The Awakening of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 3/1/16.
Summary from Goodreads:
Having passed her test in Book One, Sunshine’s Luiseach powers are now fully awakened: for months now, Sunshine has felt spirits everywhere: heard voices, felt emotions – intense and sometimes overwhelming. She tries to ignore them, but it is impossible. Hoping to get her powers under control – and hoping for answers to her never-ending questions – she agrees to undergo training with her Luiseach mentor, even though she still hopes to give up her powers someday.
She and her mentor clash left and right; he doesn’t understand or approve of her attachment to the humans in her life; and she can’t understand how he could give her up so many years ago, only to endanger her mother’s life as part of a test.
Sunshine’s training is every bit as terrifying and creepy as her test was, and along the way she meets and befriends another young Luiseach, forcing her to confront her feelings for Nolan. Though her mentor is reluctant to answer her many questions, she finally learns more about her lineage, as well as the rift that threatens the future of Luiseach and the human race… and the crucial part she has to play in repairing it.
I read the first book of this series as an ARC as well and really enjoyed it. I have recommended it to quite a few students in my high school library, and will probably do the same with this one. I am not good at remembering details from books that I read last year, so I was glad that I was able to fill in most of the blanks on details from the first book while reading through this one. The author did a good job of reminding readers of the major things that happened in book one. This book mostly takes place in Mexico, where Sunshine is training to be a luiseach with her birth father, Aidan. She discovers that she is much more sensitive than any luiseach that has been known and that she is being hunted by her birth mother, who thinks that she is the reason that the whole luiseach community is going extinct. Sounds weird, right? It all makes sense as you read though! While this is going on, Sunshine is trying to learn how to control her body and emotions when surrounded by multiple spirits that want her help in moving on. She is also dealing with typical teenage problems, like her feelings for her protector and friend, Nolan. I really enjoy the writing style of this author and it is a quick read. I have already put it on the list of titles to purchase for my library and am looking forward to the next installment.
My rating: 4/5
The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 11/17/15.
I have not had much time to read lately, so forgive me for this review being so far after the release date; but, I had to write one for this book.
Adele returns to New Orleans after a horrible hurricane has hit and destroyed the city. She was sent to live with her mother in Paris while her father sought shelter in Florida. Upon return, Adele is horrified to see how sad her city has become and vows to stay and help it become what it used to be, even though she will have to attend a school she will hate. She also meets some new people who are there looking for family members and another who is helping rebuild the city. While dealing with a bit of a love triangle, she discovers that she has accidentally helped to break an age-old curse that has released vampires into the city. She discovers a journal from an ancestor named Adeline, and also that she has some “witchy” powers. She uses the information gained from Adeline’s journal to help restore the spell that will contain the vampires so that they can no longer wreak havoc on the city.
I was basically obsessed with this book from the beginning, because I am obsessed with New Orleans. It provided so much history of the city, while still being entertaining and not reading like a book of facts. It did take me a while to get through the book, but that’s only because I have been extra busy this past week. I still made time to read every day, just not as often as normal. There was some romance involved in this book, but it was definitely not the main focal point and I liked that. There was no easy, insta-love (we know how I feel about that! Ugh!). This book was more supernatural/paranormal than anything, but did not seem too unrealistic. Adele was an interesting, easy-to-like character; as were most of the others. I will be recommending this book to my students and waiting impatiently for the second one.
My rating: 5/5
Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, releases today 3/31/15.
First, let me say I think this is a really cool cover!
I just recently finished another paranormal story, so I wasn’t super excited about starting this one, but I got into it quickly and it kept my attention throughout, pretty action-packed! It is the story of twins, Lark and Wren…though Wren is dead. She was born that way, but has been around for as long as Lark can remember. Though Lark doesn’t fully understand her power with ghosts, she is asked to help a group of peers that have had an encounter with a horrible ghost at an old mental hospital in their town that is known for being super creepy and haunted. She is on a mission to help them heal their ghostly wounds and eliminate the evil that is trying to take over. With the help of her ghostly sister and Medium friend, Kevin, she takes on the task. I won’t say much more since this is a quick review, but let’s just say….Lark is pretty bad-a**! I really did enjoy this story and know that it is one I will be recommending to students as soon as it arrives in my library (maybe today?).
My rating: 4/5