Tag Archive: young-adult



Ashes in the Snow (Movie Tie-In)Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Though gruesome in content, this was a beautiful book. I love how the author portrayed the main characters and historical content. I must admit to not knowing this part of history at all. This story gave me a better understanding of what happened.

Emily Klein narrated the story flawlessly. She varied the voices enough I knew who was who.

This story is a movie. I plan to watch it soon. Meanwhile, I won’t soon forget this family’s struggle, and no doubt thousands of others went through it. And the messages of what could happen to people when life gets to the point where neighbors are not trusting neighbors. When bigotry gets power, it isn’t good for anyone. And when love is involved, you see that life can be a bit better even in the worst situations.

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Fortune FallsFortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fun book! Though aimed at middle grades to young adults, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My friend and her granddaughter were co-reading this. They shared on a Zoom friends-meet how much they were enjoying it. I started looking around to see if it was on Libby. I couldn’t afford to buy it right now. Thankfully my friend gifted the Kindle version to me. Yay! And thank you!

Imagine a town where superstitions come true. Sadie lived there and was considered unlucky. What an adventure she takes us on while making us question those beliefs!

If you want to take a break from the adult reads, this will fit the bill. I am amazed at the vocabulary and writing. I believe young me or my kids would have enjoyed this even more than I did, which seems an impossible bar to reach!

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The Butchers (Breeders #6)The Butchers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are many different reviews on this book, low stars and high. I’m giving it five stars as I still care for the characters and the situation enough to make it through the whole series. And I look forward to the new book in a takeaway series in the future but in the same place.

What I hate has nothing to do with this book, except the way books have to be labeled. Yes, it is nice to have a guideline of readability levels. But maybe we need something that says, this is gory and has a lot of killing and blood. There is a romantic element but no sex. There are gender issues addressed in the way of this series’ settings.

But here’s my thing: Why do young adult books have to have young adults? I remember being a young adult and loving science fiction. The more, the better. Those characters were men, not anyone that looked like me. Still, I consumed them. Am I happier to see books that reflect every age of me now? Absolutely! I’m not ever depicted in exciting books, adventures, etc. Auntie is the closest to me. I think all of us need a variety of types of characters to get to know. What we relate to are the places, flaws, ability to rise above, etc. 71 year-olds are people who need all that, too!

The reading level is easily accessible by middle grades though a parent or teacher may want to talk to the child about it. Certainly, children these days watch shows on the media that contain all that is here. And for many, the survival of our characters teaches how one might be to be out in the New Mexico desert with bad guys everywhere out to kill you.

But barring all those elements, this story pulls me in. From the very beginning, The Breeders. I do agree that it is hard to differentiate between characters. Even having the title of the chapter as the heads up for the viewpoint, the character Sounds the same until he/she bring up individualized things. I’m not sure how to fix that confusion that happens if you are reading by listening only to text-to-speech. But I somehow got used to it and felt the new chapter beginning.

All-in-all, I loved these books enough to overcome the issues presented. I’m looking forward to reading more by Katie French.

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Girl Love Happens - G&T Lesbian Romance Season TwoGirl Love Happens – G&T Lesbian Romance Season Two by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not too fond of angsty romance, regardless of gender. But most romances are with young people who have little experience or self-esteem to bring to the table. Somehow most of us grow up going through it. It wasn’t fun then, and it is sometimes excruciating to read about. I think I am alone in this thought pattern as romances of all kinds seem to flourish in books and movies. It is just the mechanism of two people learning to live with each other. That part I find interesting. Not the does she, does he love me. But how can I make their life better?

Add in new friends and their traumas or dramas, and the angst grows exponentially. And in this book, two lots of problems start growing. Luckily, I have grown to love the characters and watching their growth. I love hearing the thoughts of what I can do to help them through this from multiple levels.

This was the hardest book of the series for me. But this middle book can’t be skimmed through. In book three, the characters need to learn their lessons and move on to a more adult way of life. Yes, I am already halfway through that book. I am proud that they struggled and matured in book two to set up an even better next book.

I love best how the secondary character calms and reasons with our main character and was a voice of reason for what readers may be going through themselves. She gives such excellent advice and yet helps the love stay in front of all the relationships a person deals with, parents, grandparents, family friends, etc. This book points out how no one is an island. You have to include who raised you and who you’ve become and portray that to others. I don’t know many books that include that kind of wisdom.

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Girl Love Happens - Season OneGirl Love Happens – Season One by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

T.B. Markinson writes believable characters. In this book, the fiction felt realistic.

The blurb says it all:
‘Two college roommates are about to discover how awkward and sexy coming out can be.

Colorado, 1992. Tegan entered her freshman year of college with an open mind. As she tries to cope with a long-distance relationship, Tegan realizes it may not be the miles pulling her apart from her boyfriend. It may be her confusing feelings for her new roommate, Gemma. But when an innocent back rub turns into her first girl-on-girl make-out session, she isn’t sure if she’s ready for the world to know she’s attracted to women.

Gemma knows who she is, but she doesn’t expect Tegan to shout from the rooftops about their new relationship status. With the prying eyes of friends and jealous rivals, however, secrets may not stay hidden for long.

If you like tumultuous love stories, simmering chemistry, and colorful casts of characters, then you’ll love this first installment of T.B. Markinson’s smart, sexy series about coming-of-age as a lesbian in the 1990s.’

The book delivered a story I can’t wait to continue in book 2.

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Angel MagicAngel Magic by Lucia Ashta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two things ruined this book for me. The first is such a big one that I may not read anything else by this author. I HATE CLIFFHANGERS! If I like characters and the world enough, leave me in a safe place, I’ll be back for more!

The second problem was that way too much helpless romance in both the main character and her love interest. Ugh! How about using that energy to find out her abilities. A part angel part mermaid could have made it quite interesting, but, no, we have to have romance take over and make the pair helpless once again. Ugh!

But maybe I am too old to get the need to be helpless? I think romance should happen between peoples’ strengths. Then the romantic interaction is so much more appreciated. This is a young adult book. But why do we need separate categories? A good book is fun for all!

Still, plenty of people loved this series so try it for yourself.

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Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I loved book number one. But this one was even better. And I am not a gamer from the 80s. But my adult kids were. They met most of their friends in their games. I think they would like this. But then again, I remember enough of their games and terminology that this was serendipitous for me.

If you read the first book (or even saw the movie), you will remember that the story started fast and nearly left you breathless. This book started lots slower. Video/computer game nostalgia and reconnecting with the main characters keep that slower first part moving and interesting. But you will be left not sleeping and breathless by the end of this book.

Though I bought the Kindle version of the book and then the Audible to Whispersynch both versions. I just liked the way Wil Wheaton acted the story that I gave up reading and just listened.

I can’t wait to reread this. And wow! If there is going to be one, the movie will be even better than book number one! I hope you check it out!

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The Brothers (Breeders, #4)The Brothers by Katie French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Breeders series. I almost didn’t read it, but curiosity led me to see what happened to the characters. I have to admit that it was depressing. It is a dystopia, after all. I don’t know what I was expecting in that there are a few more books in the series. (sarcasm) The characters and their family and friends probably have a lot more hardships to go through.

I didn’t hate the book. It was just too depressing to continue. Even so, I will return this one to Kindle Unlimited and get the next one. I’ll catch up on other reading until I am ready to try the rest of the series.

Still, if you like dystopian stories, this series draws you in. By the way, this book didn’t have an Audible version, so I read it with text-to-speech.

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The Benders (Breeders, #3)The Benders by Katie French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book three and aiming to get the next book? I guess I liked it! I am growing to like the characters. Even if the world is dark and they keep finding themself in dangerous places being experimented on or enslaved and lots of running and hiding.

I’ve been listening to the book on Kindle Unlimited. In this case, Audible, narrated by Carla Mercer-Meyer. I love how well she acts out the characters.

This is a dark dystopian series. Yeah, I don’t know why in the darkness of 2020 I choose to read these, but I guess it has kept me more optimistic than others as I know it could get worse. Let’s read these and prevent this from happening!

Now on to number four!

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The Whizz Pop Chocolate ShopThe Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate Saunders has written a delightful children’s’ book that is fun for all ages. I would have loved to have this around while raising my kids. It would have been a favorite for me as a child. For those two reasons, it reaches four stars in rating. But the narrator, Jayne Entwistle, brings the listeners into the Whizz Pop world, and therefore I have to give this story five stars.

If the real world is getting you and your family down, this is such an uplifting story. The characters are marvelously brought to life with Ms. Entwistle’s acting. I imagine families gathering around the audio machine you all may use (I used my Kindle Fire). Adults can find as much fun here as children. I even see great family discussions coming from the book.

I am sad to leave this behind. I will see if, like this one, my online library has book two. Libby is how I heard it. So even if you haven’t the money to buy the book or audio version, your library may have it, or you can request that they order it.

Happy Listening!

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