Review: L.I.A. by R.S. Reed

L.I.A.
Author: 
R.S. Reed
Publication Date: March 24, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an electronic copy of this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Sometimes your journey in life isn’t up to you…

Katie Lauren would rather do just about anything than be shuffled off to boarding school for her eleventh grade year, but that’s exactly where she finds herself. It’s her worst nightmare come true.

Softening the crushing blow of leaving her hometown behind to attend Dunn’s Preparatory Academy in Tennessee, is the fact that Katie’s best friend, Nikki, will be going too. When they discover the most gorgeous boy to ever step foot in their town, John, will be attending the remote boarding school as well, junior year is looking up.

Katie’s world is turned upside down when a simple plane ride to her new school turns out to be not so simple. Uncovering deeply guarded secrets that her family didn’t want her to know, and being out on her own for the first time, leaves Katie wondering, when your whole world changes, who will be there to hold you up?

Her friendship with John is becoming complicated, and her relationship with Nikki is changing. Soon, events in her unfamiliar life lead Katie to believe that they are all in some real danger, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Now that fate has intervened, will love be the only thing to save her?

Katie’s never thought of herself as fearless. Just a normal girl, from a normal town. Life has other plans though, and now that she has someone, and something, worth fighting for, she’ll need to be braver than she ever knew she could be.


From the minute I started reading the Prologue of L.I.A., I knew I was in for an adventure. It was a really unique and well written story. I was surprised by the mysterious plot. L.I.A. combined so many different elements. There was friendship drama, romance, and magic.

The characters were your typical teenagers, and yet they weren’t. Katie was struggling with so many real feelings as she left for boarding school. She was worried about leaving home and trying not to be attracted to guy her best friend liked. But, before long, she would find those were the least of her worries.

The only issue I had with L.I.A. was the amount of descriptions in it. They did an amazing job of painting a picture of Katie’s life and everything around her, but they bogged down the story at times. There were just so many of them. I would have liked more dialog between the characters, especially in the beginning of the story.

I’m surprised this is R.S. Reed’s début novel. The writing was polished and creative. She built a mysterious and magical world in L.I.A. that readers are sure to enjoy.

Review: In Dreams by J. Sterling

In Dreams
Series:
The Dream, #1
Author: J. Sterling
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

When Katherine Johns starts dreaming about a boy she doesn’t know, her college roommate Taylor is determined to find him. Convinced he must exist, Taylor is relentless… until she finds out exactly WHO the mysterious stranger really is.

The realization rocks the girls to their core and sends them down a path of unimaginable heartbreak as they learn to navigate their new reality.

Follow Katherine & Taylor’s journey through love, friendship and tragedy in this emotionally captivating debut novel by J. Sterling.


A couple of weeks ago, I read Dear Heart, I Hate You. In it I got a peek of Katherine and Cooper’s relationship. There was a little mystery behind it and I had to know more, so I decided to read their story.

In Dreams really surprised me. First, the writing wasn’t as sharp as it was in Dear Heart, I Hate You. I realize now that was because In Dreams was J. Sterling’s début novel. Her writing was good, but it’s definitely become amazing over the years.

Second, it wasn’t based in reality, but fantasy. While some aspects of that fantasy were cool (fortune-teller), I would have rather it had been based in reality. The fantasy parts left me frustrated. I couldn’t understand why Kat was so wrapped up in her dreams. They were just dreams — no matter how they made her feel. It’s not like she could live life forever in her dreams. I hated the choices she was making because of them and the love triangle they created. I only liked that Kat that was grounded in reality with Cooper.

Cooper was just as awesome as I expected him to be. He was the most sought after hockey player and guy on campus, but he was so down to earth. He didn’t deserve what Kat put him through. I was surprised he took it so well and didn’t think she was crazy.

As for the other characters in the book, Taylor and Danny were a lot of fun. I loved the friendship foursome they created with Cooper and Kat. Kylie I could have done completely without. The only thing I liked was when she took charge of Cooper and Kat’s messed up situation.

So, would I recommend this book. Yeah, probably. It was a really good début novel. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had either read it prior to reading Dear Heart, I Hate You or realized it was going to be based in fantasy rather than reality prior to reading it.

 

 

Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

The Bird and the Sword
Author:
Amy Harmon
Publication Date: May 11, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Beautiful.

That’s the word the comes to mind whenever I read an Amy Harmon novel. It doesn’t matter what genre it is or what the story is about, the writing is always flawlessly beautiful. The words she weaves bring emotions to life in a way that’s hard to describe.

If you know me or my blog you’re probably tired of hearing me say this, but I am not a Fantasy reader. I have a harder time getting into and staying interested in them. That was not the case with The Bird and the Sword. I was immediately pulled into the story by the words and the imagery they created. I was fascinated with the characters and found myself not wanting to put the book down.

I loved Lark. She may have seemed timid and weak, but there was way more to her than meets the eye. Her inability to speak played such a special role in the story. I enjoyed seeing her character grow and change throughout the book.

Tiras surprised me in several different ways. I didn’t expect to love his character as much as I did. Or maybe I just expected it to take longer to fall for him. His relationship with Lark was complex and multifaceted. They need each other in so many different ways. I loved how their relationship drove the story.

The world Amy Harmon created was filled with all sorts of amazing characters. I could easily imagine a sequel or spin-off to this story revolving around any one of them. I would especially love to read about Kjell. There was so much potential in his character!

If you’re curious about this book, a Fantasy lover or just someone who enjoy brilliant writing, I would highly suggest The Bird and the Sword. I was truly fascinated by the story and the characters.