Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

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“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.”

Alex is trying to get through her last year of high school and move on to college. Her senior year also means a new school, which brings along many challenges. However the biggest challenge for Alex is her battle with schizophrenia, and the daily struggle of figuring out what is real and what is a delusion. This includes Miles, a boy at school she may have met years earlier but over time began to believe that he was imagined. As Alex tackles the school year and everything that comes along with it, she can’t help but question what is real and what isn’t. Continue reading “Made You Up by Francesca Zappia”

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

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“We are the books we read and the things we love.”

Rachel and Henry were best friends, however everything changed when Rachel moved away to a new home by the sea. Three years later she is back and working at Henry’s family’s bookstore, Howling Books, a comforting place filled with secondhand books where visitors leave notes and letters to strangers and loved ones. Rachel is grieving a terrible loss and Henry is struggling with his plans and desires for the future. It is against the backdrop of Howling Books that they embark on figuring out themselves and what they mean to each other. Continue reading “Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley”

Author Interview: Leslie Hauser

BLOGI recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing, Chasing Eveline, a sweet and touching new YA novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. Author Leslie Hauser was kind enough to answer some questions regarding the novel and her work. Enjoy the interview, and check out the original review here!

1. Congratulations on your debut novel, Chasing Eveline. Can you give us a quick overview of the story?

Thank you! Chasing Eveline is about 16-year- old Ivy Higgins and her quest to
reunite 80s Irish rock group Chasing Eveline. Ivy’s mom left two years ago, and while Ivy wavers between sadness and anger, she knows she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. So she gets it in her head that if she can reunite her mom’s favorite band, not only will she keep her mom alive in her life but she may even be able to find her.

2. Where did your inspiration for the story come from?

Music was my inspiration for this novel. I love music. I can’t tell you how many iPod mixes, mixed tapes, burned CDs I’ve made for every kind of occasion in my life. So many important moments in my life have been colored by music. So Chasing Eveline is a big love letter to music. Continue reading “Author Interview: Leslie Hauser”

Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser

BLOG“She said, ‘People don’t know what they like until they hear it. And that is the magic of music. Every song is a possibility, and all it takes is the right chord or the right beat and the heart is hooked.”

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins has been dealing with the absence of her mother for two years, ever since she walked out on her and her father. This had a deep impact on Ivy as well as her dad who had to find a way to carry on on their own. But with the passing of time, Ivy’s connection to her mother begins to fade as memories and past moments become more blurred and distant. The one thing she and her mother shared was a love of an 80’s band called Chasing Eveline, which at one time helped Ivy get through the loss and now serves as her one remaining connection. It is a connection she fears to lose, and feels the only possibility of finding her mom would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. The only problem is that the Irish rock band has been broken up since 1989, and the odds of a reunion are very slim. With the help of her best friend, Matt, Ivy sets out to do the seemingly impossible in reuniting the band for at least one more performance.

Chasing Eveline is a sweet and touching novel that really grabbed me as the story unfolded. Ivy and Matt are pretty typical teenagers with a strong and supportive friendship that felt really nice and genuine. There are parts of the novel that focus mostly on their attempts at creating buzz for the band and earning money, with varying success, which provides a humorous element to the story. However, where the story really shines is as it unfolds further and we begin to experience the connection between Ivy and her dad as she is struggling to maintain a connection to her mom. There are lighthearted moments, and moments that delve deeper. The use of music throughout is very well done, and the way the author describes songs and lyrics as they are being listened to perfectly encapsulates the experience of the characters. Chasing Eveline is an enjoyable, endearing story, and a great option for music fans.

*E-copy provided by publisher for an unbiased review.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

BLOG“But they don’t tell you the pain comes with you. They don’t tell you that hurt travels at light-speed too.”

Emmett is among a group of young people recruited for a space mission by the mysterious Babel Corporation. The reason behind his recruitment is unknown to him, but the one thing he knows for sure is that it is an offer he cannot refuse. The dollar amount offered along with added benefits would change not only his life but the lives of his family and those he treasures most. With this in mind he sets out into the unknown, and soon discovers that it is not as easy as signing on the dotted line. Instead he will have to compete against the other recruits and fight for his spot. Those successful in securing a spot will travel to a hidden planet, which is only known to Babel, and mine a substance called Nyxia. But soon it becomes apparent that there is more happening than they have been led to believe.

“Wanting something and actually making it happen are two different things.”

This is the first book in a new YA science-fiction trilogy (The Nyxia Triad). The plot is interesting, the pacing is on point, and I couldn’t help but be completely drawn into the story. There is plenty of action and competition as the training of the young recruits progresses and interesting dynamics arise. The only thing that really fell short for me was the tiny bit of romance involved, which felt awkward and didn’t really click for me. I would have liked to know more about the hidden planet and its inhabitants, but that is sure to follow in the next release. Nyxia is an entertaining read and a great setup for what looks to be a very compelling series. I look forward to the next part of the adventure.