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Showing posts from May, 2013

The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas is a middle grade fantasy novel and the first in The Books of Beginning trilogy by John Stephens.

For ten years Kate, Michael, and Emma have been floating from one orphanage to another – only the faintest memory of their loving parents in Kate’s mind to sustain them.

It had been a snowy Christmas Eve when their mother whispered her goodbyes and asked Kate to look after her two younger siblings. There was a vow of seeing them again. That was ten years ago.

Having taken her promise seriously, Kate has worked hard to make sure she and her siblings are not separated, and are ready to be found by their parents when that time comes. If it ever does.

But after being shipped off yet again as hopeless cases, the siblings find themselves as new residents in an entirely odd new orphanage. First of all, there seems to be no other children. Secondly, the mansion and mountains surrounding it were invisible until they got very close. Third, it doesn’t take long to realize that ther…

A Darkling Plain

A Darkling Plain is the fourth and final book in Philip Reeve’s YA dystopian adventure series Predator Cities.

As the conclusion to a quartet of novels, you obviously don’t want to pick up any spoilers here if you haven’t read the first three books yet, right?! So, instead of reading this review you can check out my thoughts on Mortal Engines, Predator’s Gold and Infernal Devices by clicking on their titles.

Now, if you HAVE read those books, here’s a brief synopsis of A Darkling Plain:

Six months after Infernal Devices left off, Wren and her father Tom Natsworthy hear of a secret they never thought possible.

London, the great Traction City of the past, has lain in ruins for many, many years. A testament to a complete loss of life.

Or is it?

But while Tom and Wren search for answers regarding London, a lonely and dangerous child is also hiding a secret – one that could destroy the entire human race.

Time is running out…

So, the three previous books in this series have encompassed a ra…

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first in the humorous historical Amelia Peabody Mystery series by Elizabeth Peters.

Independently wealthy and ready for an adventure, Amelia Peabody, Victorian spinster of thirty-two, embarks on a trip to Egypt.

Armed with all the necessities – unwavering self-confidence, sharp intelligence, and a pointy parasol – Amelia embarks and finds herself utterly enthralled with the landscape and history.

As she is ready to travel to Cairo, though, she ends up rescuing the young and lovely Evelyn Barton-Forbes, a fellow Englishwoman left disgraced and alone – abandoned by the lover that estranged her from her grandfather, ready to end it all.

Well, Amelia certainly can’t have that. Especially when the lady has been so wronged! So, instead of letting the girl go off herself she employs her as a companion and sets off to sail the Nile with her by her side.

The trip is turning decidedly enjoyable.

When they reach an archeological site ran by the Emerson brothers…

Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of Blood & Starlight is the YA fantasy sequel to the astonishing Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

You know the drill. Roll your eyes if you want to. It’s still true.

If you have not yet read Daughter of Smoke & Bone, you MUST do so before reading this review or accidentally getting any minor to major spoilers. Okay?!?!? Thank you.

You can read my review of that first book here.

Moving on… IF you have read Daughter of Smoke & Bone, that is.

Blue-haired, raised-by-a-monster, eccentric art student Karou now knows who she is.

What she is.

And that truth comes with the bitter betrayal of knowing that the enemy, whom she risked everything to love, has done the unthinkable.

He has facilitated the murder of her family. Her family of monsters.

The world she left behind is in tatters. Because of her.

Karou now faces the question of how she will avenge her people when they don’t trust her…

Will there ever be any hope?

Obviously my synopsis for Days of Blood & S…

Scarlett Dedd

Scarlett Dedd is a YA humorous ghost story by Cathy Brett.

Scarlett wanted to get out of a school trip – and she knew her parents wouldn’t buy a fake illness.

So, what’d she do? Well, she picked some mushrooms that a schoolbook said would make her mildly sick and made a dish out of them.

She missed the fact that very similar mushrooms cause death. Of course, those were the ones she actually picked.


While being violently ill in the bathroom, her Mom, Dad, and brother all decided to try the meal Scarlett made.

Double oops.

So, now Scarlett is absolutely mortified that she not only accidentally killed herself – but her entire family!!!

As a ghost, she finds that it may be sorta fun to haunt the place. She was a goth horror-movie fanatic, after all.

But it doesn’t take long to get bored and miss her relatively recent best friends and crush. So, Scarlett begins to wonder how she could make her afterlife more exciting…

Scarlett Dedd is filled with illustrations from the author herse…

The Paladin Prophecy

The Paladin Prophecy is a supernatural adventure novel, the first in a series, by Mark Frost.

Fifteen-year-old Will West is used to moving. He’s used to purposefully not making himself too noticeable.

It’s not something he’s ever really thought about. He’s just been following the direction of his loving parents whom he’s very close with. It’s served him well so far.

While out running one morning, though, he realizes he’s being followed. Black vans, unusual people. Already alarmed, once Will gets a text from his Dad telling him to run, he feels like it’s not just encouragement for his track practice – but that somehow his Dad knows something he doesn’t know.

And he runs.

Almost more alarming is how fast he goes. For the first time he isn’t proactively trying to stay under the radar – and the speed is not normal. It’s insane.

Then everything changes.

Arriving at school, Will’s told that his latest testing on a nationwide exam is off the charts. Like literally far and above anyone else…

When Love Calls

When Loves Calls is the first in The Gregory Sisters series, a historical romance novel by Lorna Seilstad.

Faced with the death of her parents in 1908 Iowa, Hannah Gregory left law school behind to return home and support her two younger sisters. Shortly thereafter a handsome young lawyer drops by and lets them know that the bank owns their farm – and they have to leave it.

Good at many things, but not at following rules, Hannah butts heads with the lawyer. She might not be pursuing her dream anymore, but she certainly won’t let her sisters starve. So, when she applies for a position as a Hello Girl, a switchboard operator, she knows she’ll be utilizing every inch of her self-control.

Why? Because they have strict rules – some of which she finds laughable – that her employment depends on. One of which is that she is to have no consorting with gentlemen during training.

The problem with that is that circumstances keep bringing Hannah and the lawyer together – and she’s starting not to …

The Fire Horse Girl

The Fire Horse Girl is a YA historical novel by Kay Honeyman.

A Fire Horse is the worst Chinese zodiac sign for girls. In 1923, no one wants a girl to be stubborn, reckless and headstrong. Yet it fits Jade Moon well.

Often she is considered a curse on her family.

Marrying her off is their hope, but who would want to marry a Fire Horse?

When a young man named Sterling Promise arrives at their home with ties to Jade Moon’s estranged uncle, he brings tales of opportunity and freedom in America – and a chance to go there.

Desperate for a possibility to live somewhere that her strong, outspoken personality might not make her so much of an outcast, Jade Moon is thrilled. But upon reaching Angel Island, California’s immigration stop, she is horrified to find that the Chinese aren’t as welcome as she thought.

And a betrayal could send her right back to China…

The Fire Horse Girl has an authentic, disquieting historical feel. I so very much wanted Jade Moon to be able to have the chance to b…

The Ghosts of Ashbury High

The Ghosts of Ashbury High is a YA contemporary novel that mashes a lot of different genres by Jaclyn Moriarty.

This is also the fourth book in the Ashbury/Brookfield series, which I wasn’t aware of. I’d recommend starting from the beginning, as always. Yet I wasn’t even aware of the other books and was not lost.

But I really, really, REALLY want to read them now!

That’s right: The Ghosts of Ashbury High is AWESOME!!!

A little synopsis first, shall we?

Each senior is handling their final year of school differently. Lydia is having non-stop parties at her house. Toby is obsessing over the life of a local that lived in their area of Australia over 100 years ago. Emily is convinced there is a ghost haunting the Art Rooms.

That’s right. A ghost.

But the most prevalent thing on everyone’s mind is Amelia and Riley.

Mysterious, enigmatic, gorgeous and uber-talented, the two first-ever scholarship students have transferred to Ashbury High and thrown the senior class into a mania.

Who are they…

The Believing Game

The Believing Game is a YA contemporary thriller by Eireann Corrigan.

Greer, after being caught stealing yet again, is sent to a rehab-type school called McCracken Hill. She’s a burden no one wants, really.

But McCracken Hill is not as bad as she was afraid of.

Plus, when Addison starts attending the school it’s a whole lot better.

Addison is one of those guys. Super good looking, well built, and charming. All the girls dream about him. Greer suspects that includes some of the female teachers.

But for some reason, he wants Greer. Their relationship begins to grow and Greer finds herself being absorbed into his group of friends and socializing more than she ever has.

Yet he is also insistent about her being compatible with his sponsor, the person that he relies on most… Joshua. The man talks like a New Age life coach, preaches positivity and being a better you – yet Greer senses something darker, something less truthful in him.

As Greer becomes more and more involved with these people…


Flutter is a YA romantic sci-fi novel by Gina Linko.

Since seventeen-year-old Emery Land can remember she’s been looping. That’s her word for when she has seizures and travels through wormholes in time. Essentially she’s time traveling. Even if it’s difficult for her father’s scientists and medical team to swallow.

But the loops are having a physical toll on her. With each one she returns from, her organs are aging. Instead of having a normal life hanging out with her best friend, going to school and looking at colleges, she is now living in the hospital being monitored constantly.

Deep down, Emery agrees that she doesn’t have much time left – the loops are killing her. But if her father’s team refuses to accept the truth about what happens when she has these seizures, how can they help her?

Using a clue from one of the loops, Emery escapes the hospital and travels to Esperanza, a small town. There she meets Ash – a young man who is enigmatically damaged and dedicated to performing s…


Sacred is a YA contemporary/paranormal novel by Elana K. Arnold.

Living on Catalina Island, off the California coast, tends to be quiet. For Scarlett it’s been even quieter since the sudden death of her brother. Shutting out her boyfriend, her grief-stricken, medicated mother, concerned father and close friends, Scarlett feels lost in her pain.

No one seems to be noticing Scarlett’s decreasing health or alarmingly fast weight loss.

Except for Will Cohen.

First having met during one of Scarlett’s solitary horseback rides, Will has a magnetic pull that Scarlett can’t deny. And it’s not just that he’s gorgeous with startling green eyes, it’s that when he looks at her, she feels like he knows.

He knows the pain she’s in, somehow. What she’s doing to herself.

Will has secrets of his own, though, that may threaten to tear the tentative healing he triggers in Scarlett…

Sacred was… different.

It started slow. Kept being slow for a bit, and then the intensity of Scarlett’s agony, her increas…

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day is a YA comedic horror novel, and a follow-up to Bad Taste in Boys, by Carrie Harris.

Reading Bad Taste in Boys first is not a prerequisite here, yet I’d still recommend it. You can check out my review here.

Future Doctor of America Kate Grable is thrilled to geek-pieces to be shadowing the county medical examiner as part of her school’s premed program.

But of course nothing can go smoothly in Kate’s life, right?

Nope. Curing a zombie virus wasn’t enough, apparently.

When the county medical examiner she’s following gets arrested for a gruesome murder where the victim was literally torn apart, well, she just has to investigate.

As more bodies start to pile up, Kate finds she’s searching for a murderer that is big, hairy and possibly has claws.

That’s right. She’s chasing a werewolf.

Her logical brain, however, refuses to believe that. Zombies are one thing, but werewolves?

Evidence continues to build though, as Kate also deals with flying encyclopedia’s, a costume-weari…


Catherine is a YA romantic suspense novel, and a modern retelling of Wuthering Heights, by April Lindner.

Chelsea has spent most of her life believing that her Mom, Catherine, had died when she was young. When she found a letter her Dad kept from her for years, though, all of that changes. Her Mom didn’t die, she left. With full intentions of returning… until she disappeared into thin air.

So, armed with this letter, Chelsea begins to follow the clues of where her Mom went, hoping that perhaps she can find her. First stop is the return address for the letter, The Underground, a famous Manhattan club featuring up-and-coming musicians. Currently being ran by the enigmatic, sullen Hence.

Twenty years before, Catherine focuses on schoolwork and the future – never giving all that much attention to boys, since most of them just want the attention of her wealthy Dad anyway, hoping for a gig at The Underground. But when Hence arrives, desperately in need of a roof over his head and a chance, …

When We Wake

When We Wake is a sci-fi, futuristic YA novel by Karen Healey.

It’s 2027 and sixteen-year-old Tegan Oglietti is waking up feeling thrilled.

The day before she and her longtime crush confessed their feelings for each other and shared kisses! So, as she, her best friend and her brand-new boyfriend walk to a protest where they plan on taking a stand on the wrongs of the world, she’s extremely happy.

She wakes up 100 years later with no memory of what happened next.

Essentially, she died after she was killed in an attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister.

Used as an experiment for possible cryonic treatment, obviously it worked. But everything she knew, everyone she loved, is gone.

Between grief and disappointment with this uninspiring future, Tegan tries to start living the second chance at life she’s been given… but the true motivations for bringing her back might be darker than she was initially told.

I knew I wanted to read When We Wake because Karen Healey really knocked my socks o…