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Book Chat #45 – H. Y. Hanna, Lindsay Buroker, Veronica Roth, and Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

It's the first Book Chat of 2019! I had a really good time reading and enjoying books over the holiday break, then January got really busy. The books I had been reading were then only for at night before bed or to listen to with chores, so the reading slowed down. Let's take a look at what I read and loved!


Bewitched by Chocolate is H. Y. Hanna's paranormal cozy mystery series, and the first of its kind that I've actually enjoyed. I'm not really into the paranormal genre, but this hit all the right notes with me. A family secret. An ancient ruin. A cute, small town with lots of gossip. All things that I enjoy in a story. Though I was a little frustrated with the ending and the “capture” of the murderer, I see a lot of potential in this world and the characters! I will definitely be reading on.

FRACTURED STARS by Lindsay Buroker

I really enjoy Lindsay Buroker's books! I picked this one up when I heard the premise for it, even though I haven't finished her Star Nomad series. I figured it would be a fun side adventure and it definitely was. McCall was exactly the kind of heroine I enjoy to read about. She has her own way of doing things, and she sticks to her habits. I really liked that she used her knowledge to solve plenty of problems in this novel, and she stuck by her friends, Scipio and Junkyard. I was also really taken by Dash and his growth in the novel. Deep down, despite how everything started out, he was a good, caring person stuck in an awful situation. By the end, I had fallen in love with the whole universe! Each time I set the book down, I looked forward to picking it back up. A definite winner!

CARVE THE MARK by Veronica Roth

I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this story or not. As many of my friends and readers know, I struggle with fantasy stories and suspending my disbelief. But I really enjoyed the mix of fantasy and science fiction in this first book! In Roth's universe, all of these planets in connected systems have a “Current” that runs through them and gives people “Current gifts” when they come of age, usually in their teens. But really, this is sort of a Romeo and Juliet story. A tale of two rival factions/families that inhabit the same planet. It's about corruption and lies. And it's about finding love in the least likely of places. I know there was a lot of talk in the book community about Roth making the current gift for the main character, Cyra, the gift of pain, and how it commented on people suffering from pain, how they don't feel it's a gift. But I really didn't see it, nor the connection to any real life ailments. I was pleased with the way Roth handled every person's current gift and how it affected them. When I finished the audiobook, I immediately bought the second in the series. I hope to listen to that one next!

DRY by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

I love Neal Shusterman! And when I saw that he wrote this novel with his son, I knew I had to read/listen to it. The story kicks off right at the beginning of the “Tap Out” when California runs dry of water and the chaos that soon follows. I really enjoyed all the main characters in this one. The sister-brother team and her neighbor start out on a journey to find their missing parents after the parents leave to go find water, then the journey becomes a road trip that picks up new people along the way to finding water for themselves. I have to say that listening to this story made me anxious. It's like when I read LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeffer and I wanted to hoard canned goods and dried food. Now, I really want to hoard water. Lol. Anyway, I loved the ending to this story. I was on the edge of my seat until the climax! Neal Shusterman never lets me down.

What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!
S. J. Pajonas