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Search tags: Teen-Spy
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review 2019-01-12 05:01
New
Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting Series) (Volume 1) - Ginger Scott

Nolan meets Reed when he transfers in to her school.  He quickly becomes a sports legend.  She very soon has a serious crush.  Only she knows popular and herself do not meet.

 

Reed has an instant like with Nolan, and calls her a friend.  He is like any typical boy and wants to most out of high school.  This means both sports and girls.  

 

Their story is definitely a qualifier for the slow burn.  There is immediate tension, and angst and so much more.  These characters are very compelling.  I enjoyed reading about their start to romance.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-01-11 00:28
Camp Club Girls on the Case!
Camp Club Girls: Elizabeth - Green, Renae Brumbaugh

This four-book collection includes “Camp Club Girls and the Mystery at Discovery Lake”, “Elizabeth’s Armadillo Adventure”, “Elizabeth’s San Antonio Sleuthing”, and “Elizabeth and the Music City Mayhem.” As someone who grew up reading Nancy Drew and Lois Gladys Leppard’s “Mandie” series, I was eager to see what the genre is offering twenty-first century girls. Despite having a modern setting and making use of current technology, these stories had an old-fashioned, reassuring feel to them. There is a strong Christian thread throughout each of the stories, but it is not over-the-top. The girls are very respectful toward their elders, addressing them as sir or ma’am, and this was not only refreshing but also sets a good example for readers. The girls are well-mannered and courteous but not saccharine-sweet, nor are they perfect, and they do make mistakes; as such, they are definitely relatable while also being good role models. The inclusion of all the Camp Club Girls in each story, even if the main focus was only on a couple of them, was fun and added different perspectives to each situation. I loved that Alex (Alexis) always made references to classic detectives and TV shows, and Kate’s affinity for gadgets provided an interesting angle. The two stories in which Biscuit the dog was featured were my favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection, and although it is recommended for ages 10-12, I think that older girls (and even adults!) will find it appealing.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2019-01-04 22:37
Brutal but stunning dark fantasy, this chilling debut goblin-king novel has roots in Norse mythology
White Stag - Kara Barbieri

In this dark fantasy, Janneke is the last child in a family of daughters and has been groomed to be the ‘male heir’, having been taught to hunt, track, and fight. When her village was burned to the ground she was the only survivor and was taken captive by the malicious goblin Lydian, who scars her for life, and who then sends her to work for his nephew Soren.

She then has to serve this monster who she is bonded to in the Permafrost. A brutal hunt begins for the beautiful white stag as Lydian and Soren compete for the throne of the next Goblin King. Janneke's humanity comes at the cost of becoming more attached and loyal to the goblin Soren, and as she has to learn to survive in the world she has been made to live in, learning truths about the past and about who she really is.

 

This is the first novel from a talented new author, Kara Barbieri, who brought it to life on WattPad; she has imagined a world called the Permafrost, heavily influenced by Nordic mythology, laden with dangerous monsters alongside the goblins, living in an unforgiving frozen landscape. Set to be the start of a series, ‘White Stag’ is both frightening and captivating.

*Frightening because of the amount of sheer brutality in the novel: there are plenty of references to rape, torture, mutilation, and abuse, as well as all the combat/fighting leading to bloodshed and descriptions of injuries and more. Janneke has been victim to unspeakable acts at the hands of Lydian, and we gradually learn about his true capabilities as the story goes on, making him just about the vilest character you can possibly ever read about. Soren, who she is bound to, is the unlikely antidote to this goblin villain, and ironically becomes the one to bring romance and emotion to her world, despite the ‘humanity’ leaving her life.

*That's your trigger warning, folks!

 

 

What I found most appealing about the book, is the journey that Janneke goes on, both physically and emotionally, which kept me captivated throughout; the hunt and the battles are relentless and test her constantly, and the relationship with Soren gradually changes. I've read some criticism of the relationship between her and Soren (I made the mistake of reading others' reviews, which I don't normally do), and I disagree that it would be unlikely that she would become attached to him, given that she is his charge and bound to him. I wasn't sure whether to attribute her feelings towards Soren to a sort of Stockholm syndrome or because she genuinely developed feelings for him because he seemed to care for her (he became more human as she lost her humanity). The dichotomy here is fascinating. They've been attached for some hundred years or so, and the intensity would undoubtedly bring some connection; why now though is more the question, but it makes for great reading.

 

Barbieri has set the stage for a series in a world that may trigger many readers but evokes images, not unlike the Game of Thrones and is for anyone who loves Viking or Nordic-inspired tales and mythology. I appreciated her sense of humor throughout the novel, and I know there is so much more to come from this bright light that is Kara Barbieri.

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863517-white-stag
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review 2018-12-31 18:53
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
And the Trees Crept In - Dawn Kurtagich

This is a difficult book to review because it was a difficult book to read. Much of the story was repetitive, confusing and dreamlike and honestly I think I was too distracted at this moment in time to allow myself to fall into its world. I also had difficulty connecting to the characters. It felt like reading a pitch black fable of yore.

 

Here's what it's sort of about: two young girls and their aunt who are trapped in a house infected by madness. They cannot leave as the woods won’t allow it and they are slowly starving to death. There is a love interest that bravely makes his way into the house who may or may not be a nefarious character. I admit I groaned when he entered the scene because I was not in the mood for any teen angsty romance but I quickly grew to appreciate his character and it didn’t go the way I feared it might.

 

This book has some truly haunting images within and a reveal that makes sense of the confusion that I suffered through for most of the story. This is why I'm so afraid to DNF a book. Once in a while a book will turn around and prove me all kinds of wrong. This one did that.

 

If you enjoy dreamy writing and ghastly images and can go with the confusing flow, you might enjoy this as much as most of the other reviewers here did. Me? I’ll have to try again when I’m less distracted by life.

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review 2018-12-28 23:18
The Cold is in Her Bones
The Cold is In Her Bones - Peternelle van Arsdale

This might be the most bleak thing I've read in years. And that's saying something. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not what I was expecting at all. Van Arsdale does such a good job of forming a sense of oppression that the book is suffocatingly claustrophobic. Even after the story moves from the tiny farm and out into the larger world it still has a feel of a small enclosed space. The magic and storytelling in this one is very surreal and rooted more in feel than in any real explanation or hard and fast rules. The creatures were unsettling and haunting, and the world dark and creepy.

 

At it's core this is a book about a feeling more than a plot. It's themes of feminism and oppression are woven into the fabric of the story, and you can feel this world closing around the characters like a fist. All in all I liked this book, but it is in no way a fun adventure story. It's a dreamlike meditation on how intolerably the world shrinks when you're forced into the silent mould of the obedient and powerless daughter rather than being allowed to grow into a bright and fully realized woman.

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