All Fall Down: #LoveOzYA Review

41878708

All Fall Down (Circus Hearts #2)
by Ellie Marney
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOZYA
Publication: October 1st 2018
Publisher: Bearded Lady Press
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank you Ellie
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A ringmaster’s daughter and a bearded lady’s son join forces to stop a saboteur…

Nineteen-year-old Fleur Klatsch is loyal to her trapeze team and her ringmaster father, dedicated to the circus, and tough on everyone around her. After a series of accidents at Klatsch’s Karnival, Fleur is left holding the ball: she’s running the carnival, trying to stop a saboteur, and taking care of her dad. She doesn’t need anyone’s help, least of all Eugenia Deloren’s son, Marco, who’s been trying to break out of show life since the moment he was born into it. All Marco needs to do is get Klatsch’s back on its feet so he can leave. But after one fateful kiss with Fleur, will he really want to? And will Fleur and Marco figure out who’s trying to kill the show before someone kills them…

Dark YA romance with a criminal twist – Circus Hearts: Step. Right. Up.


I was captivated with book one, All the Little Bones, from the first sentence up until the last. I adored the protagonist, Sorsha, and didn’t want the story to end. So, obviously I was super excited when the opportunity to read and review book two came along and I jumped at it.

The first book is told from the POV of Sorsha and tracks her journey to the circus, her struggles to forget her past and fit in at the circus the second book is wholly set in. Fleur the POV in this, the second book, is a secondary character in the first one and I really didn’t like her…
My residual ill feelings towards Fleur made it hard for me to get into the story at first. But once I got to know Fleur, it was all good, GAME ON.

The second book has a thrilling Circus saboteur who-done-it feeling. With a friends to lovers type smouldering romance weaved through. And also a slight coming of age kind of vibe.

With Fleur’s father injured and in hospital thanks to the saboteur, Fleur must run the circus, figure out who the saboteur is and what on earth is going on between her and Marco. Thankfully she has some great side characters to help her along the way. Sorsha’s still there in the background with her muscle man, Colm and Genie and Mitch are wonderful. Oh, and I can’t forget Marco, glorious Marco. Marco lights up book two like petrol on bonfire.

Who would like this book: Fans of swoon worthy romance. #LoveOzYA aficionados. Anyone after a captivating and fast paced read.

I think All Fall Down could stand on its own. But then you would be depriving yourself of meeting Sorsha and Colm, and trust me, that’s not something you want to do.

Fast paced action. Hot romance. Circus life. What more could you want people. Do yourself a favour and check the series out.

Bring on book three and the POV of Ren!!!

Ellie’s Links: Amazon AU | Amazon US Goodreads | Twitter | Website 

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Amal Unbound: MG Review

39668454

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
Genre: Contemporary, Middle Grade
Publication: June 1st 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review copy from Text, Thank you.
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.


Amal Unbound is a Middle Grade novel, but I appreciated and enjoyed this story as an adult. I found it to be a captivating and delightful read, even though it dealt with some not so delightful things.

I am sure that the idea of village hierarchy, an all power landlord and forced servitude would shock a lot kids, which is why books like this are so important. It is a story that I feel will give it’s target audience, and any others who read it for that matter, a connection and compassion for a child in totally different circumstances then themselves. It’s one I’ll definitely be giving to my boys to read when they are a bit older.

Essentially, while 12 year old Amal is under the intense pressure of running her parents household, caring for four younger siblings as her mother suffers from post-natal-depression, she snaps and says the wrong thing to the wrong person. Amal then finds her life turned upside down as she is ripped from her home and forced into the servitude of the man whose ego she bruised.

Ultimately Amal Unbound It is a story of hope. A story of right and wrong. A story of Karma catching up with those that think they are untouchable. A story of a young girl fighting her her freedom, and winning.

Who would enjoy this book: anybody who craves knowledge (Amal dreams of knowing everything there is to know of the world), anybody in need of a feel good tale and being reminded that sometimes right does win out over wrong, anybody who loves an underdog, anybody with a passion for women’s rights.

Aisha Saeed is a New York Times bestselling author, a Pakistani-American writer, teacher and attorney. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC and the BBC, and, as one of the founding members of the much talked about ‘We Need Diverse Books’ campaign, she is helping change the conversation about diverse books. Aisha lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and sons.

Aisha Saeed links: Goodreads | Text Publishing | Instagram | Website We Need Diverse Books

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

The Girl Who Fell: #LoveOzYA Review

36985967The Girl Who Fell (The Chess Raven Chronicles #1) by Violet Grace
Publication: September 3rd 2018
Publisher: Nero (an imprint of Black Inc.)
Source: Review copy from Publisher
Thank you Nero
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


[Add To Goodreads]

The first book in a thrilling fantasy series about a girl who learns to embrace her inner power.

Chess Raven is a hacker who has grown up with nothing and no one. Her parents died when she was three and her foster care situation turned out badly – very badly. But on her sixteenth birthday, her life is turned upside down.

Chess learns her mother was Queen of the Fae and her father was a brilliant physicist. The unique blend of her mother’s fairy blood and her father’s humanity gives Chess – and Chess alone – the ability to unlock a mysterious vessel that will unleash unimagined powers – with devastating consequences. Thrown into a new world where nothing is at it seems, Chess must work out who to trust as vying forces race to control her. Or kill her.

Reunited with her childhood friend Tom Williams, an enigmatic shape-shifting unicorn, Chess discovers love for the first time and is prepared to risk her life for it. But first she must learn to overcome a fear of her own power and stop waiting for other people to save her. She is the one she’s been waiting for.


Chess is an orphan with no real knowledge of her parents. She spends her childhood a victim of a set of foul foster parents. The daughter of a brilliant human physicist and a rebellious Fae queen, Chess grows up not knowing of the royal Fae blood hiding in her veins or her ability to tap into it.

On Chess’s sixteen birthday she is attacked by what I can only describe as Zombie Fairies and that is when the story really begins. What comes next is a whirlwind adventure of Chess finding out about who she is, who she can and can’t trust, learning to harness her Fae abilities and getting to know a spunky unicorn shifter.

The world building is detailed and really had that whole Urban Fantasy thing going for it.

I got a mutant marvel x-man meets disney princess vibe from Chess (which i liked) and I did find myself connecting with, and liking her chararter.

For the most part this book feels like it’s aimed at the younger side of the YA market, but that in no way means that older readers won’t enjoy it.

Conclusion: It is a simple, fast and fun read. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the second book, in which the blurb intrigues me even more than the first.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Fae, Parallel Realms, Rags to Riches fairy tales and Unicorn soldiers.

Violet GraceAbout the author

Violet Grace is the pen name of wife-and-husband writing team Kasey Edwards and Christopher Scanlon. Kasey is an author and columnist and Christopher is an academic and social commentator. They live in Melbourne with their two daughters.

Chess Raven Links: Nero | Instagram | Website | Goodreads |

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

We Three Heroes: #LoveOzYA Review

38459424

We Three Heroes (The Medoran Chronicles, #4.5) by Lynette Noni
Genre: Fantasy, LoveOzYA
Publication: September 1st 2018
Publisher: Pantera Press
Source: Review copy from Publisher – Thank you Pantera

Add to Goodreads

“We all have to do our part if we’re to survive the coming storm.”

Alexandra Jennings might be the hero of The Medoran Chronicles, but she would be lost without her three closest friends. They are her heroes, and like all heroes, they each have their own story.

Meet the real D.C. in Crowns and Curses and discover how she becomes the princess Alex once despised but now adores.

Follow Jordan on his healing journey in Scars and Silence as he struggles in the wake of being rescued from his living nightmare.

Walk beside Bear in Hearts and Headstones as he faces an unspeakable trauma while helping his world prepare for the coming war.

D.C., Jordan and Bear are the heroes of their own stories.

It is time for their stories to be told.


I read Akarnae and Raelia back-to-back and was blown away. I devoured Draekora and Graevale as soon as I could. So you know I was super excited when Pantera and Lynette Noni announced We Three Heroes. Stories told from the POV of Alex’s besties while I’m waiting for Vardaesia to be released, hell yeah!

D.C.’s Story – Crowns and Curses. In this short we get to experience what made D.C. the sassy ice queen supreme we first meet in Akarnae. We then follow her healing journey and see her become the loyal and loving friend we know from books 2-4. Themes: bullying and friendship.

Jordan’s Story – Scars and Silence. At a first glance Jordan appears to be just an adorable cheeky ruffian with cool disappearing powers, but through this short we get to dive deeper into the boy and recover with him as he deals with the blows he received from Aven in books 2-3. Themes: suicide, family expectations, loss of loved one.

Bear’s Story – Hearts and Headstones. I knew from Graevale what was coming but living the battle again through Bear’s eyes still made me tear up. Unlike the previous two stories I didn’t feel I learnt anything new about Bear, but we did get to learn more about Declan’s past. Themes: loss of loved one, strengthening friendships, war.

I really enjoyed this book. It allows us to get to know the side charters better and I think getting a deeper understanding for them will make the final instalment all that more epic! Bring on VARDAESIA!

I still haven’t forgiven Noni for chapter 33 in Graevale, and my forgiveness hinges on three things I hope go down in Vardaesia regarding Bear and Declan, Alex and Kaiden, and a certain MIA winged Draekorian.

Noni’s The Medoran Chronicles are top notch. If you are a fantasy fan of any age or a #LoveOzYa supporter, then they are a MUST READ! The series has it all; action, adventure, a kick ass heroine, fantastic side characters, friendship, humour, romance, deeply built parallel worlds, humans with fantastical abilities and immortal beings.

I’m running off talking about the series aren’t I – oops – and this is supposed to be a review of We Three Heroes. In my defence it is an amazing series and the stories in this book weave through the timelines of the first four books.

Who would enjoy this book: fans of Noni’s Medoran Chronicles. This novella compendium is a MUST for fans of the series, but unless you’ve read the first four books and loved them, it’s not for you – too many spoilers and too many things you need to already know for the stories to flow.

Lynette Noni’s Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pantera | Goodreads

Booktopia | Bookdepository | Amazon AU | Amazon US

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

How to Hang a Witch: YA Review

37819386

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Genre: Paranormal YA
Publication: 1st January 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher (Thank You)
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

After Sam’s father is hospitalised, she has to move from New York to Salem with her stepmother, Vivian. Unfortunately, Sam is related to Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, and to say she feels unwelcome in Salem is an understatement… She is particularly unnerved by The Descendants, a mysterious and tight-knit group of girls related to those persecuted in the Trials. At the same time, she must deal with Elijah, the handsome but angry ghost who has appeared in her house, and her new neighbour Jaxon only complicates things further.

“I am utterly addicted to Adriana Mather’s electric debut. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, twisting and turning with ghosts, witches, an ancient curse, and – sigh – romance.” Jennifer Niven

“They really love their witches here,” I say, ignoring Vivian’s last question.
“This is one of the most important historical towns in America. Your relatives played a major role in that history.”
“My relatives hanged witches in the sixteen hundreds. Not exactly something to be proud of.”
But in truth, I’m super curious about this place, with its cobblestone alleys and eerie black houses. We pass a police car with a witch logo on the side. As a kid, I tried every tactic to get my dad to take me here, but he wouldn’t hear of it.
He’d say that nothing good ever happens in Salem and the conversation would end.

 

The story opens with the protagonist Sam’s dad in a coma. Sam and her step-mother Vivian have sold their New-York apartment to cover his rising medical bills and as such need to move back to Sam’s dads’ ancestral home in Salem.

I found Sam (Samantha Mather) to be easy to connect with right from the start. But I found the character of Elijah the most compelling and ended up by far my favourite.

There is an anti-bullying undercurrent to this whole story which I was completely on board with.

The plot was interesting and well executed. The pacing was good. And there were light and dark moments balanced the whole way through.

The only negative I found with the book, that dropped it from a five-star to a four-star read for me (so still an awesome book) was the romance. It felt forced at times and the story already had enough suspense and drama on its own. I just don’t think it was needed. Maybe the reason I couldn’t get on-board with the romance was because I didn’t connect with the Jaxon character? No, I think if they’d just been friends it would have worked fantastically! I did prefer the romance with Elijah, even though it was never going to work, and even if at times it didn’t sit right with me, at least the characters connection felt more built out. Meh, still an awesome book and one I’d happily read again.

How I felt reading this book: intrigued, entertained, occasionally annoyed at some of the characters and angry at bully behaviour (but for the most part just the first two).

I loved the mix of history and fiction and I loved how much the author put herself into the character*.

Who would enjoy this book: anyone with a fascination of Salem and the witch trials, anyone who likes young adult and paranormal fiction.

*At the back of the book there is an author’s note where Adriana talks about her connection to the infamous Salem witch trials, which is fascinating, and which I read before starting the story. I think reading it first gave me some sense of who the author was, her strong connection to the story and some of her hopes for the message behind the book. I think it made for a more connected read – so if you are going to read this book, I suggest you read the author’s note first.

Adriana’s Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

The Things We Can’t Undo: #LoveOZYA Review

38402124The Things We Can’t Undo by Gabrielle Reid
Genre: Contemporary, #LoveOzYA
Publication: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Source: Review copy from Author
Thank you Gabrielle
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Add to Goodreads

There’s no backspace key for life’s decisions.

Samantha and Dylan are in love – everyone knows it. So it’s no big deal when they leave a party for some time out together. But when malicious rumours surface about that night, each feels betrayed by the other.

Will Sam make a decision she can’t take back?

Triggers: sexual assault/rape & suicide.


I was a little shell shocked upon finishing this book. I was captivated from beginning to end and the book is terrifically done, but it does deal some heavy hits. The story highlights and deals with: mental illness, suicide, rape, (what is) consent, friendship, and the importance of communication. While also touching on: social media (the possible backlash and dangers), parental pressure and expectations, social pressure and expectations, cultural pressures and expectations, underage drinking/parties, dating and first times/loves.

Yep heavy stuff! But Gabrielle Reid has done a brilliant job of containing it all in a captivating story and format that discreetly educates. It is set in present day Sydney and told in the duel POV of Dylan and Sam. The story is told using the inclusion of diary entries, text messages, forum messages and twitter feeds from the characters. I really enjoy it when authors do this as part of the story telling. It seems to be the in thing to do, very now and I love it. Gabrielle has, not only told a good yarn with an important message, she has created a time capsule of how the world is now, not unlike how Puberty Blues is a time capsule for the late 70’s.

I think this book could be a great tool/way to get teens talking about consent. Both main characters were easy to connect with and I found I could relate to both on some level. Yes, the mother in me wanted to jump into the pages at times and shake the crap out of some of the characters, but that was mainly Sam’s parents.

Gabrielle did a guest post on my blog back in May where she talks about her book, the issue of consent and her intentions behind the character Dylan. I urge you to take a look at it, CLICK HERE, and of course the book itself.

I have two sons, yes itty-bitty babies now, but one day they will evolve into hormone fuelled monsters and I hope I can instil in them the knowledge and understanding necessary to make sure the scenarios in this book never happen to them or someone they care about.

GABRIELLE’S LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

The Things You Can’t Undo on: Goodreads | Ford Street Amazon AU

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

The Art of Taxidermy: YA Review

38581969

The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot
Genre: Young Adult, Poetry, Fiction
Publication: July 1st, 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review Copy – THANK YOU
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands—Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does.

And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her.

The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.


The Art of Taxidermy has been marketed as “for fans of Steven Herrick (The Simple Gift) and Diana Sweeney (The Minniow)”. I’m a big Herrick fan, and I’m inclined to agree with this statement. I haven’t read any Sweeney, but I do intend to rectify this.

Australian born Lottie is the daughter of two German migrants. After the loss of her mother, Lottie’s aunt takes over the maternal role. Lottie is trying to preserve the beauty of life with her taxidermy experiments. Trying to understand the world around her. Trying to make sense of the devastating losses she has had to face at such a young age. But her aunt doesn’t understand this, or really understand Lottie at all.

Sometimes reading MG or YA the mother/adult in me takes over and I side with the parental figure. But at times while reading this I was internally screaming at Lottie’s aunt and wanted to slap her back to last Friday.

I found the protagonist Lottie easy to connect with. I was Lottie! I think that is a sign of how well a story is told, of how good the story is, If you are so engrossed that you can’t unattach yourself from the character. That you struggle to see it any other way, other than the way the character sees it.

We (as the reader) feel the grief that drags Lottie down and together we deal with it, learn how to live again, and figure out who we are without the ones we love.

Words I would use (and am) to describe this book: beautiful, moving, engrossing, captivating, heart-breaking, heart-warming, hopeful and healing.

This #LoveOzYA verse novel by Mount Barker native Sharon Kernot is a moving testament to life and death. This is a hauntingly beautiful story that will stay with me for a long time.

Find it @ Booktopia | Bookdepository | Goodreads | Text Publishing

 

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

A backlog of beauties: Review Mash Up

I’ve been pretty out of it lately and have ended up behind on reading and reviews. You may or may not have noticed this, as I haven’t been posting as regularly. I think all the books below deserve a proper review post, but my mush brain is not cooperating and I still really wanted to share them with you. I will get it together. I promise. 


36986313The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls by Adam Cece and Andrew Weldon #LoveOzMG

Published April 2nd 2018 by Text Publishing [Goodreads]

Winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing

Kipp Kindle and his friends Tobias Treachery and Cymphany Chan live in Huggabie Falls, the weirdest town on Earth. Weird things happen all the time—that’s normal. But when an extremely weird thing happens Kipp and his friends know that something is wrong. They embark on a fast-paced, action-packed, hilarious adventure to find out what is making everything turn normal, and to return the weirdness to Huggabie Falls.

With an evil villain, Felonious Dark, a creepy scientist and a fierce wand-wielding teacher, who has turned Cymphany into a baby hippopotamus, to contend with, not to mention killer vampire bats, vegetarian piranhas and a Portuguese-speaking lab rat called Ralf, Kipp, Tobias and Cymphany have quite a task ahead of them.

The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls is the first book in a trilogy of sublimely ridiculous laugh-out-loud adventure stories for middle-grade readers.

A trio of friends who live in the weirdest town on earth band together to solve a mystery, foil the bad guys and save their beloved town from normalcy. A humorous story involving friendship, family and acceptance. Definitely one for the younger MG range. I think any 7-10 yr-olds would find it a wacky and wonderful book.


34787673

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Published April 6th 2017 by Simon & Schuster [Goodreads]

From the bestselling author of Night Owls comes a story of summer, first love and hidden identities . . .

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name.

When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?

SO DAMN ADORABLE. I smiled like an idiot when I finished reading this book. There is nothing like first love and friends helping each other work through their ‘ish. The 15-yr-old school girl that lives on in my soul was swooning something fierce for Porter Roth. I finished reading this not long before my last doctors appointment and I have decided that i’m blaming Jenn Bennett for the blood pressure meds my doctor has now put me on. Obviously the spike in my blood pressure, which has always been perfect,  came from me reading Starry Eyes and Alex Approximately back to back 😛 😛 AH so freaking ADORABLE! My heart exploded. Seriously, I still haven’t recovered – if you’re reading this, SEND HELP.


38207028Brontide by Sue McPherson #LoveOzYA

Published June 2018 by Magabala [Goodreads]

Brontide is a coming of age story about four boys and their lot in life. Recounted through storytelling sessions at their school over a period of five days, these boys chronicle their lives. They are at times demanding, occasionally rude, always funny and unexpectedly profound. The boys like to challenge themselves and the rules, and soon realise that not everything goes to plan…

I was captivated from the first page and I didn’t move or put this book down until I’d finished it.
Told through a series of interviews, it was fantastic getting different viewpoints on the same event. – Proving nothing is as it seems, one should never judge, you never know the full story etc etc and that teenagers boys aren’t all that bad.

I cried. I sat back and absorbed all the emotions I had experienced while reading. I immediately passed the book onto my mother and told her to read it.

I think this book is a really good tool for opening up the discussion with teenagers about peer pressure, racism, self-identity and friendships.
And is definitely a book I will sharing with my boys when they are older.

Summary: four teenage boys dealing with the pressures of wanting to be liked and wanting to fit in – with deadly consequences.


Draekora Graevale by Lynette Noni published by Pantera Press #LoveOzYA [Goodreads]

Graevale synopsis:

Now that Aven Dalmarta sits upon the throne of Meya, Alex must race against the clock to save the rest of Medora from the Rebel Prince’s wrath.

Haunted by an unspeakable vision of the future, Alex and her friends set out to warn the mortal races. But making allies out of ancient enemies proves difficult.

With her nights spent deep in the Library under the guidance of a mysterious new mentor, Alex is desperate to strengthen her gift and keep all those she loves safe. Because in a world where nothing is certain, she is sure of only one thing:

Aven is coming.

Lynette Noni’s The Medoran Chronicles are fantastic. If you are a fantasy fan of any age they are a MUST READ. I read Draekora and Graevale back to back (books 3 & 4). Devoured them, actually. I did the same thing with Akarnare and Raelia (books 1 & 2). 

I will always love you Niyx. Please come back Xiraxus. I want a dog just like Soraya – None of these things will make sense to you, until you read the books, AND READ THEM YOU SHOULD. These books are brilliant, like Harry Potter brilliant, but all the better ’cause Noni’s an Aussie, aye mate.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Starry Eyes: YA Review

From Jenn Bennett, author of Night Owls and Alex, Approximately comes a sizzling, starry romance, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Genre: Contemporary, YA Romance
Publication: June 1, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Review copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it’s not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other.

Wait, let me recover from the adorable overload that was Starry Eyes.

Jenn Bennett, I love you. You writer of beautiful feel good young adult romps you.

I cannot fault Starry Eyes. It had the right amount of drama, humour and heart to make me laugh out loud, swoon and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The two main characters of Zorie & Lennon are easily likeable. Childhood friends who through a series of miscommunications, and a selfishly meddling father, have a falling out and lose each other. But fate intervenes and thanks to a series of events (some rather amusing) they end up stranded together in the middle of nowhere. Cue high emotions, teenage awkwardness and wildlife galore – snakes and wildcats and bears, oh my.

This story gives us: a POV character that is a spunky young budding astrophysicist, some terrific supporting characters, friendships (the good and the bad), positive examples of same sex couples who rock at parenting and the practising of safe sex (not OTT or graphic). AND SUPER CUTE MAPS.

It deals with: parental infidelity, loss of a parent, hiking hijinks, forgiveness and LOVE (in multiple forms). – Yeah, it’s a lot, but it all comes together wonderfully thanks to Jenn Bennett’s skilled story telling.

Starry Eyes was an absolute joy to read and a book that I can see myself reading again when i’m in need of a mental hug.

 

Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of young adult contemporary romance books, including: Alex, Approximately; Night Owls; and Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and urban fantasy for adults. Her books have garnered multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list.

Jenn Bennett’s – Twitter | Instagram | Website

Starry Eyes on Amazon | Booktopia | Dymocks | QBD | Readings | Kindle | iBooks

Check out the whole Blog Tour HERE 

If you want the chance to win a copy of Starry Eyes keep an eye on my twitter, HERE. I will be running a giveaway. All it takes is a Retweet (AU only, open until the 20th June). Good luck.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

The Weekend Bucket List: YA Review

The Weekend Bucket List by Mia Kerick
Genre: Contemporary YA (LGBTQ)
Publication: April 19th 2018
Publisher: Duet Books
Source: Review copy as part of Blog Tour
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

High school seniors Cady LaBrie and Cooper Murphy have yet to set one toe out of line—they’ve never stayed out all night or snuck into a movie, never gotten drunk or gone skinny-dipping. But they have each other, forty-eight hours before graduation, and a Weekend Bucket List.

There’s a lot riding on this one weekend, especially since Cady and Cooper have yet to admit, much less resolve, their confounding feelings for one another—feelings that prove even more difficult to discern when genial high school dropout Eli Stanley joins their epic adventure. But as the trio ticks through their bucket list, the questions they face shift toward something new: Must friendship play second fiddle to romance? Or can it be the ultimate prize?

Right out the gate this story entertained me. The POV alternates between the three main characters – Cady, Cooper and Eli. I found all three characters relatable and easily likeable.

The bucket list is Cady’s way of making sure she and Cooper experience all the things that “normal” kids do in high school. The things that they missed out on while they were being model students. Things like getting drunk, going skinny dipping, sneaking into a movie and having a first kiss. She’s also hoping they might be able to figure out their feelings towards each other.

The entry of ‘Hot Jesus’ (aka Eli) cracked me up. Eli’s been drifting, traveling as carny since he ran away from home before finishing high school. His entrance is spectacular. And the combo of a straight female and two bisexual males as leads worked brilliantly. Nobody knew what they were feeling or for who. Oh teenagers. Growing up really is hard to do. But friendship, the truest, strongest and purest form of love wins out in the end. Happily, so. The Weekend Bucket List leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling in the end.

I’m really impressed by Mia Kerick and her writing. It seems that she’s trying to be inclusive and very LGBTQ positive. Bravo Mia, I commend you. I will defiantly be reading more of Mia’s books in the future.

The story touched on: friendship, love, sexually, self-discovery, alcohol and drug abuse, parental pressures and expectations. But it was still a funny, warm and entertaining read.

AUTHOR LINKS:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook | Amazon

GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Want more of the tour > > View tour schedule (and links)

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂 .