Tag Archives: Michelle Gagnon

Books I’ve Been Reading

Barbara Vey -- August 8th, 2013

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Even with a busy summer, I need to feed my reading addiction.  So here’s some books I’ve been enjoying.

The Children of Merlin Series by Susan Squires.  After whipping through Do You Believe in Magic?, I found myself immediately searching for the next book, He’s a Magic Man.  Then I found out about a prequel, Your Magic Touch, l and rushed to devour that.  These book tell the modern day story of a family who carry the DNA of Merlin from Camelot.  The parents tell the children of their heritage, but each are skeptical of the tale, and come into their powers at different times and ways.  Every book is about a different member of the family, but the family dynamic is a central part of the story.  Your Magic Touch goes back in time to tell the story of how the parents met, became aware of their history and passed the story on to their children.

This is paranormal done in a different way.  I almost hate to call it a paranormal because I think people who don’t normally read paranormals would enjoy this series if they just gave it a chance.  It’s not heavy handed and the characters make mistakes and aren’t perfect.  Their struggle with accepting the myth of their family is very believable.  I was engaged from the very beginning and happily became entwined with the grown Tremaine children while immersing myself in their adventures.

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A Thousand Lies by Sharon Sala.  A dark suspense that hits on very real terror, abuse.  Anson Poe is the handsomest man in the county, but his good looks hide a very black heart.  He’s mean to everyone, but especially his wife, who takes what is given to protect her family.  Son, Brendan, breaks free of the family and tries to live a normal life while still trying to protect his mother and sister.  Unfortunately, he shares his father’s looks and people judge him by his father’s crimes.  Things come to head and Brendan must face off against the evil man he hates most, his father.

This story reflexes all the mystery and long, hot summer days and nights in Louisiana.  I couldn’t help but be pulled into the story as it tells the tale from all angles and seeing into the mind of the evil Anson Poe is frightening.  It’s easy to say why didn’t the mother just leave, but believe me, in abusive situations it is very difficult.  When you live with fear everyday, it gets hard to imagine a life without it and most mothers will do anything to protect their children.  Riveting, terrifying and engrossing, Sharon Sala takes us to a dark place, but manages to make everything ok.

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To satisfy my audio book addiction, I listened to Something About You by Julie James.  Poor Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde is just trying to get a good night’s sleep at a hotel when there is a murder committed in the next room and she becomes the only witness.  Since it involves a US Senator, FBI Agent Jack Pallas is sent in to protect Cameron.  The problem?  Jack blames her for mismanaging a big case of his involving the mob years ago.

The snappy dialogue, humorous situations, sexual tension and suspense make for a delicious, delightful and entertaining read.  I noticed an extra spring in my step while listening to this story while out walking.

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Don’t Look Now by Michele Gagnon.  Noa Torsen and her ragtag, teenage gang fight to save other teenagers from the claws of the evil Project Persephone.  Noa has been part of their experiments and knows it needs to stop.  Her hacker buddy, Peter, helps her locate facilities from his home base, but knows he need to go up against the bad guys when he finds out they’ve been experimenting on his girlfriend, Amanda.

While I don’t read a lot of Young Adult, this series has me hooked.  This is the second book and I highly recommend it for those hard to please young readers.  I know they’ll be clamoring for the final book in the series like I am.  Teeth-clenching, non-stop action that has you cheering for these underestimated teens.

Bottom Line:  Too many books…not enough time.  A truer sentiment has never been spoken.

If You’ve Never Read a YA Book, May I Recommend…

Barbara Vey -- May 28th, 2013

Don't Turn Around

After 3 years, I finally figured out how to put audio books on my iPhone from the library.  I was so excited about it that I downloaded the maximum of 10 right away.  So, instead of reading books this past week, I’ve been listening to them.

Sadly, half of them I couldn’t even finish.  Either they were boring, I didn’t like the characters or the narrator had an irritating voice.  But, there was a bright, shining star and I have to say it surprised me because it was labeled a Young Adult book and I’m not normally a big YA reader.  I like adult books with adult plots.  Well, I’m here to admit that I was wrong.

Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon is an action packed, heart-thumping thriller.  It’s the kind of book that starts out with a bang and barely gives you time to breathe.  And these are all good things.

Noa is a sixteen year old who’s on her own.  After being tossed around the system for years, she breaks free and finds comfort in her computer and etches out a life for herself as a hacker and a loner.  The day she wakes up on a metal table being injected with who know what, she soon discovers things aren’t as they seem.  Peter Gregory is a bored, rich kid who’s hacking skills has lead him to form an online Allegiance group working for the good of others.  But, one night, he hacks into the wrong site.  With goons breaking down his door, he finds himself on the run.

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It kind of reminded me of War Games.  The first time I saw it, I was so taken in by the amazing things that kids could with computers and keep in mind that the movie is 30 years old.  I still like watching it, even though the technology seems ancient.

When I can’t stop thinking about it, I know it’s been a great read.  Don’t Turn Around is kind of book I’d gladly buy and give to kids.  It’s clever, exciting and heart-wrenching.  This book is on my list for both adults and kids to read, talk about, debate and enjoy.  The narrator for the audio version, Merritt  Hicks, did a terrific job of bringing the characters to life.

After visiting Michelle’s website, I was happy to learn that this is a trilogy with the next book out in August.  Not only that, but a prequel to the story, No Escape, is being offered as a free download.

Bottom Line:  I know what I’ll be doing today.