Book Review: I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus

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Synopsis:  Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her eighteenth birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.

Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend’s sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.

Thankfully, she’s game.

Review: I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus isn’t my typical read. I enjoy various fantasy genres, but I don’t usually read many urban, YA, or shifter novels. That said, I found I Was a Teenage Weredeer interesting enough to keep reading. It wasn’t the typical shifter tale, nor did Phipps and Suttkus stray from the normal tropes you’d expect to find in this type of novel. That isn’t meant as a fault. I rather enjoyed the numerous deer puns, witty quips, and the carefree nature of the story.

When the protagonist, Jane Doe’s (see what they did there?), brother is the prime suspect in a murder, she’s pulled into a world that she never knew existed. Whereas the knowledge of shifters isn’t a secret in their society, numerous other aspects of that culture and the lineages within it are.  From vampires, lycans, and shaman…oh my…we’re introduced to a limitless variety of shifters and the abilities each possess.

I Was a Teenage Weredeer is an entertaining story, but there are a few important issues that are dealt with as well. Prejudice was a topic reiterated throughout the narrative (at times, a bit too much). Since there are a plethora of different shifters, there is also a hierarchy of sorts. So, even though you’ll probably LOL at times while reading, there is more than a light YA shifter tale to consume. We experience a growth in Jane as she uncovers secrets whilst coming to terms with who she is during her investigation to aid her brother.

I Was a Teenage Weredeer was a quick and easy read. Anyone who favors urban, shifter fantasy will probably enjoy it. There aren’t many twists or surprises, but it’s a fun story that does what it was intended to do. 4.5 stars, easily.

Book Review: The Stone Doorway by Cassandra Scherer

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Synopsis: Step out of the mundane and into The Vale, where suddenly bullying, family issues, and homework seem trivial. Can the trio defeat the Calego and return, or will they too remain forever young, forever scared, forever seeking their way home?

Review: The Stone Doorway by Cassandra Scherer is an enjoyable, fast-paced YA fantasy. As we learn about the life of Tori McKenna, we are transported from a typical suburban life of a troubled teenager, into a fantastical world filled with both wonderment and anguish.

For Tori McKenna, life has become routine: a requisite for those who yet breathe, but aren’t necessarily alive. With her only comfort coming from her best friend, Allen, and the freedom she experiences running track, Tori feels more a spectator than a participant in her life. After an abusive relationship and numerous family conflicts, Tori hid within herself, until a boy named Dean rescued her from a dangerous situation. When he returns to enjoy a night of pizza, companionship, and stargazing, something happened that changed their perceptions, and their lives.

The Stone Doorway is a quaint tale, following Tori through a difficult time in her life and the struggle to reclaim, or, discover the true strength that lies within her. After a debilitating journey through a Portis, Tori and her friends must confront not only their inner demons, but the torment of physical and emotional ones as well. With Seth’s assistance, she realizes more about herself and possibilities for the future. Will she embrace what can be and forfeit what was, or lapse back into complacency and fear?

A short and fast-paced read, The Stone Doorway has likable characters, instant love attractions, shifting personalities, teenage angst, and some familiar creatures.  An enjoyable story for young fantasy fans.

Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite