A Riveting Road-Trip Into Dystopia | Review of ‘After the Ending’ (The Ending #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

After the Ending by Lindsey Pogue
& Lindsey Fairleigh
L2 Books

A virus spread, taking the world by surprise. Many died, but those that didn’t either became insane, driven to madness, or became something more. For Dani and Zoe surviving doesn’t just mean living, it means finding each other and returning home. But the dangers out there are closer than they thought and finding each other might be impossible.

Published February 21, 2013, L2 Books After the Ending by Lindsey Pogue & Lindsey Fairleigh is a young adult post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel following friends separated by miles trying to find their way home through all the dangers around them.
Continue reading A Riveting Road-Trip Into Dystopia | Review of ‘After the Ending’ (The Ending #1)

A Forgettable Ending | Review of ‘Vengeance’ (Private #14)


By Cynthia Ayala

Vengeance by Kate Brian
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Despite the disaster that turned into Reed’s birthday party, she is adamant on rebuilding Billings, refusing to let her legacy become a pile of rubble. But someone is lurking in the shadows of Billings, adamant on ending her and Billings once and for all.

Published August 30, 2011, by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Vengeance is the final novel In Kate Brian‘s bestselling young adult Private series.

Looks like Brian ditched that witch coven things very quick. There for a book then gone. Was it a gimmick? Probably, but it did give the reader a little more insight into the world of Billings and the history of it too. Although the ending here, it felt a little bit like a let-down.
Continue reading A Forgettable Ending | Review of ‘Vengeance’ (Private #14)

Where Fantasy Meets Realism | Review of ‘The Marked Girl’ (The Marked Girl #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
HarperCollins

Cedric, the crowned prince of Caelum, has found himself in LA, a very long way from home via a magical portal. Bu the portal is locked on Earth and Liv, an aspiring filmmaker and foster girl who wants nothing more than to escape the endless system, may be his only help. But the pair of them are getting more than they bargained for.

Published June 7, 2016, by Harper Collins, The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele, is a young adult fantasy novel that brings magic into an otherwise plain world.
Continue reading Where Fantasy Meets Realism | Review of ‘The Marked Girl’ (The Marked Girl #1)

Weekly Reading List #66


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful week. School is inching towards the finish line and I’m so close I can taste the diploma. I just need to pass the classes and then I am all set to go. Man, it’s been wild. Anyway, mostly done with projects so I’ve got some time to breathe and read. Check out my reading list below.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #66

A Rich Adventure | Review of ‘Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon’


By Cynthia Ayala

Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford
Curiosity Quills Press

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. She plays music and tries to keep her head down as she moves from school to school, dragged around the country by her mother who won’t tell them what they are running from or who’s after them. But when an encounter with trolls, real life, not-in-her-head trolls, Allyson discovers that she’s half-dragon. When a boy from her school goes missing and turns out to be a unicorn, the tables turn and the magical community begins to blame her friend Beth who just happens to be half-troll. Now on the run, the girls hunt down the real monsters to save themselves and those they care about.

Published November 23, 2015, by Curiosity Quills Press, Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon by Rena Rocford is a young adult fantasy about what it’s like to discover a hidden part of yourself that turns out to be magical.
Continue reading A Rich Adventure | Review of ‘Acne, Asthma, and Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon’

Strong, Powerful, & Unique | Review of ‘The Wicked Will Rise’ (Dorothy Must Die #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Wicked Will Rose by Danielle Paige HarperCollins
The Wicked Will Rose by Danielle Paige
HarperCollins

Amy Gumm failed in her mission, but she’s not going to stop from trying to end Dorothy and return Oz to its former glory. However, with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked scattered, Princess Ozma might just be the only ally she has. Moreover, for Amy, she realizes that there is more to her connection with Oz than she thought.

Published March 31, 2015, by HarperCollins The Wicked Will Rise is the second novel is Danielle Paige New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die young adult series that retells adventures in Oz with fantasy, magic, and mystery. Continue reading Strong, Powerful, & Unique | Review of ‘The Wicked Will Rise’ (Dorothy Must Die #2)

An Interesting Approach to the Zombie Genre | Review of ‘After the Cure’ (After the Cure #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

After the Cure by Diedre Gould Createspace
After the Cure by Diedre Gould
Createspace

Eight years ago, the December Plague swept through the human population. Those infected became violent cannibals, killing without exception. Years later a cure was found, and now, with time, society has begun to heal. Now society is hunting for the truth. But the danger hasn’t passed and for Nella Rider and Frank Courtlen, they are discovering that the past is not far behind them.

Published August 24, 2013, by  Deirdre Gould, After the Cure is a post-apocalyptic novel that takes a different approach on the zombie genre. Continue reading An Interesting Approach to the Zombie Genre | Review of ‘After the Cure’ (After the Cure #1)

Weekly Reading List #65


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! Hope everyone is doing well and had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I often forget how short these Thanksgiving breaks are from school. But I had my kitty and many days to sleep in and catch up on basically everything. So here’s my weekly reading list everyone. Happy reading! Continue reading Weekly Reading List #65

Just A Tad Too Reliant on Gimmicks | Review of ‘Ominous’ (Private #13)


By Cynthia Ayala

ominous-3d
Ominous by Kate Brian Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

History comes back to haunt the girls of Billings House and now, one by one, the Billings girls go missing. Someone is hunting the girls of Billings, especially Reed.

Published February 22, 2011, by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ominous by Kate Brian is the 13th novel in her young adult Private series.

Thirteen books later….and now the story is resorting to gimmicks. Book of Spells was an excellent novel, it had the eerie nature to it and so many elements that explained so much in the series. The supernatural element was great for a one-off, but now to incorporate it into a series that has largely been based in realism, well it’s not translating well because it’s not necessary. The witchcraft element doesn’t add anything to the text and should not have taken seriously by the characters, it’s gimmicky and only serves to make this otherwise good novel cheap. It’s disappointing because there are strong female characters in the novel that seem to have fallen into a rut. They have become static for the most part, unevolved.

However, the dream sequences are incredibly interesting and provide much tension. Is there another way they could have been introduced? Maybe, but at least the supernatural element had one benefit to the novel otherwise they would not have worked.

Gimmicks aside, the story did flow. It had a strong sense to it, created an eerie atmosphere and allowed for the tension to rise. It’s unclear if the dreams are directly caused by a supernatural event or not, but it is written in a way that could allow it to be both. So much has happened to Reed and the fact that she’s not obviously suffering from PTSD is remarkable. The dreams can serve as that buffer between the real and the unreal, by allowing the reader to follow Reed’s innermost fears lending itself to create some minor character growth.

This series has just dragged out for so long and it almost seems as though Brian didn’t know what to do with these characters. In the earlier books, there was tons of secrecy which is why it worked so well. Who know what goes in a Boarding School, but Brian decided to explore it. The first three arcs dealt with powerful and realistic emotions such as jealousy and revenge. Now it’s unclear and is driven more by insane theories, curses, fear. Sure fear is a pretty realistic way to bring to life the story, but it shows a lack of substance given what all these older women are scared of, a crazy curse that might not even exist. The prequel makes it somewhat plausible, but not by much.

The plot hinges on the prequel and the supernatural element which is not doing much for the story. It’s taking away from character development and allowing the characters to remain static in some ways. It’s unfortunate considering what such a strong start this series began with. Was it still a good read? In some ways, yes, but it’s not as good as that first arc that launched the series. (★★★☆☆ | C)

An Eerie & Haunting Read | Review of ‘Hereafter’ (Shadowlands #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

Hereafter by Kate Brian Disney-Hyperion
Hereafter by Kate Brian
Disney-Hyperion

Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. She was partially right. Her new life in Juniper Landing Island is a beautiful place for a fresh start…in the afterlife. But there’s more to it than just a fog rolling in every day as a threat lingers in the shadows and the fog itself threatening everything Rory loves and holds dear.

Published October 1, 2013, by Disney-Hyperion Hereafter by Kate Brian is the second novel in her young adult supernatural thriller. Continue reading An Eerie & Haunting Read | Review of ‘Hereafter’ (Shadowlands #2)

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