Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: First Kiss by C.L. Stone

First Kiss (Ghost Bird #10) by C.L. Stone
Release Date: April 24, 5016
Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Genre: YA Contemporary Reverse-Harem

The time has finally come for Sang Sorenson to be formally introduced to the Academy. Protocol dictates the boys keep the details of Sang’s official introduction to the Academy a secret from her. The only thing they can advise her to do is to work on what will become her mantra: She is determined to stay with her team, no matter what. Despite her wishes, however, the boys are second-guessing her place with them, concerned for her safety. With dangers all around and threats closing in, some of the boys are questioning if this is the right time to bring her to meet the Academy at all.

Sang is challenged with being the brave face among them and instilling the confidence needed to keep her with them. However, in order to appear compliant with the Academy’s rules, she has to be willing to listen and try their suggestions. As the boys have suspected and feared, the council wants to see how she’ll work with a different team. An all-girl team. She has no choice but to go along with the proposal or risk losing a shot at the Academy. But when the Academy’s inner world is revealed to her, Sang knows that she’s finally found her place—somewhere she belongs—and she sees a future with them. The deeper she gets, the more she sees how she can make a difference. Learning what she is capable of and the impact she can have, she feels obligated to help. There’s so few girls, and they need her.

The guys try to stick to their plan, but every team must pay their debts, and the cost of keeping her might be more than any of them can afford. It’s up to Sang alone to prove to the Academy where she truly belongs—but can she resist the call of a new team that needs her? The Academy, Inside.

One would think that after ten books that this story would have begun to wear thin or that the story would just start to resemble a long, drawn out, never-ending series that puts out new books just for the sake of having more books.  I have seen this happen with other series and it's a shame to watch a good story suffer in that way.  This is SO not the case with C.L. Stone's Ghost Bird series.  I love each and every one of these books more with every new one I read.  Here are just a few reasons:

The characters continue to grow, change and evolve.  What Sang was when we first met her is nothing like the Sang we see in this installment.  Granted, she's still dragging along a few little throwbacks to her roots.  Who wouldn't after suffering the way she did.  However, she has been through so much growth, and in this book, we get to see an entirely new side of her, independent of the boys she's grown to love.  I loved watching her inter-mingle with others.  Even though it is still quite clear to me where she belongs, I think this foray into working with others gave her some much needed time to shine, show her own ingenuity, and even display 100% that where she wants to be is indeed the right place for her without a doubt.

I also thought it was great to see the boys having to squirm a little at the idea of Sang working with another group and potentially wanting to stay with them. What if she wants to?  I think it works to push them a little in the right direction, including the ones who had been holding out a bit.  There were a lot of firsts in this book and I loved every minute of it.

The author knows how to create sexual tension and even with everything that was going on in the book, there was definitely that in abundance.

With each book we get closer and closer to the one event I want to see.  Those of you who are as invested in this story as much as I am will have no trouble guessing what event I'm waiting impatiently for.  :-)

Another great installment to this series.  Look for a review of the next installment in about a week or so.  Great book!!

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