Sunday, December 31, 2017

PrePub Review: Busted by Gina Ciocca - 4.5 stars

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 9:34 PM 0 comments
Title: Busted
Genre: YA Contemporary
Author: Gina Ciocca
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: January 2nd 2018
Cover Rating: 4/5

Busted is the story of Marisa and how her one 'good' deed to out her best friends boyfriend as a cheater suddenly became a part time job to earn her some money for college. Worried that your man has got a wandering eye? Marisa Palmera is your guy! Erm, gal!

Marisa finds her best friends boyfriend cheating on her and that sparks and entire world of chaos. If Marisa wouldn't have caught Charlie's boyfriend cheating then she wouldn't have known that her ex-best friend and she might have never become close to TJ and she might not have saved Charlie from her fate of being expelled because she was accused of stealing and selling answers for all the work in her Chemistry class. 

But, Marisa did catch him cheating so that lead to people finding out that she is a good detective. Kendall, Marisa's old best friend gets wind that she helped Charlie out so she hires her to follow and befriend her boyfriend to see if he is cheating on her or doing something else because he hasn't wanted to spend much time with her. Something happened at TJ's old school and he had to transfer to Marisa's public school. Charlie happens to go to the school that TJ previously went to as does Kendall. After Kendall hires Marisa, she makes her a website and a lot of other girls try to hire her. It was quite sad that there were so many girls just at Kendall's school that wanted to find out if their boyfriends were cheating. Trust was something this book DID NOT have.

After Marisa agrees to help one other girl, something bigger pops up. Charlie gets accused of stealing the answers to all the work in her Chemistry class and selling it to her fellow students. So Marisa is taking on a lot and she slips up with TJ and Kendall witnesses something that causes her to go psycho bitch on Marisa and ruin her reputation. It was a pretty awesome bitchfest.
I LOVED TJ! Okay, so TJ had some major issues, the biggest one of them being Kendall Keene. She has caused so many problems for him but he still doesn't want to write her off until he gets proof that she is a bad person. Or until another girl takes his eyes away from her. But how much more complicated can his life get? The OTHER girl ends up being Kendall's "best" friend. Aside from his obvious girl trouble, I loved his personality and just the person he was. He wasn't afraid to be himself and he definitely wasn't like most other guys. AND THE FRICKEN WINTER DANCE THINGY!!! OMG!

In the end, I found that I did enjoy the story regardless of the lack of moral code. The ending of this book was definitely Kasie West worthy. But it also had that thriller feeling to it because there was a mystery that was solved and Kasie's books usually are just romance based. I don't, however, think all these girls trying to catch their boyfriends cheating was a good situation at all. If you suspect your significant other of cheating then why are you with them? Obviously there is some trust issues and that makes for a bad relationship. I also didn't approve of the fact that Marisa did what she did. In her mind, SHE THOUGHT he was taken but she still let it happen. No matter what anyone else did, Marisa knew she was wrong but did it anyways and that kind of marred her character for me.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 29, 2017

REVIEW: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle - Erin

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments
Spellbook of the Lost and Found
by Mo├»ra Fowley-Doyle
ISBN: 9781448193974
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Received ARC From Publisher

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it's clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won't talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they're holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it's full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it's leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…(From


Despite a slow start (I almost stopped reading after the first 50 pages), this turned out to be a pretty good read. This book has alternating character voiced chapters. The 3 characters that the story switches between are some what similar… especially in the beginning and this made figuring out who’s chapter you’re on and whats going on hard…. at least at first. After the characters start interacting with each other the story becomes easier to follow and the mystery really takes hold. I felt like there were parts of the story that weren’t tied up in the end (spoiler example: who the heck kept breaking into the twins abandoned house?) and that was a bit of disappointment. Despite that the plot kept me interested and I devoured this book up in two short days. If you don’t mind teens drinking and having sex and you enjoy stories with mysteries and witchcraft, I’d recommend this quick read. It disappoints me a little that I can’t recommend it to my younger teens due to the content. I think a lot of them would have enjoyed this supernatural mystery. 

*Book photo and review are owned by Erin. To see her personal blog click her signature above^*

Thursday, December 28, 2017

REVIEW: The Swap by Megan Shull - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments

Goodreads Description:


ELLIE spent the summer before seventh grade getting dropped by her best friend since forever. JACK spent it training in “The Cage” with his tough-as-nails brothers and hard-to-please dad. By the time middle school starts, they’re both ready for a change. And just as Jack’s thinking girls have it so easy, Ellie’s wishing she could be anyone but herself.

Then, BAM! They swap lives—and bodies!

Now Jack’s fending off mean girls at sleepover parties while Ellie’s reigning as the Prince of Thatcher Middle School. As their crazy weekend races on—and their feelings for each other grow—Ellie and Jack begin to realize that maybe the best way to learn how to be yourself is to spend a little time being someone else. 

First off, I loved that this isnt a romantic love story !
Yay for that! Sometimes I don't want to read about a love story, that not every guy and girl in a book will fall in love with each other so freaking quickly or feel super strongly about someone (romantically) after a couple of days xD That being friends is okay, ya know?
It was a great and amazing book! Its very well written (Even though I do have the ARC edition and there are mistakes xD), but what I mean is that  you honestly get the feel that they are 2 totally different characters and what they feel and learn. Like you get it that the boy is a boy and has all his boy issues and Elle has to face them and Vice Versa with Jack having to deal with being a girl.
I also feel its very realistic, particularly in Elles case, the way youre just scared to change and under estimate can you can or cant do particularly when you reach middle school and people start changing a lot, wearing make up and changing everything and some people just don't want to do that you know? And they shouldn't have to.

I freaking HATED Sassy, I wanted to cut the peep.
I loved it. It was also funny and cute, particularly when they first start to try and deal with one anothers body and life. 
I did however feel like their lives were such an opposite, not so realistic but... What would I know, just because I dont know anyone like Elle or Jack, doesnt mean its not realistic. What I mean is that Jacks dad was so unloving and SO strict like treating them as if they were.... I don't even know what, Im sure even in the military they have a bit more compassion. I don't really know, Ill have to ask my friend, Alex, to see how they treat him in training xD. And Elles mom was super friendly and sunny and understanding like... I don't think any parent is like that. Like if any parent wants their kid to clean their rooms, they wont be like oh please honey and let them do what they please and still spoil them all the time? Like sure, parents can be loving and stuff, but they are still parents, you know? I don't know, that's just not what I have seen in my own personal life xD

Recommend it? 
Yups, why not.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

REVIEW: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments


Goodreads Description:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

After everyone screaming their love over this series at the four winds I have finally caved in and read it annnndd... Im not so impressed.
There is so much going on in this book that it sure does make an impact and to be honest it can be realistic in those aspects because hey, life isnt sweet. I dont want to spoil which is why I avoid going into details. The writting it good, which keeps the reader entertained, the story line it self for the most part is cliche but of course, Sabaa made it her bitch and made it her own. I feel like the main part that annoyed me from this book was actually the love part of it. I dont always ship main characters, for me, they have to be done right, in a way that im envious. But this one just kind of didn't do it. I guess its because the characters are supposed to be so freaking beautiful and I dont relate to that. But hey, its refreshing that the main character doesnt think herself as basic XD that she has some self confidence.
I feel like the reason that I didnt love this bok is my own fault, for reading so many books, one after the other that offer the same plot line and in the end, the same ending. 

Recommend it?
MMMMM I do, the book isnt bad but it wasn't worth the hype for me personally.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Posted by Jenn Christensen at 6:00 AM 0 comments
Merry Christmas to all of my followers who celebrate! May you have a fantastic day full of family and cheer! 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

REVIEW: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments


In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...

Lets see I want to have gathered ideas about this book to tell you about it. I dont know if you know this but when I do reviews the only deleting/editing I do is grammar mistakes because that way I can do my full honest opinion of the book and maybe that way you can see why I rate it the way I do. That is just the way I function, I write what comes to my head in the moment. 

Friends: So the first person that told me I should really check out the series was my friend Jenny over at (you can see some of my reviews over there :D) and she was going on a Cassie Clare binge read (still is at this point) and really dug it! And I was like okay, one day. And then another recent friend (@atravelingbook) told me that among all Clare books, The Infernal Devices was her favorite and I was like okaaayyyy maybe ill check it out! And so I went online and found a cheap copy on eBay.
The book arrived like 5 days early, I finished the book I was currently on and got right to it!

Writing: I had read the first 3 books of The Mortal Instruments before, and I had started the 4th but it just didn't feel the same. Anyways so I had liked The Mortal Instruments back in the day, ANOTHER friend had introduced the books to me waaay back when the 4th book had just come out and recently, because of the TV show I wanted to reread them and I just couldn't get into it. The writing had not impressed me anymore. Which is why I hadn't been like super excited to start THIS series. But lo and behold the one was so much better! so like unless you HATED The Mortal Instruments, you SHOULD totally pick up The Infernal Devices.

Cassandra Clare: Before I couldn't understand peoples love for Cassandra Clare, I just couldn't I was like okay? over hyped. Then I read The Infernal Devices and I was like okay I see it now! I can totally see why people love Cassie Clare! I can totally get in on this. And of course I am excited to get my hands on Lady Midnight because I heard the setting is LA so I'm like :D HEY! IM FROM THERE!

Spoiled: About halfway through the book I was like okay is this person going to die!? and So I looked it up and I was like WTF and so I looked up Will, Jems and Tessa's fate and I was like omg okay So I totally spoiled it for myself but I wanted/still do to see how they get to that fate and so on and so forth.

Overall: So overall, I really like it, I'm really glad these 2 girls told me the series was worth checking out and that I actually got the book and read it because overall I really enjoyed it.
It was like eh I don't think I like this book, its average and 2 days later I was like this book is okay, meh, and then I turned the page and it was the last one and I was like
I was closed to it but without fully knowing I was into it! I loved it!
I have yet to find a cheap copy but its okay, imma borrow it and one day, ill buy it xD I actually have the third book on its way, by the time this is up I will have the third book already, thanks to a kind seller on twitter :D

Recommend it?
Totally, I do, this is my longest review I have done, what does that tell you?

Friday, December 22, 2017

REVIEW: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu - Erin

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
by Marie Lu
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers
ISBN 0399549781 (ISBN13: 9780399549786)
SeriesDC Icons #2
Received ARC From Publisher

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


Fox got it right by calling their young Bruce Wayne/James Gordon show Gotham and not connecting it to Batman. This book got it wrong. So wrong! We have an 18 year old Bruce who doesn't seem to be anywhere near becoming the dark knight yet. Yes he saves the day all while wearing black, but it's not Batman like. It's more of a generic YA drama/adventure/romance book.

If you look at it like just an everyday YA book then it's a decent read. The writing it ok, though it is kind of slow in some parts. If you don't try to picture this as a Batman book the characters and such are ok. If you're like me though and you were hoping for a good Batman novel, you're out of luck. Besides his parents being killed and having a Butler named Alfred this Bruce wasn't what I was looking for. Where's the dark, brooding character , with a tortured soul, kind of looking for revenge and wanting to fix his city? Even TVs Gotham with an even younger Bruce has all that.

Why is Harvey Dent (who is very un Dent like) one of Bruce’s best friends? It seemed like a stunt to throw a well-known character into the mix since our bad guys (who aren't too Batman villain like) are all newbies. And the other couple name drops seemed like a stunt as well. Fox and Gordon weren’t used to the extent that they should have been. Even Alfred had a minimum roll until closer to the end of the book.

Gotham is not how I've ever pictured it either. Wayne's house and property are way to close to other houses. Arkham didn’t seem to scary or troublesome. It seemed like even the worse inmates were tame.  Even the streets they drive through in the city just seem wrong and to nice and light. Gotham should be dark and run down. There should be criminals and gangs, not concerts in the park and joy rides. And don’t get me started on the drones. Are they flying drones like I first pictured because of the word drone? Or are they more robotic humanoids? I really had a hard time figuring that out.

By the end of this I was expecting Bruce to either run off and marry the girl or just become a rich guy who helps people by charity or becomes a cop. Not a guy who runs off and trains to become a vigilante, which there is no hint of.

And my biggest pet peeve... what was with all the bats. Bruce mentions liking watching the bats at home and flying over Gotam. I get he's going to become Batman, but from my memory it wasn't because he enjoyed watching the bats fly every night.

I'm very disappointed in this "Batman" novel. If you're expecting Batman, pick up something else. If you want teen drama then give this one a shot.

*Book photo and review are owned by Erin. To see her personal blog click her signature above^*

Thursday, December 21, 2017

REVIEW: Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas - Jenn

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 9:00 AM 0 comments
*Spoiler Warning* Below is my Goodreads review for Long May She Reign. Please visit my Goodreads page (Bitchin' Reads) to see my reading updates for sassy commentary as I made my way through the book.

I do want to emphasize that I am delighted that I received an ARC and was truly entertained and moved by the the story. I want you to keep in mind that I approached this read as a writer assessing story progression, character development, setting, showing vs. telling, so my view is critical in those regards. I also assessed this as a fantasy book with science at its core, two things I hold near and dear, so I was comparing it to what is traditional to fantasy novels/series. I am happy that I have read Long May She Reign and look forward to discussion with others who read it.

*I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway I won.*

3.5/5 stars, rounded up because I enjoyed reading it so much.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Admittedly, I was highly critical of it as I read. (You can review my comments throughout my updates of this book. They are rather sassy.)

For the majority of the book, there was a limited place of setting that left me wanting more--but considering the circumstances within the story, it is understandable that they were confined to the Fort and there is only so many places within an enclosed space. Once the setting expanded beyond the Fort, the story felt like it was actually happening and the dangers felt more real. While everything was happening in the Fort, I felt like the story was being told not shown--Rule #1 for writers.

The characters themselves proved to be more dynamic than I thought the author could achieve in a little over 400 pages of a standalone novel, and that is rather impressive. My only complaint is that the best friend and father were not more developed and left rather static--the best friend (emphasis on *best*) was left rather vague in her personality and history, and turned into this sidekick; the father's loyalty was greatly in question before he was taken as Sten's prisoner, and he showed no progression beyond his pride of his now-Queen daughter's success against Sten, and his history is also vague. I see progression in all characters, even Madeleine, the dead king, Fitzroy, Sten, Holt...but not of those who were closest to Freya before she became Queen. I guess it is best for me to say I was disappointed in their development, but I can attribute their lack of development to their stories not being important to the overall story in hand. It is best for full character development across the board, especially in a fantasy, and especially with characters who have been close to the protagonist all along. I think Thomas should have considered making this a series, because more page space would have allowed her to fully flesh out this story.

Now with Freya--she was an underdog who found her stride as Queen. Along the way she frustrated me, because she was someone who agreed that there was a regal behavior that she had to adopt with her new position in the kingdom, but then she would turn around and let others walk over her. There was a gradual transition from her old self-conscious and uncertain self to her new more confident and sure self, and I am thankful for that realistic progression...But I was left wanting more in terms of showing her finding her stride. Thomas relied heavily on Freya's internal reflection and the words she exchanged in conversation--i.e. telling the story--than showing.

That brings me to my next point, and something that troubles me greatly with the YA fantasy I have been reading as of late. This story should have been multiple books, easily three, of substantial length. It is impressive that Thomas was able to complete this story in 400 pages, but she did it by telling and not showing. Maybe I am more critical of this issue because I have a BA in Creative Writing and spent thousands of hours honing the ability to show not tell, recognizing it in other work, and know the importance of showing over telling, but at the same time I recognize that easily 10-20 percent of this book is being stuck inside Freya's head and listening to her thoughts--one of the biggest no-no's ever. I am not saying the telling makes this a bad novel--which it isn't a bad novel; it is fantastic in the story and its characters; I daresay I even love most of it--however, by mostly telling the story we the Readers have been gypped in seeing the whole story. *This is a significant cause of why I had issue with the limited setting. We could have been swept away into distant memories of different characters to help broaden their development, but instead we were stuck in Freya's concerned thoughts inside a dreary and in disrepair Fort. Do you see how potentially frustrating and boring that could be?*

My next issue is that of the love interest being introduced about 80 pages from the end--another reason this should not have been a standalone. Thomas introduced and wrapped up the love interest in an okay fashion, I can more than accept it...But the whole thing felt rushed. It was introduced, Freya was elated, came crashing down, then resolved somewhat in the matter of...maybe 40 pages? And why was this so rushed, happening so quickly? Because the story was told and not shown.

If I continue on with my review you will get the wrong impression of my criticism, thinking I hate it. I don't hate Long May She Reign, I don't dislike it--what I have problem with is the potential it had to be a great series, what we lost out on because of the writer telling the story versus showing it. The plot is great, the characters are great, THE IDEA IS GREAT. The execution of it all was lacking... And that is what has saddened me--the lost potential of this story in its full length glory.

But please do read this. A scientist young lady who finds herself Queen after a tragic poisoning of the court? Guys, the melding of the fantasy and scifi was great and really worked for me. It was one of my biggest concerns when I started reading, wondering how the two would work together. 5/5 for Thomas in this regard.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

REVIEW: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith - Valeria

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments


Goodreads Description:

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

I have heard so many times about the disaster stories of people that win the lottery and their life goes down hill when it gets to their heads or how people treat them when they find out. Here we have an 18 year old kid winning the lottery. What a freaking dream! I would go all out and buy all the books, a house and probably do a lot worse than Teddy, which in its way, is what created the problem for everyone. This is my first book by Jennifer Smith in a really long time and to be honest, I actually liked it well enough. 

The problem to me was that whenever there would be any real problems, they would kinda go away almost as soon as they came in my opinion. Sure, it made for a quick read, but maybe, just maybe if they extended on those problems, it wouldve made for a deeper connection between the characters and the readers. 

Recommend it?
Mmmm yeah, it was still a nice read.

Monday, December 18, 2017

REVIEW: Far from the Tree by Robin Benway - 5 stars

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Far from the Tree
Genre: YA Contemporary + Adoption&Teen Pregnancy
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: October 3rd 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Owned Hardback

Far From the Tree is the story of three siblings who were put up for adoption and find each other when they are teenagers. The story is more about the middle sibling, Grace. She just put her baby up for adoption and wants to find her siblings and birth mother after the fact. We get to follow the teens on their journey to become a family and the entire story around the situation is beautiful and brought a lot of tears to my eyes.

Grace just had a baby. She thought she was in love and ended up pregnant and the guys parents said he has a future and this child will ruin it. So... Grace did what she thought was best for her baby. This situation brought forth a lot of feelings and Grace decides she wants to find her birth mother. But finding her birth mother isn't that simple, especially when she finds out she has siblings. Those siblings make her a middle child when she is used to being and only child.

The relationship these guys form with each other is quick, powerful and beautiful. I actually wasn't expecting them to become attached to each other so quickly. Joaquin was the one I was worried about. He didn't seem like the type to get attached to people and we definitely learned why he seemed like that. Maya became attached very quickly because she was already having some iffy feelings about her family and where she belonged. 

I think the saddest part about this entire story was Joaquin's side. He thought he was this horrible person because of some accident and he didn't think he deserved to be loved and thought he would hurt people again. The next saddest part was when they went to  find their birth mother. That part just ripped my heart out. 

The end of this book made me cry. Joaquin deserves the best life. Maya finally figured out how she felt about her mother and her sister made her realize that she IS part of the family. And Grace made a very adult decision regarding her daughter and the adoption agreement. Grace was such a brave character and I believe she did what was best for everyone involved. I just hope she feels the same and knows that she is a good person.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

REVIEW: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds - 4.5/5 stars

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Long Way Down
Genre: YA Contemporary Verse
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Atheneum
Publication: October 24th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Library Hardback

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds is about one boys life living in a dangerous area with gangs and violence. This book is an addition to the Put The Guns Down movement and I highly suggest reading this if you have read THUG or Dear Martin.

Fifteen year old Will just watched his older brother, Shawn, get gunned down. Will was taught 3 rules and because of that he decides he needs to exact revenge on the person he THINKS killed his brother. 

On his way to exact his revenge he has some visitors from the past appear in an elevator with him. All of these people are dead was a result of shootings/gang violence. Together, these visitors make up an entire picture to a story Will only knew pieces of. Together, these visitors help Will to see what has happened in the past and how he is only going to follow in their foot steps.

This book was very short but extremely eye opening. Will has NO men left in is family because all of them have been shot and he was about to travel down that same road. Violence only begets violence, as Dr. King once said. And that statement is even more true today.

In the end, I want everyone to read this book. Even if you don't read, you need to read THIS BOOK. It is VERY quick but it will punch the air out of your lungs. Out of all the recent BLM books I have read THIS ONE is the most impactful.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

Friday, December 15, 2017

REVIEW: Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin - Erin

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Devil in Ohio
by Daria Polatin
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250113610
Checked Out From Library

A strange, damaged girl lives with a family after escaping a cult in this debut YA suspense/thriller that was inspired by true events.

When fifteen-year-old Jules Mathis comes home from school to find a strange girl, her mother explains that Mae is one of her patients at the hospital and will be staying with their family for a few days. But shortly after, Mae is wearing Jules’ clothes, sleeping in her bedroom, edging her out of her position on the school paper, and kissing Jules’s crush. Then things get weird.

Jules walks in on a half-dressed Mae, she’s startled to see a pentagram carved into her back. Soon white roses start turning up on the front porch, a rabid dog bites one of Jules’ sisters, and Jules’ parents, who never fight, start arguing behind closed doors.

Jules pieces clues together and discovers that Mae may be a survivor of the strange cult that has taken over a nearby town. And they will stop at nothing to get Mae back.


I had really high hopes for this book. I heard Daria Polatin speak at the YA Conference at the beginning of the month and this book sounded creepy and amazing! While I feel like she tried to have a suspenseful creep factor, most of the time it missed it’s mark. It didn’t have me keeping my lights on at night, or worrying that someone was coming for me. I was also under the impression that Mae was going to be creepier than she really was. She just ended up being a hurt kid who was just trying to fit into a new “world” and sometimes did things awkwardly without realizing who she was hurting. I also don’t feel like the “cult” really tried all that hard to get Mae back, which hurt the creep vibe. There just wasn’t any tension there. I wasn’t really ever worried that the family was going to be hurt, or that Mae was going to get taken. There was family drama, which made the book a bit better. Though I still don’t quite get the mother’s obsession. I know something happened to her to make her want to help Mae, but neglecting your own family and job…. It just seemed over kill. The ending was kind of disappointing. There’s closure, but at the same time there’s not. I don’t want to spoil the end so read the book and you’ll see what I mean.There is drinking and “mature” content in the book, not much but it’s there, so younger teens might not be the best audience. Older teens who are into mystery cult stories might enjoy this one though. 

*Book photo and review are owned by Erin. To see her personal blog click her signature above^*

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