Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Fallen Heir

Image result for fallen heir by erin watt

Title: Fallen Heir

Author: Erin Watt

Page Count: 300

Series: The Royals, Book 4

Publishing Date/Publisher: August 28, 2017 by Timeout LLC

Format: eBook

Review: It is hard for me to rate this book, because I LOVED the first three books in the Royals series, but not so much this one.  This book focuses on a different Royal brother than the first three, and I was disappointed with how it turned out.  Easton was perhaps my favorite of the Royal brothers, so I was very much enthused when I found out he would be getting his own book, but the writing of this particular book seemed to take a turn for the worst.  Perhaps this is because the authors have published so many books in such a short amount of time, but this one felt kind of like an add-on, and it didn’t really add anything special to the series.  The way it ended, I assume there will be a Book Five.  I will probably read it, but I am far less excited for it than I was for this one.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Wild Crush

Image result for wild crush by simone elkeles

Title: Wild Crush

Author: Simone Elkeles

Page Count: 304

Series: Wild Cards, Book 2

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 22, 2015 by NLA Digital LLC

Format: eBook

Review: This book is far from Elkeles best.  It was a quick read, and it had it’s entertaining moments, but it was not delicious (which is the quality I’m looking for in a teen romance).  If you are looking for a guilty pleasure read, her Perfect Chemistry trilogy is far better.  I also enjoyed her Leaving Paradise duology.  I don’t recommend diving into the realm of Elkeles with this book, because it might taint your opinion of her books in general.  I say give the other books a try first and then circle back to this one if you feel like it.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

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Title: Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

Editor: Marieke Nijkamp

Page Count: 320

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 18, 2018 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)

Format: eBook

Review:  It can be very difficult to rate short story anthologies because the content is so varied; however, I think that 3 stars would be my average rating.  As expected, some stories I enjoyed more than others, but overall I was impressed by the diversity of characters represented.  There were LGBT characters, gender fluid characters, persons of color, persons of different religions, and of course, all characters had some sort of disability, whether it be physical, intellectual, or emotional.  Some of the genres covered were horror, science fiction, fantasy, and romance.

There were a couple stories where it was not clear what disability the character had.  The descriptions were very ambiguous, and if you did not know that this was part of an anthology featuring youth with disabilities, you would probably miss the fact that a disability was even involved.  It would have been nice if  the authors had covered what inspired the characters they created in their short bios at the end of the anthology.

Another thing that really stood out to me is that the title of the anthology does not adhere to person first language (i.e. Stories Starring Disabled Teens vs. Stories Starring Teens with Disabilities).  Admittedly, I am very aware of this distinction due to a training I received at work, so perhaps it does not stand out to others the way it does to me.

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

 

Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Road to Somewhere

Image result for road to somewhere by kelley lynn

Title: Road to Somewhere

Author: Kelley Lynn & Jenny S. Morris

Page Count: Not Available

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: March 11, 2014 by Bloomsbury Spark

Format: eBook

Review: This book was the definition of O.K….certainly nothing to write home about.  I did not feel any real attachment to the characters or romances.  All in all, a truly forgettable read.

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Leah on the Offbeat

Image result for leah on the offbeat

Title: Leah on the Offbeat

Author: Becky Albertalli

Performer: Shannon Purser

Length: 7 hr, 11 min, 21 sec

Series: Creekwood, Book 2

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2018 by Harper Audio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I was thrilled when I found out the author was publishing a book highlighting another character introduced in the first of the Creekwood series.

Leah was a character I enjoyed very much in Simon’s book, and I was excited to get to know her better.  Leah’s character is self-assured and opinionated, and she loves her appearance, despite the fact that her body type does not adhere to traditional standards of beauty.  She is confident in just about every aspect of herself, except her sexuality and her art.  Leah is a very talented artist, but she is reluctant to show her deeply personal work to the people in her life.  Perhaps she is worried that it will be revealing of the secret she has been harboring from her friends…her bisexuality.

Based on the description above, I should love Leah, but once inside her head, I actually found her to be a bit obnoxious.  To make matters worse, many situations in the book made me cringe, because Leah was outright rude or inconsiderate to the people around her.  By the end of the book, I was not her biggest fan.

The romance between Leah and another character was also very problematic.  Her love interest came off extremely flat and the chemistry just wasn’t there.  The story also does not address any blowback that would have undoubtedly occurred if the romance progressed the way it did in the book.  It was extremely unrealistic and disappointing when the author jumped over any inevitable falling out and just included a “happy ending” epilogue to gloss it all over.

Despite my disdain for this book, the performer did a great job with her narration.  I would give her a higher star rating than the book itself if I could.

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold

Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Image result for simon vs the homosapien agenda

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Performer: Michael Crouch

Length: 6 hr, 45 min, 6 sec

Series: Creekwood, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2015 by Harper Audio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: This love story is adorable.  Simon is adorable.  Everything about this book is adorable.

In all seriousness though, this is an excellent coming-of-age/teen romance.  It’s angsty and endearing and you just want to reach through the pages and give Simon a big hug.  It is hard for me to relate directly to his experiences coming out to his family and friends, but many of Simon’s struggles to accept himself are universal.  The supporting characters in this story are, for the most part, also very likable.  Simon’s friends and family are so accepting of who he is, that at first it seemed silly to me that he is so reluctant to come out to them. As the story progresses, however, I really got a better grasp of how scary this step is to a teen, regardless of whether or not they have a strong support network.

I enjoyed this story in audiobook format.  I have listened to other audiobooks performed by Michael Crouch, and his voice is very well suited to books told from the perspective of a teenage boy.  It’s a very generic “young man” voice, and his even cadence makes his performances very easy to listen to.

After reading this book, I was very excited to rent the movie adaptation Love, Simon.  My expectations for book-turned-movie adaptations are always low, but the movie was extremely well cast, and they captured the feel of the book very well.  This can be difficult to do, especially when so much of the book is introspective.

Both the book and the film were very heart-warming, and I highly recommend both to fans of this genre.

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

All_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_GoldAll_Star_Gold