The Chosen by Taran Matharu

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Book: The Chosen

Author: Taran Matharu

Book Series: Contender series

Diversity: Middle Eastern MC, hard of hearing side character

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: Male MC, diverse reads, sci-fi

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 357

Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, gore, language, death)

Synopsis: Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

Review: For the most part this was an amazing book! I felt the character development was great, the world building was well done, and the pacing was fast, but it fit well with the book. I liked how the author included the historical mysteries and this history buff learned a thing or two! I also read this in one go in just under 2 hours.

I had some little dislikes about the book though. I wish that the book did a little better with the grand reveal. It felt a bit blah and I guessed what happened back in chapter 2, but that’s just me more than likely. I also wish that the book was a bit more realistic in some terms. The description of what happened in juvenile court is not realistic from what I’ve been exposed to as someone who worked in a juvenile court. For the first thing, a court can’t send you to an alternative school. That’s on the school to punish you in that manner. School punishments and court punishments do not overlap like that. Also, having a juvenile record does not mean your life is over. I hate it when books display that information because it’s entirely inaccurate. Most juvenile records are sealed and even if it wasn’t, you can always get with an attorney to get it expunged or get it sealed. Most states also give you a first offender conviction, where, if you use it, the record will be sealed. There are many ways for your record to not be seen by colleges and this narrative of “my life is over because I made one mistake” is entirely inaccurate. Even if you have a bad public defender, you can ask for a new one or, if needed, you can appeal and retain a new attorney as well. Do not ever take the advice of an attorney if it doesn’t sit right with you. If you have questions, get a second opinion. If an attorney says “it’s either this or that”, get a second opinion. Sometimes attorneys are work or are not the greatest.

Verdict: It was a great book.

Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: Court of Lions

 

Author: Somaiya Daud

 

Book Series: Mirage Book 2

 

Diversity: Moroccan based characters

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Recommended For…: kidnapping, switching places tales, Moroccan characters

 

Publication Date: August 6, 2020

 

Publisher: Hodder

 

Pages: 336

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (romance, some sexual content, violence, slight gore)

 

Synopsis: After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.

 

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?

 

Review: Overall, I thought the series greatly improved from the first series. I loved the whole series and I love how much more developed the characters became in this book, especially Maram. I loved the duel POV and loved Maram’s scenes the best in the book. The world building continued to be grand and I loved the plot of this book.

 

However, the book is incredibly slow and the book does tend to slow down even more at random times, especially during Amani and Idris’ scenes.

 

Verdict: It’s a great duology! Definitely one that’s unique and will be rememberable.

How To Live On The Edge by Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: How To Live on the Edge

Author: Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommended For…: contemporary

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 16+ (romance, very dangerous activities that can get you killed, language, cancer TW)

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

Pages: 312

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Cayenne barely remembers her mother, who died of breast cancer when Cayenne was four. The women in her family have a history of dying young. Cayenne figures she’ll meet the same fate, so she might as well enjoy life now, engaging in death-defying risks like dodging trains and jumping off cliffs with her boyfriend.

When Cayenne receives a series of video messages her mother made for her before dying, she isn’t sure she wants them. Her aunt Tee has been her true mother figure. But then Aunt Tee tests positive for a BRCA gene mutation–the one that doomed Cayenne’s mom–and decides to get a mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing cancer. As Cayenne helps her aunt prepare for the surgery, she finds herself drawn to her mother’s messages, with their musings on life, love, and perseverance. For the first time, Cayenne starts to question what it truly means to live life to the fullest, even when death might be written into her DNA.

Review: For the most part this was a well done book. The book has a very interesting story and it’s very informational. You can tell the author is very informed and passionate about learning and teaching about the BRCA gene, which is the gene that causes cancer. The book has great pacing as well.

However, I don’t think the characters are well developed in this book and it was really hard to understand the motives of Cayenne. The book also doesn’t have great world building.

Verdict: It was a good book!

HOW TO LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE ASSETS
I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the HOW TO LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE by Sarah Lynn Scheerger Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Title: HOW TO LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE

Author: Sarah Lynn Scheerger

Pub. Date: August 4, 2020

Publisher: Lerner/Carolrhoda

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 312

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org
Eighteen-year-old Cayenne barely remembers her mother, who died of breast cancer when Cayenne was four. The women in her family have a history of dying young. Cayenne figures she’ll meet the same fate, so she might as well enjoy life now, engaging in death-defying risks like dodging trains and jumping off cliffs with her boyfriend.
When Cayenne receives a series of video messages her mother made for her before dying, she isn’t sure she wants them. Her aunt Tee has been her true mother figure. But then Aunt Tee tests positive for a BRCA gene mutation–the one that doomed Cayenne’s mom–and decides to get a mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing cancer. As Cayenne helps her aunt prepare for the surgery, she finds herself drawn to her mother’s messages, with their musings on life, love, and perseverance. For the first time, Cayenne starts to question what it truly means to live life to the fullest, even when death might be written into her DNA.

INSERT YOUR POST OR REVIEW HERE!

About Sarah:
Sarah Lynn (Scheerger) works as a clinical social worker with at-risk youth, helping them figure out who they are and who they want to be. She also provides counseling to adults and couples. She lives in southern California with her husband and children. Sarah started out writing under her first and middle name (Sarah Lynn) because she thought having a pen name seemed mysterious and cool. However, over time she’s transitioned to writing under her real name as well (both Sarah Scheerger and Sarah Lynn Scheerger). Sarah loves reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.
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Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of HOW TO LIVE LIFE ON THE EDGE, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/27/2020 rainbowrdrgrl Review
7/28/2020 Here’s to Happy Endings Review
7/29/2020 Abellafairytale Review
7/30/2020 TheReadingCornerforAll Review
7/31/2020 BookHounds YA Interview

Week Two:

8/3/2020 The Phantom Paragrapher Review
8/4/2020 PopTheButterfly Review
8/5/2020 Lifestyle of Me Review
8/6/2020 Her Book Thoughts Review
8/7/2020 Two Chicks on Books Interview

Week Three:

8/10/2020 Jotted by Jena Review
8/11/2020 She Just Loves Books Review
8/12/2020 A Dream Within A Dream Excerpt
8/13/2020 Momfluenster Review
8/14/2020 Jazzy Book Reviews Excerpt

Week Four:

8/17/2020 A Gingerly Review Excerpt
8/18/2020 notinjersey Review
8/19/2020 Fire and Ice Review
8/20/2020 Hurn Publications Review
8/21/2020 Twirling Book Princess Excerpt

Week Five:

8/24/2020 Rajiv’s Reviews Review
8/25/2020 Jaime’s World Excerpt
8/26/2020 The Book View Excerpt
8/27/2020 fictitious.fox Review
8/28/2020 Two Points of Interest Review