Friday YA: This Chick Read: Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

For those of you who love swashbuckling action, you’ll LOVE Ignite the Stars! Ia Cocha is the scourge of the stars. Fighting against the Olympus Commonwealth, Ia is part terrorist, part Robin Hood. When the story starts she is trapped on a Tawny ship and is being taken captive. When it is found out that she is just a 17 year old girl and not an adult man, it’s determined that it would be better to bury her in an Academy of students in an unknown location than to put her on trial and kill her. That would look bad, I guess? When she gets to the Academy she is a prisoner of sorts, but able to roam free. She is kept from flying but her mind is always looking for an escape.

Brinn, Ia’s roommate, has a secret. One that she is desperate to keep, but Ia figures her out pretty quickly and blackmails her into doing something for her. Through the sharing of this secret Ia and Brinn develop a friendship of sorts. Brinn, who is kind of prickly because she doesn’t let herself get close to anyone, can let Ia close because she knows her secret. It is this friendship that drives the book. We learn that no one is who we think they are. Ia the terrorist actually has empathy and fights for the underdogs and Brinn the loner comes face to face with her heritage and embraces it. When it finally happens, these two are a powerful team.

There are a whole other cast of characters in this novel. Heroic figures and villainous ones fill the classrooms. Flight Master Knives, just out of school himself, is Ia’s jailer and love interest. Not as gruesome as that sounds, I swear! He has his own issues with the Olympus Commonwealth, most notably his father who is an Admiral and a not so nice character. This love connection between he and Ia is PG rated, but it does allow both of their characters to show another side. 

I love a fast moving plot and Ignite the Stars was quick, emotional, and fun. It’s hard to believe this was Maura Milan’s debut novel. It seemed like every character had their own hidden battle they were fighting. I’ll admit that Brinn was probably my favorite character, but Ia was a close second. They were both underdogs, and I do like to root for the underdog. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventure after I finished Obsidio, and let me tell you that Ignite the Stars did the trick! You’re dropped right into the action, and it doesn’t stop until the very end. I fell absolutely in love with our cast of characters and adored how each had their own unique story that eventually intertwined.” A Myriad of Books

“For all its shortcomings, Ignite the Stars was a decent, easy read. Knives and Brinn are strong deuteragonists, and Maura Milan has a good deal of fun with the supporting cast. As socially conscious YA, the story integrates a timely if heavy-handed political message on the refugee crisis. As a space opera…eh.” Serendipitous Reads

Click this link to purchase!* Ignite the Stars

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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Friday YA: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Caroline Oresteia’s life changes drastically when she and her father arrive on their boat to a town where all the boats have been burned in the harbor. Caro’s father is taken prisoner and Caro is blackmailed into signing papers to ferry a crate by herself to a faraway town. She is not to open this crate, but of course she does. What she finds changes her path away from the river she’s always known into a world filled with politics and danger.

Caro was an easy character to understand and like. Her family has always let the river God guide them but Caro has never heard his voice. Desperate to “find” herself she leaps into accepting this challenge, only in part because they are holding her father hostage. She is really relishing the chance to prove herself and this trip while scary also pushes her outside of her comfort zone allowing her to grow.

Caro’s love interest started off an enemy but soon became a reliable friend and then more. I liked how that relationship developed and that Caro wasn’t the only character to show growth through the story. Song of the Current was also an action adventure tale along the lines of a Robin Hood or a swashbuckling tale. As Caro’s confidence builds her character becomes more pirate like and even heroic. It was a lot of fun to read and the story flew by very quickly.

I love YA action novels and Song of the Current hit the right note for me. It did start off a little slow but that was to be expected as the characters and world building needed explanation. As soon as she pushed off down the river and opened that crate the story took off and the adventure began. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

Song of the Current is an interesting book. There were two things that I had predicted, and they came true, BUT! I’m not even upset about that. The Song of the Current is that good.” Adele is Reading

“This is one of the few reads this year that has been a solid, true five stars, and I’m so eager to get my hands on Whisper of the Tide. It’s got a pretty cover, for starters, and I’m READY to see what Caro and Markos have gotten themselves into next. I’m invested and delighted and well and truly in love with this book in a way I’m not sure I have been with any particular series for a long time. If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend that you hop to it, because it was well worth the time!” The Words Gremlin

Song of the Current

Click this link to purchase!* Song of the Current

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know is a three year old novel that I’d never heard of before, but when I read the synopsis I was intrigued. Small town girl Arcadia has had to grow up fast when her mom dies and she ends up taking care of her father and little brother. She meets two cousins at a campfire party and she and a friend decide to take off with them on a camping trip into southern Florida. Of course, things start to go wrong and Cadie ends up fighting for her life.

This one was a thrill ride! At 257 pages it definitely wasn’t a long book, but I think I read it in two or three hours? I sat down to start it and didn’t get up until I finished. I liked Cadie, even though I couldn’t identify with her at all. Yes, she was a burned out 16 year old having to take care of her family at a young age. Yes, she just wanted to have fun for once. But, who leaves for a camping trip with a couple of strangers? When her friend doesn’t end up going, she still goes! Not something I would’ve done at that age, so I kept reading. LOL.

This is a thriller and it was definitely creepy, which makes this review a little hard to write. I don’t want to give away anything. I will say that there were a few surprises, and I liked how Cadie got herself out of this mess. Other than that, I’m just going to say that if you are looking for a quick read that may be a few years old, I think this one was fun! It’s not Pride and Prejudice or anything, but it was an escape from reality and I enjoyed it! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I had this on my shelf for ages & I regret not picking it up sooner! I liked this book a lot. It was definitely one of my favorite types of books, which is why I bought it in the first place, but I didn’t expect that much from it. Instead, it blew me away with how suspenseful and creepy it was. Even though I had already guessed the ending, I still loved it. I loved every second of this book & will pick up anything else this author writes, without hesitation.” Book Addicts Ahoy

YA Thriller

Click this link to purchase!*The Devil You Know

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Emma is going back to Darkwood Academy for her junior year without her best friend Oliver who committed suicide over the summer. It’s hard to get excited about the current gossip about six clones or “Similars” being enrolled at Darkwood, but when one of them is the clone of Oliver it’s hard to ignore. As she gets to know Levi and the other Similars she realizes that even though they have the same DNA they have individual personalities and aren’t exact copies of the original. As pro and con Cloning groups spring up on campus and around the nation Emma is enmeshed in an investigation into how her friend Oliver’s death was tied to the man who developed and raised the six Similars.

The Similars had such a great premise! Can you imagine showing up for school and finding your face on a cloned classmate? It’s not like high school isn’t difficult enough, right? Then there are the political and moral ambiguities of whether cloning should be accepted or not? These are all details that helped create this finely crafted novel that played out as more of a political intrigue then a YA fantasy novel. What struck me the most is that the hate and bigotry in this novel is not necessarily determined by color or societal hierarchy, in this case bigotry comes in the form of originals and copies. A subject that is topical in today’s world as much as in a fantasy novel. Although not quite yet to human copies. At least I don’t think so?

Emma was a wonderful heroine. She never sat back and just watched, she was always asking just one more question. That one last question always seemed to be slightly over the line but would give her the answers she’d need to make a decision to move forward in her thinking or to fall back on her upbringing. I really admired her fortitude. She never gave up on her friends, and never stopped looking into the Why’s and Who’s.

The Similars, even with all of their mysterious backgrounds and “special powers” seemed more real and fleshed out than their human counterparts. This definitely made it easier to like them but truly the humans were portrayed as pretty awful. You’d be inhuman to like the hateful attributes that were portrayed as “human”.

It took me a little while to warm up to Levi’s character. Emma was so distraught over Oliver’s death that you really felt her anguish over seeing his face on another guy. When she gets to know Levi and realizes they are really nothing alike he still keeps his distance until, well, he doesn’t. It’s really hard to talk about these characters without giving away a lot of the plot. I’ll just say that there is a reason that he keeps himself aloof, but Emma’s investigation makes him get involved and he goes all in emotionally at that point too.

The Similars was a very fast paced novel. Rebecca Hanover filled the story with enough moral, political, and personal subplots that my mind didn’t stop to chew before swallowing this novel whole. When you get ready to read it have your snacks and a coke at your side because you will NOT want to put it down! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

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

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I don’t know why it happens that I always end up reviewing books I don’t like. Maybe I need to read different books? Or not read books that I am not extremely excited about in the first place? I don’t know. But either way, this book was very disappointing, awkward, and did not live up to my hopes for it. Alas.” A Word and a Whisper

“Overall, this is an intriguing book that held my attention from the first page, and I fully intend on continuing with the series.  If you’re a fan of layers upon layers of secrets, sci-fi, thrillers, and mystery, add The Similars to your TBR.” Books and Such

Click this link to purchase!* The Similars

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: First & Then by Emma Mills

Only child Devon Tennyson has had her world changed. Her cousin Foster has come to live with she and her parents and now she has the little brother she never wanted. Her safe world has turned upside down and changes are on the horizon, her safe crush on her best friend Cas is pushed to the back burner by first, her cousin Foster, and second by all star quarterback Ezra. Being teamed with both of them in her P.E. class starts a chain of events that changes her world.

I have read one other Emma Mills story, Foolish Hearts. Whereas that novel was different than this one, there was one similarity that I enjoyed seeing adapted again. Both of the female main characters were plodding along and their young worlds got shook up. In First & Then the catalyst is her cousin Foster. His childhood circumstances were heartbreaking and whereas Devon was empathetic, it took Ezra befriending Foster for her to see the big picture and open her heart to enfold Foster into her life.

Devon’s love for Jane Austen is mentioned quite a few times in this novel and you can’t help but make Pride & Prejudice comparisons. Especially between Ezra and Darcy. Her view of Ezra as a snobby standoffish jock was similar to Elizabeth’s of Darcy. As with Pride and Prejudice, when Devon’s crush Cas is actually falling for another girl, it is Ezra who quietly steps in to make her feel good about herself. Albeit in a quiet, non communicative way. I really couldn’t wait until they got past all of the miscommunications and red herrings that were thrown into their path. A sign of a good story and the reader being invested in the relationships for sure!

If you enjoy YA contemporary’s with a hint of romance this novel is the perfect fit for you. Devon is a great leading heroine, but beware, Foster steals the show in this one. He is adorkably cute. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions From around the Blogosphere

This is a story of love and loss, friendship and family, the high school experience. It’s also about a town and it’s love for football and tradition. It’s about the effects of drunk driving and addiction on the lives of those left behind. It’s a beautiful story of a girl who becomes less judgemental, more assertive and finds love.” My World of Books

“First & Then is a very cute, lovely, heartwarming, funny story about friendship and family, and figuring out what you want in life, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves contemporary YA, especially if they’re a bit sick of the large doses of romance in that genre.” The Reading Hobbit

Click this link to purchase!* First & Then

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Uppercase Box Dec’18 Reveal!

I have mixed feelings about my last Uppercase Box reveal for 2018. I will be taking a brief hiatus from this subscription and won’t be posting these reveals until my finances get back on track and I can re-subscribe. I’ve really enjoyed receiving this monthly package and unveiling the surprises within. I hope you have too!

December’s Uppercase Box had some of my favorite swag. Check it out in the pictures below!

I loved the Ladies of Lit 2019 calendar. Each month has a pretty graphic with a quote from an author. I will definitely be using this little calendar, it’s sweet!

Giving this month’s subscription a Christmas theme, Uppercase included a wood carved ornament from Juniper & Ivy Designs called The Chronicles of Narnia Tree Ornament. Definitely one of my favorite series from childhood and really cute too!

None of these has anything to do with the actually book of the month, so no secrets revealed in the first two. Although this month’s book is a fantasy novel so the genre is reflected in the ornament above.

The December ’18 book is Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene!

Synopsis:

Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies. 

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to seize what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.

So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.

An extraordinary, vividly rendered YA debut.

This novel came out on November 27th and I haven’t heard of it, but I love the fantasy genre.

Have you read this novel? What did you think?

Until next Sunday!

Deb

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight is a novella where we get to catch up on all of our favorite characters setting the stage for the next novel.

Feyre and Rhysand continue their love story, but Feyre also learns how to deal with her grief from the last war in the balance in her new role as High Lady but also as one of the people who lost friends and loved ones. I liked seeing her personal growth. She and Rhys’ love story has stayed true but not evolved and I think she personally needed to grow for that to happen.

Nesta, who is becoming one of the more interesting characters shows a little bit more of her drama, not really advancing her character anymore but we are allowed to see a little interaction between she and Cassian which is interestingly dramatic. I can’t wait for more of their story!

We do catch up with most of our favorite characters as Feyre and Rhys host their first Winter Solstice party together. Think Christmas with the family but this family all like each other. All in all this was a solid set up to the next novel and I enjoyed look through the window into these lives, if only for the moment. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I relished this book, because I absolutely adore the world Maas made, and she made sure to show it off with this book. I felt like she took the time to really show us how Velaris looked to her, and I loved that. The winter scenes felt truly magical and so vibrant, I couldn’t stop reading about the beautiful swirling snowstorms.” The Books Are Everywhere

“Overall, the novella was a cute fluffy piece, but by no means a proper instalment in the series in my eyes. Most of the time it felt like something you’d read in a fanfiction, but yeah. I would say to read it if you’re a fan of the ACOTAR world and love seeing the characters interact, but I wouldn’t say it’s a necessary piece in the series and you can also skip it if fillers aren’t really your thing.” The Scarlet Bookkeeper 

YA Fantasy

Click this link to purchase!*A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associates

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Christmas Song book tag

It’s time to confess. Yes, last year I was nominated to do the Christmas Song book tag and I, well, I didn’t do it. I know! Before I knew it was Valentine’s Day and I couldn’t do a Christmas tag for V-day could I? Guess what? It’s Christmas and I can finally do this totally fun book tag. 

“You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”- Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

I think love is too strong a word but you know it’s a problem when your villain is more interesting than the hero. In this case, I was really hoping Mare would choose to just run away with Maven. Come on, I’m sure I’m not the only one?

“All I Want for Christmas is You”- Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas Tree?

Mariana Zapata releases her own books on Amazon and has been promising this one for a few weeks now. I am constantly checking to see if it’s been loaded yet. It won’t be under the tree but it better be on my Kindle!

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”- Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Our main character always felt like the ugly sister, even though she was a twin (!). This book was funny, joyous, and even had a side love story. Really it was about accepting and seeing who you really are and can be. I loved this book!

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”- a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list? b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

I’m going for a combo answer on this one. Stella and Michael were both really nice people but when they got together? They were VERY naughty!

“Frosty the Snowman”- Which book just melts your heart?

OK, not your typical melt your heart book, I know! Both Charles and Anna are werewolves. Charles, the enforcer, has a gruff and scary exterior, while Anna as the Omega is soft and sweet. As a couple we have seen Charles soften through his protectiveness of his mate, and Anna become more self confident through her relationship with Charles. It is a wonderful series and these two do melt my heart. While also distributing justice and solving mysteries. 😉

“Feliz Navidad”- Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Love and Gelato is a sweet YA novel that takes place in one of my favorite countries, Italy. This is a coming of age novel, and yes they eat a LOT of pasta and gelato. Yum!

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”-Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

I haven’t read this one in years, but when I was little I loved Twas the Night Before Christmas. It really made the magic of Santa Claus come alive.

“Sleigh Ride”- Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with?

Can you imagine how magical your Christmas might be if you spent it with Mary Poppins? She is practically perfect in every way!

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”- Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

I just can’t even. Nope. Not going to burn a book even if I didn’t like it!

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”- Which book do you think everyone should read?

If you don’t recognize the above picture from the movie, I am choosing the book The Princess Bride. It is a wonderful fairytale-fantasy novel with amazing characters. It’s funny, emotional, sweet, and romantic. It’s not just a book for women, I know men who have loved it too!

This was a really fun themed book tag! If you should choose, please consider yourself tagged! I want to see your answers, so please  link it back to my blog.

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers. Have you read any of the books listed? What did you think of my answers?

Until next Sunday,

Deborah

Friday YA: Almost Impossible by Nicole Williams

Jade, as the daughter of a rock star, has grown up on the road. Her mother’s career skyrockets and Jade wants to take a step back and spend the summer as a normal teenager. She goes to California to live with her aunt and uncle. Her aunt, her mom’s sister, is the complete opposite of Jade’s mom. They live in middle class suburbia and her aunt is solidly normal. Jade gets a job at the local pool, has a curfew, and kisses a boy for the first time. Ahh summer!

The set-up to this book is so YA, but when you get into the meat of it, there is a ton of depth to this story. Jade is living a normal teenage life for the first time, but the situations she finds herself in land her in the deep end of the pool for the first time. She meets and crushes on the head lifeguard, but doesn’t understand why this charming guy is so reserved. Quentin ends up being her neighbor and as the two of them develop a friendship she see’s that this fun guy has a very strong sense of responsibility that actually matches her own, but in a different way.

There was one story line which added to Jade’s story, but didn’t seem as pivotal as it probably should have. It did provide a mirror to Quinton’s, which was probably the purpose to it being included. Without going into details I’ll just say that it did make Quinton’s big reveal more impactful.

Almost Impossible was a sweet story about a girl who was looking for a change in scenery and actually found direction and a place for herself in this world. Something we can all aspire to find in our own life. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Opinions from around the Blogospere

“This book didn’t do anything to me emotionally even after a couple of heavy discoveries, and it’s really unsettling. However I like that it has a great family concept, amazing support system and featured a couple of responsible young adults which is kind of rare.” The Bookynista

“I started this book with apprehension and ended it totally in love with it. I will definitely be recommending this one to people looking for a cute summer romance read.” Books in Her Eyes

YA Contemporary

Click this link to purchase!* Almost Impossible

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights REserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Get to Know you Book Tag

I thought it would be fun to do a book tag today! This one is pretty simple and I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had putting it together. I’ll admit a couple of these were tough!

Favorite Book of All Time

I had quite a few of the Wizard of Oz books as a child. I loved how Frank L. Baum created this whole world that my imagination could get lost in. I have memories of reading these books with my mother and watching the movie and wanting to find friends like the cowardly lion, scarecrow and tin man. 

Favorite Book Five Years Ago

This series and the heroine Mercy Thompson has been one of my all time favorites. This novel in particular was when my love for the strength and resilience of Mercy was born. The series is still ongoing and I love how her character has grown and become an even greater role model for a woman’s strength and honor in every aspect of her life. Yes, this is a fantasy series, but there are truths in character that can be applied in any realm.

Favorite Duology/Trilogy Series

What can I say? This series is magical and the characters fabulous.

Last Book You Read

This was a great wrap up to Britta’s story. I’m looking forward to reading Once a King which is Aodron’s follow up. 

Last Book of Poetry I’ve Read

Oh Boy. I don’t think I’ve ever read a complete book of poetry. Sorry!

What Book Most Influenced Your Life

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”  Those were the first words that started my love of fantasy novels.

Book that Made You Ugly Cry

This was a really different well written YA novel about three friends.  It was a tearjerker, but uplifting too.

Book That Made You Laugh

This one ran the gamut of emotions, but Kate Daniels and her snarkiness has always made me smile.

Character You’d Like to Be for a Day

Jasmine Santos has known heartbreak, but she’s a fighter, a winner, and when she finds her man he loves her with the strength she has always needed. She is also sarcastic and kind of mean, but when you get to know her you love her.

Book So Good You Dreamed About It

The culmination of an amazing series and really action packed. I battled dark forces when I dreamed that night. And won!

Book You DNF’d

It just wasn’t for me. 

What Book Are You Excited to Read

It comes out on 11/27 and I can’t WAIT! If you haven’t read any books my Mariana Zapata…. what are you thinking? LOL.

Well, I hope you got to know me a little bit more. I have pretty eclectic tastes in books don’t I? 

I’m going to tag a few bloggers, but if you don’t have the time or aren’t interested don’t worry about it. If I didn’t tag you and you want to try out this book tag, feel free! Please tag me in your post so I can read your answers. Thanks!

Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Marie’s Book Boutique

Marie’s Book Boutique

Bionic Book Worm

Shalini’s Books and Reviews