be trusted. As Aldrik and Vhalla grow closer more enemies try to tear them apart. What is so special about Vhalla? Will war tear the bonded apart?

This is a GREAT book!! Using Affinities as magical elements is a cool change. For example, Elise Kova chose the name Waterunner for a sorcerer using the element of water. I loved Vhalla's character as a whole. She was very strong(not physically) and her personality made her very easy to follow. I love this book and can't wait to read the next books in the series. I would definitely recommend this book for most ages. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Book Review: Arms of Anu - Arrow of the Mist Series


LIA yearns for the magic of trees, for freedom from the icy grip of prison, and for the loved ones she believes are lost to her forever. But more importantly, she knows that without her freedom, her people will be doomed from a tyrant king, the rage of war, and the demon's spell now worming its way inside her . . . 

KELVEN hides in the slums of Anu, striving for a way to save his beloved Lia and friend Wynn. A kingdom of despots, a city going mad, and deceit lurking in every shadow have become his world, but nothing compares to the nightmare he faces when darkness takes root inside Lia . . .

My Review

This is the second book of the Arrow of the Mist Series by Christina Mercer. This book is 252 pages.

After all of the White Haired Wonders time in Brume she was finally home, well... Until the Royal guards collected Wynn, he cousin, and her, taking them to the dungeons for spreading their magical tales across the land. Now Kelven and Holly must take many risky paths to sneak into the city and save the two heroes. With the demon residing in Lia, all she can do is fight with Kelven, her lover, by her side. Danger doesn't just spawn from the demon though. Their is a war raging between the Hawks, an army of rebels working to kill all the Royals, and the Royals. Will Lia survive her fight to keep her magic and body? Who will win this war? 

This book was AMAZING!! I loved the incorporation of the demon's hold on Lia and her thoughts on this demons pull. There was so much conflict, which made it all the more entertaining. The battle scenes were epic and unexpected. I felt part of the book and actually kinda wish I was. This book is a great book for all. Congratulations, Christina Mercer!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Book Review: The Prophecy of Arcadia - The Arcadia Wars Series


"Would you sacrifice friendship and love in order to save your planet?"

Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you're not, and you're in love with someone you shouldn't. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them. To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn't been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces. 

To make matters worse, distractions keep getting in her way. Such as her love/hate relationship with her "cousin" Matthew. Or her confused feelings toward popular and mysterious Julian. She wants nothing more than to be free to live her life. But the survival of Arcadia depends on her and her friends. Free will is not an option.

My Review

This is the first book in the Arcadian Wars Series by M.H. Soars. This book is 416 pages long.

After the fall of Arcadia, a group of the most important Arcadian teens must protect their charge, Alexia, from all. Alexia is oblivious to the dangers and the Prophecy, her Prophecy. Sam is Alexia's best friend and "cousin", but these secrets just keep piling up. The Promised Boy is still no where in sight and Alexia is starting to get suspicious. After meeting Ethan, Alexia becomes otherwise occupied, so that give her "cousins" time to come up with a way to find the Promised boy. The Council is lying to the young Arcadians, though, and disobedience is what they must do to protect each other. It doesn't help that Sam is in love with her "cousin" Matthew and is having weird feelings towards the mysterious and popular boy, known as Julian. To make matters worse, a new drug is making super humans that go out of control, which is even more dangerous for the Arcadians, seeing as it makes it easier for Earthlings to be possessed. How long until the truths are revealed? What happened to Sam in that accident? Who is after Alexia? How does Ethan fit into the equation?

This book was AMAZING!! I guess this would be considered Sci-Fi because of the fact that they are Arcadians, but to me, this book is more of a paranormal/supernatural book. The abilities M.H. Soars uses in this book are so cool, like the incorporation of the Phoenix. I knew from the beginning that Alexia wasn't normal, but the Prophecy, WOW! That's definitely different. This book received four stars, because of the few times the F-Bomb was dropped and the fade-to-black sex and implied sexual content. This would be mostly for YA, depending on if the parent is okay with a teen reading this. In my opinion, this wouldn't be terrible for a teen to read, but parents might wanna still read the book. Great job, M.H. Soars and it was nice meeting you at UTOPYA!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review: Falling - The Soul Collectors Series


An earthquake is coming, soon. A small town in Kentucky is set to be destroyed. Bayla, Heaven's Soul Collector, has been given two tasks; make sure the earthquake happens according to plan, and also make certain Gray Ellison, a teenaged human, survives. Bayla has a perfect record for completing missions; so, when another angel is added into the mix, she begins to question the Head Council's faith in her. Just as she is getting used to working with Hadraniel, her unasked for back-up, she has to face another hurdle. When Declan shows up with the mission to make sure Gray doesn't survive the earthquake, he starts to challenge all of Bayla's beliefs and plans. Declan isn't your typical demon. He's gorgeous and arrogant, but there's something about him that Bayla can't quite put her finger on. Declan's presence threatens the mission to save Gray, and Bayla herself. Will she be able to complete her assigned mission successfully despite these new obstacles, or will Gray be lost to Hell forever?

My Review

This is Falling by Tara Benham. This is a 230 page book of Greatness!

Bayla is the most skilled Soul Collector, aside from the demon Meph, in the world. When Elder Michael himself shows up to give one of the most important and dangerous missions Bayla will ever complete, she has to have backup. Han, a Blue-in-training, is assigned to help her along with a demon, Declan, that she is supposed to save. Her mission is to protect Gray, who is somehow important to future events, and keep him away from an earthquake that will kill everyone in the town. Bayla has always been distant when doing missions because of all of the death, but somehow this is different. She is starting to realize that being human isn't so bad. Her and her team need to come up with a game plan before this strange earthquake hits. Why is Gray important? How does Declan fit in? Will they win this battle between angels and demons?

This was a GREAT book full of beautiful landscapes and amazing characters!! I felt like I was part of the book and I loved Declan. His character was so confusing, but he had a GREAT personality. This book was full of many twists and new conflicts that left my head spinning(In a good way). This is a book for most ages. Great job, Tara Benham!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: I'm Not Afraid of Wolves - The Cotton Candy Quintet


Christine would do anything to get away from it all.

After escaping an abusive marriage and heading up a group of brand new performers, she's tired and in need of a vacation. So when her sister Sara wants her to go camping out in the mountains of Georgia with the girls, she packs her bags for some rest and relaxation. Not even meeting a gorgeous park ranger like Colton Donnelly is going to distract her. Except Sara didn't tell her the real reason for the trip: she's running away from a terrible secret. One that puts all of their lives in danger.

Now the vacation that Christine so desperately needed is ruined, but that's the least of her worries. She has to use her wits and skills to save them all. Because she soon finds out that werewolves are very real. And they'll stop at nothing to get their claws into her sister.

My Review

This is the fourth book in the Cotton Candy Quintet by Erin Hayes. This book is 130 pages long.

Christine has just gotten out of an abusive relationship and decided to join Poseidon and the mermaid-dancing crew. After working non-stop for years, her sister, Sara, decides a surprise vacation camp trip is in order. After a long trip and meeting the hot park ranger, Colton Donnelly, she expects to just relax. When the house gets attacked by werewolves that want Sara, Christine must dive into a part of herself that she wanted to forget. Now that the real reason for the trip is revealed and she learns of who the werewolves are; she has to figure out who she can trust. Why did Sara lie about the trip? What is Christine's secret? Who can they trust?

This book was AMAZING!! It was very surprising and incorporated shifters that aren't used a lot Erin Haye's book is definitely unique in many ways. I recommend this book for all ages. 

Also, I would like to congratulate Erin on this book getting labeled as:
Winner of the 2016 Penned Con Best Novella Series Award