Genre: Young Adult

Going Back by Jennifer Young

Posted October 23, 2016 by karenbaron in Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Review, Romance, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Going Back by Jennifer YoungGoing Back by Jennifer Young
Series: Lake Garda #2
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Smashwords Edition on April 20th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Feisty, redheaded, and fabulously rich student, Leona Castellano, is set upon returning to her Italian roots to put an old feud to bed. Her grandfather is dead, but his former enemy, Faustino Manfredi, seems determined the hostility should not die with him and turns his fury upon Leona.
When she becomes close to Faustino’s grandson, Nico, their romance strengthens Faustino’s vendetta and attracts the opposition of Leona’s parents, bringing Leona and Nico face to face with a terrible secret.

My take on this book:              Going Back by Jennifer Young is such a great book. I know it’s the second book in a series and even without reading the first book you get with what happened from the last book immediately.

This book was very interesting especially after you get to know the characters better. There was a lot of surprises here and there throughout, some that I either enjoyed or hated. The characters all seemed like they were real people for me and I was along for the ride on their emotions, fears, and other things that came up within the novel.

Just like any other review, there are somethings of the book that I didn’t enjoy. I had to reread a little bit of the first few chapters to be able to get an understanding of which point of view we were in for a chapter. We went from Leona’s, Nico’s, and lastly that of Alexandra for the three different point of views. Other than that I only hated one guy, Faustino. He was a cranky old dude, that was living in the past but I also kind of got with where he was coming from. I felt sorry for him at the end.

I love this book and I am giving it five stars despite my rocky start with the chapter changes along with the time it took me to finish reading this book. I will recommend this book to anyone that likes revised version of Romeo and Juliet, along with wonderful characters, and romances kindling between a lot of different people. If you like that then this book is for you. This is also my first New Adult book and I am glad that I was asked to read this book.

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About Jennifer Young

Jennifer Young is an Edinurgh-based writer, editor and copywriter. She is interested in a wide range of subjects and writing media, perhaps reflecting the fact that she has both arts and science degrees. Jennifer has been writing fiction, including romantic fiction, for a number of years with several short stories already published. Thanks You For The Music, which is set on the Balearic island of Majorca, is her first published novel.


School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino

Posted August 31, 2016 by karenbaron in Boarding School, Death, Dragons, Elementals, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Teen, Young Adult / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

School of Deaths by Christopher ManninoSchool of Deaths by Christopher Mannino
Series: The Scythe Wielder's Secret #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Muse it Up Publishing on May 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 270
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Can a timid girl from Maryland become the first female Death?
Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.
Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.
PRE-ORDER NOW at https://museituppublishing.com/bookst...

My take on this book:              Wow. School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino was awesome and it kept me thinking about Suzie and her friends whenever I put it down to do something else. We follow Susan, Suzie as she likes to be called by her friends, on a sort of regular day for her in our world before she is whisked away by a Death to become a Death herself or to go back to the normal world thanks to an end of year test for the first years.

Suzie is able to make it through most of the first year with some hiccups as she is the only female in an all-male environment and not everyone is happy to see her there. Suzie is able to stand up for herself against some of the other students and even some of the teachers there that aren’t happy to see her there in the World of Deaths.

There is also a bunch of twists and turns that we unravel with Suzie as the book progresses that makes you want to read further and further into it. I was making guesses here and there about what I think is up with Suzie and most of my guesses were right.

Schools of Deaths by Christopher Mannino is different than with what I normally read as Young Adult book but I have to say that it was a good different and it truly kept my interest. I immediately thought that it was like Harry Potter but completely different as Harry was eleven when he was thrust into magic and Suzie is thirteen.

Suzie is a wonderful character with a lot of character development about with what she thought of the World of Deaths. Along  with everything else, that happens to her. She also learns more about the mystery regarding her being picked to go the School of Deaths. She also is able to help some other people out.

Schools of Deaths by Christopher Mannino is a great book. It has a great world developed for it and I love the different species that he added to this world. It’s also one that will keep you wondering about it while you are doing all those boring normal everyday life things. All of that and other things I have mentioned above makes this book for me five star rating. I will totally recommend this book to other people to read as it is a great book for both young adults and adults.

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About Christopher Mannino

Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with youg people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.
Christopher’s debut novel School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret book 1) was published in May 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing. The second book in the trilogy, Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret book 2), was published in August 2015. The third book Daughter of Deaths is expected to be released in 2016. His series has received rave reviews and been compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.


This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Posted July 7, 2016 by karenbaron in Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Music, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Review, Romance, Teen, Womens Fiction, Young Adult / 0 Comments

This Lullaby by Sarah DessenThis Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Published by Speak on March 8, 2004
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 345
Format: Paperback
five-stars

There is an alternate cover edition for this ISBN13 here.
When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

My take on this book:              This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen was such a great book. It was published back in 2004 before we had the “New Adult Fiction” book category and I think that is exactly where this book fits. Remy grows a lot in this book in my opinion while trying to figure out with why Dexter is different than the normal boys she goes after.

We follow Remy throughout most of her summer vacation as she navigates her life, her mother’s new marriage, and trying to figure out what is up with her and Dexter. The book starts off in June and then we go to July and then August. Remy tries to keep her life all nice and orderly while trying to help her mom out with some things when her mom is focused on writing her current novel.

Remy is a character that not a whole lot of people will like but at the same time she has these layers about her personality that she built from the concept of how she saw her mom living her romantic life. She just built a shield around herself hoping that it will keep herself from feeling heartache while actually not putting herself out there but wanting to find love even if she doesn’t think that she believes in love.

Remy’s friends are also very different and I think that they also reflect her personality as well. One of her best friends Jess, the motherly one, reminds me of the way that Remy is with her mom. Remy’s mom needs help with planning a wedding or even just getting a divorce going first. Another one of her best friends Lissa, the romantic one, is the one that tries to see the happiness and romantic part of everything. Her last best friend Chloe (the anti commitment one), is much like the person that Remy is when we first met her. Remy doesn’t care how many guys she goes out with as long as they are gone and out of her life by her cut off point.

Remy and Dexter though are very opposite of each other and in every sense of the word their relationship is like “opposites attract” and it’s really cool to see their relationship unfold in this book.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen is an awesome book and one that I would totally recommend for other people to read. I am also pleased to say that I am giving this book a five stars rating since it was so awesome and kept me hooked for the entire time I was reading it.

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About Sarah Dessen

Hi. I’m Sarah. Writing a bio is always a little weird, if only because it seems completely self-absorbed. I have a standard one that I send out, which lists where I got my degree, the names of my books, all the same boring basic facts. But for this website, I’m supposed to do something more, give a sense of who I really am. So here goes.

The books I read when I was teenager, the good ones anyway, have stuck more in my mind than anything since. I still love books, but while I couldn’t tell you complete plots of novels I read even six months ago, I do remember even the smallest descriptive details from Lois Lowry’s A Summer to Die or Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I think it was because back then books were still somewhat new to me, and when I found an author who seemed to say just what I was feeling, it really struck me and resonated. I hope that my books do that for the people who read them: I think it’s the best thing to which any writer can aspire. I’ve also been lucky enough to teach writing and see my students find their own voice. Teaching was great for me, because I got to show people how writing can really change the way you see not only yourself but the world. I’ve found in my own life that if my writing isn’t going well, not much else will. It is the one constant, the key to everything else.

Now that I’m writing full time, I have my good days and bad days. But I’d rather be doing this, even on the worst days, than anything else. As far as my other life, my non-writing life, I live in the country with my husband, my daughter, and two very spoiled dogs. I like to work in my garden—although I have not yet perfected the art of keeping everything alive—-and, in my weaker moments, shop. What else can I tell you? I love Starbucks mochas but they make me way hyper. I subscribe to too many magazines. I make a mean bean salad. I could go on, but the truth is, my books are much more exciting than I am, and that’s a good thing. It’s always more fun to make stuff up anyway.


Those We Fear by Victoria Griffith

Posted April 1, 2016 by karenbaron in Adventure, Death, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Thriller, Young Adult / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Those We Fear by Victoria GriffithThose We Fear by Victoria Griffith
Published by HighLine Editions on April 1st 2016
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 203
Format: Kindle
five-stars

What do you get when you cross The Turn of the Screw and Jane Eyre with Psycho? Victoria Griffith's latest thriller. When Maria becomes a summertime au pair to the children of a Scottish lord, she discovers the family is living under the shadow of two suspicious deaths. Vanishing portraits, cloaked figures, and bizarre shrines add up to a compelling Modern Gothic psychological mystery.

My take on this book: Wow. My first gothic mystery book and I loved it!! I am giving this book a five stars as it kept me wanting to know more and more about Maria and the family that she is being an au pair for. Let’s just say that I wasn’t thinking that the one behind everything was the one behind everything. This book to me reminded me of the mystery game Clue in a way with the way that I was jumping around with Maria on who I thought was doing it. I blurted out one day “The nurse did it at the lake with a knife!” Making my cat get off my lap and meowed at me to show her disapproval before walking away to her bed that was still near me.

Throughout the whole book I thought I was in Scotland with Maria experiencing the same things as she did while still trying to figure out who done it all. I mean it was a little nerve wracking and overall this book was amazing. It kept me guessing, it kept me wanting to know more as I slept or did my chores or anything that was away from my Kindle, and while I was reading it I was so absorbed into it that sometimes I didn’t even realize how far I got into the book or that I needed to do something else because it was that good. Those We Fear by Victoria Griffith is such an amazing book that I am glad that I took the opportunity to read it.

If anyone was to ask me for a recommendation of a good Gothic Mystery book I will tell them about Those We Fear by Victoria Griffith because it was really good read and something that I enjoyed. I did feel bad though for that poor family that Maria had to look after the kids for since they went through so much in the past year with two “accidental” killings taking place and stuff getting stolen here and there it was just a hard for them all. Especially for the poor two little ones that just didn’t know what to do with their feelings about their mom dying and their grandmother being ill and just being stuck in that big ancestral home of their late mothers. At least though it ends on a happy note for everyone…mostly.

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About Victoria Griffith

“After some disastrous stints as a banker and a waitress, I decided to become a writer. For many years, I was a journalist. I had lots of fun cooking lunch for Julia Child, hanging out with Yanomami Indians in Brazil and following the space program. Now, I’m a full-time author.” –Victoria Griffith


Ash and Snow by Katie Doyle

Posted February 10, 2016 by karenbaron in Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance, Series, Teen, Witches, Young Adult / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ash and Snow by Katie DoyleAsh and Snow by Katie Doyle
Series: A Grimm Tidings Novella #2
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on November 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 130
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Ash fought for her brother, now she has to fight for her life. When the spell to save her brother worked, she didn't anticipate the problems that would follow suit. It destroyed her magic and in so doing left her life force to drain away. For months, the Witch Council searched for a way to stop her inevitable death, but nothing has come of it so far. Then Ash has a dream and as soon as she wakes up meets the little girl who starred in it. Kay Dewitt is sick. She's also special. She knows things she shouldn't and guides Ash to find the thing that could save them both. But the Council doesn't believe and turns Ash's boyfriend against her. Ash is on her own again...Only this time two lives are at stake. Loyalty and friendship are tested in this Snow White retelling.

My take on this book: Oh my god I loved this book so much. Katie Doyle has a way of creating a story that captivates her readers within the first sentence of a chapter. It makes them regret putting it down to do mundane things like chores or to make a meal or even just to go to bed. At least, it does with me.

Ash and Snow is the second book of the series and I have to say that it’s a really good story. I think this is an actual book for the series not a Novella. I am glad that Mrs. Doyle asked me to read the first book in this series as I am now hooked on it and I can’t wait to see which fairytale she does next.

This book takes place a short time after Ash saves her brother from her evil mother. Who was trying to kill him so that she could make Ash even more powerful however Ash loses her magic in the process. This kind of backfires in the way that Ash is now dying from doing the spell. The Witch Council of course is trying to find a way to save her and make sure that she has full custody of her little brother. After she has a dream  about something that could save her the council, especially her boyfriend are reluctant to help her. Even more so after she finds out that the little girl that was in her dream is in coma and doesn’t have long to live, much like Ash.

Ash takes off to find this cure with the help of the one person that she doesn’t want in her life ever again. Thankfully the book ends on a kind of happy note for both Kay and Ash. Ash and Snow is a brilliantly written book from Katie Doyle and one that I didn’t hesitate to give it five stars to. I can’t wait to see what happens in the future for these two especially with the predicament that Ash has put herself into after finding the cure.

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About Katie Doyle

Katie Doyle is an avid reader, writer of NA and Adult fiction, a mom to two tornadoes that resemble an eight and six year old, and pet to a tuxedo cat named Oz and a German Shepherd/Boxer rescue named Charlie. If she’s not reading, writing, or getting Oz out of a tree, she’s screaming at characters on TV and trying not to curse around her kids.