The Mirror by John Heldt

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Time Travel, YA

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It’s the year 2020. Ginny and Katie Smith—twins—go to a fair to celebrate their 19th birthday where they go to a house of mirrors, and when they exit, they find themselves in 1964. After realizing that they have a way to go back, they start dealing with the situation logically. Thrust into an era which is completely different than the liberal times they come from, they try to make the most of their adventure. While waiting for a chance to return to their own time, the girls meet their family in the past and fall in love with local boys.  Now it is time for them to make some life-altering decisions.

This is another great time travel romance novel by John Heldt. The Mirror is an intriguing mix of history, romance, adventure and friendship. The author has created a unique plot with amazing characters. If you are a fan of time travel books, I recommend you read this one.

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A Different Kind of Lovely by Petra March

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Literary Fiction, Contemporary Women
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A Different Kind of Lovely is the story of Neal and Mina. Theirs is a cliché romance with a tragic plot. Neal wants to buy Mina’s cottage, which she refuses to sell. Neal and Mina’s parents used to be friends, and because of that, and seeing how desperate he is, Mina allows him to live at her cottage. Neal is the typical tortured hero, and Mina—though she doesn’t like him invading her “artistic space”—wants him to heal from his painful past. Mina, too, is broken in her own way and maybe because of this shared trait the two are drawn together. Eventually, the two end up helping and healing each other.
Petra March has a unique writing style. Her characters seem so real-life, you can feel their emotions. I loved Neal and Mina; their story is sensual, heart-breaking, and filled with anguish. I got a review copy of this novel from the author and she did an amazing job. I just loved this story.

I’ve Been Looking for You by Jennifer Dean

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YA, Romance

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I’ve Been Looking for You is a coming of age romance novel about Max and Emily. Max is the new girl at Emily’s school and the book is about how these two fall in love. This is a cliche love story with Max being a typical “playgirl” and Emily the rich, pretty blonde. The story has some crime mystery thrown in when drugs are found outside Max’s locker, which makes it interesting.

I got a review copy of this book from the author’s publicist and I was really excited to read it, since this is the first FF romance novel I have ever read. And I wasn’t disappointed. It is a fast-paced story with a good romance. I really like the couple. But, the thing that bothered me about this story was that there was nothing unique in the plot—I have read books with the same kind of plot, but the only difference is that Max and Emily are both females. There are a few editorial issues in the book too. Apart from that, this was a really great book.

Philosopher’s Crystal by Marcin Dolecki

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Time-travel, Literature

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Philosopher’s Crystal is about Philip and Julia. After the arrest of his parents, Philip is living alone when one evening he comes across Julia who is on the run. He offers her a place for the night—not knowing that his life is going to be turned upside down the next morning when a stranger knocks on his door and tells him to escape. Thus, Philip and Julia start their adventure, which includes traveling to the Roman empire, 17th century Amsterdam, and medieval Indian jungle. And the story has an unexpected twist, which made it all the more interesting.

The best part about this book is that many philosophical discussions are put in simple terms and written in conversational style. The base of the story is a bit weak, though. I definitely recommend this book if you like philosophy.

Fated Loss by Claudia Caren

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YA, Fantasy

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Fated Loss is the story of Rose Kristal, whose life is turned upside down at the age of 14, when her royal family is attacked by an evil witch, Ash. The story starts on Rose’s—who, along with her younger sister Skylar, is living with her grandparents—16th birthday. Having no memory of her life till the past year, Rose is mystified to find strange things happening to her, like accidentally bursting a bottle of water and drenching herself in one second and then finding herself dry in the next second. She later discovers that she is a royal faery, who is also the ”Saviour” of all the other faerys and the faery land called Astella. So she and Skylar go to Astella to learn about their powers to try to save the faery land. When Ash discovers Roes’s plan, she tries to thwart her at every turn. But, Rose is determined to save the faerys, and along with Skylar and her new friends, Ariel and Logan, she sets out on a thrilling journey. She does succeed in her mission—somewhat—but in the end there is a major twist in the plot.

I liked this story, it was totally interesting and action-packed. At times, I felt like I was reading a video game, what with all the fights and thrills in it. But there were a few editorial issues in it and in some places, the story was too rushed. It was a good read, overall, though.

River Rising by John A. Heldt

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Time Travel, Adventure

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River rising is a story of five siblings who travel back in time—to the 1880s, to be precise—in search of their parents who went to Sedona for a getaway, but never returned. Adam, the eldest of the siblings, receives information that their parents have been dabbling in the art of time travel, and after processing this shocking news, the siblings all decide to travel back in time to find their parents. So, they set out on an exciting, mysterious and totally adventurous journey where they have to learn to ride horses and send telegrams. The best part in the story is the moment when they have to return to their own time.

Wow, just wow! This is a fascinating story filled with suspense that had me captivated till the end.  The author has created an adventure like no other. I loved the characters, the story, the history lessons and everything else in between! The book ends in a cliffhanger that has me eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

The UncommonDetectives by Mahijit Bhatt

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Fiction

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The Uncommon Detectives is a story about detectives, set in London. The author–a budding talent–has used animals in place of humans in the story. The book is about a gang of three thieves, who are cats, and a detective agency who wants to catch them. This agency is a unique one, with a wolfhound as the leader.

The author has an amazing imagination. I really enjoyed this immersive story.