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KristinVanRisseghem

KristinVanRisseghem

Ashwood

Ashwood - C.J. Malarsky 16-yo Willow goes urban exploring in an abandoned asylum. She expects the dark halls, creepy echoes, and ominous atmosphere. But she doesn’t expect it to follow her home. After the trip, Willow becomes haunted by nightmares in which she never left Ashwood Asylum. Nightmares where she is pursued by grotesque, mind-infesting horrors called the Mora who feed off the fear of mortals. Unfortunately for squeamish Willow, they are hungry. And she is their perfect meal.

Upon waking, Willow recalls only fleeting memories of dead butterflies, hollow eyes and discordant whispers. But slowly these phantasms begin to bleed into her daily life, making Willow question her own sanity. She soon realizes that the solution lies solely within the decrepit walls of Ashwood. As the boundary between dreams and reality disintegrates, Willow finds the courage to defeat the leader of the Mora before he traps her soul in the nightmare forever.

The above is the synopsis of the book and it details exactly what happens. I would've liked to see some twist in the storyline that wasn't already given to the reader from the synposis. The opening pages talks about the four main characters, which for me was a bit overwhelming becuase I hadn't gotten to know and learn about the characters, but rather I had to figure out who was who and what was going on. But other than that, the storyline progressed along at a nice pace. The writing was good and flowed smoothingly.

Wilder

Wilder - G.K. DeRosa "Wilder" has character and plots from other YA novels already published ... an 18yo human girl and 2 good-looking guys who happen to be vampires (The Vampire Diaries), forbidden love between a human and an old vampire (Twilight), and some parallels from The Mortal Instrument series. While I could immediately picked up on the same storylines from other books, author GK DeRosa still spins her story a bit differently.

MC, Celeste, goes to highschool and unknown to her is chosen to be the next Guardian--a protector for humans from the supernatural world. She meets two vampires and a wizard who help train her to battle evil. Over the course of the story, the reader sees Cel grow and develop into her powers.

The plot carries forward, drags a bit in some places, and overall the story transitions from multiple POVs relatively smoothingly.

Phoenix Awakens (The Phoenix, #1)

Phoenix Awakens (The Phoenix, #1) - Eliza Nolan Young Adult Author Eliza Nolan’s debut book, “Phoenix Awakens,” starts with a 17yo girl. MC, Julia Long, is starting her senior year. She dreams of cultish, bloody rituals and the victim in her lifelike dreams is her new classmate, Graham.

Graham admits he was a Phoenix—part of a secret society—but swears he left it behind in Charleston. Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past. She heals his migraines with a touch and she has superhuman strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her powers come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her abilities kicks into overdrive. But the Society wants Graham back. They need his blood to awaken the magic they seek, and they'll do whatever it takes to get it.

What I loved about this story was the authentic setting. I felt as though I was a teenager again, back in high school, weeding through the trenches of homework and the hierarchy of the student population. Voice of each character from Julia, Graham and Samantha all rang true. Even the supporting characters: Nate, Clara and Dad felt real.

The suspense held my attention all throughout the story. Most of the loose ends are addressed, but some were left open and is a nice segway to the follow-on books.

The Last Order (Book #1)

The Last Order (Book #1) - Angela Marie Caldwell Ms. Caldwell's YA novel, The Last Order, is a solid story. She describes scene well and has deep, developed characters. I really enjoyed the fast paced story.

Fabled

Fabled - Vanessa K. Eccles The story opens with an 18-year old girl, Rowena, getting ready for a costume party with her boyfriend. While at the party, she follows her younger sister into the forest. Rowena doesn’t find her sister, but instead finds herself falling into a deep, dark hole in the ground.

Rowena follows the path which transforms into another world: Mezzanine. It’s here she meets a young looking man, Chester. But the world isn’t as it seems to be. Hunted by a boy and a girl who they catch Rowena, drug her and hand her over to be two little girls’ maid in a castle. Rowena befriends another maid but as punishment of Rowena’s escape, Madeline, is forced into a coma-like slumber.

And who helps the escape? Chester comes to Rowena’s rescue and they flee back into the woods for cover, with the help from seven little men.
Just in the first half of the book, the reader is taken through so many great fairytales from Hansel and Gretel, to Cinderella to Snow White. Author Ms. Eccles spin and webbing of these fantastic childhood classics are a master piece so expertly woven into a great, fresh story.

As Rowena tries to flee Mezzanine and return home, Dresdem, Mezzanine’s wicked monarch, plans to use Rowena’s access to her world to bring magic and absolute rule into Georgia and beyond.

With the help of Rowena’s new boyfriend, Chester; Cale, a beast, and human boy turned, owl, Rowena sets out to free Madeline from the deadening sleep. But Rowena must become her own hero as she finds herself married to the son of Dresdem. She must make the ultimate choice – align herself with her enemies or live on the run forever.

I absolutely LOVED all the fairytales that were incorporated to make the storyline of Fabled. I remember growing up with Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and of course other fantastic stories from Disney. Maybe that’s why I am a fan of Fabled so much.

Biggie

Biggie - Derek E. Sullivan "Biggie" is a fantastic read! I can't say enough how much I loved the story. Author Derek Sullivan tells a story about a high school boy who's over 300 pounds. The words to describe the character's thoughts and feelings, just blew my mind. It was like I was back in high school again. His words could not be any truer.

The inner struggles of being a boy, in high school, born from an legendary baseball player, living in a small town in Iowa, and being socially awkward are all topics that are tackled with eloquent words, punchy dialogue, and scenes that come to life right off the black and white pages.

I'm not a baseball fan, but I felt like I was sitting in the bleachers, cheering for the players, and screaming at the coaches. The only thing that is missing was the smell of freshly roasted peanuts, but do they do that for high school games? I don't know.

What I do know is I was mentally with Biggie on that pitcher's mound. I felt my body go through the motions. I counted in my head as I read it on the page. I was the pitcher.

The King's Mortal (Wintertide Book 1)

The King's Mortal (Wintertide Book 1) - Armada West This is not your average vampire story!

Told from multiple POVs, but mostly through Lana Corvin, I found the story intriguing and different from any other vampire books out there. Reminds me of The Vampire Diaries with a twist on the classical myths characteristic of vampires.

World building was fantastic, main and supporting characters wer well developed. Nice writing. Overall, very good read.

Lila's Choice

Lila's Choice - Laura   Brown Classic story of a love triangle.

The story is told in multiple POVs (MC: Lila and 4 of her friends). It's about high school guidance counselor, Lila, who has an answer for every problem, every problem but her own. Her childhood friend Bryce comes into town and ultimately proposes to Lila. But Lila's co-worker, Nate, is also in love with her. The problem is he's married to another woman. With some meddling from her friends and students, Lila will have to choose between two men.

Wonderful cast of distinct characters. Although the ending was expected, it still was a good read.

Black Hellebore (Heroes of Falledge #1)

Black Hellebore (Heroes of Falledge #1) - Nicole Zoltack What a story! It's a classic superhero tale. Excellent writing, characters and plot.

Witch Hunter

Witch Hunter - Kathleen S. Allen Lots of twists and turns in a memorable story.

The story unfolds as a 15-yo Molly visits Salem. During her stay, the shop next door is burned down, and then the son of a bookstore owner dies. Molly thinks that the deaths are related. With her friend's help, they figure out who is witch hunter but not in time of before Molly's mother is kidnapped.

Changing Fate

Changing Fate - Michelle Merrill A Walk in the Clouds meets A Fault in the Star, with a twist.

18-year old Kate is battling cystic fibrosis. She's determined to isolate herself—saving everyone the trouble of befriending a dying girl. But it becomes difficult when Giana insists on being Kate’s friend. Then Kate’s resolve falters even more when a Kyler captivates her with his songs. As her emotional walls collapse, her mom continues to push Kate to make friends in hopes that they can give her a reason to live before it's be too late.

I didn't know much about CF, but this story explains it well enough and not going overboard with medical terms. Seen through the eyes of Kate, her troubles and reasoning, I as the reader, could really feel what she was going through.

Author Michelle Merrill really did her homework because the whole story felt very authentic. All her characters are likeable, even the school bully.

Tranquility

Tranquility - Laurie Gardiner This was a real eye opener. It really made me stop and think. Author Laurie Gardiner, through her words, created great characters and plot.

Support worker, Sarah Scott, works at Tranquility's dementia unit where she uncovers a sinister secret. As I read, I hoped what the author portrayed really doesn't happen, but hearing news reports every so often; it does. And it made me sad right along with her characters.

The emotions the characters feel were right along with my own. I found myself rooting for Sarah to do the right thing.

Don't Forget to Breathe

Don't Forget to Breathe - Cathrina Constantine, Rue Volley WOW! There are not many mystery stories that I didn't figure out the ending about mid-way into the book. BUT, the curve ball that was thrown at the end, I didn't expect at all. So good job for keeping me, the reader, invested all the way through.

The Last Stored

The Last Stored - Sonia Poynter This was a fantastic and read! I'm so glad I found it. The adventure for Amber learning about her parents, a mysterious guy and making her way into Tali I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Many twists and turns throughout.

Loved the blooming relationship between Amber and Cree, her protector.

The author, Sonia Poynter, created a beautiful make-believe world and fun yet believeable characters through sharp, crisp words and a little bit of humor.

Daniel the Camp-er (Daniel the Draw-er, #2)

Daniel the Camp-er (Daniel the Draw-er, #2) - S.J. Henderson Another super fun read and adventure for Daniel. Who doesn't remember what camp was like when they were a child? Author S.J. tells it perfectly, right down to the Camp Activities, to the sleeping cabins and the food!

Daniel the Draw-er (Daniel the Draw-er, #1)

Daniel the Draw-er (Daniel the Draw-er, #1) - S.J. Henderson What a fantastic read! SJ Henderson really knows her stuff of getting into the mind set of a 9-year old boy. Daniel's dialogue is spot on and really funny at times. I found myself laughing out loud many times. The imagination of both the author and writer is wonderful!!!