Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Fallen Angel by Molly Snow

Fallen Angel by Molly Snow

Age Range: 12 and up

Publisher: Breezy Reads (May 17, 2013)

Publisher Website:

Genre: Young Adult romance

Source: Copy from author for review

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Teen angel, Persephone, is the only one in all of Heaven who can’t sing. In fact, her name literally means “Voice of Destruction.” So diving down one of Heaven’s portals, straight into singer Taylor Hamilton’s bedroom, seems like a good idea at the time. Maybe, just maybe, he can help. Plus, he is sooo cute!

While it can be fun swooning over a mortal, it can also be frustrating. Angels aren’t supposed to fall for mortals. Then there’s Taylor’s guardian angel, who is ready to sabotage the budding romance at every turn. Will Persephone learn to sing before Heaven calls her back? And, most importantly, can love prevail for an angel who has fallen head-over-wings for a mortal?

About Molly Snow:

Molly Snow is a Top 10 Idaho Fiction Author, awarded by The Idaho Book Extravaganza. Her works include quirky teen romances BeSwitched and Fallen Angel. Also a speaker on writing, her school assemblies have been featured in The Contra Costa Times and The Brentwood Press. Snow is married to her high school crush, has a set of silly twin boys and a bobtail cat named Meow-Meow.

My Thoughts:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is precisely what it looks like. It is a light, clean romance about a teenage angel falling to earth to be with a mortal boy.  The romance is sweet and perfectly clean.  There are a couple of very chaste kisses that happen. The characters are a bit shallow, but generally likeable.  The plot is predictable yet still enjoyable.

I would have liked to see the writing and the characters a little more developed.  While the feel of the book was very light and breezy, it almost felt under-developed.  Almost.  I still enjoyed the story quite a bit and I plan on reading more of Molly's work.

If you are looking for something light, clean, and fun, this is a good choice. This is a good book to read on an afternoon when you just want a feel-good story.   This book will appeal to tween and teen readers.

Content: clean.

The Cover: So adorable! I love the colors and the placement of the girl. The title design is perfect for the book, too.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Age Range: 12 and up

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (June 4, 2013)

Source: NetGalley (Thank you!)

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.


"There is nothing standardized about this Testing. Charbonneau's imagination will surprise readers at every turn."

—Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

"Action-packed and full of twists, The Testing will keep you guessing until the very last page—and desperate for the next book!" 

—Erica O'Rourke, author of the Torn Trilogy

"The rising tension, skillfully executed scenarios, and rich characterizations all contribute to an exciting story bound to capture readers' imaginations. . . . Charbonneau works action, romance, intrigue, and a plausible dystopian premise into a near-flawless

Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Charbonneau jumps into the packed dystopia field with a mashup of Veronica Roth's Divergent (2011) and Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy, but she successfully makes her story her own."


About the Author:

I am a storyteller at heart. I have performed in a variety of operas, musical theatre and children's theatre productions across the Chicagoland area.

While I'm happy to perform for an audience, I am equally delighted to teach private voice lessons and use my experience from the stage to create compelling characters on the page. I am the author of the Rebecca Robbins mystery series (Minotaur Books), The Paige Marshall Glee Club mysteries (Berkley) and The Testing YA triology (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).


My Thoughts:

I've never been a huge fan of dystopian novels, but there are some good ones out there. The Testing is okay. It's nothing new, and most of it is very generic.  While the plot and premise are both interesting, the characters aren't developed very well.  The writing lacks a distinctive voice, and most character interactions feel forced. I am not in love with the book, but I don't hate it either.  It falls right in the middle for me.  That being said, it is still a well planned novel that most dystopian fans will enjoy.

Content: violence and disturbing scenes.

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