young adult

Review of ‘Resthaven’

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Kaylee, a 15-year old, is living in a new town with her mother. When her mom insists she attend a party with a local rich girl, she doesn’t want to go, but is left with no choice. When the girl, a snotty bully, insists on having a scavenger hunt in Resthaven, a derelict rest home bordering her property, Kaylee is even more depressed. Inside the abandoned building, Kaylee discovers a bruised, deaf boy and a violent old man, and then the heat gets turned up when Jamie, the bully, locks her and her friends inside the building.

Resthaven by Erik Therme is a tense young-adult drama, not really a coming-of-age story; more a growing up fast novel. Much of the story takes place inside Resthaven as Kaylee takes charge of getting herself and her friends to safety—and, saving the little boy.

This is a story that will entertain young and old alike. The characters are well-drawn and easy to relate to, and the suspense is palpable.

I give it four stars.

Review of: ‘The Doomsday Kids Book 4: Amy’s Gift’

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Never exactly social, Amy Yamamoto now has more reason to be withdrawn. The world she knew has ended and she and a small band of survivors, the Doomsday Kids, are living a hard scrabble existence, and Amy is keeping a secret. Then, the Doomsday Kids must leave their refuge and embark on a perilous journey to a camp on the Gulf of Mexico, where they might be scattered to the four winds.

The Doomsday Kids Book 4: Amy’s Gift by Karyn Langhome Folan is actually a brilliantly written book that is part coming-of-age, part post-apocalyptic horror. Folan captures the essence of the group dynamics of teenagers overlayed with the horror of a hostile world where everyone else’s hand is turned against you.

While this book is intended primarily for teen and young adult readers, it’s one that older readers will also find interesting. Folan gives new meaning to the term ‘family values.’ I give it four stars.

Review of ‘Quigley’s Christmas Adventure’

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Alarm bells ring in heaven. The angels know there’s a crisis on earth. The evil Ro plans to destroy Christmas by getting rid of the toy store in her town and replacing it with a freeway ramp. An angel must come to the rescue, and it’s the turn of Thurmond, heaven’s canine trainer, a guardian angel who has been less than successful on his previous missions. Thurmond choses as his companion on this mission, Quigley, a famous canine angel with an attitude problem.

Quigley’s Christmas Adventure by William Byron Hillman is the story of how Thurmond and Quigley save Christmas—but, it’s more. It’s funny, in a rib tickling way; it’s aimed at young adults, but will also appeal to the young at heart; and, it’s a story of self-confidence and faith. That’s a lot of baggage for one book, and one aimed at such a young audience, but Quigley carries it well. Christmas is just around the corner, so consider this book as a stuffing stuffer for someone on your Christmas list.

Four stars.