Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker

Rewrite Redemption by J.H. WalkerBlurb

She’s sixteen. He’s seventeen. They don’t know each other…at least not yet.

She has a secret and her whole life revolves around keeping it. Every few months and with little warning, she simply disappears, pulled into the past for hours or even days. She’s terrified it will happen in front of someone, changing her life forever. So far, the only witnesses have been her parents, and that didn’t end well. She has no control over it and no idea why it happens to her.

She wants answers.

He has answers—at least he understands what’s going on. He has a secret, too. He’s part of an organization that goes back in time to rewrite reality. But he also has a problem. He broke the organization’s number-one rule by altering his own timeline. As punishment, he’s been blocked from time travel, which is most unfortunate. Because the changes he made to his timeline, accidentally resulted in disaster for his family. A disaster he’s now prevented from repairing. No one can travel beneath the organization’s radar except a Shadow. But they’re rare, so rare he’s never even met one.

Then he moves to her town.

My Perspective

This is the twentieth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker at Ramblings In The Skye. You can read their thoughts on the book here.

Rewrite Redemption is mainly about A.J., a sixteen year old girl who is able to travel back in time. However not by her own will, it happens randomly and not always at the best of times. Struggling to survive high school without her secret becoming known, A.J. hides behind dark glasses and a large hoodie, her only friends being Lex and iPod. However one day that all changes when a new boy moves into town, he too having her ability.

I really enjoyed this book. The premise of time travel has always interested me so i like to read books that explore it. This was a completely different take on it, which i appreciated it and it reminded me slightly of the ISOs in Tron: Legacy.

A.J. is easy to like and root for. My heart really went out to her because of what happened with her parents and you really want everything to work out for her. Lex and iPod were great best friends and you couldn’t help but like them too. Constantine on the other hand had me in two different minds. He was a great guy who was easy to like however he also annoyed me and i didn’t like everything about him and his attitude. However in a way it was good because it meant he wasn’t perfect.

Obviously as the premise of the book is time travel, you kind of get the obvious that everything is probably going to work out well because they can just go back in time and “fix” things. However the journey on how and what the end result will be was not what i expected. I had some inklings about things however didn’t know if the author was going to go there or not and I’m really glad that they did.

As it is a young adults book, there is teenage romance throughout, which didn’t have me rolling my eyes as much as i thought. It was very present however i enjoyed it more than i thought i would. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of eye rolling, corny moments – however the story was interesting enough that it was able to carry them without it losing my attention.

The explanations and science behind everything was a little far fetched however explained it quite well and was to some extent plausible. Obviously you have to suspend some belief when it comes to time travel however this was a good example of it not being ridiculously impossible.

I did find that some of the book may have been a bit unnecessary. I found that the story got a bit bogged down by the amount of inner dialogue. I felt it would have been a bit more interesting had some of that been trimmed down and that it would have flowed a bit faster.

Overall it was a really enjoyable book that i would definitely recommend if you like young adult science fiction.

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3) by Lynette Noni

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3) by Lynette NoniBlurb

“I swear by the stars that you and the others slain tonight will be the first of many. Of that you have my word.”

With Aven Dalmarta now hiding in the shadows of Meya, Alex is desperate to save Jordan and keep the Rebel Prince from taking more lives. Training day and night to master the enhanced immortal blood in her veins, Alex undertakes a dangerous Meyarin warrior trial that separates her from those she loves and leaves her stranded in a place where nothing is as it should be. As friends become enemies and enemies become friends, Alex must decide who to trust as powerful new allies—and adversaries—push her towards a future of either light… or darkness. One way or another, the world will change…

My Perspective

I was hanging out for the release of this on April 1! I bought it as soon as it was available and i couldn’t put it down.

Draekora follows Alex as she begins her training in Meya, specifically the Varranguard, to test her abilities and where her strengths and weaknesses lie. However fate has a different course of action for her and Alex soon finds herself caught in something she never could have imagined.

Draekora is the sequel to Raelia and is the third instalment in The Medoran Chronicles. I was slightly disappointed in Raelia however i can say for sure i did not feel the same about Draekora!

The story continues on pretty much from the end of Raelia. It jumps right into the action and i was almost immediately immersed in the story. It is fairly even paced yet still keeps you on your toes.

I liked Alex again in Draekora however i still find her a bit naive. I feel like some things are so obvious and she takes forever to “get them”. I enjoyed meeting the new characters, who were really likeable and also getting to know familiar characters even more. It was also interesting to get to know them in a different way. You certainly feel a bit torn by the end of the story.

I have to say that the main plot of the story was super predictable however all the smaller storylines throughout weren’t and despite knowing where it was all leading, i still really, really enjoyed reading the book. Like I’ve mentioned before, although it’s not a Nobel Prize winning novel, i love reading them. They are interesting, hold my attention and i can’t wait for the next one to be released. Also i definitely noticed a significant improvement in the author’s writing throughout Draekora.

Without spoiling the ending…it really tears you apart. Even though i knew what was going to happen, the way that it happened was heartbreaking. WHY IS IT ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR FOR THE NEXT BOOK TO COME OUT?

Overall i would definitely recommend this series to those who like YA fantasy, however you obviously should start at the beginning with Akarnae.

October Baby by Eric Wilson and Theresa Preston

14978982Blurb

Not long after Hannah, a college student, experiences increasing anxiety and a sudden collapse, all signs point to the surprising circumstances of her birth. Hannah soon learns from her parents that she was adopted and is the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.

Bewildered, angry, and confused, she turns to her oldest friend, Jason, for support. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his friends on a road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for the unknown future.

Along the way, Hannah finds that every life is beautiful, and that life itself can be so much more than what we might have planned.

Based on the popular movie of the same name, October Baby brings to life powerful themes of hope, love, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Perspective

October Baby is the novel version of the movie, October Baby, which is about a college student named Hannah who collapses on stage during a performance due to medical issues related to her birth. Her world as she knows it falls apart with the knowledge of what really happened when she was born – that she was the product of a failed abortion and her parents adopted her. She joins a group of friends on their Spring Break trip to visit the place where she was born – and hopefully find some answers.

Last year we watched the movie version of October Baby at the youth group we run. The theme for the term was forgiveness and this story really explored that concept well. I was curious to read the novel version of it especially if any of our youth wanted to read it too.

At first I found it hard to get into the book as it started out when Hannah was a child and i found the reading a bit immature. I had to remind myself that I am not the target audience for the book and so i got into a bit more plus Hannah soon became a college student so things matured.

Hannah is a likeable and realistic character. She bugged me a little bit because she reminded me of myself with the acting – a little bit up herself. Plus I couldn’t get over how much she let her parents dictate her life even though she was an adult. I can understand she was living under their roof so it was their rules etc. but I felt like she acted like a young teenager! I liked Jason except I couldn’t really understand his relationship with Alanna. I found it hard to like her Dad because he was so controlling. I understood he wanted the best for her however he went about things all the wrong way! I really liked her mother.

The story really explores the concept of what abortion looks like when it fails and how the product of that is much more than just a fetus. I’d rather not get into a political debate about abortion in a book review however I think this book is a great way to start a discussion.

The story has a small element of Christianity throughout however it’s very subtle and doesn’t shove any agendas in your face. It mainly just focuses on the power of forgiveness, which I think is great.

The story flowed fairly well and although it was a bit sappy in places, it was an enjoyable read.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to those who like a fairly lighthearted book with deep messages and themes.

Raelia (The Medoran Chronicles #2) by Lynette Noni

26077971Blurb

“Life is full of crossroads, Alex. Full of choices.”

Returning for a second year at Akarnae Academy with her gifted friends, Alexandra Jennings steps back through a doorway into Medora, the fantasy world that is full of impossibilities.

Despite the magical wonder of Medora, Alex’s life remains threatened by Aven Dalmarta, the banished prince from the Lost City of Meya who is out for her blood.

To protect the Medorans from Aven’s quest to reclaim his birthright, Alex and her friends seek out the Meyarin city and what remains of its ancient race.

Not sure who—or perhaps what—she is anymore, all Alex knows is that if she fails to keep Aven from reaching Meya, the lives of countless Medorans will be in danger. Can she protect them, or will all be lost?

My Perspective

Raelia sees Alex back at the Academy for another year and this time she’s got a lot more experience under her belt. However it’s no where near enough to protect herself against Aven Dalmarta, the disinherited Elven Prince of Meya. Too much trouble comes looking for Alex so with a promise to the headmaster, Alex must find The Lost City of Meya, home of the Elves, to seek their help and to warn them of Aven’s plans.

Raelia is the sequel to Akarnae and follows on about two to three months after the end of Akarnae, starting at the beginning of the new school year.

There was a lot of fill in story at the beginning to tie the two books together, which I could see was necessary to some extent however there was quite a lot of information and it was a bit of a case where the author needed to “show and not tell”. I also found it quite hard to believe that Alex’s parents would have reacted the way they did. Certainly mine wouldn’t have!

I enjoyed getting to know the familiar characters a bit more and meeting the new characters. I didn’t find Alex as likeable as before though, and the brotherly affection she seems to have with almost every single male character started to irk me a bit. Also there’s a bit more sexual tension in this book and I’m sure it would appeal to YA female readers however it made me roll my eyes.

There was more adventure in this book and it really kept you on edge with the perilous situations they found themselves in. It was lighthearted and comedic however with a dark twist, and like the previous book, isn’t an epic – albeit still very interesting and full of fantasy adventure.

I found that I didn’t enjoy Raelia as much as I did Akarnae. There were quite a few corny moments however I understand it’s aimed at YA so I will let that slide. It was more that I found I had to suspend my disbelief even more than the previous book and without spoiling it, some things were just a bit too easy.

I have to say though that it kept me interested and I couldn’t put it down! Also I totally didn’t see the ending coming (I did before it happened but not like half way through or anything). I was quite surprised. I did feel like a part of the way the ending happened was so obvious and I was cringing the entire time however I didn’t see the twist that went with it.

Again, although it’s not the best written novel, it certainly takes you captive and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in the series. This time I have to wait a bit longer though!

 

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

82751Blurb

A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.” In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to paint an authentic portrait of twentieth-century China, as well as to tell the story of her painful childhood and her courage and ultimate triumph over despair.

After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck . Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to their stepmother’s disdain, while her half brother and half sister are thoroughly spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not what she really yearns for — the love and understanding of her family.

My Perspective

As I’ve mentioned before, my younger brother (I can’t say little anymore because he’s taller than me now!) isn’t a huge reader so when he does read a book and recommends it to me – I will always take the time to read it.

For school he had to read the book, Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted daughter by Adeline Yen Mah, and after reading it, thought I might be interested in it.

The book follows the true story of Adeline Yen Mah, an unwanted daughter in China from around 1935 to around 1950. Adeline’s mother died soon after her birth and therefore she is seen as bad luck by her siblings. Her father remarries and soon forgets about her and her other siblings, his new wife taking control and relegating them all to almost servant status – Adeline being the least. All she wants is for her father to love her and be proud of her and this is her story of how she works so hard to achieve that – even if it’s only for a moment.

This book was sad. The fact that it’s true and doesn’t have a ridiculously happy ending like the story of Cinderella does, made it even sadder. Obviously there are children who have been a lot worse off in China, especially daughters, however reading someone’s memoirs of feeling so unloved as a child just breaks my heart – especially as I have a child of my own now.

Adeline was adorable and so eager to please. She worked so hard and was so strong. I really admired her resolve, especially as she was so young. It really makes a lot of the children I come across on a regular basis seem like massive spoiled brats. Her stepmother was a real piece of work and I actually can’t believe people exist like that! How can people treat other people like that? I didn’t mind her father so much, he was just weak and under his wife’s thumb. Her siblings were interesting and there was a kind of love/hate relationship with them. Aunty Baba, Yi Yi and Nai Nai were extremely likeable.

The story was well written. I also enjoyed the fact that the author added various Chinese characters to the text – it added an extra touch that gave it a greater depth.

The story was interesting and informative as well as emotionally involving you – I can see why it was chosen as a school text.

Overall I enjoyed it although it was sad and tugged a bit at my heart. I would definitely recommend it to those who like historical memoirs/autobiographies.

Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni

23569787Blurb

With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings’s world changes—literally.

Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities.

Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her… but he’s missing.

While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora’s boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can’t ignore her fear that something unexpected… something sinister… is looming.

An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex’s shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race’s survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?

Will Alex risk her entire world—and maybe even her life—to save Medora?

My Perspective

I follow Lynette Noni’s blog and I’ve been wanting to read her debut novel for some time now. I got my hands on a copy and I’ve finally been able to read it!

Akarnae follows Alexandra (Alex) Jennings as she is transported to another world, Medora and the Akarnae Academy for the gifted. Much to her surprise, her arrival is expected and the only person who can help her get home again is Akarnae’s headmaster – who happens to be absent. In the meantime, she is enrolled into the academy, makes two best friends, and is discovering all that this new world has to offer.

A common description for this book is a mix of Harry Potter, Narnia, and The X-Men. While that may make it unoriginal, to me if you enjoyed the story and can’t wait to read the next book, well the author has done her job.

At first the writing felt unnatural, like the author was trying too hard however it soon started to flow a lot better and settled in to a great YA story.

Alex was easy to like. She was down to earth, a bit of a klutz and really put a solid effort in. Her acceptance of being thrown into another world was a little bit unbelievable however the overall tone of the book feels more lighthearted and fun than major epic so I’m not sure whether the author is going for that so isn’t too concerned about it being too believable (this goes for all the technology too, which wasn’t so much far fetched – just the way it was explained was a bit simplistic). The other characters were fun and likeable – Jordan and Bear are definitely the kind of guys a teenage girl wants as her best friends. The villain wasn’t as strong as he could have been, he was the only character who I was disappointed in. He fell a bit flat. In turn, the whole “complication” of the story fell a bit flat. That was probably my only major qualm with the story.

The story is interesting, holds mystery and adventure, is super fun and really goes all out with the imagination. I really loved that even though Alex obviously is attracted to some of the fellows in the book, it’s completely not a focus at all. That part felt very realistic and gains a huge thumbs up for me (so many YA are bogged down in ridiculous romance).

Overall I really enjoyed the story and I found it hard to put down. I was pulled into Medora along with Alex and although it’s not the most original text, it’s fun and lighthearted and full of adventure. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series – Raelia – it comes out on March 23rd!

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale by Rachel HartmanBlurb

As Seraphina travels the Southlands in search of the other half-breeds to help in the war effort, the dragon General Comonot and his Loyalists fight against the upstart Old Guard – with the fate of Goredd and the other human countries hanging in the balance.

My Perspective

Shadow Scale is the sequel to Seraphina and follows Seraphina as she makes her way to Ninys, Samsam, and Porphyry to find her fellow ityasaari and convince them to come back to Goredd to help in the war effort. However she soon attracts the attention of someone else wanting to use the ityasaari and things begin spiraling out of Seraphina’s control.

The story pretty much seamlessly flows on from the previous one and there are little tidbits of information throughout that help you remember any of the important details you may have forgotten.

Seraphina seemed to have lost some of her nerve in this book and I found her attitude a bit galling. She wasn’t as brave and she harboured so much guilt over Jannoula and what had been done to her (even though she had nothing to do with it) that I felt she was a bit submissive in regards to Jannoula’s actions. I really liked Abdo and I enjoyed getting to know him a bit more. I absolutely abhorred Jannoula and was like, please, someone kill her already! What she went through was horrific however instead of turning her life around, the way she dealt with it was so cruel and manipulative. It was fun to meet all the other ityasaari.

The story was interesting and kept you on your toes and I enjoyed reading about the different places that they traveled to.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the ending though. I found it a tad lame.

Overall the book was enjoyable and a must read if you’ve read Seraphina to complete the story however it definitely wasn’t as good as the first book.