Nate was eight the first time he stabbed someone; he was eleven when he earned his red laces—a prize for spilling blood for “the cause.” And he was fourteen when he murdered his father (and the leader of The Fort, a notorious white supremacist compound) in self-defense, landing in a treatment center while the state searched for his next of kin. Now, in the custody of an uncle he never knew existed, who wants nothing to do with him, Nate just wants to disappear.
Then he meets Brandon, a person The Fort conditioned Nate to despise on sight. But Brandon’s also the first person to treat him like a human instead of a monster. Brandon could never understand Nate’s dark past, so Nate keeps quiet. And it works for a while. But all too soon, Nate’s worlds crash together, and he must decide between his own survival and standing for what’s right, even if it isn’t easy. Even if society will never be able to forgive him for his sins.
Devils Within is my kind of book; potentially controversial and mind-bending. I enjoyed it in large part because the main character isn’t safely sympathetic, his problems superficial. No, our protagonist, Nathaniel, just got out of the KKK like hate cult he had been raised in by murdering his father, the leader. Sound a bit far fetched? This book is loosely based on very true, very messed up events. More on that later.
Devils Within follows Nate as he struggles to adjust to a world with diversity and little violence. He’s a good guy, and the author tries very hard to balance out his unintentionally racist remarks with sympathy and understanding. After all, how would Nate know the proper word to call someone of Asian decent in a creepy hate cult? He wouldn’t! And here in lies the part of this book that bothered me.
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised.
Lucie alone knows of the deadly connection the young men share, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?
Sarah Rees Brennan’s Tell the Wind and Fire is loosely based on A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In her world there are two versions of New York. Light new York, a place of wealth and beauty, where the light magicians and their relatives live, and Dark New York, where the dark magicians reside. However, Light New York is reliant on Dark New York to survive, as, without the Dark Magicians, the Light magicians would die.
I received this book from the author. This is my honest review. Thank you to the author for letting read your work!
I am huge Percy Jackson fan. To be honest, I have not read the books, only watched the movies. When I was given the chance to read and review Bridge of The Gods, I was excited. The book blurb lead me to believe it would be similar to Percy Jackson. The only thing in common was the use of Greek mythology.
Luthor McAlester is a teenage boy living in San Diego, California. His father died when he was a child. Leaving him to become man of the house, living with his mother and younger sister. On his 18th birthday he discovers a power that has been held dormant until now. He is unsure what to do with it in the absence of this father’s guidance. His best friend Gwen, who claims to be oblivious, knows more than she is telling. Can Luther figure out how to use his power and help the Gods like they ask with just the help of his best friend? Or will the lack of guidance from his father prove to be more than young Luthor can handle?
*The Bridge of The Gods* was an awesome read. The author loosely uses Greek mythology to tell a wonderful coming of age story. Our MC, Luther, has no idea that he has special abilities until he turns 18. Then, he is approached by Zeus to help the major and minor gods. They face devastation if Luther can’t help them.
The story is a fun. Luther and his best friend run into all kinds of danger and meet lots of cool gods along the way. My favorite is Apollo. He tries hard to be smooth with the ladies but dead down inside he is a sweetheart.
There are a few twists to the story but it ends well. I can’t tell you more than that without revealing any spoilers. 😀
Tank and I give this a 3 paw rating.
I enjoyed it but it didn’t keep me up at night reading it.
Read more reviews like this one here: https://girlwithagoodbookandherdog.blogspot.com/
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan is probably my favorite book I’ve read this year. So if you plan on reading just one of the books I’ve recommended this year, read this.
First I have to give a disclaimer. I was not intrigued by the plot summary. A boy discovers that he can see the Borderlands, a place where humans and mythical creatures live side by side. Yawn. Read it before. However here is what I didn’t factor in to the book, that I wouldn’t give a shit about the plot. That’s right. Sarah Rees Brennan has created a book where the characters are so amazing, hilarious, and wonderful that the plot could literally be about a sparkly vampire named Tedward Mullen for all I care.
Okay, where to start. Well, first there is Elliot, the main character. Unlike many novels, the main character is the best character. He is a freaking hilarious idiot genius with an IQ of about 180 and an EQ (Emotional intelligence) of about 60. Optimistically. He doesn’t play mind games, or use tactful diplomacy to get what he wants (until he learns to properly flirt with the elves), he just says what he thinks, and that’s that. So why is everyone mad at him all the time?
Elliot breaks stereotypes, and he breaks them with a bang.
Black Bird of the Gallows Black Bird of the Gallows #1
by Meg Kassel
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: YA Paranormal / Urban Fantasy
Add it on Goodreads
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece – and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.
I was really surprised that, in a book centering around death and this horrible catastrophe that’s going to hit Angie’s town, it was still a love story. Right away, you see that Reece doesn’t know what disaster is coming and he says flat out that he can’t stop it. He’s just there to feed off the death, honestly. Sounds bad. So you come to terms with the fact that part of the book is going to be about this horrible tragedy. How is Angie going to survive it? Is her family going to survive? What’s coming?
The funny thing is, that’s not really what I focused on.
I saw the budding love story. You wouldn’t think it would be possible but Reece is actually a decent . . . what do I call him? Semi-human? Used to be human turned harbinger? I loved the snarky attitudes between them and the clashing at the beginning. That always makes for an interesting love story. It’s not like she swoons and falls madly in love with him right away. Believable.
I also liked Angie’s strength. She’s been through hell and back with her mom and the drugs. But she’s not shriveled up in the corner, unable to cope with her life. When you see her in the beginning, she actually seems pretty happy. She’s got a good life with a dad that loves her and dotes on her.
I was surprised by the ending, as well. I didn’t think there was a way for the author to spin this book so that you didn’t close it going “what just happened?” Everything wrapped up in a way that I could be okay with. It was actually a really good ending.
About Meg Kassel
Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart winner in YA.
Tired of seeing the same old stories recommended on Goodreads? Desperately searching for a refreshing and engrossing novel so that you can be sucked away from boring reality for a day before being rudely thrust back in after the last page has been read, desperate for yet another fix? Well, boy, did I randomly create the flow chart for you!
Just answer the questions and make your way through the chart. I tried to mostly include books you likely haven’t read before, although there are a few popular novels in there that were just too good to resist. Start at the question about reading YA.
Today’s blog post will be on something completely not related to books, because it’s my blog and I can do whatever the hell I want.
Today’s informative post will be on how to shoot a bow like a badass, i.e. how not to do the stupid things you see actors doing in the movies and looking like an idiot. While there are many types of bows, each with slightly different shooting styles, today we shall focus on my favorite, the recurve bow:
Put the string on the bow the right way around.
There’s this lovely Facebook group called The Back to Front Archery Club , where they post hilarious pictures of people literally putting the string on the bow on the wrong side in movies, which looks stupid and will, quite literally, either cause the string to fly off the bow and hit you in the face (which would be hilarious) or just kind of make your arrow poop a few feet when you let go, as the bow is not supposed to bend in that direction, and just won’t bend very well in that direction.
Fig 1. The Wrong Way. i.e. That String Looks Like It’s Going to Fly Off And Hit Him in the Balls
Fig 2. The Right Way i.e. Notice How The String itsn’t Going to Hit Her in the Balls If She Had Balls?
Put your feet parallel to each other a shoulder’s width apart. If there was a stick at the end of your toes, they should be facing towards the target.
There are other ways to stand, but this is basically what you want to start with.
Fig 1. Like This.
Make the girl scout salute (Three fingers straight up) and place them right under your arrow when it’s clipped onto the string (without touching it). When you pull back the string, keep it on the tips of your fingers in a light grip. That way, when you let go and shoot, the bow won’t be jerked around, and you’ll be able to aim better.
While I prefer a different method to grip the string, this way is much better for beginners.
Fig. 1 Grip the String Like This (But don’t touch the arrow.)
Fig. 2 No
When you pull back the arrow you want to pull it back to the same place each time, or else you might aim at the same spot, but each time you shoot, the arrow will go somewhere else. Therefore, when you pull your string back, put your hand below your jaw, with the string touching the tip of your nose. This way, when you shoot, you will be pulling the string back the same distance, in the same place, every time.
You may see archers pulling back to the corner of their mouth. This is not ideal for recurve bows, as “the corner of your mouth” isn’t a super accurate descriptor, whereas “below your jaw” stays the same each shot. This is because, if your hand is below your jaw and touching it, you physically can’t move your hand any higher. And, if you move your hand lower or to the side, you’ll no longer be touching your jaw, and you’ll know you done goofed.
Fig 1. The Right Way.
Note* She is gripping the arrow in the way that I shoot. While technically it is better, the way you grip your arrow really doesn’t matter until you get really good, and it’s too easy for beginners to screw up.
Fig 2. The I Suck and/or Want To Loose an Eye Way
Notice how they are pulling the bow back in such a way that they probably can’t perfectly recreate? That’s why you want to pull it back to below your chin, hand touching the face, string touching your nose. Like fig. 1. Got it? Don’t be like Katniss and definitely don’t be like Ygritte.
Brush your face when you release the bow. That way you won’t jerk the bow to the side. You keep shooting too far to one side? Probably because of this.
This sounds nitpicky but trust me, it’s super duper important.
Alrighty. This was fun! Now, when you go to that bachelorette party, over 40’s meetup, or drunken escapade with projectile weapons, you’ll be able to impress the shit out of everyone else. And not look like a jackass. Win win.
P.S. Please do not aim at the sky like some sort of video game character. If you let go, the arrow is eventually going to come down, and impale someone’s face or, if we get lucky, your face, so….just don’t do that. Please. Or aim at your friends. Or…maybe just take an actual archery class. Don’t learn this shit off the Internet. Seriously. People on the Internet are bullshiters. Don’t trust anyone.
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.
This book has a gorgeous type of imagery going for it. The series name is Sea of Ink and Gold which actually sort of makes sense, and isn’t one of those esoteric fancy shmancy series names that sound pretty, but make no sense. The cover is a satisfying mosaic of blues, and greens, and golds. The world inside the book is also rich, with pirates, and assassins, and a sea that may or may not reach to the end of the world.
The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman had so much potential. The world he had created decades ago with The Golden Compass was already fully fleshed out. He had a dedicated following of adults and teens who had grown up with his novels, and were just itching for this prequel to come out.
Sadly, I don’t think this book lived up to the hype. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t good. It was simply slow, and the characters mildly interesting. In fact, I only, truly got invested at the very end, and by then the story was over. Ironically so were the characters, because the next book in this series will be about Lyra, the protagonist from the author’s last series, set when she’s in her 20’s.