Summer 2009 Love-to-Read Newsletter

Summer 2009 Love-to-Read Newsletter

I’m trying something new. Every month I am going to attempt to put together a newsletter summarizing the books that I read, giving my recommendations based on my reading, throwing in some fun stuff as I see fit. I’m not the best at actually writing “normal” blogs, so we’ll see how this goes. Since I’m covering the summer (June, July & August) in this edition, the next Newsletter will not come until the beginning of October.

Calling all Young Adult Lovers!

This summer I’ve delved into wealth of Young Adult books that are out there. I’ve stumbled upon not one, but TWO very good sagas I think you will enjoy!

  • The Evernight Saga A Romeo and Juliet-type story; half-breed Vampire Bianca, and vampire-hunter Lucas find themselves helplessly in love.Overcoming their differences, and learning to see the world in a different light; this new vampire series is a new favorite addition to my library.I’m a sucker for “undying” love anyway!These books are not as mature as the Twilight Saga, okay for ages starting at around 13, but obviously entertaining enough for adults.
  • The Darkest Powers Series A wonderful, excellent, awesome, exciting (can I throw in anymore adjectives?) Saga. Chloe has a problem – she sees dead people; ghosts. But that’s not all she can do…. She finds herself in a group home with other teenagers who are just as “crazy” as she is. In this Saga, teens band together, discover they are all “supernatural” and escape. The first two books are about discovery of who they are and what they can do, and I believe, creating a friendship and bond that will last a lifetime. This is a very suspenseful series. I would recommend around 15-16 and up, it has some semi-graphic scenes (not sexual in nature…more un-dead in nature) – nothing a teenager can’t handle. Just the right amount of “fear” for me though, I’m a big wuss when it comes to scary stuff.

I also want to throw out there Barry Lyga and the two books I’ve read by him: The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl and Boy Toy. Yet another great author that I recommend. Fanboy and Goth Girl is a great book for younger teens, but I absolutely recommend Boy Toy be left to the more mature, it deals with a lot of difficult subject matter, and is quite explicit in details.

Young Adult books I read over the summer, recommended by the number of stars (5=best, 1=worst) after the author’s name:

Valiant – Holly Black**

Ironside – Holly Black***

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling*****

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling*****

Tantalize – Cynthia Leitich Smith***

Vampire Kisses – Ellen Schreiber**

Kissing Coffins – Ellen Schreiber**

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl – Barry Lyga****

Evermore – Alyson Noel***

Someday this Pain Will Be Useful to You – Peter Cameron*

Vampireville – Ellen Schreiber**

Boy Toy – Barry Lyga****

Evernight – Claudia Gray*****

Stargazer – Claudia Gray*****

The Summoning – Kelley Armstrong*****

The Awakening – Kelley Armstrong*****

Nora Roberts is her name, Romance is her game!

Oldie but Goodie:

Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts was recommended to me by some peers on a book website. I decided that I love Nora’s In Death series (under pseudonym J. D. Robb) I would give the book a try. And boy, it did not disappoint. Nora Roberts does an excellent job tickling the senses with this one. The book I received from Swaptree was old, and yellowed and well loved (with good reason) and was almost enough to discourage me from reading it. I don’t typically like older books – I don’t really know why. Magic, dazzle, sizziling love, danger, lawlessness – it’s all there and ready for your taking!

New and just as good:

The new Bride Quartet. I read the first book, Vision in White, and once again, the pictures that Nora Roberts paints using words, unbelievable. If you’re all into the lovey, dovey, gushy happily ever after….well, what better books to read than a series about wedding planners and their own love adventures?

The romance books of the summer, once again rated by stars:

Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband – Melissa Mayhue***

Love Walked In - Marisa de los Santos***

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched – Meg Cabot****

Wife for Hire – Janet Evanovich****

Can You Keep a Secret – Sophie Kinsella**

Honest Illusions – Nora Roberts*****

Because She Can – Bridie Clark**

Vision in White – Nora Roberts****

Catch A Mate – Gena Showalter***

Glitter Baby – Susan Elizabeth Phillips***

What I Did for Love – Susan Elizabeth Phillips***

Acheron – Sherrilyn Kenyon****

There’s just something about Girls who kick butt!

I love reading books about empowered women, and especially one’s who’ve got mad skills. So I’ve been stuck on three series, that are similar and totally different at the same time.

  • The Stephanie Plum series, by Janet Evanovich Stephanie is an Italian who loves men, to eat, and presumably to hunt down bail-jumpers and put them back into custody. She’s got a knack for getting into trouble, for blowing up her car (among other things) and for always getting her man one way or another. She is constantly having to fix her hair, whether it be because some psyco cut it, or because her self-esteem has plummeted and she needs a boost. These books are fun, hilarious, and sexy.

  • The In Death Series, by J.D. Robb LOVE this series. Between butt-kicking cop, Eve Dallas and her sexy husband, Roarke, these books are always steamy and suspenseful. It combines the two things I love the most, getting the bad guys, and romance out the wazoo! Unlike Stephanie Plum, Eve Dallas is super serious about what she does and who she is. She’s got a trouble past, and she has issues getting over it at times. But she’s good…real good. I honestly believe these books are awesome on audio book – the narrator does an amazing job with the voices!
  • Last and absolutely not least – the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning This is a much different take, instead of catching bad guys, Mackalya Lane is fighting evil Faeries (which I guess is the bad guy, sort of). This is a paranormal version of my butt-kicking female. By far, this is my favorite series..er saga of the three. The saga is 4 books long, the 4th has yet to publish, and let me tell you – Karen Marie Moning is classic for the cliff hangers! She leaves the story wayyyyy up in the air. Once again, the combination of good vs. evil and sexual tension makes these books a MUST READ for the paranormal-loving adult.

I’m not going to list out the books for you, because I’m reading them all in order – and there are a lot of them, to be honest it would be a waste of space. They all pretty much have the same rating. Just take my word for it – they’re good!

Coming up!

  • Early next week I’ll be having a guest blogger, Loucinda McGary, who will be blogging about her new book, The Treasures of Venice. Come check out her blog, and a chance to win her new book on September 2nd!!!

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Releases September 1st. I’ve been waiting a year for this 2nd book of the Hunger Games trilogy.

  • Covet by J.R. Ward – Releases September 29th A new “Fallen Angel” series. If it’s anything like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, it will be worth checking out.


The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Form: Book
Series: The Darkest Powers

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl - someone normal. Now my life has changed forever nad I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment - not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromaneer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends - a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch - and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.
Source: Book flap

One word summary: Riveting

Yet another saga for me to obsess about, as if I’m not waiting on enough books to come out as it is. As as young adult books go, this is the best saga I’ve read since I started The Hunger Games about this time last year. (BTW, the 2nd book, Catching Fire is getting ready to come out in October, I cannot wait!) The Awakening is the second book in The Darkest Powers series, although I think saga is a better description. To me “series” are books about the same people, but each person has their own series; or different beginning, middle, end – same characters, I.E. Black Dagger Brothers Series, or In Death series. “Saga,” is the same story, same characters, just stretched out over a number of books.

The Darkest Power series falls under the “trendy” category. Ever since Twilight made it big, with the vampires and supernatural powers being a major part of the book(s), paranormal and fantasy books have been trickling out of the publishers like water. Or maybe I’m just noticing them more, because frankly I LOVE this trend. Anyhow, while these books are trendy, supernatural, paranormal, an element of fear, they are not typical. Usually these books are very romantic in nature, a definite love story precedes all else. In The Summoning and The Awakening, it’s not the love story that takes over the plot, but discovery of who and what they are and survival. There seems to be a romantic undertone playing out, and I really want it bad; Chloe and Derek all the way, but it’s no where near the focus of the book. I think that may be what I’m finding so appealing about these books. I love romance, but lately I’ve been so knee deep in them (and will continue to be) that these books have come as a nice change.

I noticed growth in the characters throughout The Awakening. Tori, although still annoying as ever, even seems to be catching on the actually listening and becoming somewhat of a team player. I hope for a happier story for her in the next installment. Derek’s personality lightened up a bit half-way through the book, mostly due to Chloe. I think Chloe is actually pretty much the same. She seems to have the most to learn about her powers, and controlling them; and as a person she always seemed mature for her age and knew how to trust and make semi-rational decisions. She cares about everyone, as Tori complains about every chance she gets, to a fault. I predict that Jen is going to be even more useful in the next book than she was in this one. And I really hope Rae jumps on board and understands what’s going on…sneaky little twist with her character in this book by the way, not what I was expecting.

As I mentioned before, I’m anxious for The Reckoning to be released, I’m sure the books will offer just as much excitement as the first two. I’m concerned about it being the last book though – I already know I’m going to want more. More story, more explanation, more of Chloe, Derek, Simon, Tori and even Rae and Jen.


Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Form: Book
Series: Fever Series

He has stolen her past, but Mackayla will never allow her sister's murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac's every thought - and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V'lane vie for her body and soul, as she rallies the sidhe-seers to fight an impossible battle and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac's greatest enemy delivers a final challenge...

It's an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth - about herself and about the world she thought she knew.
Source: Book flaps

I have been waiting for a year for this book to come out...and I can tell you I'm almost depressed. Not because the book was bad - not in the slightest - because in classic "Fever Series" methods, Karen Marie Moning left the characters and the story at a very high point. Each of the books in this series do not actually end, they just stop. Right.In.The.Middle.Of.The.Freakin.Story!!!!!! If it wasn't so good, it would be infuriating!

There were very few questions answered, and many more questions raised. Actually, these books remind me of the show Lost in that way. Mac becomes a much more aggressive, darker Mac - instead of wishing her life were back to normal she is finally embracing who she is and what she does and wants to kick of Fae-butt! She still thinks about the past, but she no longer seems to dwell on it like she was.

This book took her relationship with Jericho Barrons to a new level. Not only does he release her from her Pry-ia status and helps her to find herself again, but though they both fight it, it seems to have opened some additional doors to their relationship. I think Jericho is showing more emotion towards Mackayla, although it seems like he's fighting what he's feeling - I think it's there right under the surface. He cares much more than he wants to. I think his mean comments and biting words are evidence of that. He doesn't like what she's making him feel. Seriously, with all the tension, heat and passion the two are throwing at each other, V'lane doesn't stand a chance.

So...I'm not really telling you much, am I? This series is awesome! It contains Faerie of the deep and evil kind. Even the "good," or Seelie fae are a bit worrisome in this book. Mackayla is a sidhe-seer, a person (woman) who can see through Faerie glamor. She also has an entire host of other abilities that she's just getting to know, making her more curious to Jericho and others around her. She's fighting to get these Fae off her planet, she's fighting to avenge her sister's death, she's fighting to save the planet. If you are a paranormal/fantasy junky (as I am) you would do good to start at the beginning of this series (Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever). There is one more (thank God it's only ONE) book in the series (Shadowfever), and I simply cannot wait!


Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Form: Audio Book
Series: Dark Hunter Series
Narrator: Holter Graham

Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. His human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he never wants revealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.
War has never been more deadly... or more fun.
Source: booksamillion.com

One word summary: Heartbreaking

Acheron is actually the first full book that I’ve read/listened to of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s. I read a novelette, trying to start at the beginning, and I’ve tried others, but lost interest within the first chapter. This book defiantly caught and held my attention from beginning to end.

This is not your typical paranormal romance novel. There is so much story here, it just seemed like it was what it was. This was Acheron’s life, not just some story, and let me tell you it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Almost the entire story seemed to have a melancholy feel about it, it wasn’t until the end that any kind of joy seemed to seep through the book. It was very hard to listen to at points, because you are just so broken up because Acheron is broken, over and over again.

In the beginning, you pretty much hate every character, save Acheron and Ryssa, his sister. There is no good to be found in any of them. I was so afraid, even from the beginning when she wasn’t too bad, that Artemis was going to be Acheron’s HEA, that somehow she was going to redeem herself. I couldn’t figure out how in the world Sherrilyn Kenyon was going to make that happen after you become absolutely disgusted with her throughout his childhood. (Also bare in mind, I didn’t get any back-story from previous books) I am so thankful Tory came along. It is also a relief that as the book starts wrapping up, you discover that Acheron actually has friends who care about him, even if he does still feel all alone.

Some of the things I loved: the references to modern media. There are mention of several shows and movies. I loved the reference to Heros the T.V. Show “save the cheerleader, save the planet.” I also enjoyed the caveman commercial reference. Both made me smile. Showing modern times and making said references did not give the book a cheesy feel that I sometimes get with other books I read, and I really appreciate her ability to do that. Sherrilyn throws other bits of humor and fun in with all the grief. Acheron’s sarcasm always made me laugh, even after a beating or being insulted somehow. And then when Tory is able to match his every word with some of her own – they made the perfect match. I enjoyed Acheron’s aching heart for all children. It was a repeated even throughout the book, and I’m glad it remained consistent. I was disappointed when Mia did not end up being the HEA. I was hopeful that somehow this character from his past would be there to rescue and help him in the future. This was prior to me realizing that this book was going to cover the scope of several centuries.

Some things I wasn’t so happy about; there wasn’t much on his discovery that he was a father – that was surprising, but now that I think about it, it’s possible that is included in a different book and I just missed it. I just felt that was actually a bit important, especially to add fuel to the fire of his already growing hatred toward Artemis. The other thing I would have liked to see play out differently was how Acheron told Tory about himself. I wish he would have some how found a way to trust her instead of it being a bit of an accident, alas I suppose the whole point is that he cannot trust, and Tory had to prove herself trustworthy with his mistake. So I can see why it was written that way, it just wasn’t what I wanted to see I guess. The final thing that bothered me was the amount of history verses the amount of time spent in the current. It seemed like with all the focus on Acheron’s childhood, there could have been more about what was happening currently instead of squishing the love story and heroine all in a short amount of pages. I have read other reviews on this book, and I do disagree with others about the character of Tory – I think that she is a good heroine and I understood her back story and how it brought her to the present. I do, however, agree with the reviews about how there wasn’t enough time between Acheron’s attack on her career and them falling for one another. I’ve read many a romance novel, and I’ve felt the chemistry stronger between other couples, and I think time and “pages” of story help with that significantly.

I’ve already added the previous and the next Dark Hunter books to my list. I’m not sure I’ll go back and get all of them, but I am interested in seeing some of the other character’s stories.


The Summoning - Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Form: Paperback Book

Series: The Darkest Powers

Chloe Saunders used to have a pretty normal life. But that changed on the day she met her first ghost. Locked up in Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens, she finds out that there's more to the home's teen residents than meets the eye. Will Chloe be able to uncover the dangerous secrets of Lyle House...or will its skeletons come back to haunt her?
Source: back of book

One Word Summary: Suspense

The Summoning had me on the edge of my seat most of the book through. Mostly because there were so many questions to be answered (still are), and it’s dealing with ghosts. I’m not so good with ghosts – vampires, werewolves, etc. are fine. Ghosts are a little bit scary for me. I’m thankful this was a young adult book, because I imagine it would have been worse (for me) written for an adult.

Really, this book – I hope – was mostly an introduction to the characters. It helped determined who’s who and what’s what. Who you can trust, and who you can’t. Even though Simon and Derek are still iffy according to Rachelle, I personally think they are going to play a key part in the next book. I’m hoping that The Awakening will go a little bit further than the hospital, or a home for “special” teenagers. I really enjoyed the escape/chase scene at the end of The Summoning, and I hope that The Awakening will be more action, and perhaps those with powers begin to have a purpose other than to be with each other. I felt like we were just getting somewhere in that category when the book ended…which I’m sure was by design.

All-in-all, the book was good. I’m excited to move forward with the storyline, find out what happened to Simon and Derek and what is going to happen to Chloe and Rachelle, and Jen (who I would like to predict is actually alive…but perhaps that’s just wishful thinking on my part).


Evernight & Stargazer - Claudia Gray

Evernight & Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Form: Book
Series: Evernight Series


At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful - even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart...and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Evernight Academy: and exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all - vampires. Biana, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in lvoe with Lucas - a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross - or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning...
Source: back/flap of books

One word summary: Exciting!

I am in love with this new(er) vampire series. In the first book, Evernight, author Claudia Gray had me fooled and then surprised by the middle revelation. Seeing as how I am doing a double review on these books - the surprise effect isn't the same if you read my review prior to reading the books. Sorry for the spoiler.

The books are very well written and are fun and action packed, yet just perfect for the young adults, even as young as 13. There is a bit of sensuality, but nothing that young teens haven't seen/heard of before. There are even a few parts that are a little suspenseful, had me on the edge of my seat. Evernight was so good, that I went right out and immediately bought Stargazer because I had to know what was going to happen. And I wasn't disappointed at all. Bianca and Lucas are an awesome couple who have real arguments and ligitamet fears and concerns about what it would be like to be in love with someone who isn't even a part of your species, let alone your enemy! It's a bit of Romeo and Juliet, but hopefully it won't end up tragically.

This series has 2 more books to go - and I already can't wait!

What I Did for Love - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Genre: Adult Romance
Form: Audio Book
Narrator: Julia Gibson

"How did this happen?" Georgie York, once the costar of America's favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.
What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? "Not" go to Vegas . . . "not" run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and "not" get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.
It's a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie's nonsupporting cast doesn't help. There's Bram's punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie's own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband's new wife, who can't get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world--the bitch. As for Georgie's leading man, Bram's giving the performance of his life, but he's never cared about anyone except himself, and it's not exactly clear why.
Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.

One Word Summary: Entertaining

Lately when I get my hands on a book that mostly deals with stinkin rich and famous people, I put it down. Something about being that rich, and famous and petty – it doesn’t really amuse me. I obviously made an exception with Glitter Baby and What I Did for Love.

I actually liked Glitter Baby better, because I felt that the problems between the main characters were more real, and a more significant part of the story. In What I Did for Love, it seemed like the main problems were dealing with being famous, and making sure the paparazzi didn’t know the truth. The book was about getting over the past, your past, and moving forward and onward with life. I didn’t like how the characters were extremely self-centered and assumed they knew what was going on about 90% of the time. This was Susan’s intent, because they were suppose to learn not to judge people by their past, but it just got to be annoying after a while. They would make love and then hate each other 5 minutes later.

Regardless of all the things I didn’t like, I still found the book entertaining. I don’t regret listening to it in the slightest. (Although my CDR screwed up when I imported the book to my iPod and I was missing very large chunks of tracks, sometimes more than 5 minutes worth.) I liked how Susan brought back characters not only from Glitter Baby but also from Natural Born Charmer, which I also have listened to. I enjoyed “seeing” them again, no matter how brief.


Boy Toy - Barry Lyga

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Form: Paperback Book

Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everybody knows what it is.

Five years ago Josh's life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town - seems like the world - thinks they understand. But they don't - they can't.

And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there's Rachel, the girl he thought he'd lost year ago. She's back, and she's determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.

Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.

And then there's Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh's past. It's time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.

If only he knew what the truth was...
Source: back of book

One Word Summary: Terrific

I try and find something I like and something I can pull from every book I read, therefore my reviews probably indicate that I REALLY LIKE a lot of stuff, and authors. I read a lot of Janet Evanovich, because she created fun, witty characters and humerous situations, I’ve begun to fall in love with Nora Robert’s books (what romantic book lover hasn’t?) But in reality, these aren’t my favorite authors or even favorite books – not by a long shot. While these books are captivating and fun, the characters are usually really good…but once I’m done reading or listening to them, that’s it. It’s over. In fact, as of right this second, I have 4 books that need to be reviewed and put up on my website (and probably will have been by that time this one is posted, because I like to post my blogs in the order I read them) – but they are just sitting there now because they are done, and I’m not thinking about them. The books and the authors that stick to me the most are the ones I can’t get out of my head. The story and/or the characters fascinate me so much that they don’t go away.
Barry Lyca is becoming one of my favorite authors. His characters are so real they feel like they are your friend; so much so that when the book is finished you feel like you’re missing something in your life. You want to pick up the phone and contact your long, lost friend. The only time I’ve gotten so attached to characters is during the Twilight Saga.

I semi-hesitatingly want to compare Barry’s writing to Jodi Picoult. Mostly because Jodi Picoult tackles life issues and questions that people tend to want to avoid; (i.e. school shootings, using in-vetro insemination to create the perfect donor for your sick child) and she takes these taboo issues head on and attempts to answer the questions that come up from all sides of the story. She always created a well rounded story with awesome and compelling characters. Typically, Jodi’s books are a bit more thorough, and are of a tragic nature, which is why I can’t read her books – the cause an ache in my heart that I don’t want. I read books for fun, and I don’t really like it when they make me feel depressed. Barry is similar, in my opinion, in both The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, and Boy Toy. Both books have taken hard-life scenerios that could and probably are happening on a daily basis and creates these amazing characters who live, learn and grow through their issues – and so far, giving you a bit of a “happily ever after” feeling when he’s done. I think he’s a great role-model writer for young adults, inspiring hope in those of us (yes, me included, along with any other teenager who is honest with themselves) who are different, who have issues, who have had hard times, etc., etc.

Boy Toy is about sexual molestation. I know in the forward of the book he says it isn’t really, and I can see why he would say that, but it is. It’s not the actual molestation that is the story, although you do get a clear picture of what happened, but it’s the results of it. It’s how it effects the next 5 years of Josh’s life, and then it’s about how Josh takes a stand and takes his life back. But then, the story is not just about how it effects Josh’s life, but Zik – his best friend, Rachel – his other best friend and girlfriend, Josh’s parents, George (the molester’s husband); all of these people have been changed, affected and are different as a result. But mainly, it’s Josh.

I’ve said a lot already. You know I love the book. I don’t want to ruin it or spoil it for anyone. Just trust me, this is an excellent book! Read it! (But please, be cautioned, this is defiantly meant for older teenagers. Lost of language and sexual issues in this book.)