Tag: young adult

A Stolen Kiss

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

A stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.

Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria’s curse keeps her from accepting a prince’s proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn’t dare refuse.

With the help of a lady’s maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends–all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won’t be easy, but the true peril lies in the truths they’ve fought for years to keep hidden.

A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating
A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating

A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series–an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous secrets, and being true to the power within.

The title and cover art is what drew me to this book while surfing through NetGalley.  I am so glad I decided to pick it up.    It’s a fun, cute read that breathes a new life into fairytales.  There is magic, good, evil, and a host of fantastical creatures.  Just what a fantasy needs.  Plus a bit of romance thrown in too.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Each character is portrayed in a way that shows the world is not black and white.  The good guys do bad things, and the bad guys aren’t always what they seem.  I did feel that it took a bit to really get pulled into the story, but once the group had set out on their journey I was hooked.

I went looking to see if there was another book available, since  A Stolen Kiss is listed as #1 in The Stolen Royals series.  Unfortunately there aren’t any other books out yet.  However, the author indicated on Goodreads that the plan is for a four book series.  The next two will deal with characters that were mentioned in A Stolen Kiss, and the final book sounds as if might be an adventure for all of them.

I’m going to be keeping an eye out for any updates pertaining to the second book in the series.  I can’t wait to read more!


Alice in Zombieland

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave.  Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed.  From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined?  Please.  But that’s all it took.  One heartbeat.  A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right.  The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead.  To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland.  But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

Yes, there are zombies.  Yes, there are elements of Alice in Wonderland.  No, this is not Alice in Wonderland with zombies thrown in.  Although a book like that does exist (Alice in Zombieland by Nickolas Cook – I don’t recommend it).

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter has put a fresh spin on zombies and Alice, much to my delight.  I originally found this book, after reading the other Alice in Zombieland, and picked it up hoping that it would be more of the book I wanted to read, rather than the one I actually read (can you tell I was not impressed?).  This time, I wasn’t let down.

Although it’s based on Alice in Wonderland to a degree, I’ll be honest with you – I can’t pick out most of the counterparts.  Obviously, there’s Alice.  Her best friend is Kat, so that one wasn’t hard.  And then, at least in my mind, Cole is the Hatter.  Other than that I’m not sure who would be who.  And the really great part is that it doesn’t matter.  This is a story built on its own foundations, and even if you had never heard of Alice in Wonderland, it would still hold up.

The zombies are even better.  They’re not your typical undead-eat flesh-shambling killing machines.  In Alice’s world, most people can’t see zombies and have no idea they even exist.  These zombies exist in the spirit world, which makes for an interesting way of dealing with and fighting them.  People in the physical world are still in danger, only they have no idea what that danger is.  Alice and her friends are a group of slayers, who have the ability to fight the zombies in their natural habitat.  This ability is something that, while not rare, is also not rampant among the population and sets them apart.

Alice in Zombieland is also a young adult novel, so the main characters are all teenagers.  With teenagers comes a certain degree of angst, but it’s handled well here.  I also find it believable for the most part, rather than overblown.  The teenagers act like teenagers, but they’re still fully realized people.  Being a teenager is only one aspect of their lives, and the typical tropes aren’t taking over the story even if they do show up. That being said, I do have a couple of things that I’m not fond of.  The story is set in modern day, and therefore the teenagers text – with all the abbreviations and acronyms and what not that is probably 100% typical.  However, I can’t stand it.  I almost physically cringe when I read over the texts with too many 2’s and U’s.  My other issue is the reinforcement of how “bad” the bad boys are.  Not only do they look mean, but they have tattoos, and piercings, and more.  It’s driven home and I feel we don’t need so many reminders.  It is told from the point of view of a teenage girl though, so I guess maybe it’s to be expected.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Alice in Zombieland, and I’m excited to see how the story continues in Through the Zombie Glass.  Actually, I’ve already started reading it!


Sharon Shinn: The Dream-Maker’s Magic

Dream-maker's MagicDream-maker’s Magic
Sharon Shinn

This is the third book in the series by Sharon Shinn, and I think it might be my favorite.  Although I still love the second one too, and the first one as well. *laugh*  Maybe I should just be content to say I love them all.

One thing I think I love about these stories is that they seem to balance the good and the bad.  It seems to capture how crazy life can be and the roller coaster ride we all go on while just trying to live our lives.  This book had a very happy ending and one that made me cheer!  I think that’s why I like these so much, they give me hope that things will turn out for the best, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Highly recommended!


The Truth-Teller’s Tale by Sharon Shinn

The Truth-Teller's TaleThe Truth-Teller’s Tale
Sharon Shinn

I just got done reading this book.  It was just as good as the first one.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to find out more about the characters from the first book, but this book had it’s own amazing characters and story.  I absolutely love the twins.  I guess part of it is because they seem like two sides of my own psyche.

I’m a person that people confide in, yet I am very very bad at telling a lie and can very rarely pass off anything as true that’s not.  The only way I ever do that is to stretch the truth or not tell all of the truth.  If people ask me something outright I answer them honestly.

Adele and Eleda both connected with me in a way that characters in a book don’t often do.  Usually I find traits in a character that  I’d like to have, not ones that are already so close to my own characteristics.  A highly recommended book.  What a wonderful way to spend the morning!


The Safe-Keeper’s Secret by Sharon Shinn

The Safe-Keeper's SecretThe Safe-Keeper’s Secret
Sharon Shinn

I just got done reading this book.  It was sitting in the living room, I was half paying attention to the VH1 top 20, so I decided to pick it up.  And then continued reading it until I was done, minus a bathroom break or two.  It was a very enjoyable experience.  The kitty curled up in my lap, a very nice way to spend the morning.

I loved the book.  I love most books I read so that’s probably not a surprise.  But it was very engaging and still simple.  The premise of having Safe-Keepers, and Truth-Tellers, and Dream-Makers is one I find intriguing.  I really enjoyed this book, a very good, fast read that made me feel good.  I now have to read the next book, The Truth-Teller’s tale.  I hope that it at least touches on the characters from this story, because I want to know more about them.