The scientists recruited to go to Fosaan were promised a tropical paradise for their families to live in, but the truth is the planet smells of sulfur, the ocean is incredibly salty, and the jungle is full of incredibly dangerous animals. Still, Quinn’s not too bothered by those things, since there are so many cool animals to study and document. He’s curious about the native Fosaanians, too, but he’s never really had contact with them, that is, until he finds one stealing food from his kitchen. She’s beautiful and there’s so much she could tell him about her culture and the planet. Quinn’s glad to help her out by giving her food if it will encourage her to stick around and talk to him.
Unfortunately, there’s no time for the teens to get to know one another before the planet’s thrown into crisis. The scientists are all in orbit in the labs, the kids are alone on the planet, and communications are down. Something is very wrong and it’s going to be up to Quinn and his new friend to lead the way to a solution.
In Station Fosaan, Dee Garretson has given reader an engrossing book with appealing characters. They’re typical teens in a very atypical setting. Station Fosaan has enough potential romance to appeal to the romantically inclined and enough danger and action to appeal to the most seasoned gamer. Plus, for readers that like to stick with their favorite characters for a while, this is the first book in the Torch World series, so we haven’t seen the last of Quinn and Mira. Stay tuned!
Blue Moon Publishers, 2017.
Eric hasn’t talked much with his family since his parents suddenly moved from San Francisco to British Columbia—he was just too mad about the changes they forced him to make. He hasn’t bothered to get to know the other students at his boarding school, either. That would seem too much like acquiescing, so he spends his free time outdoors avoiding the other students and practicing the parkour he loves. But when Eric gets a video message from his brother, he learns that their parents have been taken and his brother’s on the run, so Eric’s forced to come out of his isolation to find them.
Before long, Eric has cobbled-together an action team and they’re off to solve the kidnappings of Eric’s family, but before he’s even had a chance to become the hunter, Eric finds that he’s actually the hunted. He’ll need his extensive knowledge and contacts from traveling the world with his anthropologist parents, his skill at parkour, and a handful of talented friends to survive this little adventure.
I chose this book because I was intrigued by the idea of a YA parkour thriller, and it didn’t disappoint. Eric is a sympathetic and engaging character. As the title suggests, Hit the Ground Running is fast-paced, but unlike some thrillers, the plot is easy to follow. The characters may be moving constantly, but the story allows readers to get to know them, their flaws, and their motivations. There’s parkour, science, cool tech, and even a paranormal element. Two more books are in the works to complete the series, and I’m looking forward to reading them.
Happy Book Birthday to Hit the Ground Running!
Abbie has a secret, a secret that’s buried so deep that she’s just about forgotten it. She also has a plan. She’s an excellent student at a prestigious private school. According to her plan, next year she’ll be at Princeton, and then she’ll move on to Harvard or Stanford for medical school. She’s working really hard senior year to set her plans in motion. But Abbie didn’t plan on the new and exciting romance that’s sweeping her off her feet. She also didn’t expect to be stalked and blackmailed because of her nearly-forgotten mistake. If she doesn’t find and stop the stalker fast, her new romance, her plan, and everything she’s worked so hard to achieve, will be gone.
This is a suspenseful thriller wrapped up into a boarding school story. Gledé Browne Kabongo has a good sense of teen’s motivations, friendships, and hormone-controlled thrill rides. The plot twists and turns and the stakes are high. Readers who love auspicious wealth, designer name dropping, and high stakes plots will enjoy this story.
I must say that as a feminist, I found this story hard to stomach at times. Abbie Cooper is definitely a strong female character, but the trope of the (mostly) good girl choosing the bad boy because of his astonishingly good looks and his charisma, despite the terrible way he’s treated girls in the past bothers me. Other similar details large and small abound in the story. For example, when the friends come to Thanksgiving dinner, the boys end up in the family room playing video games while the girls help Mom in the kitchen. Many, many clichés also made it into the book, and at times they made me long for fresher word choices.
On the whole, this is a fun, fast paced book with a twisty plot.
I received a copy of Game of Fear courtesy of the author and Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017
Sophia has only seven days left in Tokyo. Seven days before she faces a senior year back in the United States. Seven days to revisit her favorite places and say goodbye to her best friends. Seven days of kombini shops, tiny ramen restaurants, and karaoke. But Jamie changes everything she thought the last seven days would be when he returns to Tokyo just as she is leaving and stirs up Sophia’s emotions even more.
Seven Days of You is a love story: to Tokyo, to young love, to family, to the swirling tornado that is adolescent emotions.
I loved this story for its insight into expat life in Tokyo, its sweet, but not unrealistic teen romance, and its hot mess of characters. I knew these kids in high school—confident and capable on the outside, a hot mess of emotions on the inside, spending their days trying to navigate all the many relationships that make up their lives. A great book for armchair travelers and not-too-sappy-romance lovers alike.
I received an electronic advance reader copy of Seven Days of You courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.