young adult

Saturday Catch-up Part 1

Now, you guys have seen my Reading Pile, yes?

Well, sometimes books get stuck at the bottom of it. Not because they’re not good books, not even because I don’t feel like reading them. Most often it’s because I try to follow my nose through the books on the pile, letting titles jump out at me as good follow-ons from the book before. Sometimes books sneak up the list because the author is in town, or because I’m able to do a give-away.

Whatever the reason might be, I feel sad when I’m not able to give each and every title the attention that they’re due, and so for the next couple of weeks I thought I’d do a couple of quick Saturday Catch-ups featuring books that I’ve read quickly, or only a few pages of, but that I think you might like to read. Here’s the first cluster of titles for you to think about putting on your own reading pile…

circle of silenceFirstly, there’s Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman (Harlequin Teen). Released last year, I did read this book at the time, although for one reason or another I didn’t get the chance to post a review. It’s an interesting story told by teen journalist Val who is heading up the Campus News crew at her high school. Making up part of her news team are her best friend Marci and her ex-boyfriend Jagger.

With just the right amount of teen confusion, angst and ambition, these three kids set out to solve the mystery surrounding a new ‘secret society’ that has formed on the fringe of their school. The society at first appears harmless, cryptic and irreverent, but as time goes on it show itself to be down-right dangerous.

It’s not a complicated story, but it’s entertaining and adequately puzzling to make for a good read. The relationships between Val and Jagger will keep you guessing – will they or wont they – and Marci is a likeable voice of reason. It’s a quick read, and I think it worth putting on the reading pile. Really suitable for young adult readers. You can find out more here…

Next up is Hooked by Liz Fichera (Harlequin Teen), a young adult title about a girl named Fred. I’ve not read this one, but it’s looks pretty quirky, playing around with the usual girl/boy characterisations in books of this kind.

 hookedWhen Native American Fredericka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome – especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred. 

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile…

I’m going to leave this on my ‘unofficial’ reading pile, as I’m pretty sure, as a bit of a tomboy myself, I’d quite enjoy this story. Plus, I’m pretty curious to see how the author works golf into a romantic storyline. You can find out more here…

The third title is Cayla Kluver’s Sacrifice (Harlequin Teen). This book is the third and final instalment in Kluver’s Legacy trilogy, which I’ll admit is the main reason that I haven’t read it yet – I’ve not had time to go back to book one and two. It’s sounds pretty fun though, an epic final battle for love and freedom…

sacrificeAlera – Queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy. Shaselle – Daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.

One lives behind the former Hytanican palace walls and walks the razor’s edge to keep the fragile peace in her beloved homeland. The other slips through the war-torn streets, seeking retribution for her family’s tragedy, following whispers of insurgency.

Both face choices that will separate them from those they cannot help but love. As their stories intertwine, a conspiracy ignites that might end in slavery or death – or lead to freedom anew, if only each can face what must be scarified. 

If you’re looking for a new series to get into, here’s a good one to add to the list. Interestingly too, the author Cayla Kluver was only 14 years old when she started writing this series, allowing her to speak with an incredibly authentic teen voice. You can find out more here…

Lastly, there’s paranormal romance in Covet by Melissa Darnell (Harlequin Teen), the second book in another great series ready for you to sink your teeth into (pun intended)….

covetSavannah Colbert knows she broke up with Tristan Coleman for the right reasons. Most of all, to keep from killing him with her new vampire abilities. But try telling her heart that…

Now, lost in a sea of hostile Clann faces, Sav tries to come to terms with what she’s becoming and what that means for her future. And that someone is doing their best to bully her into making a terrible mistake. 

Tristan can’t believe that Sav won’t event talk to him. If being apart is her decision, fine. Just don’t expect him to honour it. But even as he prepares to fight for the girl he loves, forces beyond their control take them in directions neither could have foreseen, prepared for… or possibly withstand.

A reckoning is coming… and not everyone will survive.

I’m sure that lovers of paranormal fiction will devour this book, but be advised that when I had TBYL Reviewer Tam take a read of this title, she admitted that she felt a little lost without having read the first instalment. Might I suggest that you start at book one? You can find out more about this title (and book one) here.

I’m sure that you’d agree that there’s no shortage of romance in the air with these four titles. I hope that something here tickles your fancy, but if not, never fear, I’ll have a catch-up full of adult fiction next Saturday.

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Fifteen Realms: Scent of Magic

Today’s review is from TBYL Reviewer, Kathy P. She’s been visiting the Fifteen Realms…

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At my age, I don’t read a lot of books aimed at the teen market.  After my most recent read, Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder (Harlequin) this is something I’d like to change.

Scent of MagicScent of Magic is the second book in a trilogy.  It follows two main characters – Avry of Kazan, a healer with magical healing powers who is thought to have died, and her boyfriend (for want of a better term) Kerrick, a Prince who has yet to accept his father’s legacy as King of Alga but has forest magic.

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists.

Despite her need to prevent the megalomaniacal King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. 

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to oppose King Tohon. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and stopping Tohon’s most horrible creations; and army of the walking dead – human and amimal alike.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible… again.”

The world of the Fifteen Realms is well laid out.  It is complicated but well explained.  Maria V. Snyder has thought about distance and travelling time, as well as the layout of the landscape.

The use of magic is very interesting.  People who have magical ability develop the ability close to puberty, but it is an intensification of the world around them.  Healers heal by removing the injury or disease from the patient and drawing it into themselves.  This leaves the Healer with the scars of the injury or illness and the recipient of magic without mark.  The Healers heal much faster than ordinary people, but still it is fascinating to see how Snyder has given the use of magic unique consequences.

The characters are very complex and their relationships are even more complex.  As this is the second book in the series and because I have not read the first book, Touch of Power, I found the complexity of the relationships and characters a little difficult to catch up on, and as a result I had a little trouble getting into the story in the beginning.  There was no short explanation as to what has come before this book – it started at the next moment after conclusion of Touch of Power.  Some explanation of the intricacies of the story were  provided later in the book but to begin with I found myself looking for a bit more information, and unfortunately even at the end I was left wondering how some characters really fitted in. I think this would have been different had I read the first book.

In saying that – what a read!  An edge-of-seat ending and I absolutely did not want to leave the book alone to do anything else while I was reading. It well and truly delivered.  I’d like to back track a little and read the first book to fill in a few gaps, but I also can’t wait for the sequel to be released.

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You can find out more about Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder here…

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