Category Archives: Cheap reads

Thrifty Thursday: September 25th

Here are a few great deals going on right now. Some are ongoing, others will only be for a limited time. Happy Reading!

Captivate

If you like fairies or were a fan of Need, book 2 of Carrie Jones’ Need series is up for only $1.99 on Amazon. Unfortunately this deal is only good for Kindle users, but if you have a smartphone it’s easy enough to get the Kindle app and have it handy when great deals like this come along.

 

Mindjack trilogy

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Mindjack Trilogy is only $6.99 for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and through Kobo, and only $7.99 through Google Play. I just reviewed the first book in the seriesOpen Minds, and it was really good, so this is a great price if you’re interested in the entire series.

 

Awaken

If you’re into mermaids, you might want to check out Awaken, book 1 of the Awakened Fate series written by Skye Malone. It’s currently only $.99 straight across the board: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo are all offering it super cheap.

 

Children of the After

This week’s freebie is dystopian series-starter Awakening, book 1 of Jeremy Laszlo’s Children of the After series. It’s free for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo. This is a great option if you’re looking for a new dystopian series to get into.

 

In Between

A bonus freebie for this week is In Between, the first book in Jenny B. Jones’ Katie Parker Production series. This one is a free-for-all: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo are all offering it up for free. Check this one out if you’re looking for something YA that isn’t paranormal or super serious.

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Tuesday Review Day: Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Open Minds is another one that was on my 2014 Goals list that I’ve finally been able to cross off. I actually bought it quite some time ago because it was free for Kindle, but it, along with all of the other books I grab just because they’re free, sat in my Kindle library gathering theoretical dust. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading it, but I’m thrilled I did because it was a really great book.

Open Minds

Series: Mindjack
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Pages: 326
Rating: 4 stars

In 16 year-old Kira’s world, not being able to read minds makes you a freak. She has been waiting for her mind-reading powers to kick in so she can finally be a functioning part of society, but being 16 with no powers pretty much means they aren’t going to appear – she’s destined to be a “zero” forever. However, she soon discovers that while she doesn’t have the power to read minds, she does have the power to control, or “jack” them. With her fellow jacker Simon, she enters into a new world full of things she could have only dreamed of had she gotten the same powers as everyone else. But while at first her jacking abilities seem awesome, it quickly becomes apparent that there are those out there who would like to use the jackers for purposes much more sinister than just trying to fit in. Finding a fellow jacker to show her the ropes seems like a great idea at first, but that friendship ultimately lands her in places she thought could only exist in science fiction, places she must fight her way out of in order to keep her life and the lives of her loved ones in tact.

What I Liked:

1. That the mind-reading aspect was done well.  It was creepy, no doubt about that, but Ms. Quinn did a great job of making it seem like a perfectly normal aspect of every day life.

2.  Romance isn’t a big thing in this one, although it was still a functional part of the plot. Kira’s relationship with Simon was certainly flawed, but it gave her the opportunity to discover more about herself than she would have otherwise.

3. The reason she was different was very basic, no supernatural force necessary. Genetics were the driving force behind her differences, not some magic potion or monster bite.

What I Didn’t Like:

1. The physical descriptions of characters was somewhat lacking. We knew about hair color for a few, and some characters had some defining traits, like Raf’s Latino hotness, but for the most part there wasn’t really much to go on, nothing to really fuel the imagination and draw up pictures of the characters.

2. Minor thing: it was way too easy to get away with the whole Kestril confrontation. He knew exactly how powerful Kira was and how much control she could exert, so you’d think he’d be more on his guard.

3. The words the author created for the story – “demens,” “mesh,” “scrit,” etc. – were an ok touch but also kind of annoying. She described everything else about the world, so the language could have been explained, too.

I recommend this book to anyone who is into a more sci-fi young adult theme than paranormal. It doesn’t focus on a person who has super powers because they’ve been cursed/bitten/whathaveyou.  Kira, like everyone else in her world, was born with her powers. They just happen to be a bit different than the norm. It made for a really entertaining and quick read, so if you’re looking for something you can get through in a few days, this is a great option. It’s still free for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and on Google Play, so if you’re curious it’s a great time to grab it.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cheap reads, Dystopian, Fiction, First in series, Mind control, Romance, Sci-Fi, Series, YA

Thrifty Thursday: September 11th Edition

Here are this weeks cheap and free ebooks! Enjoy!

1. 9/11 Ordinary People: Extraordinary Heroes by Col. William G. Merrill, Jr.

9:11- Ordinary People

Today is a significant date in American history, and while this isn’t technically a YA or NA novel, it’s still subject matter that is important for all age groups. This entire week has been filled with great documentaries and interviews on TV, but for those who want to continue learning about the events of September 11, 2001 after this week is up, picking up a good book on the subject is a great way to do so. It’s available for Kindle, iBooks, and Nook for $4.99.

Kindle
Nook 
Apple

2. Born to Fight (Book 2 of the Born trilogy) by Tara Brown

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]

A while back I posted the first book of the Born trilogy on sale for only $1. If you happened to enjoy that one, the sequel is currently available for $2.99 for Kindle.

3. The Broken Lands by Kate Milford

The Broken Lands

This prequel to Kate Milford’s The Boneshaker is only $1.99 on Google Play, Nook, and for Kindle. For fans of The Boneshaker, this one is definitely worth picking up!

4. A Whole New Crowd by Tijan

a whole new crowd

This novel by best-selling author Tijan is only $3.99 for KindleiBooks, Kobo , and Nook 

5. UnEnchanted – An Unfortunate Fairy Tale by Chanda Hahn

Unenchanted

This is another one of those modern fairy tale retellings that I’ve gotten kind of into lately. It’s free for users of KindleiBooksKobo, and Nook .

Happy reading!

 

 

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Filed under Cheap reads, Fiction, NA, YA

Tuesday Review Day: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was one  I really wanted to knock off my 2014 Goals list (which I really need to get cracking on), so when it lowered quite a bit in price (only $1.99), I snagged it. The concept of it was a bit unclear based on the description, but it sounded interesting enough to try it out.

Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Pages: 466
Rating: 4 stars

Mara Dyer is a 17 year old girl who wakes up in a hospital to discover she is the only survivor of a building collapse that took the lives of her two closest friends and boyfriend. She has no memory of the events leading up to the collapse, including how she came to be there. She experiences severe PTSD after her release from the hospital due to her feelings of survivor’s guilt, prompting her and her family to pack up and move to Florida for a fresh start. Once there, she begins to see that she has what appear to be some very disturbing abilities. After she meets Noah, the popular British classmate with a reputation for breaking hearts, she realizes that he may be the only one who can help her understand her new powers. With him, she sets out to discover what she can do, and whether she can use those powers for good or if they have a more sinister purpose.

What I Liked:

1. The different twist on paranormal was done really well. There was no way (for me) to really guess what was fueling Mara’s powers and how Noah was connected to them, and once more came to light it indicated a really great story would be continued in the next two books.

2. The love between Noah and Mara wasn’t immediate. It took a little while for them to actually get together, although he pushed it from the start. Mara, while definitely attracted to Noah, held him off because of his reputation and her past, which at least indicated some level of common sense on her part. She didn’t automatically assume he was “different” with her.

3. The minor things. I liked that the books Mara was into weren’t the old-school classics, like in so many other books. She’s caught reading Lolita, which, while not exactly a new release, it’s also not centuries old. Also, Hodkin pulls off the sibling aspect well. Usually protagonists are only children, or have siblings that are relatively absent. Daniel and Joseph were very present in the book and were integral to the story, giving Mara a home life that consisted more than absent or clueless parents. The sporadic references to Harry Potter and LOTR were also a plus.

4. The language was pretty typical for teenagers. Sexual innuendoes, raunchy jokes, etc. were included in the dialogue, which made the characters a bit more believable. I know not all teenagers have potty-mouths, and foul language does not a good book make, but when you walk down the hall in a high school, you’ll hear plenty of things that could hardly be considered intellectual conversation.

What I Didn’t Like:

1. The typical YA romance formula was followed. Mara shows up on her first day of school dressed like a bum, gets into it with the prettiest girl in school, becomes BFFs with a friendly nice guy, embarrassed herself, and makes googly eyes with the hottest guy in school. Who also happens to be British. Not to mention the “warm current” she feels when their hands brush. Come on now.

2. Ok, Mom, super smart lady that you are. Your daughter has been prescribed antipsychotics and you feel the best time for her to take her first pill is as she’s walking out the door for a date? With a boy you just met? I’m gonna go ahead and say that’s probably not the best idea.

3. The whole missing-brother thing was really random. I’m still not entirely sure of the purpose of it. I thought it would be the climax to the book, and even that would’ve been odd because there was still so much unknown about Mara. I get that the author was trying to reveal something about Mara and Noah (kind of), but there wasn’t really enough foreshadowing to indicate that something big would be revealed.

4. Once Mara discovered what her powers allowed her to do, she didn’t really attempt to control them. She knew that she could if she really wanted to, but she let her emotions get in the way of learning to use or control them to keep herself from falling apart. That cast her in a pretty negative light in my eyes.

All in all this was an enjoyable book. The surprising cliffhanger at the end has me really itching to read the second book, so I’ll likely have that one up for review soon, too.

Now, on to check a few more books off of my goals list!

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cheap reads, Fiction, First in series, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-Fi, Series, YA

Thrifty Thursday: September 4th Edition

Here are some great (and free!) deals going on right now for ebooks. Most are available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo.

1. Silence by Natasha Preston

Silence

This week’s freebie is Natasha Preston’s Silence, book 1 of her Silence series. It’s free for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and through Kobo. The sequel, Broken Silence, is only $2.99 on each site, as well. If you’re looking for a new series to check out, this might be a good option.

2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine

With the movie coming out sometime next year (directed by Tim Burton), this one is definitely worth a read. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is about a boy who finds himself living in a home with children who have various special powers. The home is run by a woman (Miss Peregrine) who can transform into  (you guessed it) a peregrine falcon. It’s a little Harry Potter and a little X-Men, and definitely an entertaining book. Currently it’s only $3.99 for Kindle and iBooks. The sequel, Hollow City, came out in January.

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

Maya Angelou’s classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is only $3.99 for Kindle, iBooks, and Nook. I try to keep a good stash of books that never get old because sometimes it’s nice to step away from all the modern stuff and check out something that’s been around for awhile.

4. The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Faery Guardian

Rachel Morgan’s The Faerie Guardian, book 1 of theCreepy Hollow series is free for both Kindle and Nook (and only $.99 through iBooks and Kobo). If you’re looking for a new series to read, this is another one will be great because the first installment is free!

5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

dark places

For those of you who were fans of Gone Girl, you may want to check out one of Gillian Flynn’s other novels while it’s at such a low price. Dark Places is only $2.50 for Kindle and on Google Play (compare to $4.99 on iBooks, $7.99 for Nook, and $9.99 though Kobo). I’ll be up front in saying that I really wasn’t a fan of how Gone Girl ended (read my review here, if you’d like), but it was still a page-turner and the writing was good. Those two things are enough to make me check out her other works, just in case.

So there they are! Happy Reading!

 

 

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Filed under Book lists, Cheap reads, Fiction, Uncategorized, YA

Tuesday Review Day: The Park Service by Ryan Winfield

I came across Ryan Winfield’s The Park Service on Amazon back in June as a freebie deal. Currently its got 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon from a total of almost 900 reviews, and when a freebie pops up with good reviews, I really don’t see the harm in grabbing it.

I was almost halfway through by the end of a 2 hour car ride, so I was pretty sure it was going to be a great book. It did lose steam a bit once I hit that point, but it was able to pick back up again toward the end.

Park Service

Author: Ryan Winfield
Series: The Park Service
Publication Date: October 11, 2012
Pages: 338
Rating: 4 stars

Set almost 1000 years in the future, The Park Service centers around 15 year old Aubrey VanHouten, a boy who lives in a compound called Holocene II beneath what was formerly the United States. In Holocene II, all kids take a test at age 15 to determine which of the 6 levels of society they’ll move on to for the remainder of their working life. Aubrey gets called to Level 1, which is extremely rare because no one really knows what happens there. Not knowing what he will find, he sets off on a train to his new home. On the way, his train crashes and he is dumped out into the middle of the world he was told was uninhabitable. He stumbles across a small clan of people who take him in and make him one of their own. In time, he begins to realize that the world he lived in and what he was told was fact was almost all a fallacy. The scientists that controlled what he did, ate, and how he lived were doing much more than attempting to keep the human race running. He, along with his new friend Jimmy, end up on a mission to destroy what was a much more disturbing and sinister organization than Aubrey ever thought possible.

What I Liked:

1. Male protagonist. They’re rare, but I almost always like them, finding them much less whiny or mopey than the female protagonists of the YA genre.

2. While it happened quicker than I thought it would, the author included Aubrey’s necessary adaptation to the outside world. He’d been living underground all his life with an immune system and body that could only develop so many immunities in the concealed space. He had to go through a transition period of sunburn, peeling, and illness before being able to really function in the open air.

3. The evil of the Park Service is demonstrated to an extreme. I’m not sure why I found this a strong aspect of the story, because the note I added was “so freaking depressing,” but it added a good deal of emotion to the story. If writing can elicit true emotion, I find it worth reading.

What I Didn’t Like:

1. That everything I did like happened within the first 150 or so pages. I tore through the first chunk of the book in about 2 hours, but once Aubrey and Jimmy met the Radcliffes, I ended up skimming for about 50 pages. There had been a lot of things happening in the first half – adapting to a new way of life, making new friends, mass murder, treks through the mountains, etc – that kept it moving along nicely. Once they reached the compound, Aubrey seemed to get comfortable back in his own element (sort of), so things stopped happening.

2. After Aubrey met Hannah, things turned into a stereotypical YA romance for awhile. She was beautiful, they fell for one another immediately, they roll around in the ocean together, etc. The only weird thing was that her parents were expecting them to essentially bring the human race back from extinction once Dr. Radcliffe pulls off his crazy plans, but that added to the interesting aspects of the story.

3. Dr. Radcliffe told Aubrey absolutely everything about his mad-scientist schemes and explained all the things that they’ve been keeping from those in Holocene II. He laid it all out very clearly, making it way too easy for Aubrey and Jimmy to carry out their own plans.

I still haven’t picked up book 2, Isle of Man, because I’ve got several other books I want to get out of the way first. But I’ll definitely be grabbing it. Toward the end of the book, things started to pick back up and it’s looking like the next part of the story will be pretty interesting. I definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys YA dystopian and wants something not fraught with romance. It’s a relatively cheap series – The Park Serivce is only $3.99 on Amazon, with books 2 and 3 – Isle of Man and State of Nature at only $5.99. All are free for Kindle Unlimited.

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cheap reads, Fiction, First in series, male protagonist, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Series, YA

Thrifty Thursday: July 3rd Edition

First on this week’s Thrifty Thursday is a PSA. If you sign up for Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult newsletter, you get a free Kindle book. There’s only a choice between 3, but I’m not sure if that’ll change daily or not.

1.

Park Service

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

 

This week’s Thrifty Thursday freebie is Ryan Winfield’s The Park Service, book 1 of his Park Service trilogy. I just grabbed this one about a week ago, and within a few hours I was halfway through. It’s fast-paced, realisitically timed, in some ways disturbingly feasible (in other ways very much not), and told from the point of view of a teenage male, which is a nice switch from the female-driven YA books we’re used to. It’s free for Kindle (normally $3.99) and on Google Play, and only $.99 on for Nook.

2.

See Me

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Awesome author of the Sweet trilogy Wendy Higgins has one of her newer releases, See Me, up for only $2.99 for Kindle, Kobo, and Nook. If you haven’t read the Sweet trilogy, you need to. If you missed my review of its conclusion, Sweet Reckoning, you can check it out here. It’s a really great series that I’m desperately hoping will become a TV series someday.

3.

Neverland

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

If you’re into revamps of your favorite childhood books, Anna Katmore’s Neverland is only $2.99 for Kindle and Nook, and just a penny more at $3 on Kobo. It follows Angeline McFarland, a girl who takes a fall on her balcony and lands herself right in Neverland, home of the infamous Peter Pan and some scary old pirates. With book 2 of the Adventures in Neverland series, Pan’s Revenge, due to be published this month, it’s worth a look if you’re looking for a new series.

4.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

If you’re looking to step a few steps away from the YA paranormal genre, there’s Jillian Dodd’s That Boywhich is currently free for Kindle. It centers around a girl named Jadyn and the boys who teach her how to kiss, make out, and fall in love. I grabbed this one, too, because it seemed like a nice change of pace.

5.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Photo courtesy of Goodreads

And lastly, Runes, book 1 of Ednah Walters Runes series is only $.99 for Kindle. This one weaves a bit of Norse mythology into the typical YA paranormal romance, so it might change things up a bit if you’re looking for something new.

Happy reading!

 

 

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Filed under Book lists, Cheap reads, Fiction, First in series, Paranormal, Series, YA