Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers REVIEW

midnightInherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers

Available in Print and eBook format.

Eight people flying around the world to historic locations, solving riddles, tackling physical challenges – the latest reality show? No, it is Avery’s life, at least until she or one of her family members wins this contest.

After a nearly successful escape from her boarding school, Avery is returned to the mansion where she grew up under the watchful eye of her Grandmother VanDemere. For Avery, the mansion was like a prison – no sleepovers, no dating, no leaving the house except for school.

Grandmother is obsessed with family history and preserving the name VanDemere. Avery’s existence is a black mark on that heritage. Her father had an affair with the nanny and Avery was the result. After that her alcoholic father disappeared, so Avery grew up with only her grandmother and occasional visits from her snobby cousins who look down on her.

Grandmother Vandemere is not happy with her sons or grandchildren and decides the only way to find a worthy heir to the family fortune is to pit them against each other. If it means Avery doesn’t have to return to school, she will try her best at the competition. She faces backstabbing, cheating and uncles more knowledgeable in family history.

With the family lawyer’s attractive son at her side, Avery sets out to the seemingly impossible task of taking on the family she loathes. Avery is not prepared for the things she discovers about herself and her family along the way.  

~Review by Will Smither, Indy PL Librarian and Teen Services Committee. You Know You Wanna Read It Blog.

Check out Kate Kae Myers on Facebook, Goodreads, and  YouTube.

Surf Mules by G. Neri REVIEW

surfSurf Mules by G. Neri

Available in Print.

For surfers, it’s all about the next big wave. Hitting the surf whenever possible to ride that perfect wave is a lifestyle. Logan and Z-boy never want to give that up. Just after high school (Logan graduated, Z-boy was short a few credits), they wonder about the rest of their lives. It’s tough to make a living as a surfer, so they decide to become drug runners to make a lot of money quickly.

There are better ways to deal with your future plans than getting involved with drugs, but the opportunity presents itself at moment when their lives aren’t exactly stellar. Logan and Z-boy just lost their close friend, Fin. He was an excellent surfer, but took a hit on a huge wave and never came back up. Logan recently fought with Fin and never reconciled. Also, Logan’s deadbeat dad has his college fund tied up in debts. Z-boy has nothing to look forward to except the waves.

If the two could make enough money to buy a nice place near the ocean, they could live carefree for the rest of their lives surfing, smoking pot and meeting women. When someone connects them to a big time dealer who will pay them to drive a car filled with pot across the country to be sold, they see the possibilities of a bright future. They’ve never really traveled beyond California, but now they must drive to Florida under the guise of being young Republicans out to recruit for the party. Two inexperienced surfer dudes crossing the country on their own for the first time with a car full of illegal drugs, what could go wrong?

Even though we know these young men have made a stupid decision (not mention an illegal one) we hope they succeed. We want them to get back safe. They have long lives ahead of them and plenty of waves to catch.

Follow author G. Neri on Facebook and Twitter.

~Review by Will Smither, Indy PL Librarian and Teen Services Committee. You Know You Wanna Read It Blog.

I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil REVIEW

gladI’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil

Available in Print and eBook.

JJ Green wants to be a professional songwriter. Her mom is a lawyer. Her dad is a judge. Her brother is in law school. Hmmm…I wonder what they want her to do?

Luckily for JJ, she lives in New York City. In 1963, there is no place better for aspiring songwriters than the Brill Building, home to successful music composers and publishers.

JJ’s mom has nothing kind to say about the music business (largely due to her brother Bernie), but has agreed to let JJ work the summer as an intern in the Brill Building with the stipulation that JJ has to write a song that becomes a hit record by the end of summer or she gives up her dream of becoming a professional songwriter.

JJ often has lunch with her estranged Uncle Bernie (who is a big executive in the building). She is happy to learn from him, but she would never tell her mother about their contact. She meets Luke, who at first is aloof and mysterious, but turns out to be a lyricist who immediately understands her music. JJ befriends the night janitor who turns out to be the once famous singer Dulcie Brown herself. It is a fateful friendship that reveals much about everyone’s past. And then there is the murder…

…Or is it suicide like the police think? This is not just a story of a girl trying to prove something to herself and her parents (with a little romance thrown in, too). JJ must solve the murder of someone close to her – it becomes more important than anything else that summer including songwriting.

Cynthia Weil, the author, is a songwriter who worked in the Brill Building in 1960s and along with her husband wrote some of the most famous pop songs of the time.

~Review by Will Smither, Indy PL Librarian and Teen Services Committee. You Know You Wanna Read It Blog.

Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde re-tellings

hydeI had to share this book with you because it sounds so GOOD!

The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr.

Coming soon in Print. (On Order, place a request now!)

This steampunk fantasy intrigues me because it is a twist on the familiar Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde story. I absolutely love the cover of this first book in the new Electric Empire series.

The Diabolical Miss Hyde is about the daughter of Dr. Henry Jekyll, Dr. Eliza Jekyll, who is a crime scene investigator. Cue the song “Who Are You” by The Who.

The setting of The Diabolical Miss Hyde is an electric-powered Victorian London with lots of interesting tech gadgets for Eliza to use in her search for a new killer that is on the loose.

Much like her father, Eliza has a secret. A seductive and impulsive side that exhibits itself with the help of her father’s elixir.

The story doesn’t stop with hunting down a killer and an alternate personality. There is also an element of magic involved when Eliza is accused of being a sorceress.

I’m really looking forward to this twisted re-telling of the classic Hyde story.

If you are in the mood for another Jekyll/Hyde re-telling with a bit of Edgar Allan Poe, you might want to check out this next book.

madOf Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday (author blog).

Available in Print, and Ebook.

“In 1820s Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which her father and his alluring assistant might be implicated”– Provided by publisher.

I really enjoyed this fast-paced first book in the “Of Monsters and Madness” Gothic series. It was a cross between Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, with a bit of a Northanger Abbey flavor. Add to that the historical element of including Edgar Allan Poe and it was an interesting read. Be on the lookout for the next book in this series, coming soon, called “Of Phantoms and Fury“!

– Michelle Frost, Indy PL Librarian

Review of THE ONLY THING TO FEAR by Caroline Tung Richmond

fearThe Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond

Available in Print.

What if Germany had won World War II? The life you know would not exist – you would not exist. There would have been no Beatles, no Martin Luther King, no walk on the moon, no President Obama. Everything we have known for that last 70 years would not have happened.

Knowing the premise, I expected that Germany would have won the war by changing one thing in history (like they built the atomic bomb first), but it turns out that they created genetically altered superhumans. That’s how they overran Europe and eventually the United States. The US has been divided up: Germany controls the East, Japan the West, and Italy the Dakota region.

Zara lives in the same year we do now, but you wouldn’t recognize it. Nazi’s live in big, fancy houses in the center of town. Zara lives with her Uncle Red in a shack on a farm in the country. She is the descendant of Americans – even worse for her, she is part Japanese. Mixed race people are looked down upon even more than non-Germans.

Zara’s uncle is a resistance fighter, but lost all energy after her mother was killed for being part of the resistance, too. Zara wants nothing more than to be part of the resistance and fight the Nazi’s but her uncle refuses to let her. She lives a dreary life being a cleaning girl in a fancy prep school during the day and working on the farm until dark. The Nazi rule has left little hope for anyone not in step with the regime.

Zara is also an anomaly, a person with special powers (just another bit of science fiction). She can control the wind, even creating a tornado if she chooses. If the Nazi’s found out, they would kill her for sure. It is this secret and her family’s connection to the resistance that make Bastian’s attention so unnerving. Bastian is a student at the prep school and the son of one of a ruthless Nazi colonel. Zara must choose her words carefully when he speaks to her, because she does not know his motive for the conversations.

As the Nazi atrocities hit closer to home, Zara is swept up in the movement to help restore America. The action and suspense will not disappoint.

~Review by Will Smither, Indy PL Librarian and Teen Services Committee. You Know You Wanna Read It Blog.