Friday, June 5, 2015

April and May: Merfolk


April and May's Topic of the Month is officially Merfolk!  To kick it off, we have posted a few merfolk based books that may interest you.  If you have any suggestions let us know!  Hope you enjoy!  (Click on the covers to go to the books' GoodReads pages!)


Ready by: H and C
Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.
He was gone for three days.  Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened.  Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong.  But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before?  How can he explain he's heir to a kingdom he never knew existed?  That he's suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.
Something happened to him in those three days.  He was claimed by the sea . . . and now it wants him back.

Other Book(s) in the Series:

13092528    17933160


Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
Shea MacNamara's life just got complicated.
After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod.  Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he's trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment . . . and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along  the shore.
Kara belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders.  The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans.  But two things stand in the way of the lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King's regent, and rumors of the Princess's bastard child.
Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?

Other Book(s) in the Series:



Read by: B and C
Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids.  To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy.  Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge.  They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water.  Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family.  Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily.  Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love - just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves.
One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.

Other Book(s) in the Series: 

17287443    17693477


Ready by: B
Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
What happens to the girls nobody sees - the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away?  The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?  Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls.  After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle.  When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair.  Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below.  Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.  A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in - all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives.  The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce's own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe's queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder.  Luce's struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival.  But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina's leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe.  Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?  

Other Book(s) in the Series:

12628635    12450811


Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
No one understands the fury of the ocean like Zoey.
Ten years ago, she lost her leg in a freak shark attack.  The night after her sixteenth birthday, she has yet to accept her awkward prosthetic limb or the fact she will always be different.  Wary of the sea, and its hidden threats, she ventures to a bonfire at the beach.  She's mesmerized by its awesome power, wondering what she ever had to fear, until a rogue wave sweeps her into the cool, salty water.
Zoey believed mermaids were creatures of legend, characters in silly children's stories, but it's hard to ignore the captivating tail that's suddenly appeared, or the sense of finally being whole.  She abandons her life on land in search of answers about who she really is and where she came from.
What she discovers is a kingdom full of intrigue and danger, as well as a royal father she never knew existed.  Settling into her role as a mermaid princess, she learns her family is under attack, both on land and in the water.  Raging storms swell up, threatening coastal cities, and sea levels rise practically overnight, endangering the lives of everyone she loves.  Determined to stop the strange phenomena, Zoey becomes caught up in the race to track down what, or who, is responsible for the catastrophic events.  
But Zoey possesses another secret, one born of legend and more powerful than an mer or human can imagine.


Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home, continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, and take care of her brothers and surfer dad.  But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother.  The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well.  And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her -- and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Other Book(s) in the Series:

12387628    16059525


Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
A mermaid haunts Adrianne's dreams . . . is she coming to warn her, save her, or drag her down into the depths of the briny sea forever?
When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation.  However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.


Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
At the ripe age of 21, happily single Mericle Edwards discovers that her body -- her human body -- is only a temporary fix.  Born in the Deep as a princess with fins and gills, she was hidden amongst the humans, so her father -- a corrupt sea king -- could not use her to his advantage, or worse, destroy her in order to keep his position as ruler of a kingdom in the North Atlantic.  

A visit from a crystal-eyed stranger, along with the onset of startling abilities brings Meri to a realization that her life is in for a drastic change.  Expectations are high and duties aren't taken lightly in the Deep.  Thankfully, Meri's true form knows exactly what's expected of it.

With the guidance of her mentor and his unmatched 'charm', and a few others along the way, Meri will have to make some tough decisions.  Will she fulfill her dream of becoming a small town veterinarian or give it all up to save a world and a lifestyle she remembers nothing about?  Is there someone she's destined to be with after all?
Will her deadly fear of water be a problem?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Transformed by E.V. Fairfall

This review was written by: C
Received: Copy from the Author 
Publication Date of Book: January 2014
Pages: 273 (Paperback edition)
Stars: 4.5 / 5

Fear doesn't live in someone who has nothing to lose.

Years and years ago, Thea and her brother landed on Earth, destroying everything and leaving carnage in their wake.  It was then their duty to recreate and bring back what they themselves had demolished.  Taking the time to painstakingly implement the most intricate of details, Thea and her brother worked diligently to manifest the most beautiful of creations from animals to plants to humans.  However, when they were done, the Earth would not let them grow old and die; instead, the two were to continue on with their duties. 

Now commonly known as Mother Earth, Thea has guided her creations and looked after them with the utmost of care, going as far as to even take her animals' forms.  However, humans soon began to destroy the beauty around them as time went on.  They tear down forests and hunt living creatures only for the vanity of sport.  The siblings roam for years, attempting to balance the good and evil in the world that was tipped when the humans became greedy, but suddenly Thea ends up somewhere she cannot escape.  Earth wants her to teach the Willipord family, a group of less than empathetic hunters, compassion, and it will not let her go about the rest of the world freely until she succeeds.

The Willipords are ruthless, though, and in order to do carry out Earth's wishes, she must turn into a human.  However, her brother gave her one rule and one rule only: never take the form of a human.  Thea is terrifyingly hesitant to go against what her good-natured brother has told her, but her plan requires defying his wishes.  She hopes to make Brice Willipord fall in love with her.  Brice is undoubtedly handsome but his personality leaves little to be desired.  Plus he has unknowingly hurt Thea countless times.  Despite these prospects, she is willing to do what it takes to be free again . . . that is until she meets Chamber.  Chamber has two things in common with Brice: he is a Willipord and a hunter.  Thea cannot help but feel attracted to this broken, curly-haired boy with mesmerizing eyes.  But he's a hunter. Perhaps Thea's plan won't work out as she had originally hoped, for fate has twisted the forthcoming events into something unimaginable.

What happens when Thea falls for what she despises most?  The end result can't possibly be good.  Also, Brice hates to see a girl end up with Chamber, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to have Thea ripped away from Chamber.  Who will end up with Thea?  Who exactly is her brother?  Is it possible to have a soul mate? Will Thea ever be free?  Can the Willipord family actually change? Read Transformed to find out!

Words were power, and ideas were death to the mind if left to wonder.

My thoughts on the book:
Original ideas for YA books are awfully challenging to come by.  It almost seems as if ideas are just recycled again and again until they are completely exhausted.  Sure, some can include twists that make them unique and still thoroughly enjoyable, but the core concept is still the same.  However, Transformed was brilliantly new and quite honestly refreshing.  Never have I come across a book such as this.  The entire design was memorable, rare, special, and captivating.  From beginning to end, it was practically perfect.  

The origin and creation story that were weaved into Transformed were fascinating and gripping with a great perspective.  Also, Thea as Mother Earth alongside her mysterious brother were completely intriguing, especially when their stories unfolded.  I was shocked to find out exactly who her brother was, but it made perfect sense.  Just thinking about how caring, gentle, genuine, and pure Thea was is remarkable.  It is easy to imagine that she is what humanity was supposed to embody.  This then leads me to the point where many honest emotions were explored and pondered as Thea finally experienced the forbidden: being human.  I feel as though E.V. Fairfall kept Thea's behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes true and parallel to her innocence and first experiences.

I found the views on hunting in this book to be well thought out and heavily explored without being preachy.  I personally find hunting to be an intensely horrifying endeavor.  I just can't bring myself to understand the satisfaction that some experience when killing an animal only to have it hung on his or her wall.  Through Thea's voice, I felt terrified and profoundly saddened when she saw an animal shot before or was hurt herself in the same manner.  For some reason, my mind kept wondering to that one scene in Powder when the hunter felt exactly what the fallen deer felt, but I digress!   

Why kill a soul if it didn't need to die?   

If you like twists, this book definitely has some!  I had no idea that they were coming.  Each one was equally unpredictable and shocking!  Plus, the ending was pure perfection!!!!  I was literally putty as I read the last page.  I wish we all had a Chamber in our lives.  (Sigh)

So, if you enjoy a unique, thought-provoking, twisting, fantasy, paranormal story, definitely pick up Transformed!  It's a marvelous read.

 If you enjoyed this book, you may also like:

23444087    18747725    19498351 



Monday, June 1, 2015

Ask the Dark by Henry Turner


This review was written by: C
Received: ARC from the Publisher
Publication Date of Book: April 2015
Pages: 256 (Hardcover)
Stars: 2/5

Short summary of the book:
Billy Zeets lives in a small town with a dark secret. Young boys have been going missing, and their bodies are not always turning up close to home. The town is filled with missing posters and absolutely no leads. Enacting a curfew and accusing an innocent are the only two things that the authorities have accomplished.
Billy is just trying to live his complicated life. Once a notorious thief, he has turned his life around in order to honor his mother’s dying wish of Billy attaining a better and honest life. His father has done all that he possibly can to pay the bills and support Billy and his sister. However, a horrible accident has left him injured and unable to work. Billy’s father has given up on life, and they are about to lose the only home they have. Billy refuses to accept this reality and the responsibility of making an astronomical amount of money when paying off their debt falls upon his shoulders. On top of that, he has to straighten out his rebellious sister who begins to date the notorious Bad-Ass Ricky.
Billy is struggling with finding work and making the payment before time is up. He sticks to simple schemes to gain wealth, including mowing lawns and helping out friends. He soon relapses into his old habits and tries to resort to stealing anything of value that can be sold to make an easy profit. His thievery leads him to discover that the killer is closer to home than originally believed. Billy soon begins to pick up clues and forms a possible conclusion as to who the kidnapper and murderer truly is. Boys are still going missing and Billy’s information could bring them home safely. However, due to his past, the police would never believe a word Billy says and the killer is closing in on him, too. Will he save the missing children in time, or will his good intentions fall to ruin?

My thoughts on the book:
I would have to say that I do not read contemporary mystery books very often because I never seem to find a plot that grabs my attention and keeps me interested. The beginning of the book already fills you in on how the entire story is supposed to end and the following chapters explain how everything comes to pass. It also does not contain real dialogue; therefore, Billy is relaying what happened and what everyone said. The only other book like this that I have read would be Project Cain, but this novel just did not do it for me. I was a bit bored as I read most of it. I feel that this is the result of a lack of fast-paced action considering the fact that this is a murder mystery. I also have qualms with the fact that you understand the clues and where the story is going way before the main character does. However, I feel as though the idea for Ask the Dark was interesting, but how it was conveyed was not as spectacular.
I do have to give the author props for writing the entire book in the exact way that the characters actually speak. You do not have to imagine the accent or pronunciation of words because he writes every sentence just as you would hear it if you were speaking to a character directly (For example, week is written as we-). The ending of the story is also a redeemable quality for this book. It took me awhile to get interested in the plot because I was frustrated that it took Billy so long to figure out how the clues connected, however, he was smarter than everyone else in the sense that he was the only one capable of collecting clues and evidence to finally piece it together. The ending scenes with Billy confronting the killer and being taken were well written and drew me in. I feel as if the climax was the best part of the book, and I was happy with how the story concluded.

If you enjoyed this book, you may also like:

10424929    11784878