Tag Archives: ya fiction

Book Review: Next Year, Things Will Be Different

Photo credit: <a href=http://www.designedbystarla.com/next-year-things-will-be-different/>Designed by Starla</a>

Photo credit: Designed by Starla

Note: This post is not paid for or sponsored in any way. All opinions are entirely my own. Got a book you’d like me to review? Get in touch using my contact form and I’ll see what I can do. đŸ™‚

As a writer and blogger, sometimes I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to review a novel or a short story collection. This time around, I read Next Year, Things Will Be Different: A Collection of Short Stories by Tyramir Ross, John Biscarner, and J. C. Sayer and edited by Chris Forshner. I love reading YA fiction, so I was eager to dive right in. Here’s a breakdown of the stories that make up the collection:

Next Year by Tyramir Ross

Walker may not have finished high school yet, but he and his team are certainly finishing off every one of the G’laek they can. Now they face one of the oldest and most powerful of the ancient demons they have encountered. Can Walker use the power granted to him in Quellios of the Rising Waves, the great staff that conjures fire, as well as his own brains to save himself and his friends?
Illusion Of Choice by John Biscarner
When given the chance to have everything your heart desires, what would you ask for? Many of us have thought of what we would ask for, but have we ever really thought about the consequences of said wishes? Darren, a young teen, has been asked a simple question:  “What do you want from life?”
The Garbage Man’s Boy by J.C. Sayer
In the 1950s, the small northern Ontario town of Mallieu was terrorised by a serial killer named the Ferry Man.  Ron, the Garbage Man’s Boy, navigates small town politics in the wake of these murders, finding hidden truths he probably shouldn’t have found, while trying to protect the ones he loves from a terrible fate.

I love all of these stories. Each of them has well-crafted prose, believable characters, and an engaging plot. They combine everyday concerns with magic and a touch of darkness. Although “Next Year” and “Illusion of Choice” are based more in fantasy than “The Garbage Man’s Boy,” I find them no less appealing. Overall, these three stories succeed because they weave facets of adolescence–such as coming-of-age, loss of innocence, and the desire to find one’s place in the world–among the threads of narrative arc.

The only problem I have with the work is that it is so short. I didn’t want it to end. It’s been a while since I read a decent short story collection, and I’m pleased to say that this one didn’t let me down. If you’re looking for some new YA fiction to read, give this amazing collection a try.

If you’d like to read Next Year, Things Will Be Different, you can purchase it on Smashwords for 1.99 USD.

What short story collections have you read and enjoyed? Which of these stories sounds most interesting to you?

Tweet tweet:

Looking for some new YA fiction? @thecollegenov thinks you should check out Next Year, Things Will Be Different. #YA (Click to tweet)

Writer @thecollegenov reviews your next favorite YA short story collection. #NYTWBD #YA (Click to tweet)


Book Review: Morning Glory by Allison Blanchard


Having read Allison Blanchard’s debut novel Forget Me Not, I was thrilled to have the chance to read and review the sequel. Morning Glory continues the story of Adeline, a high school girl whose ordinary life is turned upside down when she encounters a boy named Cole and his native traditions. Blanchard’s new novel is the perfect blend of depth, drama, and romance. Her stellar cast of characters, dedication to narrative, and attention to detail make Morning Glory an even greater success than Forget Me Not. This book is fantastic.

Fans of the first novel’s protagonist Adeline will not be disappointed by her portrayal in this sequel. Blanchard stays true to Adeline’s character throughout this novel, and I had a difficult time finding anything that did not feel true to character. My other two favorites, Cole and Emma, are given an equally respectful treatment. The relationships established in the first novel are deepened and explored further in this sequel. Because fiction is about people, I loved Blanchard’s depth of characters and exploration of family, friendly, and romantic relationships throughout her new book.

Another quality that makes this sequel worth reading is Blanchard’s dedication to the established narrative. Blanchard reminds the reader of the legend established in Forget Me Not while adding details that enhance the realism of the mythology. She also does an excellent job of keeping up with her characters’ histories and backstories (I’d like to know how she does it because I could use a few pointers).

With a whole mythology to look after, it’s impressive that Blanchard does not slack off when it comes to her attention to detail. As with the backstories, Blanchard makes certain that every part of the legend exists for a reason–that is, every seemingly-insignificant detail coincides with something that happens in the story. Nothing happens unless it needs to. This level of attention is something that I have the utmost respect for.

My only complaint about the novel? At times, it seemed that there was too much convenience. Certain events felt contrived rather than inevitable. Without giving too much away, I had a hard time believing the identity of the man who pulled Adeline from the river. Even then, Blanchard did her very best to convince me, which is why I am reluctant to list this single grievance.

This sequel is as good as, if not better than, its predecessor. I enjoyed every second of the book and found it difficult to put down. If you loved Forget Me Not, or if you’re in the market for a new kind of paranormal romance, you need to check out Blanchard’s work.

You can purchase Blanchard’s debut novel on Amazon. She also has a blog that you can view here.

Want me to review your book? Comment or send me an email! I’d love to get in touch with you.