#Review by Lou Things To Do Before The End of The World @emily_barr @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours #YA #Fiction

Things To Do Before The End of The World
By Emily Barr

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Olivia is not only shy, she is an anxious teenager, who doesn’t want to do anything much and would rather hide away from the world, until she makes friends with Natasha, who takes her out of herself a bit and she discovers that she can live life to the full. It has intrigue and is thought-provokingly inspiring in part and shows some negativity in others. There is intrigue and twists and turns as family secrets are uncovered.
It is a fictional Young Adult book, with a difference – the chapter headings can be practical for teenagers/young adults, for working out some life plans… Check out the blurb and review to discover more about this latest addition to the YA market.
I thank The Write Reads for inviting me to the blog tour of this book.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World cover

Blurb

1. Live your best life.
2. Uncover family secrets.
3. Trust no one

What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most?
You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?

Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who do she wants to be?

Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more.
And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.

But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be . . .

I walked home. I kept hearing footsteps behind me, but every time I turned around, no one was there.

Review

Things To Do Before The End Of The World coverCurtains up for a production of Romeo and Juliet, echoing the final scenes. It sets the scene for the rest of the book rather well in a temper of melancholy, in a way that makes you want to hug Olivia and then look her directly in the eye to tell her to go on the adventure to discover the family she never knew she had, until now.
It is a weighty book, full of teenage angst and emotion, that her mum tries to assist with and tries to convince her to seek some extra guidance with all her social anxieties.

I kept hoping for something uplifting and hopeful within the book, something that would seem to have Olivia on-track with life, instead of seeing her feel like she is clipped and heaved back with her social anxieties. It takes some time, but seek and you will find some positivity, some of it in the form of Natasha, who befriends Olivia, who eeks her outside of her innerself.

The clever part isn’t so much in the text within the text in each chapter, but the chapter headings themselves. That’s where the “Things To Do Before The End of The World” really are, as they pointedly start to give readers a list that screams to do something and to live life. That’s where the uplifting signs come from (except “Runaway”. I wouldn’t advocate anyone does that and “Don’t Trust Anyone”, although it does all fit well within the story). Some are also sensible and will be thought-provoking to teenagers as it reminds them to think about not wasting their time in education and also to think about their mum (or whoever takes care of them). The chapter headings really excited me, once I clocked onto what they were doing. These are what, more than anything, show teens about how to “live their best life”, in a guidance sort of way.

As for the story itself, teens will be able to relate, but I have to say, I had a bit of a heavy heart to begin with, when reading it as I waded through much negativity about the world, but there is a turning point and my heart somewhat lightened. It is all there and these elements stand out more than most. On the other-hand it shows what living with anxiety can do to a person and their views on the world.
There are some pretty dark elements however, about hoping to be in contact with the dead and “playing” with tarot cards.

The travel between Spain and France provides a bit of light relief and elements of that fun with the shows they see, the fashion and some of things the friends get up to and the plans they want to make. This does help turn a corner in the story and it starts to show some uplifting elements. It also has some realism of how life just isn’t all a straight line and there are ups and downs and some curveballs, but  and in someways this is a positive in a world where people have come to expect life to be either all up or all down and in reality its a whole mixture.

I think it will provide some thought-provoking elements for teenagers to hopefully be careful when they are abroad, but also to have some fun there and at home and to realise the world isn’t all bleak.

#BookReview of #YA book – Kate In Wating by Becky Albertalli @beckyalbertalli @RomaBaig_ @penguinrandom @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours

Kate In Waiting
By Becky Albertalli

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kate In Waiting is full of humour, the ups and downs of teenage life, including crushes and juggling dull school work with the exciting bright lights of the theatre and exciting rehearsals. Becky Albertalli has nailed it all in such a convincing story and it has just been published. Read the blurb and the review to discover more about the book that has been waiting in the wings…

I thank Roma Baig for gifting me this rather fun YA book.

Kate In Waiting pic

Blurb

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…

Review

Kate In Waiting picMissing theatre? I know I am. So join this YA Romcom and find out about Kate in this witty book about stage life and romance. So many teenagers/young adults will be able to relate, even if having to carpool to rehearsals isn’t part of your life. From the first to the last page this book is very entertaining.

The book screams Teen-RomCom basically and lives in their communal world of SnapChat etc and the need to tell each other everything. There’s the romance and the crushing end of one and also a lot of humour too with Kate, Anderson and Matt, the stars of the show, with a great supporting cast.
The vibe is brilliant within the book, even when everything changes and the script that seemed so planned before makes life a bit messy and the teens suddenly find themselves having to do some improv to figure everything out all over again.

Chapters become scenes and many other theatrical references are made. There’s songs to practice and rehearsals to attend, but amongst all of that, there is school, which is entirely not as exciting, except it gives a bit of a chance for Kate to daydream, until she is interrupted…

Teens will be able to empathise with them all and feel the fun and the pain of those crushes and be there with them right to the very last page.

With warmth and so much humour, this is enough to brighten anyone’s spirits!

#BookReview of #YA book – Kate In Wating by Becky Albertalli @beckyalbertalli @RomaBaig_ @penguinrandom

Kate In Waiting
By Becky Albertalli

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Kate In Waiting is full of humour, the ups and downs of teenage life, including crushes and juggling dull school work with the exciting bright lights of the theatre and exciting rehearsals. Becky Albertalli has nailed it all in such a convincing story and it has just been published. Read the blurb and the review to discover more about the book that has been waiting in the wings…

I thank Roma Baig for gifting me this rather fun YA book.

Kate In Waiting pic

Blurb

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…

Review

Kate In Waiting picMissing theatre? I know I am. So join this YA Romcom and find out about Kate in this witty book about stage life and romance. So many teenagers/young adults will be able to relate, even if having to carpool to rehearsals isn’t part of your life. From the first to the last page this book is very entertaining.

The book screams Teen-RomCom basically and lives in their communal world of SnapChat etc and the need to tell each other everything. There’s the romance and the crushing end of one and also a lot of humour too with Kate, Anderson and Matt, the stars of the show, with a great supporting cast.
The vibe is brilliant within the book, even when everything changes and the script that seemed so planned before makes life a bit messy and the teens suddenly find themselves having to do some improv to figure everything out all over again.

Chapters become scenes and many other theatrical references are made. There’s songs to practice and rehearsals to attend, but amongst all of that, there is school, which is entirely not as exciting, except it gives a bit of a chance for Kate to daydream, until she is interrupted…

Teens will be able to empathise with them all and feel the fun and the pain of those crushes and be there with them right to the very last page.

With warmth and so much humour, this is enough to brighten anyone’s spirits!

#Review by Lou – What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson @coryanderwrites @penguinrandom @WriteReadsTours @WriteReads #BookReview #YA #Thriller

What Beauty There Is
By Cory Anderson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I have a dark thriller for young adults/older teenagers that has characters to root for twists and turns that grip on the backdrop of a harsh environment. 

I thank The Write Reads for inviting me to review and for Penguin for gifting me a copy of the book.

Read further for the blurb and full review of the book.

What Beauty There Is banner

Blurb

Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

What Beauty There IsJack Morton has nothing left. Except for his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for. Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison. He chooses the money.

Ava Bardem lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one. Trust no one. Now Victor Bardem is stalking the same money as Jack. When he picks up Jack’s trail, Ava must make her own wrenching choice: remain silent or help the brothers survive.

Choices. They come at a price.

Review

Set to be a big thriller for YA/teenage readers, What Beauty Is, is dark and full of twists that would capture and engage older teens. It’s subject matters of loss and hard times growing up are stark. Jack’s mother had committed suicide when he was younger and his father is in prison. This book shows his and Atlas’s resilience.Later Jack meets Ava, who is another main character and she too has had a hard life, witnessing her mother having to leave the family home and Barden being central to this.

There’s also drugs involved as that’s why their father is in prison, and the money has to be found. There is also a real concern as social care services are contacted and Jack is worried about being separated from his brother and put into foster care. There’s quite an intensity to the book that is sure to grip and readers may well be rooting for the young characters as they try and find their way through their tough upbringing, with the hope they can and will survive. It shows cause and effect of this type of life and the emotions and how the teens react to it all.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot going on, much of which will grip the teenage population and have them talking as the subject matters are huge and also not unknown by them. It is also written in a way that makes it entirely suitable for teens, there isn’t anything that is too adult within them, it is written well with them in mind and is sure to engage.

What Beauty There Is

#Review by Lou – Journey to New Salem by Mark Rosendorf @markrosendorf #YA #Fantasy #Witches #Friendships #Magic …

Journey to New Salem
By Mark Rosendorf

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The second book in this series whisks readers off to New Salem, where there are some familiar and new characters. Witches, Magic, Vampires, Romance, Friendship, Teamwork, Portals, Trepedation and Teen Spirit… This book is packed full with it all in a quest to save one of the characters in this compelling, page-turning fantasy/realism book that I feel is sure to grab young-adults/teenagers attention. It is worth a read. How far too, would you go for a friend?
The first book was a very good read and encompass themes relevant for Young Adults and written very well, so I am delighted to be asked to review again by the author – Mark Rosendorf.
Find out more below in the blurb and the rest of my review and also discover buy links and a link to Book 1 after that….. The book is available in paperback and e-book formats.

About the Author

MarkMark Rosendorf is a High School Guidance Counselor for students in the New York City Department of Education’s special education district. He is also a former professional magician. Mark shares his knowledge of magic with his students as part of the school’s Performing Arts program.

Mark is also credited with published novels in various genres including The Rasner Effect series. He eventually decided on an early retirement from writing. When asked why, Mark’s usual answer was because he lost his favorite pen.

Then, one night, at two a.m., a new and unique story shot into his brain like a lightning bolt, screaming for him to write it.  Suddenly, despite the decision to never write again, Mark found himself spending several nights taking notes on the characters and their stories. That is how The Witches of Vegas, Mark’s first young adult story, was born.

 

New Salem cover

Blurb

A year has passed since The Witches of Vegas saved the city from the evil Wiccan vampire, Valeria. Since then, the show has hit an all-time high. So has the romance between teen witch Isis Rivera and teenage magician, Zack Galloway. Things couldn’t be any better for them until Isis develops seizures that cause her power to spiral out of control. Fires and earthquakes are just the beginning of the chaos caused by the misfired witchcraft. Unable to find a cure, Isis’ family journeys to New Salem, a fabled village of witches which may or may not even exist. Meanwhile, Zack ends up face to face with the only being who may have a cure…Valeria. But does he dare pay her price?

Review

Jasper has premonitions in some of his dreams/nightmares and a night spent with his other-half, Tia saw some more….
The book then moves to the first chapter and onto The Witches of Vegas – a unique magic show as the witches are real and have Wiccan powers. Isis Quinn-Santell, fomerly Isis Flores Rivera is one of them, who readers can follow in her life in the book.

The book has themes which are perfect for the young-adult/teen market. There’s fantasy (magic and teleportation) mixed through the real world, romance, life, all manner of emotions and growing-up.
The romance between Isis and Zack is beautifully written. There is great humour within this relationship, surrounding a small issue of fire…

The time-travelling to the 1990’s is a bit of fun and is a great addition for letting the younger generations gain some knowledge of this decade. It shows books, even fantasy books can be vital in, as well as providing an enjoyable story, they also provide and add to knowledge and increasing a well-rounded education, vital for quizzes and for knowing and understanding the world. 

There’s trepidation as Isis isn’t feeling her usual self and Zack needs to summon Selena and Sebastian to help with their Wiccan powers. As she lies in hospital things become complicated for Isis and how to hide her true witchy identity and the others need to help, but run into problems here and there with teleporting as other forces may also be at play. The author does this well and builds some mild tension up.

Politics in some form also come to play as Isis meets Tia – the president in New Salem, nothing heavy, which is a good call, so it doesn’t jar the story. There’s also some interesting theories about vampires and readers can find out about Valeria as the quest to get Isis back to health continues, where the tension ramps up another gear as the Witches of Vegas are characters that are easy to want to do well and succeed.

This is a book that young adults can easily escape into. It’s compelling to the end!

Links

Amazon          Waterstones     Review of Book 1 – Witches of Vegas

A #Spotlight into What Beauty There Is @coryanderwrites #YA #Teens #Thriller #TheWriteReads #TheWriteReadsOnTour

What Beauty There Is
By Cory Anderson
Spotlight

What Beauty There Is banner

Something sinister and exhilerating is coming to the Young Adult book market… What Beauty There Is, is published by Penguin Random House UK on 8th April. It’s going to be one heck of an amazing  ride, not for the faint-hearted!!! It has an all immersive atmosphere that will have you hanging in there for the duration of the book. It’s like hearing and seeing everything in 4D in your mind. It will set your pulses racing and eyes glued to every page! You will want to know what happens next this thriller that depicts beauty and brutality. This has a dark, intense grittiness within it as it  poses the thought-provoking question of “How far will you go to protect your loved ones…”
This is a new thriller older teens and young adults will get much reading pleasure from.
What Beauty There Is, is a fast-paced, well-written thriller from Cory Anderson, who is a winner of the League of Utah Writers Young Adult Novel Award and Grand Prize in the Storymakers Conference First Chapter Contest. What Beauty There Is, is her debut novel.
Find out more in the blurb below.
In April, I will be back with a full review of this Thriller of a book!
Thanks to The Write Reads for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

What Beauty There Is

Blurb

An exhilarating, emotionally impactful and superbly written thriller with the atmosphere of Winter’s Bone and the compulsive reading experience of Karen McManus.

Winter. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack Morton has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d do anything for. Even die for.

Now with their mother gone, and their funds quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.

But in the harsh, isolated landscape of the mid-Rockies with winter approaching, it isn’t easy. And soon Jack realises he’s not the only one on the hunt . . .

An unputdownable thriller about how far you’ll go to protect those you love.

What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson’s YA novel about brutality and beauty, and about broken people trying to survive—perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Laura Ruby, and Meg Rosoff.