teen romance

Review of ‘Mindspeak’

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Lexi Matthews is a 17-year-old with two secrets she conceals from her classmates at her elite boarding school—she’s the daughter of a famous scientist, and she is able to influence others with her mind. When Jack DeWeese arrives as a new student, Lexi’s life is turned upside down. First, Jack heals her broken wrist with a touch of his hand, and secondly, he seems to know all about her and her secrets. When her father disappears, and she finds herself being pursued by someone who is able to get inside her mind, her relationship with Jack enters a new phase, and she’s not sure if she can trust him, or anyone else for that matter.

Mindspeak by Heather Sunseri is a science fiction thriller combined with young romance, with a plot that is as twisted as your mind will be as you read it. An interesting, and thought-provoking, read.

The ending left a bit too much out. I give it three and a half stars.

Review of ‘Songbird’

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At the age of six, Dani Mays witnessed her alcoholic, abusive father murder her 16-year-old brother Jacey, and then she is essentially abandoned by her mother who is unable to cope with the tragedy. After years in the foster care system, and a string of foster families, Dani has finally found a place she wants to call home, and someone she wants to be with, Reece Tyler. But, she is still haunted by the demons from her past, and bothered by the fact that Reece doesn’t seem to want to be anything but her friend—while she wants more.

Then, people from her past begin to reappear, and she has to learn to face her memories. Songbird by Angela Fristoe takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride with Dani as she finds herself torn between Reece and Colin, the son of one of the foster families to whom she’d once been assigned. Fristoe writes of teen angst like someone who remembers how terrible the teen years can be, but with the deft hand of an author who also knows how to pen a nail-biting thriller. While this is a romance novel for teens, older readers will also find it compelling reading. I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Circle’

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If your reading taste tends to the prudish, you should probably not read Circle by Leon Maldon. If, on the other hand, you are the type reader who can appreciate a genuinely written story of the anguish and angst of being a teenager, with all the problems of self-identification and group identity that accompanies this most turbulent period of life, you just might enjoy it.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. While there were a few formatting issues with the Kindle version, and one or two places where editing would have caught typos, none of this detracted from a well-crafted story.

CJ Mitchell is a high school student grappling with issues of friendship and his own sexuality. He is dating Hannah, the school bully, and Hannah doesn’t like his best friend, Clayton. CJ knows that Clayton has a secret—one that CJ’s sister, Iris, seems to know—and, he also knows that he is conflicted when it comes to his own feelings for Clayton. The main setting for the story is a trip to Six Flags amusement park where CJ’s choir is traveling for a competition. During the trip, CJ comes face to face with his feelings, and the knowledge of his own sexuality. Events force him to eventually acknowledge who he really is.

Although billed as a spicy story, I found it to be tastefully written, and the author digs deep into the emotions of the characters. Regardless of your views on sexual orientation, you will be able to identify with the torturous path teens must navigate on the way to maturity.

I give Circle three stars for a competently written story.