Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Blood, Poop, and Dead Skin by Ruth Owen and Ross Piper


BLOOD, POOP, & DEAD SKIN:
THE THINGS INSECTS EAT
The Secret Lives of Insects
by Ruth Owen and Ross Piper
Ruby Tuesday Books
Children's Non-Fiction
32 pages
ages 4 to 8


Inside this book, meet 12 insects that take disgusting eating habits to a whole new level. From dung beetles slurping up elephant poop soup to tiny creatures that could be feasting on your body right now, every page is packed with truly unbelievable facts. Perfect for reluctant readers, these books deliver life sciences in the creepiest, yuckiest way possible!


 MY TIDBITS

Kids who love the icky, gross and simply can't get enough of insects and how they eat are in for a huge treat with this book!

This book is about insects. . .some very rare and some more common. . .and the more disgusting habits several harbor. Disgusting as some of the food sources might be, this is not only about hitting high on the grossness scale, but rather, offers all sorts of interesting insect tidbits along the way.

Twelve very different critters are put in the spotlight, including everything from Honeypot Ants to Green Bottle Flies to Tarantula Hawks and so many more. Each insect becomes the star of a two-page spread and is presented in real life, very colorful and clear photographs. Readers get a glimpse into their natural habitats. There's a quick summary of the insect, their environment and their food source as well as a reason for why they eat what they do. A 'The Science Stuff' box sits between the photographs, offering more curious and interesting bits of information about the insect. And to keep the excitement high, little boxes point to various attributes in the photographs and give a short description or another bite of information. At the end of the book, there's a good sized glossary to help with more difficult terms, an index and the mention of a website, where readers can discover even more.

This is not a book for the weak of stomach, but the insects as well as the information is interesting. The text is at the perfect level for middle graders, gets right to the point and keeps things short. This keeps readers from getting bogged down and bored, and lets them simply dive right into the information. And the insects here are not ones often explored. There's definitely something new to discover even for insect fans who know their stuff.


The lives and behaviors of insects can be truly incredible. Some, however, are so gross you probably won’t even want to read about them. Or, do you? From a wasp that turns cockroaches into zombies to a beetle that repels predators with poisonous, boiling-hot farts—each book in this fascinating new series is packed with truly unbelievable facts. Perfect for reluctant readers, these books deliver life sciences in the creepiest, yuckiest way possible!

Discover the four books in this series


Review: Viking's Chosen by Quinn Loftis


THE VIKING'S CHOSEN
by Quinn Loftis
Clean Teen Publishing
YA Historical / Fantasy
300 pages




His orders are clear: launch a raid against England and bring home the spoils of war. But the prophecy is also clear: General Torben will take a foreign bride — one who is a seer and healer just like his mother. The eldest princess of England is said to be just that… a beautiful, charming, and headstrong woman. But he's a Viking army general and she's an English princess — and one who is already promised to the king of Tara.

Two worlds collide in this epic historical fiction centered on an undeniable chemistry that smolders against the odds. Richly written and injected with moments of humor, this action-packed romantic tale will leave you breathless.

Quinn Loftis is the author of twenty novels, including the USA Today Bestseller Fate and Fury.



MY TIDBITS


Viking rawness and strength collides with all the pomp of the English courts in a mix of adventure, intrigue, fate and even a touch of magic.

Torben is respected and feared by his folk, but as a leading general he's more than aware of his King's growing madness, which has them soon on a risky mission to invade a part of England. To make matters more difficult, his mother, the town's Oracle, expects him to fulfill her vision and mate with an English woman. The idea of taking a foreign bride cuts his pride, but that is the least of the problems. Tara, the one he is seen to wed, is an English princess about to be married to a very powerful king, and the lives of those in her kingdom are hanging on the joining. And she's not about to let down her own people.

I was really looking forward to this book and was not disappointed. The author does a fantastic job at bringing both worlds to life. The vikings are as rugged as expected, and the English court is as regulated, proper and yet harsh in its own right. This does not have the flair of a light fairy tale, but sticks to a more historical atmosphere and doesn't fall into the trap of making life more grand than it was.

Still, this is an adventure with a touch of magic and lore. The oracle carries all of the mystery and harshness of a witch. She's got a warm heart buried in there somewhere, but is a result of her rough circumstances. The entire viking tribe is that way. . .even when the men break down to a little joking and humor. Which makes Torben a force not to oversee. He's rugged and crude, yet intelligent, ethical and wise. He's a true viking hero to root for.

Tara is not a spoiled princess but has matured and understands her position very well. She's tough but knows her place, and will live up to what is expected of her and her rank. Sometimes, she comes across a little weak and her decisions seem misguided at times. Still, without flaws, she wouldn't be easy to like. Plus, it fits the era well.

This was one of those books I didn't want to put down. The action rolls from page one all the way through. New problems constantly arrive, and the obstacles grow seemingly insurmountable and heart-wrenching to guarantee high tension to the last page. But the tension doesn't end there. Rather, this has an open end, which makes it hard to wait for book two to find out what happens next. And I do want to know that.

The romance is a wonderful push and shove with snarky wit built in. Both parties are not willing, although there is a spark of 'love at first site'. The oracle's predicted makes the direction of romantic tension clear, but there's enough intrigue and evil on the side to make it clear that vision or not, it's going to be a ruthless fight for both of them. Especially with a villain as evil as the one in this book.

In other words, its a fast-paced, exciting read for viking fans or those who love old England stories of royal intrigue. . . .and all with a touch of magical fantasy.

Sneak Peek: Outcast by Denise Jaden


Outcast
by Denise Jaden
YA Contemporary (with romantic suspense elements)
April 20th, 2018


She’s not crazy.

Kass Bateman may be a lot of things, but she swears she's not crazy—even when she wakes up strapped to a wheelchair in a psychiatric hospital and can't remember how she got there.
When Kass's family members go missing one by one, she enlists the smartest guy she knows to help find them. Unfortunately for her, underneath his brains and indifference are some dark secrets and a whole lot of distracting sexy.
Can Kass keep her head together long enough to rescue her family members from their captors—the truly dangerous and crazy ones?
Gritty, steamy, and rife with secrecy, Outcast is the first book in a new upper YA/NA crossover series for fans of Gayle Forman and Rainbow Rowell.



Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process. Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough, Foreign Exchange, A Christmas Kerril,  and Avalanche. Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing with a Heavy Heart, Fast Fiction, and Story Sparks. In her spare time, she homeschools her son, acts with the Vancouver film industry, and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe. 
Find out more at denisejaden.com.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Roadie (Pre-Order): https://amzn.to/2qIiUyJ



I beeline toward them, anger blurring my vision. It’s not like I even know Elijah, but I need to protect him like no one protected me.
"What are you doing here?" I say straight at Elijah, since I know Sebastian could take this little transaction somewhere where I won’t be watching. I was the one who needed to get a clue in eighth grade. Elijah’s the one who needs to get a clue now.
Elijah looks from side to side, clearly not believing I’m talking to him in this tone. He finally looks back at me blankly. Sebastian holds up his soda can and grunts something about needing a refill.
Even better. After Sebastian clears out, I wait for Elijah’s answer, but when he changes the subject, I realize he’s not going to give me one.
“You did the right thing,” he says. I think he’s talking about Sebastian, until he adds, “It’s good you talked to your mom today, even if it made Mr. Burke angry.”  He has to yell the last part, because someone has turned up the music.
My mom? What is he…He motions across to where Hope has her back to us, in my mother’s coat. Right, I had thought it was my mother at school today. That seems so long ago. I have to smile a little that Elijah thinks I’d bring my mother to a party like this.
“It’s my sister,” I mumble.
But when I look back at him and realize he hasn’t answered me about why he’s here, in fact, he’s trying to give me advice, my smile fades.
As if to push me further, he says, “You need to make things right. You have to get rid of any guilt and the things you’ve never been able to say while you have the chance.”
While I have the chance? Does he know that my mother hasn’t been around in years? And how the hell would he know anything about my guilt? He’s staring off over my head, so I can’t read in his eyes exactly how much he does know about me.
“Oh yeah?” I force a mocking tone, but the more I look at Elijah, at his unfazed eyes, the more I want to get the hell away from him. Because I know in my right mind he doesn’t have any clue what Kass-The-Enigma, the girl with the dead sister, the freakshow-of-a-father, and the abandoning-secretive-mother is going through. How could he?
I reach for my most menacing tone to get us off this topic quickly. “Why are you hanging out with Sebastian Brown? I think we’ll both admit, he’s not exactly your type, Elijah.” I cross my arms.
His eyes move to the side, like I knocked a nerve. He murmurs something, but I can’t hear him over the blaring music.
“What?” I step closer and lean in with a scowl. “Spit it out!”
“Don’t call me Elijah,” he says loud and clear.
This surprises me. I could swear Mr. Burke has called him Elijah. Or maybe he calls him Mr. Barton. I start to doubt myself. “That’s your name, isn’t it?”
His face is getting harder by the second, his cheek bones tauter. And I feel myself getting softer. Which I won’t allow. I ball my fists at my sides.
“Eli,” he practically yells. He’s actually kind of cute when he’s angry. “If you could call me Eli, that would be...great.” He meets my eyes on the last word and grits it out through a smile that looks anything but happy.
“What is your problem?” I scowl at him.
“My problem right now seems to be you,” he says, not missing a beat. He turns and marches toward some trees at the far end of the property. It’s more deserted there, further from the sound system, but I’m pretty sure he’s not headed there because he wants to have a quiet conversation with me. He wants me to leave him the hell alone.
I glance back and Liz and Micah have also moved out of the din of the party. They’re arguing again, something they usually only do in private. My mother’s coat is on the lawn swing, but at least Hope’s not in the middle of their argument. I glance around the lawn, but she must have gone inside. I should probably do something about Liz and Micah, but I can’t let Eli have the last word. Not after talking to me like that.
“Don’t you dare walk away from me!” I say when I catch up.
“Look,” he swings around. “What do you want from me? Have I offended you, or something, because if I have, I seriously don’t remember it. Did you not want me to defend you to Mr. Burke today?” He takes a big drink of his beer, and this time I think it’s slipped his mind how bad the stuff tastes. His cringe is obvious.
“I don’t want anything from you.” I keep walking until I’m past him, so it feels like I’m leading this conversation instead of him. There’s a crap-load of leaves on the ground from a windstorm we had last week and I kick them out of my way with a vengeance. “I think it’s messed up that Sebastian is preying on people like you.” I turn back to face Elijah and lean against the nearest tree. “I actually thought I was helping you, you know, a favor for a favor, but don’t bother thanking me or anything.”
“Helping me how?” He steps closer, keeping his eyes trained right on mine, like he’s not afraid of me in the least. I hate to admit it, but it’s kind of turning me on. Guys don’t stand up to me, they just don’t. But this Elijah guy—Eli—he’s ready to engage in combat. I wonder where in his straight-laced, practically-ironed jeans he keeps his balls, because they seem to be good sized ones.
“I tried...” I pause for dramatic effect, “...to get you away from those low-lifes.” I’m not sure why I say “those,” except maybe I’m lumping Sebastian and Graham together for added punch.
He takes another step toward me and now we’re only inches apart. “And you’re better...” he tilts his head and raises his eyebrows, “...how?”
Did he seriously just—? I don’t even know what I’m doing, but all at once, I grab his head and pull it toward me. A splash of beer hits my other hand as he drops his cup in surprise. I plant my lips on his and kiss hard against his rigid ones. It’s a power move, I know that much. I need to get the upper hand here, and I will one way or the other.  He’ll pull away and freak out—who knows if the guy has ever been kissed before.
A second later he responds, but not at all in the way I expect…


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review: First Words - Mandarin by Lonely Planet Kids



First Words
MANDARIN
by Lonely Planet Kids
Illustrated by Andy Mansfield and Sebastian Iwohn
Children's Non-Fiction / Children's Language / Travel
208 pages
ages 6 to 8


Bring the Mandarin language to life with this beautifully illustrated children's book from Lonely Planet Kids, an imprint of Lonely Planet, the world's leading travel guide and phrasebook publisher. Perfect for the whole family, First Words Mandarin features 100 words to use while travelling, from food and transport, to animals and weather.
Each word is accompanied with a bold illustration and a simple pronunciation guide to make the vocabulary fun and easy to learn. Plus, its small size makes it a handy addition to any trip to China or Taiwan.
Also included is a free audio pronunciation guide. Scan the QR code on the back cover or visit our First Words website to hear each word spoken by a native child.
Also available:
First Words French First Words Spanish First Words English First Words Italian First Words Japanese
About Lonely Planet Kids: Come explore! Let's start an adventure. Lonely Planet Kids excites and educates children about the amazing world around them. Combining astonishing facts, quirky humour and eye-catching imagery, we ignite their curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet. Every book draws on our huge team of global experts to help share our continual fascination with what makes the world such a diverse and magnificent place - inspiring children at home and in school.
Note: The digital edition of this book is missing some of the images found in the physical edition

Or get this one directly from Lonely Planet Kids here
which. . .btw. . .
is currently running a buy 2 get 1 free sale!



MY TIDBITS

With 100 different words, this is a great way for kids to get a first glimpse into this Asian language.

With a sturdy and easy to clean cover, this is a book ready to travel the world and beyond. There are 100 words to learn, starting on the first page with a hello and ending with goodbye. In between, there is everything from chopsticks to map to cat and so much more.

Each word is presented on a two-page spread. First, comes the word in bold type in English, under it the word written in Mandarin, next the Mandarin word written with English characters, and last but not least, a pronunciation. The other side of the spread offers a simple, unmistakable, and very brightly colored illustration of the word. In some illustrations, there's even another term in Mandarin which might be closely related to the main word. For example, the main word is computer and on the illustration the term for mouse is added.

My daughter dove onto this book the second in was brought into the house and ran away with it into her bedroom to immediately learn a few words. The easy read print and simple layout keep it inviting and make it look simple. And it is. She's been throwing the words into our daily conversations ever since. As an extra bonus, there's a website where kids can hear the audio version of each word and work on their pronunciations. The only thing missing from this book is an index, something which the intended age group (8 to 12) could easily use.

This is a wonderful, easy way for kids to pick up a few words in Mandarin and get a first feel for the language, while keeping it light and easy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Interview with Andrea Yerramilli author of Ralphie, Always Loved with Giveaway



Ralphie, Always Loved
by Andrea Yerramilli
Illustrated by Samantha Van Riet
About Something Good, LLC
October 28, 2017
Picture Book
32 pages

Tour dates: April 9 to May 4, 2018
Content Rating: G




This is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.

Ralphie was born with a heart on his belly.
He loves food, his family, his friends, his neighbors.
He loves pretty much everything and everyone.
And they love him back.
And that's how it is all through his life.
Read the book and fall in love with him too.

Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie had already been returned to the animal shelter three times, but when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, he learned fast. As Ralphie's human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ralphie, Always Loved will remind you of all that is good, and reaffirm your belief in love's power to uplift and transform.

Follow the tour by visiting Andrea Yerramilli's page on iRead Book Tours.






Interview with Andrea Yerramilli!

Q: Your book Ralphie, Always Loved takes us through the life of a real dog. How did
you get Ralphie?
A: We rescued Ralphie from Animal Rescue Force, a dog shelter in New Jersey, in
October 2000. He was four months old and had already been returned to the shelter
for the third time. My husband had just become a dog person after having been
converted by our dog Skipper (also a rescue). We saw Ralphie sitting in his kennel
and knew we couldn’t leave him there. Although we weren’t looking for another dog,
my husband insisted that we take him home with us. I have always been a dog person,
so he did not have to work very hard to convince me!


Q: Why was Ralphie returned to the shelter three times before you got him?  And what
did you do differently from those other homes that made it possible to keep him?
A: I don’t really know why Ralphie was returned three times. He was quite a hyper
puppy who ate everything from the rosebush to tea bags and toys, and he turned our
home upside down, so I’m guessing that was the reason. On the other hand, he was
completely loving and not malicious in any way. Consistency, patience, and redirecting
his energy helped. Skipper helped too. She was an amazing, very intelligent dog. She
also was the alpha dog, and in time Ralphie mimicked her behavior. Plus we did not
give up on him, which was key!


Q: When you had your children, were you worried about how Ralphie—and the other
dog in the book, Skipper—would react?
A: We had the dogs before we had a baby, and our home was the dogs’ home first.
Dogs are pack animals and are territorial, so it is important to introduce new members
carefully. We let our dogs smell an item of the baby’s clothing first, and then the baby.
We knew our dogs and knew that they were loving and not aggressive, but we were
with them for all the early interactions. We reinforced gentleness, not just on the dogs’
part, but on the babies’ parts as well—and kept doing that as they grew.


Q: The book is also about a dog’s life cycle. Ralphie is born, and at the end there’s the
suggestion that he’s going to die. When he did, how did you mourn?
A: It’s hard to put into words how empty my life felt right after Ralphie passed. It was
as if my entire world was in disarray. On the day we got his ashes back, our family
made a memory box filled with things that reminded us of him. We told Ralphie stories
and laughed and cried. We made donations to dog charities. And the kids still look for
signs in the clouds. The book has a fictional explanation for why Ralphie had white
markings on all four paws, and the tip of his nose as well as his tail. We liked to think
he was experimenting with painting clouds up in heaven before he began his journey
with us on earth. We just know he’s painting away and sending us signs to let us know
he is with us always.


Q: Where did you get the idea to use clouds the way you did?
A: Ralphie had a streak of white on his nose. All four paws had tips of white in various
degrees. The tip of his tail was white, and he had a heart-shaped white mark on his belly.
I often marveled at those markings and wondered what could have been the reason for
them. Ralphie was also curious and always getting into things and into trouble. Painting
clouds and spilling paint seemed the most logical explanation to me. :)


Q: Do you have any dogs or puppies now?

A: Yes, I do. I have a rescue dog named Lennon. She is a border collie and Labrador
retriever mix, one and a half years old. Skipper, our first dog, was a border collie mix,
and Ralphie was a Labrador retriever mix. So when we saw Lennon’s picture and breed,
we felt that she was meant to be ours. She reminds me of both my other puppies every
day—and then in some ways she is just Lennon. She’s building her own legacy and
giving us reasons to love and imagine a world filled with love.



And here she is. . .


Andrea has always been an avid reader and that jumpstarted her imagination at a very early age. In fact she escaped to the Land of Make Believe more often than her mother liked.

She is a former marketing professional who is a mom to kids both with and without fur. Andrea says that it helps to have one foot planted firmly in reality while the other is foot loose and fancy-free in Imagination Land. She enjoys the best of both worlds.

In 2013, Andrea and her husband started About Something Good (ASG) as a vehicle to curate, inspire and share goodness in the world. In a world where negative images flood the media, and words like “hate” get tossed around so easily, Andrea felt she needed a space that encouraged and focused on the words like “love” and the beauty that is life.

Andrea is committed to finding the good in everything and believes: that a sense of belonging to someone's heart is what makes us feel complete, that kindness goes a long way, and that keeping your mind and heart open can help when things happen that you don't understand.

Andrea lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends May 12, 2018


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review: Grandma's Special Birthday Party by Sue Kim and Veronica Yang


GRANDMA'S SPECIAL BIRTHDAY PARTY
by Sue Kim & Veronica Yang
Second Avenue Publishing
Picture Book 
ages 3 and up
36 pages




Sue Kim is a sewing pattern designer and author. Sue runs the website ithinksew.com; selling her popular bags, shoes, and clothing in PDF format for sewers to enjoy it around the world. She is currently working on another book with C&T and on another edition of One Yard Wonders.
Veronica is Sue’s daughter. She is the best partner for Sue even when she was 7-years old and she became a sewing book author too.
After we're finished with the dolls we wanted to share stories and our experiences through them. My daughter and I got started to work on this story book.

YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK HERE









MY TIDBITS 


There are those books which just have an extra special flair, and this is one of them.

Abby and Ally are twins, curious ones who discover a chest in the attic. Inside, they find all sorts of beautiful dresses from several different countries. When their aunt comes to visit, she explains the dresses were made for her and their mother's International Days at school when they were younger. The idea of wearing dresses from all over the world is exciting and leads to a huge surprise.

The story is sweet and wholesome with a lovely international flare. The girls, their friends and family all share a wonderful relationship which is wholesome and warming as they come up with the ideas together. The text is great as a read-aloud and wonderful for more secure readers, who want to tackle the book on their own. The vocabulary works well for ages four and up, and invites to conversation along the way. At the end of the book is a fabulous glossary, where dresses from various countries are presented as if in a fashion display.

It's the illustrations, or in this case, pictures, which make this book. The authors display their talent and creation with these self-made characters and scenes. The love and time put into each page more than pays off. It gives the entire book a feel of higher quality, and even the younger listeners immediately value the effort. Each page invites to gazing, and the small details insure there are new surprises even when flipping through the book time and again. As a special bonus, the puppets even carry the wide span of diversity, which is embraced today.

This is a lovely read. The story is straight forward and the international side is educational as well as fun. The care and warm put into this book radiates from every page and makes it something special.




Sue Authored Books
Bags - The Modern Classics” (C&T, 2011/NOV)- C&T Best Seller
Baby Boutique (C&T, 2013/FALL)
Boutique casual for little ones (C&T, 2014/Spring)
Boutique Bags (C&T, 2015/Spring)
The Perfect Quilt Bags (C&T, 2016/Spring)
Misses’ Shoes and Baby Shoes (Simplicity, 2278)
Taschen Moderne Klassiker nahen (Michael Fisher, 2012, The Modern Classics/ German)
Taschen Noch mehr modern Klassiker nahen (EMF, 2015, Boutique Bags/ German)
Grandma’s Special Birthday Party (Second Avenue Pub, 2017)


Veronica Yang Authored Books
The Perfect Quilt Bags (C&T, 2016/Spring)
Seamless Sewing Projects- Veronica Yang Capstone
Grandma’s Special Birthday Party (Second Avenue Pub, 2017)




My website



My Instagram

Instagram ID: suekimdesigns 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: Shade by Mere Joyce



SHADE
by Mere Joyce
Genre: YA Paranormal
Cover Designer: Molly Phipps of We Got You Covered Book Design
7 Sisters Publishing, LLC
 April 10th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR





Fourteen-year-old Callum Silver sees dead people. It’s not a gift. His family thinks he’s crazy. Sometimes he thinks he’s crazy. He has no friends. He’s forced to live his life surrounded by nothing but the searing pain, sickening smells and desperate moans that accompany the murdered ghosts who seek him out.
When he’s offered a place at Camp Wanagi, the ten weeks in the French countryside isn’t a vacation, it’s a lifeline. A way to meet others like himself and prove his ability can offer more than years of loneliness and expensive therapy bills.
Run by a mysterious group known as the Oracle of Senders, Camp Wanagi brings together teens from around the globe who all possess the unique ability to see the dead. While Cal is relieved to find others like him, he learns quickly that not everybody experiences the spirits as he does. Some of the campers revere their abilities and don’t understand his hesitation, while others—like quiet bookworm Meander Rhoades—have good reason for wishing they could get rid of their ‘gifts’.
While researching their final project, Cal and Meander find an unmarked grave which reveals aspects of their abilities neither knew existed, forcing Cal to decide if the torture of seeing ghosts is worthwhile and, more importantly, if being a part of the Oracle of Senders is necessary, dangerous…or both. 




MY TIDBITS
  
A haunting read packed with mystery, uncertainty, action and facing unexpected decisions.

Callum, aka Cal, sees ghosts of those who have been murdered since he was a little child. His parents have thrust him in therapy for years, but now, he finds himself invited to a camp in France, where supposedly people with his abilities learn not only to work with them, but hopefully, join a force of specialists who help spirits find a release to the other side. But the camp holds many more surprises, especially when he discovers another with similar abilities. And these abilities hold more than either of the two might be willing or able to handle.

What a creepy and enticing read! Cal is a wonderful character. A little sarcastic, not Mr. Sunshine, but ready to bend and very down to Earth. He acts older than fourteen (most of the characters do) but otherwise, he is very easy to connect to and empathize with. The others around him are intriguing and add the right amount of personality and bite. The entire group comes across very natural and believable, even when they each have their own paranormal abilities. 

The paranormal abilities aren't played up as in many pieces of literature in so far that the characters deal with them on a very natural level. Some of the abilities are stronger than others, but never do they come across as a super power. Instead, the powers mold perfectly in with a modern world. And they keep the creepy factor high. 

This is about ghosts, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The author does a great job at keeping even this aspect fairly grounded, letting the haunting atmosphere ease in. It's spooky, but not a horror. Creepy but more of a mystery. In other words, it's a wonderful mixture with a taste of teen camp as these kids learn to deal with who they are and try to find their place in the world—or even if they want to face it. And all of this in a nice paced read with surprises around every corner. . .most of them being of the very chilling sort.

Fans of YA Paranormal and slightly spooky reads are sure to devour this one.





Mere Joyce is a Canadian author of books for young adults. Her writing includes contemporary tales, high-action mysteries, and her personal favourite—ghost stories. When she's not writing, Mere can be found recommending books as a librarian or spending time at home with her husband and two sons. She's also been known to be a selective, yet highly enthusiastic fangirl.

Author Links:
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