Interesting Independent Author Reads

One of the great joys of self-published authors, or those who publish through smaller publishing houses is there is a greater variety in book content. I guess when investing large amounts of money in a book publishing houses need to be assured of a return so they shy away from anything that might be controversial, and the very thing that makes these books so interesting has posed a dilemma for me.

I ummed and ahh so much about the books I am reviewing today that I did not actually write a review last week. My dilemma was not so much that I did not enjoy these books, but whether I could recommend them for Young Adult readers because of the content. Some of the content is confrontational, and so I hesitated. My first thought was I would not really like reviewer Sam reading these and he is touching on twelve. Part of the content would be a bit much for him to digest. In the end I decided that is no reason not to recommend then for children in the age range they were written for (13+). So each book comes with caveat, and you can decide whether the content is suitable for your children

When Fall Breaks – Julie Solano and Tracey Justice

This first book in the Seasons of Jefferson series is a teenage love story with a twist. Girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl, but they cannot be together because of family relationships. While Kaitlyn and Brody try to come to terms with their changing feelings there is tension around them,  especially with Kaitlyn’s boyfriend Pistol.

The people in this book are the same people we all grew up with, and I love the outdoor setting of Northern California. It is great to read a story set out of a major city environment. I also like that this story deals with something all girls face in one form or another, the mental and physical control some males still feel they have a right to have over women.

That is what makes this book more than a teen romance, and much more of teen coming of age book. Like Kaitlin, it takes the reader a while to realise that rather than loving Kaitlyn, her boyfriend sees her as an extension of him and wants to control her. It is this relationship that takes the book into darkness near the end.

I enjoyed this book very much, right up until the end. I do not know why, but I like a story to be completed in a book, even if it is part of a series, and this leaves too many unresolved issues for my liking. But that is just me. All in all this is a very good teenage girl coming of age book.

Alpha 9 by Rebecca Bosevski

The idea of this book really appealed to reviewer Sam. A dystopian world where a group of trained soldiers are released to face trials so they can be better prepared for the upcoming war against an alien invasion. Led by Alpha 9, a small group completes the trails to find that the the world has changed and they  have to try and live in a very changed world, one that is now run by aliens.

This is a fast paced action story, and while the characters are not exactly people you might warm to, they are soldiers and trained to kill to survive, they are interesting and keep the story moving.

 Rebecca Bosevski has created a believable alien world in Sydney, which retains all of the main landmarks, including the Opera House, which plays a central role.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and loved the twists. So what is the caveat in this book? Well, the aliens are abducting women and forcing them to have alien babies. A bit yucky if you think about it, but for me some of the descriptions of the process are a bit raw for the average teenage male, and perhaps some females too. But maybe it is just me being old fashioned, or over-protective. It is a small part of the story, but I did find the graphic descriptions disturbing, enough that I would recommend the book for older Young Adult readers, perhaps 16+.

So my dilemma is over. These books are good enough to recommend, and it is great to have something to offer that has not been pushed out through the bland machine. And at the very least the things that I ummed and ahhed over got me thinking through the issues they raised, and also about what reading should be. Sometimes it should be a nice and cosy escape, and sometimes it should be uncomfortable and get you thinking.


Get When Fall Breaks from

The Bookdepository

Get Alpha 9 from Amazon

Coming of Age and Dystopia – A Real mixture

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