Category Archives: Teen/Young Ad.

Establishing Presence: A Chip Fullerton/Annie Smith Sports Novel – Book Three by T.L. Hoch

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Establishing PresenceWhat is the purpose of a softball game? Is it the same as a basketball game? Is there a difference between the two? Is winning the goal of both sports? Is winning everything? Can you learn more than the techniques of a competition by not winning?

Between the junior and senior years of high school, a few exceptional female athletes are invited to assist at a sports camp for women’s softball and basketball. Annie, Chip, and Jenny are from the small town of Reston, Texas and joined by Cheryl while rooming together at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Cheryl’s uncle is in charge of the camp and is thrilled to have these exceptionally talented high-school seniors joining her.

The four girls enthusiastically work with the younger campers teaching them the technicalities and techniques needed to improve their skills. Including becoming better players, they also quickly learn that building their game skills are as necessary as building their personal and interpersonal skills.

Heir of Ra (Blood of Ra Book One) by M. Sasinowski

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Heir of RaAt the Giza Plateau during the year of 1913 in Egypt, Lord George Renley explored under The Great Sphinx enters a dark chamber with an unusual carving on a door. The legendary Hall of Records is believed to be located at this location. Is it legend or fact? Soon after, Hazim, his Arab guide, started bleeding from his nose. Lord Renley became dizzy and collapsed. The only reminder of the event was a notebook that a young Arab boy stole from the dying hands of Hazim.

Alyssa is not your typical 17-year-old girl. She spends her time working with her father, Kade, who is an archaeologist. Her education is working as one of his assistants. Currently, she is left in charge of a dig in Peru while her father is on a dream assignment in Egypt, exploring a room under The Great Sphinx and is only allowed this privilege for 24-hours. Leaving Alyssa in charge in Peru, is a great responsibility for someone so young. She feels honored, but also deprived. Why can’t she be on this once-in-a lifetime dig with her father?

Her father, Kade follows the steps of Lord George Renley in searching for The Hall of Records. Just like his predecessor, he also became ill. Nothing seems to help him, every day leads him one step closer to death. No one seems to be able to medically help him. Will he die?

Bound by My Choices: How a Death Nearly Broke Me But the Navy Saved Me by Keshawn A. Spence

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Bound by My ChoicesThis illustrated memoir is a modern fairy tale of how a troubled young boy managed to overcome the many obstacles thrown his way and how he continues to do so as an adult. Keshawn A. Spence claims that he is bound by his choices, but as his story unfolds, the opposite message seems to emerge, one of freedom and possibilities.

Bound by My Choices is mostly rooted in the childhood of the author, focusing on the influence of the external factors over his life. The book debuts with a series of photos immortalizing some of the most important events throughout his life, but also some that are precious precisely because they mirror the nakedness of real life. So, ever since the beginning, the intention of the author to create an intimate bond with the reader on his journey of self-discovery is quite clear.

Rogue Wolf (The Oldenglen Chronicles) (Volume 3) by Robin Mason

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Rogue WolfTeenagers who enjoy nature rather than social media or video games might seem unusual. Jax and Sarah have a rare relationship with their environment. They understand the relationships with people and nature are immensely important for the future of our planet.

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Oldenglen is a special place near Jax’s home in southern Oregon. Having his life uprooted from life in England was difficult for him. However, school wasn’t his salvation, but the magical relationship he discovered with this unique forest and the creatures who live within as well as the trust and friendship with each other.

Keeping the area protected is always a constant challenge. With the ever-expanding new housing developments for humans threatening the natural habitats of the wild creatures while keeping the balance of nature between the expanding population of people and nature.

Balances within Oldenglen are also difficult to maintain. Providing food for all creatures requires just the correct proportion between predators and prey. Too many prey demands massive amounts of plants and small creatures, while predators must depend on an abundance of prey, otherwise they starve.

The Amarant by Tricia Barr

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

The AmarantTricia Barr’s The Amarant, beckons readers into a fantastical vampire-filled world, where a young woman’s crush on a fictional character leads her into an incredible reality where romance, the paranormal and an untapped legacy of fantastic supernatural power merge to change her world, forever.

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The heroine of the story, Crimson Wilkinson, portrays a complex and strong-willed young woman, who refuses to let the darkness of a hurt-filled past take over her life. Being only seventeen, she lives with her mother in Tuscon, Arizona, a locale which is wanting when it comes to excitement. As with any high schooler, Crimson undergoes some common experiences; an angry teacher, a bullying nemesis, ditching classes, an attraction to a hunky football player, and boredom. Her only real escape from the doldrums of her life concerns either hanging with her best friends Robert, Reina and Amber or getting lost in her favorite series of paranormal fiction novels which centers on a reclusive, handsome vampire named Nicholae Albaric who she crushes on and obsesses over.

The Millennial Reincarnations (The Millennial Trilogy) (Volume 1) by Daniel Mark Harrison

Reviewed by Suzanne Odom

The Millennial ReincarnationsDaniel Mark Harrison’s book, begins with a forward explaining about China’s five different types of leaders. Reading this proved very helpful in understanding the rest of the novel which tended to jump from character to character throughout the book. It’s a collection of stories set in the time frame of 1990 – 2014 with a variety of interesting characters and story lines.

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The beginning tells of a man driving through New York City with his 14 year old daughter, Alyssa, and her friend. Tragically and unexpectedly, they are involved in a horrible car accident and the two young girls are killed.Thus begins a story whose characters are so interwoven amongst each other, and a story that asks the popular question, “Why are we here?’.

The Emerald Key by Mark Frederickson and Melora Pineda

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Emerald KeyThe end of the school year is always a relief for eighth-grade students. Laci Reece did not notice when her classmates exited the classroom for their summer vacation. As usual, her nose is in a book as usual.
Laci always carries a bookbag filled fantasy novels complete with various mythical creatures.

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Penny Wright has a special friendship with Laci. Though opposite in popularity and personalities, the two value their long friendship with acceptance of each other’s differences and delight in the time they share together.

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Sunborn RisingBreaking into the world of fantasy with a meaningful contribution is not an easy task, but Aaron Safronoff managed to do just that with Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall. Actually, this is only the first book of the series and it’s the key to the gates of a magically fresh universe. This YA fantasy thriller is but a part of the Sunborn Rising experience, which stretches far beyond the colorful pages of the book.

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A world that bares a slight resemblance to ours is on the verge of darkness. At the center of all there is a sun floating in an ocean and this is the spring of life for the floating tree islands covering the planet. But there is a disturbance in the flow of life and the world is at risk of falling into darkness. Salvation is uncertain and in the paws of the most unlikely of heroes.

Our main guides to this world are Barra – a young Listlespur, a catlike humanoid – along with her two best friends Plicks – a Kolalabat, resembling a bat – and Tory – a Rugosik, a puppet like humanoid. Barra starts out by wanting to learn more about her deceased father and so she sneaks into his study and finds his hidden journal. But his writings not only strengthens the father-daughter bond, but also propels Barra and her friends on the adventure of their lives. They learn that their existence is threatened by darkness and driven by curiosity they set out to explore the uncharted territories of the Middens surrounding their Loft. But things do not go exactly as planned and they fall from the comfort of their leafy bows to the muddy root. There a new unfamiliar world unfolds before them, filled with dangers, enemies but also allies and wonders. But now they struggle to find their path to the Loft and also to bring back the light to their home.

The Sunborn Rising series is clearly aimed at a younger audience, so the occasionally simplistic narrative serves its purpose. The black and white pages are sprinkled with colorful images vividly portraying scenes from the magical realm. Actually, these pictures are a valuable support for the imagination of the reader, as some creatures and plants are quite different from our reality.

In fact, Aaron Safronoff did a lot more than just start a fantasy book series; he set the grounds for a complex Sunborn Rising experience. So, the readers can also immerse themselves in music and art. But more dimensions are about to be added. Games and animated media are in the development stage. One thing is for sure, there is a lot to explore and even more to come.

Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers by John Collings

Hell, and God and Nuns with Rulers

Reviewed by Please Pass the Books

In John Collings’ Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers we meet Tristan Adamson, a teenage boy with all the trappings that a young man in high school faces: struggles with grades, a part-time job at a burger joint, raging hormones, the unfortunate complexion of a pubescent teen, and parents that seem to understand absolutely nothing (although they certainly claim to). However, unlike the average teenage boy, Tristan has an added conflict that arises from the expectations of his bible-thumping parents and the dreaded classes meant to prepare him for the holy sacrament of Confirmation. As Tristan attempts to maneuver his way through the muddled and confusing question of faith, he is thrown into an even deeper degree of soul-searching on his own personal crusade while trying to come to terms with his sexuality.

Knights of the Withering Flame (A Saga of Sword and Stone, Book 1) by Kyle R. Zeller

Knights of the Withering Flame

Reviewed by Timea Barabas
Knights of the Withering Flame is the start of a magical story named A Saga of Sword and Stone by Kyle R. Zeller. It is a book deeply rooted in Arthurian legends, but the branches of the tree flower a fresh perspective. In a way, it is a sequel to King Arthur’s story. It sheds light on what happened to him, and Zeller cautiously weaves together those mythological times with our modern days.

This fantasy adventure novel centers on a 15-year-old teenager named Garith and his unique early graduation. Although he starts out as an average boy, who leads a pretty troubled family life, he escapes into a magical realm where he is far more than average. Kyle R. Zeller draws an interesting parallel between the troubled family life of Garith and the turmoil in the magical realm he enters. While this realm is foreign both to our main characters and our readers, it is still vaguely familiar. The inhabitants and the magical elements that build it are inspired from other fantasy worlds, but they are unique enough to stand on their own. So, there is a sense of a warm welcoming feel despite the chilly dangers lurking in the shadows. Basically, it is about the eternal war between the shadows and the light. But, this confrontation is set on many planes, both geographical ones – where the armies of the two sides fight – and immaterial ones – where invisible forces battle on the field of human conscience.