The Changelings (War of the Fae #1) by Elle Casey

I almost don’t even know where to begin with this review…Wow. This book was beyond awesome, it absolutely blew me away. And for being a YA Novel, this story exceeds my standards for all YA Paranormal, which definitely raised the bar. Far from your cliché paranormal YA, and certainly doesn’t have PA feel as it unfolds to the middle of the book. There is a certain scene you’ll come to, though, which has a sliver of similarity and most likely inspired from Hunger Games, but with a twist. But all in all, Elle Casey certainly has a charming way with storytelling, giving us a full action-packed scenes, and vivid, dynamic characters. I am totally in love! Each character introduced to us has superb depth which gives readers a chance to relate and attach.

The Changelings

The Changelings

I don’t know exactly how to classify this book in terms of audience genre, though, honestly. It revolves around high school aged characters, but there are curses so vividly chanted by our Heroine quite often, but in a way that fits to whatever the mood she may be in, so it doesn’t feel like it’s obnoxiously placed throughout the story, but does indeed paint tough portrayal of our protagonist and her bold personality.

And though I wouldn’t call this a Paranormal Romance, there is a hint of potential first-love bonding, so beautifully written, where our heroine struggles to admit she has “sappy” feelings.

This book starts off as two normal highs-schoolers in central Florida, Jayne, a crass, potty mouthed teenager and her dorky friend Tony she picked on for years, but secretly cares for him more than she does for anyone else in the world. When both start having trouble at home, Tony takes everyone by surprise causes a scene to rescue Jane from family drama and run away together. They soon find themselves amongst other teenage runaways led by an older teen, named Jared. One day, Jared returns to their hideout with an ad for a “Fitness Interview” each person selected will receive $500 at the end of the job. Must be 18 years or older to participate. Well, obviously they lie, but what’s to lose at this point? The strange interview is completed and all but one runaway are selected to go. The adventure begins when the kids are on the plane to their destination for the ‘job’ and are offered a drink. Jayne who was suspicious ever since the interview, (she’s the hard-@ss of all the kids) watched her friends plop down in their seats next to her. Needless to say, she did not go down without a fight, she kicked and swung punches till she was hit with a tranquilizer, and even as she went down, she still told them where to shove it. Comical.

When the children awake, they are no longer in a plane, but in a cottage… and standing there greeting them is… a Dwarf in combat. Jayne began to believe she was seriously drugged or she was finally losing her mind. They find themselves in the middle of a Fae War…and they are the contestants… Each child learns they obtain a personal ability. Jayne is the most hilarious upon finding hers. If you want an idea of this enchanted forest puts obstacles in their way, I can tell you it’s like a mystical, fae-like Hunger Games, just more deadly, mysterious and scary.

I could go on forever about this book, but then what would be the point in reading if I were to do that? This is a must read! I can’t emphasize it enough, I can almost guarantee if you love hilarious, Fantasy/Paranormal novels with a smart and feisty heroine who has a strong head on her shoulders, with Elle Casey is a YA/Paranormal GENIUS! I want to get my hands on some hard copies of this series for my collection. They will be going straight to my top shelf at home!

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The Girl She Used To Be – David Cristofano

https://www.facebook.com/Thebooknatics This book was given to me by the publisher.

3525895This was the first book that was published before The Exceptions, of which I recieved from the publisher. After falling in love with “The  “Exceptions” I just had to see it from Melody’s point of view. While it is okay to read Johnny’s side first (The Exceptions), which I am actually glad I did, the ending of Melody’s version, was breathlessly beautiful…So very realistic and very emotional. The ending of this book (The Girl She Used to Be) actually makes me wish I had read this one first, seeing how it left off, (SPOILER)SPOILER)SPOILER) where Melody buys a wedding band, because she forever holds her heart for Johnny, even though they may never see eachother again. (SPOILER ENDED)

 
The author did an outstanding job keeping this story very realistic, and the giving the characters so much lifely depths. This is a story of a girl at the age of six, who witnessed a murder while out with her family at their favorite Italian restaurant, ran by Mafia boss Tony Bovaro. Johnny, who was 10 and totally enchanted by the little girl, watched as she fled the scene with her family. When approached by the police at the time of the incident, he was tricked into spilling everything he saw, even  right down to the plates on the car.

 The family  was forced to testify against the Bovaro’s in court but wouldn’t admit to a thing as to not draw attention from the dangerous family and then were immediately put into the Witness Protection Program. The Bovaro’s left them alone afterwards, seeing them as not a threat. Many years later, when the Bovaro’s were ordered to a huge court hearing where many families would be called upon to testify once again for another members failure, they wanted no loose ends, and planned to terminate the families. All of them. By then, Johnny was an adult, and always dreamt of the girl since the day he first saw her. He refused to let the family be killed, and would go behind his family and instead of “putting them down” he would watch over her, and lie to the family that they could not be found. But, having corrupted FBI men on their sides, they knew were to find the family every time they were relocated. Father became suspicious of Johnny’s defiance, and ordered a cousin to do the deed. Johnny still stands tall and protects the girl at all costs. Melody has no idea who this man is that keeps rescuing her, but his presence makes her feel safe. I felt so sad for her and Johnny through out the entire book. I wanted them to be together, I wanted him to run out and hug her everytime he saw her. This book totally had my mind involved.

This story is full of so much raw emotion, plot turns, and unexpected heart wrenching moments. Melody is a fierce woman who has been through so much tragedy. she refuses to go down without a fight. She remains strong and vigilant and thinks for herself even through the backstabbing and deceiving people continuously try to fool her. She turns the pages, and before any one realizes, they have been played by her.  I did not put this book down once, I ate it up in one sitting! I sat there totally thrilled with every turning page, wishing for the best and survival of Melody and melting at Johnny’s loving covertly hero ways. Johnny is a gallant, warm-hearted, undercover hero, and fights to be better and different from his own family. I tried to write this as best as I can without spoiling. But take it from me, if you love a little romance with your crime thrills. It was the perfect dose of love to go with this crime thrilling-page-turner. I could recommend this to both, male and female and I am sure they would enjoy this.