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review 2016-10-20 18:10
Freakiness in Florida: The Amazing Wolf Boy | Review
The Amazing Wolf Boy - Roxanne Smolen,Danny Randerson,Inc. moonRox

A sympathetic protagonist & sweet love story make this YA Fantasy shine.

 

Cody Forester plans to become a doctor. Instead, he becomes a werewolf. The first time Cody shows fang and fur, his parents ship him off to podunkville to live with his black sheep uncle. His revised career choice is social hermit. As the new kid, he makes more enemies than friends. His high school teachers label him a troublemaker. The whole town hates him. Except Brittany. She's beautiful, with her eyes painted black and her lips dark purple.

 

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I received this book for free from the author. My opinions are my own.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

The Amazing Wolf Boy by Roxanne Smolen, read by Danny Randerson, published 2016 / Length: 10 hrs 13 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of 4 in the "Amazing Wolf Boy" series. So far it is the only one on audio.

 

SUMMARY:

Although there were a number of things I didn't like in this book (it starts off with one of my most disliked tropes, see below), I was nevertheless drawn in from the beginning and really enjoyed it. It was well written, with characters I liked, and I especially enjoyed the realistic progression of the teenage romance. I am looking forward to when the next book becomes available on audio.

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review 2016-10-06 07:01
Don't Mess with the Snowflake: Blood Prophecy | Review
Blood Prophecy: Witch Fairy, Book 2 - Bonnie Lamer,Bonnie Lamer,Emily Durante

Another YA Contemporary Fantasy sequel that I liked better than its predecessor.

 

The Fairy mercenaries may be back in their own realm, but the Witches still want Xandra dead. Fearing an ancient prophecy, the Witches are determined to keep Xandra from destroying the world. Still new to her magical powers, she must learn to use her Witch magic in order to protect herself and those she loves.

 

Now, if only she can get her magic to cooperate. Once again, Xandra is tasked with determining who is friend and who is foe as she faces this new threat. Not to mention digging around in the family skeleton closet to find out what else she's never been told. In the end, will she be powerful enough to take on the eight most powerful Witches in the world?

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I purchased the book myself from Audible. It is available exclusively from them.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Blood Prophecy by Bonnie Lamer, read by Emily Durante, published 2014 / Length: 6 hrs 4 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #2 is the (very long) "Witch Fairy" series. So far, the first 4 are available on audio, and there are indications that more are coming.

 

**This review contains spoilers for the previous book.**

 

SUMMARY:

I liked this one more than the first. There is more going one & more people involved. Plus the initial antagonism between the original characters is mostly resolved.

 

CHARACTERS:

Xandra: We know from the start that she's a special snowflake with a prophecy about her. I like that her unique heritage continues to cause as many problems (magic/power wise) as it solves. (Although I do think that things are sometimes resolved a bit too easily, and that the others should be allowed to participate more.) She continues to be more than a bit of a smart-alec.

 

Kallen: There are novellas that tell each story from his POV. I quite liked the one for Book #1, which is the only one I've read so far; and which actually improved my rating of the original book. The problem (for me) is that they aren't available on audio. So I personally wish the material was simply integrated into the main books.

 

Without the information in that book, he is a very typical YA hero - tall, gorgeous, powerful, adoring. With it, he is much more interesting. I like that he takes her emotional temperature, and defends her father.

 

Xandra & Kallen: They really still barely know each other (and come from very different backgrounds), so they naturally have misunderstandings of various magnitude throughout the book. I like that, typical teenage response aside, they always get around to talking about it.

 

It is interesting to watch Xandra & her parents try to find a new dynamic. She is still only 17, but has become very powerful. And their foolish choice to keep her in the dark about her heritage still stands between them somewhat. I really like her (human, ghost) Dad.

 

WORLDBUILDING:

Like the first book, this takes place almost entirely on the mountain where Xandra was raised. The first one introduced witches & fairies, this book eventually adds a third group (I won't say who, to avoid spoilers).

 

We learn quite a bit more about the witches government here. And also more about their kinds of magic. Note: I was thinking that the poetry of the witch spells was kind of lame, when Xandra called out that very thing.

 

PLOT:

This book beginning the next morning after the previous one ended. The beginning did a good job of getting you up to speed (Xandra even says, "long story short")

 

The ending resolves the current problem completely, but then throws in a new element.

 

HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:

  • Kallen is safe from one of her spells (and the reason).
  • Zack (her little brother). I wish he was in it more.
  • Xandra fit the punishment to the crime (and recognized that there's a legitimate need for some of her opponents).

 

I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: I still seriously question the wisdom of sleeping together when you don't intend to have sex. (This is especially true when a lapse in control would mean you were automatically married, and you aren't ready for that. Note: Xandra specially expresses that she thinks the whole sex = marriage thing is out dated.)

 

OTHER CAUTIONSCaution: There is some heavy making out.

 

NARRATION:

Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes. The grandfather sounds gruff and very grandpa-ish to me / Accents = She does a good "bad British accent" / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good / Emoting = Good / Speed = Good. My usual 1.25 speed is a bit fast

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Blood Prophecy (Witch Fairy #2) by Bonnie Lamer, read by Emily Durante, published 2014 / Length: 6 hrs 4 min Buy Now | +Goodreads

Talk to Me (pretty please)

  • Who's your favorite younger brother or sister character?
  • Do you read sequels of books that you merely liked?

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review 2016-09-22 07:01
A Sequel that Surpasses its Predecessor: Atone | Review
Atone: A Fairytale: Fairytale Trilogy - Jessica Grey,Randi Larson,Tall House Books

A sweet & funny YA Contemporary Fantasy Retelling that's biggest drawback is that it's too short.

 

Becca Ward knows that magic is real... Two years ago, not only had she and her best friend Alex found a real life sleeping beauty in the middle of Los Angeles, they also discovered that they were powerful in their own right. They've managed to keep both their fae powers and their friend Lilia's identity as a medieval princess a secret and live a normal life. Now that normalcy is threatened by the return of their former advisor at the Gem and Mineral Museum, and Becca's least favorite person, Nicholas Hunt. And she's about to find out that more than one fairy tale is true.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $4.98 (must purchase Kindle first, prices may change)

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I purchased this audiobook myself from Audible (the only place it is currently available.)

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Atone by Jessica Grey, read by Randi Larson, published 2013 / Length: 6 hrs 43 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #2 of "The Fairytale Trilogy." While the series has not been officially abandoned, the 3rd book (Aspire) appears to have been indefinitely delayed.

 

**This review contains spoilers for the previous book.**

 

SUMMARY:

This is one of my favorite fairy tale retellings. I love how the relationship grows between them.  I wasn't a fan of the narration but it hasn't kept me from relistening. And I really don't like the cover.

 

Note: Audible has this in the 11-13 year old bracket, but Becca is 20 and Nicholas is several years older. I've categorized it as NA (although there isn't any sex, so it's appropriate for younger readers as well).

 

CHARACTERS:

Becca Ward: I love how she is snarky but not mean. She is very relatable since she comes from a broken home with lots of "steps," but they all muddle along trying to take care of each other despite their issues. She does make a couple of seriously rash decisions, I wouldn't have expected her to let her emotions get the better of her like that.

 

Nicholas Hunt: I didn't actually hate him in the last one. He was selfish & obnoxious, but not really much of an obstacle. The inappropriateness of his previous actions become clearer in this one though. He definitely deserved what happened to him.

 

Becca & Nicholas: This is a couple that actually has a lot in common, if they can overcome their past animosity (and his being a beast). I was never very sure why Alex & Luke were supposedly so perfect for each other in the first book, besides having been childhood friends (and hot); but that isn't the case here. And I really like the way they talk and interact.

 

Note: I also like the way neither blames their families or upbringing for anything they do, but instead take responsibility.

 

Alex - I like her better without all the baggage she was carrying in the previous book. / Lilia - she is much less annoying in this book, but still appears to be dealing with losing her entire world & waking up 1100 years later a bit better than seems likely.

 

WORLDBUILDING:

We are introduced to additional Fae in this book with different powers & affinities. The L.A. setting continues to be important to what is going on (traffic & parking, heat, rich people's homes, Koreatown, and amusement parks are some of the things that are included).

 

PLOT:

The beginning did a good job of setting up who the characters were and what had happened to them in the previous book as well as what their current relationships with each other

 

As I said above, the book is too short. There were some wonderful scenes that explored the changing nature of Becca & Nicholas' very non-Instalove relationship. I wanted quite a bit more.

 

The ending is beautiful. There is a scene, where everything Nicholas is doing to try and fix a problem is just making it worse, that actually made me cry. And I enjoyed the short bit at the end with everyone together afterwards.

 

HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:

  • The scene where they first look into the mirror at the same time (very sensual).
  • Playing together outside
  • Nicholas' reaction when Becca said she though they had become friends

 

I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: mild swearing

 

OTHER CAUTIONSCaution: Nicholas acts threatening to Becca on a couple of occasions, and physically restrains her at one point.

 

NARRATION:

Character voices differentiated = barely / Opposite sex voices acceptable = yes, but not good (and Nicholas doesn't sound at all beastly) / Accents = mosty ignored (“slightly accented” voice isn’t noticeably accented at all) / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = I had some issues with her phrasing / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Atone (The Fairytale Trilogy #2) by Jessica Grey, read by Randi Larson, published 2013 / Length: 6 hrs 43 min Buy Now | +Goodreads

Talk to Me (pretty please)

  • So far I've read Beastly & this book. Can you recommend any other urban Beauty & the Beast retellings?
  • Do you enjoy it when an author brings back an antagonist from a previous book for a redemption story?

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Got My Book Signature


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text 2016-09-13 16:07
Mary Sue & Her Magical Menagerie: Baehrly Breathing | Review
Baehrly Breathing: Goldie Locke and the Were Bears, Book 1 - Elizabeth A Reeves,Elizabeth A Reeves,L.E. Scott

A fluffy Cozy Contemporary Fantasy Mystery with some dark undertones.

 

It's difficult to be taken seriously when you are a member of the Magical community and saddled with the unfortunate name 'Goldie Locke'. It certainly doesn't help if you are also about five feet tall, blond, and most commonly described as 'cute.'. What was a girl to do?

 

Become one of the most dreaded Magical environmental lawyers of all time?

 

Goldie isn't there yet, but she's well on her way when a case drags her into uncharted territory-- working with Ordinary officials to figure out why 'unusual' remains are being discovered all around New England.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $4.98 (must purchase Kindle first, prices may change)

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I purchased this book myself from Audible.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Baehrly Breathing by Elizabeth A Reeves, read by LE Scott, published 2013 / Length: 5 hrs 8 min / Available exclusively from Audible (& Amazon)

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of 5.5 so far in the "Goldie Locke and the Were Bears" series. The first 3.5 books are available on audio.

 

SUMMARY:

Simple & fluffy, with a heroine who is more than a bit of a Mary Sue, this is nevertheless a fun book that I enjoyed and occasionally listen to again.

 

I won't be reading any further in this series, however, since I am not a fan of love triangles; plus I have read that the books get darker after this. But I don't regret reading this one.

 

Note: Shifter are a minor part of this first book (just in case that is what you are looking for.)

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review 2016-08-13 07:01
Good Enough to Go On: True of Blood | Review
True of Blood: Witch Fairy Series, Book 1 - Bonnie Lamer,Bonnie Lamer,Emily Durante

I liked this YA Contemporary Fantasy better after reading more of the series.

 

Xandra Illuminata Smith has lived for the last three years with ghosts as parents but her life gets even stranger after her seventeenth birthday when she finds out that her mother is actually a Witch in hiding and her biological father, whom she knew nothing about, is a Fairy and King of the Fae realm.

 

Xandra is the first Witch Fairy to be born in thousands of years for very good reason. No one should be able to control that much magic and Xandra was never meant to be born at all but her mother has managed to keep her hidden away until now.

 

The Witches want her dead and the Fairies want her blood, for only her blood will reopen the gateway to the Fae realm and allow them back into this realm to take revenge on humans and Witches alike for having banished them hundreds of years ago.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Whispersync Deal Alert*: Kindle + Audible = $2.98.

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I purchased this book myself from Audible

 

BOOK DETAILS:

True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer, read by Emily Durante, published 2013 / Length: 7 hrs 35 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #1 of more than a dozen books in the ongoing "Witch Fairy" series. Books #1-4 are available in audio so far.

 

SUMMARY:

I had some issues with this book the first time I read it, but I liked it better after reading #1.5 (which tells this part again from Kallen's perspective) and #2. My biggest problem with the book is that it contains one of my strongest pet peeves - parents who keep dangerous, potentially life threatening, secrets from their children. If it weren't for Kallen, her mother's failure to prepare her would have ended with her death on the first day. (I have a rant post planned on this subject, so I won't say more here.)

 

I chose to read the next books in the first place because, even with the problems, the book had a lot of memorable scenes that I enjoyed.

 

 

CHARACTERS:

Xandra: Secretly wanted to be Hermione when she was younger. She strikes me as a very typical teenage girl in a very untypical situation. She makes the best of what she has, and does her best to be a good older sister to her brother. I didn't always agree with her decisions though.

 

Kallen: A typical YA hero - rude, arrogant, and not unlikely to kill Xandra to stop her from fulfilling the prophecy. He grew on me as the book went along.

 

Xandra & Kallen: This is not a case of InstaLove, but InstaAttraction with lots of dislike. Nevertheless, the romance does go from 0 to 60 much too fast for my taste, and without enough details regarding why they each develop feelings (other than each is so attractive).

 

Despite his initial actions, there are several things I like about how Kallen behaves: He owns up to his bad behavior and sincerely apologizes; he doesn't move forward without checking that she is truly has feelings for him; and he makes sure she fully understands the fairy customs and implications of various actions.

 

WORLDBUILDING:

This is our world with witch & fairy realms within it. Their magics have similar origins but very different methods of use. The geographical setting of the book is very limited (Xandra's house and the mountain where it is located) but well described.

 

PLOT:

The beginning did a good job of giving the background on their current circumstance and I really like the way the "story" of her parents is told. Everything moves very quickly. The ending resolves the current situation but sets up a cliffhangerish new one.

 

HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:

  • Her ghostly parents follow the internet connections to make sure her online friends aren't creepers.
  • Xandra puts the smackdown on Kallen for his behavior and attitude.
  • Her response to the darts.

 

I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Minor swearing / All the stuff about the fairies being naked after shifting / Their sleeping together without "sleeping together" - I never think that's a good idea. Plus, they end up pushing things to the point where they could have ended up going further than than they were ready for.

 

OTHER CAUTIONSCaution: Xandra's biological parents weren't married and had barely met. / The witches were going to force an abortion before her mother used violence to escape.

 

NARRATION:

Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good / Emoting = Good, captures Xandra's slight snarkiness / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual, and it was just a touch fast

 

BOOK DETAILS:

True of Blood (Witch Fairy #1) by Bonnie Lamer, read by Emily Durante, published 2013 / Length: 7 hrs 35 min Buy Now | +Goodreads

Talk to Me (pretty please)

  • Can you recommend any books were the parents actually prepare their kids for danger (and the kids don't disbelieve)?
  • What's your biggest bookish pet peeve?

--

  • If you are a first time visitor, how did you discover my blog?

Got My Book Signature


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The Raven Boys

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