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: Bad Reception by S.C. Wright

51+eJclwuNL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis: Listening to your parents is hard work. As a teenager, you’re always right, of course, but to them everything you do comes up short. Kana is nearing the end of her teenage years and is already a young woman. With no career prospects, no goals in life, she just can’t seem to attain her family’s expectations. On her nineteenth birthday, an accident caused by her own shortcomings causes a domino effect of chaos turning her life from boring and mundane to terrifying and supernatural. Kidnapped by a vampire and her chauffeur, she ends up the hostage of a host of strange creatures: Chloe, a mild mannered Cajun vampire. Vincent, a Welsh werewolf with a penchant for piracy and a history of drug abuse. Gabriella, a Spanish immortal who cannot die, and her daughter, a shapeshifter. Will she finally find her way back home to her family? Or is family more than blood and kin?

Review: Bad Reception by S.C. Wright isn’t usually the type of fiction that I read. Albeit the synopsis was interesting: a vampire, a werewolf, an immortal, and a shapeshifter? Who wouldn’t raise a brow at that cast of characters?

S.C. Wright captured my interest in the first chapter. We meet Kana and her son Michael, on a train headed into the “unknown.” She’s having a rough time managing her son until she notices a gentleman in the car with her. After introducing herself to him (Theodore Schmidt), the tale truly begins. The circumstances for Kana being on this particular train are interesting, and that’s what greets us in the first chapter.

She begins telling Theodore (in exchange for something she wants) about why she is traveling alone in such a foreign place with a toddler. As is mentioned in the blurb, Kana is miserable at home. She feels unloved and unappreciated by her mother and sister. This goes to the extreme, but is indented to help you understand more of Kana’s reactions to certain situations.

An unfortunate accident on her 19th birthday sets a world-wind of events into motion. Her kidnapping by a vampire and an immortal is only the beginning. Meeting the werewolf and similarly fascinating characters propels this book forward. Each has their own backstory, and we learn more of why they respond to Kana in different ways.

It’s difficult to write this review without giving away any of the more intricate details. Suffice it to say, Kana ends up in a situation that she could’ve never dreamed of with a group of “people” only thought of as imaginary.

Parts of the story are a bit jumpy as well as some of the slang. Bad Reception is an interesting tale for young adult readers. I found myself laughing in a few areas and saddened in others. The cast of characters isn’t vast, but they’re fairly well-developed. However, I would’ve liked a more in-depth explanation or showing of certain characters unique abilities. That would’ve definitely made the story more enthralling. I would recommend this book for YA readers. There’s a bit of a language, but it isn’t overly used. The book needs some editing, but that did nothing to take away from my experience.