Three YA Mini-Reviews: Contemporary Romance, Science Fiction, and Historical Fantasy

Posted July 8, 2018 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 7 Comments

You guys, I was ahead.  And now, I’m way behind!  So prepare for some catching up with mini-reviews.  Even after I post these three, I still have three more waiting on deck for a review post.  One of which I have been putting off for 3 months because I intended to read my ARC of the sequel before it came out last month and post a review of both of them at the same time.  Don’t know if that’s going to happen.  I enjoyed all three of these books.  One was an ARC I received without requesting, and almost passed it on through books for trade.  I’m glad I didn’t, though, because I really ended up enjoying it.

After the Game (The Field Party #3) by Abbi Glines:

Genre:  YA contemporary romance
Published:  August 22nd, 2017
Source:  Purchased audiobook from
My rating:  5 stars

I listened to this one on my road trip to meet my family for our annual trip to Branson on Memorial Day weekend.  While it does tie in to the other books in the series, all of these do really work well as standalones.  But because I had read/listened to the other two in the series, I knew Brady.  And I have to say that I was sad he was so mean to Riley. But, like the good guy that Brady is, he soon figured out that maybe what he thought he knew was wrong, and that maybe Riley had been given a raw deal by their small town, even including his own rudeness to her.  This story was a tear-jerker for reasons other than just Riley’s dealing with what had happened to her that led to her being a single mom, as well as taking care of her grandmother with Alzheimer’s.  Brady is at a point where he has always known or thought that he knew that football would be his life.  And sometimes things happen during your senior year that make you question what you thought you knew.  That happens to Brady.  Enough that I was crying for him.  I hated how hard it hit him, but for someone who had grown up with basically the perfect life and family, I guess it makes sense he’d have that hard of a time with it.  Then, after having listened to the 2nd book, I had a feeling that Gunner’s thoughts on Riley might not be the same as everyone assumed they would be.  Brady’s cousin Maggie, was the perfect friend for Riley, and I kept waiting for that to happen, and when it did, I was thrilled.  Another great book in this series, and I don’t know if there will be more, but there were more guys on that football team I’d like to follow.  Maybe into a college age/new adult series?

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?

Whisper by Lynette Noni:

Genre:  YA science fiction
Publisher:  KCP Loft
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Source:  ARC received from publisher which did not influence my opinion
My rating:  4.5 stars

The beginning of this book reminded me a bit of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.  In a good way.  You had this girl locked up alone, and she was being tested and treated as if she was really dangerous.  The book takes place in Australia, which was a nice change.  The characters were all pretty good.  And the author totally made some of them change into different ways of behaving once “Jane” starts to realize, sort of, what is going on.  It made for some tears from me anyway!  The end had an extremely exciting scene, lots of action and edge of your seat wondering  how and who would getaway.  I haven’t read a ton of books like this lately, but for awhile it was what I loved, so I did enjoy getting another story like this.  I look forward to reading book two hopefully next year.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me. 

I believed them. That was my mistake.

There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.

I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster. 

For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.

As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new — and unexpectedly kind — evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.

Reign of Serpents (Blood of Gods and Royals #3) by Eleanor Herman:

Genre:  YA historical fantasy
Published:  June 27th, 2017
Source:  Purchased physical copy
My rating:  5 stars

I love this series.  I was so disappointed that they didn’t at least have any physical ARCs of this third book, especially when it turned out there is fourth book, that came out this year!  So I gave in finally, and purchased the paperback copy so that I could try to read it before the 4th book came out, and I could read that e-galley.  Well, paperback matches the first two ARCs.  However, since I finished this while I was in New Orleans for ALA, I put it in the extra duffel bag I bought to help transfer all my books home on the plane.  Unfortunately, that bag got caught out in the rain at the airport I guess, because when I got home and grabbed it from the luggage carousel, it was all wet, the whole bag.  And so my paperback is in pretty bad shape.  I’ll probably buy another copy of it.  I want it in halfway decent shape on my shelf.  

Enough about that, more review of the actual book.  As I mentioned, I love this series.  You can read my reviews of the first two books here:  Legacy of Kings and Empire of Dust.  Now, it had been about 2 years since I’d read the 2nd one, but really, I got caught up pretty quickly with the way the author writes each chapter.  Each chapter is from a different character’s viewpoint, and we do get several characters to follow. But by now, you can tell who is who pretty easily.  Once again the author so seamlessly wove history throughout this magical fantasy of a story that I was putting the book down every once in awhile as I was reading so that I could Google a specific historical name to find out just what they might really have been through or done.  At least as far as records show.  Even things that were changed were done in such a way that it didn’t change the overall historical facts or knowledge in any major way.  In a way we got a couple new characters’ viewpoints this time, but again, the author makes sure they are written in a way you know it is a different person.

This is another series I will always highly recommend.  Now to find time to fit the e-galley of book 4 in before it possibly expires!  If it does, I’ll just buy it next year when it comes out in paperback I guess!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:




Prince Alexander of Macedon’s mind has been touched by an incomprehensible evil, even as his betrothed travels from afar to unite their kingdoms against a terrible darkness that threatens both realms: the Spirit Eaters.

From the distant shores of Illyria to a small deserted island, the deadly consequences of Smoke Blood magic loom and lost civilizations emerge to reveal the existence of a weapon that may do the impossible—kill the last living god. As magic rises and warriors clash, the fate of all Macedon rests in the hands of the unstable prince and those whose loyalty can no longer be trusted.

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7 responses to “Three YA Mini-Reviews: Contemporary Romance, Science Fiction, and Historical Fantasy

  1. I kind of thought Glines was setting up a new arc of characters in After the Game, and then I saw the announcement for Losing the Field. I am excited to get to my August books, because that is in my bunch. I hope she catches us up on the other three couples too. Glines is pretty good about that with her series.

    • I think I'm pretty much all caught up now, other than one that I am waiting to read the sequel and do the reviews together. It is a blogger woe though. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Wow it sounds like all of these books were such great reads, and all such different genres too! I really like the sound of Abbi Glines and have heard such good things about her books. But I should really try one already DD:

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