Category Archives: Young Adult

The Sainthood : A Dark High School Romance (The Complete Series) – Siobhan Davis

Dark, reverse harem, high school, organized crime, romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a ton of sex in these books! It’s very long, and it has a lot of story too. But the sex to story ratio is much higher than I usually see. Harlow could be a nymphomaniac, so it’s good she has four guys to keep up with her. I mean there is sexually confident, and then there is, “I draw the line at full-on prostitution, but most everything else is fair game.” It’s downright raunchy. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is hot, but some of it was a bit much for me, mostly the hate sex. And I regularly read and enjoy novels with graphic sexual content.

The beginning of this is a bully story but make that a gang, as in large criminal organization, bullying the girl. The whole backstory for this novel is disgusting. I hate that all the teens treat sex so casually, completely separating it from emotions. It’s difficult to get past all this. If this were me, I would have gotten the hell out of there, moved to a different country or something.

The gang stuff and what the guys do to Harlow in the beginning was crazy. I was having trouble suspending disbelief. Harlow’s superhero level skill set, strength, and attitude in the face of all this was stretching credibility. It’s like all the main characters are a trained army. Death means nothing to them. Natural born killers.

By Chapter 18 of the first book, I was feeling like this was going to be too long. I was waiting for something to actually happen. By Chapter 26, 22% into the box set, I’d had enough of the hate sex and was still waiting for something to happen. I had to take a break and read something else. I am glad I went back to this because it got much better, but I can see a lot of readers dropping out at or before this point. When I got back into it, things really started to happen in the story, and the sex scenes got very hot. By the end, I was happy I had read this. But I can only give it 3 stars. I liked Surviving Amber Springs so much better!

It’s got an HEA with a cute bonus novella at the end.

1st person present tense, mostly from Harlow, but with a smattering of chapters from each of the guys.

This is well edited. I only found 9 errors.



Favorite Quotes:

Harlow: I have zero desire to live in my own twisted romance novel.

“They built the facility in the middle of Mantiss Forest and—”

“The Sainthood sure is obsessed with forests,” I interject.

“It’s ideal burial ground,” Saint replies, glancing at me as he steers the Land Rover out onto the highway. “Perfect for disposing of enemies and annoying girls who interrupt people midsentence.”

“I think I got pregnant just watching that,” Caz jokes.

“I was so tempted to slice off his dick,” I admit. “Like, I seriously had to talk myself off that ledge.”

Caz chuckles. “You couldn’t deprive us of that sight. When you chop his cock off, I want a front-row seat.”

I lean back for a knuckle touch. “Deal, dude. Wouldn’t want to deprive you of such quality entertainment.” “


Fostering Hope (Silver Lining Book 1) – Amanda Perry

New adult clean reverse harem

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After shuffling from one bad foster home to another, Parker is finally taken in by a good family. They have seven sons. Five of them are older than Parker.

This was a clean reverse harem romance, which I’ve never run into before. There is kissing but just that, no more. I really liked it. It was sweet and a fast read. There was no insta-love. Feelings built slowly. It had some good humor in it, especially with the character of Austyn.

1st person present tense from Parker and the guys.

I found 24 errors. A lot of them were weird like the first letter at the start of a sentence not being capitalized. Word should fix that on its own.

There is some foul language in this.

Surviving Amber Springs: A Stand-alone Contemporary Romance – Siobhan Davis

High school to college reverse harem romance with crazy feels!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Blaire moved in the middle of her senior year of high school to a new town after her twin brother died. Before school starts, she meets three amazing and hot guys. They had been best friends forever and almost immediately all want her.

I loved this. 5 stars because I would read it again. It was extremely written making for a fast read even though it was pretty long. It needed every word. Things were revealed at the right times along the way, and I don’t want to give any spoilers. Blaire has gone through hell and continues to do so. The story is dramatic but feels real, not like a soap opera. It’s a story of emotions, good ones, bad ones, and complicated ones.

The characters were complicated and felt real as well. I loved Shaznay, the sister of one of the guys, and she provided some much-needed humor. The sex scenes were hot and added to the story. The story is amazing. I’d never thought about the families of the instigators of these crimes and what hell it must be for them.

Warnings: This contains references to gun crimes, rape, suicide, and self-harm. Nothing bad happens between the main characters, no non or dubious consent. There are several graphic sex scenes. All are one-on-one, no group sex.

1st person present tense from Blaire. Midway through we get sections from the guys. This was very well edited. I only found 8 errors.

Trick Me Twice: An Enemies to Lovers High School Bully Romance – Becca Steele

Hot British high school bully romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Carter is a king of the school. Raine is keeping herself hidden away. She seemed weak at first, but she slowly comes out of her shell and becomes strong. I was happy with her by the end. Carter had to mature and get stronger as well. I liked both of these characters because they had flaws and grew as the story progressed. I also liked many of the secondary characters.

The writing was choppy and uncomfortable at first but quickly got better for me. It was a quick read. I wasn’t bored anywhere. I liked it a lot but didn’t love it, so four stars.

This contains three graphic sex scenes, so there is much more story than sex. There is quite a bit of foul language.

1st person past tense from Carter and Raine.

This book is well edited. It is written in British English. Only 8 errors interrupted me.

Kings of Linwood Academy – The Complete Box Set: A Dark High School Romance Series – Callie Rose

Hot reverse harem high school murder mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Harlow and her mom move from Arizona to a wealthy east coast town. Her mom is hired to be the live-in Executive Housekeeper for the Black family. Their teenage son Lincoln and his best friends, River, Dax, and Chase hate Harlow immediately. They rule the school and lead her torture there. Then the five of them witness a murder by a man in a mask.

I liked this a lot, but I wouldn’t want to read it again. Murder mysteries have much lower re-readability for me, since I’m not going to forget who done it. I’m not a big fan of mystery novels in general, so it’s harder to make me love them. And this is very long. I can see why it was broken into three books, but it felt overly long. The pacing was good for most of this, but I got bored for a while in the third book.

This is definitely teen erotica. If you’re against that, walk away now. Personally, I’m a fan. I don’t want to do things with teenagers in real life, but I like to imagine myself back as a teenager. And reading about teens having sex doesn’t bother me. When I was 16, everyone I knew was having sex. I haven’t forgotten that just because I’m older now. It’s actually quite realistic in that regard. There are many sex scenes in this, some with just one guy and others with two or all of them, but there is a lot more story than sex here. Recreational marijuana use appears a few times here, which also matches my teenage experience.

I liked all the characters. Harlow isn’t timid. She’s got a mouth on her and takes the initial abuse well, doesn’t cry and moan about how unfair it all is. She just says how these rich fucks must be bored. I liked that Harlow had a very realistic reaction to seeing someone die. She goes into shock for a bit and then can’t sleep or eat for days. Too many times I see characters handling things like this like it was no big deal, the story on to something else. I’m glad to see a realistic reaction for once.

I loved that all four of the guys had distinct personalities and weren’t just clones of each other, even the twins. Chase and Dax are almost identical twins but have enough physical differences to be told apart. Their personalities are widely different. All four guys are somewhat possessive and protective, but they don’t smother Harlow. I also loved Harlow’s mom and that someone in this novel has a good parent.

1st person present tense, all from Harlow’s perspective.

This novel is well edited until the end of the third book. I found 3 errors between the first two books. I found 11 errors in the third book alone, mostly subject-verb agreements.


Favorite Quotes:

“Don’t fall in love with any rich boys. They’re trouble.”

When Harlow’s mom is going on a date: I make her promise to be home by midnight and use protection, because I’ve gotta give her a little shit while I’m at it, right?

Having four boyfriends, as amazing as it is, isn’t great for staying clean.

I grit my teeth. “Because I’m collecting boyfriends, and I want to raise the average age of my harem.”



All Saints High Series – L. J. Shen

The All Saints High books are about the kids of the people in Shen’s Sinners of Saint series. I found them when I was looking for dark high school romances. I haven’t read the parent’s series but went ahead with these. It’s a mood thing. These all had crazy amounts of reviews, mostly 5 star, and are tip top ranked on Amazon. All of these books are written in 1st person present tense with chapters from the two main characters. They each have a couple of chapters from the parents of one of the main characters, which I loved.

Pretty Reckless (Book 1)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m so glad the first book was as good as all the reviews and rankings said it would be. It’s actually SAFE, which I was surprised by, but it’s true. And the editing was amazing. I found so few errors in this! 4 since I always say. What a pleasure to read. In all these books, the bitchy banter is very amusing, there is a lot of great humor, and the sex scenes are hot.

When I was about 12 and started keeping a diary, my mom told me I shouldn’t write anything down that I didn’t want my grandmother reading in a newspaper. This is what code that can only make sense to you is for if you can’t stop yourself. I think everyone should pass on this wisdom to their children!


Favorite Quotes:

Daria: The only way I could protect myself from the fire was by creating a bigger blaze. If they thought I was untouchable, they’d fear me instead of taunt me. If they thought the hard-nosed principal had my back—or had me on my back, for that matter—I would not be messed with. So I nurtured the rumors, made them grow, gave them wings, and let them fly, like butterflies from a Mason jar.

Penn: I need to make sure that Daria is a hobby, not an addiction. Adolescent hearts are trash and as loyal as a starving stray cat. They’ll take anything. Even scraps. I don’t want to feed my rusty tin heart junk. And Daria, she stomped on it hard enough for me to know she’s not even a greasy burger. She’s a Pop-Tarts covered in cyanide.

Daria: High school is an aquarium full of sharks. People are always broiling with the need to burst free. Only the strong survive.

Penn: A perceptive little thing, she is. I don’t think people give Daria the credit she deserves. She could’ve found Bin Laden in a week had she been given enough Red Bull and good internet service.


Broken Knight (Book 2)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was hating this for a long time. I mean it’s beautifully written, but it is one hell of a tearjerker! It reminded me of Present Perfect by Alison Bailey, which kept knocking me over the head with tragic events. I read that in December 2013 (I keep a spreadsheet) and still remember it for screaming, “Enough already!” Broken Knight wasn’t that level of angsty and got better, happier, as it went on.

I have to give it only 4 stars because I don’t want to go through that (read it) again. Thankfully, there are very necessary moments of laugh out loud humor in this book. It needs the comic relief. The humor got me through it. This one is definitely not SAFE. We have to suffer through sex scenes with Other People. At least they are short snippets and not detailed.

This is the first book I have read in a very long time that I didn’t find any errors in!


Favorite Quotes:

Knight:

Footsteps thudded in the hall, and I stretched in the large bed, nudging the woman sleeping on my chest to wake up. “Your husband’s back. Pretty sure he won’t be so happy to see a stud like me in his bed.”

Mom looked up, blinking the sleep from her eyes. She swatted my chest, then coughed. “Hide. I wouldn’t mess with him.”

“We always thought we were going to have girls, Rosie and me.”

I couldn’t help but smirk, mainly because all they had were boys. And we were about the most testosterone-filled creatures in the history of mankind. Sometimes I wondered if I had blood or jizz in my veins.

Mom looked down, flattening her palm over my linen and brushing it absentmindedly. Bad idea. This shit is ninety-nine percent spunk, one percent fabric.


Angry God (Book 3)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After Broken Knight, I had to take break and read some other books, afraid of another tearjerker. But Angry God was back to what I loved in the first book. I’m glad I came back because this was fantastic.

This one isn’t SAFE because we have to endure Vaughn getting blowjobs from Other Women. But I knew this going in from the previous books. He wasn’t in a relationship with Lenora at the time. What really bothered me was the casual way all the teens thought about this. I wanted to scream that you can catch STDs from oral sex too.


Favorite Quotes:

Vaughn:

Empedolces emerged from the rosebushes, strutting his ass like a Kardashian in my direction. I’d named my blind black cat after the Greek philosopher who discovered the world was a sphere. This cat, like the philosopher, thought himself to be God. He had a fierce sense of entitlement and demanded to be stroked at least an hour a day—a wish that, for a reason beyond my grasp, my sorry ass granted him.

It was by far the most human thing I ever did, being pussy-whipped by a literal pussy. Emp brushed past my dirty boot. I picked him up, rubbing the spot behind his ear. He purred like a tractor.

I came buckets. I hadn’t come often before my arrangement with Good Girl, and never this much. I’m talking enough to fill a milk carton. I had to Google that shit to see that it was normal.

I pushed the door open, hoping to find her working or reading or converting to a religion where she could only have sex with people named Vaughn Spencer.



Flawed – Becky Bird

An okay reimagining of Pride and Prejudice with teens in high school

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I love Jane Austen and have read all her books. I’ve enjoyed all the miniseries and movies. I’m not a purist and have enjoyed sequel regency romance novels. I’ve also loved Austen storylines reimagined movies. My favorites are “Bride and Prejudice” and “Clueless” (Emma). So when I read this book was “Pride and Prejudice” reimagined with teens in the modern world, I was fully prepared to love it. Unfortunately, I had some major problems with it.

It’s cute and sometimes amusing. I had no problem finishing it. I wasn’t bored, and it didn’t drag on. The writing was okay. I kinda liked it. But you can tell I’m not really excited by it.

These were my major problems with it:

1. Dialogue straight from Austen, some of the most memorable quotes, did not sound realistic coming from modern teenagers. It felt forced and fake.

2. Overused clichés – mean girls, the destruction of a dress right before a fashion show, a prom-like climax, and others. It felt too “Gossip Girl”.

3. The “Bingham” character was far too shallow and narcissistic. He also punched out his windshield, twice, which indicated anger control issues. It made me worry Jade (Jane) would be abused later.

4. The entire book takes place within the time “Pride and Prejudice” is being discussed and quizzed on in Mia’s class (Elizabeth Bennet). The timing wasn’t clear. I don’t know how many weeks passed between the start and the end. But it felt way too long to be discussing one book. At least my English teachers never would have taken that long on a single book.

5. Along with the last point, the action unfolds so the class talks about the plot points in P&P as they correspond to what’s going on in Mia’s life. This forced the comparison, as if I wouldn’t get it otherwise, when it was blatantly obvious all along. It also made me doubt Mia’s intelligence as she doesn’t see the similarities between the book and her life.

1st person present tense with alternating chapters from the two main characters. I did like getting into the mind of Finn (Darcy).

Clean romance appropriate for young readers. Nothing beyond kissing. No foul language. Little violence – mainly the punching windshields thing. No OM/OW drama.

HFN, which felt more appropriate than a HEA.

Grammar:

Dialogue is very often separated from the action sequence that identifies the speaker. Sometimes one character speaks twice, in two separate paragraphs. This made knowing who was speaking difficult to figure out in places. There weren’t any unnecessary dialogue tags, but there were places where necessary tags were missing.

Commas weren’t routinely missing, so not using them wasn’t a choice. There were 9 missing commas.

Other error count:  15 (misspelled, wrong, extra, and missing words, and missing punctuation marks)

So it was readable but not a good job.

My favorite quote comes from the school principal as she is about to announce the king and queen of the winter formal dance: “Pipe down, you pompous—” Potter lets out a loud whistle. There’s dead silence as she finishes her sentence with “…little turdfaces!” More awkward silence follows, and Principal Potter gives a wry smile. “Firstly, I want to say I’m drunk.”

No Safe Haven (The Last Sanctuary) – Kyla Stone

Not a romance but awesome nonetheless

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Raven has been living at a small wildlife refuge in northern Georgia when the Hydra virus breaks out.

Amazon listed this under “Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction & Dystopian Romance ebooks”, so I was expecting romance in it. It’s not there, just to clarify expectations for others.

It was still extremely good! The writing itself is excellent. The author clearly knows or researched a lot about animals, forests, and survival skills. All the little details painted a vibrant world. The action is written beautifully with great pacing and suspense. I love animals, and the feels were intense when it came to them here.

All Is Silence – Robert L. Slater

No zombies! Pretty clean YA

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love post-apocalyptic fiction and this gave me that. I was predisposed to like it. There are no zombies! Hurray! The story was engaging, fast paced, and seemed realistic. I liked that the characters weren’t flat. They have flaws, but I could still sympathize with them.

The writing was good but not amazing. I would have loved more details about the world. There were very few grammar mistakes.

Sex occurs once in the book, but I would still call it “clean”. That one scene had very little description and was over very quickly. The violence wasn’t described in detail either. There were a few curse words, including the F word, but they were rare.

The Hunt Trilogy- Andrew Fukuda

Gripping story and excellent writing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Hunt

This is a rapid page-turner. The story grabs you and pulls you along with it like a strong current. It’s not only a great story but great writing. Fukuda describes things like a poet, but not a snobby one that no one can understand. It was so good that I wrote down some quotes.

“Because despite my near identical physiological similarity with them, there are seismic fundamental differences that lie beneath the frail and deceptive surface of similarity.”

“He can whisper a rat to death with the razor-sharp incisions of his carefully nuanced words.”

“The paper is now more crinkled than a smashed mirror, the words and phrases hung up in it like insects caught in a spider’s web.”

I can understand all these. They paint pictures in my mind and don’t detract from the pacing of the story. Sometimes I get the urge to skip ahead to find out what happens because I just have to know, but the writing is too good to miss.

Books 1 and 2 have cliffhanger endings. I highly recommend having immediate access to the next book available!

The Prey

Just as with part 1, I can’t put it down. The water tunnel gave me the creeps! This is a must-read.

The Trap

Absolute genius! Ziplined to the satisfying end.

The 3rd installment of this trilogy keeps the fast pace and beautiful writing going. The words paint vivid pictures for the movie in my head. With something as good and long as this, I dread getting to the end. Usually, I don’t want it to end or I’m bummed with the ending. Not here. I think the ending is genius. It satisfies. There is a hard ending – no more cliffhangers. There are a few strings not tied up prettily in some characters whose fates are unknown, but they don’t really bother me. It all makes sense. Love it!