So, as I mentioned before, I went to Lanzarote for 10 days, and if you don't already know, I'm a reader, so of course, I spent a couple of nights scouring amazon for books to take. I generally look up 'free young adult books' into the kindle section, and usually get a few good ones. This year, I downloaded 29 free books and a novella which was the 4th in a series I like (77pence). Of those thirty books, I managed to read 23! I know, I've been disowned by several friends for it, but what else am I going to do?
So I'm now going to list my Top Ten of those 23, which were all free at the time, but if they're not any longer, I will list their prices!
*WARNING: INCREDIBLY LONG POST!!!*
The Woods - Harlan Coben
Now £5.49 on kindle
Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again. For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six- year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of cancer. Balancing family life and a rapidly ascending career as a prosecutor distracts him from his past traumas, but only for so long. When a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried secrets of the prosecutor's family are threatened.
Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? Could his sister be alive? Cope has to confront so much he left behind that summer twenty years ago: his first love, Lucy; his mother, who abandoned the family; and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children. Cope must decide what is better left hidden in the dark and what truths can be brought to the light.
I personally love Harlan Coben books, his writing's brilliant. This reminded me of some sort of Friday the 13th parody, but it brought so much depth to it and plot twists and personality. You felt for the characters, for their losses and traumas. As a mystery, it reveals the right things at exactly the right time, which Harlan Coben has perfected.
The Brightest Kind of Darkness - P.T. Michelle
Now £2.99 on kindle.
Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate...until she dreams a future she can't ignore.
After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.
Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.
This one brought a new idea that I have yet to see, I've read books about mind-readers, even about people who have premonitions, but not about someone who dreams a day ahead. It brings about questions of morals, makes you wonder why these things are happening to these two characters. The characters themselves are interesting, with personalities and back stories that you find out slowly, just right for books like this.
Project ELE - Rebecca Gober & Courtney Nuckles
Free on kindle!
Millions have already died, and thousands more are perishing daily. As a last ditch effort to preserve the human race, the government implements Project ELE. With the earth heating at rapid speeds, all remaining survivors are forced to turn to F.E.M.A. shelters to wait out ELE's wrath.
Willow Mosby's life, as she knows it, ends the moment she walks through the shelter's door. Willow has to quickly adapt to the new challenges that shelter life demands, which includes making new friends and working a full time job.
Soon after making an interesting discovery, Willow and her friends start exhibiting strange abilities. Seeking answers, they embark on a mission to find out what these new abilities mean and whether they are a gift or a curse.
This new adventure can send her world crashing down around her. The question is: Can Willow survive the fall?
I've yet to read a dystopian novel that sends people into actual camps. It does raise good points, fully details the emotions that Willow feels at her loss and integration into the FEMA shelter. Although you can draw a couple of conclusions before they're revealed, it still maintains a good level of suspense and steady pacing, and I can't wait to read the rest, because it has me intrigued.
Venom - Kristen Middleton
Free on kindle!
When Melody Williams goes missing at a concert, at Club Nightshade, her eighteen-year-old cousin, Chelsey Fairfax, sneaks into the club to find answers. Little does she know that some mysteries are better left hidden.
Meanwhile, Venom is in town, a hot new band from Europe, and the owner of Club Nightshade wants them there permanently...
Although this isn't the best written, it satisfied my need for some supernatural beings! Although there is a slight pacing issue towards the end, it was nice to be able to read something without that much to it. A girl does get tired of long books, you know.
The Beautiful Ones - Lori Brighton
< Can you guess? Free on kindle!
Some say we’re special, and that’s why we’re kept in seclusion. Beyond those walls evil lurks and innocent prey would be lost in minutes. Gone. Destroyed. Forgotten.
Others say the opposite: we’re locked away because there’s something wrong with us. If we roamed the outside world, we might taint the beautiful ones. A species so pure, that to merely be in their presence is a gift.
As for my beliefs…I’m not sure.
But I do know one thing: neither of those reasons explains why it is that they come for us only after we’ve passed the age of sixteen. Whether we want to go or not, we’re taken through those iron gates. Escorted away from the only home we’ve ever known, escorted to our destiny—whatever that destiny may be—never to be seen again.
Lori Brighton is a writer who has already acquainted my kindle via 'the Mind Readers' series she wrote, which also began with a free book before the whole series found its way onto the device, and I think she may have done it again, unfortunately for my parents' amazon account. It shows life from both sides, from inside the walls, and on the outside, and on the outside ... the twist is amazing! Methinks The Chosen Ones will be gracing my kindle soon!
Open Minds - Susan Kaye Quinn
Free on kindle!
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden underworld of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.
I've read books about mind readers before, but not from the angle of everyone else being a mind reader and you being a minority. A good premise with a well-paced plot, it raised, for me, questions about society, about how we treat minorities, and how people who are the odd ones out want to change to fit in. It reminds you to be proud of your differences, but also to not use them to your advantages too much.
The Amulet's Flaw - Jess Strider
Free on kindle!
All that Rebbie knows about the world is changing... again.
After two years of living in a nation where peace has reigned for centuries and inherited magic is merely controlled, the curious Rebbie Barrett has finally managed to get used to Between after years of asking questions. But when she discovers a mysterious amulet left alone on the ground, she is left with more questions than answers once more when its magic causes her pain - something that the magic she knows can never do. Then the questions never end when visions about Between's recent string of disappearances start to somehow invade her dreams, revealing pieces of a convoluted mission led by someone named Orenda that all seem to connect with the same amulet that Rebbie touched before.
Plagued by these persistent dreams and their results, Rebbie is forced to watch the unfolding events of a rising darkness that nobody has anticipated - and with it, she discovers the impact on the unfortunate others who witness the true and terrible nature of the amulet firsthand.
Rebbie is determined to never see the amulet's true nature herself, but to Orenda and her growing number of followers, she doesn't have a choice.
Although this book is longwinded with several information dumps, once you get to the action, you get to it! It's certainly like nothing I've read before, with magic and trainee magicians, you'd think it'd be like Harry Potter, but the premise is like no other. I felt drawn into the madness that the amulet left in it's wake, and I'm currently drawn to getting the second one. Again, RIP my parents' amazon.
Guardians: The Girl - Lola StVil
Free on kindle!
After his death, Marcus found the love of his life...
Unfortunately it's not his sexy, telekinetic angel girlfriend --- it's Emmy Baxter... a human.
Between torture, demon attacks, and midterms, Marcus and Emily must fight their feelings for a devastating prophecy has predicted:
"Should Angel and Human unite, humanity will perish."
The beginning of this book certainly draws you in, but afterwards it tails out slightly. It falls into Twilight-style romance. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed learning about the Guardians and their traditions, and that blurb really doesn't do the premise justice, it's much more that the angel romance, but when it gets into it, you kind of forget that fact as it's drowned by the Marcus feels. Perhaps I would enjoy it a bit more if the pages weren't bulked up by the angel feels.
Perception - Lee & Elle Strauss
Free on kindle!
Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP--a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.
Her brother Liam is missing.
Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they've created between those who have and those who don't. He doesn't like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.
Zoe's carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She's in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.
Much like The Uglies by Scott Westerfield (which I have yet to read, but would like to), Perception focusses on genetically altered people, who age slower, don't blemish and are pretty damn generic. Zoe begins her quest for her brother unknowing of what it's like to not be a GAP, and the learning curve she experiences is refreshing. She goes from tenacious ignorance to blissful acceptance, and I'm sure, after the ending it had, I will be collecting the trilogy.
A French Girl in New York - Anna Adams
Maude Laurent is a spirited sixteen-year-old orphan who grew up in a small, provincial town in the North of France with a passion for piano and a beautiful voice.
One day in Paris, she is discovered by an American music producer who takes her to New York to live with him and his close-knit family while producing her first album, with help from teen pop star, Matt. Maude will dive into a new fascinating world discovering New York City, music, family, love and the truth about her past.
This book reminds me of the Geek Girl series, just on a different platform. You follow Maude from her neglecting home through highs and lows in New York, through fear of her family, love, friendship and troubles. You not only learn about the characters, but about the industry as well, getting a look into the eyes of child stars, of how they feel and deal with their fame.
So that's my recommendations from this year's vacation, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's nice to get some reading time in every now and again! If you think you'll be giving any of these books a try, be sure to tell me!
I'm now scheduling posts on my new phone (Nokia Lumia 625, whoop!) so be ready for more regular posts and better content, because I have an idea of what I'm writing :)