Source: Author (via YA Books Central)

We Thought We Were Invincible…by Michelle MacQueen

We Thought We Were Invincible…by Michelle MacQueen

Callie is trying to survive high school and get out of her small Florida town. When her best friend moves away to college, Callie believes she is stuck alone.   I really love me some books set in Florida. Especially when it gives a glimpse into small-town Florida.   I really liked Callie and her relationship with her twin brother. Being a mom to boy/girl twins myself, I love seeing older twins that have a close relationship.   Callie’s spunky and fun personality is relatable and her hate to love relationship with Jaime was definitely swoon-worthy. I also loved that their family ran a diner.   I kind of figured out the twist that was coming but it was still shocking. It really brought out the realities of modern-day high-school.   I thought that the Hurricane threat was an interesting part of the story and […]

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A Straw Man…by Amalie Jahn

A Straw Man…by Amalie Jahn

In the third and final installment in the ‘The Clay Lion’ trilogy, Charlie’s little sister Melody takes her own trip to the past. Melody learns that small actions can have large and unexpected consequences in the present.   I adored the previous installments in the ‘Clay Lion’ series. I pretty much jumped from ‘Tin Men’ into this one. I could not wait to find out where Melody’s time-traveling journey would take her. The story begins as Melody is starting college. Her first day she meets handsome, sweet, and strong Nate. Nate and Melody fall head over heels for each other.   Nate and Melodie’s lives take a dramatic twist after a tragedy. Melodie decides to go against everyone’s advise and use her one-time-only time-travel trip.   I really loved Nate. Amalie Jahn is so good at making swoon-worthy characters. I can totally understand why […]

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Tin Men…by Amalie Jahn

Tin Men…by Amalie Jahn

In this continuation of the ‘Clay Lion’ series, Brooke’s boyfriend Charlie takes his own journey into his past and in the process discovers who he really is.   I really enjoyed, ‘The Clay Lion’, and literally went right into ‘Tin Men’ as soon as I had finished the first one. I had to know how Brooke’s story continued.   Charlie was my favorite character from ‘The Clay Lion’ (and he is totally swoon-worthy), so I  loved that this book took on his story. Jahn had me totally forgetting that government-sanctioned time-travel isn’t really a thing (yet). I had to keep reminding myself that this is really a science fiction story and not just a romantic contemporary.   I found I was more sympathetic to Charlie’s character in this story then I was to Brooke’s in the first book. Charlie’s intent throughout the […]

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The Clay Lion…by Amalie Jahn

The Clay Lion…by Amalie Jahn

Brooke’s brother has died a rather sudden death. In Brooke’s world, she can go back in time only once.  Will she be able to save her brother? Will she be punished for breaking the rules of time travel?   I am a huge fan of time travel. I’ve been hearing about ‘The Clay Lion’ for some time now and I finally got a chance to read it.   The story takes place in what seems to be a mirror image of our universe but one where time travel takes place. The characters can’t travel back and experience historical events. They can only travel back in their own lifetime. They only have six months before they need to travel back to the present day. This means that they are only reexperiencing events in their own lives.   Jahn really kept the story moving. I literally […]

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Triplicity…by J.Mercer

Triplicity…by J.Mercer

Navy, Isaiah, and Jesse are teens traveling with their families on an Alaskan cruise.  While enjoying their vacation they must solve the mystery of who is committing thefts on board the ship.   A mystery aboard a cruise. Yes, please. I have never read a story that takes place on a cruise ship. This story has so much potential. A ship with everyone trapped on board while crimes are taking place could really be interesting.   What I Loved: First, there were a few things I really loved about the story. I loved the details about the ports of call. I loved the touristy places they visited.  I also really loved the mystery. It was fun but not too scary. I didn’t guess who the thief was until right before it was revealed. Isaiah Jesse’s aunt and grandmother were also […]

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The Next To Last Mistake…by Amalie Jahn

The Next To Last Mistake…by Amalie Jahn

“Victory goes to the player who makes the next to last mistake. During a game of chess, you can make mistakes along the way and still come out ahead as long as you learn from that misstep and adjust accordingly.”   Tess’s bucolic life is uprooted when her dad decides to reenlist in the army. When her family relocates to North Carolina, she leaves behind her beloved farm, her best friend Zander, and the only way of life she is ever known. I first got a taste of this story when I read the prequel in ‘Mistletoe and Magic’. It was such a wonderful slice of life story about friendship and first love. It gave a glance into the underrepresented (in YA at least) view of farm life in America. Having loved the short story I couldn’t wait to find out what […]

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Step Spinsters…by Madina Papadopoulos

Step Spinsters…by Madina Papadopoulos

You think you know the story of Cinderella and her evil step sisters but do you know the whole story. ‘Step Spinsters’ gives an alternate view of the classic fairy tale. In ‘Step Spinsters’ the stepsister are misunderstood and Cinderella isn’t as perfect as we thin she is. After Cinderella leaves to marry her prince charming we learn that her step sisters and mother are in a dire situation. Non-noble women are not allowed to own property. As such the step sisters and mothers will have nowhere to live should one of them not marry in a short amount of time. I was really pleasantly surprised by ‘Step Spinsters’ I thought that a retelling through the eyes of the step sisters would be silly and hard to believe by this wasn’t true at all. Both stepsister, Fredegonde  and Javotte came across […]

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Ink & Ivy…by Sara Martin

Ink & Ivy…by Sara Martin

Ink & Ivy is a timely story about a girl struggling to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. As the story opens, Ivy is riding her bike when a downpour hits. She runs into a shop and meets an eccentric shop owner and her nephew Julian. Ivy’s picture of her perfect career soon begins to unravel and her dreams along with it.     The cover got me on this one. Simply amazing!     Ink & Ivy has a unique but important theme. Teenagers must often choose their careers while still in high school and they do not know themselves well enough to do so.     The love of writing is described perfectly throughout the novel. I love how those close to Ivy (but outside her family) were so supportive of Ivy.   […]

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Outcast…by by Denise Jaden

Outcast…by by Denise Jaden

  Kass Bateman is the tough girl in school. Kass has had a rough childhood and it shows through her personality. Both her parents are mentally ill and her mother has been missing for some time. When a mysterious girl shows up at Kass’s school claiming to be Kass’s half-sister, Kass is captivated. Kass, her friend Eli, and Kass’s sister set on a journey looking for Kass’s missing mom.   What I Loved:   By far the best element of this story are the characters. I was able to really connect with both Kass and Eli. I enjoyed Eli’s background story about his issues and how he dealt with his family. I also really liked Kass’s tough as nails personality.  I thought Kass and Eli’s slow burn romance was wonderful. I could really feel the chemistry between them. Who wouldn’t […]

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Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Cute Christmas anthology of various genres from my fellow YA Book Central reviewers. I discovered some great new authors and got into the holiday spirit. A few of my favorites were: ‘After Checkmate’ by Amalie Jahn, ‘Young Saint Nick’ by Angela Blount, and ‘Choices’ by Patrick Hodges    

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