Title: Sky in the Deep
Series: Sky in the Deep
Author: Adrienne Young
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books Release Date: April 24, 2018
OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
I didn’t even know this book existed until Adrienne Young mentioned it and the second book in the Sky in the Deep series, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, in an Instagram post. I decided to see what she was referring to and I am so glad I did!
This book has a feel to it that is hard to describe. The Gods seem almost like Norse Gods of old, yet they’re clearly not real Norse Gods. The book also has a very Braveheart and Last of the Mohicans feel to me, but that could just be me. I guess it’s the whole clans and being the last of their clans thing that makes me think of those.
I love Eelyn’s character. She’s a warrior, she’s brave, she’s proud. She’s also scared out of her wits, afraid to die, and afraid to love. Her loyalty to her clan, the Aska, runs fierce. But then you see her start to change and grow. It’s something you have to read to believe. She’s a beautiful character.
Fiske is… sorry, he’s a warrior teddy bear. That’s the best way to describe him and it works. He’s gentle with his family and with anyone else he cares for. He’s fierce with his enemies or the enemies of those he loves.
The heartstopping scenes in this book – the battles, the raids, the heartache, the heartbreak. I cried in some places, I cheered in others, and “watched” in horror in other parts of this book. It kept me enthralled and I couldn’t put it down. Definite 4 star read. It would have been 5 stars but I’d liked to have had more time to get to know some of the supporting characters like Inge, Halvard, Iri, and Runa. Maybe in the next book we might get to know them better.
Title: Again, but Better
Author: Christine Riccio
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books Release Date: May 7, 2019
Source: Personal Collection
Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?
Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!
Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.
Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.
I read this book for Barnes & Noble’s new YA Book Club. I hadn’t even heard of the book and didn’t know who the author was, although once I saw her YouTube channel name, I vaguely recognized who she was. I have to say, I wish she’d gone back and watched some of her own videos when writing this book.
The biggest problem is that the characters don’t grow and develop, they either stay exactly the same or they devolve. The character development was great in the beginning and then just started to fall apart. You’re not only still cringing at Shane in Part 2, you might find yourself cringing even more than you did before. And don’t even get me started on Shane’s parents. I get that there are parents like that in real life, but seriously, Shane’s father is just plain scary at times. Also, in the words of our facilitator tonight… he makes you want to say “choke you” to him.
The plot of the story is great. You start out thinking you’ve got a cool contemporary YA novel and then BOOM, plot twist! The execution of the plot twist itself was awesome, it was just the execution of the rest of the story. Shane is a highly relatable character because you can honestly think of some time in your life when you’ve acted in that type of cringe-worthy manner. Pilot is a great character but we don’t get to know much about him until Part 2. Just try not to face palm when you read his last name for the first time. Babe, Sahra, and Atticus are more or less just there, even though they’re all friends. It’s one of those weird things where the characters just didn’t get the type of development they should have.
I gave the book 3 stars because it’s not horrible, but it’s not great. Would I re-read it? Sure, because there are some seriously funny parts in there. But if I hadn’t already bought it, I’d just check it out from the library. It really wasn’t worth buying the book.
Title: I Do Not Trust You
Authors: Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Memphis “M” Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.
Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.
From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.
When I was asked to review I Do Not Trust You, I was a bit on the skeptical side. I’ve been having some issues with books that have multiple authors lately – for some reason I just can’t seem to get into them or if I do get into them, I can’t seem to stay interested in them. But this one? This one was awesome!
Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz have teamed up before – in fact, one of their previous novels, Sanctuary Bay, is in my TBR pile at this very moment, and might very well be my next read. That alone should have told me that this book would be a winner – because author teams generally don’t end up writing more books together unless the previous ones are great.
I love the characters – Memphis (M) and Ashwin (Ash) at least. I’m rather fond of Mike as well and let me tell you, I was as surprised as Ash was when we finally got to meet Mike in person. I definitely wasn’t expecting that! The other characters, such as Phillip, Bob, and Liza definitely aren’t my favorites but then again, they’re not meant to be the readers’ favorite characters. They’re obnoxious and downright evil in some cases.
I loved the use of the Egyptian mythology as honestly, I love Egyptian mythology – the book actually made me want to brush up on it because it’s been a while since I’ve been able to read up on any of it. I Do Not Trust You is action packed even if it doesn’t seem like it would be – believe me, it is. It’s difficult to put down once you start reading and frankly, I had to force myself to put it down to do things like eat, sleep, and housework. As for the ending – you will be so amazed!!
This book was so well written and so well edited that I have to give it 5 stars. It’s a great book – funny at times, heart-pounding at times, and just absolutely awesome. You won’t regret reading this one.
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.