King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard

Book Description:

Published: February 7, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Review –

It’s been almost a year since I read the second book in the Red Queen series so I was afraid I’d have trouble getting back into the story, but it was amazingly simple to pick up the storyline.

The story starts with Mare as Maven’s prisoner, but gets wonderfully complicated as it delves into their twisted relationship. It’s all just SO WELL DONE. Maven’s mother literally molded his mind throughout his life to the point where he’s no longer sure which parts are his own. She even turned his love for Mare into an obsession and erased the love he had for his brother, Cal. And there’s still a small part of Mare that cares about Maven (or is at least empathetic) even though she wants to kill him.

The story never excuses Maven’s actions, by the way.The author is very clear that this is not a relationship that will ever be good (or happen), but  I still LOVE how complicated everything is between them. Stories with black & white characters or shallow villains get old for me really fast because it’s unbelievable. Maven’s character totally worked.

Mare is  totally broken and starts to feel gratitude to Maven for the most basic acts of humanity. Watching her grapple with everything was actually one of my favorite parts. She somehow finds the strength to fight again and is a totally relatable character you WANT to support. All of her thoughts and actions make sense and she has so much growth over the course of the story.

To make a long story short, Mare is finally able to be rescued and a huge battle ensues between the Reds and the Silvers, with both sides having many casualties. “The Lightening Girl” is able to harness her gift and she a Cal, together work for the good. BUT, when push comes to shove and a kingship is offered to Cal, he takes it, knowing it goes against everything Mare believes in. So after barely getting back together, they break up. A bit after that, the book ends, and I CANNOT wait until next year for the fourth book in the series.  Write faster, Victoria Aveyard!!!!!

 

 

The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young

Book Description

April 30, 2013
In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in.

And The Program is coming for them.

Review –
I didn’t particularly like this book when I first started it but the more I read, the deeper I was drawn into the plot and the lives of Sloane, James, and Michael.
It would be a horrible thing to truly have one’s memories erased, not only the bad ones but the good one too.  That’s the goal of THE PROGRAM. James is taken first and after he is returned he doesn’t remember Sloane at all. This causes her anguish which results in her mother turning her in and while at THE PROGRAM Sloane is befriended by Realm, who on the surface seems like a terrific, caring, good-looking guy but she later learns that he AND others are “plants” to keep their eyes on patients in the six-week program. After she is returned and made to go to a NEW school( for those returned ) her meets James and neither remember the other or the love they previously shared. Sloane is warned to stay away from James but something about him calls to her and eventually he feels the same and they realize they had a shared past. At the end of the book they are on the run, heading East where they can seek safety and stay well from the suicide epidemic that is spreading to adults.    Can’t wait to read the next installment.     Great read!
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Night of the Purple Moo (The Toucan Trilogy) by Scott Cramer

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Book Description

March 25, 2012
Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her–adolescence
Review –
This was a free book and a good book but I don’t think I will read the next in the series, which is Colony East, unless it is offered free.
 
That said, it does was a very good story line, being that only very early teens and younger survive a bacteria  spread by the dust of a comet and they have learn how to take care of themselves and well as some toddlers. This group lives on an island and are pretty well off until they encounter some bullies that steal food from them. Two of the bullies die of the bacteria and the other joins their team. Soon they discover that an antidote is being created by some scientists who have been safely underground and were never exposed to the purple dust. Now they have to figure out how to get to a distribution location and who to send.  Will they make it and will they run into any trouble?   You will just have to read the book, which is still being offered free by Amazon, and find out.
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The Troop by Nick Cutter

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Book Description

Publication Date:February 25, 2014
Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfre. Te boys are a tight-knit crew. Tere’s Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well-liked and easygoing; then there’s Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there—which makes Scoutmaster Tim’s job a little easier. But for some reason, he can’t shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this year. Something waiting in the darkness. Something wicked . . .
It comes to them in the night. An unexpected intruder, stumbling upon their campsite like a wild animal.  He is shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—a man in unspeakable torment who exposes Tim and the boys to something far more frightening than any ghost story. Within his body is a bioengineered nightmare, a horror that spreads faster than fear. One by one, the boys will do things no person could ever imagine.
And so it begins. An agonizing weekend in the wilderness. A harrowing struggle for survival. No possible escape from the elements, the infected . . . or one another.
Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity . . . and terror hungers for more.
Review –
I thought I would like this book because of its description BUT it failed to mention the GROSSNESS of it. I have read other gross book, The Rotters, for example, and it was pretty gross in that it deals with grave robbing but Nick Cutter has gone far and above the definition of GROSS.  It ruined the book for me.  A bit or even a lot of gross is a good thing but DO NOT read this book if a boatload of gross bothers you.
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The 9th Girl (Kovac and Liska Series) by Tami Hoag

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Book Description

Publication Date:June 18, 2013
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag brings back her fan-favorite Minneapolis investigators Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska in the haunting new thriller The 9th Girl.
“Kovac had seen more dead bodies than he could count: Men, women, children; victims of shootings, stabbings, strangulations, beatings; fresh corpses and bodies that had been left for days in the trunks of cars in the dead of summer. But he had never seen anything quite like this . . . “
On a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis a young woman’s brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe. Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is, but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal, or could it just have been a crime of opportunity? Their greatest fear is that not only is she their ninth Jane Doe of the year, but that she may be the ninth victim of a vicious transient serial killer they have come to call Doc Holiday.
Crisscrossing America’s heartland, Doc Holiday chooses his victims at random, snatching them in one city and leaving them in another, always on a holiday. If Zombie Doe is one of his, he has brought his gruesome game to a new and more terrifying level. But as Kovac and Liska begin to uncover the truth, they will find that the monsters in their ninth girl’s life may have lived closer to home. And even as another young woman disappears, they have to ask the question: which is the greater evil–the devil you know or the devil you don’t?
Review –
This was my first reading my Tami Hoag and I loved it. The plot was action packed from the very first page and only got better.  The  maim characters are very well-developed and have a good chemistry between them without any romance. Refreshing!  It’s about a serial killer but he takes a back seat to the other story going on and ends with a surprise you don’t see coming.  I will definitely be reading more from this author.
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All Hallow’s Eve: The One Night It’s Bad To Be Good by Carolyn McCray

Books Description:12518332

Published        August 28th 2011         by Off Our Meds MultiMedia                      

    (first published August 8th 2011)           

People are being martyred but not for their faith. Instead the deaths are part of a serial killer’s sick game as he chooses his victim by their name… then kills them in that Saint’s grisly manner.

 

Review –

This is another one that took we a while to finish. I enjoyed the storyline and it wasn’t hard to read but it did not hold my attention.

I had a hard time determining if the book was written for adults( the crimes and police involvement) or for young adults (blood,gore and slasher movie type of actions)

It an okay read but I won’t read it again any time soon.

 

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Book Description

Publication Date: April 24, 2012

A virus has swept the world, making everyone over the age of eighteen infertile. Teenagers are now the most prized members of society, and would-be parents desperately bid for “conception contracts” with the prettiest, healthiest, and smartest girls—cash, college tuition, and liposuction in exchange for a baby.

Sixteen-year-old Melody has scored a record-breaking contract with a rich couple. And she’s been matched with one of the hottest “bumping” partners in the world—the genetically flawless Jondoe.

But her luck is about to run out.

She discovers she has a sister—an identical twin. Harmony has grown up in a strict religious community and believes her calling is to save Melody from her sinful intentions. All Melody wants is to meet Jondoe and seal the deal—but when a case of mistaken identity destroys everyone’s carefully laid plans, Melody and Harmony realize they have much more than DNA in common.

Sharp, funny, and thought-provoking, this futuristic take on teen pregnancy is compellingly readable and scarily believable

 

Review –

The only reason I read this book is because my daughter gave me a hard back copy for my birthday in March.  I was surprised at her choice but a book is a book so I put it on a shelf and read some other books first.  Then one day I was without a book (HOW DID I LET THAT HAPPEN?)  so I picked up Bumped and began to read. I HAD to put it down an time or two and find another book more to my liking but I did go back and finish it but I would give it a two and a half to three stars rating.   It just did not appeal to me but it might to you so if you decide to give it a try let me know how you liked it.

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Kyle Kingsbury has everything anyone would like to have. He is handsome, popular, rich and has tons of friends. Well, at least he thinks he does. When he makes a prank on a girl from his school, everything changes. She’s just a freak chick, he thinks, with her weird looks and green hair, and she steps on his way, so he better do something about her. Her name is Kendra and he invites her to the school prom–but he has no intention to take her, of course. It seems Kendra is truly convinced she’s going to the prom with Kyle–and when he shows up with Sloane Hagen, one of the hottest and most popular girls of the school, Kendra is pissed.

But things are about to change. It happens that Kendra is a witch–and she casts a spell on Kyle. Now he’s a beast–with fangs and claws and hair everywhere–, and he has 2 years to find a girl who’s going to truly love him for what he is–and not for what he looks like–, or he’s going to stay as a beast forever. At first, Kyle thinks that’s a big joke–a big bad joke. But when his father–a popular network anchor–takes him to tons of doctors and none of them are capable to figure out what’s going on with him, he starts to believe Kendra was serious about the whole finding true love thing. The problem is: how is he suppose to meet someone and fall in love with the girl–and, well, make her fall in love with him–, when he can barely look at himself on the mirror? He starts to look for girls on dating websites, but it doesn’t seem to work out.

When his dad locks him away, in a big house on Brooklyn with just their maid, so nobody’s ever going to see what Kyle’s became, he starts to believe he’s never going to break the spell. He gets a tutor, Will, a blind guy who is passionate about roses. Kyle falls in love with the roses too, and starts to grow them. He even builds a greenhouse, so he’ll be able to have roses all year. Magda–the maid–and Will become the only family Kyle has–and once he isn’t the same boy anymore, he asks them to start calling him by Adrian.

When a guy breaks into his greenhouse and proposes to bring his own daughter to Adrian, in exchange of no charges and no harm, Adrian doesn’t think twice. He starts to prepare the house to receive Linda, in hopes that she’ll be that girl. The clock is ticking, Adrian is running out of time…

Review –

This is a modern-day re-telling of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast and I think the author did a superb job.  If you know the story you know the outcome but placing it in present day with the trials and tribulations of teenagers gives it a life of its own. 

A movie, based on the book ,comes out March 4th and is  on my “to see” list.   Seeing the trailer I can tell they(Hollywood) have  made some big changes.  Kyle isn’t a fury beast with claws and fangs but a boy with a bald head and what looks like some pretty serious tattoos.  I hope the movie sticks pretty close to the book because it’s a real winner. 

If you’re a sucker for a sappy romantic love story, like me, I know you won’t be sorry if you read this one.

***** (Five Stars)

 

 

Beasts and BFF’s by Shannon Delany

Product Description

This is a short prequel to the “13 to Life” series.

Jessie, Sarah and Amy are out taking a jog through the park.  This is not something Jessie normally does.  They hear something in the bushes and see some sort of beast through the thicket.  They slowly back away from the creature toward the parking lot.   Waiting there is Marvin, Amy’s boyfriend, and Derek who Jessie has a major crush on.  Derek takes off to finish his run and Marvin takes the girls to watch football practice.

Review-

I didn’t find this story entertaining at all and I’m just thankful it was short.   I will NOT be reading the 13 to Life series.