Category Archives: New Adult

Infected by Littlefield

infectedCarina’s uncle just died of an “accident.” That wouldn’t be very suspicious except for the fact that her mother also died of an accident and they both worked for the same shadowy secret project. Lot’s of smoke, but is there fire?

By Sophie Littlefield
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
January 2015

Alone, Carina is forced to rely on the only person left in her life, her boyfriend Tanner, who we quickly meet in the first chapter as the two underage kids have sex. (Both of these characters are in high school. Even if it isn’t statutory rape, which it may be in some states by legal definitions, it’s definitely not something I want a 12 year old – the age suggested by the book – to read as normative.) Tanner and Carina then go on a quest to find out the truth about the secret project and the death of her Uncle and Mom. The book lasts all of like two total days. The end.

In my opinion this is a mess of a book. Sure, it’s fast paced and a lot happens during the two days but very little is fully explained and the characters aren’t memorable. By the end of the book what I was struck with most was how the characters were doing things that only adults should do (sex), speaking like bikers at times, and didn’t inspire the reader to care very much about the situation.

Let me get on my soapbox here a little bit. Society recognizes that children – read under 18, which is the legal definition – are vulnerable and should be protected. Anything that sexualizes children is rightly frowned upon and likely illegal. But for some reason books are allowed to do this all the time with no questions asked. How many “young adult” books have underage protagonists – 15, 16, 17 years old – who engage in sexual relations and other risky behavior and are sold and marketed to other children who then learn the lesson that this is normal and safe? There is rarely talk about the dangerous repercussions of these activities. No one gets STDs, pregnant, emotionally or spiritually damaged. It’s all presented as good fun with no downside. That isn’t reality though. And books the promote children having unprotected, possibly illegal sexual relationships with no expectations about the very real dangers involved in those activities do children and society a disservice.

While the above was a part of the book, this isn’t the only reason not to recommend the book. It’s short, shallow and not that interesting in my opinion.

@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Bad Radio by Langlois

badradioDuring WWII, Abe Griffin was a member of a special task force that took on the strange and supernatural. One event in particular, however, left its mark on Abe. Now, sixty years later, Abe hasn’t aged a day, is preternaturally strong, and can heal from just about anything. But Abe’s abilities are more than they seem. The same ritual that gave Abe his abilities is being recreated, and the man responsible is determined to finish what he started. All he needs is Abe, and he’ll kill anyone that gets in his way.

Bad Radio
The Emergent Earth #1
Michael Langlois
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
August 21, 2011

Corpses and living people filled with parasites, giant worms, and blood rituals ensure that there is no shortage when it comes to gore in this particular tale. Throw in some psychics and obscure magic and you’ve got yourself a story. Or so you’d think.

But the truth is that this story just suffers from plain old bad writing. Characters are mortally wounded one moment and then they’re fine the next. Nobody even questions the fact that Abe seems to be able to heal from multiple stab wounds in minutes until three-fourths through the story. (Although no explanation is given as to how everyone else is alive and up walking around. All that blood has to come from somewhere.)

The story also has a nasty habit of using any and every lull to drop into lengthy exposition. I honestly almost laughed during one scene where a character was lying on the ground, supposedly bleeding to death and waiting for an ambulance, but manages to have an entire cellphone conversation chronicling Abe’s past.

Even worse is the fact that some of the exposition is literally a repeat of information already shared. It’s as though the characters have forgotten the details of each other’s lives, despite the exact same conversation having happening two chapters ago.

Really, I could go on, but the point is that the book is a mess. There’s already a sequel and I imagine this first book is meant to be part of a series or a trilogy, but I honestly don’t think I could bring myself to read more.

Matthew Scott is the Dark Fantasy & Horror Editor of who describes himself as just another average reader who enjoys sharing his opinion on various books, authors, and whatever else may cross his path.

Stay With Me by Elissa Patrick

patrickDisillusioned with the world of music and movies, Hailey has decided to give it all up and try to achieve a “normal” life.    She leaves the glamour and glitz of her high profile life to enter college in Burlington, Vermont.   Hailey initially had no plans but to settle into college life and find herself; she finds Caleb instead.

Stay With Me
by Elyssa Patrick
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
August 2013

Hailey doesn’t plan to get involved with Caleb, she really doesn’t.  However, it seems that all her best intentions go out the window every time he’s near her.   And even though she tries to avoid him, he seems to appear EVERYWHERE.

As Hailey and Caleb grow closer, she worries more and more about him learning a major secret that she plans to keep hidden forever.  As much as they come to care for one another, she is sure that if he learned of her dark secret he’d walk away.

Sadly, that plot tension sounds much more interesting than it turned out to be.   I kept waiting for a large climactic moment with the building tension of Hailey’s secret, issues with her mother, and the seemingly perfect family to which Caleb belongs.   It never really materialized.

The start of a new series by Elyssa Patrick came off as contrived and stale to me.  It’s fine that the story wasn’t overly original.  Let’s face it, with so many books on the market, it’s tough to create something entirely new.  The issue is that the characters and the story never really developed for me.   Caleb learns her secret, and he doesn’t seem all that concerned.   Patrick continually alludes to Hailey’s relationship with her mother, and the two never enter a scene together.   I kept waiting for the tension to break with a huge reveal, and that never happened.

It also doesn’t help that this was billed as a Young Adult novel when I received the email to review it.  That was on my mind until I started the review, and I was continually shocked at the scenes written.   They are sexually explicit, and I kept wondering how this would have been able to make it to a YA rating and what parent of a pre- or early teen child would let his or her daughter read it.  The book is actually part of a fairly new genre known as New Adult.   The main characters are normally aged 18-25 (although Hailey is 17 when the novel starts) and the content is directed towards readers aged 18 to 30.

In the end, this one is not on the list to be read again.  Additionally, I am not confident that I’d be very interested in reading other books that will come in this series.

Robin Gwaro is the Young Adult and Women’s Literature Editor at Her personal blog is Just Wandering. Not Lost. where she writes about whatever comes her way.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.