The Best of SCHS Reading

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The Love Interest

posted May 15, 2017, 9:32 AM by SCHS Lib




There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.






I was expecting an action-packed spy thriller. 

I was expecting life and death situations.

I was expecting sappy romance.

I was NOT expecting the author taking all of these things, putting them into a blender, mashing them to bits, and constructing them as a masterfully humorous tale that feels like it's poking fun at the YA genre while simultaneously paying homage. In a good way.

So we have the bad boy and the good boy characters pursuing the intelligent, attractive female. But the bad boy and the good boy are really just abandoned kids trained in the arts of seduction and espionage. They are only vying for this girl because a spy is needed to be by her side day and night. To complicate things, our bad boy and good boy also develop feelings for someone other than the mark.

The book rapidly switches from jaunty romance to action craziness. Since I'm way more into action, this made the book even better for me. But I will say, I did enjoy the romance also. The characters were likable and sometimes felt a little underdeveloped. I am hoping this means there will be future books in a series featuring these characters and fleshing them out. There's plenty left to explore in the world Dietrich has built in The Love Interest.

I think it would be a good fit for fans of Kristin Orlando's "You Don't Know My Name" and ready for a David Levithan-esque twist.

This book will be in our collection when you return to school in August!

Black Dawn

posted May 15, 2017, 8:10 AM by SCHS Lib


Written from multiple perspectives, Black Dawn is a fascinating new fantasy series with plenty of action, questionable choices, and twists. Plunging the reader directly into the action, we first meet the main character Emory Fae as she wards off an attacker in the dark. Yeah, she's a badass. (Although the name Emory Fae kept coming back to me like Hilary Fay in the movie Saved! It's my own bad association but I digress.) Emory is a completely worthy MC who is frantically trying to get a grip on a new reality and take control of her life that she doesn't remember very well. Unfortunately, it is much more complicated than she anticipated. With her memory wiped by her closest friends (for her safety), jumping back into a rebellion against a tyrant (Adair - who can I just say I love as a villain?!?) isn't all that easy. 

I like the multiple perspectives that give us snippets of information we wouldn't know otherwise and the unique story. I wasn't so crazy about the romance but there was enough death and destruction to keep me reading. 
This is an engaging first book in a new series. I will definitely be on the hook for book 2!




Luckily for you, Lola's Blog Tours and the author have supplied you with a free excerpt! Read on:

Sweat rolled thickly down his neck, making his getup suffocating. The night was bleak and all-consuming as Brokk Foster looked to where he knew his best friend and Commander was hidden. Weeks of tactical planning and training had brought the soldiers of Black Dawn to this moment. The slight tremor in his hands was the only sign of how he was feeling. Brokk pressed himself closer to the mossy ground, breathing in the sweet smell of dewy grass. A snap of twigs and the group went rigid, frozen in the shadows. Laughter filled the forest air as four men with blood-red sashes of the guards draped brazenly across their chests walked into view a few hundred yards away. They quipped at each other, totally relaxed, their voices sounding like a constant buzz to Brokk. His blood thrummed in his ears as his heart pounded wildly. The seconds felt like centuries until finally, he saw a flash of silver and a smooth voice filled his mind, “Now.”

Brokk didn’t need to be told twice. Springing from the ground like a demon from the darkness, he pulled his curved twin blades out in seconds as he cut the men off. The group stopped, looking pale in the moonlight and extremely exposed.

“Evening, boys,” Brokk said in a taunting voice. “Sorry to interrupt your rounds, but I dare say you’re a little close for comfort to our home. Convenient for us, though,” he added, twirling the hilts in his hands. “We wanted you exactly here.”

Their leader took a daring step toward him. His mistake. Brokk yelled into the darkness, “Memphis, keep him alive!”

In a flurry of movement, his friends dropped from the surrounding trees, all dressed in the same camouflage, their weapons at the ready. A mad cackle broke the guard’s momentary trance, and they tried to run. Chaos ensued.

Brokk threw his blades at the nearest tree—a satisfying thud sounded as they found their mark. He ran, eyes fixated on the two guards that had broken away from the fight ahead of him. It was laughable really, just how much they thought they had a chance of escaping. They had no idea who they were up against.

The familiar popping and breaking of bones shivered through his body when animal instinct took over as the wolf inside him did. The ground shook from his colossal paws, golden fur rippling like a beacon in the night. His growl rumbled like thunder, and for a split second, he forgot who he was. All that mattered was that he took his targets down. The guard’s deaths were much swifter than they deserved.

Brokk shifted back, trying to calm the elation of how good that had felt. Memphis snapped him out of his glorified moment. “Brokk! Come here.”

The last guard was openly crying, now forced to his knees, hands shaking behind his head. Brokk almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

Up close he was much younger than Brokk thought, fear replacing the guard’s bravery now. Memphis’s icy blue eyes cut into his, and he didn’t have to say anything for Brokk to understand. Telekinetic or not, his friend wore his heart on his sleeve. They were all on edge and who could blame them? Six years of hiding. Six years of losing this war. Brokk swallowed back his thoughts, wearing his mask of oozing confidence and anger.

“W-who are you?” The guard’s voice squeaked out several octaves higher than it should have.

Nyx kicked him in the gut, making him wheeze in pain and gasp for air. Memphis crouched down in front of him, his long blond hair tied back, revealing his severe features. They all bore scars, some more visible than others.




Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings

posted May 12, 2017, 10:54 AM by SCHS Lib

I'm so glad I got my hands on book one of this series before the tour date. :) Not only was it super fun to read, I also got the added bonus of finding out about Sherrer's unique book formatting. Basically, with book one at least, you get two shorter books in one! LOVE IT! I tell you what: nothing bothers me more than authors dragging things on to increase word count or page count. Please just tell the story! And this author does just that. 

Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings is a collection of two charming tales with likable and relatable characters. Although my personal favorite is Lily herself (Librarians stick together!), the author does an excellent job of creating an entire world of enticing elements to keep you wrapped in reading. The paranormal cases are intriguing with original takes on familiar beats. World building is seamlessly integrated within the storytelling. 

To sweeten the deal, this book would be appropriate for readers of many ages. My recommendation would be 12 and up. However, it is not intended as a childrens or YA book. It is just a squeaky clean paranormal fantasy with a twinge of romance completely worth your time if you love a good mystery.








Cover Reveal

posted May 6, 2017, 9:43 PM by SCHS Lib


Tide Cover Reveal

posted May 2, 2017, 6:09 AM by SCHS Lib   [ updated May 2, 2017, 6:10 AM ]





Cover Reveal: Rebel Cause

posted Apr 28, 2017, 6:13 AM by SCHS Lib


Count All Her Bones

posted Apr 24, 2017, 1:12 PM by SCHS Lib






Cheyenne sets out to save her former captor in this much-anticipated sequel to Girl, Stolen.

Six months ago, Griffin Sawyer meant to steal a car, but he never meant to steal the girl asleep in the backseat. Panicked, he took her home. His father, Roy, decided to hold Cheyenne―who is blind―for ransom. Griffin helped her escape, and now Roy is awaiting trial. As they prepare to testify, Griffin and Cheyenne reconnect and make plans to meet. But the plan goes wrong and Cheyenne gets captured by Roy’s henchmen―this time for the kill. Can Cheyenne free herself? And is Griffin a pawn or a player in this deadly chase?









Well, silly me. I hadn't yet read "Girl, Stolen" (book 1 in this 2 book series) and just cruised along into "Count All Her Bones" like a ninny. That being said, the book really held up as a standalone read. I wish I had read the books in order because at times I felt like I was missing key backstory (and I was!). However, let's not dwell on my shortcomings.

April Henry is such a class act. She's got this genre down and continues to write compelling work. This book is written from multiple perspectives. Each chapter has the character's name as the title. I really enjoyed this format from her. It felt appropriately creepy and foreboding with Cheyenne just waltzing headlong into danger. 

The same beats you expect from an April Henry novel are all here: realistic thrill and creepiness with compassion and dynamic characters. Good pacing was a key to its success with me. Loved how the story flowed and kept me turning pages.

Count All Her Bones is a thrill ride that will leave your mind aching and your heart thumping. 

Hushed

posted Apr 24, 2017, 8:29 AM by SCHS Lib



Would you sacrifice your voice for love?

18-year-old Romy Morgan desperately longs to escape the boring future her parents have planned for her, and explore the world.

When she saves her celebrity crush, superstar Logan Rush, from drowning, Romy is offered a job as his personal assistant. She strikes a deal to reinvent herself in exchange for entering the exciting world of the movies, and love sparks between her and this prince of Hollywood. But Romy soon discovers that she has traded her voice and identity for an illusion of freedom.

When she discovers a dreadful secret with the power to destroy Logan, Romy must choose between love, revenge and finding her own, true element.

If you like contemporary young adult romance with all the feels - and a twist of humor - then you’ll love this refreshingly modern and realistic spin on the classic tale of The Little Mermaid from award-winning YA author, Joanne Macgregor.

Note: this is not a fantasy novel – the only tails, fins and flippers in the story are those on sharks and whales!




Within the first couple of chapters, I was hooked. Romy has an incredible voice to her character through Macgregor's writing that feels very relatable yet mysterious. This retelling of the Little Mermaid leaves all the magic and supernatural aside and very realistically addresses what a girl would give up for someone she loves. From their humorous first meeting, Romy and Logan are one of my favorite book couples of all time. Romy is savvy but not without flaws - especially as her insecurities get out of hand towards the end. Logan is a surprising character with heart, but he also judges people very quickly. These two flawed characters come together and model a great relationship with bumps, bruises, and steam. Perhaps my two favorite things in their romance are the focus on 'consent' during a scene and one bad mistake not ruining a good relationship.

Other than the relationship aspect, I really enjoyed watching Romy grow as a person. She is exactly the kind of girl I want my daughter to look up to. So much so, that I actually am purchasing a paperback copy for my house too so my daughter can read it.

The unique setting, charming plot, and endearing characters make this book a fantastic read for all!

I read a complimentary copy of the book supplied by the author via Siobhan Davis's Street Team. I have voluntarily reviewed same.

Savages

posted Apr 21, 2017, 8:09 AM by SCHS Lib



Daughter of Chief Ruin, Breen is one of the most fearsome warriors in the Southern Delica Tribe, but nothing can stop the Emperor from reaping the Savage Lands for soldiers. 


When her village is attacked, Breen is taken from her home and her family to the Seaburn Academy, where southern savages are broken and chained into a life of service to the Empire. Through the beatings and torture, Drakkone, one of the few Seaburn-born soldiers, brings solace to her days and gives her hope for the future.

Once freed of the Academy dungeons, Breen is sentenced to daily training between her plots for escape. But one night of unexpected passion turns into a problem bigger than either of them could have imagined. 

Breen and Drakkone must risk capture and flee the city or death might be a blessing compared to eternal imprisonment.






A mystery solved, a heart-rending love story, and an action packed warrior's tale all in one!

I was so lucky to get a copy of this book before it came out through the author. She takes us back to Nina, the 'third sister' in Kadia's painting from "Haven", and her origin story through Breen and Drakkone. I was taken back by how much I loved Breen's character. Strong, stubborn, and capable, Breen is everything I hoped she would be from the tiny tidbit we get of her story in "Haven". A worthy character in an empowering story that will be finding its place on my shelves in paperback even though I have the ebook.

There are some sensitive issues included in this story, but they are handled tactfully. It got the point across without being vulgar. 

I have high hopes that the next book in the series will focus on Kadia's origin story since the first was about Haven and the second was about Nina. Then again, I've been fascinated by Kadia since she was first mentioned. We have a long way to go to get the full scope of the world Katherine Bogle has created for us!

Myths & Legends Release

posted Apr 18, 2017, 6:03 AM by SCHS Lib


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