Top 5 Saturday

Should I admit that, despite growing up in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I have never actually watched The Breakfast Club? This weeks prompt at Devouring Books is to post your Top 5 Coming of Age books. I’m not the biggest fan of YA or NA books though I have read a fair few of them over the years.

I could include Little Women, which was a favourite in those years between not quite a child but not yet a true teenager. Then there are the much missed Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, with those crazy Wee Free Men. However it’s been more than a while since I read those, so my choices are going to be picked from more recent reads.

Top 5 Coming of Age books

Strictly speaking these aren’t necessarily coming of age, though all the main characters undergo personal growth and development, so I am counting that as the same thing.

These are all books I enjoyed, each one rating between 4 and 5 stars.

Title – Roar (Stormheart #1)
Author – Cora Carmack
Genre – YA Fantasy

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Title – Prison of Statues (Statues Trilogy #1)
Author – Ainsley Shay
Genre – YA Paranormal

Her nightmares are more than a warning…On the evening of her father’s funeral, Iris’ nightmare bursts with colors, despite her having been color blind since birth. But when she wakes in the morning, her world turns gray once again.
Soon after, she encounters three mysterious strangers who are inexplicably drawn to her. Through secrets and deceit, she fears they are all here for one reason…her.
Now, night after night, the nightmares continue into a series of disturbing events where Iris finds herself caught in a vibrant collision of past and present. But when the nightmares start to cross into her physical realm, she must find a way to fight for her life, and for a love she may once have had.

Title – Eerie
Author – C.M.Mcoy
Genre – YA Paranormal Romance

Hailey Hartley has just enrolled in the world’s premier supernatural university. It’s a school she’s never heard of, located in a town called The Middle of Nowhere, and run by a creature that’s not supposed to exist. But at least she got a scholarship…
Hailey’s dreams have always been, well…vivid. As in monsters from her nightmares follow her into her waking life vivid. When her big sister goes missing, eighteen-year-old Hailey finds only one place offers her answers–a paranormal university in Alaska. There, she studies the science of the supernatural and must learn to live with a roommate from Hell, survive her otherworldly classes, and hope the only creature who can save her from the evil immortal who took her sister doesn’t decide to kill her himself.

Title – Killshot (Icarus #1)
Author – Aria Michaels
Genre – YA Dystopian/Science Fiction

After the death of their parents, seventeen year old Liv Larson and her younger brother are separated by the foster care system. Her grades slip, her friends drift away, and she gives up on her plans for college. The only thing that matters is keeping the promise to get back to her brother. After months of solitude and anti-social behavior, Liv’s best friend Riley drags her to their high school’s rooftop solar flare party. Despite the beautiful lights dancing in the sky, Liv finds herself captivated by Zander, a mysterious boy with a crooked smile. For a few hours, she allows herself to feel normal again.
That is until what should have been a small flare erupts into a massive solar storm. Cut off from the rest of the world with no sign of rescue, fear and paranoia begin to take their toll on the group. Battle lines are drawn and their ranks are divided. Soon, those left behind must embark on a perilous journey to save one of their own…but, something sinister awaits them in the shadows and it’s undeniably connected to Liv.
Can she keep her promise to reunite with her brother? What are Liv and her friends willing to do to survive? Will their bravery and determination be enough to save them all from a rogue military unit, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night?
Or was Icarus really the KILLSHOT?

Title – The Omega’s Prophecy (Legend Of Gods #1)
Author – M.U. Skar
Genre – Omegaverse Fantasy Romance

Centuries ago, the Goddess of all Omegas betrayed her mate by falling in love with the infamous Lord of Xibalba.
Enslaved for a crime they did not commit…
To prevent Omegas from repeating History, the Gods created the Mark. A barbarous, merciless act, maiming an Omega for life, forging an unbreakable bond between an Alpha and his mate.
Their quest for freedom just found its beacon of hope
Change was coming, centuries-old traditions were finally questioned… before the people of Khelliom lost their King, before the Dragons of the North decided to take control of the Realm, before Kiara, Omega princess from a southern Clan, rumored to be the reincarnation of the Goddess, seeking to reveal the truth behind the greatest lie of all times.
Laying down a path, paved with suffering and sorrow
Caught up in the brewing war, Kiara must grow stronger if she wants to uncover the deceit of the Alphas around her, and survive the return of the Gods, each coming to claim her for their own.


I recently read both books number 4 and 5, and since the final book concluded the series I decided to post my reviews for all five instalments.

My overall rating for the series is 4 stars, which equates to; I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.


A young adult paranormal urban fantasy blend, with well written characters and a captivating story line.

Having read and enjoyed The Statues Trilogy I knew I enjoyed this author’s work. I was also very intrigued by the blurb for the book. 

I love stories where the fae/immortals/gods are walking around on Earth, with most humans totally unaware of the truth. I really enjoyed how the author steadily world builds in this book, introducing new characters and information in a way that neither overwhelms nor gives you too little to work with. This book was very much scene setting for the rest of the story, we spent a lot of time discovering some unexpected truths, both about Everly but also about Veil Rock.

Written in first person and completely from Everly’s point of view we, as the reader, quickly get to know this not quite girl but not yet woman really well. There are quite a few other characters to also keep track of, some of these are clearly friends, some very much enemies, whilst others could be either. The people she can trust don’t know enough to really help her, whilst those who know everything are the very ones who might want to cause her harm.

I’m was intrigued by the whole story and determined then and there that I would be continuing with it.


I would have sworn I was just a normal girl. But, I was wrong. And it could cost me my life.

When I’m sent to finish my last semester of high school in the peculiar town of Veil Rock, I thought that would be punishment enough. But when mysterious vampires, shifters, and witches come to seek me out, there’s no escaping the clutches of this new hell.

They believe I am powerful enough to be their ultimate sacrifice to break a binding curse, and they will stop at nothing until they claim me as their own.

I laughed at the absurd idea until unexplained and magical things began to happen to me. Now, unable to gain control of my newfound powers, I’m forced to rely on the very ones who plan to sacrifice me to keep their immortality.

As my world breaks apart into a thousand pieces, it’s flight or fight. Since I’m not one to run away, the only thing left to do is decide who I can trust and who is manipulating me as I try to unearth ancient secrets that may save my life.

My name is Everly Shade, and I’m not ready to die.

*Echoes to Ashes is the first in this YA paranormal mystery series. Expect romance, magic, and twisting plots that will have you guessing to the very last book.*

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The story gets better and better

Ashes and Shadows picks up pretty much where book #1 ended, and continues the story of magic, mystery and mayhem. It continues to be written first person and just from Everly’s pov.

Ainsley Shay spins excellent magical tales but in a modern day setting, merging the two worlds into one massively entertaining read.

Everly is discovering more and more things, both about herself and about the immortal beings who are so very interested in her. There are a few new people to meet in this book, along with some surprising discoveries to be made and increasing threats to face. 

I did find that I was having to remind myself that Everly is only a teenager, particularly at those times when she seemed very trusting of the wrong people. Personally I wouldn’t trust any of them, but I guess in order to get the answers she needs, Everly has to trust someone.

The writing is executed well, making the story easy to follow and understand. The pace was nicely balanced, holding your attention without moving too quickly, and there were plenty of twists and turns in the plot. Characters clearly have their own motivations, only revealing information to Everly when it suits them. They often leave her in ignorance and then get offended by her unwitting actions!

I flew through this, devouring each word, page and chapter whilst being totally riveted by the story. I am massively looking forward to reading the final book and discovering the truth hidden behind all the smoke and mirrors that the immortals dazzle our heroine with.


Magic paints a target on Everly’s back, and her hunters won’t stop until she belongs to them…

As Everly attempts to control her powers, everything else in Veil Rock comes unhinged. Now, there’s a new a gift over-riding all of her senses, and its insatiable need to be fed drowns out everything else.

There’s only one person who can help her overcome the magic’s hunger. He’s more than happy to oblige… but he’s the last person Everly wants to turn to. Especially about this.

But, she may be left with no other choice as more supernaturals begin to realize how unique her powers are. The white witches are the only ones who know exactly what Everly is capable of, and they will do whatever it takes to keep that secret sacred.

Even if that means Everly’s death.

The CW’s Supernatural collides with LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries in the thrilling series of The Immortal Trials.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this action packed third instalment of The Immortal Trials.

We’re half way through the story now and whilst there are still a lot of unknowns and secrets galore, I did feel as though plot strands were starting to tie together. Whilst I still have NO idea of how the story will progress, strangely enough I did feel as though we made significant headway in this book and am now beginning to build a much clearer picture in my head. 

It might just be me but this felt as though it had better pace and flow than book 2. That’s not to suggest book 2 was a bad read, rather that this is an even better one! We don’t see as much of Cameron, Mina and Raiden in this one, though there are quite a few other characters to meet and place into the story. There are also some surprises and plot twists added into the mix.

In the second half of the book Everly eventually felt like she was taking charge of events. I do like that she acts like a girl of 17 and not as though she were an adult, but time’s a ticking and there are A LOT of powerful people plotting her demise! I loved how the story progressed and can’t wait to see where the next book will take us.


Time is running out, and there’s no room left for mistakes.

The date of the ritual has been decided, and Everly has thirty-five days until she becomes the immortal’s sacrifice.

When shocking news comes in the way a sacred one, her entire world shifts. Everything she’s ever known may have been a lie.

But, Everly’s hope blossoms when she discovers a vital piece to the deadly mystery she’s trapped in. She must find a way to endure the never-ending horrors that continue to haunt her.

Especially if she plans to survive.

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Wow, things are certainly hotting up for Everly.

There was so much happening in this penultimate book that my head was left spinning. The pacing was perfect, holding me riveted from start to finish and I found myself finishing the story before I realised I was anywhere near the end.

Everly finally seems to be making headway in her struggles with both the immortals and The White Ones. In fact there are so many immortals in this story that it can be difficult to keep track of who is who. Thankfully the author drops gentle reminders into the story to aid with this.

The story flowed really well, the writing is engaging and the characters inspire genuine emotion, both positive and negative. I love how we can never be quite sure of who to trust and sorting truth from lies and subterfuge has my mind imagining all sorts of ways the story may progress.

I’m jumping straight into reading the final book right now. I can’t wait to find out how the amazing adventure draws to a conclusion. Not to mention finding answers to all those questions still flying around my brain!


The Creator of all immortals has left his lair.

His reason for paying a visit to Veil Rock is just… the need to know if Everly Shade is indeed the one creation that was never meant to be born. Knowing that she could ruin everything he has ever created, he must see to it that she is dealt with before the Hunter’s Moon.

Everly can no more prepare for the warlock’s arrival than if she was going to Hell itself. Still in possession of the grimoire, she searches through powerful spells she hopes will keep her alive long enough to save the ones she loves.

As her power to wield magic intensifies, she can no longer hide in the shadows. When the White Ones come for her, the only protection from their mental assaults is her own power. They don’t fight fair, the fight for what’s theirs. But, Everly belongs to no one.

Through her growing strength, Everly refuses to let murder, blood lust, or ancient magic keep her from what’s rightfully hers, the freedom to live.

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A thrilling conclusion to a wonderful series.

One of my favourite things about this series has been seeing how Everly has grown and matured throughout the story.  Curse to Ruin showcased this aspect really well, she still felt like the same person but she was making more reasoned decisions. The plot is incredibly busy but the pace allows you to follow it quite easily. There were so many unexpected twists and turns too, you just couldn’t predict what would happen next!

The writing, as always, was of a high standard with a flowing and easy to read style. I found myself flying through the book, quite simply it held my attention from start to finish, even when I wasn’t able to be reading, it was still in my thoughts. I adored the very sweet romantic element that we saw in this book, it wasn’t excessive but it just added something special IMO.

There were only two aspects of the book that could have been even better for me. Personally I would have liked Everly’s parents to have a larger role in this book, their inclusion almost felt pointless. I also felt the ‘sacrifice’ scene was rather rushed, the resolution felt too quick and easy. However this is a YA book when all is said and done, so a violent battle scene would have been inappropriate.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and would highly recommend it to those who enjoy paranormal stories and YA adventures. The series is suitable for teens through to adults, it has a very mild amount of romance.


Embracing death may be the only way to survive.

Trapped in her own body, Everly has been put under a spell to imitate death. With only ten days until the Hunter’s Moon, Dragan is now her eyes and ears to ensure she comes out of it alive. With both, the White Ones and his own immortal family, breathing threats and curses in their direction, Dragan turns to an unlikely source for help.

In the middle of the ocean, at Veil Rock, the ritual is set. Every immortal is on edge waiting to see if their curse will finally be lifted. Their hope falters when Saphira shows up to claim her daughter, Everly, to use her for the only thing she was created to do… abolish the immortals who never should have been.

When Everly is viciously ripped out of her death-like embrace, she’ll be forced to choose which side she’s willing to die for.

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