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on November 26, 2011
Untraceable starts off with Grace looking for clues about her father after everyone else gave up. She refuses to believe she will never see him again and to the annoyance of the town sheriff she is keeping the investigation alive.

I have to admit, it is not very often I read a book that isn't fantasy or paranormal. Most stories that don't have some sort of supernatural entity do not interest me. This book definitely is the exception and I really enjoyed it. Grace is brave in ways I could only dream of being. She's a gutsy person and an extremely likable character. While out in the woods looking for clues she meets super cute Mo. It wasn't long before I was wanting to see a relationship between them unfold.

The descriptions given to us makes Grace's world very easy to picture. It made me want to grab a fishing pole (to bad I don't actually fish) and run out into the wilderness and enjoy all it's glory. The story is fast paced and the way it all tied together in the end was a whirl wind ride I never saw coming.

Shelli is a terrific writer. What makes me like the story so much is that it made me feel real emotions. I really cared about Grace and those surrounding her.

Untraceable is a wilderness thriller in every sense and I recommend you read this book.
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on November 22, 2011
Sixteen year old Grace is the daughter of a local wild life officer who taught her all the survival skills she would ever need, despite her tendency to trip over branches. What her father hadn't bargained for was how badly she would need those skills once he went missing.

Grace isn't the kind of girl to give up easily. Even when he is officially presumed dead, and everyone including the local sheriff, her mother and the town shrink, are telling her to move on with her life, something tells Grace that they're wrong.

The only person who will help her is Wyn, her childhood friend and recent ex-boyfriend. He's not exactly at home in the woods and so his support is of the moral kind.

Then there's Mo, the mysterious boy who rescues Grace from a dangerous encounter in the woods. He likes her and willingly helps her look for her father and track down bear poachers. But who is he, really? Can he be trusted?

Untraceable starts off with a comfortable pace, drawing us into the life of the town and the characters within, building tension with every chapter. And don't think you will be able to stop reading at the end of one. SR is the queen of chapter cliff hangers!

And oh, the ending! You'll have to read it to decide what you think.

I highly recommend Untraceable giving it a strong 4.5 stars out of 5. This is a book that has stayed with me long after I finished reading it, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book.
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on November 25, 2011
I had been eyeing Untraceable for awhile. Look at the cover, it's lovely in a subtle sort of way. When the author emailed me about reviewing it, I immediately jumped on the chance and managed to fit it in right away.

Grace's father has been missing for other 3 months and she's convinced he's still alive, despite everyone around her saying he isn't. She knows that he knows the mountains so well that something is obviously wrong. To the point of obsession and at the risk of alienating everyone around her, she keeps looking for him.

Grace is such a strong-willed character, I hope to think that in the same situations I would be as determined to believe that my loved one was still alive out there somewhere. And then there is Mo - hot with an English/Australian accent. YUM. There is a bit of mystery surrounding him and that adds to make it even more fun.

The entire premise had me fascinated, but horrified. As more and more is discovered though about just what is happening in the Smokies, I found myself gasping during the intense scenes. And there are some pretty intense scenes. Untraceable covers some issues that I am planning on looking into further as an animal lover and I'm sure it'll stick with me for a long time to come.

I need the second book immediately. The ending has a bit of a cliffhanger that has me really curious to see where Johannes takes the series.

I received the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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on September 10, 2012
I'm starting to realize that some of the better books are in the YA category - more plot, less reliance on romance and sex! What a refreshing approach.
This book kept me guessing almost the whole time. I appreciated the fact that the "good guys" have flaws. Grace isn't perfect, but she is strong. Her relationship with her mother rings true, and so does her unwillingness to accept the fact of her father's death.
The author certainly did a lot of research to make this a good read. I am eagerly anticipating the next installment!
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on September 10, 2012
Grace is a great character and I enjoyed her story. However, in five decades of riding motorcycles I've never found one with a gas pedal. I haven't seen a kick start bike in almost that long either, although some do exist. Bullets, or rounds (cartridge case, bullet, powder and primer) only come apart by extracting the bullet from the case-never saw one with a split down the side. Shotgun shells use a wad to push the shot balls down the barrel-not loose with the powder. Dum-dums, as I recall-never actually used one-are rounds with a couple of splits started in the end of a lead bullet. This to cause it to break up and cause more damage when it hits its target.

In spite of these jarring errors, I enjoyed the story.
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on January 25, 2012
I had a hard time getting into UNTRACEABLE in the beginning. I had a hard time connecting with Grace and figuring out where she was going with all her nature talk and investigating. It is definitely written a little different than the other books I normally read. After a few chapters I got to know Grace's situation and personality a little better and grew to like her back to nature attitude, the way she doesn't give up on things and the fact that she could take care of herself.

The story ended up getting a little dark and intense, and there are a few cringe worthy moments. The story definitely had a way of throwing the unexpected at you which I enjoyed. Some of the situations seem a bit unbelievable at times but other times you get into the groove and the scenes make more sense and flow a little better. I never guessed who some of the bad guys were as well as getting some of the bad guy guesses completely wrong and it was nice to be surprised at their reveals. By the end I was thoroughly engrossed in the plot and just when I thought the story would would be ending one way Ms Johannes threw in another curve ball at the story. UNTRACEABLE ending with a nice little cliffhanger that makes me want to see what comes of some new information. UNTRACEABLE doesn't have any paranormal or fantasy like situations but It was still a nice read for those looking for a YA novel.
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on September 10, 2012
This is probably one of the most (if not THE most) deplorable books I have yet to read and let me tell you why. There are serious problems with the plot in more ways than one, logically it never adds up, and it needs serious editing and proof readers. I warn you now this review will contain spoilers because there isn't anyway around it.

First, the protagonist( named Grace) is a supposedly a feisty forest survivalist whom within the first few chapters can't seem to even walk without falling or injuring herself,and yet can supposedly follow trails without being seen or heard but she gets caught right off on multiple occasions. On one of her first excursions, she's adamant that a Cheetos bag has something to do with her fathers disappearance and fights desperately for the police captain, Clay, to fingerprint it. However, a couple chapters later she's attacked by two strange dude's in the forest, ( has to be rescued by another handsome stranger just in the area mind you) and yet fails to go straight to the police captain with her new found assault and knowledge. This book continues on in that fashion ad nusuem with the main protagonist saying one thing and doing another and she's completely mindless and does completely idiotic things. WHY?( you might ask and I'll tell you why.. )it's because the author obviously had to go back and tweak certain areas in the plot that did not fit into her ending... this being the first of countless times the protagonist goes against her nature and all logical thinking. Now Grace just wants to keep her dads case open, why oh why wouldn't she go directly to the captain since she's so convinced everyone needs to keep searching for her dad???... hmmmm 2 + 2 = bad logic and early giveaway of ending.

Second, was the love triangle. It was poorly written and mindless as well. "Oh no, I kissed two different guys on the same day, I'm a total slut bag.", Grace apparently can't figure out what love is. Is it the boy she knows and has loved her whole life or is it the hot stranger dude that makes her lady parts all hot and bothered. OH yes, quite the dilemma love or lust??... let me give you a good clue which one she picks in book number 1, oh let me tell you who she's gonna pick in book 2 and who she'll end up in book 3? I'll give you 3 guesses and the first two don't count.

Thirdly, by the end of the book your supposed to believe these cold blooded killers who are knocking everyone off left and right have somehow managed to NOT knock off her father for over 3 months, she and her boy toy rescue said father only for her father and the boy toy to die escaping with her (only we know later the boy toy was a secret agent and really doesn't die hence book numero 2) and it's completely nonsensical. The action scenes in particular, one person(Tommy) will be fighting for their life and the next in the middle of it all the protagonist is weeping over the body while... where are the bad guys? Mysteriously nowhere about even though they were right there two seconds ago. I had to skip and skim through quite a bit because it made no sense at all. My major problem was after everything and they are captured Mr. Boy Toy hero is adamant he has no clue whether her father lives or where he is and not 5 pages later he's reaching in some unknown pit exactly where no one else knows where to look but him and viola there's dear old dad even though 5 seconds ago he had no idea if he was alive or where his captors are hiding him...<roll eyes>.. it's like that the whole book but the last 7 chapters are indescribably insipid the author tries to explain the loose ends and makes no sense what so ever... it's as if she just realize who the antagonist has to be herself and is trying to make it all click only fails miserably. Which by the way she makes the antagonist... non antagonistic.. again another MAJOR reason the PLOT FAILS.

Lastly, lets talk about grammar, spelling and editing shall we? Apparently, editing has no value in the publishing world anymore as this book has little to none of it. Strange errors,ie.the word thought for though, I couldn't figure out if they were typo's or legitimate spelling errors by the author. Grammatically, the author needs some serious help as she has objects doing weird things in her sentence structures and at times, it is very difficult to decipher what the author is trying to convey. I only finished this book due on sole determination alone. It started off as an interesting who done what... it digressed very quickly and just kept nose diving until the end.

I have read a lot of the "free" amazon books. Why this has yet to even receive a bad review is beyond me as it's right up there on my top 5 of horrendous books, if not topping it at this very moment and that is saying quite a bit since I read a lot of published and indie produced crap. I wouldn't recommend pissing on this book if it were on fire... that's what I think about this book.
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on November 29, 2011
I was super happy when I had the chance to review an early copy of this book (which releases today, btw).

UNTRACEABLE by S. R. Johannes (Coleman and Stott, November 295, 2011)

You guys may know S. R. Johannes as the fabulous Shelli Johannes who runs the marketing blog MARKET MY WORDS. I was psyched when I found out Shelli was publishing her book and was one of the first to sign up to read it.

So what is UNTRACEABLE all about? Let's see. It's a story about family. It's a story about adventure. It's got some definite romantic elements (and a love triangle that has a nice, fresh feel to it). It's got layers of deception I never even kind of saw coming. And it's got adventure.

The main character, Grace, does a pretty good job getting herself in all kinds of trouble, but we're going to cut the girl some slack. Her dad has been missing for three months, and everyone, even her mom, presumes he is dead. But Grace never gives up, and this drives her actions forward for the bulk of the story.

UNTRACEABLE is not a fantasy. It deals with real life issues like troubled families, cruelty to animals, and friendships that may be more. What did I love about it? First, the setting above all else. Shelli does an amazing job painting the picture of the Smokey Mountains. I felt like I was running through the woods with her, climbing the hills she climbed and watching the stars at night. Second, the romance, especially with one of the guys, Mo. He was caring yet carried his own secrets. And finally, I loved that Shelli left us nice hope for the sequel. I, for one, am looking forward to this!

Highly recommended for those who enjoy YA adventure with depth and great character development!

Source of book: From author by request
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on November 24, 2011
While I'm divided about this book, there are definitely more positive points than negative. Good points first!

There are awesome twists and constant suspense. Right when I thought I knew what was going on, Johannes surprised me by going in a different direction (while making total sense). Grace is a fantastic main character who is strong and flawed but admirable. She makes mistakes, especially in regards to her personal relationships, and as bad as things get, she never gives up on hope or on her dad. There are a lot of heart-wrenching and genuinely riveting moments. In the final stretch, I was on the edge of my seat going OMG OMG OMG!!!

But there were some things I had trouble with. The start of the book was a little slow, even though I loved learning about Grace's relationship with her dad. And I sometimes didn't understand Grace's actions--I either thought they were foolish or outright dumb. That doesn't mean she's not an intelligent and capable person, I just didn't agree with some of her choices, especially the spur-of-the-moment ones. Also, while I really liked Mo, and I loved their banter and the chemistry between them, I didn't feel as intense about their romance as I wanted to. I'm not sure why.

Lastly, I was intensely frustrated by one thing in particular in the ending. This is 100% my personal preference, but I just sort of threw up my hands and went 'WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?' lol. Don't get me wrong, the story is resolved. There isn't a cliffhanger, and 99% of the questions are answered. Like I said, it's purely my personal preference for how something specifically played out. Others may very well disagree =P

In summary, there is a lot to love about this book. Fully fleshed characters, an amazing and heart-warming back story between Grace and her dad, a twisty turny plot that leaves you constantly guessing, and heart-pounding action. But there were just a few things I couldn't get over, and it pains me not to be able to give the book a full star rating. Still, it was an immensely entertaining read.
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on September 23, 2012
This book was enjoyable but not a great read. I assume Grace looks like the girl on the cover? You have to assume this because otherwise you have no idea what your main character looks like. It starts out great but then drags a bit then rushes toward the climax. Btw I love YA books but this one, in my opinion, would appeal much more to a juvenile audience. Spoiler alert..... you assume her dad must be dead because he has been missing for 3 months. When you learn that other people have been killed then you are certain he is dead. No he is alive. Yes for some reason he is not murdered like others have been because he may be helping them track bears? He can barely walk at the end so really? So they keep him alive in case they need him for leverage if they are caught? Oh yes because kidnapping an agent, if he is one because you aren't really sure, wouldn't get them some serious prison time plus link them to other murders that Joe, the dad, could tell them about.

Did I say that Grace's dad was found alive? He WAS alive and I will admit I was happy, of course, but then he takes a bullet intended for Grace and DIES! Yes folks he dies in her arms! But at least he gets to tell her he loves her and gives a message of love to her mom which, if Grace delivers, we don't know about it?

Here is my biggest problem with this book....... so the mom finds out that her beloved husband was alive this whole time but then dies close by and SHE DOESNT ASK WHERE HER HUSBAND'S BODY IS SO SHE CAN SAY GOODBYE? Plus for being so intent on finding her dad and then him dying she moves quickly to thinking about Mo and her real feelings of love for him. Seriously your dad just died and your mother is a basketcase and needs to hear her husband's last words. Of course the budding romance between Grace and Mo is sweet but love? That quickly? For YA readers to believe but hardly adults!

So I wouldn't recommend this book to adults. There are many well written YA books that would appeal much more to adults that need more depth in the books they pick up or download!
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