Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison


In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship... and then the boy of her dreams shows up?

Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,”a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.

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Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Entangled Publishing





Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Kris☆☆☆☆
I enjoyed this story about small town Culler, SC and its close knit, very small population. Will and Beau are cousins and along with Georgia Ann, best friends. The three amigos all growing up together in a small town. But Will has a secret, so do Georgia Ann and Beau. Secrets that can put pressure on a new budding relationship or on someone not ready to disclose exactly who they are. Then you have the adults in town, experiencing divorce and deceit that rip Beau and Georgia apart when Beau's mom up and leaves town, taking Beau with her. That is, until the wedding of the century brings everyone back to town again to face old loves and old hurts.

I think this story really could have gone further into the love triangle aspect and still been a good young adult read. Will's mystery boy is revealed with very little fanfare and I wasn't even sure we knew who he was. The ending was sugary sweet and wrapped the book up nicely, but I guess as a jaded adult, I think it could have used just a little more drama. Still, a sweet and nicely written story of small town misconceptions and revelations.


Erica☆☆☆
3.5 Stars

The Sweetheart Sham will be sure to please young adults looking for a warm and fuzzy story, without too much angst, featuring second-chance-romance and a fake relationship tropes, as well as adding an LGBTQ twist. The southern setting was a nice change of pace, with the dialect and accent, gossipy townsfolk, and the mentality of the locale, giving a touch of down-home humor.

Georgia Ann is a Southern Belle, a daughter of a founding family from Culler, South Carolina. There are social rules she must abide by, with gossip and pressure to do as those in the town wish from her. She’s licking her emotional wounds in private, suffering from the abrupt end of a relationship no one knew existed. Instead of worrying about herself, Georgia Ann focuses on her best friend, Will, by pressuring him to come out of the closet, while simultaneously becoming his beard within a fake relationship to hide his budding, real relationship with another in-the-closet boy.

Beau is Georgia Anne's one who got away, having left the area abruptly due to the divorce of his parents. Angsty, brooding, and wounded, young adults and those young at heart will surely swoon over Beau. After having been gone for quite some time, Beau returns home for the summer to attend his cousin's wedding.

Georgia Ann's mother is planning the wedding of the summer, with Georgia Ann having to be her helper. With her faux relationship with Will, and the return of his cousin, Beau (the secret one who got away), The Sweetheart Sham has all the juicy, sweet, and charming elements sure to please readers.

I'm on the fence with the writing style, unsure it it's a good fit. I'm curious to read the next book in this series, to see whether or not it was the writing style, my mood, or the subject matter. I do recommend, but suggest downloading the sample to determine if the writing style suits with your reading tastes.

**********

I need to voice something that rubbed me slightly wrong with the LGBTQ theme. I understood Will's reluctance to come out in a small southern town, especially with the pressure of being a founding family's son. While I appreciated Georgia Ann supporting Will in his decisions, I felt her pressuring him to come out was in poor taste. For the first few chapters, she was so hyper-focused, turning most inner monologue and dialogue shared with Will, into her warning him/threatening him/making him promise to come out/thinking about how she wished Will would just come out already. While this plays into the overall premise of the story, with such sensitive subject matter, I felt Will's story should have been voiced only by Will – not as if Georgia Ann had ownership in Will's journey. While I'm thrilled the LGBTQ community is popping up in mainstream fiction, Will's coming out story belongs solely to Will. Just my two cents from a member of said community.

Young adult age-range: 12+





Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on Twitter.

Connect with Danielle

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads




http://www.entangledpublishing.com/


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Sweetheart Sham (Southern Charmed #1) by Danielle Ellison to read and review.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Heartbreak Cure by Amanda Ashby


How to get over a heartbreak:

Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.

Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer.

Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbor to act as your fake boyfriend.

Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.

After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she's fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a swoony bad boy who will melt your heart, brownies, and witty banter. One, two, or all three might prove addictive...

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Entangled Publishing



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆
4-5 stars from a young adult perspective – teens will swoon over Alex.
3-4 stars from those young at heart, due to predictability.
3.5 stars overall.

Cat is suffering from heartbreak – a hot boy from school used Goodreads, of all places, to learn about her and figure out a way to hook her emotionally, since the physically was a given, all to win a bet. Cat learns a valuable lesson, and young readers will too. This ends badly for Cat, leaving her humiliated more so than heartbroken. Meanwhile, the douche-noodle jock is seen as a hero, hilarious instead of seen as rotten for his actions. Cat's an avid reader and aspiring writer, daughter to a single young mother who is an eccentric artist.

Alex used to be Cat's best friend and neighbor. The brooding loaner, supposedly bad boy, has always had a crush on Cat, and swoops in to save the day, like the unlikely hero he truly is. Alex has problems, having an elderly grandmother in a home as his guardian, but having to work and pay his own way while only 17, all the while trying his hardest to gain a scholarship to college and get out of the town that looks down upon him.

...and a faux relationship is born to prove Cat has moved on, with the one boy she can count on unconditionally.

I won't ruin the plot from there. Young adults will swoon over Alex. Cat is a solid heroine to learn from during the journey. This friends-to-crushes novel is sugary sweet and gives the warmest of fuzzies. The grown adult in me found it a bit too sweet and predicable, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

I highly recommend to actual young adults, and leave it up to the young at heart to decide if the book is right for them. I look forward to reading more by Amanda Ashby in the future.

Young Adult age-range: 12+ for this sweet romance.



Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture. She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library╩╝s Stuff for the Teen Age.  Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.

Connect with Amanda

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http://www.entangledpublishing.com/


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Heartbreak Cure by Amanda Ashby to read and review.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Swimming to Freedom by Robbie Michaels


Once, swimming was a labor of love for Brandon. Now it’s just a labor.

When Brandon’s competitive, domineering father decided to cash in on his son’s hobby, he sucked all the joy out of the sport for his son. Now Brandon’s father spends every ounce of his energy training Brandon for one purpose: Olympic gold and with it the chance to experience success vicariously through Brandon.

Brandon falling in love with Tyler, another swimmer, was not part of his father’s plan. Luckily the two young men have Joel in their corner, a straight ally who helps them find time alone. When Brandon’s father finds out about the relationship, his reaction is sadly predictable, and soon, Brandon’s new home is beneath a bridge. He finds peace swimming in the river, but feels fear as wild animals pass by his shelter during the night.

But once again, his happiness cannot last. Torrential storms are threatening to wash away his future—maybe for good this time.

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Harmony Ink



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Sarah☆☆☆
This is an angsty story of a competitive swimmer desperate to find a life for himself beyond his father’s control. It is also the story of Brandon growing into himself and coming to terms with his sexuality.

Both Brandon and Tyler feel more like character outlines than actual characters. Even though Brandon tells this story, I don’t feel like I got to know much about his hopes, motivations, or emotions. He’s sweet and good and conflicted but he just never really came to life for me. Similarly, Tyler shows up in Brandon’s life as an instant boyfriend. We don’t see much romance or feel much chemistry between the two boys.

My favourite character is probably Joel – Brandon’s swim team friend. It’s Joel who first guesses Brandon’s orientation and Joel who does his best to make life easier for his friend. He’s funny and cocky and possibly the only character with any real personality in the story.

This is a heavy book. Brandon’s father is almost a caricature – he’s a pushy sports dad and he’s controlling, domineering, and homophobic. He’s a pretty roughly crafted villain and we don’t ever glimpse his humanity and we never get a real explanation for his behaviour.

This story feels like the old school young adult writing I remember from my own youth. It’s a topical story with fairly one-dimensional adults who are either bad or good and slightly bland teenagers who are keen to do ‘the right thing.’ The language is clean, Tyler and Brandon’s physical intimacy is completely off page, and the happy ending comes way too easily. For me, the simplicity of the story feels a bit patronising. There have been so many brilliant young adult books in the past few years where the boundaries between young adult and adult fiction are blurred and the teenage experience is written about in realistic shades of grey. As a result, I have pretty high expectations for contemporary m/m young adult writing and this book just didn’t work for me.



ROBBIE MICHAELS grew up in rural upstate New York, the same setting as the beginning of The Most Popular Guy trilogy, and now the Caught series. It was not always easy growing up in a tiny town thinking he was the only person who felt and thought what he was experiencing. He felt like a stranger in a very strange land for most of those years, always having to act a part, play a role, until he later met other gay folks and found out that he was not alone. He was teased and bullied when others suspected that he might be gay. His name is still carved in stone back there with the words “Is a Fag” chiseled in beneath it. But that was then, and this is now. Now he writes stories about the underdog coming out on top, stories about the kids that don’t fit into cookie cutter molds of what others expect, and stories of hope and promise.

He survived those days back in rural New York, and found that life does get better, even though at the time it sure didn’t seem possible. He wants first and foremost to tell others to hang on and to have hope for a better tomorrow. Grapple onto hope and don’t ever let go of it. Life is a wonderful, marvelous thing to be embraced and celebrated. Don’t ever give up. You are the only you there is, and you are not alone. There are many, many, many others like you out there and some day you will meet them and together you will change the world in a wonderful, positive way.

Connect with Robbie

Harmony Ink  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


https://www.harmonyinkpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Swimming to Freedom by Robbie Michaels to read and review.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saving It by Monica Murphy


Eden
Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that...

Josh
Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing... with anyone but her.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is what happens when American Pie meets Friends with Benefits. It contains two best friends, plenty of angst, and lots and lots of sex talk. Reading this might have you looking at your best friend in a different light!

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Entangled Teen





Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆
4 Stars overall.
5 Stars for actual young adult readers
3 stars for adult readers.

As a sucker for a page-turning young adult book, I won't lie by saying I didn't sit down and devour Saving It from page one until the end. However, I need to state I read it quickly for two reasons. One, I wanted to know where the novel was going to go, even knowing the ending destination. Two, I knew I better read feverishly so the plot itself didn't sway my overall enjoyment – meaning, if I paused, the novel would have given me pause. I will explain in the bulk of my review.

Best friends all through high school, Eden and Josh have had quite a few relationships, never once contemplating getting together. Josh is a virgin, never successfully sealing the deal in his past relationships, so he asks the one person who knows him better than anyone to help him pick the right girl. As you can guess, the plot pretty much goes on the path you'd expect, so I won't dive too deeply into the plot, as a way to avoid spoilers.

From the teen perspective, young adults will devour this book due to the content. From the adult perspective, adults will become frustrated, especially from a feminist standpoint. As a feminist, wincing at the list of girls, I read it from a perspective other than my own. At the same time, I wanted an adult voice in the book to offer advice these children so badly needed.

Authentic, Eden and Josh and the rest of the cast of characters do, in fact, act like actual teenagers. So I kept an open mind, remembering how I operated eons ago. Hormones fluctuating, irrational as the sector in the brain dealing with sound decision-making won't mature until the age of 25, peer pressure, and emotionally unsure why they feel as they do. So I applaud the author for writing characters who act/react/behave/sound as actual teenagers, instead of the adult voice of the writer.

In a nutshell, there isn't a whole lot going on with the plot that isn't in the blurb. The angst is a 'will-they, won't-they' tension, with added miscommunication, and a bunch of just waiting around until Eden and Josh decide to give it a try. It's not truly an evolution for the character development, but just the indecisive nature of teenagers (and their older counterparts).

If you're an adult like me, who adores the young adult genre, I'd suggest a sample. I enjoyed it, writing this review immediately, knowing if I took a few minutes, I'd spiral down the critique path and I refuse to go there. Do you know what I mean? In the now, it's awesome. Given five minutes of contemplation, the responsible adult in me wants to go round-up a roomful of teenagers and engage in a real chat.

FYI: I'm not a prudish adult against 'losing it/saving it' – it's the emotional impact of having an agenda and not caring 'who' you lose it to. On the flip side, feeling bad for the person chosen to fulfill an agenda. Virginity isn't a physical thing – it's a social construct with emotional impact.

If you're reading this review as a parent, I would highly recommend this to teenagers who need a dose of escapism/romance – not learning experience, but a naughty yet innocent read that accurately portrays exactly what teens are experiencing on a daily basis when it comes to acting on their sexual urges.

Young Adult age-range: 14+ due to swearing and sexual content.





Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a traditionally published author with Bantam/Random House and Harper Collins/Avon, as well as an independently published author. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. She is also USA Today bestselling romance author Karen Erickson. She is a wife and a mother of three who lives with her family in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere, along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through many angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica

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Google+  ~  Instagram




http://www.entangledpublishing.com/


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Saving It by Monica Murphy to read and review.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The First Kiss Hypothesis by Christina Mandelski


Nora Reid believes scientific laws control everything, even love. With her grandparents’ epic first kiss story cemented in her brain, Nora develops a hypothesis she’s determined to prove:for each person in the world, there is exactly one other person, and at first kiss, they’ll experience an immediate and intense reaction.

But after four years of zero-reaction kisses, she comes up with a new theory: maybe that pesky crush on her stunningly hot best friend Eli Costas is skewing her results.

She needs to get rid of him, and fast.

Eli Costas is an injury-prone lacrosse star with a problem—the one chance he had at winning over the girl next door resulted in the most epically sucktastic first kiss ever. And now she’s...trying to get rid of him? Hell no. It’s time to disprove her theory and show her exactly what she’s missing.

Game. On.

Disclaimer: This book contains a stunningly hot lacrosse player who isn’t above playing dirty to win over the stubborn girl-next-door of his dreams.

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Entangled Teen





Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆☆
Nora's grandparents met and shared an earth-shattering kiss, and they spent the next 40+ years living happily ever after. As the child of divorce, Nora is holding onto her dementia-addled grandmother's inspiring story of love, wanting a lifetime of what her grandparents had, never what her parents did/have with other people. This has skewed Nora, missing what is being offered by her next door neighbor best friend, even if she's always had a crush on the boy.

At age thirteen, Nora and Eli shared a gross kiss, where no sparks flew, and she's held it against him ever since. The scientist-in-the-making doesn't realize sexual chemistry and romantic connection aren't scientific experiments. There's also the fact that at thirteen, you can't expect sparks to fly when your hormones have just started to do their business in the developing body.

Eli has always had a crush on Nora, but she won't give him a chance after that horrendous kiss where he just pounded a Coke and needed to burp. The poor guy spends the entirety of the novel chasing after Nora, trying to get her to see the truth.

To be honest, Nora's quest for kisses becomes a bit tedious and frustrating, for Eli but also the reader. The character development is where this novel shined. The characters speak and act as their age group, they have fears and worries that match their ages as well. Nora and Eli are both concerned with Nora's grandmother, with leaving/staying behind with their families when it comes to college. Where to go to college and what to study...

Nora and her driver's license: I feel as if the author plucked that out of my head. I struggled with anxiety, perfectly able to drive, and never got my license. I'm 39, and the thought of driving gives me a visceral reaction, so I connected with Nora's character on this front. Eli stating he'd drive Nora around for the rest of her life had me laughing out loud for real.

Recommended to adults and young adults alike, something for everyone to connect with emotionally.

Young Adult age-range: 13+ due to language. Kissing.





Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, The Sweetest Thing, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush.

Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!). She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing.

Connect with Christina

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads




http://www.entangledpublishing.com/


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The First Kiss Hypothesis by Christina Mandelski to read and review.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tracker Hacker by Jeff Adams


Theo Reese is just an average high school student with a passion for hockey and an uncanny talent when it comes to computers… at least on the surface.

What his teammates, fellow students, and even his boyfriend don’t realize is that Theo leads a double life. When he’s not putting up his facade of normal, Theo is working as an agent for Tactical Operational Support, where his technical genius is more than just a hobby. At sixteen he is responsible for helping agents in the field and keeping the TOS network secure.

It’s a secret he has to keep—from everyone.

But secrecy becomes even harder when a hacker compromises the system TOS uses to track its agents and Theo’s dad goes missing. Theo must find him and stop the hacker, which means leaving the comfort of his computer screen and venturing into a very real and very deadly world.

And if that’s not enough to deal with, all the secrecy is really putting a strain on Theo’s love life.

Add to Goodreads –


Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Harmony Ink



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/M Thriller/Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is a great young adult story that really delivers on the mystery/thriller aspect. You have Winger (I love the hockey theme in this too), who is a young high school student with an aptitude for computers and code. I loved his character. Despite the tough life that already follows high school kids around, he takes on much more and wants to be part of the larger, better, bigger picture.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between all of the agency characters and felt that this aspect of the story was the most successful one. They all were developed well and I thought that they interacted in a very good way. These characters made the story.

What I felt lacked the most was the romance/relationship aspect of this story. I didn't really understand why Winger was with his boyfriend, who seemed clingy and whiny at times. I think this would have been much more successful as just a mystery/thriller without the romantic aspect, but I really liked the story and can't wait to see what Winger does next!



JEFF ADAMS has written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several shorts and novels and he plans to keep writing as long as wonderful readers keeping picking up his books.

Jeff lives in rural northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book, it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.

Jeff is the co-host of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to m/m romance as well as pop culture. New episodes come out every Monday at biggayfictionpodcast.com.

Connect with Jeff

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https://www.harmonyinkpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1) by Jeff Adams to read and review.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Finding Home by Garrett Leigh


How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?

With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.

Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.

Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him — except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.

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Riptide Publishing



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Veronica☆☆☆☆
15-year-old Charlie meets Leo when his parents foster Leo and his little sister, Lila. The story is told from both Charlie and Leo's points of view but it is very much Leo's story. Leo has been left traumatised after his father murdered his mother and burned their house down. He is slow to warm up to life in the Poulton house and is very distrustful of his foster father, Reg. Over time, Charlie and Leo develop a friendship that leads to more, providing them both with some happiness.

While I liked Charlie right from the get go, I didn't find Leo a particularly easy character to like at first, but the longer we spent with Leo the more fond of him I became. In the end I was so wrapped up in his story that when Leo got in trouble and things started to go pear shaped, I was in tears.

Finding Home is a very well done story with difficult subject matter and, even though it is bleak at times, it is an engrossing story. I feel richer having spent time with Leo and Charlie.


Sarah☆☆☆☆☆
This book pretty much ripped my heart out. It was a little bit too close to home. I read it while we were trying to settle a new teenage foster child into our family. Sadly, Leo and Lila’s situation hit me hard because it was so horribly ordinary.

Garrett Leigh captures the experience of kids in care with detailed accuracy. Leo’s bluster. His defensiveness. His fear of men. His protectiveness of his sister. His need for control. She captures the minute triggers (like Lila’s cereal box) that can send children into a rage that is bewildering for carers.

If I have any criticism about the story it would be that the Poultons are maybe a little bit too perfect. The kids are a bit too well adjusted and the parents are a little bit saintly at times. But this is told from Leo and Charlie’s perspectives and Leo’s fears and his behaviours are terribly familiar.

As a romance, this is low steam young adult. The boys are young and the connection between them is a friendship with a heavy dose of sexual attraction. This is more the story of Leo finding a place for himself in the Poulton family. Charlie is a very special character and I can only hope that there is a teenage boy like him out there somewhere.

As an adult foster carer, the child’s perspective here was a refreshing but heartbreaking reminder of the many thoughts, feelings, and memories our own new teenager is struggling to manage and unable to communicate.

I really appreciate the research Garrett Leigh has done for this book. I feel like a difficult topic has been handled with respect and sensitivity. I love the strand of hope that has been woven through the book and I would love to read more young adult from this author.



Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com.

Connect with Garrett

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads


http://riptidepublishing.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Finding Home by Garrett Leigh to read and review.