Between the Bookcovers

Blogging About the Books I Read













I recently reviewed Melody and the Pier to Forever and found it to be one of the best books I have ever read. The author has generously provided a free digital copy of this epic fantasy. All you have to do is click on the download link which will take you to Amazon where you can download it. Comments are appreciated!

                                                      DOWNLOAD LINK









Other books in the hop:

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Author:  Shawn Michel de Montaigne

Published:  April 20, 2011

Pages: 934

Rating:  5/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:


The Pier goes on ... forever. Epic battles at sea, an undead soul-eating villain, the unbreakable bonds of friendship and love, and the courageous heroes who are called upon to rescue a doomed world ... This is just a taste of what awaits you in the pages of the epic fantasy saga Melody and the Pier to Forever.

 



Review:

If you read just one book this year, it should be this one. Epic fantasies that can capture my attention, challenge my emotions and keep me turning the pages, all the while hoping it will never end are rare. And this one does all this and more. It is a very long book, one many authors would have split into two or more volumes, but having all the pages in this volume makes sense and provides a wonderful story most readers long for - one you can settle into and disappear into for a few hours of pure pleasure. 

Melody is a young girl who starts noticing a strange symbol in her math class. Her teacher helps her to discover the meaning behind the symbol and reveals a parallel world that needs Melody to survive. Thus the reader begins a magical journey where good fights evil, magical creatures assist the people around them and nothing is quite as it seems.

I have never seen such care by an author when creating characters. The attention to detail will astound you, and the events in the lives of the characters are so interwoven you will be amazed that the author can make such magic happen with words. The author has created a charming heroine in Melody and those who miss Harry Potter will find her a more than adequate replacement. Yaeko becomes her best friend and between them we learn the true meaning of friendship. There are many secondary characters who are fascinating in their own right, each developed with care.

Although this is a self published book, it is impeccably edited and I was hard pressed to find even one error. Although the author notes his past history as a Math teacher, I would have pegged him for an English teacher. The dictionary on my Kindle saw frequent usage as I learned new words, words not thrown in just because he could, but used because they were the perfect word for the situation.

I do have a one negative, but it does not detract from the book at all. The battle scenes seemed a bit long to me, however these are always my least favorite parts of a book, so maybe it is just me. In a book this long, this is not much to complain about in my opinion.

There are so many books competing for attention today. Melody and the Pier to Forever is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. This epic fantasy has everything you could ask for in a book and more. After reading it I felt I was better for having met Melody and Yaeko. I found myself thinking about their story for weeks afterward, and reread most of the book several times. As a lifelong reader this rarely happens to me so I know that this is a book that should find a place on the shelves of every library and the pages of every digital reader. Take my word for it - this one is not to be missed. And the best news: it is currently free, here on Amazon, so head on over and grab it! A sequel is in the works and I cannot wait for it to arrive to my Kindle.

Rating: 5 +++ stars. One of the best books I have ever read. This one is a MUST read!




Author:  Rachel Fisher
Published:  April 8, 2012
Pages:  382
Rating:  4/5 Stars


Description from Goodreads:

The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.





Review:

Dystopian novels are quite popular now, but finding one that catches and holds your attention throughout the book is harder to find. This one not only caught my attention from the first page, I was found it difficult to put it down. The author creates a realistic world where genetic crop manipulation has created an environmental disaster, resulting in a place where crops no longer grow and a worldwide food shortage ensues. It is a world created with care and easily pictured with the author's descriptions.

The characters are well crafted and easy to relate to. Fi and her family bond together to search for Eden, a place where they can find safety in a world gone wrong. She makes a wonderful, strong heroine that fights to keep her family alive against all odds. As they make their journey across a barren land their plight for survival is well told and frightening to watch at times. No need for monsters or zombies here; the cruelty men have for each other is makes survival difficult.

My only complaint here is that after following their journey over time the ending seemed a bit rushed. But this is a minor complaint, anyone who enjoys this genre of literature will want to add this one to their reading list. A sequel, Seeds of War, is now available and I cannot wait to see what happens to Fi and her family next.


Review: A well crafted dystopian tale you will not want to miss.

     4/5 Stars









Author: Sarah Honenberger
Published: December 28, 2010
Pages: 256
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

A few months after doctors tell him he has only a year to live, a precocious 15-year-old from a small town in Virginia has an intense reaction to The Catcher in the Rye. Deriving inspiration from Salinger's narrative, Daniel  Landon begins to question the intentions and authority of those around him in his own search for identity as he faces death. Tired of his cramped surroundings and hippie parents' alternative approaches to his treatment, he follows the footsteps of Holden Caulfield to New York City in search of the same eternal truths, only to discover the importance of home when death looms. A coming of age story, a love story, and a new classic, CATCHER, CAUGHT will engage the imagination of more than one generation, searching for lasting values.






Review:

Daniel Landon has been diagnosed with Leukemia. After reviewing treatment options and getting no guarantee that chemotherapy will cure him, his parents opt to use alternative, herbal treatment. Unfortunately, their misguided plan is costing Daniel his life. The story follows Daniel over the next year as he experiences normal teenage angst while also contemplating his own death. Along the way he reads The Cather in the Rye and identifies with the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, and begins to use the book as a guide to help him decide how to take control of his life.

Honenberger has created a genuine character in Daniel. We are treated to his thoughts about living and dying, and his agony at being cheated from his share of life. But all is not dark and dismal; we follow him as he tries to fit in all the life he can and are treated to his interaction with friends well as his search for love. 

Catcher pays respect to Holden as we see Daniel's trip of self discovery. The book does not neatly tie up all the loose ends and by the novel's end a happy ending is not assured, but there are no promises in real life so the novel does an excellent job in reflecting reality. This is a novel that teaches lessons while allowing the reader a glimpse into the head of a teen. It is well worth your time.

Rating: It is worth taking the trip onthis journey of self discovery. 






 Author: Caitlyn Duffy
 Published:  July 5, 2011
 Pages:  319
 Rating:  3/5 Stars

 Description from Goodreads:

 At the age of 15, Taylor Beauforte has only met her father twice in person.  After all, he is the lead singer of a world-famous rock band, constantly on the cover of music magazines and giving interviews on MTV. He pays for Taylor to attend the Treadwell Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts, and provides her mother with monthly checks to cover her basic needs, but has never made much of an effort to play an active part in Taylor’s life. Taylor's mom Dawn is the only family she has ever really known, and because of Dawn's hard-partying Hollywood lifestyle, studious Taylor is happiest on the other side of the country in Massachusetts with her nose buried in a book.
When Taylor 's mom unexpectedly dies the summer before Taylor starts her junior year, she receives a crash course in fame.
Over the course of the summer with the band, Taylor learns the depths of her own strength, the difficulty of overcoming loss, and that the definition of family means much more than shared bloodlines.




Review:

Taylor grew up knowing she had a famous father, but was raised by her alcoholic mother on the opposite coast. When her mother unexpectedly dies, her father comes to claim her and she joins him as his band tours the United States. Along the way she learns how fame can affect lives, how groupies work, lessons about her mother as well as herself.

Duffy has created a believable characters in Taylor and her family. She paints a realistic picture of how fame affects people and those around them. The story is well written and flows well; it is an easy read. Some tough topics are covered here: drug and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, teen sex and more.

Rating:  An enjoyable read with some important teen topics addressed inside.


Author:  Annie Oldham
Published:  September 26, 2011

Pages:  235

Rating:  4/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

The Burn is full of nuclear fallout, roving gangs, anarchy, unreliable plumbing. That's what Terra's father tells her. She has lived her whole life in comfort in a colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. She hates it. And she would pay any price to leave. But when Terra finally escapes the colony, she finds out her father is right.

She finds a group of survivors that quickly become friends, and every day with them is a race for survival. When she witnesses and commits unspeakable acts, she has to decide where her loyalty lies: with the colony she despises or The Burn, where every day is filled with nightmares.


Review:


I am always looking for a good post apocalyptic book and this one adds another voice to the genre. Set 100 years after the end of WWIII, the story opens with Terra living in an underwater world, The Colony, that was built by her ancestors who sought refuge from a destroyed world above the sea. It is a highly regimented place where everything is planned, down to the number of calories and vitamins you consume each day. As a teen, soon to be an adult, Terra is being encouraged to choose her job in the Colony. She feels like a prisoner here, and longs to see the world above the water, a place that she learned about from a teacher and old books. Another society exists in what is left of America, known as "The Burn". The people who survived the war struggled to build a place where they eked out a meager life. The people in The Burn have heard about underwater colonies, but do not know where they are located and resent those who found a safe place to go when the world fell apart. Terra eventually finds a way to leave her underwater home, paying a high price in order to escape. The book follows her journey as she discovers how difficult life in The Burn can be.

Oldham has done a magnificent job in building an underwater world, as well as a dark, realistic, post-war world where survival is difficult and harsh.  As Terra explores her new world she experiences all of this but also finds moments of happiness and love, showing how the human spirit can deal with adversity. 


The characters are well developed and Terra is a strong girl who makes sacrifices to get what she wants out of life. But her choices are not easy and she struggles with them and questions herself along the way, just like any normal teen who is making their way in the world does. She has to learn how to survive in The Burn, making friends (and enemies) along the way, while always keeping her background as a Colonist a secret.


This was a great read. The story grabbed my attention and kept it throughout the book. I was fascinated by both worlds Oldham built and feel that this is a great read for anyone who enjoys post apocalyptic novels. A sequel is planned for the Fall of 2012, I an anxiously awaiting to continue Tessa's journey. The book is available in print or as an e-book for only .99 on Amazon.


Rating: A great story set in a devastated world, you will enjoy this one.




When I began this blog just over a year ago I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read. In researching how others go about blogging book reviews I found that most bloggers did not want to review books from self published authors, instead preferring to write reviews of books published by big name publishing houses, the books you will find in your local bookstore. I heard stories about how self published books are poorly edited and how these books were not worth my reading time. But as I reviewed the same books as everyone else I began to wonder if my time was being well used, just adding to many other reviews of the same books. And I was wondering about all the self published books I was seeing on Amazon and other sites.

So I took a break. And I have been busy, Very busy. I have read many self published books and have found that they are often the same quality, or better, than the books I read that were being published by the big houses. Yes, I have found some books that could have used some editing, but as a whole, I believe that I have been missing some great reads by restricting self published books. I want to let you know about the great books I have found, so my blog will now reviewing self published books, with a few books published by big houses thrown in too. I hope you will find this helpful, and open yourself up to these authors. Like most everything else in our world, the growth of the internet has changed the publishing world, and there are now more options open to authors besides waiting for their works to be accepted by publishing houses. I never thought I would come to love my Kindle more than real books, but I have. And it makes reading the self published novels easy and affordable. I hope you will give it a try. I welcome your thoughts on this, please let me know if you like the new direction my blog is taking.

About This Blog

I review mostly Young Adult literature, any genre. I also review other fiction, especially horror, science fiction and historical novels. I also have occasional giveaways.

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