“Die for you” Amy Fellner Dominy

Rated 5 stars ***** ARC. Published November 8, 2016. Delacorte Press (Random House). 292 p. (Includes “Author’s Note” and “Resources.”)

dieforyouAfter Emma’s mother leaves her father for another man, Emma moves across town to be with her dad and help pick up the pieces of his life. Starting her senior year at a new school is rough, but meeting Dillon helped erase the darkness of hating her mom and seeing her dad’s pain. With Dillon she is able to love and be loved.

Emma and Dillon are so happy. They’ve promised to always be there for each other, to take care of each other, and to be together forever. However, it doesn’t take long before Emma finds that “forever” is more than just a word to Dillon. He always follows through on his promises. Always.

Dominy’s fast paced novel about what happens when relationships turn bad is sure to be an eye opener for many readers. The Author’s Note and Resources sections hold information that could unlock the cages of many relationships, making “Die for you” a book that needs to be on the shelves of every high school and public library.

Highly recommended for ages 14 and older.


“Torrent” Lisa T. Bergren

Rated 4 stars **** River of Time, book #3. 2011. David C. Cook. ebook. Includes Discussion Questions,  Historical Notes and After Words.

TorrentIn the midst of the battle, the Betarrini women escape to the Etruscan tombs. They plan to negotiate the time warp to allow them to return to the future to save their father from the accident that killed him. Once they’ve managed to convince him they are not crazy, he enters the tomb with them and they are transported back to medieval times.

In the year they’d been gone (despite it only being an hour and a half real time), both Castello Forelli and Paratore have fallen to Firenze. The group ultimately finds Marcello settled in the former Rossi palace in Siena, but Fortino has been imprisoned. The only trade to be considered is Gabriella herself, which Marcello flatly refuses to accept.

True to style, Gabriella convinces him she can be used as bait, and that they could get Fortino released as she will manage to escape. Instead she winds up captured, taken far away, and promised in marriage to Lord Greco. It will be up to Marcello and her family to try to rescue her once again. So begins a series of adventure after adventure that will leave everyone reading the book scratching their heads in bewilderment as to how one character could manage to survive so much.

I was not as happy with “Torrent” as with the other books in the series because Gabriella’s continued devil-may-care “I’m gonna go ahead and rescue everybody cos I’m the only one that can do it” attitude really stared to get on my nerves. She seriously could not seem to get how much danger she was putting herself and others in, as she continually threw herself into harm’s way. It seemed like Bergren went a little overboard in having her get captured more times in this one book than in the other two put together.

Her 12-17 year old fans will probably forgive her, especially with a couple of novellas to continue this SUPPOSEDLY last book in the series. I really, really dislike when authors don’t keep their word and END a series as they’d promised. I liked it since it, supposedly, tied everything up in a final knot but will leave it up to you to decide if You Want to Read it or Not.

“Radiant” Cynthia Hand

Rated 2 stars ** Unearthly, book #2.5. 2012. HarperCollins. ebook.

RadiantCarla and Angela are spending the summer in Rome, before they head off to college at Stanford. Carla remembers Angela had hinted once at a relationship with someone in Rome, but is mum about it until she and Carla run into Phen on the train. In alternate voices, Angela tells of how she met Phen, an ambivalent angel, and what led to her falling in love with him while Carla tries her best, rather unsuccessfully, to convince Angela to dump him.

At #2.5 in the series, “Radiant” should be read before “Boundless” even though, ideally, authors shouldn’t make novellas become mandatory reading in a series. I had read “Boundless,” before “Radiant,” and was quite puzzled in various places when Carla referred to meeting Phen over the summer and thought about various things that had happened in Rome. Rome? What happened in Rome?

It felt like I was missing something as I continued reading, and now I know I had been missing the events in “Radiant.” I take the author and the publisher to task for this, as novellas are supposed to be some sort of back story about some of the characters in a book, and should not contain important plot which would be missed in an actual sequel. That is my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.

I wish I could tell Hand’s 14 years old and older readers that it isn’t necessary to read this novella before reading  “Boundless,” but it wouldn’t be true. Even though I see it as a money making marketing ploy to get readers to spend more money, reading it helps clear up some of the deliberate fogginess about what happened in Rome when you’re reading “Boundless.”

“Angels & Demons” Dan Brown

2000. Atria Books. 569 pp.

Angels&DemonsI just moved to a new state, and found that my public library’s YA collections left much to be desired. Forced to choose other avenues of reading, I found myself browsing the GASP! Adult section. Cue horror music…

I hadn’t the foggiest idea what Adult author to look for, because I’ve spent years reading YA with only a few Adult books thrown into the mix. So I decided to just randomly start with the letter “A” in the Fiction section to see if an author/book caught my eye. I know, it’s not the best way in the world to get a book, but it worked for me. I got to the “B’s” and vaguely remembered a big deal being made about an author named Dan Brown, so I decided to check out a few of his books. The first one I read was “Angels & Demons,” and from the first few pages I was hooked.

Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor, specializing in the study of Symbology. When he is called to Switzerland to investigate a gruesome murder, he finds himself tangled in a web of intrigue, adventure and deceit with a secret cult called the Illuminati and the Roman Catholic Church. The Illuminati is a centuries old group once made up of famous scientists and artists from the time of Galileo. Over the years, their alumni grew as did their finances and determination to rid themselves from the Church’s unreasonable hold on their scientific progress. In return, the Church has made it their goal to destroy the group to keep their nefarious ways from undermining religious beliefs held dear to their own hearts. It was a battle that raged for centuries.

With the recent theft of a canister of antimatter, a bomb that could destroy the entire Vatican City with just a few drops, Robert is on a racing countdown through the ancient city of Rome to discover the hiding place of the canister while seeking the Illuminati assassin who kidnapped four Cardinals on the eve of Conclave with the threat of killing one per hour. As he travels from one clue to another, readers are enlightened on fascinating Vatican and Roman history.

“Angels & Demons” is nonstop action, as Brown keeps Adult readers guessing what will happen next while teetering on the edges of their seats in surprise, dismay and excitement. The conclusion will leave readers speechless.

Now I’m off to read “The DaVinci Code,” and can’t wait to see what happens to Langdon in this edition.