Need a holiday gift idea for your teen reader?

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

Still holiday shopping? Looking for some books for your teen reader? Here are a couple ideas from the books I reviewed this year.

Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts – by Brian Paone

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The author, Brian Paone, writes this memior as a tribute to his best friend, lead singer of the band God Lives Underwater, David Reilly. They become friends through Paone’s being a big fan of Reilly’s band. The novel is about the life of a rock star, but it is more about strong bonds of friendship.

Here is a link to my book review. Book Review – Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts by Brian Paone

Here is a link to purchase your copy: Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts

Under a Painted Sky – by Stacey Lee

Under A Painted Sky

Stacey Lee writes a historical fiction adventure of a Chinese American teen in the 1850s. Her dream was to play violin in a conservatory in New York City. After her father was killed, she found herself on the run with Annamae, a teenage slave, and they hit the road on the Oregon trail. To not draw attention to themselves, they dressed up as boys and tried to do things as guys do. Follow their adventures in this novel.

Here is a link to my book review. Book Review – Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Here is a link to purchase your copy: Under a Painted Sky – Amazon.com

The King – by Lori Lorilyn Roberts

The King by Lorilyn Roberts

In the second book in the Seventh Dimension Series, Lorilyn Roberts continues the story of her main character, Daniel. He lives in current day Israel, but is able to travel back to when Rome ruled the land. He battles with good and evil to learn more about himself on his path with God. Even though the story has a Christian Fantasy flavor, I think it could be enjoyed by any teen reader.

Here is a link to my review. Book Review – The King by Lorilyn Roberts

Here is a link to purchase your copy: The King – Amazon.com

The Hard Way – by Selma P. Verde

TheHardWay_eBookRecipient of Honorable Mention in the Young Adult Fiction Category of the 2018 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards 

In the first book of The Way Series, Selma P. Verde gives us a coming of age novel focusing on the effects of peer pressure. After his best friend moves away, Paul Jones must make new friends while he takes on his first year of high school. He meets Anik Hatcher while serving detention and is introduced to his friends who were pulling pranks in Manor City. Paul learns the consequences of choosing the wrong guys to hang around.

Here are the links to purchase your copy:

The Hard Way – Amazon.com and The Hard Way – Barnes and Noble

It is always fun to buy a physical copy of the book, but remember, there is an e-book option available for most books. Many teens choose to read on their cell phones, tablets or even have a Kindle they download their books to. So, be sure to see what version they would like to receive your gift in.

Book Review – Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

According to Wikipedia, Chinese New Year is known as the Spring Festival in China and the Lunar New Year in Asia. New Years Day in a particular year falls on the day of the new moon between January 21st and February 20th. In 2018, it fell on February 16th, one of the days I was reading this book. I didn’t know their years started and ended on different dates than our traditional new year. Each year is assigned an animal as a zodiac sign. 2018 is the year of the dog.

Our neighborhood Chinese restaurant has placemats which list all of the signs for the Chinese zodiac. It is always fun to find out what sign we are, what traits are associated with that sign, and how well they match up. In Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee’s character, Samatha, makes references to Chinese Horoscopes when se does something. She would say, “he did that because he was born in the year of the rabbit.” I found it an interesting way to draw in some additional Chinese culture into her story.

Lee includes characters of different races and cultures in her story, which was and is still a part of American culture. I did the same thing with my book, The Hard Way.

 

Under A Painted Sky

 

Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

Under A Painted Sky

Author

Stacey Lee

Type of Book

Young Adult Fiction – Adventure/Historical

Background

The author, Stacey Lee, takes us back to Missouri in 1849. Time when people of many races and cultures were moving westward to find riches and the American dream. Published in 2015.

Summary of the story

Samantha was a Chinese American who had recently relocated to St. Joseph, Missouri from New York City. Her dream was to play her violin, which she called Lady Tin-Yin, in a conservatory where she would teach with her father and her father’s friend Mr. Trask. Her plans take a terrible turn when her father is killed in a fire and she winds up killing a man. She flees the city with a teenage slave named Annamae westward on the Oregon Trail in search of Mr. Trask and Annamae’s brother Issac. To hide their identities, they dress up as teenage boys and meet up with a group of them on the trail.

Reactions to the book

I really liked the story. It was engaging, and I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn into the historical setting and I felt like I was really there. It was fun to watch how the girls keep their identity a secret from the boys in the group. I could feel the tension between the characters as their relationships developed, but there were no actual love type scenes until the end of the book.

This book would be a great YA read for someone into adventure type books. Themes of friendship and loyalty shine through. There is a little bit of a romance feel in it which didn’t overwhelm the story until the end. I think most readers would enjoy it. Since there isn’t any swearing or sexual scenes in the story, I believe this book would also be good for a late preteen reader.

If you interested in learning more about the author, you can check out her website, Stacey Lee, Author or follow her on Twitter @staceyleeauthor

If you are looking for a copy of her book, here is a link to it on Amazon.com Under A Painted Sky

If you are looking for another YA read, check out the books tab on my website for a link to my first book, The Hard Way. Avaiable in e-book and paperback.