Mini Time – Black Dawn & Ghost Touch (Reviews)

So I have decided to condense two of my recent reads into a joint review…sometimes a mini-review is all one needs for a particular book. Well, not only that but both books are 180 or less and just don’t seem “meaty” enough to warrant full reviews. I’ve been waiting to find a book to put with Black Dawn and I finally did with Ghost Touch

It’s like have a soup and sandwich combo instead of steak, right? πŸ˜‚πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

But let’s get to the books, shall we? 

Title: Black Dawn 
Author: Mallory McCartney
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing, 2017 (February 14)
Genre: YA Fantasy

**I received a copy of this book free from Xpresso Reads and the author in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review (#1)

Credit is definitely due for this amazingly beautiful cover, which sucked me in hardcore. It’s stunning. It’s why I emailed back and said, “Yes PLEASE” to this book.

I’m still torn about that decision.

I have already forgotten most of the book, and that’s never a good sign. But I’ll do my best:

We are told the story from several POVs that jump around: we start with Emory briefly, a girl who has been abducted from her apartment by the man in her nightmares. We hear from her briefly before she passes out and is taken away.

Memphis and Brock return Emory to her real world. Apparently she was stashed on Earth for protection, as she is the last in line of a prominent family and is needed for a rebellion of the people against the evil ruler. This world of Kiero is a world of magic and is ruled by King Adair, a man who used to be friends with Emory, Memphis and Brock’s family but became power-hungry. 

Memphis is in love with Emory. So is Brock. Emory wakes up and has her memories restored: she remembers the rebellion and she remembers who she is…and she is eager to get the rebellion (named Black Dawn) into shape to stop Adair. 

(I was totally confused at this point bc of the POV shifts…I normally don’t mind them but one min I was in Emory’s head and the next minute I’m in Memphis’s head, and he seems like he is supposed to be a bad guy but his thoughts don’t sound bad…then we are in Brock’s head and he really missed Emory but because of some memory-tampering by Memphis, Emory is scared of Brock, which to me seems like a really shitty thing to do). Are you following? Ok…I wasn’t. I almost DNFed the whole book at this point bc I had no connection to the characters and had no idea who to root for as I didn’t care about anyone too much.

THEN, it’s like the story finds its groove and we can understand what’s going on…and some crazy cool stuff goes down but the book is only 180 pages and it ends by the time you really start feeling it. 

The author (pictured right) tells me that a sequel is in the works hopefully – if there’s enough of a demand. I’d like to continue the series, but I forget it more and more each day. When I finished it the first time, the cliffhanger had me in its grip and I was clamoring for more. But it’s not sticking with me. The book actually reads like it’s a sequel to something else: it’s good, but it takes most of the book to get good, and then you’re left with that empty “what do I do now?” feeling. 

I can’t really recommend this for any educational reading and I am going to simply give Black Dawn β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†. It’s an okay read, and it does become extremely creative with its path at the end…but unless something follows it up soon, I can see Black Dawn fading from the memories of most readers. 

Title: Ghost Touch
Author: L.A. Dragoni
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, 2017 (February)
Genre: YA Paranormal 
**I received a copy of this book free from Ebooksforreview and the author in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my Blog, TeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review (#2)

Ok. This book. This apparently is not the original cover, and if I had based it off the original, I probably never would have requested it.

 Yes, one of the main character’s is a ghost, but I didn’t know he was a freakin skeleton! Not as romantic if you ask me, and I can see why someone said, “Maybe we should do a cover change?” Yep, good idea…because if I saw THAT on my bookshelf I would probably delete the file for fear of nightmares. 

Above we have the pretty hands reaching towards each other with a misty background, and it’s a beautiful idea that one would love a ghost. 

Yes, a beautiful “idea.”

Tamara is a technical writer who recently lost her mom. At 19, she runs her family’s farm all by herself…and she has recently been plagued by nightmares. Nightmares involving disfigured ghouls trying to chase her and grab her. When she goes out to the barn one night to investigate a noise, she comes to find that her nightmares have come to life: there is a real-life portal in her barn and ghosts of all kinds are spilling out into her backyard. 

As she’s freaking out (as I imagine anyone would when seeing a pool of ghosts in your yard), a skeletal man wearing a cowboy hat introduces himself as Cal. Unsure of his past and reason for not crossing like the other ghosts, he has been around this Ghost group for awhile. They have 15 minutes a night to essentially come out of the vortex and, I don’t know, “stretch their legs,” and Tamara doesn’t understand why her barn, why she personally, has been picked as a local “haunt” for the ghosts. (Get it? Haunt? πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

But Cal knows why: Tamara has the Ghost Touch: she can see and communicate with them, in hopes of helping them cross to the other side. But Tamara doesn’t know how to do that, and either does Cal. But as they spend more time together, Tamara is drawn to Cal and his kind and gentle disposition (yes, she seriously starts to fall in love with a skeleton! I know!!)

When Dex, the dressed-down hunky coworker, finds out about Tamara’s ghost infestation, he pulls a ghostbusters and decides he wants to help. They together must find a want to help Cal and the others to cross, or they’ll be stuck like this forever. The only problem? Maybe Tamara isn’t so eager to let Cal go…

Ummm. Ok. 

What did I just read? This was a YA/NA paranormal romance, and though the story is written well (no typos really and very clear writing), and though I actually cried at the end (what can I say? I’m a sucker for a love story), this was a strange read. 

We never really know why or how the vortex is there. We never know why there’s a time limit. We do learn some other “Ghost facts according to Dragoni,” and a lot of other spiritual stuff is discussed in the book…but it’s too short and too obvious how the book will end, and that’s not what I was looking for. I wanted some cute ghost love story like my fantasy books (since I love them) to read and gush over. I only read paranormal bc it’s usually extremely similar to fantasy.  It was a cute little story with some feels from Tamara, but we never really get attached to either of the men in her life, who fight over Tamara like a side of meat.

I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it either. Once again it was a meh story with a nice fluffy theme and some sad stuff at the end. Which as you know is not normally my cup o tea. I probably would have ended it much differently, and maybe that’s why i wasn’t thrilled with it. Who knows? 

So all in all, for being 140 pages, I give Ghost Touch β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†. Two meh books. Go together like birds of a feather. 

So two meh books down, and a HP reread post coming up…plus I’m reading a sequel that was much anticipated by me from an indie author I love…so maybe I’ll escape the “mehs” and end up reading something great? Thank goodness for Harry Potter as that series is always a lifesaver after a meh book! 

What have you all been reading? After this batch, I’m hoping to read something new from my Netgalley shelf! Or one of my many books siting on the shelf…which is why I signed up for the Beat The Backlist challenge to begin with! 

***A Public Service Announcement***

If you haven’t seen on Twitter yet, I’m trying to get to BookCon. I had a friend pull out and I’m stuck by myself, and my funds are limited as a substitute teacher and part time bookstore employee. I have set up a GoFundMe campaign and with the help of fellow book lovers, I have made it 1/3 of the way to my goal of $300, which will cover gas, tickets, and a place to stay. 

I am asking for your help, my blogger family: I want to expand my lesson plans and find new reads for the classroom. I would love to go as I have never been to a convention before. And my friends is going without me, which breaks my heart. 

So I’m asking all who can to help….and if you can’t help, share! I plan, if I go, to do a giveaway with any swag from the event (I’m going purely for educational and social aspects), and if I don’t raise enough, I’m not pocketing it, but rather donating it to a charity to help fight illiteracy. So your help will either help me go and share the experience of a lifetime (been to two signings in Michigan, both with the lovely Elly Blake, but there’s not much around here) or it will help people to learn to read. Two very good causes! 

My campaign info is on Twitter and Facebook, but the direct link is here: My GoFundMe Campaign: Help Me Get to BookCon

If you prefer PayPay, I also have set that up to where I can track the donations as well: TeacherofYA’s PayPal

Thank you all for your time! I love you guys! Wish me luck and as always, Happy Reading! 

51 thoughts on “Mini Time – Black Dawn & Ghost Touch (Reviews)

    1. Oh I wanted to backhand the bitch. Really? You’re gonna do that bc some chick stole your man? You think he’ll reason with you when he’s evil?! πŸ™„
      Yes, it got better: but the book is only 180 pages. So like 30% of the book got awesome. Therefore, three stars. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

      Liked by 1 person

    2. See what I mean? The book leaks out of your brain! I remembered it so vividly and then a day later I started losing it…I barely remembered it until you mentioned that girl and what she did. But you know how with some books you can remember a part and picture in your mind exactly what you imagined that scene to be? I can’t do that with this book. I think I remember when Brody was in that room being weakened…but that’s the only one I can picture. The only scene.
      Cause when you read (or when I do) I remember scenes how I pictured them – and I just can’t picture anything in this book! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ


    1. You went with your reading gut!! I have one too but I ignored it bc of that damn gorgeous cover!! It called to me. I even waited a long time before filling out to request it bc something was telling me not to do it.
      It actually starts to become something quite good…but that’s only at the end and it’s only 180 pages so you’re like, “NOOOO!!”
      Yeah. You’re smart. I’m not. I’m impulsive and completely shallow. (Maybe that’s why I’ve been with attractive yet stupid men? πŸ€”)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great reviews! I recently finished reading Black Dawn and felt pretty much the same way. It was cool but…idk, lacking? It definitely had me a bit confused and took a while to find a groove, but the overall idea I thought was pretty interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I agree….interesting concept, executed poorly. You stsrt it and you’re waiting for a beat to drop, kind of like music, but it takes forever and when it finally does, you’re excited but it stops.
      It was frustrating lol! Someone compared it to reading a sequel without the first book, and I have to agree. I guess

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How much time has passed since you read Black Dawn? I didn’t see that bit of info if you included it *(sorry my eyes are still recouping so reading slow). It is never a good sign when you cannot remember bits or struggle to recall. I think I am passing. Great mini reviews though! As always, super insightful πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Honestly, it’s been a month, but I remember books that mean something and are really good…at least I can picture the scenes. Like Winter Falls: still can remember almost everything that happened. Same with The Bear and the Nightingale. Even The Unfoldling, which I wasn’t a fan of, is still fresh in my mind. But Black Dawn faded almost the moment I was done.
      I will admit, it really started to get good near the end…if there’s a sequel, I’ll check it out. But yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it. πŸ˜‰β€οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great reviews for both of these books Stephanie. I’m sorry they were both a bit meh reads for me. I can understand why the POV changes got confusing after a while in Black Dawn. I’ve been talking to someone else on WordPress about multiple POVs and sometimes they just don’t work out well. I guess with only 180 it can be hard to develop that side of the story properly.
    Ghost Touch just sounds a little, confusing to me, I dunno doesn’t really seem like my thing.
    I hope your Harry Potter re-read gets a better review than these two books did! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you know book three is awesome and book four is my fave! I can guarantee 5 stars on every Potter book I’m sure (except for maybe 5, as I remember having a hard time with that one the first go-round).
      Ghost Touch sounded like a sweet boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-for-girl, girl-has-to-deal-with-the-fact-that-her-bf-is-dead-and-a-ghost type of story, but it wasn’t. It was more of a girl boy boy love triangle.
      I was hoping for a “Shiver” vibe (Stiefvater’s wolf books) and I got a flat paranormal romance – that I did cry at one point – read.
      And Black Dawn could’ve been good if it had started stronger. It still was good at the end, but when you take it as a whole, it was only 3 stars.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Book four was my favourite as well! And here’s hoping book five will be better the second time around too! πŸ˜€
        That’s a shame about Ghost Touch, it sounded promising but I guess just couldn’t live up to your expectations. Shame but I’m not really a fan of love triangles either.
        Three stars is still a solid rating, for both books. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree with you on Black dawn! I was totally disappointed with it! The story has so much potential but I didn’t liked the way it was executed. The only character that I liked in this book is Brock. Memphis and Emory are totally meh. Great reviews btw! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, Brock was the only one I could connect to!! Memphis was an ass and Emory was so meh. Couldn’t connect and I couldn’t get into it until near the end when everything started to happen. But now it’s all scrambled in my brain!! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like me a good book cover, too! πŸ˜‚πŸ™Œ
      Yeah…I couldn’t get into it until the end. It’s a shame bc the author is so nice (don’t you hate that?) and the cover is 😍!!
      Well, we can’t win em all! πŸ€·β€β™€οΈπŸ˜†

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay for great book covers! I do HATE not giving great reviews to books by authors that I really like. It’s so difficult. I don’t usually post my reviews on my blog unless they’re at least three stars, just because it takes so much effort and time to right them. I leave my less than stellar ones on GR. But I’m guessing people think I just hand out some really generous ratings. LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I DID think that! Lol
      But I do understand how you feel…I was going to just publish their review on my blog, but then I felt like I was hiding the fact that I didn’t like it, and so I just combined it with another I didn’t like. It wouldn’t be easy if it was by an author I communicate with constantly…so I don’t know what I would do in that situation. So far I have at least liked most of their books and they don’t get less than three stars…which means it’s readable but not memorable at all.
      It’ll be hard if, for example, I don’t love Caraval or Elly’s book: that would be really hard. πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s funny! I wondered. My bad reviews are all on GR. I very rarely post them on my blog. Not to hide it. I just don’t have time to create blog posts for every single book I read. Otherwise, I’ll read no books. LOL. It is much harder if it’s an author you like. I had to do that on one last weekend. I was so looking forward to the book too. 😦 It’s just on GR though.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Both of those covers are so gorgeous!! 😍😍 Especially Black Dawn’s cover! Though it sucks that both ended up being meh reads. It’s definitely never a good sign when you don’t remember a lot about a book. And Ghost Touch sounds odd. I think it’s the whole skeleton aspect. Given the title, you would think it would just be a ghost and a skeleton seems out of left field. I would have been confused lol. Anyway! I hope your next reads go better. Great reviews as always, Stephanie!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and I am always so happy to see that you read them! I’m now stuck because I have so many to read and Review…and since I am also reading Harry Potter, it’s hard to want to read anything else right now! But alas, there are better books calling me, and Netgalley shelves are begging to be cleared. Hopefully the next one will be good, but I do get to write a review for HP 3, which is always a fun one to do! 😘
      Hope you’ll check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I was rereading Harry Potter I would most likely not want to read anything else either. πŸ˜‚ And I will definitely be checking out your review for HP3. I always love your HP reviews!! Though they make me want to reread the books too but no time at the moment lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I literally did the exact same thing as you with Black Dawn when reading your review: I saw it and went OH PRETTY COVER and then you immediately said you already forgot most of it and just went “oh lol nevermind” πŸ˜† Ahh it’s a shame the story didn’t match to the amazingness (totally a word) of the cover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. It killed me. I was like, “WHHHYYYYY?????”
      It was good near the end. Now only if the beginning and middle were as memorable. Each day it’s fuzzier and fuzzier. At least we can appreciate the cover love (I almost entered a contest to win a paperback just bc it’s so pretty lmao!)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Black Dawn definitely feels like every other YA fantasy out there (coupled with the love triangle, of course), and seeing as it is so forgettable I don’t think I’ll be picking it up any time soon.
    The cover, though, is gorgeous! Why do they make gorgeous covers for “meh” books? T_T
    Also, Ghost Touch? Yeah, it’s just weird. I don’t think I’d be able to find it romantic in the least. I mean, I can deal with ghost love interests, but skeletons? No thanks XD
    Amazing reviews, Stephanie, as always! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again!! Yes, I was disappointed – I’m always disappointed when it comes to beautiful books with meh stories. And Ghost Touch was weird: at some point he does become corporeal, but she had already fallen for him at that point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that’s reeeeally weird XD
        I would get it if she had first interacted with him while in corporeal form and fallen for him then. Even if she did see him as a skeleton afterwards, her feelings probably wouldn’t change. So that would make sense to me. THAT, however, doesn’t make sense to me XD
        I mean, sure, you fall in love with the person, not the way they look, but he’s not a *person*… I don’t think. Hmm.
        I guess there are worse things to fall in love with? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s too bad both of these books were just meh for you! At least they were short, though. You didn’t have to suffer too long.
    I’m so glad you raised enough money to go! I’m sure it will be an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to hear about it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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