Review of Not Cinderella’s Type by Jenni James

Not Cinderella’s Type
By Jenni James

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fairy Tale Retelling
Number of Pages: 186
Winter 2018

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Indy Zimmerman has a new stalker who won’t leave her alone, no matter what she says to him. Never mind the fact that he’s one of the most popular guys at school—she’s positive Bryant Bailey is only trying to appease his own conscience after pretty much destroying her life. But when Bryant doesn’t back down and insists on having some sort of bizarre friendship with her, his magic works, and her walls slowly start to crumble. He’s not her type. She’s never been into guys like Bryant, but then again, she’s never really known anyone quite as stubborn, or caring, or who can get her to confess stuff she wouldn’t even tell her best friend.

Review:
No. Just… no. There wasn’t a lot of depth to this novel, and while the relationship is sweet, the beginning is a bit forced. I did like the twist of HOW Indy becomes “Cindy”, but unfortunately most of the characters are flat and there doesn’t seem to be any motivation behind (at least never shown/seen) what they’ve done. The ending is very expected but sweet.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Jenni James is the busy mother of ten kids (7 hers, 3 her hubby’s) and has nearly thirty published book babies. She’s an award-winning, best-selling author, who works full-time from home and dreams about magical things and then writes about what she dreams.

Even though she was born in Arizona, went to high school in New Mexico–and loves Mexican food more than anything–she lived so many years in England that when she and her children finally returned home she couldn’t for the life of her remember how to speak truly American anymore. She gets teased relentlessly on her British accent and connotations–and there are sometimes altogether where she only speaks like a true Englishman for several hours at time without having any idea until someone points it out. Hence the relentless teasing.

Oddly however, when she returns to Britain and no one can tell she’s American, she doesn’t mind it one bit. The weather, the rolling green hills, the incredible architecture, the immaculate cottage gardens, the memories, the many lifelong friends and houses and villages she’s lived in, the balls/galas/parties she hosted while she was there… it’s all a second home to her now and a place that has always and will always capture her heart.

Some of her works include The Jane Austen Diaries (Pride & Popularity, Emmalee, Persuaded…), The Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection (Cinderella, Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Beauty and the Beast…), the Andy & Annie series for children, Revitalizing Jane: Drowning, My Paranormal Life, Not Cinderella’s Type, and the Austen in Love Series.

When she isn’t writing up a storm, she is chasing her kids around their new cottage and farm in the tops of the southwestern mountains, entertaining friends at home, or kissing her amazingly hunky hubby. Her life is full of laughter, crazy, and sunshine.

Review of Troll by Ashley C. Harris

Troll
Book 1 of 2 in Troll
By Ashley C. Harris

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Number of Pages: 482

Date Started: April 29, 2017
Date Finished: April 30, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
At the age of sixteen, Abby is undergoing major household changes. Her mom is getting ready to remarry and her new step-brother is driving her insane. She is just trying to keep herself busy with school and her part-time job when a most deliciously handsome stranger moves to her little seaside town and won’t leave her alone.

New arrival Wilhelm is unlike any other student at Abby’s school. His emerald eyes and tattooed body don’t truly reveal what he really is: a creature emerged from thousands of miles underground, seeking revenge, treasure, and a key that once belonged to an old enemy – a key Abby wears suspended from a chain around her neck. Why she has it is a mystery that Wilhelm will need to solve, and fast, in order to defeat a powerful mortal adversary.

As an attraction between Abby and Wilhelm develops, more creatures like Wilhelm are drawn from beneath the ground to Abby’s town; wreaking havoc as they offer Abby’s classmates the fulfillment of their deepest desires. Will Abby and her new family survive as a game of magical warfare is unleashed? Her ability to reverse Wilhelm’s bargain depends on it.

Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was quite original, and fairly deep with interlocking past and present pieces. It’s impossible not to love Abby, our fantastic and down to earth heroine who refuses to believe that anything so outlandish and supernatural could be anything but a dream.

I quite liked Harris’s interpretation of trolls, and I especially like how they are born. The use of jewels was quite ingenious and ties in well with the old treasure trolls people that grew up in the 90s remember. I enjoyed the trolls having magical powers of persuasion, being able to manipulate earthen things to resemble what someone wants most.

The one thing that I really disliked about this novel, and almost caused me to drop down the star rating to a three, was that there were many errors that could have and should have been caught by an editor. Usually it was merely a dropped word, but in a few cases the wrong word was used. If it had been one or two, it wouldn’t have detracted from the novel, yet this was often enough that I had to keep pushing through because I needed to know what happened next, even though I kept being jarred from the story.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Florida. Ashley was first recognized for her edgy writing and unique film work when she wrote and directed the teenage film “Lines”. Lines was the first feature film in the world captured using only Mac Laptops.
In 2013 she teamed up with Barclay Publicity to release the first in a new young adult novel series, “Shock Me”. Ashley then went on to author eight other titles, in multiple genres, as she also worked behind-the-scenes on a morning news show that aired on ABC. In 2014, four of Ashley’s books landed on the Amazon’s Best Selling Top-Ten-List. In 2015, she received her first publishing deal for “Troll”, a KindleScout novel winner.When Ashley is not dreaming up new manuscripts and working on film sets, she loves spending time with her family, obsessing about biblical mysteries, and watching lots of Doctor Who. Keep an eye out for her newest releases!

Review of Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Token of Darkness
Den of Shadows
By Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Star Rating: 

Genre: YA Modern Fantasy

Number of Pages: 208

Date Started: April 16, 2016
Date Finished: April 18, 2016

Synopsis:(From Amazon)286629_token_of_darkness
Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.

No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible.

Review:
I can’t explain adequately how let down I was with this book.  I grew up with Atwater-Rhodes original Den of Shadows books: In the Forests of the Night, Demon in my View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator– this was something different entirely.  I expected something on par with those books, which I had devoured multiple times during my young adult years, but this book was far from the mark.

It was great getting to see someone taken from a public position and show that they aren’t all that they appear to be, but the cheerleader scene is massively overdone in that regard.  There were some moments of true fright where as a reader you must wonder if the characters will survive, but the story overall seemed generic.  The characters are not fleshed out at all, and are stock characters– they fit in their niche of what you would think if you mentioned a stereotypical fill-in-the-blank.  It’s missing that spark and originality that Atwater-Rhodes books generally have.  It’s missing that dose of reality.

Honestly, a story that’s very much among the same vein but that I enjoyed a lot more is The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade, so maybe give that a shot instead.

ameliaAuthor Bio: (From Amazon)
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha’ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail. Visit her online at www.ameliaatwaterrhodes.com. <– except this blog author checked, and this link merely brings you to the Penguin website.