Category Archives: Young Adult

Review of “Lost Girls”

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Book Review – “Lost Girls” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Merrie Destefano (http://www.merriedestefano.com). Ms. Stefano has published seven novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the US. High School Junior Rachel wakes up in a ditch. She soon learns that she has been missing for two weeks. The worst part is that she can’t remember anything that has happened to her over the past year. The last thing she remembers is falling asleep in her room listening to music during her Sophomore year.

She discovers that over the past year, before the kidnapping, she had changed. She is astonished to find that she is romantically involved with a guy she would have been too timid to talk to before. She slowly investigates her own life, surprised at what she learns about herself. Slowly too, she begins to remember bits and pieces of the past year. She finds out that she is not the only lost girl, but she is the only one that has turned up alive.

The more she uncovers, she realizes that there has been a very dark side to her life over the past year. She also realizes that she has been involved with some very scary people. Will she remember how she was kidnapped and be able to save some of the other missing girls, or will her kidnappers find her again.

This was an interesting 6.5 hour read of a Young Adult Mystery. While there was romance, there was also a lot of dark, dangerous events in Rachel’s life. The plot certainly headed in unexpected directions as the story unfolds. The cover art is OK, but doesn’t really relate to the story being told. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Martians Abroad”

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Book Reviews – “Martians Abroad” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Carrie Vaughn (http://www.carrievaughn.com). Ms. Vaughn has published over 20 novels and numerous short stories.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of mild Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the far future when the Solar System has been colonized. A young Martian girl, Polly Newton, and her twin brother, Charles, are sent to Earth to attend the prestigious Galileo Academy.

They are the first Martians to attend the school. Students from other colonies are there as well. None of the off-world students fit in well, nor do the Earth students treat them as equals.

Dangerous accidents keep happening to Polly and her small circle of friends. She and her brother come to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy against them and they try to discover the source.

This was an OK 6 hour read of a Young Adult Science Fiction story. The story seems to be targeted at Middle School/High School girls since Polly is the primary character. I think it could have been better if there had been a little more meat to the story. The cover art is OK as certainly it gives the feeling of a young girl missing home, but I think something showing some action caused by one of the accidents would have been better. The way the story ends, there could easily be sequels, which I would reaed. I give this novel a 3.6 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Austin Maker Faire

The Maker Faire is happening again in Austin this weekend (May 13-14) at the Palmer Event Center. I attended the first two held in Austin, but have missed the past 6 events. I do hope to drop in this weekend.

The article “Austin Is on a Mission to Keep Maker Faire Weird” gives you a little insight to what you might see there. If you have the free time, these are great events to visit. Kids who are interested in STEM careers or just tinkering will find the event fascinating. Likewise, us older ‘kids’ who like to create new gadgets or inventions will find the event equally interesting.

Trailer -“Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”

Trailers – I don’t know much about this series yet, but since it is not scheduled to premier until 2018 we will all probably learn a lot more before it opens. This will be a 10-episode series on Freeform. The story is of two teenagers who discover that they have superpowers. The official synopsis is:

Cloak & Dagger is the story of Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) – two teenagers from very different backgrounds, who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another. Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness. They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging. 

Obviously there is a significant Young Adult Romance angle to this series. Will it be any good? I guess we will have to wait until next year to find out.

Trailer for “Enter the Warriors Gate”

Trailers – This film, “Enter the Warrior’s Gate” opened in China last year and will be seen here in the US next week. The official synopsis is:

Epic fantasy-adventure meets martial arts action in this thrilling film written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen. After a mysterious chest opens a gateway through time, teen gamer Jack (Uriah Shelton) is transported to an ancient empire terrorized by a cruel barbarian king (former WWE superstar Dave Bautista). Jack will need all of his gaming skills as he battles to defeat the barbarian, protect a beautiful princess, and somehow find his way back home.

So, this looks like a pure tongue-in-cheek, fun adventure movie. It is hard to say from this 2:05 trailer if it will be any good. I am sure most of the younger teenage gamer boys will want to see it.

Review of “And Then She Was Gone”

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Book Reviews – “And Then She Was Gone” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Christopher Greyson (https://www.christophergreyson.com). Mr. Greyson has published 7 novels. This is the first in his “Detective Jack Stratton” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is 18 year old Jack Stratton.

Stratton has recently graduated from High School and is enjoying his summer. He, and his best friend Chandler, have enlisted in the Army and are just waiting to report to boot camp. His goal is to serve his enlistment then return and attend college. Ultimately, he wants to be a police officer.

A woman disappears and before long a neighbor of Stratton is arrested for her murder. Stratton’s foster mother asks him to look into the case to prove the neighbor’s innocence. Stratton and Chandler dig into the case and run up against police that see them as interfering at the best and involved somehow at the worst.

It becomes a question of whether they will be able to find the real killer without getting themselves in so deep that their military service will be in jeopardy.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 262 page Mystery. While it was not identified as such, it had the feel of a Young Adult novel. I liked the characters in the story and the plot was well developed, with several viable suspects until near the end of the story. The cover art is appropriate, showing the victim being confronted by her murderer. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Corner Store Witch”

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Book Reviews – “The Corner Store Witch” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by H. D. Lynn (https://hdlynn.wordpress.com). This is her second publication and the first in her “Corner Store Witch” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the contemporary US, but most of the story takes place in another realm of existence. The primary character is young Leone, an avid Fantasy fan and owner of Pulp Magic, a store of comics, games, and books.

A man from another world literally drops out of her ceiling and into her shop. He is soon followed by two oni (invaders to his world) who are after him. When Leone grabs the staff the first man was carrying in order to fend off the oni, she magically gets golden tattoos on her arms. In an effort to rid herself of the tattoos, she, her sister and three close friends journey into another world.

I liked the 2.5 hours I spent reading this 128 page Fantasy Novella. This is the standard quest story, but with irregular quest members. It is unusual too that nearly all of the questers are young women. It does have a bit of Young Adult appeal. The characters were interesting but I did not relate well to them. Making one or more of the followers stronger would have made a better story. Certainly the way the story concluded sets up sequels. The cover art was well chosen and helped draw me to picking the book. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Girl in the City”

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Book Review – “The Girl in the City” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Philip Harris (http://www.solitarymindset.com). Mr. Harris had published eight novels and novellas. This is the first publication in the ‘Leah King’ trilogy.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a post apocalyptic future. the primary character is fifteen year old Leah King.

She and her father scrape out a living in the city. She sneaks outside the city to scavenge scrap for resale in the wastelands. While making her way back home one day a man dies at her feet after being shot. Before he dies he tosses her a package.

That package begins a chain of events that have the oppressive Transport Authority chasing her. She must find her way out of the city if she is to survive. She has no idea who she can trust to help her escape.

I thought that this 80 page Young Adult novella was interesting, and was a quick 1.5 hour read. The characters and writing were OK, but I felt the story had just begun to be told when it ended. Perhaps that is just my bias generally against short stories. The cover art is OK, but really does not give much insight into the story. I give this novel a 3.6 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

 

Review of “World War II”

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Book Review – “World War II” was published in 2016 and was written by James I. Robertson. Mr. Robertson has published several books targeted at the Elementary School age student.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘G’. This short Non-Fiction book tells a brief history of World War II.

I thought this would be interesting because of my interest in the history of this period. It was s very short read of only 90 minutes for the 48 pages. I thought that the information was relatively good, though it seemed very choppy to me. It reads more like a report on World War II written by 5th-7th grade student. I am glad to see this book as I do not think enough students understand that period in our history. The cover art is reasonable for the book. I thought that the art included in the book was quite good and will help draw students into reading it. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Delphi Effect”

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Book Review – “The Delphi Effect” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Rysa Walker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rysa_Walker). Ms. Walker has published seven novels and some short stories. This is the first of her planned “Delphi Trilogy” series.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set mostly in the contemporary Washington D.C. area. The primary character is 17 year old Anna Morgan.

Morgan has been in one foster home after another and is now in a group home. Morgan has never had much of a chance of being adopted. She has a history of absorbing the ‘ghost’ of someone, usually by touching something they touched before they died. As a result she has spent time under observation for mental issues.

She recently acquired “Molly” the ghost of a young girl. Morgan is trying to contact Molly’s grandfather so that Molly can finally rest and leave her. Soon Morgan and her 15 year old best friend Deo, also living in the group home, are dragged into a life and death situation.

Morgan discovers that Molly was murdered. Now the killers are after her and Deo. She also finds that there are others with mental skills. They are all being sought by those associated with the killer. Morgan must let herself be captured in order to free one of her friends that have been taken. She finds that her new friends each have some mental ability, and she is attracted to Aaron. Aaron and his grandfather are private detectives who have been working to discover who killed Molly.

I thought that this was an interesting 9.5 hour read of this 380 page Thriller. The story is mostly about Young Adults, but it is dark. The ending is more of an intermission between parts of the same story. There is a wrap up, but only in a minor way. There is certainly both a minor Romance as well as a significant paranormal aspect to the story. The cover art is OK, but really does not relate much to the story. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).