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review 2019-08-06 21:00
Review: Alienation by Jon S. Lewis
Alienation - Jon S. Lewis

Title: Alienation 
Author: Jon S. Lewis
Series: C.H.A.O.S., 2
Format: ebook
Length: 539 pages (iPhone)
Rating: 3 stars

 

Synopsis: Earth's last line of defense against the coming alien invasion is 16-year-old surfer Colt McAlister.

But before he can save the world, he has to survive the day.

All Colt wants to do is return to his old life . . . where aliens don't exist . . . where mankind hasn't been targeted for destruction . . . and where his parents are still alive. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way.

The United States government believes Colt holds the key to our survival, so they're sending him to the CHAOS Military Academy along with his best friends Oz and Danielle. There they'll be trained to defend Earth against a swarm of alien shape shifters known as the Thule. But someone is trying to eliminate Colt before he can lead that charge. Shocked to learn about key events in his past and unsure who he can trust, he is alienated and on the run.

In a world of high-tech gear, shape-shifting aliens, simulated reality, and hover boards, Colt must step into his true destiny before our world falls into chaos.

 

Favourite character: Danielle
Least favourite character: Krone & Lobo

 

Mini-review: Good. I love the aliens and the robots. This was the only book in the trilogy I couldn't remember anything about. Looking forward to rereading the conclusion. 

 

Fan Cast:

Colt McAllister - Ross Lynch

Oswaldo "Oz" Romero - Brandon Larracuente

Danielle Salzar - Letitia Wright

Santiago "Lobo" Romero - Diego Luna

Heinrich Krone - Numan Acar

Agent Reginald Graves - Richard E. Grant

Kristen Skoglund - Sara Rue

Captain James Starling - Eric Christian Olsen

Agent Daniel David "Gamemaster" O'Keefe - Josh Gad

Lily Westcott - Jessica Amlee

Pierce Bowen - Kodi Smit-McPhee

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review 2017-01-13 12:31
An Aching Kind of Growing- Brittany Rowland

    This is a really engaging piece of social drama that takes us deep into the life of a marginalised and abused teenaged girl. Most of the book appears as profoundly real as any dramatic fiction I’ve been privileged to read. Sadly, I know the story is an accurate reflection on too many young lives. Natalie comes from a theoretically ‘middle-class’ home, in a middle-class street, in a normal enough town, yet her young life is for the main part anything but comfortable.

    Natalie is a bright girl who is blighted by having a physically abusive father, and an emotional detached mother. She is the constant scapegoat for every wrong, for every misfortune, for every failure in her family, while being personally deprived of all but the necessities for life. No wonder then, that she ends up on the streets and as the victim of further abuses. Thankfully the author stood clear of introducing sexual abuse as well. Perhaps that on top of everything else wouldn’t have only detracted from credibility. The main thrust of the story is that Natalie is let down by the care system as much as by those close to her. That is a woefully familiar story, as cash strapped social programmes fail in almost every corner of the world.

     The story is very well written from a technical point of view, and very well crafted as a story. This appears to be this author’s first real leap into fiction writing, from a non-fiction writing background. I hope there is far more of her penetrating fiction to come. This is the sort of book that encourages all right-minded people to be generous towards those that are struggling; especially the young, routinely down on their luck and short of consistent support. Natalies exist in every towns’ shadows, marginalised by systems that just about support the luckiest, but which seem only to make the lives of the emotionally and physically deprived comparatively and inexcusably more intolerable.

     I recommend this book to all those with less than solidly frozen hearts, as a reminder that most street kids, usually driven by desperation to petty crime, or worse, don’t volunteer for their roles; even when that sometimes appears to be the case. This is powerful writing that, as others have said, makes this book hard to put down.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2016-10-21 13:00
Book Tour Review that I am Involved with.
The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman: A Novel - Brady Stefani

 

Blog Tour Schedule: http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com/2016/08/blog-tour-sign-up-alienation-of.html *** The Alienation of Courtney Hoffmanby Brady StefaniGenre: YA Psychological Thriller/ScifiRelease Date: June 7th 2016
SparkPressSummary from Goodreads:Fifteen year old Courtney wants to be normal like her friends. But there’s something frighteningly different about her—and it’s not just the mysterious tattoo her conspiracy-obsessed grandfather marked her with before he disappeared. She's being visited in her bedroom at night by aliens claiming to have shared an alliance with her grandfather. And imaginary or not, they're starting to to take over her mind. “Mental illness is a slippery slope,” her mother warns her. The last thing Courtney wants to do is end up crazy and dead like her grandfather did. But what about the tattoo? And the aliens trying to recruit her? With her new alien-savvy friend Agatha and her apocalyptic visions, Courtney begins connecting the dots between the past, present and future—of her bloodline, and the ancient history that surrounds it. Is she going insane, like her family claims her grandfather did, or is she actually a "chosen one" with ancestral connections to another world? Either way, Courtney has a mission: untangle her past, discover the truth, and stop the apocalypse before it's too late for everyone.   
 Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman was featured in Redbook Mag! Check it out HERE!
 
Advance Praise: A must read sci-fi book.” - Hypable, Hypable.com fandom reviews     “A wild ride through portals to other worlds… This debut novel fuses a serious issue—the stigma of mental illness—with sci-fi to chronicle a girl’s unusual coming of age.” - Kirkus Review     “This novel has a breakneck pace and Stefani’s writing is fluid and perfectly suited to this most extraordinary tale that blends coming of age, adventure, science fiction, and post-apocalyptic genres— and it all works beautifully.” - Readers' Favorite, Five Stars     “As the father of two teenage girls, I can tell you that Brady Stefani must have some sort of supernatural helmet that helps him think and write in their language. But The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman is much more than a novel for teens. This fast-paced adventure kept my attention, blazing back-and-forth from reality to an alter-world so close by that it’s creepy. Here’s a page-turner that captures a lot about childhood struggles through an imaginative story filled with surprises.” -Jim Schaefer, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writer for the Detroit Free Press     “Stefani’s The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman is a thought-provoking and emotional journey through a young girl’s mind as she struggles to understand who she is, where she came from, and who she is supposed to be—all while deciphering between reality and the tricks our minds can sometimes play on us. Stefani beautifully demonstrates how difficult life can be for anyone who thinks or acts a little differently, and reminds us that, more often than not, the things that terrify us the most are the things trying to save us.” -Jessica Stevens, author of Within Reach About the Author
 
Brady G. Stefani has a bachelor's degree in creative writing, and a graduate degree in law. During law school, he spent time as an involuntary commitment caseworker for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, where he interacted with patients suffering from severe thought disorders, including numerous patients presenting with subjectively real memories of being visited and abducted by alien beings (commonly referred to as alien abduction phenomenon). It was through his study of these patients, along with his own struggles with anxiety and cognition, that Stefani became aware of just how deceiving, mysterious, and powerfully resilient, the human mind can be.In an effort to provide awareness of mental suffering, and spread hope to all those touched by it, Stefani is focused on writing YA novels that explore the experience of being different and the other-worldly places our boundary-less imaginations can take us. Alienation is his first novel. But with two works currently in progress, the journey has just begun. 
Author Links: Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook
GIVEAWAY
: a Rafflecopter giveaway Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours
 
 
Excerpt
ONE
Lightning ripped across the northern California sky, then splintered down through the rain and disappeared behind our neighbor’s house. Letting the door slam shut behind me, I ran away from the warmth of our porch light into the darkness of our backyard. My mom would’ve killed me if she’d caught me outside that late at night. Especially in a thunderstorm, and on the night before my fifteenth birthday, with the big party she had planned for tomorrow. But I had to get out of the house before I fell asleep and they came for me. And they were coming!
 
A gust of wind blew my hair against my face. I swiped it out of my eyes just in time to see a plastic lawn chair tumbling through the air. I covered my head with both arms, but a leg of the chair smashed against my elbow. Ouch!
 
I dropped onto the wet grass, pulled my knees into my chest, and rocked nervously back and forth. Water soaked up through my nightgown and my underwear, making me shiver.
 
None of these things mattered, though. Because something far worse was happening inside my head. A memory of me as a little girl, on the night my grandpa Dahlen disappeared from his cottage, was trying to claw its way into my consciousness.
And I didn’t want to think about that night. Ever.
 
Still, I couldn’t stop it, which didn’t make sense. I was awake, and outside, where I was supposed to be safe, yet the aliens from my dreams were somehow messing with my thoughts, rearranging things, trying to make me think about that night! But how?
And why? It happened eight years ago, and my grandpa was dead now.
 
Although, before he disappeared, he’d— No! Stop, Courtney! I yelled at myself.
 
I bit my fingernail and took a deep breath, hoping to calm down.
 
No luck. I was remembering the musty old-books smell from my grandpa’s bookcase. Butterflies rushed into my stomach and I sprang to my feet.
 
“All right. Is that what you want me to do?” I shouted into the rainy darkness. “Remember my grandpa? What happened that night? If I do that, then will you leave me alone?”
I wiped the rain from my eyes, and suddenly it was like I was right there, in the cottage. His notebook sat on the plaid couch, opened to a map he’d drawn of the ancient wormholes linking the alien world to our own.
 
My review

I thought it was not the best book I read but not the worst either. I liked the character of Courtney. I don't know what I would do if I thought I might be crazy. And also I don't know what I would do if I thought someone I loved so much tried to kill me. 
I feel really bad for Courtney with having the mother she had. Her mother is just so not a very nice person and she shouldn't have any kids. She does treat her other daughter better but I am sure if she thought she was like Courtney she would treat her the same. Courtney's mothers boyfriend the "DR" is such a creep and the mother and DR. deserves one another.
 
I thought the plot was pretty interesting and I liked the ending of the book. I think the reason I only gave it 3 1/2 stars instead of something higher is first it took me so long to get into the story. And I only really liked Courtney and her friend Agatha. Plus I wish her mother wasn't such a witch to her daughter. I liked that there wasn't any romance in this book, I loved that the book was about the plot and not about romance. 
I would definitely love to read more on the adventures that Courtney is going to be involved in. 
 
 
 
 



























 
       

 

 

 


 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

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review 2015-04-10 15:11
An illegal immigrant Forest Gump
Fisch aus Gold - J.M.G. Le Clézio,Uli Wittmann

Poisson d'Or / Fisch aus Gold I thought, was a rags to riches story, but it turned out to be a more grim illegal immigrant version of Forest Gump. In this book the protagonist Laïla tells her life story as a 1st person narrative: From when she was kidnapped as a young child in Morocco, snatched away from her parents permanently. All the way up to when she's around 20, when -- I won't spoil it, let's just say things end on a positive note!

 

The title refers to a poem about a golden fish that should watch out for predators, it's a metaphor for Laïla who has to deal with quite a lot of predatory people - sadly. So it's neither as funny as Forest Gump nor mixed with historic moments. But this book also tells the life story of an innocent person, with the occasional tear-jerker moment. Fortunately it's not too sad or depressive.

 

The book is well-written and easy to read, and keeps the reader interested most of the time. The blurb of this book seemed a bit pretentious "This book is about blah blah, the most political Le Clézio has written". But after finishing it I must admit that it made me think about things, which is good I suppose. A good 4+ out of 5 score! PS. The writer's fan club has a useful list of available translations.

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review 2014-01-26 13:14
It's Just Lola- Dixiane Hallaj

Dixiane Hallaj is a particular good writer of social/historically placed, politically pointed, drama, both in her creative fiction and as in this case in the writing of Biography augmented with fictional reality. In fact, most biographies contain some invented content, and/or augmented interpretation. There are going to be gaps to fill in any knowledge that reports anything deeper than the bare historic/factual bones.
Hallaj writes, very-broadly speaking, women’s literature, in that central female figures and through them family, are her bread and butter. That shouldn’t deter any but the most misogynistic of male readers. There is plenty of the gritty content and adventure to balance the childcare and dressmaking. This is a lot on female, and male, sensitivities, but certainly very little sentimental. Lola had as psychologically tough a life as most male heroes, and survived an extraordinarily mixed bunch of husbands and other male figures. I may have lost count, but she had certainly buried at least two husbands and saw off another by the time she was thirty. Well, to be accurate, the exes were never conventionally buried.
Hallaj has preserved for history a very informative piece of family/social history. She literally saved important social history from a death bed. This is the history of a very ordinary daughter of gentry, turned extraordinary by the turmoil that swirled through and around her life. Lola saw plenty of the poverties and hardships as well as at least spells of grandeur living. We learn a very great deal about the life experiences of people in Latin America and further afield, between the end of the 19th century and the start of the Great Depression. We leave Lola’s life when she was still hardly middle-aged, by which time she had as much life experience as a half dozen others might achieve in half a dozen centuries. Hallaj has blended biography and real life fiction to create a wonderful memory of her grandmother from her mother’s own words.
The writing is of a very high quality, the script is captivating, and we learn as much about Lola’s times as we would from the very best of historical documentary. What is more, Hallaj seems to be able to paint incredibly detailed pictures without ever seeming to use more than the fewest of words to do so.

http://www.amazon.com/Its-Just-Lola-Dixiane-Hallaj-ebook/dp/B008SUUV7G

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