Reviews

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Ruth West - Thursday, September 07, 2017

Title: Not Your Sidekick
Author: C.B. Lee
Publisher: Duet, Interlude Press
Published: Sept. 8, 2016
Genre: LGBT, YA, Superhero




A diverse story that suffers from stylistic issues in the writing. Littered throughout the book are awkward sentences, not fragments or incorrect punctuation but sentences that just feel awkward. The story, although predictable suffers mostly from not having a decent round of strong edits to fix the phrases that don't feel natural. How best do I explain this? I feel like the book is being told to me, read by a voice that isn't my own. In most instances of reading you imagine the characters. Personally had the book been written in past tense the writing may have smoothed out some of the inconsistencies and awkwardness. I do recognize that many YA books are moving toward the trend of present tense, but this book clearly suffers because of it. Perhaps if it has been written in first person and the many instances of show don't tell removed, it would have been a better, stronger book. Third person present tense just doesn't work for this story. 

Here's an example that tripped me up while reading. I just felt like I was being tossed out of the book:

They gossip about Captain Orion's romantic life and then get into a silly discussion about the most attractive heroes in the League. The movie is playing but they aren't paying much attention. Jess lost track of the plot a few minutes in. She's enjoying her time with her friends as they argue about who is hotter: Starscream or Copycat.

I wanted to love this story, everything about the plot seemed great but the struggle of reading the style was too much for me. I recommend reading a sample before buying.

Reviewed by: Laura


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Dream Me by Kathryn Berla

Ruth West - Thursday, July 27, 2017

Title: Dream Me
Author: Kathryn Berla
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Published: July 11, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Futuristic, Contemporary, Romance




A fantastic unique story that blends the future with the past. Dream Me is a gripping page-turning read that will easily hook you from the beginning. Although the story takes time to unfold and understand the world created by the author, the plot progresses as do the characters in an enriching story. Dream Me is brilliantly written and creatively woven to bring Zat from the future into Babe's dreams. In a futuristic world that is dying, Zat's only chance of survival is by being a part of Babe's dreams, allowing him the chance to see the world long before we destroyed it. There were moments of tears in the last final pages of the book that had me clinging to read more, unwilling to put down my kindle. Emotions are high in this young love tale of a story that Zat, a boy from the future becomes part of Babe's dreams to live a life worth having. If I could give this story six stars I would. A satisfying and emotional ending will leave you thinking about this book, long after you've finished the last page.

Reviewed by: Violet Black

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Banded by Logan Byrne

Ruth West - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Title: Banded
Author: Logan Byrne
Publisher: self-published
Published: Feb 20, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Futuristic, Dystopian


There are far too many similarities in Banded to the dystopian young adult book, Divergent, and even a hint of Harry Potter with the sorting hat. The likeness to Divergent wasn't entirely a surprise given the description of the book (6 factions separated in Manhattan for the good of the country), but I had hoped that the author would have put their own creative spin on things, including the world building, instead of feeling the sense of deja vu while reading this book. When reading about the simulation in the jungle, all I could think was this book is too reminiscent, same with the fighting scenes, being forced to train and fight. This was the one aspect where I thought this book could have differed significantly because the group that Kaleena is put into, isn't tasked with fighting. Instead the book went in the same direction, again, as Divergent. Now, with all that being said, Banded was well-written with decent pacing and I was anxious to read the next chapter and not put down the book. I would have loved Banded had the originality been entirely the authors and not taken from other young adult novels, so much so that I found it distracting. There wasn't a dose of heavy romance like Divergent, which I found to be the biggest difference and the fact that everyone is forced to wear bands, something that I thought could have been further developed and expanded. What makes this book absolutely wonderful and unique, is lost in the repetitiveness of similar works in the same genre. 
Reviewed by Marissa Vine


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