Monthly Reads | April 2016

 woman reading in grass with dog

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Young Adult | Science Fiction | Historical Fiction | Romance

Hope believed her mother died during an earthquake months earlier overseas. Then she receives an invite to stay with her aunt in Scotland and everything changes. Hope's family are part of a secret time traveller society and they need her help. She has seventy-two hours to go back in time and rescue her mother or be lost forever.

I love when a book doesn't fit into a single genre. It's a nice change and can provide quite the interesting plot. I'm a fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and Into the Dim is a great read-a-like for teens. This book has time travel, humor, romance, and history. It is non-stop plot action from beginning to end.

I found the love interest aspect of the novel to be quite predictable, but then Taylor threw in some curveballs and I'm intrigued to see how it plays out in future novels. Speaking of characters, I really liked them. Each character had a unique personality and secrets that made them well rounded. I feel that we get a good introduction to the characters, but the plot moved fast, which didn't give us enough time with them. I hope to learn more about their past as the series continues.

Into the Dim appeals to many readers and I wouldn't be surprised to see this series become the next big thing.


Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Young Adult | Romance

I think I just found my new favorite book! I loved this book. I loved it so much, I read it in one day. It was everything I wanted it to be and more.

Jessie is starting her junior year of high school at a new school, in a new city, in a different state, in a new home, with a new step-family. It wasn't exactly a smooth transition. Just when all is lost, Jessie receives an anonymous email for Somebody/Nobody (SN). SN says they want to help Jessie transition into her new school and life. Can Jessie trust SN or is a cruel joke?

There is a lot going on with this story. Tell Me Three Things follows Jessie as she finds her place in new surroundings. This is a story about friendship and family with a romantic comedy element thrown in.

Jessie is a complex character with real issues and feelings that many readers can relate to. She lost her mom, has to adjust to a new family, and deal with leaving her old life and best friend behind as she moves across the country. As someone who moved to a new state in middle school, I definitely related to Jessie's struggle and hopelessness.

I love all the characters in the book. Buxbaum has done a beautiful job at giving all her characters substance. Even supporting characters are rounded and given enough detail to make them real. Many characters have moments of growth, which just adds a more realistic aspect to the novel.

This book is sad at times, laugh out loud funny, thoughtful, and sweet. Beyond dealing with her family life, Jessie also experiences her first crush. While watching Jessie engage in the trials of high school romance, I couldn't help but think of my own awkward experiences.

I could probably talk about this novel until I turn blue. I don't want to give anything away so I'm going to end by recommending you pick up this novel. It is a beautiful and humorous story. You won't be disappointed.


Fate Ball by Adam W. Jones

Romance | Coming of Age

Able and Ava met randomly at a party. It seemed to be a perfect match; they were meant for each other. As time passes, their relationship succeeds and struggles, torn by addiction. Able's love for Ava is strong, but is it enough to save her from herself?

This is quite the heartbreaking love story. Addiction is a terrible thing. I haven't personally had a relationship with someone who had an addiction, but Jones' novel paints a clear picture. Ava's destructive behavior affects everyone in her life and their love for her keeps them tethered.

I really loved the evolution of this novel. The events span over 14 years. Jones begins with the present and then provides flashbacks to moments in the past. Able and Ava had a beautiful and cute start to their relationship. Their opposite personalities fit well together and they were what the other needed. Even when they were no longer together, fate continued to bring them to the same place. By the end of the novel, everything felt full circle.

Jones writes from both Able's and Ava's perspective. This really helped give an aspect of reality to the story. Every person experiences life differently and I appreciated that we were able to glimpse life through both these character's eyes.

Fate Ball was a very powerful read. The novel moved along at a steady pace and each moment added to the story. This isn't a "happily ever after" book, but sometimes we need a story that isn't fantastical. Beautifully written, full of emotion, Jones should be proud of the work he created.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I received  copies of these books for free from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.