Kissed by Kimberly Loth: YA Book Review & Giveaway

Kissed Crop

Kissed by Kimberly Loth: YA Book Review & Giveaway

The first half of this story, the dark half, describing Naomi’s bleak home life was disturbing and difficult to read due to the graphic portrayal and level of violent abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. It was however beautifully written and I felt drawn into the character’s emotional journey.

In contrast the second half of the book, where the fantasy element is further revealed, felt a little bland and rushed, with Puck the only character with any real spark. I wish he played a larger role in the story – I am definitely on ‘Team Puck’!

I loved the unique way the author used roses as a link through the story. Roses play a large role in the story, including Naomi’s penchant of matching each person she meets, based on their character and her emotional connection to them, to a particular rose.3 Star

Recommended age: 15+ (Domestic violence)

Kissed
Series: The Thorn Chronicles – # 1
Author: Kimberly Loth
Publisher: Kimberly LothKissed
Publication Date: 1 May 2014
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review

Purchase this Book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Add to:
Goodreads

Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself   — Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Enter to win your own copy of Kissed!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Defiance crop

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

I LOVED this book! Fast paced, brimming with action, a strong, feisty female protagonist and a dragon that puts all the dragons that came before to shame. What’s not to love?

I could not put this book down. Inventing excuses to make time to read, I devoured this book from the opening sentence “The weight of their pity is like a stone tied around my neck…” to the breathtaking end and was left wanting more. There is a sure way of telling if you truly love an author’s style of writing – when you continue to read their four page acknowledgements at the end of the book, where they thank people who you don’t know or care about, just because you can’t believe the story is really over.

Go and get this book today! My copy is going on my favourites shelf.5 Star

Recommended age: 13 +

Defiance
Title: Defiance
Series: Courier’s Daughter – Book 1Defiance
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publication Date: 28 August 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Purchased

Purchase this book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Book Depository

Loot.co.za

Add to your shelf:
Goodreads

While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making. — Extract from Goodreads.com

My Friend the Enemy by Dan Smith

My Friend the EnemyMy Friend the Enemy by Dan Smith

My Friend the Enemy. Beautifully written this book brought alive the life of a child in rural England during the Second World War. I am instinctively drawn to books written about this war, and this book did not disappoint. Full of life, danger and adventure, I was caught up in the story and for a while actually felt I was actually there.

The author managed, without preaching, to bring across the message of humanity, that soldiers are just ordinary people and that in different circumstances enemies could become friends.

I introduced this book recently to our Grade 6’s (12 year olds) in our school library. I read the first chapter to them and they were captivated. The book went out immediately in the hands of a student whose great-grandfather fought for Germany and a several students added their names to the waiting list. Interestingly, this story lead to a long discussion about the war and I was amazed at how few students knew that South African soldiers fought for the Allies.

4 StarFans of Michael Morpurgo will love this story.

Recommended age 10 +

My Friend the Enemy
Author: Dan Smith

Publication Date: 4 July 2013My Friend the Enemy
Publisher: Chicken House
Source: Purchased

Buy this book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Book Depository
Loot.co.za

Add to your shelf:
Goodreads

Summer, 1941. For Peter, the war is a long way away, being fought by a faceless enemy. Until the night a German plane is shot down over woods that his missing dad looked after before he went off to fight.

Peter rushes to the crash site to see if there’s something he can keep, but what he finds instead is an injured young German airman. The enemy. Here.

And helping him seems like the right thing to do… 

– abstract from Goodreads.com

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy

Despite the fact I rarely enjoy historical fiction and hate anything to do with political intrigue, I loved this original and beautifully written book which manages to successfully combine fantasy and medieval French history.

Oozing with passion, suspense, romance and espionage, this book portrays murder in a very different light. Packing a punch as an assassin for the elusive god of Death, the strong female character, Ismae, has to find a way to faithfully serve her god and still be true to heart as she navigates the murky waters of intrigue and treason in the court of Duchess Anne of Brittany.4 Star

Recommended age 14+

Grave Mercy
Series: His Fair Assassin Book 1
Author:  Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy
Publication Date: 7 June 2012
Publisher: Anderson Press
Source: Purchased


Buy this book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Book Depository
Loot.co.za


Add to your shelf:
Goodreads

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?     – Extract from Goodreads.com

Sara and the Chimera: A Prison of Light

Sara and the Chimera: A Prison of LightSara and the Chimera crop

I was sceptical when I first heard of this book, it is not my genre of choice (I prefer faerie in my fantasy!), and although my teenage self would have snatched at it, I was not so sure I wanted to drag myself through what looked like an ‘out there’ story. I stalled, querying if this was in fact a young adult book as the protagonists were children, but was assured that they mature with each sequel and the series as a whole would suit a broad audience including YA. To be honest I was a little awed by the fact this was the first book I was asked to review and feeling as though I should at least give it a chance I chose a time when I was going to be stuck for long period of time in waiting rooms where anything is better than the old sporting magazines provided.

The first few chapters were hard to get through, featuring long descriptive passages that didn’t flow easily. I gave up at one stage, putting the book aside, intending to have a break for a day or two. But I was ousted by the characters who had wormed their way into my mind and I found myself repeatedly thinking about them and where the story would take them. I am so glad I persevered; this was an enticing, imaginative, slightly weird story that transported me into another world (or should I say worlds). As I read I began to think how it would translate into film and I think it has the potential to make a brilliant and successful movie.

The beautifully developed characters (FYI – Chimera is pronounced Ky-MARE-uh) were enhanced by Todd Morasch’s detailed illustrations which appear sporadically throughout. I wish that the cover had been better designed; it does not do the story any justice.

While I am not sure that this book will appeal to the majority (unless the movie version comes out), I’d like to thank the authors for taking me outside my comfort zone. A mature child who loves reading would 4 Starenjoy this innovative book.

Recommended age: 10+

Sara and the Chimera: A Prison of Light – Book 1
Series: Sara and the Chimera
Author:  Greg Dent & Todd MoraschSara and the Chimera
Publication Date: 27 July 2010
Publisher: Epidemic Books
Source: Free copy from author in exchange for honest review


Buy this book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Book Depository
Loot.co.za

Add to shelf:
Goodreads

Sara Starbright has the most important gift the universe has ever given, and all manner of creatures from all realms of the imagination want to take it for themselves. What can one small girl do to protect herself from the deadliest and most impressive force creation has ever amassed? Yet in her darkest hour, Sara may have just met the one person in the entire universe capable of being her friend.

Stifled and stunted in the deepest inner chambers of the Fishman’s worldship prison colony, a boy named Jonathan Wheeler lies in a state of suspended animation. Through an unlikely twist of fate, he has found himself in the body of an ever-growing and ever-changing monster, the Chimera. With boundless energy and strength at his command, all he needs is the right bit of knowledge to get himself out of his cell and to freedom.

As they escape from one world to the next, Sara and Jonathan find that together they make a pretty good team. But when you can’t trust anyone, and when the universe turns out to be quite a bit bigger than you could have ever imagined, who can you count on to guide you towards somewhere you actually want to be?    – Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

1 39 40 41 42 43 45