Tag Archive | kindle

Book Review – Joshua’s Island by Patrick Hodges

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After reading the synopsis of Joshua’s Island (James Madison Series Book One) by Patrick Hodges, I was compelled to download the book and give it a go. Even so, initially I wasn’t sure how captivating a story about middle schoolers would be for an older reader like myself. But with each increasingly eager page-turn, I became all the more invested in the story and the plight of the characters.

The story centers on Joshua and Eve, two eighth grade students on opposite ends of the popularity spectrum: he, a small-for-his-age social outcast; and she, a beautiful A-crowder, newly minted by the school’s it-girl Rhonda.

My heart immediately went out to Joshua, a victim of bullying—something that has plagued him for his entire middle school existence. The psychological effects have been relentless and lasting, not only from living in constant fear of the next assault (courtesy of chief tormenter Brent and his band of cronies), but also from having been ostracized by the entire student body, including those he had once considered friends.

Joshua’s and Eve’s worlds are forced to collide in Science class, where much to their dismay, the teacher pairs them up as lab partners. Beyond horrified with the arrangement, Eve is none too subtle in her vocal objections. As expected, this sets off their teamwork experience (or lack thereof) on rather uneven, uncomfortable footing.

But neither of them would be prepared for the life-altering journey on which they were soon headed.

Always a glutton for a good love story, the one that gradually buds and then all-out blossoms in Joshua’s Island had me smiling my head off every step of the way. There’s just something about young love, and the way it’s written here in particular, that tugs at the heart strings like no other. The honesty. The awkwardness. The innocence. The sweetness. The sigh-inducing, chest-panging “awwww” moments that I’ll admit had me tearing up on more than one occasion.

Although Joshua and Eve are the driving force of this story, there are several supporting characters that also become crucial to its impact and momentum. Deservedly, some of these stand-outs get their own story in subsequent books in the series, and I look forward to reading them all.

When it comes down to it, Joshua’s Island is much more than a love story. It’s about friendship, family, loyalty, forgiveness, righting wrongs, good versus evil, and standing up for your convictions no matter the consequences. The lessons to be learned are invaluable, and you will walk away from this book not only contemplating how you treat others, but inspired to pay it forward.

Bullying is an issue that hits close to home for many, including myself, and based on the depth and authenticity of the characters and plot, I would imagine that Patrick Hodges was writing from a very personal place. In doing so, he has undoubtedly given hope to others who have experienced similar harassment and abuse, as well as the comfort in knowing they are not alone.

Needless to say, I adored this book and will be passing it along to my teenage daughters to read next. I just know they’ll love it too.

Please do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Joshua’s Island today.

Get in on your Kindle

Get it in Paperback

Get in on Audible

And don’t forget to leave a review. 🙂

To find out more about Patrick Hodges, visit him on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy reading!

~ Sue

 

Image source: Amazon.com

 

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Book Review – Web of Darkness by Paris Andren

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It’s official. Paris Andren writes unputdownable books.

After devouring her debut release—Pointe of Darkness (LA Dark Series) (Volume 1)—in one nail-noshing sitting (read my review here), I couldn’t wait to get my stubby, greedy fingers on her highly-anticipated sequel…

WEB OF DARKNESS (LA Dark Series) (Volume 2)

And wouldn’t you know it…I also consumed this book by way of a single, multi-hour adventure in page turning.

It’s that good.

The story picks up where Pointe of Darkness left off, with its main characters fleeing from, yet still chained to, the underground world of sex slavery and human trafficking. The heavy nature of the subject matter is neither trivialized nor glorified, and I am enormously impressed with the special care Ms. Andren took to treat it with the staunch realism it deserves.

Speaking of which, Web of Darkness almost gives off a non-fiction sort of vibe, a testament to the author’s ability to pull readers into the crux of a problem that is closer to home than we think. We ride every emotion in tandem with the characters until they become our own.

Now, that’s talent.

Web of Darkness didn’t just give me feels…it gave me all the feels Joy, sorrow, desperation, heartbreak, terror, devastation, hope, anxiety, desire, love—you name it—I was in total immersion mode.

Andren’s writing is superb, using alternating points of view to the story’s advantage, deepening our connections to returning protagonists Ava and Sage, introducing us to new characters, and giving us an unobstructed look into the evil mindset.

The description, dialog, and pacing were on point(e) (see what I did there?), keeping me in a near constant state of pulse-thumping suspense. I seriously couldn’t stop reading if I tried because I just had to know what was going to happen next. Every time I was convinced I had it all figured out…BAM…it was time to think again!

This book is chock-full of page-turning elements: darkness, action, mystery, intrigue, blush-inducing eroticism, and most of all…

Romance.

Because at its essence, Web of Darkness is a love story…albeit an unconventional one, but that’s what makes it special. After all, love isn’t conceived from puppies and unicorns alone. Sometimes fate brings hearts together under extraordinary circumstances. And, to me, there’s something especially satisfying about witnessing the progression of love as it fights against all odds to prevail.

But, the big question is…

Does love indeed win out in the end?

Well, you know I can’t tell you that!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of Web of Darkness today!

Get it on your Kindle

Get it in Paperback

And don’t forget to leave a review. 🙂

To find out more about Paris Andren, visit her website: http://www.pariswrites.com.

Happy reading!

~ Sue

 

Image source: Amazon.com