Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: Wolves and Roses

Wolves and Roses Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bryar Rose is supposed to be a Magicorum, a descendant of one of the three magical races and that means her life should follow that of Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately, she could care less for birds and other animals, she definitely can’t sing and she does not want to marry Prince Philpot, the man her fairy godmothers have selected for her. If Bry can keep from marrying Philpot until after her eighteenth birthday, then the spell will be broken and she can begin to live a normal life.

Wolves and Roses is the first book in the Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series. Bryar is surrounded by secrets, many of which lead her down faulty paths. As she uncovers her hidden truths, she discovers not only what she is capable of, but who she can truly trust. Bauer has created a captivating storyline that kept me hooked the entire time. Wolves and Roses is a perfect read for everyone who enjoys fairy tale re-tellings or just a simple urban fantasy.

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: The Delphi Resistance

The Delphi Resistance The Delphi Resistance by Rysa Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anna is on the run from the leader of the Delphi Project who wants to capture her and the other Delphi adepts in order to use them as weapons. These troubled teens barley know how to control their own powers and now they are expected to help younger people who are just now learning. Gifted children are continuing to vanish and information about the secret Delphi Project is beginning to go public. Will Anna and her friends be able to outsmart these government killers? Who can they trust as their world is turned inside out?

The Delphi Resistance is the second book in The Delphi Trilogy. The events portrayed occur in the near future and readers will find themselves wondering if these conditions are already available to be exploited. The manhunt is intense and Walker has weaved a more complex storyline into her already complicated world. This is a second book and it assumes the reader has finished the original story. Although this account has some elements that are wrapped up, there are many unanswered questions that will need to wait for the final installment.

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Review: The Leaf Reader

The Leaf Reader The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marnie doesn’t fit in with any of the groups at her school. She has decided that she will own her uniqueness and has discovered that she is good at Leaf Reading. It started out as a hobby after finding a book on her grandmother’s shelf, but now she has a steady group of students who enjoy having her look at their tea leaves. Then Marnie is asked to do a reading for Matt, who is looking for answers to the disappearance of his best friend, Andrea. He has been receiving anonymous emails and just wants to know if Andrea is alive somewhere or is she dead.

The Leaf Reader is a stand-alone realistic fiction story that includes a lot of mystery and just a hint of the supernatural and romance. Marnie is dealing with troubles in her own life as other people’s problems are colliding around her. Arsenault shows the reader the nuances of Leaf Reading without making the book about the supernatural. Whether readers like to suspend belief or keep their feet firmly rooted on the ground, this book is an enjoyable escape with a nice conclusion.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Review: Follow Me

Follow Me Follow Me by Sara Shepard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chelsea Dawson loves to be in the spotlight. As a social media star, she enjoys taking selfies and posting videos. When she disappears at a party following a fight with her ex-boyfriend, Seneca and her friends notice that she looks like Aerin’s sister and begin to think that the same person who killed Helena also took Chelsea. The Amateurs make it their mission to travel to the Shore and investigate on their own. Will they be able to find Chelsea in time? Will this person take any more lives along the way?

Follow Me is the second book in The Amateurs series. Shepard leaves a few breadcrumbs at the beginning to nudge the memories of readers and these reminders would even help readers who are jumping straight into the second book. The mystery flows quickly and characters are constantly trying to catch up to their mysterious murderer. This portion of the story does have an ending, yet the larger story is nowhere near completion. Readers who don’t like to wait may want to hold off until more books are out. If you like a good mystery and don’t mind cliffhangers, then give this book a try now.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: Uncanny

Uncanny Uncanny by Sarah Fine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cora does not remember what happened the night her step sister fell down a flight of stairs and died. She knows that it might have been recorded by her Cerepin, but she is afraid that she may have been at fault. Cora’s step father hires an AI counselor to help her deal with her grief and hopefully assist her in recovering her lost memories. As she begins to remember snippets of her past and tries to work up the courage to watch the vid, Cora uncovers scary truths about herself and those around her.

Uncanny is a stand-alone science fiction story that is refreshingly different. What would the world be like if people were constantly recording events around them? Who could you trust? Fine has created a world that is filled with a variety of automatons and readers will enjoy the experience of exploring this different society. The storyline twists and turns as the pages almost turn themselves. Uncanny is a good escape with an unexpected conclusion.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: Doctor Who: Myths and Legends

Doctor Who: Myths and Legends Doctor Who: Myths and Legends by Richard Dinnick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time Lords have been an advanced culture for thousands of years and have the stories to show for it. Even though some tales have long been forgotten, many are still remembered and have become myths and legends. There are stories about other worlds, other cultures and, of course, their home world. These stories shed a light on this ancient civilization and give readers a deeper understanding about Time Lords. These myths and legends are not about the Doctor, yet readers may see his hand at work in some of the stories. Doctor Who: Myths and Legends is a fun read for all Doctor Who fans.

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Countess of Čachtice

Countess of Čachtice Countess of Čachtice by Sonia Halbach
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been three years since Maggie and Henry discovered the city of Poppel, but now the Foundling children of this underground city keep going missing and they need to work together to try and uncover the truth. Over two hundred years in the past, Lily is trying to find the immortality she lost and her path takes her into the lives of the Countess of Čachtice and her son. The Countess has her own youthful secrets and Lily just might fall prey to her life altering plans. Maggie and Lily might live centuries apart, but their lives are more connected than they could ever understand.

Countess of Čachtice is the second book in The Krampus Chronicles. The point of view is constantly changing and was confusing in parts. I had to intentionally slow down and make sure I knew which time period and which characters were in play. The book itself read quickly, so this slow down wasn’t much of a hindrance, more of an annoyance. Halbach has finished only a small portion of the story and most readers will end their time with this book wishing the next book was already out.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review: If There's No Tomorrow

If There's No Tomorrow If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is the weekend before her senior year and Lena is ready. She wants to spend time with her friends, pick her college and hopefully let her best friend know that she wants to be more than friends. Then she makes a choice that changes everything and now she isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. How can Lena go on with her life after what happened? Would Sebastian be able to forgive her if he is told the truth?

If There’s No Tomorrow is a stand-alone novel that expresses a timely, yet tragic story. Lena is trying to deal with love, guilt and grief all at the same time, yet she doesn’t want to confide in her friends, just in case they would hate her afterward. Armentrout takes a very difficult situation and explores the actions and consequences that led to the tragedy. If There’s No Tomorrow is an outstanding novel that should be moved to the top of everyone’s TBR pile.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: The Dire King

The Dire King The Dire King by William Ritter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jackaby and Abigail continue their fight against magical creatures and an evil king attempting a takeover. Even as the Dire King is wreaking havoc; these two continue to solve the mysteries that surround New Fiddleham. To top the story off, Abigail and Charlie are getting closer than ever before and Abigail’s friends think he is going to pop the question. Can this unusual team defeat the evil that is haunting their town?

The Dire King is the fourth and final book in the Jackaby series. With that being said, Ritter has left readers with an ending that will leave most readers wanting a spin off series. The adventure is high strung and will pull readers along the entire way. There is romance between Abigail and Charlie (and maybe Jackaby and Jenny), but it shouldn’t be enough to cause male readers to give up on the story. The Dire King is a great conclusion and should not be missed.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Review: Thin Places

Thin Places Thin Places by Lesley Choyce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Declan is just an average teenage boy until he starts hearing the voice of a girl inside his head. He doesn’t believe she is a figment of his imagination, though. When he closes his eyes … he sees her. Through their conversations and visions she shares, he feels the need to go to Ireland and find her. Can Declan convince his parents to let him travel to his crazy Uncle Seamus? Will he discover the mystery behind this voice in his head?

Thin Places is a stand-alone novel in verse. The book is very short, even for its format, and most readers will finish it in about an hour. Choyce gives just enough background about Ireland’s history and mysteries to pull the reader in and gives them a reason to keep going. The “thin places” are a tantalizing idea that connects Declan to his family’s ancestral Ireland. Thin Places is a very quick read and it is also enjoyable.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: Black Light Express

Black Light Express Black Light Express by Philip Reeve
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Zen and Nova know what it is like to ride a train from one world to another, but now they have traveled through a gate that shouldn’t have been there and they can’t undo that action. Chandni has just finished a stint frozen in prison and is attempting to determine her place in a world torn apart by war. Their stories may be separate, yet they continually intersect as the Black Light Zone calls them.

Black Light Express is the second book in the Railhead series. Second books are always questionable because they usually are setting up a deeper storyline and this is no exception. Many readers will find the story a pleasant escape, yet others may prefer to wait until more books are written in order to have a fuller appreciation of where the tale will take them.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds

Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds by Gareth Hinds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Poe: Stories and Poems is a graphic novel adaptation of seven works by Edgar Allen Poe. Most of these stories and poems will be familiar to readers, yet even as a first introduction to Poe, it is great. Hinds has added depth and details to these vivid tales and brings them to life beyond a personal imagination. The author mentions that the original narrators are not described and encourages readers to think of their own narrators while enjoying his version. A great book for readers new to Poe or experienced with his tales.

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: The Way It Hurts

The Way It Hurts The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elijah’s band needs to make it big. If it does, then his family won’t need to put his special needs sister into a home. Once Elijah sees Kristen perform, he knows she is exactly what his band needs to be discovered. Unfortunately, an out-of-context social media comment is posted and the band is being recognized, not for its music, but for this controversy. Can Elijah and Kristen use this exposure to benefit their own purposes? What happens if the followers don’t know that there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed?

The Way It Hurts is a realistic fiction story that has controversy, music, and a little romance. Blount tells the story in the alternating voices of Kristen and Elijah, so readers will feel as if they are getting the entire story. The social media posts included throughout give variety to the text and add a third (and more) voice to the mix. The tension gets high, yet the story pulls through with a strong finish. The Way it Hurts is a great read that should be added to everyone’s TBR list.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: Strange Alchemy

Strange Alchemy Strange Alchemy by Gwenda Bond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Many people know about the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island where 114 colonists disappeared, but what about the 114 present day residents who have recently vanished? Miranda comes from a long line of “cursed” family members and the island’s residents don’t let her forget it. Grant may be the sheriff’s son, but he has a family secret that he is trying to keep hidden. These two unlikely teenagers decide that their family secrets might just be what is needed to uncover the secret about both disappearances.

Strange Alchemy is a stand-alone novel that defies one genre label. There is a bit of supernatural and/or fantasy involved with the family secrets and disappearances, but overall the pair uses deductive reasoning to uncover the truth. Bond has taken a historical period of America’s past and re-envisioned it for today’s readers. I hope most readers, when finished with this book, will look for more stories or non-fiction accounts about this period of time.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: Sparks of Light

Sparks of Light Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope has always lived an unusual life, which includes limited friends. It looks like she is finally creating some personal bonds and might even have a boyfriend. She comes from a long line of Viators and has been training to time-travel, just like her ancestors before her. Unfortunately, all Viators are not good and when it is discovered that someone plans to steal an invention from Nikola Tesla, she must travel back to 1895 and try to save the timeline.

Sparks of Light is the second book in the Into the Dim series. Most second books are lack luster compared to their beginning, yet this novel is great, even on its own. Hope must face high society and the dregs of the underworld while attempting to not change anything in the past. Taylor has given readers a satisfactory ending while also creating more interest in future time-traveling escapades. Sparks of Light is a great book and will delight male and female readers alike.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Solo

Solo Solo by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blade can’t get away from the paparazzi or his family. The final straw was when his father crashed his commencement speech and embarrassed him in front of the entire school and then being told about a family secret. Blade cannot stop thinking about his dead mother and his crazy rock ‘n roll family, so he goes on his own quest to determine what is actually true.

Solo is a novel in verse with song lyrics dispersed throughout. Alexander has taken Blade on a trek of self-discovery and readers will find themselves questioning their own lives alongside Blade. Since it is a novel in verse, it is a quick read and will probably be completed by most readers in one sitting. A great read, even if you don’t know the songs along the way.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Two Nights

Two Nights Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sunday Night has survived a lot and has the scars to prove it. When a girl turns up missing after a school is bombed, she agrees that the family needs her help. No one knows if the girl is dead or if she was taken, but Sunnie is willing to face her own demons in order to discover the truth.

Two Nights is a stand-alone novel that will not disappoint readers of Reichs' other novels. Sunnie is not shy about using her fists or her weapon and readers will quickly find themselves flying through the pages. Most readers will think they know where the story is going and then be pleasantly surprised when the plot twists and turns into unexpected paths. Two Nights is a great escape read.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: We Come Apart

We Come Apart We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nicu has recently emigrated to the United States and is having trouble adjusting to life away from Romania. Jess is trying to deal with her mother's abusive boyfriend. After Nicu and Jess become friends, neither one expected a romance to bloom. Unfortunately, Nicu's parents have arranged a marriage for him and both are unsure where their lives will lead them next.

We Come Apart is a stand-alone novel in verse that is told in the alternating voices of Nicu and Jess. Conaghan and Crossan have developed a story that is easy to relate to and quick to finish. Since the book is so short, it would be a good opportunity for readers who have yet to try reading a novel in verse. A good read that can be completed in a short evening on the couch.

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review: Now I Rise

Now I Rise Now I Rise by Kiersten White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lada has her band of men and her friend Bogdan, but she does not have her throne. Since she wasn’t able to take over the Wallachian throne, she is traveling the countryside and inflicting her own type of force on those she encounters. Radu is Lada’s brother and he has been sent to Constantinople as a spy. He can use Lada’s confidence and she can use Radu’s subtlety, yet both are on their own and questioning the paths placed before them. These siblings must figure out what they are willing to sacrifice to complete their destinies.

Now I Rise is the second book in The Conqueror’s Saga. Events pick up quickly without many pages being given to the backstory. The battles are fierce and the emotions run deep as these opposite characters traverse their barbaric world. White has used this historic time period and infused it with characters that many young adults will be able to relate to. A good read for those who have read the first book and enjoyed it.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: The Fallen Kingdom

The Fallen Kingdom The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aileana has been brought back to life through fae magic, but she didn’t return with her memories. She wants to break the cycle of fighting between the fae, especially since the results will affect both the human and fae worlds. In order to resolve this conflict, she must find a hidden magical book that is guarded by Morrigan. Aileana must use her new dark powers, but will this darkness overtake her? Will Aileana have to give up the faery she loves to save everyone else?

The Fallen Kingdom is the final book in The Falconer trilogy. This third installment starts out with a complete story already underway, so readers are highly encouraged to read the first two books before beginning this novel. May has weaved some standard faery lore with some newly created ideas for a fresh take on a wonderful world. The ending was unexpected and most readers will be satisfied with its conclusion. The Fallen Kingdom is a must read for those who have read the previous books.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been years since Rachel moved away from the city and the boy she had been crushing on. Before she left, she wrote him a love letter and placed it inside his favorite book and he never responded to her declaration of love. Rachel has now returned to the city and has been hired to work alongside Henry at his family’s bookstore. She knows it will be tough, but she needs something to take her mind off her brother’s death. Will Henry and Rachel finally become more than friends?

Words in Deep Blue is a stand-alone romance without all of the romance. The story is told with intermittent letters left inside novels and these letters add depth and insight into the characters and the various relationships explored within. Crowley has created an interesting platform for the characters to interact in and readers will enjoy hearing a variety of book titles that they might want to pick up themselves. Words in Deep Blue will satisfy all realistic fiction reader’s desires.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: The Possible

The Possible The Possible by Tara Altebrando
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kaylee has lived with her adoptive parents since her birth mother was sentenced to life in prison for killing her brother. She doesn’t dwell on that portion of her life, but when a podcast producer appears on her doorstep and lets her know that she will be basing her next series of episodes on her mother’s telekinetic powers, Kaylee’s life is turned upside down. Are all of the unexplainable events from her past clues to her own powers? Will Kaylee’s friendships survive her new celebrity status?

The Possible is a new stand-alone novel that is easy to fall into and quick to finish. The short length of the book will encourage reluctant readers to give it a try and it will also allow voracious readers to finish it in one sitting. Altebrando leads the reader along an exploratory storyline that keeps everyone guessing until the last few pages. A fun read that will appeal to most readers.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: Once and for All

Once and for All Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Louna is preparing for her senior year of high school and is looking forward to getting a real job. She helps her mother with her wedding planning business and has experienced every type of wedding. Since she has grown up around weddings and knows that many people have more than one, she is very cynical about love and everything that goes with it. It doesn't help that her one experience with love ended in a tragic way. In walks Ambrose and he is not willing to take no for an answer. Will Louna find love again?

Once and for All is the newest stand-alone novel by Sarah Dessen. The story is slow to take off, but if readers hang on for a few pages, the overall story is worth it. Louna has a secret that isn't completely explained until the end and readers will try and pull it out alongside Ambrose. The flashback storyline took some getting used to, but overall it wasn't a complete distraction. Once and for All is a good escape into a romance.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mariko is traveling to the imperial palace to meet the man she is betrothed to. She did not choose him, but since she is the daughter of a samurai of high standing, it is her destiny. It doesn’t matter that she is as smart as her twin brother and is a great alchemist. She was not born a boy and this is her fate. Unfortunately, Mariko doesn’t make it to the palace because her convoy is attacked by the Black Clan. She is the only survivor and is now planning her revenge. Will Mariko’s plan to infiltrate the Black Clan work? If she falls in love along the way will she be able to accept the truths she had been taught?

Flame in the Mist is the first book in a series by the name title. The adventure begins quickly with Mariko’s entire caravan being slaughtered and her running for her life. Ahdieh has created a story that is rich in characters and culture without spending endless pages on world building. Readers will want to follow Mariko on her journey and will not be satisfied until they have all their questions answered. Flame is the Mist will please both male and female readers and is recommended for anyone who enjoys a good adventure, especially if they appreciate the samurai culture.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Review: Count All Her Bones

Count All Her Bones Count All Her Bones by April Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It has been six months since Cheyenne had been kidnapped during a car theft gone wrong. One of her captor’s helped her escape and now his father is awaiting his trial. While they are waiting to testify against Roy, Cheyenne and Griffin reconnect on Facebook and make arrangements to meet. Unfortunately, their plan doesn’t go well and Cheyenne is kidnapped again by Roy’s men. Do they just want money or do they want Cheyenne dead? Can she escape? Was Griffin working for his father or was he duped along with Cheyenne?

Count All Her Bones is the second book in the Girl, Stolen series. Cheyenne has not been idle during the six months between stories and she has emerged stronger and smarter. Henry has created a new story that is quick paced and hard to put down. Since the book is so short, readers will find themselves stuck in one place and reading it in one sitting. Also, since the events happen in such a short amount of time, readers are not dragged along unnecessary storylines in order to fill additional pages. Count All Her Bones is a great thriller and a must read.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Windfall

Windfall Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teddy is turning eighteen years old and Alice has the perfect gag gift. She is buying him a lottery ticket for the enormous Powerball jackpot that will be drawn that day. When they wake up the next morning, they discover that Teddy is now the winner of $140 million after it is split with two other winners. It is a dream come true since Teddy and his mom have been living on very little since his father abandoned them. Will Teddy spend the money wisely or try and buy people’s friendships? Will the money drive a wedge between Teddy and Alice?

Windfall is a stand-alone novel that will delight most readers. The characters are easy to relate to and the storyline is plausible even if the odds are against most people. Readers will think about how they would spend the money as Teddy is making his own decisions. Smith takes her characters through a roller coaster of emotions and readers will find their own emotions rolling as well. Windfall is a great read and should be added to every reader's TBR list.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Review: Violet Grenade

Violet Grenade Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Domino has been living on the streets of Detroit for a year and needs to earn money to bail her friend out of jail. She is offered an opportunity to entertain in a girls’ home in Texas and decides this is her only option. She quickly learns that she can earn more money by earning a high rank and works hard to overcome the obstacles the other girls place in her path. There are many secrets hidden within the home and Domino must decide if she is willing to share her own secrets with those around her. Will Domino be able to escape Madam Karina and the dangers in this small town?

Violet Grenade is a stand-alone story that slowly gives readers information about the characters while also teasing them with the possible paths the story may go. Scott weaved together an interesting storyline with an unforgettable ending and the tension continues to build as the pages almost turn themselves. Violet Grenade should be added to everyone’s TBR list; it will be worth it!

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Kill All Happies

Kill All Happies Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is the day after graduation and Vic is planning to host the best after graduation party Rancho Soldado has ever experienced. She finally has permission from the selling owner of Happies to have this last hurrah before the buildings are torn down. Vic wants a last good party with her friends and she is hoping this will also be the perfect opportunity to hook up with Jake, her secret crush. The party is a success and everyone is having a good time, but when Happies fans decide they want to join this final celebration, this fun party becomes an uncontrollable monster.

Kill All Happies is a stand-alone novel that takes a while to take off, but eventually will pull readers in. Whether readers are looking forward to their own graduation party or are fondly remembering it, the party vibe is easily relatable. There are some stupid decisions and logical consequences, but Cohn doesn’t present the story as a lesson-to-be-learned tale. A good read, but won’t be added to everyone’s TBR list.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Legion

Legion Legion by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ember knows she can pretend she is human, but she shouldn’t be able to fall in love. When she believes she has fallen in love with a former dragonslayer, she begins to question everything she has been taught. What does she really know about humans? What is true about rogue dragons? What is she capable of achieving? As she fights alongside the rogue dragon Riley, Ember must also face her twin brother Dante.

Legion is the fourth book in the Talon series and the story is far from over. Kagawa takes Ember into even darker aspects of Talon and readers will wonder who will make it out alive. The story picks up quickly and there isn’t much review, so for readers who like to pick up random books, you may be lost. Yet those who have been following the exploits of these dragons for the last few years, it will be a welcome installment to a much-loved tale. Legion is a great read, but be ready for the fifth book in the future.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: Missing

Missing Missing by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Winter is looking forward to the day she will be able to leave Reeve’s End, become a doctor and never return. Her sister did it and her best friend has already done it. The town is full of abandoned mines and not much else. Of course, she will miss the solitude of the woods; it has been where she could escape her own troubles. During one of her trips into the woods she finds Lennon bleeding and left for dead. Soon after, Lennon disappears and Winter is left questioning if all the missing really left on their own accord.

Missing is a stand-alone thriller that will grab readers with the first pages and not let go. The mystery of all the people who leave this town is developed slowly as Winter makes the connections and readers will try and stay a step or two ahead of the characters. Armstrong has stepped away from her usual fantasy genre and this book is a wonderful example of her varied talents. I recommend Missing to every reader who wants a good mystery or thriller and doesn’t want a cliff hanger at the end.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Wicked Treasure

Wicked Treasure Wicked Treasure by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clark and Amethyst are just living their lives when a clockwork lion takes their daughter from them. They get a lead that takes them on an adventure neither was looking for. As they look for answers to why someone would take their daughter, they uncover a conspiracy that is about more than just their family … it concerns the country. What will Clark and Amethyst be required to survive in this tale?

Wicked Treasure is the third book in the Treasure Chronicles. Although it has been awhile since I read the first two books, the characters quickly pulled me into the story and I was easily swept away with this new journey. Mierek has reinvigorated this clockwork world and promises additional stories will come along. Wicked Treasure is a fun read, but would be best enjoyed in the proper sequence.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: The Whole Thing Together

The Whole Thing Together The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sasha and Ray have always shared a room in their summer home. They’ve shared the same books, the same toiletries and the same bed, yet they have never actually met. Ray’s mom used to be married to Sasha’s dad and neither one is willing to give up the beach house. Now they have new families and are making new memories, but in the same house. Unfortunately, choices from the past have a way of coming back and these two families must learn to work together before the loose ties fall apart.

The Whole Thing Together is a stand-alone novel that has an interesting premise, but a faulty execution. I usually don’t mind alternating story lines, but this story did not flow easily and the middle of the book seemed muddled. The ending was great and I will think about it for a while to come, but the overall impression I am left with is just flat and uninspired. Brashares’ latest novel is not a drop everything and read book.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Defy the Stars

Defy the Stars Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is T minus 20 days till Noemi will sacrifice her life to protect her home planet, Genesis. She has been training to fight the machines that Earth is sending to attack them. Abel is one of the machines. He has been alone in space for three decades and during this time his programming has slowly evolved. When the two are put into a confrontational situation, the outcome is not what either of them expected. They both want the fighting to stop, even if that means working with the enemy.

Defy the Stars is the first book in a new series with the same title. Gray has created two main characters that are easy to relate to and situations that are easy to understand. It is hard to believe that a story about a human and a machine (in space) can be such an attention grabber. Abel spends a bit of his time evaluating himself and discovering he is more than the sum of his parts. Noemi learns that she doesn’t know everything about the machines and that she must reevaluate what she thought was fact. Defy the Stars is a strong science fiction read that will be enjoyable even if readers don’t normally try that genre.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: Royce Rolls

Royce Rolls Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bentley Royce has spent her formative years in the spotlight. Her family has devoted the last 5 years staring in a reality TV show called Rolling with the Royces. Her mother, Mercedes, is only interested in the attention she receives from the show and only pays attention to Bentley when it affects the show’s standings. Bentley would like to stop being in the show so that she can go to college, but no one in her family has ever attended college and her mother won’t go for it. It looks like the show will be cancelled before the sixth season and Bentley doesn’t think her family will hold together without the glue of the cameras. She decides to go against her own feelings and attempts to save the show.

Royce Rolls is a stand-alone novel that has a lot of comedy and not much plausibility. As a person who doesn’t watch reality TV I had trouble staying focused on the events unfolding, but overall the book was enjoyable. Stohl has created a protagonist that is easy to relate to, even though most readers have never experienced what she was enduring. Royce Rolls is a good escape read, but is not a must read.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: The Spill Zone

The Spill Zone The Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Addison Merrick has permission to live in her family’s home, even though it is near the Spill Zone. Her parents and her little sister were inside the zone when the incident happened and only her sister came out. Now Addison travels inside the Spill Zone to photograph the animals and the places, but never the people. She is approached with an opportunity to make more than she ever dreamed of, but will this one job be her last? What risks is she willing to take to help her sister?

The Spill Zone is the first book in a new graphic novel series with the same title. The graphics are weird, yet exciting and the story moves along very quickly. This 200+ page book can be read in about an hour and when readers reach the end they will discover they want the next volume. Readers will quickly feel a need to know more and will definitely be left with a lot of unanswered questions. The Spill Zone will delight readers of science fiction and graphic novels.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Toward a Secret Sky

Toward a Secret Sky Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maren’s mother is now dead and she is being shuttled off to her grandparent’s house in Scotland. She has never met them, because they did not approve of their son marrying Maren’s mom. As she is adjusting to a new way of life, she receives a box with some items from her mother. Inside she finds an encrypted journal that sets her on a path of self-discovery. Both of Maren’s parents worked for a secret organization and now it seems that this organization wants her to work for them too. Unfortunately, there is something wicked in this small town and if Maren joins her parent’s fight her new friends may be left in grave peril.

Toward a Secret Sky is presently listed as a stand-alone novel, yet Maclean has created a wondrous world and amazing storyline that can easily be carried into more volumes. Maren must make some difficult decisions in a short time and readers will not want to put the book down in order to see how she will react next. Since this is being promoted as a singleton, the storyline is complete without a cliff hanger, but most readers will want to know more about this secret organization, Maren’s parents and what happens next to Maren herself. Toward a Secret Sky should be added to everyone’s TBR list if they enjoy fantasy novels with just a twist of romance.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sir Yvain sets out looking for adventure and finds it when he defeats a knight in battle. This act brings him into the lives of Lady Laudine and her maid Lunette. Sir Yvain quickly falls in love with Lady Laudine, but their love is destined for hardship and Sir Yvain must endure many more adventures during their time apart. This graphic novel interpretation of the 12th century poem will have new readers falling in love with the Arthurian stories and hopefully looking for more. Readers who have already fallen in love with King Arthur and his nights will be enchanted by this version and all readers must slow down and enjoy the graphics that add additional insight into this poem. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion is a quick read and fun escape.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: If I'm Found

If I'm Found If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Casey is still wanted for murder and is running for her life. She has one person who is constantly on her trail and she is starting to wonder if he is trying to capture her or help her. Casey knows that he let her escape before when he could have brought her in, but in a world where she is constantly being deceived, it is hard to trust. Although Casey is trying to find proof about the real murderers, she comes across a man who has been falsely accused of abusing a child, he has lost his job and she knows he has considered suicide in the past. Will Casey risk her own freedom to help this stranger? Is Dylan there to help her or to capture her?

If I’m Found is the second book in the If I Run series. This heart stopping adventure begins fast and doesn’t stop until you reach the last page. Blackstock has created a plot that is easy to fall into and readers will quickly find time getting away from them as the pages turn. This book does pick up soon after the conclusion of the first book, but readers can easily enjoy this story on its own. If I’m Found should be added to everyone’s TBR list if they enjoy adventure and suspense.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review: The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sal is beginning his senior year of high school, but all is not well. One of his fellow classmates is continuously taunting him about his adoptive gay father, and Sal is responding with his fists. Although his Mexican-American family has always accepted him, he can’t help be reminded that he is adopted, especially since he is obviously white. Can Sal help his friend Samantha deal with her own family issues while coming to terms with his own? Will he discover a way to deal with conflict that does not include a fight?

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a stand-alone realistic fiction book that is easy to read, but unfortunately also easy to forget. I wanted to feel compassion for these teens who have suffered so much, but the story came out forced and not very plausible. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life will appeal to some readers, but is not to be added to everyone’s TBR list.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review: The Dark Days Pact

The Dark Days Pact The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lady Helen is coming to terms with being disowned by her uncle. It actually isn’t very hard since her life is occupied with training to fight demons now that she is a full member of the Dark Days Club. She is working on her Reclaimer powers while spending the summer in Brighton, yet Carlston’s Reclaimer powers are affecting his sanity and his mood is changing toward darkness. When a Dark Days Club colleague threatens the club and Helen herself, will she be able to find a way to stay in the light? Will the Duke of Selburn accept the dissolution of their “understanding?”

The Dark Days Pact is the second book in the Lady Helen series. This book takes place immediately following the events of the first book and readers will be quickly pulled back into this extraordinary tale. Lady Helen is a dynamic character with fears and longings like most of the people who would read this book. Goodman has worked this story into an interesting time in history and makes the Dark Day Club a plausible group that was hidden in the shadows. The Dark Days Pact is a recommended read for those who enjoy action books, historical fiction and even those who are looking for a romance. I definitely recommend that readers start with the first book, though.

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review: Crazy Messy Beautiful

Crazy Messy Beautiful Crazy Messy Beautiful by Carrie Arcos
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Neruda is destined to find the love of his life. He must, since he is named after the great love poet Pablo Neruda. Unfortunately, as a sixteen-year-old artist, he has only experienced heartbreak. After Callie and Neruda are paired for a writing assignment, he discovers that she is more like him than any of the other girls he has crushed on. Is Callie his soul mate? Will their mutual love of art bring them together?

Crazy Messy Beautiful is a stand-alone love story without all the romance. The protagonist is a teen-age boy who has grown up with love in the forefront of his family. Arcos has developed Neruda’s voice so that readers of any age and any gender will appreciate his plight. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michael Crouch and he portrayed Neruda with a flawless rendition that made me feel I was inside the character’s mind the entire time. Crazy Messy Beautiful is a great love story, especially for readers who don’t normally read romances.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Review: The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tea comes from a family of witches, but her magic is like no one else’s. She can wield the magic of necromancy and is considered a bone witch. Because she holds a powerful magic, most people are either scared of her or other witches like her. Tea must leave her family and village to train with those older and wiser. Can Tea learn to control this magic? Will she be able to help her kingdom as war bubbles in the kingdoms around her?

The Bone Witch is the first book in a new series by the same name. Although the premise of the story holds a lot of merit, the execution was missing the magnetic pull of a good fantasy story. Tea’s plight would pull me along and then drop me unexpectedly in the next chapter. Chupeco left an ending to make readers curious about the next stage in Tea’s life, so I will try the next volume in the series and decide at that time if I will continue further.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Decelerate Blue

Decelerate Blue Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an undisclosed future time, everything revolves around speed and efficiency. Angela doesn’t feel the need for speed and soon finds out that she isn’t the only one. During a visit to a park to look for an item buried by her grandfather, she finds herself literally underground and in the middle of a resistance movement. In this new place, the world has slowed down and people are encouraged to read and relax. Is Angela ready to go against the Guarantee?

Decelerate Blue is a stand-alone graphic novel that has a promising premise, but no actual substance. Just when the reader adjusts to the brief language of the new world, Angela is underground and must attempt to speak in a normal manner. The graphics are a saving grace and the story that is portrayed within the drawings is deep and emotional. Decelerate Blue will be enjoyed by die-hard graphic novel fans, but should not be someone’s first attempt at this genre.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Lifeblood

Lifeblood Lifeblood by Gena Showalter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ten’s Firstlife has ended and she has chosen which realm to spend her Everlife in, but there is a war taking place and Ten has a role to play. She has a rare power that the Powers That Be want to use; unfortunately, the enemy wants her stopped. She is still trying to learn about her Secondlife, while also fighting for her own survival. Will Ten be able to fight Killian and overcome her personal feelings toward him? Which is more important, Love or Winning?

Lifeblood is the second book in the Everlife series. Showalter does spend some time having the main character think about events from the first book so readers will be reminded and memories will be jogged. New events start quickly and readers will swiftly be immersed in Ten’s Secondlife. My feelings about this novel were erratic at best. I would find myself completely absorbed in the story and then a little while later wonder why I was reading it at all. Lifeblood was a good second book in a series, but I really hope the next installment re-grabs my interest.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: The Silent Songbird

The Silent Songbird The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Evangeline is an orphan and the ward of the King of England. She has always known that noble women do not marry for love and that she will be expected to wed whomever the king chooses. Unfortunately, King Richard II promises Evangeline to Lord Shiveley, an advisor that is twice her age and who also had a first wife die in mysterious circumstances. Evangeline decides she would rather be a peasant than Lord Shiveley’s wife and runs away with her maidservant. She is now at a small country estate and is pretending to be mute to hide her identity. Will Evangeline be able to stay hidden while also living her life? Is love a possibility for a woman of noble birth?

The Silent Songbird is the seventh book in the Hagenheim series, yet as someone who hasn’t read any of the other books in the series; this novel seems to stand well on its own. Dickerson doesn’t need to spend a lot of time world building because the story takes place in 14th century England, which would be familiar to most readers of historical fiction. The romance is constantly pulling at the edges of the first half of the book and the end result is predictable, yet enjoyable. The Silent Songbird is a good escape, but not a drop everything and read book.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: Heart of the Storm

Heart of the Storm Heart of the Storm by Michael Buckley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lyric Walker was held prisoner under water for over half a year before she was able to escape to the surface. Now that she is on dry land, she wants to find her friends and family and get the word out about the Great Abyss. Her time away wasn’t that long, yet when she returns she discovers that humans and Alpha are actually working together to get the country restarted. It isn’t all sunlight and roses, though, because there are still people out there who want to sabotage the work being forged. Can Lyric overcome the human obstacles before the monsters from the sea arrive? Which love will Lyric choose to pursue?

Heart of the Storm is the third and final book in the Undertow trilogy. The action is intense from the beginning and readers will be excited for the many story lines brought to an end. Yet I found the flashbacks to Lyric’s underwater time a little confusing at first. I will admit that it could be because I flew through it faster than I should have. The ending is perfect, yet not everyone will be happy. That is not unusual when a girl has to pick a boy … someone is always left out. Heart of the Storm is a good escape, but only for those who read the first two books.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Review: Long Way Home

Long Way Home Long Way Home by Katie McGarry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Violet was raised around the motorcycle club the Reign of Terror, yet because her father died conducting Terror business, she feels she must protect her younger brother. This means she must sever all ties to the club, including her ties with Chevy, the boy she loves. Her plan comes to a standstill when another motorcycle club approaches her with old secrets and threatens the people she loves. Does Violet really know what has been going on inside the club? Who can she trust when there are many lives at stake?

Long Way Home is the third book in the Thunder Road series. The story is told in the alternating voices of Violet and Chevy, so readers will be given a balanced viewpoint of most events. McGarry doesn’t spend much time reminding readers about earlier events, yet even though there was time between these two books, I was able to pick the story up and dive right in. This third book is not the end of the story and most readers will see the hints of future storylines weaved within. Long Way Home is a nice escape read for those who like an easy and clean bad boy romance.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: Beautiful Broken Girls

Beautiful Broken Girls Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mira and Francesca had lived very protected lives. They still rode bikes because they could not ride in a car with most people. Ben, though, had touched Mira; he had touched her on seven parts of her body. The girls are dead, drowned in the quarry, and Ben has received a letter from Mira to go to each place where he had touched her and retrieve a note she has left. As he finds each note, Ben uncovers a little more about what was happening in Mira and Francesca’s life. Was it suicide or was it an accident? What other secrets about his small town will Ben discover?

Beautiful Broken Girls is a stand-alone story that is borderline with many genres. Savage has interspersed the girl’s story with Ben’s by spiraling timelines and narrators. There is a mystery to be solved, a myriad of relationships to uncover and a series of letters to be found. Readers who enjoyed unraveling the truth with Thirteen Reasons Why may see a similarity between the stories, yet the differences allow this to be its own unique read. Beautiful Broken Girls is a good escape for those needing a break from series fiction.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: The Queen

The Queen The Queen by C.J. Abedi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Caroline is continuing to come to terms with the fact that she is the Queen of the Light Fae and that her relationship with Devilyn is wrong on many levels. They both feel the pull to be together, but neither wishes to put their own feelings above the safety of their people. When the Dark King and Puck create a new plan that defies long established rules, Caroline must learn from her hidden past and cultivate the Fae powers that have been dormant within her. Will Caroline and Devilyn be able to resist the pull between them? Does she have the fortitude to take her place as the Queen of the Light?

The Queen is the third and final book in the Fae Trilogy. Even though this is the third book, readers who have not read the first two volumes can still enjoy this installment as long as they are familiar with basic Fae lore and of course Puck. The story is told by alternating characters and each transition gives the reader a little more knowledge that the other characters are not aware of. This was an enjoyable read and I think I am going to find the first two books so that I can experience more about these fascinating characters.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: The Chemist

The Chemist The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Chemist is on the run. Her former job with the U.S. government was extremely classified and when they wanted to end the relationship, they tried to end her. She is now fleeing, constantly changing her name and doesn’t stay in one place very long. She knows they still want her dead, but when she receives information that might lead to safety, she gives it her all. Unfortunately, she wasn’t given all of the information and now her life is in even more peril. Will she survive the muscle her ex-employer sends her way? Will a new relationship put her at even more risk?

The Chemist is a new adventure novel that is action packed and full of twists. Readers who go into this book thinking about the fantasy novels written by Meyer will be sorely disappointed. Yet if they remember that this is a realistic adventure story, they will be pleasantly surprised. The Chemist is a recommended read for those who enjoy the Jack Reacher series or the Jason Bourne series.

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