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SHADOW FALLS: THE NEXT CHAPTER by C. C. Hunter

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Bookoutlet.com – Shadow Falls: The Next Chapter

Amazon.com – Shadow Falls: The Next Chapter

Genre: YA/Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal, and the more she discovers about her true identity, the more she wants to know. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with―and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. Ghosts are haunting her, and one delivers a frightful warning: someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different―and more astonishing―than she ever imagined.

Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal. Not only can she see ghosts, but she doesn’t seem to belong to any one species―she exhibits traits from them all. As Kylie struggles to unlock the secrets of her identity, she begins to worry that Lucas will never be able to accept her for what she is, and what she isn’t…a werewolf. With his pack standing in their way, Kylie finds herself turning more and more to Derek, the only person in her life who’s willing to accept the impossible.

As if life isn’t hard enough, she starts getting visits from the ghost of Holiday, her closest confidante. Trouble is, Holiday isn’t dead…not yet anyway. Now Kylie must race to save one of her own from an unseen danger before it’s too late―all while trying to stop her relationship with Lucas from slipping away forever. In a world of constant confusion, there’s only one thing Kylie knows for sure. Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end…maybe even her time at Shadow Falls.

Opinion: Well, Its official guys. The happiness in my soul has finally cascaded down a steep cliff and drowned in the Pacific Ocean. *Sigh* Woe is me! How can one little series affect me in such a way?! After reading the first two books, Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn, all I thought was how intriguing and wonderful these books were as they took me on a fun little ride down Fantasy Highway. Then I started reading the second “2 Books in 1” installment and WHAM, suddenly my pumpkin carriage is now a roller coaster ride to hell and I’m finding myself on the corner of Depression Lane and ThisS**tBetterTurnOutHowIWant Boulevard. I mean honestly, I’m a little pissed the ____ off right now…but as always, I can appreciate this pissed off feeling.

Why do these authors do this to me?

As Kyle adjusts to her new life of being a supernatural, she realizes that going back to her old life would be out of the question. Though she is finding acceptance with being at Shadow Falls and with her newfound friendships, her quest to find answers to who (or what) she really is has just begun. Not only is Kylie struggling with coming across countless dead ends to her questions, she is also stuck with trying to figure out if she is supposed to be with Derek, the Fae that is considerate and sweet, or Lucas, the mysterious Were from her past. But as Kylie finally makes her decision, countless obstacles get in the way of them being together. Soon more strange and miraculous powers start to emerge from Kyle, which only brings more confusion to the Camp leader Holiday, and Burnett, the FRU agent. On top of everything else, Kylie’s ghost situation only becomes more difficult with each visitor. After one ghost tells her of a haunting message someone lives and someone dies, Kylie fears that she might soon lose one of her new friends or family members. But with these ghosts haunting Kylie and dragging her into terrifying visions of their deaths and pasts, Shadow Falls camp is also on high alert as they try to protect Kylie from an intruder who is set on kidnapping Kylie for her unique abilities.

That was probably one of the hardest descriptions I have had to write, for the fact that there is no way to go around spilling secrets from this series. So saying that, please be aware:

THIS REVIEW IS GOING TO BE FULL OF SPOILERS!

So much has happened in these two books, Taken at Dusk and Whispers at Moonrise, that it’s hard to even know where to begin! Firstly, I guess we can start with how much this author has SERIOUSLY pulled me into the life of Kylie Galen. I feel that I have a deep connection with this character and truly care about her well-being and future. It isn’t very often that I still like a main character by the third and fourth books, because frankly, they start to get whiny and annoying. Kylie on the other hand, takes realistic and horrific supernatural visions and family/friend drama like a CHAMPION. I enjoy that I get to have descriptions of the emotional turmoil she is constantly going through, but I feel like it doesn’t go past the point of unrealistic and start to become a story about a girl who is absorbed in drama and teenage angst. The author does a great job of engulfing the reader in the visual experiences that Kylie has with ghosts, which are more or less visions of how the ghosts’ lived or died. If it was me having those experiences, best believe I would not be as calm after those visions as this character; but that is probably why I like her so much.

These two books, once again, are packed with adventure and new twists and turns. I really like how this author writes because she has a knack for giving the reader tiny bits of necessary information, but writing it into the story in such a nonchalant way that the reader has a hard time figuring out what is going to happen. I personally LOVE when an author has the ability to make me so confused with the clues that they lay out for me, that I start reading even faster so I know where the hell the story is going to end up.

There were so many heartbreaking moments in these two books, and it has really put quite the damper on my heart. I was hoping the whole someone lives and someone dies thing was going to be a metaphor or something, but sadly it wasn’t. It is interesting that many of the ghosts that appear to Kylie are ghosts that are either connected to her or someone she is close with. Especially since there is a cemetery full of ghosts that beg Kylie for help, I find it interesting that only the ones close to her circle of people are who she comes in contact with. I think it is a unique quality to add to the book, but I am definitely hoping that she comes into contact with some ghosts that have nothing to do with her or her friends.

Okay, I seriously have to touch on the Lucas and Derek thing now. I know, I know. It is another most annoying love triangle, but alas, I must touch on it because I…am losing my s**t over here guys. Losing. My. S**t. You may remember from my last review of Shadow Falls: The Beginning (if you read it) that I mentioned how in every series with a love triangle there is always one guy that is a complete badass while the other is kind of boring. I also had said, that this might be the first love triangle I have read about where the male characters were actually kind of even. On that note, I would like to slightly change my opinion. Derek, as much as I hate to say it, has been named the male character that is just getting on my nerves. Why? I’ll tell you. I cannot stand a male character that acts more emotional than the female character does, especially when our main female character is going through WAY more insane things. I had really liked Derek in the beginning, but his constant questions to Kylie of “Are you Okay?” just because he is a Fae and can feel her emotions very strongly, really drives me crazy. Enough is enough, I am so tired of hearing him want to talk to her about her emotions and THANKFULLY she gets to the point where she is too. I knew I liked this girl.

On the topic of Lucas, MY OH MY. I could just slap that werewolf in the face. I mean I obviously adore his character because of how mysterious and protective he is, but it is so disappointing to see yet another male figure in Kylie’s life turn out to be a complete idiot. I am still sitting here hoping that the author will mend this relationship between them, because I will be so heartbroken if it doesn’t get fixed. As soon as I had finished this book I literally gasped, opened the next book, and started speed reading so I could find out what will happen.

I am halfway through the last book, and I am still clinging to hope over here.

In conclusion to this way too long review, I read through this installment VERY quickly because of how addicting the series is. Now, as I am currently halfway through reading the last book, I am completely wishing I had slowed down. Obviously because of my emotional investment in the lives of these fictional characters, that would be literally impossible for me to do. I cannot stress enough how much I am enjoying the Shadow Falls series, and I am REALLY recommending that you guys go and give it a chance. It is a great series to get lost in and a great series to obsess over. Which is exactly what I have been doing as of late, obsessing.

4 Stars

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Books · Reviews

KEEPING SECRETS (Faking 19) by Alyson Noel

Amazon.com – Keeping Secrets

Amazon.com – Faking 19

Keeping Secrets is one of those awesome book reissues involving two stories, Faking 19 and Saving Zoë. I decided to split this review into a “Part 1/Part 2” review, just so nothing gets confusing, and because they both deserve their own attention.

Genre: Young Adult/Fiction/Tween

Plot: A beautifully repackaged two-in-one reissue of Saving Zoe and Faking 19 by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël

Secret wishes, hidden heartaches and painful truths. Everyone has them―but some secrets are harder to hide.

We usually tell our best friends everything. Our crushes, our embarrassing stories, our secrets―but sometimes there are truths so deep and dark that we can’t tell anyone. Not our parents, not our sisters…not even our best friends. Some secrets are so unspeakable that we keep them safely locked away so no one will ever discover them.

But what happens when they become more than you can handle alone? In these two magnificent novels, two girls can’t tell anyone about the terrible burdens they carry. But as they’re about to learn, it’s not our secrets that matter most―but those who still love us once they learn the truth.

Opinion: I truly had no expectations going into these two stories, except for the fact that I knew it was a Tween/YA read that would be light and fun. It proved to be just that: fun and exciting, innocent and mischievous, incredibly secretive but very honest. I think it was a great first start to the two books in this reissue collection.

Faking 19 is about a girl named Alex who lives in Orange County with her mother, and is dealing with the few weeks leading up to her possible graduation from high school. With her best friend M, who also happens to be one of the most beautiful and popular girls in her school, they decide to make their current situation more exciting by going to Los Angeles and experiencing the glamorous lifestyle. After soon meeting Connor and Trevor, two older and wealthy guys from England, the lies about their age any other things start to form. Readers follow Alex and M as they struggle with their social and personal lives, and secrets that they keep buried.

I read The Immortals by Alyson Noël in back in the day, and got completely hooked on her young adult romance writing. Her writing has always been simplistic and real, in the sense that I always get hooked right in but it is also usually an even paced read. Faking 19 proved to keep to the author’s style, but with a definitely more realistic take on a teenage girl. The reader catches up with Alex as she seems to be in quite a funk; she’s failing most of her classes, she isn’t as involved in her school as she used to be, and she is angry at her dad for not helping her and her mother financially when he left. M, Alex’s best friend, might be gorgeous and extremely wealthy but her parents are never home. Alex and M are your stereotypical California girls who are dramatic and “just wanna have fun”. They decide to start visiting L.A. more and eventually meet two older guys from London named Connor and Trevor.

I think the relationships between the girls and the two guys they meet was actually fairly realistic in most ways. I found myself becoming suspicious of Connor though, especially when it came to either of the boys realizing how young they were! I mean come on, I think you would know. …then again, the girls these days do look quite a bit older. Weird. I think the author did a great job of portraying the very different issues that M and Alex share in their home life, but that they are both quite similar in the sense that their parents are a bit absent. I think this read really proved to be a great coming-of-age story, and it dove into a lot of issues that young girls face when they are trying to figure out who they are or who they want to be.

All in all, cute story. This isn’t a genre I would probably read still, but it brought me back to my teen years and was enjoyable. I have no qualms at all with this story, so give it a try if you’re into the Tween/YA genre and want to read something laid back!

4 Stars

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