Alana McKinney


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Smashwords book reviews by Alana McKinney

  • The Conduit on Feb. 21, 2013

    The Conduit Review Page-turner!! I was given this book for an honest review. Oh my word!! I honestly think that I would have read this book in one sitting if I had not had an eight month old at home! This action packed book has an easy-to-follow plot and left me longing to read the next page, chapter, and book as quickly as possible. I even allowed my OCD-ness to overlook the grammatical/typing errors because I was enthralled with the plot of this young adult novel. The Conduit is an adventurous tale of an unlikely sibling trio that is dripping with humor and sarcasm. Celeste, Gabe, and Kendell are assembled, transformed, and trained to fight the Dark Army. Facing three-hundred year old, evil forces is a daunting task; but the Garrett siblings learn that teamwork is an invaluable weapon in their fight. Self discovery, close relationships, and forces unseen are revealed along the journey to an epic battle of good and evil. I look forward to reading the continuation of the Garrett siblings’ adventures in the rest of the Gryphon series. I am thankful I don’t have to wait for book two to come out!
  • Embrace, Gryphon Series Book 2 on Feb. 21, 2013

    Embrace Review Another page-turner!! I was given this book for an honest review. Oh my word!! Just like The Conduit, I honestly think that I would have read this book in one sitting if I did not have other responsibilities! I am a fairly sarcastic person most of the time (at least in my head), so I appreciated the humor and sarcasm expressed by the characters. The developing love interests in each of the siblings’ lives, as well as the twists and turns in the fight against the Dark Army, kept me engrossed in each new chapter. Celeste, Gabe, and Kendell’s endless antics did not disappoint. I look forward to reading the continuation of the Garrett siblings’ adventures in the novella and the third book of the series!
  • By My Side on Dec. 19, 2013

    I was gifted a copy of By My Side in exchange for an honest review. Lily Saunders was looking forward to hanging out with her best friend Andy Green during the summer after their junior year. The return of Andy’s older brother Gabe from college promises to add drama to their summer because they despise him. When Andy and Lily start fighting, drama certainly arrives, but it comes in a different package than even Lily expected. Gabe tries to comfort Lily during her fight with his younger brother and wants her to give Andy a chance to amend their friendship. Instead, Lily finds herself facing romantic feelings she never thought she would have for either of the Green brothers. Lily’s sarcasm and budding feelings provide an escape from the harsh reality of her parent’s divorce. There were a few times throughout the book that the wording was a little confusing and minor details were not consistent throughout, but these did not take away from the plot. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Witter.
  • Dragon Wars on Jan. 30, 2014

    While this book was not in my normal genre of books, I would highly recommend it to young adult readers in middle and high school. After the death of his father, his mother moved them to a new town where Danny struggles against the school bully that will not leave him alone. Danny feels all along because he does not want to burden his mother with the turmoil he faces at school. Upon finding a hidden wooden box and leather bound book in his room, he is immersed into the magical world of Dorcian. Through his visits to Dorcian and his involvement in the dragon wars, Danny finds an inner strength and courage that he did not know he possessed. The author portrays a world full of dragons, magic, and the evil that has held the world hostage with beautiful accuracy. I could truly envision the world, Dorcian, in my head as I read. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Willow on Feb. 12, 2014

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I would highly recommend Willow by Amy Richie. This YA story about Willow, a 17 year old werewolf, is one personal growth. Willow has never wanted to fully immerse herself in the roles of a female werewolf. She longs to blend in to the high school crowd, but her surrogate mother, Bella, moves her and her sister, Ivy, too often to make that dream a reality. Willow hunts only out of necessity, and never imagines herself following in Bella’s footsteps as a pack leader. However, as she quickly discovers, Bella has a plan that will force Willow to accept a leader role, whether she wants to or not. As the plot unfolds, Willow makes many mistakes as she settles into leading her young male pack, but she learns from them and remembers the training Bella instilled in her throughout childhood. Despite her initial resistance, Willow begins to accept her role and her pack quickly becomes allegiant to her leadership. I liked that this was an easy read, and it left me wanting to read the next book in the series!
  • Fern on March 03, 2014

    Fern is the second book in Amy Richie’s Blood Vine Series. I highly recommend this series. As Willow and her pack settle in to their new home, they desire to live peacefully and unnoticed by the small community around them. However, two councilmen from the Ancient City have different plans for the young pack. The unexpected trip to the Ancient City brings about big changes for Willow and her pack. Willow grows into her role as the female leader as she discovers that her mental connection with her pack is stronger than she anticipated. The challenges that the pack faces in this book makes their bond grow and their loyalty to each other is impressive. The author does an excellent job describing the scenes in the Ancient City and the characters emotions, which helped pull me into the book! I cannot wait until the next book of the series is released! I was gifted a copy of this book for an honest review.
  • Chasing Invisible on March 22, 2014

    Oh my word! Chasing Invisible by Karen Toz is an incredible read! Ms. Toz describes the emotions of the main character, Julia Anderson, so accurately that it drew me into the scenes and made me feel true empathy for her. Julia never imagined or desired a life in the spotlight, but when it becomes her reality, she is forced to examine every aspect of her life. I was drawn into the story that covers a large span of Julia’s life, and an unexpected ending left me wondering what I would have done in Julia’s situation. I do not imagine that there will be a sequel to Chasing Invisible, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more works from Ms. Toz! I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.