Publisher: Sky Pony Press

#BookReview
Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford
@BarbaraBelford @skyponypress

#BookReview Crossing the Line by Bibi Belford @BarbaraBelford @skyponypressTitle: Crossing the Line

Author: Bibi Belford

Published by: Sky Pony Press on July 25, 2017

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Billy’s family has fallen on hard times, what with his da hospitalized after the war and his ma barely scraping by. But it’s no hardship for him when there’s not enough money to pay the tuition for Nativity of Our Lord, the private Catholic school everyone in his neighborhood attends. Billy’s not big on education.

When he transfers to James Ward, a Chicago public school, he finds out there’s a big difference at public school: the kids aren’t all Irish—in fact, they aren’t even all white. It isn’t long before Billy’s found a new best friend in Foster, another fifth grader who also doesn’t have any money, loves baseball, and just happens to be black.

Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when he and Foster are just horsing around, playing baseball, working on the docks of the canal, and building a raft at their secret hideout on Bridgeport’s Bubbly Creek. But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter.


Review:

Heartfelt, sweeping, and immersive!

Crossing the Line is a moving, fascinating, coming-of-age story set in Chicago during the early 1900s that highlights all the struggles and racial tension of the time and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far, we still have a long way to go.

The writing is sincere and smooth. The characters are concerned, vulnerable and loyal. And the story is an exceptionally compelling tale about life, loss, familial dynamics, friendship, courage, community, discrimination, and racial segregation. 

Overall, Crossing the Line is a well written, exceptionally researched, moving novel by Belford that is a beautiful blend of historical facts, intriguing fiction, and endearing characters.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bibi Belford

Bibi Belford graduated with a B.A. in English from Westmont College and has worked as a playground supervisor for children of migrant workers and was a student teacher in a bilingual classroom before completing her masters in Bilingual Literacy at Northern Illinois University. She currently works as a literacy coach and reading interventionist for an elementary school in Illinois. She is the mother of four grown children and lives in Batavia, Illinois.

#BookReview
The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

#BookReview The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride @McBrideKristina @skyponypressTitle: The Bakersville Dozen

Author: Kristina McBride

Published by: Sky Pony Press on August 8, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.


Review:

Mysterious, unpredictable, and sinister!

The Bakersville Dozen is a young adult novel that takes us to the small town of Bakersville, Ohio where five popular, senior girls have one-by-one gone missing after being featured in a libelous video with eight of their peers.

The characters are nervous, bold, and at times impetuous. The writing is edgy and taut. And the plot is filled with an abundance of teenage drama, secrets, danger, jealousy, murder, red herrings, tension, and romance.

Overall, The Bakersville Dozen is a well-paced, suspenseful YA whodunit that reminds me of those classic 90s teen thrillers like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer that had you thinking “why would you do that?” while you simultaneously gripped the edge of your seat. It’s captivating, entertaining and has an ending you definitely won’t see coming.

If you haven’t had a chance already to check out my review for A Million Times Goodnight by McBride you can find it here:

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

#BookReview
A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride
@McBrideKristina @skyponypress

#BookReview A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride @McBrideKristina @skyponypressTitle: A Million Times Goodnight

Author: Kristina McBride

Published by: Sky Pony Press on July 5, 2016

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

One night. Two paths. Infinite danger.

On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.

Now Hadley has a choice. She can go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture. Or she can raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.

Each storyline plays out in alternating chapters. In one strand, Hadley embarks on a reckless adventure with her best friends, spinning the perfect plan for revenge. In the other, stuck in a car with her ex-boyfriend, Josh, she’s forced to revisit the mistakes they each made, including whether they should ever have broken up at all. As events of a wild night race toward an explosive conclusion, old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.

A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller ripped right from the headlines.


Review:

Mysterious, thought-provoking, and romantic!

A Million Times Goodnight is a young adult novel that reminds us that every choice has a consequence and sometimes those consequences have far-reaching ramifications.

The characters are young, fearless, and at times irresponsible. The writing style is unique and delves into the idea of parallel universes by utilizing alternating chapters to present the different “what if” scenarios. And the plot is a fast-paced, twisty thrill ride full of adventure, heartbreak, and surprises.

It is, ultimately, a story about life, love, secrets, deception, betrayal, teenage drama, and friendship.

A Million Times Goodnight is a very intriguing novel that at times is quite moving. And although I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to I think teens, the target demographic, would definitely be able to identify and relate to their behaviour, mindset, and choices more readily.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Centerville, Ohio with her husband and two young children.

#BookReview
Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
@GwenCole_ @skyponypress

#BookReview Cold Summer by Gwen Cole @GwenCole_ @skyponypressTitle: Cold Summer

Author: Gwen Cole

Published by: Sky Pony Press on May 2, 2017

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 322

Format: Hardcover

Source: Sky Pony Press

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.


Review:

Harrowing, intense and poignantly emotional!

In this debut novel by Cole, she gives us a time-travel piece full of familial dynamics, friendship, teenage angst, fear, guilt, abandonment, trust, disappointment, unconditional support, and young love.

The writing is earnest and smooth. The characters are troubled, vulnerable and coming of age. And the plot, although a little inconsistent in pace at times, provides a captivating, heart-rending look at the psychological and physical effects of war, the struggles of finding one’s identity and place in the world, and the nervousness and excitement of falling in love for the first time.

Overall, I would have to say this is a quick, enjoyable, moving YA read with endearing characters you can’t help but root for and hope they find peace and happiness.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Sky Pony Press and Gwen Cole for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Gwen Cole

Gwen Cole grew up in upstate New York and then moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college. Instead she played bass guitar in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She enjoys large jigsaw puzzles, playing Xbox and softball, and watching movies. Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.

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