Emotional

Ethan and Tilly Wolfe are special. A cruel, devastating kind of special that causes death and destruction in equal measure. Nobody is safe. Not even those who love them. This is the story of an experiment gone hideously wrong, and the lives of two children trying to put it right.

The Wolfe Experiment is an emotional rollercoaster packed meticulously in a science fiction thriller package. The balance between emotionally charged scenarios and action scenes made this novel an overall page-turner. If science fiction and thriller novel is something up your alley and you like an exhilarating book you don’t want to put down, give this one a try.

Review by The Wolfe Experiment

When Megan McConnell discovers a time telephone, she embarks on a high-stakes quest to save her mother’s life by calling her before a deadly bomb blast in Afghanistan. A YA coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl confronting feelings of rejection and abandonment.

The Time Telephone was a short and yet insightful read about love and loss that explores how one might go about changing the past given the opportunity and the need to come to terms with difficult truths about the people we love. It would be suitable for adults and young teens.

Review by The Time Telephone

Nur attends a language school and falls for a classmate. But why? is he funny? Smart? Who knows? She can’t understand him, or her own feelings…yet.

This book is recommended for readers looking unique stories about underrated characters. It is also recommended for teens who may be considering college in the Boston area, due to its detailed and thoughtful depiction of the region. However, some readers might be turned off by the thick writing style. This book is not recommended for readers who prefer streamlined, fast-paced writing.

Review by The Year of Uh

A fantasy novel that not only entertains young readers with adventure, magic, and a dose of danger but also, adds a lovely spin of wonderful life lessons about family values, courage and social justice that will leave readers of any age with a spark on their heads to reflect upon.

With a female protagonist coming to terms with claiming and wielding her power, this fantasy adventure is rooted in timeless, universal themes. There are moments Magical Eyes: Dawn of the Sand resembles other coming of age tales infused with magic and mayhem so closely that it lacks freshness (and antagonist Drago will forever be Draco Malfoy in my imagination) . However, the story blossoms each of the many times descriptive writing juxtaposes Princess Martina’s inner and outer worlds, deftly showing how each one tests the princess’ courage and belief in herself.

 This book is ideal for multi-generational sharing, a great choice for reading together at bedtime (aloud, with character voices!) or over a rainy weekend. Be sure not to miss the colorful illustrations at the end of the book (also featured on the author’s website).

 

Review by Magical Eyes

After her father dies, seventeen-year-old Sky moves in with her estranged aunt in British Columbia. She soon discovers disturbing abilities and a hidden heritage but she must relinquish the tight control she has on her mind to embrace her powers. And accept an elk into her life.

For those of you looking for a YA novel that is a breath of fresh air and does not focus on the romance part, Hidden Dawn is a perfect choice. While the pacing could be too slow on some parts and the main character is not the likable type at first, it makes up greatly for the author’s exquisitely delicate maneuver with character development and the stunning imagery that is constantly present all throughout the novel.

Review by Kate Ashley

During a time when there was more change and unrest than any other period in Egyptian history, 12-year-old Ankhesenamun became Queen over the most powerful nation of the ancient world. She was more than just a pharaoh’s wife. When sacrifices had to be made, she gave with everything she had.

For fans of historical fiction, specifically that based on the ancient Egypt civilization, and readers who like stories based on an untold figure in history, this book may just find you delightfully surprised.

Review by The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen

Given an impossible choice–kill a stranger to save five other strangers–what would YOU do?

If you like psychological horror and books that make you think as well as scare you, this book is for you. The author is a true professional and this reader can tell that he knows his craft, his pacing and character development. The book never lags. The characters live and breathe and feel very intense emotions that draw you in and make you sympathize. The internal monologue is handled deftly as well, without bogging down the reader in Chris’s agonizing decisions, but giving us enough to allow us to experience this with Chris. It’s a great read and would please anyone who can stomach some violence and uncomfortable situations.

Review by Kill Someone

Second edition of best selling war novel–incorporates veterans’ comments and new historical information. Young man comes of age during bloody combat and aftermath of war. Accurate history, engaging story, the bad and the good, warm and funny.

Public Information was a highly enjoyable, detailed read on the Korean War. It gives the reader a real sense of what it was like in the war with lovable characters to root for and a great feeling of years gone by. History buffs and fans of war fiction will love this novel, but the war scenes are not very graphic and the novel incorporates enough humor to make it accessible for a wider audience. A very solid, albeit long, read.

Review by Public Information

It’s a dangerous game to love your slave. When your whole species is enslaved – and it’s the humans who are acting like the monsters – how far would you go to free your family?

Light is a British vampire, who has been captured by the ruthless Blood Club, an underground society who deal in vampires, training and selling them as slaves for the rich. Defanged and ‘trained’ into a life of subservience to his new ‘owner’ Grayse, Light feels a long way from the rebel he once was. From the start though, he realises that Grayse, whose father owns the Blood Club, is not like her family her at all. An attraction grows, family bonds are tested, and as Light writes his diary to Grayse, detailing the horrendous abuse he has suffered, the two of them devise a daring plot of rescue and revenge. A shocking and at times uncomfortable read, this dark book leads us deeper into the world of vampires and their enemies, and sets the story up for book three.

Review by Chantelle Atkins

Victoria the Blade walks a bloody path toward revenge when the vicious tyrant who once enslaved her captures the prince who loves her. Vic finds the power to rescue the prince and wreak the vengeance she craves, but with it she may destroy her only chance for peace.

This book has to be one of the best books I’ve read in the genre in a long time. The author is extremely skilled in all areas that make for a compelling story. The characters are realistic, likable (except for the evil Korng which is the point) and sympathetic. The plot is fast-paced, with no lag where I wanted to stop reading. The world building is very well done, coloring in all the areas that make each new setting feel real. Finally, her craft is excellent. Justice is obviously a skilled master with many years of writing under her belt and a good editor. Anyone who likes reading in the adult fantasy genre will appreciate this book. I do want to warn readers, however: anyone sensitive to sexual abuse should avoid reading this book. They might find Vic’s treatment very disturbing and upsetting. The situation doesn’t last that long and is necessary to build the character, but could upset some readers who find that sort of thing unreadable.

Review by Katie French

In rural Depression-era Alabama, 14-year-old Ruby Graves must face poverty, racial barriers, and a pastor bent on her destruction in order to find the faith she needs to unlock a mysterious gift of healing.

Don’t let “Christian novel” stop you from diving into the first book in Jennifer H. Westall’s Healing Ruby series. Yes, the story includes quotes from scripture, references to God, and a whole lot of praying, but these elements are squares in a patchwork quilt of skillfully expressed details that make this historical tale engaging, moving and illuminating.

Westhall has created well-drawn characters and dialogue so natural that it makes the reader feel like an eavesdropper. The plot’s (very) occasional lags are worth overlooking because of the reflective residue it leaves behind, giving Healing Ruby staying power that lingers long after the final chapter ends.

Review by Healing Ruby

Cerebral and erotic, Entropy explores the murky depths of an online affair and how upheaval of the status quo reverberates through a woman’s life and sense of self.

Be warned, the relationship in ENTROPY is mostly online and written via chat, so it may leave readers uncomfortable and/or confused. Still, this could be a good read for those who enjoy an odd touch of romance, erotica, and light BDSM.

Review by Entropy

Will Lita’s stint in the dark and gritty underworld of adult entertainment put her on a path that secures her future…or will it swallow her whole, destroying everything she never knew she wanted?

This book is recommended for fans of New Adult literature who are more interested in coming of age and platonic relationships than romance. Though the book is about sex workers, it is not a sexy story and not recommended for fans of erotica.

Review by Amanda McSweeney

Scheduled for Review on April 3, 2017

When Kai’s telepathy spirals out of control, her husband Oliver brings her to the quiet Wisconsin hometown he abandoned a decade ago, where he must confront the secrets of his past to save their future.


She lost everything. Everything but the memories of a past she refused to let go of. Now it will take a herd of wild horses to drag her back to life where she’ll learn a valuable lesson from a very unlikely hero.

A timely must read by all! Once you open it, you won’t be able to put it down. Heart wrenching and eye opening, it will make you angry and hopeful at the same time.

Review by Anita Lock

When the worlds of Johnny and Jamaal collide, the catastrophic clash ignites racial conflict not seen since Ferguson. The incident tests the fledgling love of Johnny’s best friend Lucas and his African-American girlfriend Chantal, setting them on a quest for truth and justice in the perverse racial landscape of 2016.

A disturbing yet highly recommended must-read, especially during current troubling times.

Review by Anita Lock

Robert has Asperger’s Syndrome and endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl.

Stim was a delightful, insightful, and often funny read that pulls at the reader’s heart. It will appeal to those interested in Asperger’s Syndrome and those just wanting to understand the myriad of challenges and unique experiences associated with being different. Highly recommended!

Review by Stim

Although a work of fiction, Agony of Being Me is loosely based on actual events and the traumatic & tragic aftermath experienced by an awkward teenage girl who is forced to mature way before her time. Follow Zoe and Jesse through their erratic journeys, poor choices and triumphs. New Adult.

A gritty and hard-hitting exploration in young adult voice and characterisation. Not for the faint hearted, strong issues are dealt with and experienced from the teenager’s points of view, and the narrative voice is excellent.

Review by Chantelle Atkins

Scheduled for Review on December 26, 2016

A preteen discovers she’s a witch when a fight with a school rival turns both magical and nearly fatal.


Julia MacAllistair, a young singer, had always believed in the power of music. But she never imagined that music could literally take her places–that is until she played the music in the box. Will Julia ever see her home again? Can she return from her Song Journey?

The Song Journey is a beautiful and intriguing story of time travel, love, loss and family, with an invigorating backdrop of social history and music. Singer Julia MacAllistair receives a unique gift from her great-grandmother Etty before she dies. Five sheets of music which are able to transport her back in time. Five adventures await her, where she will meet members of her own family, and face danger in war torn Vietnam, as well as true love in 1940’s New Zealand. A beautifully evocative and visual book about the power of music, with a wonderfully strong narrative voice and characters to remember. Readers who enjoy romance, adventure and historical novels will enjoy this book immensely. 

Review by Chantelle Atkins

Mary Elizabeth Stroll tries to bring closure to her haunted youth where, after accidental overdose, she was thrust into distressing afterlife odyssey. Nine-years gone, her past and present converge during a haunting, day-long interview that morphs into a race with death. In Passing is a dark, suspenseful, yet romantic, paranormal tale.

In Passing is a paranormal love story with hints of darkness. It explores the possibility of an after life and the existence of ‘angels’, or people who are able to stop others before they make dire mistakes. The book is not afraid to take on gritty social issues, such as child abuse, substance abuse and abortion, and does so in a positive manner. Well worth a read for those who enjoy paranormal romance and books with a religious theme.

Review by Chantelle Atkins

Scheduled for Review on December 11, 2017

An attack on a dark street. Threatening messages. A mysterious black dog with soulful eyes. Melanie Johnson just wants a normal life, but nothing will ever be normal again.


She wants love, he wants the gold medal. The lines between love and obsession are blurred in this blend of dark romance and psychological thriller that combines the heat of Fifty Shades of Grey, the twists of Gone Girl, and the warped reality of Black Swan.

Rising romance author Lauren Rico spins a gripping tale of loss, love, and lies in book one of the Reverie series. A true storyteller, Rico grabs the attention of her audience from the get-go. Twisty and tantalizing, Reverie is bound to be a favorite among romance buffs with a love for classical music.

Review by Reverie

Paco Jones is a half-Mexican kid, newly transferred to a private school where he’s called ‘Taco’ and ridiculed daily. So when he falls for Naomi, a beautiful classmate, what hope is there? Through dumb luck and some clever moves, Paco soon finds himself center stage amidst a middle school mess.

The Improbable Rise of Paco Jones is for readers who enjoy coming-of-age novels where the outcast rises up against all odds. Biracial teens should especially identify with this book. Carrillo even dedicates the book to them: “To the bicultural or biracial kids out there who have gone through the pain and confusion—along with the curiosity and beauty—of navigating the world and their identities without ever fitting neatly into one category.” In truth, all teens, no matter what their identity may be, will find valuable lessons in Carrillo’s charming little novel.

Review by Candi Sary

It was the 75th year of Alberoth when the AsZar summoned the Guardians. There was an imbalance in the lands of Faélondul. The Zaxson, Draizeyn Vereux, conspired to exterminate the infestation in Nazil. He planned to eradicate the humans.

The Rise of Nazil: Secret of The Seven is an epic heroic fantasy that combines the romantic with the brutal. Though filled with the sincerity you’d expect from a world of might and magic, the book is also filled with graphically described scenes of rape and torture. It is a tale certainly not for the faint of heart, and while fans of darker fantasy may be well inoculated, more casual dwellers may question the taste and necessity of the more disturbing scenes.

That being said, the tale is a good one, and you’ll be drawn in by the darkly fascinating court intrigue of the Nazil, and the steamy forbidden-love romance that serves as the stories catalyst.

Aaron-Michael Hall builds an involved fantasy world, populated by richly drawn characters with conflicting desires and complex relationships. Much of the story focuses on these relationships , and there’s a lot more drama and dialogue than swords and sorcery. That being said, the book builds to an epic final battle, where all the wrongs and doubts of the tale come to a satisfying and brilliant crescendo.

With great dialogue and characters you can’t help but feel drawn to, Rise of the Nazil will prove a satisfying page turner for those with a love romantic fantasy fiction, and offers up a few grizzly surprises for those comfortable in Game of Thrones territory.

Review by Steve Wetherell

Welcome to SPERO HEIGHTS… a little town where supernaturals who have lost their bump in the night go to recover. Tucked in the wooded Ozark Mountains, the humans are rarely cause for concern, but the citizens of Spero Heights have enough past to go around.

A strong paranormal page-turner, perfect for a weekend read. The start of a series, but ends without a cliffhanger. Look for more from this author.

Review by A post with the ID $staff does not exist.

Undergrad nursing student Jordan must discover what’s more important: making sure the girl he loves life isn’t wasted, or remembering how to live his. Wait! is a story about acceptance, learning to trust and in turn love while facing life’s unexpected difficulties.

A great read for readers who enjoy New Adult College Romance, and for those who enjoys a bit of drama in the midst of the sweet romances.

Review by Wait!

A bounty hunter and a military officer must form an unstable alliance under the looming threat of galactic war.

Perfect for science fiction fans, especially those looking to dive into a new series. Both Lissa and Lance are compelling characters, and it is worth taking the time to get to know them. A great book.

Review by A post with the ID $staff does not exist.

Nichole is struggling to deal with keeping her family together and taking care of her young siblings. Richard is trying to decide what is important in his life after making many mistakes. Can they overcome and get a second chance?

This book is a good read, and anyone who enjoys a contemporary storyline with modern issues, such as prejudice, addiction and social inequality will enjoy the themes and ideas examined here. It is also driven nicely by the well rounded characters.

Review by Chantelle Atkins

Help isn’t always the easiest thing to give, and it can be even more difficult to accept…

Cole’s human-interest story is definitely not a light read. Focusing on one man’s dysfunctional life and family, Cole’s plot presents life in the raw. Weaving in constant tension resulting from a lifetime of strife, readers may capture an overriding dystopian ambiance to Cole’s plot—and rightfully so since aging has its difficulties. Although well written and highly thought provoking, Ripples Through Time will not appeal to all, especially those who are faint of heart.

Review by Anita Lock

Alaana’s Way: The Calling is an epic fantasy with a unique arctic setting. Surrounding the story of Alaana who must go through the process to become the new Shaman for her tribe.

I can say so many great things about this novel, from the dialogue to the sweeping scenery to its solid editing. While I think Altabef succeeded bringing this ambitious vision to life, there were a few minor issues. Sometimes the switch between settings could be a bit jolting and confusing. Also, he often switched character perspectives from paragraph to paragraph, making the blending of the spiritual/physical characters difficult to sort out.  It tended to slow down in a few places, too. While Alaana’s interactions with her family, tribe and spirit creatures were fascinating (and well written), about halfway through the book I wanted the overarching conflict to reveal itself more clearly and the story to progress.

This cross-cultural fantasy epic may not be for everyone, but THE CALLING is my kind of book. Original in both scope and execution, I highly recommend it.

Review by A post with the ID $staff does not exist.

Blue Sun, Yellow Sky is about a painter who learns she’s going blind. Faced with this crushing diagnosis, Aubrey Johnson travels the world in search of art, and ultimately finds herself.

Blue Sun, Yellow Sky is for readers who are moved by the power of the human spirit under difficult circumstances, and those who wish to intimately experience one character’s journey of discovery. It is for readers who appreciate depth, quality writing and detailed descriptions that make you feel like you are really there.

Review by Candi Sary

DEVELOPING MINDS: AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY follows a group of recent college graduates who struggle with feelings of alienation and their addictions as they try to survive a year of teaching at two dysfunctional Miami public schools.

Anyone who enjoys realistic fiction, with a gritty edge will enjoy this novel. The characters are extremely well written and believable, and the dialogue is perfect. Despite the serious matter, the book is also very humorous, visual and vibrant to read.

Review by Chantelle Atkins

As chaos descends on a crippled Earth, survivors are tormented by strange psychic gifts. In this time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test. A mystical journey, a haunting love…

FALLEN is the kind of novel you tumble into heart first, immediately lost in a thicket of emotion where hope-filled light shines through intertwining thorny points of fear and devastation. The author creates a cadence where revelation is ripe and ready, as if she knows exactly how much we need to see and understand in order to recognize Emma’s struggles as our own.

Go ahead, allow yourself to fall into FALLEN. While the ending is one of those “things that make you go hmm,” you can exhale in knowing there are three more books in the After series. Phew.

Review by Yvonne Lieblein

Strikingly relevant, brutally honest, politically incorrect look at 12-year old Glen Feigman’s experience with integration in 1970. Events at school lead to a violent shaking of his liberal Jewish suburban family’s foundations. Adding to Glen’s misery, he fears he is gay. Poignant yet often funny, and definitely thought-provoking.

Glen Shuld offers readers plenty of food for thought in his fictional memoir. Shuld incorporates topics on racism, inequality, minority issues and gender. Baby boomers will especially relate to the nuances he describes of the 1960s and 1970s. The Color of Character comes highly recommend—indeed, a wonderful and riveting read!

Review by The Color of Character

A GROUP OF RUNAWAYS. A HORRIFYING VIRUS. A single drop of blood, and now 16-year-old Mary is one of the infected. Unless she can stop the virus and save her friends, the new monster in town might now be her.

Germination is a relatively short tale, meant as a primer for a larger series, and in this respect it is successful. However, the story also satisfies as a self-contained tale, and will serve well those of you looking for a quick read.

If strong female leads are what you’re after, the heroine, Mary, is fiercely independent, and a self-styled protector of her fellow street kids. After being exposed to infection she is horrified to discover that her identity, and her values, are slowly succumbing to a burgeoning and unreasoning aggression. This development is much of what is interesting and refreshing about this zombie tale– it is not a bunch of kids fighting off the undead with improvised weapons, as you might expect, but rather one girl’s struggle to retain her humanity.

As a stepping stone into the post-apocalyptic world of The Feast of Weeds series, Germination certainly plucks at your curiosity, and as a stand alone tale it satisfies and engages.

Review by Steve Wetherell

n the 1950s, a brilliant young pianist with a defective heart meets the love of his life and strives for success in the daunting world of classical music. ELI’S HEART is more than a compelling love story – it is filled with music, courage and hope.

Fans of Nicholas Spark novels looking for similar romance themes will be pleasantly surprised with Jordan’s latest novel. One does not need to be a connoisseur or aficionado of classical music to appreciate the depth of relationship between Eli and Krissy. On the plus side, for those who are way into this musical genre, Jordan includes and rich list of suggested recording discussed in Eli’s Heart, as well as specific recordings by Samuel Sanders. Undoubtedly, a great read that comes highly recommended.

Review by Anita Lock