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Showing posts from September, 2012


Dreamless is a YA modern twist to Greek mythology by Josephine Angelini.

This novel is also the sequel to the utterly fantastic book Starcrossed, which I reviewed here last year, and which was so remarkable it made my Stand-Out Books of 2011. In other words, if you haven’t read Starcrossed yet, you really need to fix that!

Especially before you read this review!

Only the Starcrossed initiated need read further, as all others have my strict warning that despite my stringent lack of spoilers for Dreamless, there will be inevitable hints to plot reveals in Starcrossed that you should avoid!!!

Final chance to look away…

Oh my gosh. I was absolutely ecstatic to get a chance to read Dreamless after Starcrossed being one of my favorite books last year – and I am THRILLED to report that as far as I’m concerned, Dreamless actually EXCEEDED my expectations!!!

Here’s a little about it:

Helen Hamilton up until recently considered herself a secret freak. She knew that she could blow everybody awa…


Diva is the third and final book in Jillian Larkin’s YA 20s era Flappers series.

If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, well – you know that you’re going to want to avoid this review. Instead read my thoughts on Vixen (book one) here and Ingénue (book two) here. Deal?

Now, unless you’ve read Vixen and Ingénue I am hoping (for your unspoiled reading pleasure) that you are NOT reading any further into this review – otherwise I might have to slip you one of Fred and George’s Puking Pastilles.

Okay… Final chance to turn away…

Red-headed songbird Gloria Carmody finds herself potentially free from jail – if she can figure out the secret behind the wealthy but unsuccessful Forrest Hamilton’s seemingly unlimited funds. Can she uncover answers while pretending to pal around on his lush yacht and ritzy villa before it becomes more dangerous than she realizes? Her future with Jerome depends on it…

Reformed flapper Clara Knowles has jumped back into the swing of boozy speakeasies…


Enchanted is a YA fairy-tale by Alethea Kontis.

Sunday Woodcutter, the youngest sibling of a group sisters named for the other six days of the week, doesn’t especially feel like she lives up to the saying, “But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day is blithe and bonny and goody and gay.”

In fact, most of the time she feels overlooked. That could have something to do with the fact that she has a tendency to wander off into the forest whenever she has a chance and do the one thing that brings her the most happiness – write stories. Though she has to be careful, as there is a history of them coming true…

It is during one of her forays into the woods that Sunday meets the frog. Not any frog, but an enchanted frog that was once a man. He asks her to tell him her stories. They talk. Sunday finds she feels more comfortable with him than she does anyone else. It seems… magical.

But one evening Sunday leaves him with a kiss – and when she gets a chance to return, he’s gone.

What Sunday does…

With Every Letter

With Every Letter is a historical WWII era romantic fiction novel by Sarah Sundin.

Let me first off say – even if you’ve never read a book like this before, this is the time to start!

Lt. Philomela “Mellie” Blake is happy to start her new position as a flight nurse. But training with a bunch of other nurses that all have the ordinary social niceties and friend-making genes naturally inculcated is something she’s dreading. With her unorthodox childhood and plain, unusual appearance she always finds herself saying the wrong thing and ending up alone.

So when she’s volunteered to participate in an anonymous letter writing campaign to help build morale, Mellie is certain that she won’t receive a letter back. No one ever finds her particularly interesting and she has no interest in a The Shop Around the Corner like romance, like the other girls.

Yet when Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, finds her letter he finds the anonymity invigorating – a chance to escape the …

The Whisper

The Whisper is the sci-fi middle-grade sequel to The Roar, by Emma Clayton.

You know the drill, bibliophiles. If you haven’t read The Roar, you don’t want to read a review on the sequel – it’ll just give stuff away. So, avert thine eyes.

All the rest of you who HAVE read The Roar, you’ll find a spoiler-free review below…

Mika and Ellie didn’t know if they’d ever see each other again – but the day has finally come. The circumstances, though, aren’t so good…

They’re mutants – a new kind of child that has special abilities, can do things ordinary children can’t do. And that has made them valuable to one devious man: Mal Gorman.

His plan is to take over the beauty of wilderness and riches on the other side of The Wall – where everyone behind The Wall has been told is scorched and impossible to live on.

It’s all been lies.

Mika and Ellie have to pretend to be submissive, to agree with his plan – it’s the only way they can figure out a plan on how to save the rest of the kids – Gorman’s bra…

The Roar

The Roar is a middle-grade sci-fi novel by Emma Clayton.

It’s been a year since twelve-year-old Mika’s twin sister Ellie vanished. He and his parents were told she drowned in the flooded depths of the lower cities, but Mika refuses to believe it – he knows she’s still alive. He feels it.

This is what has led Mika to start to wonder if anything they’ve been told is true.

He lives in London, in the future. Since before he was born, people have been told of The Plague – the horrifying event that caused all the animals to become vicious, bloodthirsty attackers and made all the remaining humans seek shelter behind The Wall.

The Wall is a fifty-foot tall, solid concrete wall topped with high-voltage razor wire and guarded by a battalion of borgs. It’s kept the animals out, and the people safe.

Yet being crammed into a small area, the population has become unhealthy – except for the few who have profited and moved into the Golden Turrets, fancy apartments built on top of the older, downtrodd…

The Master of Misrule

The Master of Misrule is the sequel to the YA supernatural novel The Game of Triumphs by Laura Powell.

Oh, wow. This is what I look for in a book!

Before I get ahead of myself, if you haven’t read The Game of Triumphs yet, not only are you possibly crazy (CRAZY!), but you should most definitely NOT read this review. It’ll contain inevitable spoilers of what is one of my favorite books of the year so far…

Instead, read my review of The Game of Triumphshere and then go grab yourself a copy. THEN, you can come back. :)

I’m expecting all of you who haven’t read The Game of Triumphs to not be reading this sentence… Last warning…

For all y’all who follow my blog (you rock!), you know that I really don’t like giving away the plot of sequels. I myself don’t even read the inside jacket of sequels. If I loved the first book, what else do I need to know? So, instead I’ll give a brief recap of how The Game of Triumphs ended and a brief, light idea of where it’s going. Deal? Okay.

Cat, Flora, Toby…

The Magician

The Magician is the second book in the YA fantasy series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

You know the drill. If you haven’t yet read the first book, The Alchemyst, you shouldn’t read the review of book two because the synopsis will give stuff away without even trying. But, if you are one of the many who has read the ENTIRE series and is just waiting for little ol’ me to catch up, feel free to read on and see what I thought!

Final warning…

Sophie and Josh have only two days ago entered a whirlwind struggle of power and magic – and now are firmly integrated in it. They now know they are the twins of legend, or at least Nicholas Flamel thinks so. Josh has a pure gold aura and Sophie a pure silver one – just as the prophecy foretells.

And now Sophie has been Awakened. It’s overwhelming, the strengthening of her senses – the sudden onslaught of abilities and memories not quite her own. But as she fights to regain normality, Josh can’t help but envy her powers …

Dark Companion

Dark Companion is a YA mystery thriller with a hint of the supernatural and was written by Marta Acosta.

Jane Williams is determined to make something of her life.

Orphaned at age six, passed through foster homes, she has learned to survive in different situations. But it was when her foster brother Hosea died that the anger inside of her fully formed – and she became focused on getting out of Helmsdale.

It was harder for her than others. Jane wasn’t naturally smart; she has to work for it. Ask questions that made her look dumb, steel herself against the snickers. But with time Jane had succeeded to become one of the best students at her local high school – and when she was offered a chance to have a full scholarship at the exclusive Birch Grove Academy she jumps at it.

She can finally get out.

At first, Birch Grove Academy is everything she could hope for and more. She’s astounded to find she’s starting to make friends with girls she never would have imagined she’s get along with. Sh…

The Dirt

The Dirt is a YA contemporary fiction novel by Lori Culwell.

All Lucy Whitley wants is to go to a Connecticut boarding school that focuses on science.

And to get away from her scandalous family.

For as long as she remembers, her wealthy family has been the target of gossip and rumors, especially regarding the fact that her mom took off when she was little – and took one of her sisters with her. They haven’t been seen or heard of since.

Not only that, but her fashion-model beautiful, popular sister Sloane heads up a powerful, mean-girl clique that has made Lucy’s life a nightmare for years.

If Lucy can just make sure that her dad’s wedding goes smooth she can finally get away from it all – and have permission to go to her nerd haven in Connecticut.

Only problem?

Trying to get anything to go perfectly in the Whitley family is near impossible.

Lucy might as well kiss her dream goodbye…

The Dirt is a frothy, short novel that many readers will like.

I personally felt that while The Dirt mak…

Love's Reckoning

Love’s Reckoning is Christian historical romance author Laura Frantz’s newest novel and the first in the Ballantyne Legacy.

A legacy starts in a small way. It’s on one cold December day in 1784 that Silas Ballantyne arrives to finish his apprenticeship with the blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. His mind is set on keeping his head down, doing the work, and going west as soon as he’s completed his contract.

But Liege Lee has other plans. He has need for a strong, capable blacksmith to stay in York County with him, so he’s depending on an old tradition to keep the young man around – marriage to one of his beautiful daughters.

Elspeth, as the elder, is the favored choice. She’s bold, calculating, and finds a lifetime with the handsome Silas not unappealing. Her younger sister Eden is unobtrusive, temperate, and uncomfortable with being used as a pawn for her father’s business needs.

In a house full of secrets, half-truths, and manipulations, is it possible for Silas to fi…


Blackwood is a YA supernatural novel by Gwenda Bond.

All the residents of Roanoke Island know their famous legend: Back in 1587, 114 people mysteriously vanished without a trace, besides a cryptic message marked in rock, from the Lost Colony.

Now, it’s just a story for tourists and a relatively successful play that Miranda likes to work on and watch night after night. It’s one of the only places the seventeen-year-old outcast feels sort-of welcome.

But she can never escape the fact that she’s from the island’s most infamous family and the daughter of the town drunk.

As much as she may want to.

When an event that eerily mirrors the situation in 1587 occurs, Miranda is suddenly dodging more than the ordinary insults.

Now she’s inexplicably being sought-after by federal agents and long-dead alchemists as she and an old familiar face named Philips, a teen criminal that hears the voices of the dead, begin to uncover centuries-old secrets…

Blackwood has a moody air around Miranda and there …


Dreamsleeves is a middlegrade fiction novel by Coleen Murtagh Paratore.

It’s the summer before eighth grade and Aislinn “A” O’Neill is busier than ever.

Between watching over her younger siblings, B, C, D, and baby E, she’s watching her parent’s fall apart. Her Mom is more tired than ever and her Dad’s drinking is getting worse.

So, the fact that she’s rarely allowed to leave the house and is certainly forbidden from dating the cute boy that’s been smiling at her, A doesn’t get much of a chance to escape from it all. No pool parties or time with her friends for A.

But she has dreams. Many, many dreams that can fill an entire notebook. Amidst the despondent, stark reality though, A begins to wonder if she is just a silly, childlike girl to hope any of them could come true.

Or do her dreams have more power than she can even imagine?

Dreamsleeves was an unexpectedly lovely book.

There’s a deep melancholy and sadness as Aislinn worries about her Mom’s dangerous pregnancy and her Dad’s dest…

Exciting YA News!!

Happy Labor Day, fellow bibliophiles!

What better way to celebrate a national holiday than to talk about something awesome?

Some of you may remember how much I absolutely ADORE Kersten Hamilton's Goblin Wars books. If you don't you can refresh your memory by reading my review of Tyger Tygerhere and my review of In the Forests of the Nighthere. Also, Tyger Tyger made my Stand-Out Books of 2010 and In the Forests of the Night made my Stand-Out Books of 2011.

If you haven't read them yet, you definitely need to fix that!

Anyway, it has been revealed that the third book in the Goblin Wars trilogy will be called When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears - and it will be released in February! Or at least that's the plan so far, though is reporting something different, so keep your pitchforks handy! ;)

Here's the cover:

Shiver me timbers, am I excited!!! How about you?


Shift is a YA urban sci-fi/fantasy by Kim Curran.

Scott Tyler has never done anything extraordinary and doubts he ever will. His younger sister Katie calls him a loser, and he knows it’s true so he doesn’t even complain about it.

But when he goes to a get-together with his sort-of friend and makes a fool out of himself – something happens. One second he’s up in the air, climbing a Pylon like he’s some kind of monkey to show off in one of his stupider moments – and the next second he’s on the ground like he was never up there.

That’s when Scott meets Aubrey. She’s beautiful, tough and mysterious – and she tells him he’s a “Shifter”, which means he has the ability to change any decision he’s ever made.

That’s a doozy. And welcome news to someone who never thought he’d do anything cool.

Yet Scott quickly learns that by messing around with his past choices the world around him is unraveling with horrifying, unanticipated consequences…

Shift was a ton of fun!

First off, it has an excellent …