Wunderkids: (Part 1: Wildwood Academy) by Jacqueline Silvester

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15-year-old Nikka is invited to attend Wildwood Academy, a prestigious but secret boarding school for talented youth located deep in the Californian mountains. Once there, Nikka quickly falls in love with her bizarre classes, the jaw-dropping scenery and… two very different boys.

However, Wildwood Academy has a dark and twisted secret, one that could cost Nikka the one thing she had never imagined she could lose, the one thing that money can’t buy. It is this very thing that Wildwood Academy was created to steal.

Nikka can stay and lose everything, or she can risk death and run.

I was contacted by the author to give an honest review of Wunderkids.

Hey, so it has been a while since I wrote my last book review on my blog. One of my goals for this year is to read more indie books just to mix it up. When I read the synopsis of Wunderkids, I was really intrigued. Based on the synopsis, the book seem to have a creepy atmosphere. So I agreed to review the book and here is what I thought.

The book had an interesting premise don’t get me wrong. I loved the ideas that the author had for the book. I felt the execution was not well done. As I was reading the book, I felt that there was too much emphasis on Nikka’s school life and her boy problems rather than the dark mysterious secret that was promised. When I reached 60% of the book, the action finally kicked in. The climax of the book was the best part in my opinion. When it came to the action, the book moved at a quicker pace. It was exciting knowing that finally something was going to happened! I was thrilled with how the book was handling each character and their actions. Honestly, the last 40% made me give Wunderkids a higher rating. The book ended on a cliffhanger that made me want to have the second book ASAP!

Wunderkids introduced a variety of characters. Nikka is the protagonist. She does have a rebellious attitude at times and it takes her a while to learn how to trust the environment around her. She is mostly used to moving from place to place, never really settling down and making permanent friends. It is only till she accepts her scholarship to Wildwood Academy that she finally makes friends. I loved how Nikka’s best friend was a guy and they had no romantic feelings for each other. Thank God. Sums is the nerdy sidekick that is very supportive of Nikka. He was not popular at school, but once Nikka and Sums became friends their bond was irreplaceable. There is also Stella, who is Nikka’s roommate, that longs to be popular and is bit envious of Nikka’s talent. The book does have a love triangle. Izaya is the brooding rich bad boy of the school while other love rival is Tristan, who is rich Irish boy with a mischievous personality. Though Nikka does not pick who she wants to be with from the two, I have an inkling that she will choose….ha ha . I didn’t want spoil it since you have to read it for yourself in order to find out.

Overall, Wunderkids was a decent book with some good elements, and it was hard to get attached to the characters. The book was mostly description and it did get a bit tedious when it came to certain areas of the book. As I’ve mentioned, I found the last half of the book to be stronger than the first part. It did take me a while to really enjoy the book. That being said, Wunderkids can be a hit or miss with some readers.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC: The ‘Ohana Tree by Rebecca Addison

The 'Ohana TreeAuthor: Rebecca Addison

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: The first book in the ‘Ohana Series by Rebecca Addison.

On a small island in Hawaii, twenty-eight-year-old Kai is contemplating his life.
He’s a talented singer-songwriter, stuck playing other people’s music for tourists at the local bar. With his own songs and with that voice, he has the potential to be the next big thing. But as much as he lives and breathes to play music, Kai knows he will never leave the island to pursue his dream.

On an old bus rumbling along a winding road, a girl named Tessa looks out the window. She sees frog-green plants clinging to the side of sheer cliffs, snatches of a bright blue sea. She’s come to Hawaii to reconnect with the only person who really knows her. And to escape. She’s a winged seed on the breeze, never settling long enough to grow and put down roots.

In her second novel, Rebecca Addison tells a soul-stirring story about family loyalty, love and loss, long-held secrets and the chance for new beginnings.

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 I was kindly provided the arc by the author for my honest opinion. One of my new years resolution was to read more indie authors, and luckily this book fits the criteria. I’m trying to read different genres, instead of sticking with the same old genre.

The ‘Ohana Tree begins with Kai, an inspiring musician that constantly puts his family’s needs above his own. Kai’s father and brother rely on him on just about everything. Kai dreams of leaving the island and pursuing his dream. Kai is stuck on the island and he doesn’t believe that he’ll ever leave.

Perhaps that was the problem. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to me. I was still young, my body strong and my head full of dreams and ideas. But I felt old, and my world grew smaller and smaller each passing year. There were expectations. That I would stay on the island. That I would look after our land. That I would watch over my family.

One day he meets Tessa, an equally gifted musician who constantly travels. Kai is immediately captivated by Tessa, especially her music.

She was free, spontaneous, curious and independent. It made me happy. But it felt risky, too. I knew that I was in a dangerous waters with Tess. There was a real chance that she was going to give me a glimpse of a a magical, high definition version of my life, only to leave me to live out the one I had instead.

Tessa is a girl who doesn’t want to fall in love because she has many failed relationships. Tessa is attracted to Kai as well, but she knows that she’ll end up hurting him if they start a relationship. Tessa decides to push Kai away, but Kai never gives up on her. Kai and Tessa manage to form a relationship even though both protagonists have tragic backstories.

I haven’t read in a male point of view in such a long time, so it was a refreshing change.  As for the characters, I really liked them equally, but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be Kai. Kai was the perfect boyfriend to Tessa. He hardly has any faults. He sacrifices his needs and puts others above him.  Kai loves his ‘ohana more than anything. Though Tess wants to keep her privacy, Kai never gives up on her. Both characters bring out the best in each other. Tess made Kai feel that anything was possible, especially leaving the island behind. While Kai helped changed Tess’ perspective on love and family. Kai and Tess’ relationship is really stable, though there were some moments that they bickered.

The secondary characters were just as great. I felt sad for Kai’s father. Though Kai never had a loving relationship with his father, his father cared deeply for him. Tess saw another side to Kai’s father that Kai was not seeing.

Why do you do that?

Do what?

Make it sound like he’s this callous, evil man. You don’t have to thank me for hanging out with him, Kai. I like him and I like spending time up there.

Akamu (Kai’s younger brother) is very supportive of Kai’s relationship with Tess. There were many funny interactions with Akamu being a third wheel.

Before I started reading The ‘Ohana Tree, I didn’t know what to expect. After reading the first book, I was amazed at how emotionally invested I was with the characters and their situations. Also, this book had several steamy moments. I really enjoyed reading The ‘Ohana Tree and I can’t wait for the sequel. This book felt more like something I would take on the beach, and it’s set in Hawaii.

My favorite quote:

Ohana isn’t just your blood, Tess. It’s the family you choose for yourself. Family isn’t just the people who made you; it’s the people who love you.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Website: http://rebeccaaddison.com/

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