Friday YA: Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Georgina Fernweh is approaching her seventeenth birthday when she will leave the island for the first time ever and live on the mainland and go to college. Going to college is usually a huge event in a persons life, but in Georgina’s case turning seventeen may be even bigger because she still hasn’t manifested her magic. First, she has to get through the summer as the island gets overrun with the Annabelle birdwatchers who arrive annually to catch a glimpse of a very rare bird. In their midst is a beautiful girl and her brother who help change the way Georgina see’s her future and herself.

I loved the mix of magical and reality. Georgina comes from a family of women who are gifted in different ways. Her twin sister’s gift is as mischievous and willful, matching the nature of the girl herself. Georgina, with her lack of magic, is the realist in the family and when tragedy strikes, she finds courage within herself to face the darkness and help her friends and family find the light. This novel dealt with a very difficult subject (rape) but did it in a way that matched the tone of the novel. There’s not much that’s magical about rape, but there can be magic in justice.

Katrina Leno has a magical way with storytelling. The flow of this novel, as with those I’ve read in the past, is very gentle, like the ebb and flow of the surf on the island Georgina lives on. When the conflict hits, that gentle flow is halted with a jerk and then the pace of the novel speeds up increasing your pulse right along with it. I forgot to read the synopsis before I started the book and so the magical bits were a pleasant surprise. Even more pleasant was the surprise that Georgina was secure in her sexuality as a young gay woman. This novel didn’t surprise us with her sexuality, it was built into her character, part of what made Georgina tick and wasn’t the conflict of the plot. It was a sidebar to her lack of magic being the main plot focus making her character feel totally natural. I liked that and I liked her.

If you like good books with a touch of magical realism, I think you should give Summer of Salt a try. You’ll be surprised by the richness of the characters and charmed by the writing. I believe you’ll even track down another of Katrina Leno’s books because you’ll want to see if she can be this good a second time. I’d recommend Everything All At Once! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Summer of Salt

Click this link to purchase!* Summer of Salt

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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Friday YA: The Changeling (Sorcery & Society #1) by Molly Harper

Sarah Smith thought herself unmagical. After all, she was a Snipe (kind of like a muggle), growing up serving as a maid in the Winters household. Until one day she stops a vase from falling by levitating it.  Suddenly Sarah Smith becomes Cassandra Reed, cousin of the Winter family. Elevated into magical society and sent off to boarding school. Talk about culture shock! Cassandra must hide who she really is, and somehow look as if she’s lived in this world her whole life. If anyone finds out she was once a Snipe, their whole society might crumble. But would that really be a bad thing???

I thought The Changeling was a lot of fun. It didn’t take itself too seriously and I was allowed to enjoy each moment in the story without overthinking the plot. Cassandra was ok as a heroine. She spent the first half of the book in shock and when she finally accepts her role her character started to grow and become interesting. Her experience as a Snipe, living unnoticed among the magical society made her see their world through cynical eyes, although those eyes did not always see things very clearly. I enjoyed the good vs evil sub plot and I was kept guessing on the bad guy.

If you’re jonesing for a quick Harry Potter-esque novel I think you’ll enjoy The Changeling. At times I expected Hermione would walk around the corner of this girls school and join in the fun! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given an ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

The Changeling.jpg

Click this link to purchase!*Changeling: (Sorcery and Society Book 1) (Volume 1)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved.

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: The Tower by Nicole Campbell

The Tower is a YA Contemporary novel that deals with friendship, love for your best friend, and the difficulties of being different in High School. The story revolves around three friends, Rowyn, Rose, and Reed who are approaching their Senior year in high school. The three of them have been best friends since birth growing up together in their small community, their mothers best friends. Reed has been in love with Rowyn since the fifth grade, and in the way of boys, he has hinted at his feelings but has never declared them, instead playing it safe and biding his time. Rose is the glue that binds their friendship together, sweet, fairy-like, and the voice of reason. This year of their lives is a time of change, the relationships between them tested. Will they end the year stronger for the challenges they face?

The Tower 2

The first thing you should know about this book is how great the characters have been developed. Each of the three main characters have a reason for being a part of the story. Having grown up in the witch community they are used to facing adversity. Name calling, hatred, and bigotry are a part of their daily lives, but each of them chooses to face it differently. Rowyn’s looks match her personality. She is the bold, forthright, doesn’t give a crap about what anyone thinks female heroine with the long black hair that is stereotypical of a Halloween witch. Rose is fairy-like, the peacemaker with a backbone, whose blonde looks and nice demeanor fool people into thinking she is a victim of circumstance. Reed is the charming, handsome guy who even though a witch, is non threatening and likable. Their friendship is what binds this story together.

The Tower 1

I found the fact that they were witches fascinating. They are not “magical” and don’t ride brooms or hover in the air or anything, although they do read tarot cards, make spells, and can heal spiritually. Each of them having a different talent. These talents are just a part of their characterizations and while their spirituality is within the story, the story does not revolve around witchcraft. I found that really refreshing in a book world where people having magical powers and saving the world is totally common. This story revolves around friendship, love and acceptance.

This novel was heartbreaking, heartwarming and heart filling. I probably went through a pack of tissue trying to deal with all of the emotions I was feeling as I read the story. The majority of the novel centered on Reed and Rowyn’s budding romance, but it was not all rainbows and butterfly’s. They had to overcome obstacles to somehow get to the point where they could be together, even though it seemed at the beginning of the book that it would be too easy. It was not.

Don’t let the idea of their being witches keep you from reading this book. It is a wonderful story about love and acceptance and I’d wish for each of you to pick this one up and give it a shot. Sometimes, I think I love a story because I’m in the right mood at the right time. I can honestly say that I didn’t know what to expect from The Tower and had zero expectations and it exceeded all of my imaginings.

I received an ARC of this book by the author for my honest review and it was honest.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Tower

Click this link to purchase!* The Tower

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Ruthless Magic (Conspiracy of Magic #1) by Megan Crewe

At sixteen when your magic is evaluated you are either given an invitation into an elite school for training or scheduled for a procedure that will take away your magic. One other option is for you to declare yourself for the Exam a mysterious last chance to be declared Champion winning yourself eligibility into that elite school. Finn comes from a high ranking magical family and is a shoe-in to the Academy, yet he lacks the magical talent to win entrance on his own. Rocio comes from a lower class family whose parents  had their magic nulled. Her magical gifts are extraordinary yet she is denied entrance into the Academy when a spot should have been hers. When they each declare for the Exam they meet for the first time finding a friendship that will surpass all class levels.

Ruthless Magic is part Lord of the Flies or Hunger Games with magical realism elements a la Harry Potter. When these teens show up at the Exam they realize that it’s more survival of the fittest that tests their talents. Finn who declared for the exam to give the finger to the Confederation of Mages for being biased against lower level families, pretty quickly  realizes that he may have made a big mistake. His talent lies in evaluating circumstances, sweet talking, and charm more than actual magical skill. His character is so easy to like, always finding humor in a difficult situation. He is put into the same group as Rocio and is immediately taken with her talent and personality right from the start. Rocio is a little less willing to trust but Finn is the person she starts to lean on as their situation becomes more dire.

There are very few rules in these exams and some of the kids are more willing to eliminate each other than trust their magic will win them a place in the school at the end of the four days. Ruthless Magic’s theme about bigotry and social classes is told very effectively even though they are classed by their level of magic ability. Even though set in the human world, mages came out to the Nulls or humans (think muggles from HP) in order to help them through extreme times of terrorism or war. The novel has a great message about the balance of good vs evil and tells it in a magical way that was original and interesting.

The cliques in this group of “contestants” for lack of a better word were pretty typical of a high school age group.  You have the athletic bully, the pretty boy charmer, the quiet shy girl, and the do-gooder, but the way in which Megan Crewe uses these stereotypes to shine a light on difficult subjects was poignant and engaging.  I really liked this book, the characters, and it’s message! It was my first novel by Megan Crewe but it won’t be my last! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Ruthless Magic

I was given a copy of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase! Ruthless Magic (Conspiracy of Magic)

Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase a book through the above link.

This Chick Read: Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

Caraval is a magical game led by the ringmaster magician Legend where contestants are invited to compete for a grand prize. Legendary starts where Donatella and Scarlett and the “players” have moved on to the next Caraval. Instead of being the end result of the game Donatella is a participant. Like her sister Scarlett, Tella had been writing to Legend over the years hoping to become a participant of the game, but not for the same reasons as her sister. Tella has been haunted by a deck of cards she had seen in her mothers room as a child. A deck similar to a Tarot card but the fortunes that are told are cast by the Fates and destined to come true unless you can change your future. Tella holds one card from this deck which has shown her different futures, one of which is that her mother is still alive. Tella, with Legends help, is playing the game to set her mother free, but the other players have their own reasons for playing the game and those reasons are in direct opposition to Tella’s.

In Caraval the book, we followed Scarlett as she searched for her missing sister. If she found her she would win the game. Tella was a secondary character in Caraval, missing in action until the conclusion of the book. Legendary is centered around Tella’s journey to win the game. Stephanie Garber’s descriptive prose and colorful adjectives enhanced the magical elements of Tella’s game playing. The characters she interacted with were either cruel and evil or seductive and mysterious- no one was the girl or boy next door. Emotions were always at an extreme level creating a tension for the reader that made you eagerly turn each page. I loved this book because it was so easy to get lost in the story, the characters, and the magic.

Tella started off this novel as a young, self centered beauty used to getting her way. What started off as a game became very real very quick. When Jacks is introduced into the story he is the perfect evil counterpart to Dante’s good looking goodness and as I turned the pages the line between good and evil became smudged.

Do we find out who is the real Legend? I think so? Yes. Well, I believe I did? Hmmm. Yes. Stephanie Garber just announced that there will be a third novel. Thank goodness! I can breathe in relief that I will live in this magical world one more time and also finally get a danged conclusion! Reading Legendary is like getting a golden ticket to another world minus the chocolate river and oompa loompa’s. Legendary is a totally enjoyable escape from reality that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes magical fantasy. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Legendary

Click this link to purchase! Legendary: A Caraval Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend for any purchases made through the above link.

This Chick has written a novel! 

You are probably wondering how I’ve found the time, and looking back on it I have wondered the same thing LOL.  I love to read and my favorite types of novels are fantasy with a hint of romance, although as you know I read other genres too. I had this idea kicking around in my head and started writing it down, and before I knew it my novel was finished (it took awhile ;)) I would love to get published but know that it is an incredibly difficult challenge and could never happen, although I will try. However, I want some feedback!  Will people like it? Is it good? Did I waste my time?  Being an impatient individual, and living in the land of social media, I am going to release a chapter a week on Wattpad.  I don’t have a clue how Wattpad works, but since I muddled my way through WordPress and have become semi successful with a pretty decent following, I decided to put on my big girl pants and try it out!  I will post that link on WordPress, weekly, and would love it if you all would read along and let me know what you think!  Really, I am serious.  Feedback would be great!  Also, if any of you have any tips on how to be more effective on Wattpad, I would love to hear them!

My novel is called Midnight Metamorphosis. It’s about a young girl named Avery who discovers after the death of her mother, that she is not an average girl. Her parents forbidden love created a child that was prophesied to either save their people, or be the catalyst to their end. She is in high school and with the help of her new friends figures out her powers, crushes on a couple boys, and fights evil demons. A normal teenage life, right? 

Here’s a sample from the Prologue of Midnight Metamorphosis:

I walked into the kitchen pulling my sweatshirt down over my head. My mom was at the stove, scrambling a couple of eggs for breakfast. She reached over and laid her hand against my cheek, then reached back to help me pull my hair out from under the neck of my sweatshirt. Smiling, she turned back to the eggs pushing them around in the pan.

      “I have to run up to Chandler today to deliver some kits to a store that’s going to start selling them.” She said, turning to split the eggs between two plates on the counter. She set them on the table and sat down in the seat across from me.

     Taking a bite of my eggs, I nodded cautiously, knowing what was coming next. I opened my mouth to say at the exact same time as my mom “If anything happens to me..” We both trailed off and my mom laughed nervously.

Please click on my book cover below for the Prologue to my novel Midnight Metamorphosis.

Thanks!!   Deborah