First Chapter Review: Escape Through The Wilderness by Gary Rodriguez

 

1st Chapter Review TC&TBC

BLURB:  Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

Escape Through the Wilderness coverCOVER: I find this cover fascinating. The author has toured with this book before. I loved it then. I love it now. The dark colors with the glowing yellow eyes make it a tiny bit creepy, but it is a stunning cover.

FIRST CHAPTER: Savannah Evans, also called Savi, makes quick friends with Jade at Camp Arrowhead. Savi’s run in with Connor Swift doesn’t go quite as smoothly.

KEEP READING: I am on Chapter 12, so I’ll let you be the judge. :) The opening chapter mostly introduces the characters, but it also sets up the conflict that we will see later on. In addition, it actually opens with a news blurb about the disappearance of the four teens and then goes back in time two days to when they all met, so it’s a neat way to drop the reader right into the action, followed by a tiny bit of backstory. I look forward to more.

 

For More Information

I received this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

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Coming in April: One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

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Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she’s become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether? Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love.

5 5/8 x 8 1/8 in; 280 pp;
Hardcover
April 2015
ISBN 9781452128313

Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of books for both adults and young readers, includingGoing Over, You Are My Only, Small Damages, and Handling the Truth. She lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

Cover Reveal with Giveaway: Super Bad by Kai Strand


Watch out. Things are about to get really bad.

Excerpt from Super Bad:
The classroom door opened and Sandra glanced toward it, along with
the thirty other kids in the room. She snickered and raised her eyebrows at
Lexa when a young man wearing a Hermes costume, complete with wings fluttering
on his heels, floated in.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Lexa leaned over to whisper. “I hope a draft
lifts his skirt so we can see what’s underneath.”
Sandra giggled. “My guess is bun huggers. Gold lame to match his
shiny winged cap.”
Lexa waggled her eyebrows. “Shiny gold buns. I like.”
The teacher frowned at the young man. “Can I help you?”
“I have a delivery for Sandra Tohler.”
Sandra gulped. This couldn’t be anything besides embarrassing. A
tidal wave of heads turned toward her causing her cheeks to flush with heat.
Seeing where everyone’s attention settled, the Hermes guy floated
between the rows of desks and came to rest near hers. “Sandra Tohler?”
Reluctantly, she nodded.
He cleared his throat before delivering a soliloquy in a clear,
resonating voice that Sandra was sure the students in classrooms across campus
would hear.
“Sandra, oh Sandra, my lovely, stormy vixen,
hear my humble plea. Your essence has absorbed into my every thought and now I
wonder how I will sit for my exams. Will I answer essay questions by describing
the intense sable color of your hair, or the enticing moss of your eyes that
makes me imagine us lying in each others arms in a fairy forest?”
Sandra’s forehead hit her desk with a loud thunk, her voice a mumble
against the surface. “Please stop. Go away.”
But the Hermes guy continued in his orator’s voice. “I’ve relived
our kiss uncountable times. Your lips were velvet soft, but demanding.”
A chorus of “Ooo,” erupted through the room.
SUPER BAD The unexpected conclusion to the Super Villain Academy series.
The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.
Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.
When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”
***
Super Bad is scheduled for release in June, but there have been whispers of it releasing sooner. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to Kai’s mailing list and be among the first to know.
***
King of BadJeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is
recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?
 
Polar Opposites – Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?
***

Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ecopy of either King of Bad or Polar Opposites. Plenty of chances to win. Open internationally. Enter here:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for
young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.

The Great ARC Giveaway from Clean Teen Publishing and Crimson Tree Publishing

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The team at Clean Teen Publishing and Crimson Tree Publishing would like to give away a few advance release copies of their books. These are exclusive ARC copies of novels that have not yet hit the shelves. Be the first to get your hands on one of these beauties. Enter to win one of the following amazing ARC’s:

  • Wicked Luck by Shannon Maynard
  • Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry D. Ficklin
  • Shattered Memories by Susan Harris
  • On the Accidental Wings of Dragons by Julie Wetzel
  • The Hunted by C.J. Hart

Check out the details here.

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of our readers a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015.

Here are some important literary anniversaries coming in the new year:

165th anniversary of David Cooperfield by Charles Dickens
150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
147th anniversary of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
147th anniversary of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
111th anniversary of Peter Pan by JM Barrie
107th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
83rd anniversary of Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
78th anniversary of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss
52nd anniversary of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
18th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Hope you have a great year!

K-9 Cop by Erna Mueller

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Put together a sarcastic, arrogant cop and an angry, computer savvy teenager and you get a good idea of what you’re in store for in K-9 Cop: Case #1 – The Dreck Report.

While on a stakeout, a police detective named Spencer Watley meets Justin Andrews, who is often in trouble with Principal Hammersmith. When Spencer is killed in the line of duty, he comes back to life as a dog and is sent to help out Justin’s family. Meanwhile, a group of cyber-killers are on the search for our detective turned pooch because he’s accidentally swallowed a microchip that will allow them to hack into computers and steal millions. While Spencer and Justin continue to butt heads, the Cyber Killers close in, kidnapping them. How will Spencer get them out this mess?

While I found the opening chapters a bit confusing, K-9 Cop is a funny, adventure-filled mystery for tweens and young adults. Spencer’s interactions will leave them in stitches. His comeuppance of returning as a dog and needing to earn entry into heaven will intrigue them. And the touching ending will warm everyone’s heart. Justin has a difficult story all his own, so to see Spencer and Justin connect on any level is rewarding. Though not what one might consider as your typical tween/young adult read, the content and some of the banter definitely places it into this market. I would say you’re looking at 14 and up for this one.

K-9 Cop is a fast-paced story with engaging characters that many will enjoy.

Rating: :) :) :) :)

File Size: 391 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Erna Mueller; 2 edition (September 18, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B009D6WZVY

I received a free digital version of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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Coming in February!: Unspeakable by Michelle K. Pickett

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On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second.

She is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt because of a dark secret that dominates her life. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind. But when Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again and suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.

Not only is Unspeakable beautifully written and capable of making you feel a vast array of emotions, but it gives you an inside look at the dark and painful life of a physical and emotional abuse victim.

Pre-order today at Amazon!