Tag Archives: Bookclubs

A Peculiar Story

I picked this book up, not knowing what to expect except this story would be unusual. Peculiar is a perfect word for it! Sixteen-year-old Jacob has heard weird stories from his grandfather for years. When Jacob was little, he believed in these strange characters–children with special abilities, but as he grew older, he realized the tales were mere fairy tales.

When Jacob finds his grandfather gravely injured outside in the dark, he also sees a monster in the shadows. Or does he? Jacob’s parents send him to a psychologist, thinking he’s having trouble with his grandfather’s death.

But Jacob remembers his grandfather’s dying words, as strange and coded as his many stories, and Jacob is determined to go to the remote island where his grandfather lived as a boy–Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. There he finds the ruins of the building, walls crumbled from an air attack during WWII. But soon he realizes the house is not abandoned!

You’ll enjoy the many real–strange–photographs in the book. The author, Ransom Riggs, perused through vintage photos in flea markets and antique stores, which he used in writing the story. I found myself intrigued with the book, turning page after page. Read the book before you see the movie! If you like series, two sequels to this book are already available: Hollow City and Library of Souls.

Follow me on Instagram at lucindastein. Check out my bookstagram pic for this book!

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Jadeite’s Journey

When romance turns deadly…

Jadeite’s world comes crashing down on her. In futuristicjadeites-journey-final-cover United Society, her only problem has been how to act around the cute boy on the air shuttle. But Jadeite’s life changes when she comes across a man who looks alarmingly like her father. Clones were declared illegal years ago. When she sees her father, a robotic engineer, headed to the Dark Edge of United Society, she follows him and uncovers her father’s secret life.

Jadeite shadows her father past the boundary of United Society and into a primitive world of canyons and high deserts. She learns her father is a Ridge Runner passing between the two worlds. Even more alarming, she discovers her younger brother, Malachite, is sick and requires medicine only available from over the Ridge. After her father is arrested, Jadeite takes his place in order to save her brother’s life.

But her world turns even more precarious after she breaks up with her obsessive boyfriend, Mattie. Jadeite soon learns his threats are more than words—and her life is in jeopardy.

Lucinda Stein is the award-winning author of several adult novels and short stories. Jadeite’s Journey is her first YA novel.

Available:

amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

KOBO

Send me a pic of you reading Jadeite’s Journey and I’ll post it! (send to lucinda@lucindastein.com) Follow me on Twitter at @lucindakstein and on Facebook.

I hope you enjoy Jadeite’s Journey!

Happy reading,

Lucinda

 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Nineteen-year-old Feyre resides in a village with two sisters and a crippled father at the edge of a magical land called Prythian—a land of faeries. Living in poverty after her father lost his fortune, Feyre hunts for their food, keeping the family from starving. While out hunting one day, she kills a wolf.

Later a fearsome creature breaks into their cottage, seeking revenge for the death of one of its own kind. The wolf Feyre killed turns out to be a shapeshifter who was actually a faerie. The creature called Tamlin drags Feyre away and across the border to Prythian. At his estate, Tamlin allows her free access of his mansion and estate grounds. Instead of killing her, she’s allowed to live according to the regulations of an ancient treaty. However, she can never return to her family. Ever.

Feyre panics over her family’s survival, but Tamlin assures her he has taken care of her family. Over time, she realizes Tamlin truly means her no harm and slowly finds herself attracted to the lethal, immortal High Fae.

She learns that a blight across Prythian endangers the High Fae and has lessened his magical powers. Tamlin’s estate and even his life is in danger. To protect Feyre’s life, he sends her home. But Feyre’s love for Tamlin leads her back to incredible danger and deeper into the secrets of Prythian.

In an intriguing version of Beauty and the Beast, Sarah Maas leads the reader through a story of magic, war, and fated love. Well written, the book contains plenty of conflict and mystery. Due to scenes of sexual and violent nature, I recommend this book for New Adult or older YA readers.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, ©2015, Bloomsbury

 

 

Six of Crows

six-of-crows-coverSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The chatter on Twitter had me curious about the fantasy book, Six of Crows. It’s an ambitious book at 462 pages and packed with adventure, violence, and intrigue. A motley group of six outcasts attempts an impossible heist to abduct a prisoner from the impenetrable Ice Court. By the second chapter, a confrontation between two gangs erupts, and the high action of this story is on!

If you find the sheer number of characters confusing, hang in there and the story will soon come together.

Kaz is the leader of this group of young criminals and outcasts. Some say he’s a devil, others call him Dirty Hands. As an orphan, he came from the streets and worked his way up to be a gang leader. He also runs the Crow Club. He’s known for being cold and ruthless.

Inej is call the Wraith for her exceptional power to move undetected. She works as a spy for Kaz.

Nina is a beautiful Grisha Heartrender, who has the supernatural power to burst the heart in your chest, steal your breath, and rupture your cells. She escaped a slave ship and now works for Kaz.

Matthias is a drüskelle, a member of the military who abduct and kill Nina’s kind. He calls Nina a witch.

Jesper is a lanky teen who loves his pearl-handled revolvers. He has a compulsion for gambling to the point that he’s in hock up to his neck.

Wylan is the son of a powerful mercher. He had all the privileges of the wealthy but chose to run away from home.

Kaz’s crew attempts the heist of the century, knowing full well the odds are against them. If they succeed, they will all be very rich. Violence is a way of life in the Barrel where poverty nips the heels of those trying to survive and make money at any cost. To add to the intrigue, Kaz who is known for being coldhearted, has feelings for Inej but refuses to act on them. Sparks fly between Nina and Matthias, who are mortal enemies.

It isn’t just for the money that Kaz accepts the challenge of the Ice Court heist. A thirst for revenge for wrongs done in his past motivates him to risk all their lives. Some say he has claws, but the real reason Kaz always wears gloves is even stranger! The ending of this story opens the door for the upcoming sequel. I can definitely see this becoming a movie. Read Six of Crows for yourself and see what all the talk is about!

 

 

When Dreams Are Put on Hold

This new-adult novel deals with the challenging choices a young adult struggles with after high school. FYI: This book contains strong language and sexual scenes. Skylar I'll Meet You ThereEvans can’t wait to leave her hometown after graduation. The small town of Creek View has little to offer other than a run-down trailer park and one eccentric motel, the Paradise, where she works. Skylar has a pact with her male friend, Chris, that they will both leave Creek View and attend college. Her best friend, Dylan, has gone the route of many girls in Creek View, becoming pregnant in high school. Dylan is now raising her son, Sean.

Skylar’s father died in a car accident, and her mother is not coping well—she loses her job at Taco Bell and drinks all the time. Skylar starts to reconsider her decision to attend college, a dream she’s held for years. Someone has to take care of her mother.

Skylar’s life becomes even more complicated when she attends a party for Josh Mitchell, a Marine home from Afghanistan. Josh’s life is changed forever after he loses one leg in the war. She starts to fall for Josh, but wonders if it’s pity or real attraction drawing her to him.

The summer after graduation proves full of complications for Skylar. Her longing to study art is threatened by her mother’s downward spiral, and Skylar’s growing feelings for Josh. The night she finally admits she’s in love with Josh, he cheats on her. She’s devastated—her first love and he has betrayed her. Skylar’s life has become totally unraveled.

I’ll Meet You There tackles tough problems that can occur in a young adult’s life. The author realistically paints the pain of difficult issues while maintaining a broad stroke of hope. A person’s choices and attitude—along with a little help from friends—can overcome the worst heartbreaks and even the most dismal situations.

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Surrounded by a psychic family, Blue is the only member of her eccentric family who has no psychic ability. She does however make psychic power stronger in those who have it. Blue’s been told for years that she can’t kiss a boy because a kiss to her true love would kill him. She decides to never kiss any boy.

The first chapter draws you in, but it takes more persistence to stick with the story of the Raven boys, who attend Aglionby Academy, a nearby private school. The boys’ complicated relationships take a while to unfold, but if you stick with it, your reward will be an intriguing paranormal story. There’s Ronan, an angry boy who skips classes and gets into fights with his older brother. There’s Adam, a good-looking teen, who unlike the others, comes from a poor family and struggles to stay in the expensive school. His abusive father hates his son’s motivation to better himself and has no problem beating his son. And there’s shy Noah who remains in the background, who holds a secret that none of them could ever imagine.

Coming from a wealthy family, Gansey, the leader of the Raven Boys, has been looking into ley lines—places where spirits travel—for a long time as he searches for the grave of a Welsh king, Glendower, who legend claims will grant a reward to the one who awakens him. An instructor at Aglionby Academy is also searching for Glendower and will do anything to find it—including murder.

Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys when Adam expresses an interest in her. Though attracted to him, she worries how the relationship will develop, knowing the curse that’s connected to her. She joins their venture of locating Glendower’s grave. Later, Blue and Gansey discover a body near an ancient church. This body is of their time period. Decayed, there’s not much left to identify the corpse. Gansey finds a billfold. Inside, the driver’s license photo turns out to be someone they all know. They soon discover that danger lurks within their grand adventure, threatening each and every one of them.

This is the first title in a series of four books.

For fun check out: How to graffiti a car in just under 3.5 minutes (You Tube by Maggie Stiefvater)

 

Strong as Death

Strong as Death by M.S. Kaye

Strong As Death (Born From Death Book 1) by [Kaye, MS]Ilona is sick and tired of never leaving home without her mother by her side. Frustrated by her mother’s constant presence and overprotectiveness, seventeen-year-old Ilona escapes their apartment. She observes a woman being threatened and steps up to help. That’s when Ilona is hit by a car. Taken to the hospital, her legs miraculously heal, something that has always occurred when she’s injured. A little boy appears, crying for his mother.

When Joey runs straight through a hospital curtain, Ilona realizes the boy is a ghost. Her mother has always refused to talk about things that seem out of place, and Ilona is determined to find out about the world but, most of all, about herself. Wandering the streets in a bad neighborhood in Brooklyn, she meets Archer, a rough-looking boy, who befriends her and directs her to safety.

On her quest to uncover what her mother has always hidden from her, Ilona discovers she’s in love with Archer. But there’s a problem. How can you love someone who never gives you the hug you desire or the kiss you dream about?

This book will appeal to both male and female readers, as many of the characters are male. FYI: repetitive harsh language occurs from characters in the story who are gang members. This intriguing story takes the reader on a fast-pace journey through the alter-dimension between life and death. This is the debut of a new series, so you can look forward to more of this fascinating story!

Available at Amazon

Villians You Love to Hate

Essential for good conflict in a story, a villain is someone you hate or fear—or both. Here’s just a few:

Product DetailsQueen Levana, The Lunar Chronicle—Levana uses mind control and works to appear more beautiful than she actually is. She seeks to kill her own family making her a chilling villain.

Slagar from Mattimeo, A brutal slave trader who kidnaps children.

Product DetailsThe Eye of Sauron, Lord of the Rings A god-like eye of fire that sees everything we do—need I say more?

SCNR-Captain Hook from Peter Pan Unlike the child-friendly adaptions of this book, the original Captain Hook proved more vicious.

Lord Voldemort or Dolores Umbridge? in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Product DetailsMany people will choose the noseless Lord Voldemort as the chief villain but what is more frightening that a villain who hides behind the veil of goodness? Think pink and kittens!

Product Details

The frenemy, Nancy Wheeler, in Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret            
What’s worse than a friend who turns out to be an enemy? A BFF turned villain—pure pain!
Who’s your favorite villain and why?

 

 

 

YA, NA, Whatever!

Several award-winning novels are categorized as adult books yet have young protagonists or main characters. You might want to challenge yourself and try one of the following books.

Eleven-year-old Reuben Land was born with no air in his lungs. When his father picked him up and commanded him to breathe, Reuben’s lungs filled. Reuben has seen other strange occurrences connected to his father and believes his father is tied to the miracles. But why doesn’t his father heal Reuben from his severe asthma?

One night two kids break into their house to retaliate against his father and Reuben’s brother, Davy, shoots and kills both trespassers. Davy runs away the day of his trial forcing Reuben and his father on a long journey to find him.

 

You may have seen the movie, but remember the book is always better!                                       Fourteen-year-old Lily Owens runs away from her mean father and sets off on a journey to find out about her mother, who died when Lily was four. With only the name of a town from a honey label that was left with her mother’s things, Lily finds three eccentric black sisters who are beekeepers. Slowly Lily uncovers the mystery behind her mother’s death.

Drop me a line if you enjoyed either of these books. I’d love to hear from you!

2616 A.D.

Barrier Canyon Pictographs in Thompson Canyon, Utah

A Perfect World

Jadeite lives in a future society where everything is controlled. Under the artificial covering, even weather is tamed. In United Society, the color of the sky changes depending on the effect it produces in its citizens. Imagine a red sky in varying hues but not a hint of blue! Jadeite’s only anxiety is how to act around the cute boy on the air shuttle but when she discovers her father’s secret life, her perfect world comes crashing down upon her.

(The petroglyphs in the picture remind me of the story’s warrior droids!)

Coming soon from Ink Spell publishing.