Posts Tagged 'Romance'



Atlantia by Ally Condie

atlantia

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  298

RAC:  Yes

Rio and her twin, Bay, were born in the underwater town of Atlantia and it is now their chosen time to decide if they wish to stay below or go up to the surface for the rest of their lives.  People in the underwater city believe that life above ground is dangerous, labor intensive, and fairly short while residents of Atlantia are believed to have an easy life where most people live a very long time.  Unfortunately, their mother, Oceana, was recently found dead and many suspect foul play.  Rio has always dreamed of going above, but now that their mother is gone she has promised Bay she will stay with her down below.  All decisions are final in this ceremony and there is no going back and forth allowed.  Rio is shocked when Bay ends up leaving her and choosing to live above the water, but she is ushered away before Rio has a chance to ask her why.  She does have time to utter one word that alerts those near to her of what she truly is, which is a siren.  Her mother has trained her to keep that truth a secret for reasons unbeknownst to Rio.  Can Rio survive in the one place she has wanted to leave her entire life without her mother or sister?  Why would her sister choose to leave after making her promise they would stay together forever?  Is it possible to bridge the two societies together?

This novel is fresh and interesting right from the beginning.  It feels like yet another futuristic story, but the setting and characters quickly help you to forget all of that as you cannot help but get immersed in the story.  Rio has many plot details to figure out in order to find out the truth of her family and Atlantia itself.  While many great characters are introduced, it does take Rio awhile to discern whom she can and cannot trust which makes the journey more interesting for the reader.  It also appears that this is going to be a stand alone novel which is refreshing in a world where every book seems to have three sequels.  Recommended for students who enjoy fantasy.

Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

queen of someday

Genre:  Historical Fiction

# of Pages:  249

RAC:  Yes

Sophie has been summoned to Russia to meet with the Empress and her nephew, the heir to the throne.  Sophie’s mother has impressed upon Sophie how important it is for their family to secure a match with the prince because they have many debts and are in danger of losing their title and land.  Once Sophie arrives in Russia it becomes clear that the prince is very self involved and wants all attention on him at all times.  She begins to spend a lot of time with her Russian tutor, Sergei, and one of the prince’s men, Alexander.  Eventually, Sophie begins to have affection for Alexander and she knows how much trouble she would be in if anyone ever found out.  Meanwhile, she is informed that she must learn fluent Russian and convert to Greek Orthodox before she can marry the prince.  Can she turn her back on her family and marry the man she loves or must she marry a man she finds vile in order to save her family?

Loosely based on Catherine the Great, Ficklin makes no apologies for any historical inaccuracies.  The story is interesting in that very little is written in the young adult category for this era in historical fiction.  Due to the fact that it is based on true events, there are some twists to the story that may shock and dismay readers, but is essential in order to follow the arch of Catherine’s life.  The characters are interesting and written so that they are not easily confused.  Fans of series such as The Luxe or Cleopatra’s Daughter will enjoy this title.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

eleanor and park

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  325

RAC:  Yes

Park is a half Asian student who lives in a tough neighborhood of thugs and bullies, but has always managed to stay under the radar.  Eleanor is a new student who has bright red curly hair and is a bit overweight.  She immediately becomes a target for the bullies at school and Park takes pity on her and allows her to share his seat on the bus.  They do not talk at first, but eventually they start sharing music and comics.   Eleanor never talks about home, however, and as their friendship begins to shift toward a more romantic relationship Park begins to understand why she never discusses her family.  Can Park protect her from the bullies in her life?  Does he have the courage to do so?

This powerful modern day romance will connect with John Green fans who enjoy unique and truly memorable characters.  There are many interesting descriptions used and information about both Eleanor and Park is revealed through surprising and yet realistic means so that the reader truly learns certain pieces of information at the exact moment that it occurs to the character.  Highly recommended.

Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan

flame

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  326

RAC:  Yes

In the third installment of the Sky Chasers Series, everyone is on the New Horizon since the Empyrean was destroyed in the last book.  Anne Mathers is trying to promote peace, but she has both Waverly and Kieran under armed guard at all times since she doesn’t trust their motives.  Both of them are living with their mothers, but they seem a bit off and Waverly wonders what exactly has been done to them to make them so agreeable to everything the New Horizon suggests to them.  Meanwhile, Seth has landed on his own on the ship and has been on the run ever since.  His arm is badly damaged and is in danger of infection, but he just cannot bear to turn himself in.  Everyone on the ship is divided over the conditions they are living in.  Some believe the New Horizon did what they had to to ensure survival while others believe it wrong how they used murder and drugs to get everything they wanted for the Empyrean and the poor girls they violated.  Everyone does want to live peacefully, but can they overcome their past in order to move forward and work toward that goal?  Will Waverly and Kieran end up together just like everyone always planned?

The conclusion of this series is just as exciting as the rest with many close calls for Kieran and Seth especially.  Waverly and Kieran want to move on and promote a peaceful existence, but it is difficult to forget what they have been through and all of their shipmates who died in the process.  Anne Mathers is losing control of her ship, but for the first time Waverly starts to see who exactly created the evil persona she has become.  There are many surprises and the ending is far from predictable, which should intrigue fans.  Overall, it was a very satisfying ending to a fun and creative story.

Deep Green by Trisha Haddad

Deep Green_Trisha Haddad_150dpi

** New Release Excerpt **

Genre: Adventure/Contemporary Romance

Format: e-book and print

Tagline: They fight for survival, but their secrets could ruin everything.

 

About the book

Leah Taylor prefers the quiet adventure and romance of books, but during a cruise with her parents, a terrorist attack leaves her adrift in a lifeboat with strangers.

University student, Blue McCree impresses her immediately with his knowledge of literature and philosophy. Equally thrilling is strong, quiet Musir. While he is slow to speak, translating his thoughts from Arabic to English, his chivalry and wisdom capture Leah’s curiosity.

Together they face danger after danger as they fight for survival. Leah also struggles with the growing attention from the men she’s stranded with, and her mixed emotions toward them.

When Leah learns the dark secrets her fellow survivors hold, the truth will blow apart any semblance of civility and test Leah’s preconceived notions of just how far dedication can go before it crosses over into fanaticism.

 Excerpt

I could have sworn it was silent all over the ship in that moment. The ocean stood still, the wind slowed, and the other passengers walked silently. It must have been so. I certainly couldn’t register a sound. It was as though the world awaited his voice and words.

Then I began to feel awkward when they did not come. Here I was, staring like a love-struck fool into the eyes of a guy I never met before.

I tended to fall in love with characters in books. Most guys I went to school with were far too interested in sports or video games. How could they ever hope to hold a candle to Mister Darcy’s intensity, Tom Joad’s ethics, Martin Eden’s passion, Caleb Trask’s struggle for goodness, or Edmond Dantes’ cunning intellect? No real boy ever sparked in me the passion these fictional characters did; until now.

Yet, I didn’t know a thing about him. Did he have a strong sense of justice? Did he thirst for knowledge? Was he a romantic to the core? Did art touch his very soul? I had no idea. All I knew was that his gaze bore into the essence of me. I could read in it something deeper than I saw before in anyone’s eyes. It was a sort of sadness, like he carried with him all the sorrows of the world.

I had to know if there was more than his beauty. Surely I couldn’t feel how I did if he weren’t passionate, if he lacked depth? It simply wasn’t possible.

 

Find out more: www.TrishaHaddad.com

 

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

moon and more

Genre:  Romance/Realistic Fiction

# of Pages: 435

RAC:  Yes

Emaline is working for her family’s rental company the summer before she goes to college.  She is very close to her mother, stepfather, and stepsisters, but has never felt close to the father who walked out on her.  She is still bristling from an argument with her biological father that led to him ignoring her graduation completely.  She isn’t sure how she feels when  he calls to say he is in town and wants to meet with her.  Meanwhile, she meets a documentary filmmaker and her assistant, Theo, who have rented one of the biggest properties for the entire summer.  The filmmaker often has crazy demands, but the assistant seems interesting in a different sort of way.  Is Emaline ready to give up the boyfriend she’s had for four years for this intriguing boy from the big city?  Is Emaline ready to face the father she barely knows in order to confront how seriously he hurt her?  Is Emaline ready to go away to college and leave her family and friends behind?

Sarah Dessen fans will enjoy the characters in this one as well.  Emaline is easygoing, but also very hardworking, smart, and driven.  She is not afraid to step outside of her comfort zone in order to fight for what she wants.  Her relationship with her boyfriend, Luke, is hardly established when things go south so it’s hard to feel too strongly about him one way or the other.  Theo, is portrayed differently than most of the rebound boyfriends in Dessen’s novels and this change is a bit refreshing.  The ending lacked a bit of the punch that others such as The Truth About Forever had and was a tad predictable, but Dessen fans will enjoy it anyway.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

the-fault-in-our-stars

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  318

RAC Book:  Yes

Augustus “Gus” and Hazel meet at a Cancer support group.  Hazel has thyroid cancer that forces her to use oxygen 24/7 and despite a new miracle drug, has always been given a short life expectancy.  She has adjusted to her relatively simple life, but that changes when she meets Gus, who lost a leg to Cancer, but has been Cancer free ever since.  They begin talking and exchanging favorite books.  Gus makes a huge gesture for Hazel so that a dream of hers can come true.  It isn’t until afterward that Hazel realizes how much he really gave to give her that experience.  As these two begin to fall in love they cannot help but wonder how long they really have and what they should do to make every day count.

This story is well-written and engaging.  Hazel and Gus’s story will resonate with young readers because of their sheer honesty and willingness to never give up.  The issues they have to deal with seem so heavy compared with other love stories, but it comes across as uplifting and life affirming instead of depressing.  Highly recommended.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

ruby red

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  322

RAC Book:  Yes

Gwyneth lives in a large house with her extended family who are anxiously awaiting the first time travel episode by her cousin, Charlotte.  Their family has a long history of time traveling and it was predicted that Charlotte would be the next in the line so she has spent much of her childhood getting prepared.  Gwyneth is therefore very surprised when she is transported into an unknown time period instead.  This causes quite a bit of turmoil in the household as they scramble to help Gwyneth in her new mission and understand how the mistake came to be.  With each time travel, Gwyneth comes to find more questions than answers about the true mission of her and her cousin, Gideon, who is also a time traveler.  Whom should they trust?  Who wants to help them and who is merely selfishly using them for their own personal gain?

This book has been on my “to read” list for awhile and I wish I would have read it sooner.  It was exciting, charming, mysterious, and entertaining.  Despite having quite a few characters they are all easily identified due to their detailed characterization.  The mystery behind the mission is somewhat discussed, but it’s obvious there is much more for Gwyneth to learn.  Fans of romantic fantasy will absolutely love this and move on to the sequel quickly.

Dark Souls by Paula Morris

dark souls

Genre:  Fantasy/Mystery

# of Pages:  292

RAC:  Yes

Miranda and her brother, Rob, are in a terrible car accident that kills Miranda’s best friend.  After the fact, Rob has some serious fears about riding in cars and claustrophobia, while Miranda is mourning her friend.  Her parents have professional reasons for visiting York, England and decide it is a perfect time for the family to get away.  Upon arrival, Miranda realizes she can now see ghosts, but is most intrigued by the one across the street that she can see in the attic of a boarded up house.    She meets a troubled young man, Nick, who can also see ghosts and invites her to some mysterious places in order to interact with them.    The more time she spends with Nick the more she suspects he is planning something big and mysterious.   Can she save him from making a terrible mistake that will change his entire future?

This story includes a lot of folklore about York which ties into the story well.  The characters are well developed, especially Miranda’s family, despite being in the story rather infrequently.  The mystery moves a tad slow at the beginning, but eventually takes off and it’s obvious that the groundwork for solving it has been laid from the beginning.  Fans of ghost and/or mystery stories will enjoy this title.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

delirium

Genre:  Romance

# of Pages:  441

RAC:  Yes

Lena lives in a place where they believe love to be a virus that encourages people to do terrible things they would not normally do.  They have created a cure that everyone receives at the age of 18.  Lena’s mother ended up dying due to the virus and her sister was affected by it as well, so Lena cannot wait to get the cure.  That is until she meets someone and falls in love.  Even though she knows she is coming down with the virus she does not care and wishes to do whatever it takes to stop herself from getting that cure.

The idea of this story is very interesting, but the actual romance seems a little slow and boring at times.  It makes it hard to want to keep reading about these two when they are just uninteresting.  The ending is fairly fast paced and exciting, but abruptly ends.  Girls who like romances and dystopian societies will make the best audience for this series.

Belles by Jen Calonita

Belles by Jen Calonita

Genre:  Romance

# of Pages:  352

RAC Book:  Yes

Isabelle has lived with her mother and her grandmother her entire life and when her mother died in a car accident her grandmother became her guardian.  Despite all of Isabelle’s efforts, her grandmother is placed in a nursing home by a social worker and she is whisked away to the house of long lost family she has never heard of.  The Monroe’s welcome Isabelle, but their teenage daughter, Mirabelle, struggles to befriend Isabelle at school as well as keep in the good graces of the queen bee, Savannah, who does not want Isabelle included in any school events.  Meanwhile, Isabelle is stunned to learn that the great guy she met surfing at the beach all summer is the boyfriend of Savannah, who seems to make it her life’s mission to torture Isabelle.  Will Isabelle and Mirabelle ever get along?  Will Isabelle ever feel like she fits in in this new school, home, and family?  What will happen when a huge family secret is revealed?

This story is full of teenage drama, but somehow manages to suck the reader in and want to know what will happen to these people.  Despite the stress of always trying to keep up appearances, the Monroes do come off as normal and well adjusted.  Savannah is a good villain that everyone wants to see go down, but can unfortunately also identify with as most people know a “Savannah.”  Recommended for girls who like romance and lighter stories.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages 398

RAC Book:  Yes

Amy must make the very difficult decision of whether or not to cryogenically freeze herself with her parents.  They have been chosen for their elite skills to lead a new planet in 300 years.   Amy can choose to wait 300 years to continue her life on a new planet with her parents or she can stay and live the rest of her life without them.  She chooses to get frozen, but is unexpectedly awoken 50 years early by someone wishing to cause harm to frozen people.  Amy feels it is her responsibility to protect her parents from the person trying to hurt the frozen people, but how?  Meanwhile, Elder, the future leader of the ship, is trying to learn what it will take to lead one day from Eldest, the current leader of the ship.  Eldest is tyrannical, oppressive, and difficult to work with.  Worst of all, as Elder soon learns, he has no problem with lying to the passengers of the ship.  Can Elder become the kind of leader the ship needs?  Will he go along with the lies they currently believe just to make Eldest’s life easier?

Fans of Glow and Divergent will enjoy this title.  The plot is interesting, even for those who have read similar titles.  Although the plot can be predictable it is also clearly thought out and multi-layered.  Some difficult issues are discussed or displayed such as suicide and sexual assault, so beware of younger readers.  All in all, it was an interesting, enjoyable read.

Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  309

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to Glow, Waverly and Kieran are still on the space vessel the Empyrean while trying to lead the other kids on board and plan an attack against The New Horizon for kidnapping their parents.  Kieran has self-appointed himself to the position of captain, which grates on some of the younger kids after what they went through with Seth.  Seth, meanwhile, is in the brig and feeling bad about what he has done.  One day he wakes up and the door to his cell is open.  He walks out, but cannot help feeling like it is a trap.   Kieran is still very afraid of Seth after what happened in the last book and tries to blame everything he can on the face that he escaped.  Seth did not have anything to do with the mysterious goings on on board, but then who did?  It seems unlikely any of these children would want to hurt their own ship or those on it.  Can Waverly assert her power as a leader on this ship?  Can Kieran hold onto his power without abuing it?

The only thing I did not like about this book was that it ended too quickly and there is an entire year before the next one comes out.  Glow was one of my favorite books of the year.  These young teens have to think on a whole new level now that they are in charge of a entire vessel and the pressure starts to get to all of them.  Facts start coming out about what happened before the New Horizon’s attack on the Empyrean and it is easy for readers to see how the characters got to this position, but you can’t help feel for these young people who have suffered so much because of decisions the leaders of these ships made.  It really makes you think about the decisions any leader of a nation has and how those decisions affect generations to come.  This book was full of action and adventure, but it goes quickly and will leave fans hungry for more.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages: 391

RAC:  Yes

Nora is paired with Patch in science class and always feels a bit uncomfortable around him, especially since he seems to turn up wherever she is.  The more time she spends with him, however, the more drawn she feels to him.  Her best friend and the school counselor warn her he is dangerous and shouldn’t be trusted, but she cannot help but feel like she is in fact safe with him.  Meanwhile, another new boy has come to her school, Elliot, and he is determined to befriend her.  While Nora’s best friend thinks Elliot is wonderful Nora cannot help feel like something is a bit sinister with him.  After a series of bizarre events in which Nora either hallucinated or someone is purposefully messing with her, she must decide which boy would be taunting her with dangerous situations.  Is her life actually in danger and why?

This story is yet another fallen angel romance, but somehow still finds a way to be unique and interesting.  Patch and Elliot both have reasons to hurt Nora, yet they both seem genuine at times when they want to befriend her.  While Nora’s mother is absent for an enormous part of the book and her best friend seems to make the worst choices ever, Nora seems to take things in stride despite the fact that she finds herself in severe danger over and over.  The ending provides some answers, but there is still a lot readers will want to know as this fantasy romance unfolds.  Fans of Unearthly, Fallen,  and Halo will enjoy this title as well.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Genre:  Futuristic Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  487

RAC Book:  Yes

Beatrice lives in Chicago in the future where the entire population lives in one of five factions.  Each faction focuses on a different virtue:  truth, bravery, selflessness, peacefulness, and intelligence.  She was born and raised in the Abnegation faction, which focuses on selflessness.  At the age of 16 each person is tested to see which faction they are best suited for, but each person is given the free choice to choose where he or she would like to spend adulthood.  If Beatrice should choose to leave her faction, however, she will rarely if ever see her family again.  When she is tested she finds that she does not fit easily into any faction and therefore has mixed results.  She can truly choose any faction she wants.  The choice she makes surprises everyone and she worries she has made a mistake.  Can she survive initiation in order to feel she is a true member of her faction?  Can she trust the society she lives in to create a city she feels is righteous and fair?

There are many futuristic society stories out right now, but this one is a bit different and will appeal to readers who like this style of writing.  Beatrice makes some difficult decisions that will affect her future, a topic many young adults can relate to.  Meanwhile, there are some unexpected realizations about growing up and seeing the flaws in adults, especially those with power.  As Beatrice struggles through initiation she makes new friends and enemies as she lives in a competitive environment.  In the end, the story is about society and how people treat each other, which is something young adults must ponder as they reach adulthood.  The story has excitement and action and will leave readers wanting more.


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