Tag: YA

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Author: Amy Lukavics
Published: September 29, 2015
266 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner’s family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn’t right on the prairie. She’s heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can’t be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

Kim’s Review:
This is the perfect scary book! This is the second time I’ve read Daughters Unto Devils and it was even better this time. Lukavics writes some of the best creepy reads I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. The Women in the Walls scared the crap out of me last year. I was looking for something easy and interesting to help finish the year so I went with the scary. And it was AWESOME!

The chills started from the beginning. Amanda is haunted by the past winter and all I get is some vague ideas about what had happened so, naturally, my imagination went nuts. Throw in a deaf and blind baby who screams constantly, and you have the makings of a fascinating story. The abandoned cabin that they move into sets the mood perfectly. I can’t really say anymore because it just has to be read and felt . . . y’all are in for such a macabre treat!! There are some adult situations so I would save this for older teens. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a eerie read!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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The Grace Year

Author:  Kim Liggett
To Be Published:
US: October 8, 2019
UK: October 10, 2019
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 16-24, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Jessica’s Review:

Like with Fight Club, I am going to break the rule: You do not speak of the grace year…. Well I won’t be giving specifics on the grace year…. To find out everything, you must read this book!

In this dystopian world we can say goodbye to “Sweet Sixteen” and hello to “The Grace Year”.  When all girls turn sixteen, they are sent away to fend for themselves for a year….Wait! I mean the girls are sequestered together to cleanse themselves of the magic they possess that will drive men crazy with lust and women crazy in anger and jealousy.  Once the girls are cleansed they are then ready to become wives, if they have been previously chosen.  This is also if they survive their grace year, which not everyone does.

Our protagonist is Tierney and it is time for her grace year to begin.  We go on her journey of preparing for her grace year.  She knows what she wants her future to hold and knows it will be that way despite the grace year; but will it be as she wants?  Tierney is a tomboy in a world where women are the ‘weaker’ gender, so she isn’t your typical female. I liked Tierney and was rooting for her to pull through and survive her grace year despite the odds against her.

The Grace Year is a mix of The Handmaid’s Tale and Lord of the Flies with a dash of The Hunger Games. This is a world that today’s woman would not want to live in. It is a dark, disturbing, and violent novel that also pulls you in and you don’t want stop reading.  While reading it you will feel a variety of emotions and it also leaves you thinking about so many things. Then we have that ending which leaves you open mouthed and hoping that Liggett writes a sequel. Movie rights have been optioned and I hope they treat the novel right.

I would suggest this novel for ages 15 and up given the violence that occurs.

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an arc copy via Netgalley. It was an honor to read and review The Grace Year.

Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US
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Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Author: Nadine Brandes
Published: May 7, 2019
337 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second book of Brandes that I’ve attempted and the first that I’ve read all the way through. The problem that I had in Fawkes came out a little in Romanov but thankfully not enough for me to DNF it. It’s honestly my only real criticism. Brandes has a habit of writing books that need a prerequisite. She throws in details about magic and culture that have no context and I automatically felt like I was missing something important. As I said, I felt that a little in Romanov but not as bad. I’ve also studied the last Romanovs so I understood the historical context. Brandes seemed to try to stick as close to history as possible and I liked that a lot.

The unfortunate side effect was that the Romanovs’ boring lives in Ekaterinburg and Tobolsk bled through into the story and there were times that I wanted things to move a bit faster. However, I liked her portrayal of the family and of the Bolsheviks. I believed every word and action and I would be the least bit surprised if it all happened exactly like in the book. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction. It’s also safe for teens to read, but due to the slow pacing, I’d save it for older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK