Posts Tagged ‘Romance’

Renegade Red

Love is tricky, and love is strong. Not some flower, but a warrior weed, growing in any condition, through any obstacle, surviving frozen tundras, pushing up through cracks in stone!”

This review contains spoilers for book I!

About :

Noa lives the life of an average teenager at the start of volume one, Shattered Blue. But everything changes with the arrival of the Forsythe brothers, Callum and Judah, who are runaways from the Fae realm. Both boys fall in love with Noa, and by the end of book I, secrets (Twists!) have already begun to shift Noa’s feelings between the two brothers.

At the last moment of Shattered Blue, Noa’s little sister slips through Judah Forsythe’s hands and disappears through a portal to Aurora, or faerie; Noa, Callum and Judah step through after her, hoping to find her in Aurora, but OF COURSE that’s not where they end up! So begin The Horowitz Twists…Renegade Red is ya fantasy/paranormal romance written by award-winning author Lauren Bird Horowitz and published March 14th 2017 by Papaloa Press. 420 pgs. Advanced Read Copy.

Thoughts :

As usual with the Light trilogy, nothing is as it seems. The first 19% of Renegade Red is one extended twist following Noa’s leap through the portal and it foreshadows the rest of the book in both plot and characterization.

Noa spends most of Renegade Red trying to choose between the Forsythe Fae brothers, and although you may think you have her pinned…just wait! Horowitz has a few surprises for us readers who dare think we know what’s what. The character-development threatens to topple the whole structure of this compelling love triangle (square?). I really have no idea how Horowitz will resolve the romantic tangle—and that’s exactly how I like it!

The boys’ characters develop significantly in this second installment. Judah’s quick-tempered foibles become clearer, along with his passion and quick-thinking; Callum comes across very much the opposite, a more direct, faithful and rule-abiding type, and although he lacks Judah’s strength and flexibility when faced with mental or emotional manipulation, he’s also more the active brother, liking to remain in control so he can protect those he loves.

As Callum wrapped his arms around her, warmth began to spread from Noa’s chest, radiant from her heart. Little flowers of heat bloomed over her injuries as Callum knit her back together: not just her leg, but her arms, her wrist, her back, her knees.”

SaWOON! I love it when Callum uses his Blue Fae power to heal Noa. So dreamy…

Callum’s proactivity draws me to him as a character—although I also love Judah’s smart-mouthed intelligence, which comes through loud and clear whenever he and Callum argue about the next move to find Noa’s sister in Aurora.

And although Noa seems to lack character development, her strong interiority makes up for it: Horowitz’s skilled third-person narration feels just as immediate as first person, and we can feel Noa’s desperate drive to find her sister.

As for the stunning poetic quality I loved in book I, it emerges differently, but just as eloquently in book II. Particularly in Noa’s and Callum’s perspectives, Horowitz uses prose to mirror consciousness. She explores Noa’s feelings and experiences using metaphoric dream sequences that help Noa make decisions throughout her journey in Aurora. For Callum, bursts of stream of consciousness call attention to his mental state at various important junctures. These techniques emphasize the struggles faced by both characters when challenged by the mental or emotional (Red or Green) Fae powers.

Despite a few minor considerations—I wish we’d gotten more of an overall picture of Aurora; and at 420 pgs, the novel runs a bit long for a romance- and action-centered (rather than worldbuilding-centered) ya fantasy—overall?

Overall :

This is the most beautiful, innovative and twisty ya series I can recall reading in recent memory. Though it slows down after the initial twist, Renegade Red picks up the pace again near the middle and stuns again and again with emotionally resonant revelations, legitimate relational dilemmas, harrowing action/problem-solving sequences and smart, gorgeous writing.

I can’t wait to read book III!!

Recommended To :

Highly recommended for fans of ya fantasy that moves quickly and doesn’t linger over worldbuilding. Anyone who wants the perfect blend between a strong, swoonworthy ya fantasy and sparkling literary elements.

4.5/5 STARS

Thank you so much to Lauren Bird Horowitz, Papaloa Press and Netgalley for the Advanced Read Copy. I loved it!

MoonCalled

“I am a walker. The term is derived from ‘skinwalker,’ a witch of the Southwest Indian tribes who uses a skin to turn into a coyote or some other creature.”

About :

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson runs a Volksvagen garage in Washington and keeps largely to herself. She’s a “walker,” a magical shapeshifter, and she can slip easily into the form of a coyote. Her brand of shapeshifting remains a secret from almost everyone; only the Fae have revealed themselves to the mundane world, and they bear the brunt of significant persecution. As a result, the werewolves, vampires and other supernatural spooks stay underground—and Mercy prefers to do the same. It’s just easier.

But Mercy’s connections with the local magical presence are finally coming around to “bite” her. When a runaway werewolf appears in her garage asking for a temporary position, Mercy gives him a job and hooks him up with the local werewolf pack leader, Adam, who is also her sexy neighbor. But somebody is looking for the runway—and they don’t mind confronting Mercy or Adam to do it. Walker and werewolf race the clock to find the man behind the mystery before more innocents suffer. Moon Called is Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy written by Patricia Briggs and published January 31st 2006 by Ace.

Thoughts :

I picked up the first of the Mercy Thompson series because I’ve been wanting to get a better feel for Urban Fantasy, and Niki over at The Obsessive Bookseller told me it was a great place to start. (Thanks Niki! 🙂 ) I also love reading about Native American cultures, so of course I had to start with this series. It sucked me in immediately with the introduction of the runaway and, no joke, the “inciting incident” made me cry! (I’m totally a crier 😋)

Because the cast of this first installment remains relatively small, readers easily get to know everybody. In Mercy we find both a pleasant person and a decent heroine—hardworking and easy to like, lacking gimmicks to rub readers the wrong way. I do wish she had some chick friends (although I like all her guy friends, too). But I enjoyed hearing about her Native family history and how her father was a Walker.

I listened to Moon Called alongside reading an eARC of Melissa F. Olson’s Midnight Curse, so it was fun to compare the two books as I get to know the genre:

Midnight Curse has a stronger mystery element than Moon Called and I enjoyed guessing at the twists. Midnight Curse’s characters also really got to me, as evidenced in my IMPASSIONED REVIEW, haha. But the romance arc kept me from loving Midnight Curse or wanting to continue that particular series (although I’ll definitely consider trying a future new series by this talented author).

As for Moon Called, I just plain liked everything about it! Although nothing blew me away in this first installment (it is a first installment, after all, and only 288 pgs), nothing repelled me either, and Briggs develops the worldbuilding impressively well for such a short volume. It thoroughly introduces the werewolf world, and I’m looking forward to exploring more. (The second book sounds like it might tackle the vampires.) Although I didn’t follow the mystery as well, that could be in part due to the nature of the audio experience. I prefer a book like this as my intro to a series, I think.

And the thing that topped off Moon Called, for me, is the great narrator, Lorelei King. I’m always amazed when one narrator can pull off a whole cast so well.

Overall :

I enjoyed pretty much everything about this short and sweet audiobook. I actually felt rested after finishing it. Just something nice and fast with a fun world to inhabit for a few hours. I’m definitely planning to continue the series.

Plot: 3 Stars
Characters: 3.5 Stars
Worldbuilding: 4.5 Stars
Audio: 5 Stars

****4/5 STARS

Recommended To :

Anyone looking for a quick start to a new Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy series. I would say this tends more towards the “paranormal romance” side of the spectrum, although the romance is largely a background element of this first installment; but the romantic tensions swirl beneath the surface of Mercy’s interactions with the two male werewolves in her life. So if that sounds like fun, I bet you’ll enjoy Moon Called!

shattered-blue

About :

After her older sister is killed in a terrible accident, Noa struggles through her classes in a prestigious California prep school. She relies on her friends to survive; her parents grieve too hard for their lost daughter to give their living daughter the kind of companionship she so suddenly and violently lacks.

Enter Callum Forsythe, the new high school hottie. Noa feels the sparks between them almost immediately. But even as Callum seemingly-reluctantly reciprocates her attentions, he explains why their relationship will be difficult: he is Fae, banished to her world where he must feed off human Light to survive.

And that’s only the beginning of their troubles. Shattered Blue is YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance authored by Lauren Bird Horotwitz and published September 15th 2015 by Skyscape. Paperback, 336 pages. It won several awards and honors including 2016 Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for  Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy

I KNOW IT SOUNDS LIKE TWILIGHT, but hang on a sec!

If you think you know what happens in Shattered Blue when you read the summary, I guarantee you’ll be surprised. If you’ve ever enjoyed a YA paranormal love story, I recommend checking this one out—and for more reasons than just that GORGEOUS cover.

Thoughts :

After two DNFs, Shattered Blue was the perfect pick-me-up. I kept hearing about it on Socially Awkward Bookworm and The Worn Bookmark , but I hadn’t quite decided to order it for my library until I saw Renegade Red (book #2) pop up on Netgalley—I knew it was a sign! I ordered Shattered Blue immediately and it came in the mail on the very day I DNFed Crossroads of Canopy.

I devoured it.

Horowitz weaves a fully-formed Fae mythology into Shattered Blue. Several orders of Fae live in Faerie and their politics rumble through all the way through the “portal” to the human realm.

‘Use and Let Use,’ he proclaimed. ‘Fae Power without bias.’”

In a such fast-paced YA paranormal, this level of worldbuilding is completely entertaining. I was never bored.

The Fae magic system also personally affects Callum and Noa as they navigate their relationship: whenever Callum touches her, her Light flows into him. This roadblock adds even more tension and intrigue to the human-Fae relationships in the book!

And there’s more good news: Shattered Blue is full of emotional truths, especially regarding grief and love. When Noa’s older sister Isla dies, the whole family grieves in individual ways. Noa has strong, meaningful relationships with her family, especially her little sister, Sasha, but her grief over her Isla’s death sometimes stains even those precious Sasha-moments:

It suddenly struck Noah how awful it would be to lose a sister at Sasha’s age, like Callum had. A different kind of awful from losing someone like Isla, who was a person fully formed.”

The prose is also beautiful and poetic. Throughout the book, we get poems like this first stanza of Noa’s poem “Mermaid Hearts”:

We’re swift in currents.
Down spiny sprays of kelp we dive,
Run hands through leaves to hunt
for snails and sapphires.”

I admit, I have a soft-spot for atmospheric coastal stories (I loved Twilight as a young adult), especially set on the CA coast. Because spoiler alert I live there, haha. But isn’t that beautiful? Horowitz dazzled me with her poetic prose and free form poetry throughout the book.

Shattered Blue is also appealingly plot-driven, delivering regular twists to the romance and other plot arcs. Little mysteries or dramas pop up constantly throughout the story, set against the backdrop of Noa’s school or Noa’s home, and most of them have to do with discovering Faerie.

I slammed the request button for book II as soon as I finished Shattered Blue because *dances* I CAN’T TELL YOU WHY but I CAN’T WAIT to find out more about the Fae realms! And in book II, I have a very good feeling that we will!

Nay-sayers will find a few things to complain about, although I hardly feel like mentioning them after enjoying such an immersive experience!

However: (1) It does have that creepy Edward-watches-and-EVER-PROTECTS-Bella thing going on, and I don’t know if that’s just a ya trope or a paranormal trope or what, but it’s a little weird. (2) The focus never really lands on Noa’s female friendships. In fact, her best friend Olivia is mainly used as a plot device.

Overall:

A genre-perfect read. Gorgeous prose, emotional complexity, speedy plotting and absorbing twists on Fae mythology make this one of the best ya paranormal fantasies I’ve read in a long time.

Recommended To :

I think any fans of ya paranormal, especially of the Fae variety, will love Shattered Blue. If you need a beach read or a book to pull you out of your book slump, I recommend this one. If you liked Twilight, I think you’ll love this.

*****5/5 STARS

futureshock

“No one wants to hire an underage, inexperienced, tatted-up Mexican girl. Even McDonald’s turned me down.”

About :

Elena Martinez has slipped through the cracks of California’s foster care system. Desperate for money and a future, she signs a contract with the corporate tech giant Aether in exchange for money and a college scholarship: time-travel to the future for 24 hours and bring back info about future technology.

The only catch? She can’t look into her own future. It might mess with her mind or keep her from returning safely home. If she just gets the technology and gets back through the time portal, she’ll be set for life.

Elena signs up and, of course, ignores the prohibition on researching her fate. But she doesn’t expect to find herself enmeshed in the mystery of a murder: her own. Future Shock is a ya science-fiction novel authored by Elizabeth Briggs and published April 1st 2016 by Aw Teen.

Thoughts :

Future Shock is perfect for romantic sci-fi junkies, and I flew through it despite a few worldbuilding and research goofs.

It starts off a little rough, even helped along by Elena’s strong, captivating voice. The problem is Elizabeth Briggs’ outdated description of the current foster system in California. To give Elena strong motivations and high stakes for accepting Aether’s offer, Briggs puts her in a desperate situation:

In two months I’ll be kicked out of foster care, forced out of my current home, and most likely will have to drop out of school…Once we turn eighteen, they’re done. The instant checks stop coming, we’ll be out on the street.”

Thankfully, I happen to know that this is no longer the case, although it used to be true. My husband works as a juvenile probation officer and he deals every day with kids who’ve been raised by the CA state system. They do have access to financial and college aid, now, after they reach the age of 18. Elizabeth Briggs is describing the system of a decade ago, in Future Shock.

But, hey, this could easily have been set a decade ago, and thankfully the story moves fairly quickly into more plot-relevant terrain. I raced through the story, from here on out, because the pacing never slows and the mystery just gets better and better.

After Elena signs on the dotted line, she and four other teens prepare to travel one decade into the future. They will arrive in the future Aether headquarters and have twenty-four hours to gather as much technology as they can. Sounds almost too good to be true…and Elena knows it. She’s a street-smart Latina and she asks good questions: Why teenagers? And why foster teenagers, at that? I very rarely found myself ahead of the technical thriller plot.

And within the first forty pages, we’re in the future! The teenagers are extremely, entertainingly proactive—wandering into shops and exploring the tech—and I love how Briggs imagines the future with lots of cool goodies and sharp edges. Driverless cars rule the road, and they appear to be a government monopoly, as other types of cars were made illegal several years before.

Unfortunately, a few notes ring false in this future world, such as the fact that prostitution appears to be legal, but cigarettes are banned. I think a future that legalizes prostitution will likely legalize more drugs instead of criminalizing more, although I could be wrong about that. CA did just make cigarettes illegal under age 21, so perhaps Briggs’ future LA is spot on, in this regard.

A few other sketchy points jumped out at me. For one thing, [Highlight to read SPOILER: a big plot points involves a cure for cancer. It’s a nice thought, but I sincerely doubt it’s medically feasible that we’ll find a generic cure for every kind of cancer. There are too many different kinds.]

Also, the author has apparently never watched Cops. In several action scenes, her cops seem to lack knowledge of basic police training and strategy. For example, in one instance, the police shoot at teenagers who are running away from them. This would be a major exception to police training, which teaches cops not to shoot at suspects who are running away. In several other instances, these teenagers escape situations in which police could have easily radioed in backup to contain the area. These oversights definitely neutered the action scenes, for me.

I was also hoping that Elena’s eidetic memory would play a larger role in the book. Considering how the whole first scene is built around her amazing memory, I was expecting more from that angle. Maybe book II will deal with it more.

But even when I hit hiccups or areas that could have used further development, I never wanted to stop reading Future Shock. The tech elements are a lot of fun, the pace stays in high gear and the mystery just gets better and better. Every chapter ends with terrific motivations to keep reading.

Overall :

If you just read fast and don’t look too hard at the deets, I guarantee you’ll have a good time with Future Shock. I do have high hopes for a high-concept series or trilogy. I loved the premise, the mystery, the Latina narrator, the lightning pace, the imaginative setting of a futuristic LA…I hope this series continues. It’s a good thing. I’ll probably pick up book II, at some point.

***3/5 STARS

Recommended To :

This can be a great, fast read for romantic-sci-fi junkies. For someone who has stuck mostly to Fantasy, this YA sci-fi thriller could be something really new and fun.

Thanks so much to Elizabeth Briggs, AW Teen and Netgalley for this e-ARC!

cress

Welcome Cress, the newest princess in Marissa Meyer’s series of YA sci-fi fairytale retellings, the Lunar Chronicles.

Cress lives in a Lunar satellite that circles Earth, alone but for her netscreens. An accomplished hacker, she contacted Cinder in book I and has been attempting ever since to track and assist the ragged group of fugitives, which now includes Scarlet and Wolf (from book II), along with Cinder and her accomplice Captain Thorne.

As the fugitives realize what an asset Cress could be, they decide to rescue her, an attempt which only serves as the precursor to their most daring rescue yet…Published February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends.

Cress starts out by introducing us to Cress, a type of the fairytale princess Rapunzel, and her satellite prison-home. After the fugitives attempt to rescue her, the book travels far beyond this initial perspective, setting and “Rapunzel” plot point. In fact, it’s a much longer installment than the previous two, and, I think, much more engrossing.

I can’t reveal too much about the series plot without spoilers, but this book is exactly what I wanted from the series. Spacecrafts crash, androids switch bodies, people get kidnapped (then kissed), it’s just all good. Books I & II entertained me, but Meyer finds her sweet spot with Cress. Having the whole crew together, in the beginning, is like a big party. But even as they separate, most get their own individual arcs; Cress and Captain Thorne, in particular, get lots of attention. I never dreaded a storyline out of boredom. And the pacing moves. Nonstop action. It’s awesome.

And that ending. Oooooh man, I can’t wait to start Winter. I’m listening to Fairest, right now.

Overall :

I’m glad I kept listening to this series! This is my favorite installment yet.

4.5/5 STARS

Recommendation :

If you’ve read this far into the series, you’re in for a treat with Cress. If you like YA fiction, you’ll like this series, I’m tellin’ ya.

Split_the_Sun

Premise:

We killed all independent planets outside house borders by extracting fuel from their cores. And once we burn through all the garnered energy, where do we think the next batch will come from? Right now, planets on the Brink are rationed down to five hours of energy a day, while here we gawk at nonstop ad-screens and control the temperature outside.

House Galton has a rebellion on its hands: citizens from independent planets want revenge on Galton’s empire for destroying their planets to steal energy for wasteful consumption. Unfortunately for Kreslyn “Kit” Franks, the Enactors think she’s involved in the rebellion. But unlike Kit’s mother, a terrorist who blew up the nation’s digital core, Kit herself was never involved in the rebellion. She just wants to survive the fallout. That becomes more difficult as her mother’s terrorism continues, and everyone looks to Kit for a solution she doesn’t have…or does she? YA Sci-Fi, Romance. Will be published December 6, 2016. Thanks to Tessa Elwood, Running Press & Netgalley for providing me with an eARC of Split the Sun.

That sounds like a cool premise, right?

What I Liked:

(1) The cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Splithesun

(2) The worldbuilding of book II was much improved over book I; although there was less emphasis on politics, until the very end, the author brings some texture to the blank slate of book I’s intergalactic milieu. (3) The premise. It’s a cool idea.

The Problem:

The premise was buried in distractions and I spent most of the first 70% trying and failing to decipher a plot line. I didn’t understand, for most of the book, that the real conflict came from energy politics.

Most of the conflict appeared to come from two places: Kit’s family dispute over the basic essentials of living off the streets—money, housing and drugs; and the romantic tension between her and Niles, a mysterious neighbor boy who won’t leave her alone, even as Kit says (over and over again) that she wants him to. Neither of these conflicts was very interesting and I couldn’t decipher the plot through their distractions. As a result, I was bored, confused and irritated throughout most of the book.

Let’s talk about Kit, for a minute. I liked her, at times. Case in point, her snark, exemplified here in her description of her apartment building:

“I swear something died in the elevators once, and you can always spot visitors by who hits the call button.”

She’s a tough, scrappy girl, eking out a living and caring for a thankless family. Her humor adds lightness to the heavy setting and tension.

But I didn’t enjoy being in her head. Her prickly, dark personality makes her difficult to get along with, even for the kind people in her life (few and far between though they are). Here’s a normal conversation between Niles and Kit:

“‘So, how are your feet?’ ‘None of your business.’ ‘Are you bleeding anywhere else?’ ‘Why do you care?’ ‘Just making conversation.’ ‘Don’t.’”

Can you guess which one is Kit?

I also found myself bored, reading from her perspective. In her plot arc, she’s a constant victim of other people’s avarice, instead of a proactive agent for positive change (like Asa Fane was, in book I, Inherit the Stars). During the first 70%, Kit doesn’t engage the real problem of the book—she avoids it; and it’s hard to root for her, if she’s not working on the problem and illuminating the clues for the reader.

I think the author withheld secrets (like the purpose of Kit’s mother’s terrorism) to keep readers wondering, in suspense, “Who is really the antagonist, here? Kit’s mom? The gang of goony kids who chase Kit around the city? [Highlight to read spoiler: The author doesn’t reveal until much later that these are the energy rebels.] The Enactors?”

Unfortunately, the lack of information left me in confusion, not in suspense. Kit wasn’t chasing “other” bad guys who turned out to be benign, or something like that; she was just trying to survive, which was completely unrelated to the real plot. As a result, her actions during the first 70% felt inconsequential and the pace felt like it dragged.

The last 30% of the book was a marked improvement, in my reading experience. All of a sudden, clues were making sense and I was much less frustrated. One of my favorite moments in the book was discovering the true identity of the philosopher Gilken.

But this book had so many problems, I would have DNFd it, if it wasn’t my very first Netgalley arc: I didn’t get the answers I was hoping for, after the cliff-hanger of book I; the prose didn’t improve much, if at all; and this sequel lacked the speed, tension and drive of book I.

Recommendation:

Book I, with its quick pacing, complex milieu politics and proactive, sympathetic protagonists might still be worth reading, since these books are standalones; but I recommend skipping book II.

*1/5 STARS 

InheritTheStars

Premise:

Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Of course Asa Fane, youngest daughter of House Fane, worries about the collapse of her royal house. But, she wonders, why does no one else spare a thought for the health of her beloved, comatose sister, Wren? Asa determines to save both her house and her sister—a determination that leads her to impersonate her older sister in a marriage party, run away from her new home in Westlet, and even change her own blood signature. Published December 8th 2015 by Running Press Kids.

What I Liked:

(1) The immediate, engaging style of the prose and the action immediately drew me in. (2) The grey-scaled politics of the interplanetary milieu produce a few good twists. (3) Asa’s constant proactivity makes her a fun protagonist to read about. She isn’t just born to into power; she grabs the power because she knows what’s important and is determined to fight for it. She forges the best solutions to problems that no one else seems willing or able to solve. She takes responsibility, instead of just letting her domineering father or Eagle, her arranged husband, make decisions for her. Along that line, (4) I like the friendship/romance between Asa and Eagle. Eagle respects Asa’s right to make her own decisions, and they make a great team, solving problems, causing trouble and learning to respect each other. They actually *gasp* COMMUNICATE! Not in an instaluv mind meld, but in a natural progression from enemies->allies->friends->sweethearts. It’s great. Best of all, their relationship arc involves very little “ya angst.”

The Problems:

Although there’s a lot to like about this ya sci-fi adventure debut, it also has some major issues. (1) The speedy pacing comes at the cost of description, setting and imagery. Without sufficient worldbuilding, the book almost feels more like a political thriller with slight sci-fi elements, instead of a sci-fi adventure. (2) The actual writing, while swift and utilitarian, could have used a good editor. There aren’t “typos,” per se, but the prose is choppy, voiceless, repetitive and, at times, disorienting. The author also overused sentence fragments. This is not what I expect from traditionally published fiction. The choppy flow caused some confusion, for me. Sometimes, the characters seemed to read each other’s minds and I couldn’t understand the “subtext.” Other times, I couldn’t tell the flow of time between scenes. (3) The Ending. Even though I kind of liked the twist at the end, I would have been frustrated with it, if I didn’t have the guarantee of a sequel in hand. It’s too vague and leaves too many loose ends [highlight to view spoiler: such as, “What happens with Asa’s mom? Is she lying about her absence from Fane or is Asa’s father lying?”]. I hope book II resolves my questions.

Overall:

A ya sci-fi with interesting politics and adventure, but only bare bones worldbuilding and style. I have the Netgalley eARC of book II, and I’m definitely going to read it because, like I said, this debut author shows promise in her quick pacing and sci-fi ideas. There’s so little genuine sci-fi or adventure in the romance- and dystopia-driven YA market—I just have to give the author a second chance.

Recommendation:

I definitely wouldn’t say, “Don’t read this.” It depends on your priorities. In fact, I think reluctant girl readers would devour this. (And I’m going to find out if that’s true, in my next teen library event, “speed dating books”! Inherit the Stars will be in the book pool.) The proactive female protagonist, the gorgeous cover, the immediacy of the writing style, the engaging first chapter, and the depth of the friendship/romance all recommend it to reluctant readers. I would have loved it, as a teen. Other genre fans may enjoy it as a quick, fun read; however, the long list of problems may understandably deter a wider audience. Hence only 2.5/5 stars. But we’ll see if book II improves!

2.5/5 STARS