Review Rendezvous: 8/18/18


Kaitlin’s Mooring by Carey V. Azzara
Book stats:
Genre(s): New adult, contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 190
Publish date: July 3rd, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Image result for kaitlin's mooring carey v azzaraNothing is more horrific than losing a child, nothing more joyous than the birth of one. When grief intertwines with joy, it throws the Deveau family into turmoil.

Pregnant twenty-year-old Kaitlin Deveau leaves Boston University in a hurry when Henry, her grandfather, calls from Maine with devastating news. Bereft of hope, Kaitlin’s son, Christopher, becomes a life preserver, keeping the family buoyant. Henry, now Chris’s only male role model, teaches him lessons he uses throughout life. In the end, Chris and his adopted sister, Susan, must save their parents from the fate that took his grandparents–but the outcome is uncertain.

I haven’t read many contemporaries recently, at least ones having to deal with mortality in such a large way. Some authors can tend to use death to build up shock factor instead of to enrich the story, but that is definitely not what happens here. Azzara masterfully weaves the relationships throughout the book and shows how the circumstances around them have come to change their feelings.

The only real downside was pacing. I’m so used to books that take off at 100 MPH in the first chapter that this one took a bit to get into. But once I finally sat down with enough time to take it all in, I did end up enjoying the book.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 8/11/18


The Steel Sentinel by Kyle Williams
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 292
Publish date: March 15th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon

TSSWar and Chaos bound together
Death is all alone
Life is lake and forest plenty
Peace sleeps with the bones

It all began with death, a mysterious woman, and a poem. The balance of the world is in jeopardy. The Guardians of War, Chaos, Peace, Life, and Death have all gone missing. The world threatens to tear itself apart and at the center.

There is Kyah.
An unassuming girl from a small village in Canada obsessed with the lore of our people. In the very oldest lore of our people, they tell of a child. A child who will rise up when the world is in its darkest hour.
And now, That time has come.

The world is on the verge of darkness and destruction. She has charged herself with finding the guardians and restoring the balance.

I’m always down for a good mythology story, so I loved getting into this book. There is a great balance of action and character building, which can sometimes get lost in stories that fall in the fantasy category. I highly enjoyed getting to know the character of Kyah, and could definitely relate and see a bit of myself in her.

Overall, I thought the pacing was quite good and really enjoyed the voice and style of the writing. The ending also grabs you and sets up further entries into the series very well. I look forward to future additions to this world.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 7/28/18


Losing Adam by Adrienne Clarke
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 217
Publish date: April 5th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Book DepositoryBarnes & Noble

LAWhat happens when the person you love most in the world suddenly becomes a stranger?

Adam and Jenny’s world is falling apart. Their dream of attending college together away from home quickly becomes a nightmare when Adam begins hearing the voice of the Snow Queen. Adam’s startling transformation from popular drama student into a withdrawn, suspicious stranger leaves Jenny frightened and confused. How can the person she loves most in the world suddenly become someone she doesn’t recognize? As Adam drifts farther and farther away into the Snow Queen’s mysterious world of ice and snow, Jenny believes she must fight to bring him back or risk losing him forever. 

Vividly narrated by Adam and Jenny, the struggle to understand the impact of Adam’s mental illness, forces both characters on a journey of self-discovery that leads to understanding about life’s uncertainty, the power of first love, and the pain of letting go. Drawing on elements of The Snow Queen fairy tale, Losing Adam is a unique combination of drama and romance.

This is a book that definitely deals with some heavier topics. I will admit though, it is good to have stories representing mental illness, because it is something that has been left out of many published stories for quite some time. The time of transition between high school and college is also stressful, so there are many things that stack on top of each other to give this story tension.

We see the split perspectives of Jenny and Adam. Jenny has to stand by and see her best friend slowly drop into a world that isn’t real. Having someone you care about lose to mental illness can be draining, disheartening, and hurtful, which Clarke portrays well. Jenny could b a bit needy and selfish at times, but overall her characters was well written. I did have a bit of an issue with the fact that she seemed to want Adam to get better for her own sake, for her happiness, instead of his however.

Seeing things from Adam’s point of view was also interesting. I personally do not have any mental illnesses nor do I know of anyone with them, so I cannot speak to the authenticity of the situation. However the prose was lovely, and it seemed like Clarke portrayed the illness well.

The only thing the really held me back from enjoying it more was the maturity level of Jenny’s character, but this was still overall a good book. I enjoyed reading it, and the cover art is also lovely.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 7/7/18


An Eye for an Eye by Caroline Fardig
Book stats:
Genre(s): Mystery, thriller, suspense
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 322
Publish date: January 23rd, 2018
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble – Book Depository

EyeEllie Matthews is tired of her fifteen minutes of fame. After consulting on a high-profile murder case a few months ago, she wants nothing more than to fade back into obscurity and resume her life as a mild-mannered college professor. But when a family friend goes missing, Ellie finds herself thrust back into the grisly world of crime scene investigation.

It isn’t long before Ellie’s young friend is found murdered and her death is tied to a previously unsolved case. Based on the cryptic poems left on the victims, the department soon realizes that the killer’s vendetta is against them.

It takes all Ellie has to push her personal feelings aside and partner with Detective Nick Baxter one more time. The duo must stop at nothing to catch a vengeful serial killer before it’s too late.

Potential spoiler warning. This is the second book in the “Ellie Matthews” series. Things discussed in this review may spoil plot lines in the first novel.

I haven’t read a non-young adult book in quite a while it feels like, so it was interesting to take a crack at this one. Technically speaking I fall into the target audience for the semi-new genre “new adult”, which encompasses high school grads through their early adult life. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy an actual adult mystery every once in a while. I confess to being used to YA, but the break is quite nice.

Ellie clearly wants nothing but to get back to her regular life in this particular book. She was convinced to assist on a previous case, dragging her criminologist skills out of the attic, but has a strong desire to leave that in the past and just be the professor she has become. Unfortunately, her friend is taken and later murdered, which forces Ellie back into the case.

I sensed some very Sherlock-esque skills in the detective work, and I do quite like mysteries so I enjoyed this one. Having a strong female character in the lead of a crime novel was a nice twist, reminds me of books like Riley Sager’s Final Girls. Technically speaking you could read this book as some kind of stand alone, but reading the first book before this one helps flesh out the characters and their past interactions so much more.

This book can get fairly grisly, and there are religious symbolisms involved, so have that in mind before you proceed. There’s also a fair amount of criminology terms, but honestly I didn’t find them too distracting or difficult to process. It definitely help build the world and give it a good grounding in reality.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/23/18


Ignition by William Hawk
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 240
Publish date: August 15th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository

IOn his sixteenth birthday, William Hawk awakes like any other morning – a teenage boy focused on girls, cars, and food. But, before he can even finish eating, William’s Change Agent III status activates, and his responsibility to save Earth from evil begins.

Just months before, on her sixteenth birthday, Grace’s Change Agent III status reveals an appalling truth: her malevolent twin brother is the Dark Master reincarnated. After years of being brutalized by her brother and deemed crazed by her family, Grace finally encounters the opportunity to free herself from her brother’s terror and help William save her planet.

While seven of the ten worlds within the universe have defeated evil, none have combated the Dark Master directly. With the help of family, Native Americans, and friends from Earth and beyond, William must discern his new, pre-bio memories and conquer his pre-bio mistakes to deliver Earth toward the freedom of final ignition.

First of all, love the cover. It might have to go on one of my all-time favorite covers list! Honestly when I got it, the premise was so interesting and I loved the cover so much, I knew it had to be good. Yes, yes, I admit to judging by the cover. Shame on me haha.

Anyways, on to the actual content.

There’s pretty much no easing in to this story, action starts on the first page. Granted, it doesn’t pick up to harrowing levels until a bit later, but you don’t have to worry about a slow start. You can see the conflict of William thinking he’s insane but also knowing that something is different and important.

One thing that I thought was a bit interesting was how easily his family seemed to accept things, even if they were skeptical. I mean, if your kid started claiming he’d been seeing visions and other weird stuff, you’d probably think that they may have taken something to give them a reaction.

The themes of this book are very deep, which is unique for a young adult book. Yes, many books and series have general overarching themes, but this one made you think and if you thought too much, your brain could hurt. It will certainly be interesting to see how the next book follows up the first!

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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