Review: Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson

Seconds Before Sunrise (The Timely Death Trilogy, #2)

Publisher:  AEC Stellar

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series: Timely Death Trilogy, Book 2

Pages: 277 (Paperback)

Release Date: March 27, 2014

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

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coffee to goCoffee To Go: Let’s put it this way–I had an early class the next morning and I still couldn’t put it down. Thompson packs some crazy intense moments into the plot along with some really adorable ones. Minus some plot confusion, SBS was a genuinely enjoyable read.

Characters—

Jessica: If you know anything about Jessica in the last book, she’s completely different in this one. I feel like Jessica’s memory loss really adds depth to her character. It also makes her relationship with Eric stronger, in my opinion. To fall in love twice seems to me a very deep love. An improvement from Minutes Before Sunset is plot reliability where Jessica is concerned. There are a few scenes that had me on my toes in the most perfect way possible–Thompson uses a great mixture of foreshadowing and surprise to bring a lot of Jessica’s thoughts and scenes together.

Eric: He sounds so much more like a teenage boy in this book! In Minutes Before Sunset, I thought he sounded a little feminine, but I think we learn more about who Eric really is in SBS. Probably one of my favorite aspects of this entire novel is seeing Eric’s growth. I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but it’ll really bring a smile to your face. On top of that, his gallantry will make you swoon. Ugh. Yes. Gents take notes, please.

Robb & Zac: I think that the words “mysterious” and “ominous” apply to both of these guys. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to be unsure of at least one of these guys’ character until the very end. Although these two aren’t always in the spotlight, their supporting roles are vital to the story. Thompson was brilliant with these two.

Crystal: She’s a great best friend. She probably wouldn’t be my best friend, but I really appreciate how steady of a character she is. Every novel needs a character that’s transparent and reliable in the midst of the story’s conflict, and she’s it.

Camille/Teresa: I felt that Camille (let’s stick with that name) was a pretty static character in Minutes Before Sunset, but Thompson reveals a lot about her in this book and I grew to really respect her. The reader will definitely get a glimpse into her complexities.

The World—

Thompson spends SBS focusing on setting the stage for the Timely Death finale as well as building each of her characters, both in depth and in intrigue. As far as “second books” go, she does a great job. SBS definitely does not fall into the dreaded “second book slump.” The reversed images/ideas of Light and Dark still play a large and interesting role in this book. For more info on the world in which SBS is set, check out my review of Minutes Before Sunset here.

The Themes—

I didn’t really nail down any specific themes, but I did see an emphasis on maturity and obedience to elders. Fate also stays very prevalent in this second novel.

Final Thoughts—

I liked it. I didn’t love it, but it was an enjoyable read. Firstly, I admire how accurate the titles are to each book. You’ll see why once you read it, but she does a great job choosing them. Thompson makes you care for her characters. That is pivotal on whether one will enjoy a story, and she’s successful here. My only real complaint is the plot fogginess towards the end. I felt like I knew what was happening, but it wasn’t actually happening. It was almost like I was in a dream-state during the structural climax. I’m hoping that the battle scenes and all that jazz with the prophecy become sharper in the finale book. Although honestly, I’m most excited to see more of Eric and Jessica!! They are climbing their way up on my list of fave book couples! 🙂

Memorable Quotes—

“I was in love with her, and she was in love with me, but our relationship–our identities–would kill us both if the Light figured out whom she was and used her against me.”

“The fantasized kiss was stolen time from the dreams…”

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

****I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. So I can honestly tell you that it’ll be worth it to go check out Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise.

Review: Breakable by Aimee L. Salter

Publisher:  Aimee L. Salter

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction, bullying

Series: None

Pages: 340 (eBook)

Release Date: November 4, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy’s secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark. 

Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.

Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he’s used her own artwork to humiliate her – and threaten her last chance with Mark.

She’s reached breaking point.

Literally.

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coffee to goCoffee To Go: Well, it kept me up until 4:30am the night before an 8am test. It was that intriguing. Stacy makes you want to fight for her. She’s not a pushover. Salter is great at believable plot twists; the story never got boring for me. The most accurate description? Raw. On every level.

Characters—

Stacy: I wouldn’t say I necessarily liked her. I always support fighters who are direct in their approach and Stacy wasn’t that. But I definitely empathized with her; my heart went out to her and her conflicts within herself and with other characters are very realistic.

Older Me: At some times, very enigmatic. I liked it. At others, it seemed like I could see right through her. I think Salter did a great job making Older Me a character full of intrigue, uncertainty, and foreshadowing.

Mark: Oh, so clueless, boyish, and…realistic! As the reader, I didn’t see Mark the way Stacy sees him. Instead, I saw the way Stacy saw him and I saw the way the rest of the world would see him. (That’s a lot of “saws”). Anyway, I really respected Salter for making Mark a round character whom one might actually meet in a high school. He’s not some formulaic love interest full of mystery and unrequited love and brooding, yet he still cares deeply for Stacy. In short, I adore the mistakes he makes!

Finn: Can we not discuss him? Like, is he worthy to be deemed human? Finn, Stacy’s most enthusiastic tormentor, needs an attitude check and a life. He’s awful—almost too awful to be believable. I can’t decide whether that’s a flaw or a strength.

The Themes—

I didn’t feel like Salter communicated any strong themes in Breakable, but I did get a sense of some definite ideas. I think this book is a good lesson to people about what really goes on in the mind of someone who is bullied. It also reminds us of the importance of showing compassion to those teenagers. Honestly, I was beyond angry at everyone in the book who blames Stacy for being bullied. …Then, very guiltily, I realized that I would probably have a similar mindset. Wow. Reality check.

Final Thoughts—

I usually don’t review for self-published authors, but I’m really glad I reviewed for Aimee. She’s a brilliant writer—especially when it comes to plots—and has a lot of potential. Something tells me this will be the first of several novels with which readers will identify. I highly recommend that you read Breakable. You can buy it here for only a couple bucks. It’s definitely worth it.

**The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way.

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