Tag Archives: Young Adult

5 Star and 3 Star Review for Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1) by Jamie Deacon #MM #YoungAdult @JamieDeacon82

CoverTitle: Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Jamie Deacon (Beaten Track Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: September 29, 2016 – 320 pgs

Synopsis

Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo.

It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

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Review

ThreeStar

I find it difficult to love a book when I find myself disliking the characters more and more as the story progresses. This story starts with a simple mismatched romance between working class Luke and his wealthy girlfriend Zara. And slowly, as characters are added and poor decisions seem to multiply, we see the absolute worst of each character.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Luke and Theo but I hated the exaggerated class divide and Giles’ snobbery. I really never understood the reasons for Giles’ aggressive behaviour and I really didn’t understand how Theo and Zara allowed it in their home. Adding cheating and secrets and lies just made these characters more difficult to like. I felt the ending exploded and then fizzled before limping to a rather unsatisfying conclusion – it just didn’t work for me.

As this descended into angst and drama, I struggled to finish it. I am awarding three stars because this is a young adult story and fans of Hollyoaks and other teen soaps will probably enjoy this much more than I did.

Sarah

FiveStars

This was a great read about the hardships that some young adults may go through when they realize what their sexuality is.

Luke is 17 and has a girlfriend that he is content with, Zara. For summer break Zara invites Luke to join her and her cousin at her parents beach cottage for he summer. Luke is all for the surfing and spending some time with Zara.

Just like any good book there is a twist. When Luke meets Theo, feelings he has try to banish from his mind start to arise. As hard as he tries to deny he is attracted to Theo, he no longer can when Theo kisses him. From that moment on Luke knows that he can no longer deny his attraction and he no longer wants to try too.

Luke and Theo come to the understanding that they will keep things under raps for a while but it keeps getting harder and harder to hide the truth. Especially since Zara really wants to make things work with Luke and Luke really wants things in the open about him and Theo.

Things finally come to a crashing hault and everyone is hurt in the mix.

This book was a great read. It is the perfect example of the struggles that some may face when they come to the realization that they can no longer deny who they are. It is also the perfect example of how some people may be caught in the cross fire and end up hurt. I think that Jamie Deacon did an amazing job with this book and did all the characters justice by making the book so close to reality.

Great read!!!!

Tosha

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Filed under 3 Star, 5 Star, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah, Tosha

5 Stars and 4 Stars for The Night Screams by Devon McCormack #MM #Romance @devon_mccormack

CoverTitle: The Night Screams
Author Name & Publisher: Devon McCormack (Harmony  Ink Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 28, 2016 – 220 pgs

Synopsis

Running naked through the woods, Cal flees the sadistic man who abducted and tortured him. When he stumbles upon a convenience store, he breaks in to steal food. A young store clerk, Jake, confronts him, and they get into a fight that ends with Cal being knocked unconscious. He wakes in the home of Jake’s Uncle Gary, the owner of the convenience store. Realizing Cal needs help, Gary tries to communicate with him, but despite Cal’s efforts, he can’t bring himself to speak. Instead, he writes down his experiences. Horrified by the perverse cruelty Cal endured, Gary takes him to the police, who track down his tormentor.

Abandoned by his parents before his abduction, Cal doesn’t have anywhere to go, so Gary and his wife eagerly welcome him into their home. He feels fortunate to be with such caring people—something he’s never had before. Despite their help, he still can’t find his voice, and he wonders if he ever will. And Jake certainly isn’t making things any easier. It’s clear he doesn’t want Cal to be part of their family. But the more Cal gets to know him, the more he realizes Jake might be the very person who can heal the deep wounds left by his horrifying past.

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Review

FourStarsTriggers: Gay bashing, death, loss, cancer

This was a great story.  It had love, loss, acceptance and learning.

Cal and Jake have a strained relationship at the beginning.  It’s somewhat difficult to tell if it’s jealousy or attraction.

I really like how Gary and Luce were able to take in both boys and offer them something that they were all needing – family.

I loved Gary.  He was funny, the steady sense in this family who, at it’s core is full of love and acceptance.  He knows that his wife has some learning to do but I love how he handles it.

Luce is a wonderful person who just has some catching up to do.

I felt that this story was more about Luce and her learning to accept than it was about Cal and Jake.  However, their story was one of learning how to have a relationship, learning to love themselves and each other.

AvidReader

FiveStars

The Night Screams is poignant and moving. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for an emotional suspense story with romance.

This is a gritty and engaging book. The characters are well developed and easy to love. The romance is realistic, and I’m glad that it’s not sexually explicit. I feel it fits the story better this way.

This story addresses not only the extreme abuse that Cal endured but also social and family issues faced by many LGBTQ teens. Cal’s journey is frightening and heartbreaking at times, but there are also hopeful and heartwarming moments.

Overall, I loved this book! There were a few little plot points that nagged at me through the story. The plot twist that resolved these issues solidified the 5th star in my rating.

Amanda

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4.5 Star Review for Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton #MM #YA @MarieSexton

CoverTitle: Trailer Trash
Author Name & Publisher: Marie Sexton (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: March 21, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

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Review
FourandHalfStars

This is my first book by Marie Sexton, and I will definitely be back for more!Trailer Trash is an emotional roller-coaster that is intelligent, romantic and heart-wrenching.

This is a well-researched and gritty portrayal of the social climate faced by young gay men in the ’80s. It also explores uncomfortable truths about living in extreme poverty. And it’s a reminder of growing up without the conveniences we take for granted today of having relatively anonymous access to important information.

Cody and Nate are very well-developed and lovable characters. Their relationship is rocky but also endearing and hopeful. Cody’s mom is my favorite supporting character in the book. Her story is heartbreaking, but she is a proud and loving mother.

I have one small complaint with this story. I feel the first third is a bit slower than it needs to be. But once it picks up, it’s fantastic!

I highly recommend this for someone looking for a realistic and intelligent romance and coming of age story.

*I received an unedited copy, and my review assumes that the errors will be corrected prior to publication. I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.*

Amanda

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Amanda, M/M, New Release, Review

New Release: 4 Star Review for The Star Host (Broken Moon #1) by F.T. Lukens (Author Interview) #MM #YA @ftlukens

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Title: The Star Host (Broken Moon #1)
Author Name & Publisher: F.T. Lukens (Duet Books)
Publication Date & Length: March 3, 2016 – 258 pgs

Synopsis

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.

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Review

FourStars

I love a good sci-fi/fantasy MM, and FT Lukens was pretty good at drawing me into the story. So we have Ren, your typical cliche boy who wants to leave his planet for bigger and better things and finds out that he can actually control electricity…or maybe has the ability to control techno weapons/machines/ships/etc. Though it’s cliche, the intro was pretty interesting with the kidnappings of children.
In the evil lair, he meets Asher. I liked Asher, but I just wish there was more romantic scenes between these two characters. That’s why it’s a 4. There were parts where it dragged, but it didn’t make me lose interest. I wanted to find out if Ren and Asher gets together, if Ren controls his ability. It was actually a pretty awesome ability.
Is there a part 2? I’d read it. 🙂
Cookie

Excerpt

Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.

“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.

Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”

Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”

“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”

She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.

“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”

Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”

Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.

“Don’t,” she barked.

“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”

Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”

Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”

He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.

She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”

Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.

He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”

His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth.

And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything.

The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.

It was freeing and frightening.

His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.

The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.

He could.

He could.

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4 Stars for Haffling (Haffling #1) by Caleb James #M/M #YoungAdult

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Title: Haffling  (Haffling #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Caleb James (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 11th 2013- 274 pages

Synopsis

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

All sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus wants is to be two years older and become his sister Alice’s legal guardian. That, and he’d like his first kiss, preferably with Jerod Haynes, the straight boy with the beautiful girlfriend and the perfect life. Sadly, wanting something and getting it are very different. Strapped with a mentally ill mother, Alex fears for his own sanity. Having a fairy on his shoulder only he can see doesn’t help, and his mom’s schizophrenia places him and Alice in constant jeopardy of being carted back into foster care.

When Alex’s mother goes missing, everything falls apart. Frantic, he tracks her to a remote corner of Manhattan and is transported to another dimension—the land of the Unsee, the realm of the Fey. There he finds his mother held captive by the power-mad Queen May and learns he is half-human and half-fey—a Haffling.

As Alex’s human world is being destroyed, the Unsee is being devoured by a ravenous mist. Fey is vanishing, and May needs to cross into the human world. She needs something only Alex can provide, and she will stop at nothing to possess it… to possess him.

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Review

fourstars

This book made me feel a gambit of emotions. At first the story was really good and I loved it, then I got frustrated cause I was confused, I wanted to stop reading it but I just couldn’t, I like this book now, I couldn’t stop reading it, then it got better and then I was surprised due to twists in the story.

The concept of the story is great. I love stories about fairies and mortals who are half fey or something. That’s what drew me to this book.

The beginning of the book starts out great. I’m understanding it and it really draws me in. After Alex enters the park it gets complicated and confusing. I was wishing for an explanation of what was happening. After this, the story goes back and forth between understanding what was happening and being confused. About halfway through the book, that levels out and I’m understanding it and it gets smoother and better. A few surprises arise, but they are good. The ending I had a problem with, though.

Also, the cast of characters are wonderful and well developed.

Overall, the story is really great and written in such a way that it’s like I’m watching a movie. The confusing bits are a little bit difficult, but if you press in and continue the wrinkles press out and it becomes smooth.

Ariel

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5 Stars for The Midnight Gardener (The Town of Superstition #1) by R.G. Thomas #MM #YoungAdult

1.5

Title: The Midnight Gardener (The Town of Superstition #1)
Author Name & Publisher: R.G. Thomas (Harmony Ink Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 12, 2015 – 123 pgs

Synopsis

At fifteen, Thaddeus Cane has moved thirty-two times with his father. Each time he’s displaced without explanation, Thaddeus loses any friends he’s made. The name of their latest town is Superstition, but it seems normal enough, with one exception.

Thaddeus’s bedroom window gives him a view into the beautiful gardens next door. Every night after dark, an attractive guy around Thaddeus’s age appears to tend the plants. When Thaddeus visits his neighbor, he discovers not only how deep his interest in the other man runs, but also that Teofil, the midnight gardener, isn’t human. He’s a garden gnome, a revelation that will lead to more secrets coming to light and an adventure unlike anything Thaddeus ever imagined

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Review

FiveStars

This book was amazing. I love the story. A great first book to a series that I can’t wait to read.

As the main character in the book said this is like an American Harry Potter story without the wand. This book is full of magic and mystery, an angry beast and strange neighbors with magical “fireflies”.

The budding romance and relationship between Thaddeus and Teofil is sweet and wonderful and can’t wait to see where it leads

I highly recommend this book. It was great. The author writes so wonderfully painting each scene that makes you feel like you are there. If you like YA m/m stories with magic and mystery that includes quests then this is a book you will love.

Ariel

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New Release: Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3) by Jay Jordan Hawke #MM #YoungAdult @jayjordanhawke

Onwaachige-1

Title: Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Jay Jordan Hawke (Harmony Ink)
Publication Date & Length: December 17, 2015 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

What would you do for the boy you loved? What if to save him you had to abandon him forever?

Fourteen-year-old Joshua Ishkoday faces an impossible decision as a terrifying dream sets him upon a thrilling and treacherous journey of self-exploration through the dangerous vastness of the Wisconsin northwoods. There, along with his best friends, Mokwa and Little Deer, Joshua summons the power to confront his greatest fears. To do so, all he has to do is trust in his dreams. Unfortunately, Joshua discovers that his dreams have been deceiving him thanks to the intrusion of strange creatures. For out in the middle of the forest dwell the enigmatic Memegwesi, bizarre manitous who have a special plan for Joshua. Joshua soon realizes that he has three monsters to battle: the extraordinary creatures haunting his dreams, the dangerous torrential storm brewing in the northwoods, and finally, the greatest demon of all—his homophobic mother.

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Excerpt

But the village lake was also the source of Joshua’s greatest pain. It was where he had his naming ceremony, the very same night his mother tore him from the reservation.

As he arrived at the lake, he looked around and could still see the charred remains of the woodpiles from the campfire that had illuminated his ceremony. For a moment, he could see the flames still flickering as they shot glowing embers upward, touching the sky, preparing to announce his identity to the manitous, to the cosmos. Then it had all been ruined as his mother stepped in and committed a terrible affront to everything that he was, to everything that he was becoming.

Joshua sat down by the lake and let the stream of thoughts and emotions come and go. He soaked them in, holding each in a mental spotlight, then releasing it in preparation for the next in line. But as confusing and painful as his thoughts were for him right now, he took solace in the fact that he was home once again and the way that made him feel was anything but confusing. As he gazed at the light mist floating silently across the early morning lake, he felt an overwhelming sense of serenity, as though the manitous were reassuring him that everything was going to be okay. Maybe they were right. And that little moment of peace was what was so magical, so miraculous about this place.

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