If I had to choose five words to describe this book, they would be intelligent, innocent, mature, poignant and engaging.
Night of the Purple Moon tells the story of a group of pre-pubescent kids who are left parentless after a deadly comet passes through Earth. For months everyone has been looking forward to seeing the comet pass through and Abby Leigh and her family are no exception. They’ve talked about it at school and over dinner and so finally, when the night arrives, everyone takes their ringside seats to witness the experience.
Little do they know that with such beauty comes such terror, for the comet leaves destruction in its path. Deadly vapours fatally attacks every adult and leaves Abby, her younger siblings and, it transpires, their schoolfriends to fare for themselves. However, as word finally gets to them on what this virus is, they soon find out that they have bigger fight on their hands as they realise that their bodies are ticking timebombs - as soon as they hit puberty, they too will succumb to the deadly virus. When word finally gets out that there is a cure, Abby and her friends know what they have to do but the question is, do they have enough time to succeed?
I thoroughly enjoyed this story for many reasons but mostly because it takes a subject that could easily have been over exaggerated and handles it with compassion. I’ve read similar stories with the same subject matter recently and have been disappointed about how the authors have taken every opportunity to turn the entire book into a gore-fest with survivors taking on a Lord of the Flies hierarchy role and being full of unnecessary gratuitous violence.
Scott Cramer avoids this route and has written a story that is every bit as subtle as it is detailed. Abby and her friends are slightly younger than most characters in YA novels - the average age being 12 or 13 - but don’t let that detract you from reading this. The maturity with which Abby and her brother handle the circumstances they are in should be applauded.
Night of the Purple Moon is a combination of many elements - there is romance (the exchanges between Abby and Kevin are especially sweet) there is conflict (rival gangs without bloody violence) and there is heartbreak (tissues are needed for a particular scene involving our main character) and there is hope.
Mr Cramer writes intelligently, he doesn’t over-glamorise violence like a lot of books in this genre and he tells a story that is sympathetic towards his characters. For a story that could easily fall into the ‘zombie/virus’ category, that is a refreshing and welcome change.
Space germs wipe out virtually everyone who has passed through puberty.
Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple. For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.
But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.
On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her — adolescence.
Author: Scott Cramer
Published: 12 March 2012
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
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3 [rating=3] stars
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.
Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.
Filled with action, suspense, and romance, this first book in a new trilogy offers readers nonstop thrills.
When I first started Don’t Turn Around I thought it was a dystopian novel. Only after reading about a third of it, did I realize it was a contemp/sci-fi sort of novel based around computer hacking.
Noa has been in foster care for nine years, spending the last year pretending to be living with a family. In and out of homes until she couldn’t take it anymore and was able to create a fake foster family by hacking into the necessary databases, State welfare, DMV all by learning the Linux system in public school.
She’s kidnapped by a corporation who is trying to find a cure for a disease that is killing the youth. When she escapes a man-hunt ensues. This company is determined to find her and she’s determined to figure out who they are.
Peter Gregory is a computer hacker who is to nosey for his own good. He finds himself bored and decided to snoop around his father’s desk and finds a file. More curiosity drives him to hack into this company’s server to find out who they are. Only to find himself face down on his floor by some thugs, his computer taken and his front door missing.
Something like this would likely deter people from looking further, but not Peter. He hires one of the hackers from his own hacking website to find out more.
He hires Noa.
While she’s hacking for him, Peter is discovering that his high school turned college girlfriend is no longer in love with him and his parents are part of this mystery company. As if things can’t get any worse for Peter, his parents kick him out.
Noa discovers that the company Peter is looking into is the same that kidnapped her and she’s being watched.
What happens next is a cat and mouse game of mystery and murder. Noa learns that this company takes street kids because they won’t be missed – but Noa isn’t a street kid, she has a fake family who works and pays rent, so this is where I became really confused as to why she was targeted. Maybe the sequel will shed more light on this.
Don’t Turn Around reminds me of The Net with Sandra Bullock.
Title: Murder Takes Time (Book 1 in the Friendship & Honor Series)
Author: Giacomo Giammatteo
Publisher: Inferno Publishing
Publication Date: April 2012
I used to read a lot of Murder Mysteries. Somewhere along the last few years, I stopped and this book is making me wonder why. Murder Takes Time is an excellent read. From the background behind Tony, Nicky, and Frankie’s lifelong friendship to trying to figure out who is behind the terrible murders, this book had me hooked. A lot of books and movies tend to go overboard with mob stories but I felt like this was realistic view of situations people in the mob might go through. Giammatteo has a very raw way of telling this story, he doesn’t add in too much extra detail which is always good as it sometimes steers away from the main plot, especially in a murder mystery. The characters were all very believable as well but I did feel at times that it was difficult to know who’s point of view the story was from as it tends to jump from person to person mid chapter. That being said, I still highly enjoyed this book.
There are some violent and graphic situations in this story but if you can handle it, then you should definitely pick up this novel. Giacomo Giammatteo has a guarantee on his website that if you don’t like this book, he will give you the next book free. I have a hard time believing that many people have taken him up on this offer because it’s hard not to like Murder Takes Time if you like mysteries. To read this gripping novel, go to Giacomo’s website.
A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn’t good.
Frankie has taken two oaths in his life—the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable.
Those relationships have forced Frankie to make many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years—and risks losing his life.
In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.
Title: Time’s Daughter
Genre: YA / Supernatural
Release Date: April 19, 2012
I stumbled upon Time’s Daughter while I perusing Smashwords one day looking for something to read that didn’t make me want to pull out my hair. When I found Time’s Daughter, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Often, self-published works get a bad reputation, but Anya Breton proves that self-publishing sometimes rolls out some diamonds among heaps of coal.
What I Loved:
1. Character Development. I loved that Aeon didn’t know about her powers and that she stumbled upon them while she was emotionally charged. Though she knew who her father was, she never assumed she’d be like him in any way. In fact, she dreaded it.
2. The Love Story. Aeon and Alex do not fall instantly in love and I loved that. It was more realistic to have a slow build than a wild and passionate love affair. It gave me time to really like Alex before the relationship officially started.
3. The Mythology: I loved that Aeon was the daughter of Chronos but that the story doesn’t ultimately get caught in that typical child-of-a-God way. Think the Percy Jackson series meets Matilda meets YA.
4. Her name. Aeon Still. Stops Time. I laughed out loud when I figured out what her power was. It was priceless and slightly Dickensian. Bravo Anya!
What I Didn’t Love:
1. There was absolutely no reason for Aeon to be in a reality TV show. It was off-putting and cheesy, to say the least. And because I have absolutely zero love for reality TV, I almost put the book down.
2. Though I understand the bad boy Supernatural creature thing (after all, who didn’t fall in love with the Wolves of Mercy Falls?), the panthers here seemed forced, almost like Alex had to be a panther because Aeon couldn’t be the only one with secrets. The fact that they were both featured in the reality TV show was contrived and make me cringe.
3. The ending was cheesy. I wanted more. There were so many more badass villians that could have appeared in later books, but the epilogue negates any future series novels. I am not a fan of the epilogue in general unless it’s in a series like Harry Potter. You know the story is completely finished because school is over, and everyone needs the wrap-up. But after a single book, it doesn’t work for me.
Overall, I’d recommend this book and also consider picking up other books from Anya. She’s a talented writer and she’s proven that self-publishing is not a mark of a bad writer. She’s an Indie writer that fits right in with Stacey Wallace Benefiel or Ali Cross.
In this sweet young adult love story, sixteen-year-old art nerd Aeon Still is the unwilling subject of a documentary about average American teenagers. She must quickly come to terms with the identity of her mystery parent, Chronos, the god of time, the realization that she wields extraordinary power, and the trials of keeping the town safe all while hiding her secret from a camera crew. Her life is further complicated by the interest of the enchanting new guy in town, Alex, who harbors a secret of his own
Title: Broken City
Genre: YA / Dystopia
Release Date: February 7, 2011
Twenty-year-old Deeta Richards has a lot to deal with. She’s young and unmarried, though she cares for her siblings as well as the unofficially adopted children of her best friend, Tom, and Professor Jepson. I love well-done dystopia and Broken City was one of those books I couldn’t put down.
What I Loved:
1. Okay, so I love a realistic romance, not one of those wishy-washy, cry your heart out, type teenage romances that seem all too common. Deeta has an unspoken love for her best friend, Tom. She won’t admit it to him because she barely admits it to herself.
2. Recreation of a post-apocalyptic world. I love a well-developed dystopian society, one with thought-out and detailed rules (think Veronica Roth). The society in which Deeta lives is a crime-ridden “murder for the barest of necessities” kind of place. There seem to be no rules except stay away from the Andaks.
3. Star-crossed love. So, I should be way beyond the star-crossed lover thing, but when we find out what Tom is Andak, I felt that familiar fluttering in the pit of my stomach. And I know that he and Deeta had to make it work. There was just no other option - at least not for me.
What I Didn’t Love:
1. Deeta’s reaction to Andak society. This was her first trip outside her compound and she’s kidnapped (who didn’t see that coming!) and brought into the Andak society. And we find out that the Andaks are filthy rich. Though Deeta resists her new living arrangement and longs to get home, she adapts to Andak society life a little too easily.
2. I wish the trip outside the compound had been more detailed. After all, Deeta has been dreaming of it her entire life and then when we finally get to go outside, it’s dark. We can’t see anything. And she’s kidnapped - also in the dark. It was a little underwhelming.
Overall, I would recommend this book. I loved the idea that one’s love for friends and family can make all the difference. Tom was quiet and mysterious and had a smoldering love for Deeta that we could all see though she seemed blissfully clueless. The story was great as both a dystopia and a new adult romance.
deeta richards has never seen the outside world. before she was born a banking crisis brought civilization to an end and now no one leaves the safety of the compounds unless they need to, but deeta still dreams of seeing more than the building she was born in.
tom is in the guard, this group are the only people that the tribal elders allow to leave the compound and tom knows only too well that deeta could never survive the harshness that exists outside. then tragedy strikes and deeta and her Sister jan find themselves captured by a hostile tribe. why does Tom know so much about these people? and why do they know so much about him? as this mystery draws to a climax, they discover that their friend Tom is not quite what he seems…
Two Seattle 16-year-old Shape Shifters, Jatred and Jasmira, are torn between following their hearts and protecting the order of the world.
The ancient Shape Shifter Races—the Winter wolves and the Summer leopards—exist on Earth, living among humans and perfectly fitting into modern life. Their secret societies are organized, each united by their own laws and traditions.
Two Goddesses, Crystal and Amber command their respective Races. One is on a quest to tilt the scale of power to her side. The other will never let it happen, even if it means sacrificing Jatred and Jasmira’s love.
The Amulet commissioned to bring stability into the world remains hidden and concealed with the help of advanced technology. Jatred is the guardian of the Amulet and key to the Goddesses’ conflict.
The forces of nature are disrupted. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions rake the world. The Goddesses go to war and summon all their Shifters to join in the conflict. Jatred and Jasmira fight not only for their star-crossed love but to protect the future of both Races and humankind.
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Four [rating=4] Stars
Twenty-five year old Charlotte “Charlie” Barrow is caught between her old life and the one she is beginning to build when she crosses paths with a handsome stranger on the subway. Not looking for romance, she closes her heart off to the possibilities of love. With a knack for mishaps, Charlie maintains her sense of humor while befriending the kind stranger who seems to be there at all the right times.
New York freelance writer, Charlie Adams, is forging his own path beyond the expectations of the society circles of his childhood. Rejecting family money, and fast-lane friends, he is snubbed by his family as he follows his own compass to a life more extraordinary.
Through a coincidence of events, they come to rely on each other for comfort. This is the tale of two Charlies learning to trust again while fighting their fates to create their own destiny.
First thing I’m going to say is that I’m pretty damn honored to be among the first few who are able to read this story. I have followed the writings of SL for about two years now, so when she asked if The Readiacs would be interested in covering her work, I jumped at the opportunity.
And I’m glad I said yes. I started Naturally, Charlie and finished within three hours. This fast paced contemporary story about friendship and lovah’s is an absolute pleasure in the romcom category.
The character development is spot on. Each supporting character has a purpose and they are used for just the right amount of time. In fact, SL could, if she hasn’t already thought about it, spin-off with the characters of Justin and Rachel and maybe give Connor a story.
Charlie B is that down to earth girl from Chicago who just happens to land the golden boy in college. When life leads them back to NYC – Charlie soon finds out that her happiness is short lived. Everything she thought she knew about love and life was nothing but a sham. She works to rebuild her life after losing what she thought most important.
Charlie A is that Manhattan boy we all oogle. He comes from money and was expected to take over the family business, until he decided he wanted something different and his parents shunned him. Now he does what he wants and it makes him happy. Honestly, you can’t help but feel sorry for him when you meet his mother and cousins – crazy train left the station and forgot to take them along for the ride.
The Charlies “meet” on the subway – it’s that moment we’ve all had. Or as James Blunt aptly sang “I saw your face in a crowded place, and I don’t know what to do, ‘Cause I’ll never be with you.” I thought of this song throughout the entire book, curious to know if SL used it in her playlist. Anyway, they have a moment and before either of them can do anything – Charlie B is gone.
Lady luck is on their side when Charlie A spots her at a bar with her friend Rachel. The only and majorly huge problem is that Rachel has already latched onto Charlie A and Charlie B does the right thing, and leaves even though she knows they (her and Charlie) have a connection.
It’s in the most unlikely circumstance that the two Charlies become friends, he doesn’t cheat on Rachel, and as a reader I was itching for the hook-up. The well written sexual tension oozes off the pages. The character banter is amazing – there are many laugh out loud moments as well as moments when you’ll need a Kleenex or two.
A very unique dynamic that SL has used over the years is the high society dysfunctional family, I don’t know if she intends to do this, or this is just how this particular storyline worked out. It’s interesting to say the least.
Now why I didn’t give it 5 stars - I was set to give it 5 – up until the epilogue. For me an epilogue is a preview of the next book. For some it’s closure. In this particular case I felt it was years of the character’s lives jumbled into a few pages. There was one particular scene that I could’ve done without – it was definitely not needed.
Regardless of my Star count, Naturally, Charlie is well worth the read. SL has done an amazing job putting together a well thought-out storyline that is both entertaining and heart-wrenching and Charlie A does a very nice job charming your pants off.
After Ever starts as a fresh and feisty novel that caught my attention from the get-go. Winnie, the protagonist, has a sharp tongue and an even sharper inner monologue that sets her apart from the other, somewhat generic female leads and this is what made this story interesting. Her dislike for her dad’s girlfriend brought some humour to what, essentially, were pretty dire circumstances. Girlfriend #3 is a bad excuse for a step mother and it’s Winnie that plays guardian to her little brother, Brian.
When her dad takes the family off for a winter holiday, Winnie can think of nothing worse, so when she meets geeky Sam, with his love for sweater vests, Winnie finds someone else to talk too, even if her acidic tongue leads the reader to believe that she doesn’t enjoy his company.
However, Winnie finds that when her life is in danger – or to be exact – taken from her, she realizes that Sam is more important to her than she thought and when he suddenly gets taken away from her, she tries everything she can to get him back.
I had high hopes for this story when I started reading it, however if I’m honest, once Winnie died and transitioned across to the After, things just started to get a bit too confusing for me. I found the banter between Winnie and Sam to be too distracting and, at times, frustrating – especially when Sam is trying to explain to Winnie what has happened to her. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the author wanted to show Winnie’s confusion; but her constant interruptions and diversionary questions towards Sam, made the story far too confusing and hard to follow – so much so I found myself skipping huge chunks of text just so I can find Sam’s explanation of what had happened so I could understand it for myself.
After Ever is a cross between an angst coming of age novel, crossed with a paranormal ‘after death experience’ with an added pinch of ‘zombie nation’ and for me that was one genre too many. I felt that we needed more character expansion and explanation as the story progressed and we met Elysia and Francesca and what, exactly, their connection was to each other.
The story ends with a cliffhanger (if not a little abruptly), which paves the way for a sequel as Sam and Winnie’s adventure continues. Whether or not I will be invested in finding out what happens next, depends on how their relationship develops with each other.
Maybe you guys can let me know what you think after you’ve read it.
[rating=2] and a half.
Title: After Ever
Author: Jillian Eaton
Published: Out Now
“Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t die again in a thousand different ways.”
For sixteen-year-old Winnie Coleman, dying is the least of her worries. Between coming to terms with her mother’s unexpected death, trying to think up new and inventive ways to break up her father and Girlfriend #3, and keeping her brother from chewing off his fingers, she has her hands full. Courtesy of a thin patch of ice and failed swimming lessons, all of that changes in the blink of an eye.
In death Winnie will find the answers that eluded her in life, and a whole slew of other questions she never thought to ask. Like why is she stuck with Sam for a guide? Sure, he’s funny and cute in a geeky sort of way, but he wears sweater vests… and loafers. For a girl who has tattoos on her face and glue in her hair, it’s not exactly the best match up.
But when Sam is taken and his very existence threatened, Winnie must make the ultimate choice between cowardice and courage. Faithlessness and loyalty. Family… and love.
Suspenseful and action packed, After Everis a must read for anyone who ever wondered: what happens next?
Title: Moon Dust
Genre: YA / Paranormal / Romance
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Since reading Pittacus Lore’s “I Am Number Four,” I didn’t think I was going to be able to find any other paranormal alien story I would like. I was dead wrong.
Samantha Hunter is a strong female protagonist with an interesting secret and an even more interesting life. After moving to New Mexico to start a new life with her father, it isn’t long before Sam meets Lucien, a mysterious bad boy with whom she falls in love.
What I Loved:
1. Sam’s hair changes colors, which signifies her emotional changes as well as foreshadows the coming apex.
2. The dialogue is incredibly realistic.
3. The relationship between Lucien and Sam is not forced. It seems natural. She asks the right questions and he gives her that I-Don’t-Know-How-You’re-Going-To-Take-This look.
4. The angst-ridden and undying teenage love. In this book, it literally spans galaxies.
5. Sam. As far as female protagonists go, I was hoping for a strong one (finally!) and got my wish. Sam’s awesome. She was realistic and her emotions matched the situations perfectly.
6. Lucien. C’mon. Who doesn’t love a bad boy as the male lead (think Dean Winchester). He’s a bad boy because he’s secretive, but that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to practice some good old fashioned chivalry and keep Sam comfortable, even when she feels like she could fall apart.
What I Didn’t Love:
1. I don’t know about you but my interest wanes when I see things like ‘four months later.’ The time span itself really isn’t important. And if you need the before/after, a simple ‘less than a week later’ would suffice.
2. The term ‘gray’ when used in speaking about aliens. It’s overdone. I wish the term had been more creative. The entire novel was so different from anything else I’d read that I was a little disappointed to see such a common term used. For me, it took a little bit the book’s amazingness away.
Overall, I loved Moon Dust and highly recommend it. It’s a quick and easy read (only 259 E-Pub pages) and I blasted through it within a couple of hours. But it was definitely entertaining and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel!
Samantha Hunter’s life is transformed after a tragic accident kills her mother and brother in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. Before, Samantha lived on the edge…she was fearless; after, Samantha was merely taking up space…she was dispirited. However, meeting up with Lucien Foster from New Mexico moves Samantha’s life in meaningful new directions. She senses an otherworldly connection to Lucien, and before long he pulls her back to life. Samantha soon realizes that her and Lucien’s paths have crossed before and begins to figure out his mysterious identity. Unlike Samantha, Division Six, a rogue covert government organization, has known about Lucien and his siblings for years, placing him in grave danger - and only Samantha can save him. However, if Samantha saves Lucien, he must leave her behind to save her…will saving Lucien mean losing her one true love?