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2014 Yearbook – Part 2

In case you didn’t notice, part 2 of my Yearbook of Awesome Books had been posted here. Either head there to check it out, or read below to discover amazing new books.

Made Me Cry

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Review : This story is more literature than general fiction. It is an experience to live, suffer and survive along with the characters, rather than just a novel to read. If you’re looking for something light, fluffy and cheerful then this isn’t the book for you. But if you want honesty, a gut-wrenching experience and a good cry, then pick up this book now. It’s a story that will never leave you, and will relate to every person out there, who has had something to fight against, fight for, and suffered loss.

Favourite Quote :  “Every action, every word, every day since his death has been tarred with this truth.
Inside of me are tiny silver daggers that cut me with this knowledge every time I draw a breath.
I start to cry, and I can’t stop.”

Best Action

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Review : The story started with a fast, great hook that kept me interested. I loved how we were left in limbo at points of the story to jump from Katla’s perspective to Deborah or Simon’s. I love when we’re left on a cliffhanger waiting to find out what’s going to happen to our favourite characters while we see what’s going on elsewhere. I think the use of the FBI and DEA was a genius touch. It gave me – the reader – the feeling of being ‘in’ on the secret of what had really happened and waiting to see if the FBI or DEA would cotton on or not, and how.

Overall, I loved the focus on Katla and Bram, even when they weren’t directly in the scenes and I thought the gradual development and conclusion of the plot was perfect. It made it more realistic than having everything happen within hours or days when we all know that real life is never that accommodating, especially when it comes to crime scene investigations.

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Best Shorts

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Review : Amazing, sexy, chillingly, achingly good! And that goes for all of these stories.

I don’t know what Olley White is drinking, but I want some of it. These stories are fantastic. I’ve never got so attached to a character, in such a short time, in maybe ever! I felt a connection with every character, through their POV, and even some of the extra characters that you didn’t see so much. I did it all in less time than some novels give me to know the MC inside and out.

I left every story wishing it would never end. That’s the mark of genius. This will be one of my new favourites, to read again and again.

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Best Series

fool's errand  mystic's mayhem  paryn's gold ebook

Review : Book 1 – I have to admit that I’m not a Christian. This is important for one reason – the Foreword. I’m an open minded scientific daydreamer who doesn’t disbelief any religion, but questions all. I flit between open minded awareness of all religions and being unconvinced.

However, just reading the Foreword of this book, I knew David and I were going to get on just fine. Rowling, Tolkien and Lewis are some of my all time favourite authors and I completely understand where he’s coming from in the Foreword. I’ve read a predominantly Christian book series before, in the fantasy genre, and loved it. It made me believe, it made me question and it made me cry. This book does the same.

Book 2 – My boys are back! I have a total book crush on Thatcher and Melizar. It can’t be helped; they’re great characters.

Let me start by saying that Book 2 is just as good, if not better, than Book 1. I love the heartfelt, personal foreword and I find that the prologue answers a lot of questions I didn’t even know I had about Melizar’s history, from Book 1. I find this author to be very clever in the way he dishes out information about his characters. You get snippets here and there, when it’s important, but you never feel like you’re missing out on anything until you discover the secret. It’s the way I want to read a book; I don’t know something is missing until I’m told about it.

As usual, this book gets straight into the action right away. My boys are excellent, as always, and really grow during the course of this book.

Book 3 – Let me just admit, before I get too far, that I’m a massive fan of this series so far. When I was asked if I wanted to read and review an advanced copy of this book, I just about did a fangirl scream and said ‘Gimme! Gimme!’. I refrained, but it didn’t lessen my excitement for starting this story.

And it did not disappoint.

Let’s just say that me and this book have some unfinished business. I’m not sure it understands how difficult it was to read the last chapter, particularly from Melizar approaching Stonehold to the end of the book, with tears flooding my eyes and soaking everything in sight. Thanks very much, Paryn’s Gold. Great job.

Another great instalment from Mr Johnson that I will re-read again and again.

Favourite Quote of the Series: From Book 3 ‘Paryn’s Gold’ : “Okay, step right up for your express doorway to the road to scenic Thalyia, where you can enjoy such varied activities as muggings, stabbings, poisonings and, for the truly adventurous, involuntary slavery. Don’t miss out, step on through, folks; only ten gold pieces for the adventure of a lifetime.”

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Most Surprising

UnCommon Ground

Review: Gut-wrenching, sweet, lovely, beautiful – will break your heart.

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AWARD - Played With My Mind

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Review: A very touching, profound and deep, meaningful story told through a regular teenage kid’s day-to-day life over a short period of time. I’m sure this story will touch a lot of people and make them think. We all have demons inside us, but it’s out choice whether to let them take hold or not.

AWARD - Best YA Series

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Review: Book 1 – We come into the story, in the middle of events, which I love. I really think Gladamyr is a brilliant character, who holds the others together. The very idea of the world of Dreams, and how it connects to the moral (human) world is so clever and original. I’ve never seen it done before.

Overall, I find the story captivating, intriguing and original. The only thing I’ve ever read that could touch it, is my all time favourite YA series, Dragons in Our Midst, by Brian Davis. I loved the simple, dream like quality of each new adventure and how it was something that either child would want to step into. The more I read of Parker, Kaelyn and Gladamyr, the more I like them and see them growing. The ending took me by surprise. I can’t wait to read book 2, to find out where it leads.

Book 2 – This book was action-packed! From start to finish, there was always something going on, keeping me from putting it down.

One more think – OH. MY. GOD! The end…Allyon…the librarian…Mab…
I can’t say anything about any of it, until you’ve read the book, but believe me it’s SHOCKING!

Book 3 – Normally, when I write a review like this, I go into detail about the plot, the characters and the style of writing or what I loved or hated about the book. I can’t do that for this one. I literally just finished reading this book and my heart is broken.

Another excellent instalment in the series. I’m so sad it’s over.

Favourite Quote of the Series: From Book 2 ‘The Dreamstone’: “OMG!” Parker hooted. “You’re amazing!”
“Shut up and think for me,” she snapped. “I’m getting all these images of Lara Croft from you – I need ice!”
Parker literally shook the thoughts out of his head and began to think of the icebergs in the arctic. He would ask Kaelyn later how she had known about the superhot character from this favourite video game.”

AWARD - Best MM Short

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Review: Really loved this short story. I could easily read more of these two characters. I also love the writing style of the author. I’ll be stalking – ahem – waiting for them to write more books impatiently.

AWARD - Best Steampunk

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Review: This is my first steampunk book, ever! I have to say that it doesn’t disappoint. I was drawn into this book right from the very beginning. It gripped my heart, dragged me into the pages and made me feel for every single character.

I love the progression of the story and the criminal aspect. I’m a sucker for a great crime story and this story was that great. There was a supernatural element, the steampunk element and it all felt real and logical. There wasn’t one thing that I didn’t find believable or thought didn’t fit the story.

The author is a really talented writer. I love the way she weaves emotional and mystery elements together, to make you care as much about the characters as you do about the solution to the crime. The whole plot is seamlessly put together, well executed and littered with little nuggets of newspaper clippings. I didn’t know what to make of them at first, but then it was explained it was a really nice addition, like a parallel universe; it was super cute.

AWARD - Best Christmas Story

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Review: Touching, heartfelt and emotional, it made me cry. For a short story to draw me in, so clearly and so quickly, to make me feel for the characters involved, to give me a sense of the Christmas season and his struggles, is really special.

AWARD - Best Sci-Fi Short

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Review: Original, well written Sci-fi short story. I loved it for many reasons. It was weird, funny, oddly sexy, sweet and cute. I really felt Waters reluctance, emotional struggle and attraction. I love how well we got to know the characters in so short a story. Loved it.

AWARD - Best Alternative World

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Review: I was intrigued by this book right from the start.

This is an excellently paced mixture of mystery, suspense and action. I never knew who to trust or what would happen next. I love how honest Laika and Rodya are, especially when things get complicated. I love the academic slant we have, from reading in Laika’s POV and how I never felt out of my depth because even the things I wasn’t familiar with were explained just enough for me to keep up.

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