Friday, August 7, 2015

Double Review: STONE RIDER by David Hofmeyr & DAMAGE DONE by AmandaPanitch

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: July 14, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian 
Source: Print Copy
Rating: 3.5 Stars

"Intense, original, compelling . . . bristles with attitude. So cool. Just read it."--Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone and BZRK

In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life.

Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive.

The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury.

And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.

Hm...I honestly don't know where to begin? I had no idea what this book would hold in store but the synopsis was what did me in. It was able to grab my attention saying "Read Me!!". So when I was contacted for review, there was no doubt about it, I wanted it. Upon the first few pages, the tone set for Stone Rider was a bit terrifying yet intriguing. No doubt I knew this would be a book I loved. 


I didn't end up loving it like I thought I would. I did like it though. It was full of action, violence, kept you on the edge of your seat, and there were some romantic aspects to it. I think the book certainly has what it takes to be the next big hit. Some would probably complain that the book is more for the "boy" crowd, and I could see where they are coming from, but I personally like that it has a boy narrator. It brings the book to life in a way that begs you to read it. Here's where that but comes into play. 

I still felt like something was missing. Maybe the world building? I'm stuck with a question of why and how the world is the way it is. To be in such a horrible situation that the only way to happiness is by byke riding. Either that or mining. It's a lose, lose situation. Adam has always wanted to join an infamous race that has very little survival rate. The winner will get a one way ticket to Sky-Base, the place where life is paradise. At least compared to the living conditions he's currently in.  

Competing against Adam is a new guy in town Kane, and the girl that Adam has a thing for, Sadie. Will Adam be able to beat them? More importantly does he want to? Overall, I recommend this to teens who are fourteen and up just because there was a scene or two that may not be suitable for younger. I think the author shows a bunch of promise and we need to watch out for more books by him. If they are anything like this one, you'll be in for a ride. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Link:

About the Author:
The first scene of STONE RIDER came to me in a dream, but it reflects the opening scene of Clint Eastwood’s PALE RIDER. I saw three Riders coming across a broken landscape like horsemen of the apocalypse, but instead of riding horses they were riding otherworldly bykes. There are also many cues to scenes from Sergio Leone westerns. 

Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: July 21, 3015
Genre: Psychological Thriller YA
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5 Stars

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .


"Was that love? Knowing what someone would or wouldn't do before they did it?"

Wow. That's the first word that popped in my head as soon as I finished the book. Damage Done is a psychological thriller with a huge twist; but I guessed the twist very early on in the story. Even though I knew the twist but the words had me so engrossed that I couldn't stop reading. It's one of those books that actually pains you to put down. And any chance of free time no matter how short, you find yourself opening it up just to delve right back in. My heart. My brain. My body. Are on fire just thinking about how chilling, how unforgettable a story like this truly is. I'm going to be thinking
about Damage Done for weeks. I don't know what it was that I connected so well with, but I did. 

Twin stories have always fascinated me because of that twin connection. Now that I'm a mother, I can only assume that it's the sort of connection a mother feels towards her baby. It's the most amazing thing in the world. Maybe part of me has always wished for a twin. On second thought... Pretty Little Liars anyone? We all know how the books turned out! If you haven't read them, I highly recommend doing so! They're super creepy. Oh, and they are much different than the show. Anyways, it's safe to say that I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. 

Lucy Black has a secret. She's really Julia Vann, other half to Ryan Vann, whose notorious for shooting up the school. Killing five of their classmates and causing Lucy and her family to flee to a different town and change their names. At Lucy's new school, she starts noticing someone following her constantly and she knows just who it is; Ryan's psychologist. See Ryan has been diagnosed with antisocial disorder and sociopathy. He kills small animals and doesn't feel any remorse. All Lucy/Julia wants is to start over. She is NOT her brother. 

Along the way, we start getting flashbacks and journal entries with Ryan's psychologist showing us what type of person he truly was. I enjoyed looking back and seeing how twisted Ryan was; which was very much twisted! The plot twists were creeptastic and ones you could see from a mile away. Still, you couldn't help but be surprised. The twist though...I don't want to stop talking about it! I need someone whose read the book to talk to me about this. Because it's not going away anytime soon.

Overall, if you're looking for a good thriller in the name of Gone Girl but YA style, this is most definitely the book for you. I can't recommend this one enough. Go and get it!!

"He wanted to save the princess, to kiss her awake after her bite of poisoned apple. 
Well I couldn't be saved. "

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a print copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Amanda Panitch grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. Amanda now resides in New York City where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaPanitch, and visit her online at

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