Sneak by Evan Angler

sneakAnother great book!  I’ll admit that it took me a few chapters to really get into it – but after that I was hooked!!!  I’m just looking back at the first few pages of my ebook and just realized that this was the second book in the Swipe series – OOPS!  I missed the first one and I don’t think I’ve missed anything or lost anything by not reading the first book.  So you know what that means?  Yup I’m going to have to find and read the first book now.

But seriously I really enjoyed this book – I guess I’ve realized that I like these dystopian type stories.  Here is the Goodreads synopsis of the book:

“When Logan Langly backed out of getting the Mark and went on the run, no one thought he could survive on his own. Without the Mark, you can’t buy food, go to the doctor, or use a tablet–you aren’t even a citizen.
But when he discovers that his sister is being held in a mysterious hidden prison named Acheron, Logan risks everything to travel through an underground network of the Markless to rescue her.
Logan arrives only to find that Acheron holds more secrets than anyone could have guessed and that all his careful planning is worthless against a government that will do anything to gain absolute control.
It seems there is only one place to turn. But can a banned book with whisper-thin pages and warnings about the real meaning of the Mark really hold the Answer?”

A great story of friendship and loyalties.  There were some part that took me back to the classic Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies - where the characters create their own societies – with their own values and such.  A few parallels here in my opinion.  I also LOVE how the characters are forced to use “old” technologies like a radio and a book.  Kept me shaking my head and laughing at times :)

Recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quote(s):

“…There wasn’t any touchscreen, nothing that lit p or glowed.  Just a boxy black thing with a long, stiff antennae, two knobs, a strip with a bunch of numbers on it, and a grid of holes covering some crummy old speaker.  Out of the back dangled two wires, stuck to a potato with copper and zinc clips.”      (p. 63)    Not sure about everyone else out there – but when I read this I could see my old radio :)

” ‘ But there’s s freedom that was lost, too, Logan.  A freedom to …  to choose and to come to our own conclusions.  About patriotism, about family, about religion.  About everything.’ ”   (p. 81)


Angler, Evan. (2012).  Sneak.  Netgalley

Author website:  http://www.evanangler.com/

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abé

sweetest_darkWhat a beautiful story… A castle, a little mystery add a little romance and you have the recipe for a beautiful story – and that’s exactly what we have with The Sweetest Dark.  When the story started I had NO idea where things were going – we meet Eleanor or Lora Jones, an orphan in England in 1915.  Life isn’t easy and never was – she hears songs and lives with an inner voice – and learns that she should keep these unique aspects about herself to herself.  Then out of the blue, as the war nears London, Lora is selected as a charity case and sent to a private boarding school, Iverson.  Lora learns more about herself here when she meets Jesse, the gardener.

The story just got better and better as I read it.  The tension and angst between Lora, Jesse and Armand, the two men that will play roles in her life.  I don’t want to say too much about this book in fears that I’ll say too much and give it away.  Just go read it!!!

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite Quote(s):

Well this was a case of being too involved with the characters that I didn’t pull any quotes out.


Abé, Shana. (2012). The Sweetest Dark.  Netgalley

Author website:  http://www.shanaabe.com/

Every Never After by Lesley Livingston

every_Never Oh my goodness!!! Really??? You can’t leave me hanging like that!  That is just totally unfair!  Just when everything was happening and coming to a close – BAM! – I feel like I was dropped in one of those time warps!  So when is the next one coming out?? Soon I hope?

A great second read in the NEVER trilogy.  I’ll admit it has been a long time since I read Once Every Never - turns out it was July 2011 and yes I had forgotten some of the book  - but Lesley did a great job at throwing in relevant bits and pieces of it in this book.  I usually hate it when authors do that – but it was seamless here and perfect!  Brought me up to speed when I needed it!.

So what is this about?  It’s a continuation of Allie and Clare’s summer in England with Clare’s aunt Maggie.  They’re now off to an archaeological dig site, one that should not have any lingering magic around.  Ha!  Leave it to these 2 to find it and continue on their journey with time-warping and such.  I don’t want to give too much away – but it’s a GREAT story!  As I’d mentioned in my previous post I really enjoy authors who find a new line of stories – especially ones that I have yet to read.  Going back in time, shimmering, and meeting up with historical figures – is just cool!  Keep them coming :)

The one aspect of this book that I found really fun were the “self-conversations” both Al and Clare were having.  They are in the midst of making a decision and they’re both struggling with their inner-thoughts.  At one point, when Al was trying to escape and she sees Marcus in the river..  I just love her thoughts and how she struggles with what she sees and what she thinks she should be thinking or feeling.  Hilarious!!  But I believe a true reflection of what most 16-17 yr olds do :)

…and NO I’m not being biased!  Yes I’ve noted in previous posts that I love Canadian authors and maybe I enjoy their works more because of that – nope not here!  I just loved this story!  And I’ll also admit I did NOT like how it ended – completely up in the air!  Ugh!!!  What happened???  I cannot wait so I really hope the 3rd installment is due out fairly soon…  PLEASE!!!!

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quote(s):

“The find was deemed interesting enough to round up the usual bunch of pasty-white library lurkers and send them out into the field to soak up some vitamin D.”   (p. 12)

” ‘…What did Al tell you to tell me to tell her so she can tell you what to do because you told me to tell her so?’ ”        (p.173)


Livingston, Lesley. (2013). Every Never After. Netgalley.

Author website:  http://lesleylivingston.blogspot.ca/

The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

GIrl_in_the_Wall Yeowsers! Kept me on my toes and feeling very anxious!  Another awesome, awesome read!  I was so worried when I asked for a number of books from NetGalley and was accepted for them – I never thought I’d be able to read through them but when they are winners like The Girl in the Wall what was I worried about?

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a story with 2 perspectives, in this case, Ariel and Sera.  It was very well done and I love how we were able to see the 2 sides to the situation they were in AND the 2 sides to their personal conflict!  So what happened????  Sera and Ariel were bet friends until THE event – then Sera was treated as if she was dropped off the face of the earth.  On Ariel’s 17th birthday party, things go wrong, VERY VERY wrong, and it’s really up to Sera to save Ariel again.

This was a fast-paced story that NEVER let me go.  I still cannot imagine half of the things that happened really happening – but in this day and age – anything’s possible.  Sorry for the vagueness but I don’t want to give away too much of the plot – because that’s what makes this a great story!

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quote(s):

Yes another one where I didn’t capture any quotes – I was so taken in by the story that nothing popped out at me.


Benedis-Grab, Daphe. (2012). The Girl In The Wall. Merit Press.  NetGalley

Author website:  http://www.daphnebg.com/

Tempestuous by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

tempestuous_askewA fantastic read!  Fast-paced with unexpected turns along the way!  Imagine being removed from the top echelon of the popular group or rather being kicked-off, banished to work at a hotdog stand to fulfill some of your punishment, then getting snowed-in at the mall with your ex-friends and a thief on the loose.  What a great premise for a great story!  Miranda is a problem-fixer, everyone who works in the food court comes to her with their problems and somehow she is able to fix them and make everything rosy – wIth the exception of her own problems.  Let’s throw in a pair of handcuffs – love it!  A joke that ended up leaving Miranda cuffed to Caleb for the night.  Too funny!

The situations that these kids were able to get themselves into and out of were fantastic!  A very MacGyveresque story.  I have to admit I think I would have really enjoyed some of the events they put on during the night.  Throw in a little mystery and intrigue, it was a perfect read!

On a more serious note, I truly enjoyed Miranda’s awakening, if I can be so bold to call it that.  Working hard to create the best birthday party and night for her co-worker and being handcuffed to Caleb, provided her with opportunities to see who she really was and who she really is.  It was not preachy in any way, shape or form, it really came out naturally.

Hmm…  can you tell I really liked it!  Guess what I will also be highly recommending this one!  A great overall read that held my attention – read it in one sitting :)

Highly recommended
Ages: 14 and up


Favourite quote(s):

“This may just seem like a tempest in a teapot for you, but it’s about a lot more than a party – …”  (p. 55)

” ‘ Yo, Einstein, we lost cell reception about two hours ago.  Why else do you think we’re all sitting here bored shitless?  The ability for anyone in our generation to self-amuse has sadly been bred out of our species.  I blame Bill Gates.  What I wouldn’t give for a lame game of Words with Friends right about now.’ ”   (p. 59)

“… He’d taken me to task at times throughout the night, but his challenges seemed rooted in the belief that I was capable of more.”      (p. 180).


Asken, Kim and Helmes, Amy.  (2012). Tempestuous: A twisted Lit Novel.  Merit Press: Netgalley.com

Celtic Run by Sean Vogel

Celtic_Run Oh WOW! Read this in one sitting!  Loved it!!!  It grabbed me during the first few pages and just never let me go.  Doesn’t fall into the genre that I’ve been reading lately – but just loved it!  Mystery and action and an all-round wonderful story!

Three young adults head over to Ireland for the summer on a school trip – to find their heritage.  What they find is a treasure hunt!  Yes very much like the Indiana Jones as Julie kept saying in the book.  But there was just so much more to this story – 2 young lads really coming into their own.  Jake who experienced a terrible loss and is struggling to find his life again – desperate to go back to the good times he had with this Dad.  Zach, who we later discover, is also struggling, with a strong father with very strong opinions of what his son WILL do. Their experiences throughout the summer teach them so much and I had so much fun running around the Irish countryside with them.

The story was an adventure where the kids went on a treasure hunt, were hunted down by the bad guys and encountered a lot of fun roadblocks along the way.  I think what I really enjoyed about the book was the happy ending!  Love it!!!

A fun and lovely story.  Will be keeping my eye out for more :)

Highly recommended
Ages: 12 and up


Favourite quote(s):

“Grabbing a cart, Jake tore through the store.  He ran up and down the aisles as if he were a contestant on that old Supermarket Sweep game show…..” (p.98)

I have to add here that this quote brought back a lot of memories for me – sitting on our couch with my first newborn….

Celtic Run. A clan saying.  It means ‘a good run is better than a bad stand.’ ”   (p. 126)

Really enjoyed how the author defined the title of the book for us!


Vogel, Sean. (2012). Celtic Run. MB Publishing. Netgalley.
Author website:  http://www.seanvogel.com/

Entangled by Nikki Jefford

Entangled A very interesting story…. and one that got really good near the end.  I’m sorry but it really took me a LONG time to get really interested in this read.  It started off a bit slow by showcasing the 2 individuals and then BOOM! the switch was done – but I was kind of left dangling – really unsure as to what was happening for a long time.  Then the storyline did get more interesting for me – but it only REALLY picked up near the end and I’ll admit that the ending just kind of ended.  I was hoping for more and it never happened.

Yes it was funny when you thought about how one twin could really mess things up for the second.  How 2 identical twin sister could be SO different…  It was also a really neat opportunity for a sister to learn more about her twin.  Wonder whether all twins would like to be able to do :)  It’s also scary how one sister can have so much control, fear her twin and well…  don’t want to add any spoilers here – but those that have read it know what I mean…

I’m learning that as I read more I learn what really drives me as a reader.  While reading this particular book I realized that I need that mystery and intrigue and I need it right near the beginning to really keep me going.  I also realize that once you create that mystery/intrigue I really need you to drive it in order to keep me interested and curious.  I did enjoy the premise behind this book but it really didn’t keep me as intrigued as I was hoping it would.

A nice read.


Favourite quote(s):

Now isn’t this awkward – nothing popped out at me as I read through this.  Ah it happens more often than I realize – when I look back at my reviews.


Jefford, NIkki. (2012). Entangled.  eGalley from NetGalley
Author website:  http://www.nikkijefford.com/