Young Adult

Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life

Dallas Woodburn (Immortal Works)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life by Dallas Woodburn examines the intricate dynamics of relationships, identity, and personal growth. The story is told from the perspectives of Brad and Rose, allowing readers a perfect understanding of the challenges arising from Carissa's actions alongside these compelling characters. The story opens with Brad's world unraveling after Carissa's abrupt termination of their eleven-month relationship. The emotions associated with the heartbreak are raw and Brad can’t admit it is over. Brad strives to salvage t...

"Dumb Orphans": The Bundu Bunch Trilogy

Allan Low (Bundu Bunch Publishing)

| Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo

Dumb Orphans: The Bundu Bunch Trilogy by Allan Low is an emotionally intense and highly complex narrative that journeys through the lives of a group of AIDS orphans, portraying their struggles against discrimination and the headman's oppression in their southern African community. This trilogy features very sophisticated characters and a deft exploration of collective perseverance, talent, and the hunger for education, all while presenting characters that face unfair treatment and are forced into labor by the community headman.The plot is intri...

Blaze Union and the Puddin' Head Schools

W.T. Kosmos (Wise Wit Press, LLC)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

Blaze Union and the Puddin' Head Schools by W.T. Kosmos is a gripping YA with characters that are finely drawn. In this political satire, the narrator who is a teacher by profession gets tired of the absurdity of book bans in schools, cultural conflicts, and the ridiculous refusal to acknowledge the environmental crisis. He develops what he calls absurdity neurosis as a result of book bans in schools. Advised by his shrink, he finds schools more ridiculous than his. It is then that he meets fourteen-year-old Blaze Union who lives on Puddin' Hea...

A Husband Out of this World: Lab Soreno

Deovandski Skibinski JR (Bookbaby)

| Reviewed by Franklin Bauer

A Husband out of this World is the second book in the Lab Soreno series by Deovandski Skibinski JR and it opens with the protagonist caught between dream and waking. Maiara has just defeated Harry in the Gandew duel and, while struggling to figure out what actually happened, Harry is painfully waking to the crude reality of being in another world. The murkiness in his memories is disturbing and eventually, different characters begin to surface in his life, starting with Sora, the woman that Harry loves passionately and whose gentle hands o...

The Sentinel of the Chakra Stones

Christine Boucher (Unleash Press)

| Reviewed by Cristina Prescott

In The Sentinel of the Chakra Stones by Christine Boucher, fourteen-year-old Jaden discovers her mission in the most unexpected of places. Jaden's mother abandoned her when she was a little girl, and her father does not behave as though he ever wanted her. Life at school has its own trials. The one beautiful thing in Jaden's life is her friendship with Alister. When a strange woman sells a crystal chakra set to Jaden, she doesn't think much about it. She and her friend, Alister, are transported to Mount Shasta, California, where they discover t...

The Dream Keepers

Linda Keen (Keen Press)

| Reviewed by Bertin Drizller

The Dream Keepers by Linda Keen is a rollicking ride that follows two young characters, Starlight and her older brother, Thatcher O'Day as they set out on the adventure that will shape their lives in inscrutable ways, from the Deep South to the West Coast. The kids are seven and eight when — together with their grandfather — they must embrace change at the break of a new Millennium. Grandma Gloria has followed the advice of the social worker and has asked Star and Thatcher to leave their regular middle school for the unknown. So, from the treac...

Drops of Sunlight

Kristy Lee (Blossom Spring Publishing)

| Reviewed by Daniel Rhodes

Kristy Lee breaks hearts in Drops of Sunlight and sets the characters on a journey to self-discovery. Miranda (May) Carlson and Dylan once carved their names into a boulder before sharing their first kiss. At fourteen, May leaves the Colorado Rocky Mountains after her parents announce their divorce without telling Dylan anything. Dylan is devastated and heartbroken, but he has no choice but to move on — or so he thinks. May goes through depression, hating herself. At twenty, May comes back to the Rocky Mountains, and the encounter wit...

The Curious Case of Seaman Garber

B. K. Mayo (Fir Valley Press)

| Reviewed by David Reyes

When the body of an old man is found floating in a pond by two boys venturing out on their homemade raft, the younger of the two is determined to unravel the mystery behind the man’s death in The Curious Case of Seaman Garber by B. K. Mayo. Before heading back to middle school, eleven-year-old Seth Roberson and his friend, Collin, are making the most out of the summer break. Everything takes an awful turn when they discover the body of an old man identified as Vietnam War veteran Henry Garber, the same ma...

Room Service Please

Alicia Cahalane Lewis (Tattered Script Publishing)

| Reviewed by Christian Fernandez

In Room Service Please by Alicia Cahalane Lewis, delivers a spellbinding, twisty tale that features not only strong plot points but unforgettable, richly imagined, and sophisticated characters. Edie May is the daughter of a washerwoman who, on her sixteenth birthday is seduced and impregnated in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It is 1922, and the young girl is determined to make the man who seduced her pay for his actions. Everything changes with the realization that she has been mistaken for a famous Hollywood actress, Agnes Ayres....

Angelfyre (Destiny)

Lydan Francis (Ukiyoto Publishing)

| Reviewed by Christian Fernandez

A winner for a debut, Angelfyre (Destiny) by Lydan Francis is a wonderful meld of science fiction, dystopian, and space opera, a story with a setting in the distant future in the twenty-fifth century, a time when humanity has experienced migrations in other planets. Human beings live side-by-side with the extra-terrestrial race known as the Fel. With time, a new species occurs through the illegal splicing between humans and Fel, resulting in the hybrid called the Felsians, who are eventually treated as low-class and unwanted citizens....

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