Ride On by Gwen Cole
In the near post-apocalyptic future, the skies are always gray and people are constantly searching for the sun. For teenage outlaw Seph, it’s the only world he’s ever known. With his horse, his favorite pistol, and his knowledge for survival passed down from his dead father, Seph knows it’s safer to be alone. But after a run-in with a local gang that call themselves the Lawmen, and having been wrongly accused of murder, Seph teams up with Avery—a determined girl whose twin brother has been taken by the same gang.~ From the publisher
This book is a mix between the future and a western. The characters were well-developed and the plot well paced. Except that the setting is in the future, this book had all the classic themes of the western genre. There were bad guys, and the good guys (and gal in Avery) are trying to stay alive and save someone in this case Avery’s brother. Teens will enjoy the action of this book and the little romance that develops between Avery and Seph. A great way to introduce another generation to the western genre while having that little future feel. This book will need to be given to a teen. Not many teens today would just pick up this book by title or the cover, but those willing to stretch their reading and be adventurous, like the characters, will find a hidden gem in this read.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Sky Horse Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
#MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil
It is sometime in the future and Dee Guerra wakes up on Alcatraz 2.0. She was wrongly accused of killing her stepsister, found guilty and sent to the island of Alcatraz. This is not the old prison island but a new one, hence the name 2.0. Dee and several others have been all sentenced there to survive against the executioners in this app driven punishment. Where popularity helps in staying alive.
Another page turner from Gretchen McNeil that will not disappoint fans nor readers who like fast-moving, trying to escape books. Dee is a character which you begin to like when she befriends her next door neighbor. Each of the characters in this story are quirky on their own but like the movie Breakfast Club, you begin to root for their success and survival. The alternative world does get the reader thinking and at times having to reread the descriptions to get a sense of where the characters are in this world. The end was a twist that the readers will not see coming until the last few chapters.
Give this to anyone who enjoyed Gretchen’s novel Ten or someone looking for a book to cheer on the characters such as the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or Maze Runner by James Dasher.
received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Disney Book Group in exchange for an honest review.
The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane
Clementine Haas is searching for herself. Not just figuratively but literally searching for herself. Clementine is in an Irish hospital where she doesn’t know why she is in Ireland or anything about herself. She is told that she is the lone survivor of an airplane crash. The Irish press wants to know everything about her and she becomes overwhelmed and takes off to find herself. She meets Kieran O’Connell and travels to his hometown and begins to discover a new Clementine.
A sweet romance which moves at good pace. Clementine’s decisions sometimes leaves the reader questioning her but in light of the loss of memory can be understandable. Some of the things Clementine does such as escaping from the hospital so easily seemed a little unrealistic. The setting may cause some teen readers to shy away from this title but those readers who like a sweet romance will be rewarded by picking up this title. The reader will be rooting for Clementine and Kieran all along the way. The ending does explain why Clementine is in Ireland and the twist is enjoyable and unexpected. Give to a teen reader who enjoys a sweet and easy read.
To the Moon and Back by Karen Kingsberry
Brady Bradshaw was a child when the Oklahoma City bombing killed his mother. Every year, Brady visits the memorial site on the anniversary to remember her. A decade ago on that day, he met Jenna Phillips, who was also a child when her parents were killed in the attack. Brady and Jenna shared a deep heart connection and a single beautiful day together at the memorial. But after that, Brady never saw Jenna again. Every year when he returns, he leaves a note for her in hopes that he might find her again.
This year, Ashley Baxter Blake and her sister Kari Ryan and their families take a spring break trip that includes a visit to the site to see the memorial’s famous Survivor Tree. While there, Ashley spots a young man, alone and troubled. That man is Brady Bradshaw. A chance moment leads Ashley to help Brady find Jenna, the girl he can’t forget.
Ashley’s family is skeptical, but she pushes them to support her efforts to find the girl and bring them together. But will it work? Will her husband, Landon, understand her intentions? And is a shared heartache enough reason to fall in love? – from the Publisher
To the Moon and Back returns the reader and fans of Karen Kingsberry’s to the Baxter family. The story revolves around two young characters who are tied together by the tragic event of the Oklahoma bombing. Ashley Baxter brings them together, bringing the Baxter family into this sweet romance. Readers of Ms. Kingsberry’s other Baxter stories will feel familiar and welcome the little updates on the family. New readers are able to jump right in since the story revolves around new characters, Brady and Jenna. Ms. Kingsberry has included at the end of the book, a nice genealogy of the family to inform new readers. To the Moon and Back is a quick and enjoyable romance that will be welcomed by seasoned fans and new readers alike.
I received an ARC ebook from the publisher, Howard books in exchange for an honest review.
The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio
Worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. While that’s part of it, worship is the essence of what makes us truly human. God sparked this desire within our hearts from the day He first breathed life into Adam and Eve. Since then, every single human who has walked this planet has participated in this God-given ability, and divine quest. While many have squandered their gift, there are those who find the wonder-filled life of communion with God no matter the time or place.
True freedom comes when worship flows through us as naturally as the air we breathe, when the words and actions in our lives resonate with our Creator so deeply that every inhalation is full of meaning. When we understand the holiness of the God who knows the stars by name—and His overwhelming love for each one of us—how can we offer anything less? – from the publisher.
Louie Giglio begins the book by talking about that we as humans are designed to worship. Throughout the rest of the book, he challenges the reader to question what they are worshipping. Each chapter digs deeper into the concept of worship. Beginning by defining worship, to personalizing worship to corporate worship. Christian readers will find themselves challenging what their previous thoughts on the concept of worship. This book is very readable but challenging at the same time. Recommended to any reader which wants a challenging but readable book to digest. Readers will be coming back to reread this title to continue to challenge their Christian walk. There is no specific scripture cited during this work so if the reader is looking for a more scripture grounded read, they will be disappointed.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, WaterBrook and Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
Live Fearless: a call to power, passion and purpose by Sadie Robertson
Sadie Robertson, bestselling author and star of Dancing with the Stars, has an important message for her generation: you don’t have to be held back by fear, anxiety, or loneliness anymore. In Live Fearless, Sadie takes you on a thrilling personal journey toward power, passion, and purpose as you live at the center of who God created you to be!…From Publisher
Sadie uses her personal journey to share how she has learned to live reducing her fear. The first half of the book, seemed preachy or didactic to this reader. The bible verses shared were helpful and enlightening and her sharing of her experience with Dancing with the Stars was interesting. The second half of the book was much more readable and was easier to pull out the nuggets Sadie shared. Although the pulling out of the “note” helped the reader understand what Sadie felt important, it broke up the flow of the reading of Live Fearless. Examples of prayers when applying God’s word will be helpful to those teens who are still new to their faith. This book should be given to both believers and nonbelievers alike, giving them a roadmap or an alternative to living in fear. Recommended to any young adult, especially young ladies who can relate with Sadie and her fear.
I received an ARC ebook from Netgalley and the publisher, Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
If I Live by Terri Blackstock
Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.
Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?
With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series. (from the Publisher)
If I Live is the conclusion of the If I Run series. This title unlike, If I’m Found can not really be read as a standalone. Ms. Blackstock continues the story of Casey Cox with the same pace as If I’m Found. The reader will be seamlessly immersed in the plot, feeling they never left off from the previous title. The read is quick with lots of twists and turns. A satisfying conclusion for fans of this series. In fact, they will hate to see Dylan and Casey’s adventure end. The wrapping up of Casey’s conversion to Christianity does seem rushed at the end of the book but otherwise the book is thoroughly entertaining and satisfying. Give this to any reader who loves a good mystery and thriller or any Terri Blackstock fan.
Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Zondervan for an honest review.