Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange
By: Anthony Burgess
ISBN-10: 0393089134
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Vicious gangs of teenagers run rampant in an out-of-control futuristic society. One such young lad, Alex, is a highly sophisticated lover of violence and classical music, and he thinks his lifestyle is just fine—that is, until he’s taken in by the police and the tables are turned, so now he’s the one on the receiving end of cruelty and ultra-violence.

It includes:

• Violence (beating innocent people, mentions of “krovvy” or blood, murder, attempted suicide, gory descriptions of films a character is forced to watch)
• References to private parts and “groodies” (a.k.a. breasts)
• Rape (a gang of teenaged boys take turns raping a woman while making her husband watch)
• The main character imagines raping young girls and ejaculates
• References to “in-out” (a.k.a. sex)
• Some criminals are homosexual and one of them makes an inappropriate advance on another character
• Mild profanity (b*stard, d*mn, h*ll, and one b*tchy)
• Vandalizing
• Characters drink milk mixed with drugs; a character is also given injections
• Lying
• Stealing

A Clockwork Orange is a very thought-provoking look at a disturbing futuristic society. The Nadsat, or teenage slang, is confusing at first, but fun to read after the first chapter and can be quite humorous. The rape and violent scenes are hard to stomach, so I would recommend this for mature teens and adults only.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, Book 1), by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, book 1)
By: Kendare Blake
ISBN-10: 0765328658
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Cas inherited his father’s line of work: he kills dead people. Now that might sound a bit redundant, but there are plenty of murderous ghosts on the loose for Cas to track down. When Cas hears about the legendary Anna Dressed in Blood, who is supposed to be the most bloodthirsty ghost around, he knows she is his next target.

It includes:

• Profanity (F-word, sh*t, b*tch, godd*mn, Jesus, d*mn, h*ll, b*stard, *ss, p*ss, douche-bag, p*ssy, d*ck, cr*p, and whore)
• Kissing
• Reference to wet dreams
• Implied sexual abuse
• Violence (slicing throats, disemboweling, a man killed his family with sheers, suicide, shooting, stabbing, and dead bodies and body parts)
• Smoking
• Spells, voodoo, and chanting with candles

Anna Dressed in Blood is a young adult paranormal horror novel that includes plenty of violence and swearing. However, the book is lightly written, humorous, and fast-paced, with not too many jump-scare scenes.

Readers who enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood might also like:

Croak, by Gina Damico
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Book Review: Twice Tempted (Night Prince, book 2), by Jeaniene Frost

Twice Tempted (Night Prince, book 2)
By: Jeaniene Frost
ISBN: 0062076108
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There was Leila and there was Vlad, her vampire lover, but he didn't love her. It ended in heartbreak. So, when an attempt on Leila's life results in Vlad chasing after her, she must try to discover if her ex-boyfriend is the villain of her story or the hero.

Twice Tempted is an adult paranormal romance and the second of four books in the Night Prince series. While there is a definite non-romantic plot, everything is too strongly colored with the romance for me to give it an urban fantasy designation. The writing is fast  paced like the prior book. Fans of the Night Huntress series will enjoy the cameos of Mencheres and Cat.

Reading Order: The Night Prince series is one of multiple series and stand alone novels set in the Night Huntress Universe. The chronological placement for both Once Burned (book 1) and Twice Tempted is right before Up From the Grave (Night Huntress, book 7).

Twice Tempted contains:
  • Language (*ss, b*tch, f word) 
  • Torture (burning and other loveliness) 
  • Killing (burning, beheading)
  • Memories of past brutal acts of violence/torture/murder 
  • References to rape and murder of child(ren) 
  • Black magic 
  • Blood drinking 
  • Detailed sex scenes (biting, scratching, oral, aroused male/female anatomy, etc)   
  • Psychological abuse, at the very least. (This is excused due to the culprits age/species/past. It includes controlling and manipulative behavior, threats to imprison or in effect magically neuter someone if not obeyed. Also threats to murder someone due to a difference of opinion.)
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Book Review: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend, by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
By: Kody Keplinger
ISBN-10: 0316084239
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It seems that Bianca’s whole life changes the minute Wesley Rush, the ultimate school playboy, calls her a DUFF—a designated ugly fat friend. Before Bianca realizes it, she’s slipping away from her best friends, and the rough spot her parents are going through only seems to be getting worse. To take her mind off of everything bad happening in her life, she begins sleeping with Wesley, but their enemies-with-benefits status might not be as solid as Bianca thought.

Parents should be aware that this book contains:

• Profanity (many uses of the F-word, b*tch, *sshole, sh*t, d*mn, and h*ll)
• Kissing
• Sexuality (pretty detailed sex scenes between teenagers, oral sex, a teenaged boy puts his hand in a girl’s pants, references to a minor having had sex with an adult, the main character calls many people [including herself] sluts and whores, rumor about someone getting pregnant, references to breasts, reference to a character sleeping naked, sexual references throughout)
• Reference to someone being homosexual; a character rants about supporting homosexual marriage
• A character who is a recovering alcoholic drinks heavily
• Parents get divorced
• Violence (a girl throws coke in a boy’s face, a man hits his daughter, a boy punches a man)
• Lying

The DUFF has a good message about how everyone makes mistakes, but people can learn from those mistakes and move on. Unfortunately, the story, though fast-paced, is full of sex and profanity, and most definitely not appropriate for young teens.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Book Review: A Twist in the Story, by Sophia Olson

a twist in the story by sophia olson book indie teenager teenaged author ya young adult romance contemporary realistic fiction sad tearjerker
A Twist in the Story
By: Sophia Olson
ISBN-10: 150103653X
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Nathan befriends Adelaide, a homeless girl wandering the streets of Washington, D.C., and as they begin to fall for each other, Adelaide refuses to tell Nathan about the dangerous secrets surrounding her past.

It includes:

• Violence (shooting, wounds, blood, deaths, and reference to an abusive father)
• Some profanity (sh*t, d*mn, h*ll, and cr*p)
• Kissing
• Partial nudity (a girl removes her shirt and is left in her bra for nonsexual reasons)
• Reference to an affair
• Some smoking and drinking
• Homosexuality (references to a young woman having a girlfriend)

A Twist in the Story is a fast-paced, sweet, humorous, and incredibly sad young adult contemporary standalone. The story switches from Nathan and Adelaide’s point of views, and don’t let the the chick-lit sounding storyline fool you: the ending packs a surprise that might just leave readers in tears.

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Book Review: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, Book 2), by Ricky Yancey

The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, book 2)
By: Rick Yancey
ISBN-10: 0399162429
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Cassie, Ben, and their crew are hiding out any place they can find shelter as they try to hide from the alien race known as the Others, who are determined to exterminate the human race.

Meanwhile, Cassie is still holding out the hope that Evan Walkers survived after sacrificing himself to destroy the Others’ main database, and Ringer, the quiet girl with a deadly accurate aim, is trying to figure out who exactly they’re up against in the war for humanity.

The Infinite Sea has less action scenes and more emotional turmoil than the first book, but much like The 5th Wave, the story is captivating, and told from multiple point of views.

It includes:

• Profanity (F-word, godd*mn, b*tch, p*ssies, d*ck, *sshole, sh*t, d*mn, and h*ll)
• Sex scene (un-descriptive; very vague and dreamily written)
• Kissing
• Nudity
• Violence (explosions, deaths, shooting, wounds—some pretty gory descriptions)

More 5th Wave reviews:
Book 1: The 5th Wave

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Review: Illusions of Fate, by Kiersten White

Illusions of Fate
By: Kiersten White
ISBN-10: 0062135899
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In the country of Albion, Jessamin is looked down on because of her Melei heritage. Cast out and lonely, Jessamin turns her attention to her studies at school. One day a bird snatches a piece of her hair out and she meets the charming Lord Finley Ackerly, and after that, fate decrees Jessamin to get swept up in a magical, romantic, and dangerous adventure over Albion and Melei politics.

It contains:

• Kissing
• Violence (deaths, shooting, broken fingers, twisted neck, a woman is attacked by birds, reference to rape, mention of past murders)
• Reference to prostitution
• Mention of affairs
• Crude drawing of a woman’s body
• Jessamin and Finn share a bed and they sleep together (in the innocent sense)
• Champagne drinking

Illusions of Fate is set in a charming, Victorian-like fantasy world. The plot moves at a smooth pace and the story contains likable characters. Jessamin is an especially strong female protagonist, and the romance between her and Finn is powerful, but not overbearing.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: Sapphire Blue (Precious Stone Trilogy, Book 2), by Kerstin Gier

Sapphire Blue (Precious Stone Trilogy, book 2)
By: Kerstin Gier
ISBN-10: 1250034167
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Gwen and Gideon are whisked away on more time-traveling adventures—but this time Gwen is determined to unravel at least some of the mysteries surrounding the Circle of Twelve, secrets about her past, a cryptic prophecy, and the boy she thinks she’s fallen in love with.

It contains:

• Kissing
• Violence (attempted murder)
• A reference to sex and girls taking birth control pills
• Brief mention of homosexuality
• Profanity (sh*t, d*mn, and bloody)

Sapphire Blue is a satisfying sequel to the young adult science fiction novel Ruby Red. There is more swearing and a few inappropriate comments in this book, however, and the ending leaves off with a cliffhanger.

More Precious Stone reviews:
Book 1: Ruby Red

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Review: Benny and Omar (Benny Shaw, Book 1), by Eoin Colfer

Benny and Omar (Benny Shaw, book 1)
By: Eoin Colfer
ISBN-10: 0141323280
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Benny detests the idea of moving to North Africa with his family for his dad’s job, and when they arrive, he isn’t any happier. The weather is hot, the culture completely foreign, and hardly anyone speaks English. When Benny stumbles upon a young native boy whose name is Omar, Benny’s life instantly becomes loads better as Omar drags him from one crazy adventure to the next.

It contains:

• Mild profanity
• Benny has a crush on a girl
• A couple of chase scenes

Benny and Omar is a humorous and, for the most part, clean contemporary novel. Fans of Eoin Colfer shouldn’t have a problem with this book that is just as witty as the Artemis Fowl series. Benny and Omar can be read as a standalone, but there is a sequel titled Benny and Babe.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Book Review: Warrior’s Fury, by J. D. White

warrior's fury book cover large hd high definition resolution quality by j d white independent indie self-published fantasy young adult christian
Warrior’s Fury
By: J. D. White
ISBN-10: 1935526014
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Arrogant and reckless Rimmegoan Dayor, warrior-for-hire, is called upon to protect Harin Oudek and his young daughter Elsira as they venture across the land of Arn to restore a magical box back to its rightful owner—but the trio will encounter many foes before their quest is complete.

It includes:

• Violence (fighting mythical creatures as well as aggressive behavior)
• Reference to a woman’s breasts and hips
• Strong attraction between two characters

Warrior’s Fury is a self-published fantasy debut with Christian themes. It’s slow-paced at first, with descriptive world-building, but the plot picks up after the first hundred pages and is full of action and adventure throughout the rest of the story. It’s a fairly clean read, but younger audiences might have a hard time understanding the intricate writing.

Readers who enjoyed Warrior’s Fury might also like Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta.

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