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Showing posts from September, 2014

The Moon Sisters

The Moon Sisters is a contemporary novel by Theresa Walsh.

Sisters Olivia and Jazz Moon are handling their mother’s sudden death differently.

Jazz – having had a complicated and strained relationship with her mother – faces the loss with practicality and realism. She gets herself a job and readies herself for the future.

Olivia – unique from birth with the ability see sounds, taste words and smell sights – desperately clings to the belief that her mother’s death was not intentional. She decides she must fulfill her mother’s long held dream to travel to see the ghost lights at the setting of her mother’s unfinished novel.

Resentful that she’s spent her life being Olivia’s keeper, Jazz resists the encouragement to watch over this new foolish journey of Olivia’s. Yet she does follow – grudgingly.

When the sisters meet trouble along the way, Jazz wants to turn back but Olivia’s fanciful, hopeful heart believes it’ll all work out – and stubbornly refuses to go home.

Slowly making their way…

The Here and Now

The Here and Now is a YA contemporary novel with a time travel twist from Ann Brashares.

This is the first novel I’ve read from Brashares that is not Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants related.

Seventeen-year-old Prenna knows the rules. Since she and the others in her community immigrated to New York from the future – a time of disease and death – the rules have been repeated endlessly.

Don’t tell anyone where you’re from. Don’t interfere with history. Don’t become intimate with anyone outside of the community.

However, Prenna has always felt that nice, good-looking classmate Ethan Jarves knew something. As much as she tried to follow the rules and be very careful to not reveal anything, his eyes held perceptiveness – almost a shared secrecy.

When Prenna is faced with the truth about her community and what they are – or are not – doing to prevent the future plague, she’s forced to decide where her loyalties lie.

And if she needs to break the rules…

Initially, I didn’t feel as connected…

The Diamond Secret

The Diamond Secret is a YA retold fairytale, one of the Once Upon a Time books, by Suzanne Weyn.

When Nadya is told by two handsome mean in the Russian tavern she is working in as a waitress that they believe they know who she is and that they’d like to take her to her grandmother, she cannot help but hope it is all true.

Plagued with memory loss and the fear that she is or was insane – due to being found after a time in an asylum before the Bolsheviks turned them out – her life is not ideal. It’s better than when she was living on the street, but just barely.

Agreeing to accompany the young men, if only because she has little to lose either way, Nadya soon embarks on a journey to Paris – and out of the Revolution torn Russia in 1919.

Yet there is more to the young men’s plans than they initially tell her – and they aren’t bringing her to just any grandmother – but exiled Dowager Empress Marie.

And she is to be Anastasia…

The Diamond Secret
felt very familiar – I’ll be honest. There’…

The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a private detective crime novel by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J. K. Rowling.

That’s right – J. K. ROWLING!!!

You know, author of my favorite series EVER?

Anywho…

The story was in the media for quite some time: Lula Landry, gorgeous young supermodel, plummeted to her death from her balcony. Yet once the fervor calmed down and the police deemed it a suicide, it quietly became less and less of a scoop.

For Cormoran Strike – missing a leg from his time in Afghanistan, freshly and painfully separated from his longtime girlfriend, and barely getting by as a private investigator – the buzz around Lula never registered much. He had enough of his own problems.

But when Lula’s brother steps into Cormoran’s office – desperate to find someone willing to investigate further – it becomes front and center. Lula’s brother is convinced Lula did not commit suicide – and he’s willing to pay Cormoran handsomely to look into it.

Diving into the scintillating world of fashion, fame a…

Love's Fortune

Love’s Fortune is the third novel in the historical romance generational trilogy The Ballantyne Legacy by Laura Frantz.

I would strongly recommend reading all the books in order! Feel free to read my review of Love’s Reckoninghere and Love’s Awakeninghere.

In 1850s Pennsylvania there is a hint of war on the horizon – the issue of slavery has continued to boil over through the years – and the Ballantynes are in the middle of it.

Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne has lived apart from her family’s great wealth and opulence in New Hope – having grown up far more humbly with her father Ansel and her now deceased mother in Kentucky.

When Wren’s father receives a letter from her grandfather Silas, they are suddenly immersed in society, as Wren’s father takes them to his hometown – a place that Wren is terribly unfamiliar with – and not at all suited for.

One of the few people she feels comfortable with is James Sackett – an apprentice of her father’s once and now steamship pilot of the Ballantyne s…

Martin King and the Space Angels

Martin King and the Space Angels is a YA contemporary sci-fi novel, and the first book in the Martin King trilogy, by James McGovern.

Martin is an ordinary teen in the United Kingdom.

His best friend since forever is Darcy – and he struggles with desperately wanting to tell her that he loves more than a friend.

He has problems at home.

Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Until he gets a superpower.

Of course, that’s after being visited by an alien that says Martin and his friends are the only ones who can save the world.

Yep…

Not so ordinary anymore!

Martin King and the Space Angels is fast-paced but a bit hard to pin down. The characters are likable enough but they never ended up feeling real to me.

To be honest, I felt a little thrown into Martin King and the Space Angels, which is presented as a sort of “epic” story. Since we get very little time getting to know the characters and few details to absorb on the plot itself, I felt little to no investment in the characters or plot.

Sadl…

Miss Mabel's School for Girls

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is a YA fantasy novel, and the first in The Network Series, by Katie Cross.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has been planning for this day her entire life.

First, she has to be allowed into Miss Mabel’s School for Girls – one of the schools within the Network that teaches young witches how to use their magic. Then she has to safely pass through the foggy forest of Letum Wood. Finally, she has to break all tradition and volunteer for a competition that first year’s never touch.

Why?

Because Bianca must be able to confront Miss Mabel – a witch who cast a devastating curse on her family.

And the only way to meet Miss Mabel is to win the competition.

No one believes that a first year would have a single, solitary chance of beating trained third years.

Yet they don’t realize…

Bianca’s been training all sixteen years of her life…

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls was a revelation for me!!!

At the beginning I was a little thrown, because I couldn’t place a setting or…

The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer is the first book in Jasper Fforde’s YA fantasy series The Chronicles of Kazam.

And it’s awesome.

Soon-to-be-sixteen Jennifer Strange is acting manager of Kazam Mystical Arts Management – an employment agency for magicians – since the true owner disappeared, literally.

Keeping a handle on a bunch of childish, bickering wizards may not sound like many folks cup of tea, but Jennifer enjoys it. It’s far better than living at the foundling orphanage – and she’s good at it.

But magic is fading and the modern technologies of life have led people to prefer drain cleaner to spells. Plus, the regulations placed on magic carpets have made using them as taxis impossible.

When a mass-vision predicts the death of the last dragon in the world at the hands of the last dragonslayer, politics, business and greed become the order of the day as people begin streaming toward the boundary of the Dragonlands – eager to stake some new land as soon as the dragon is dead.

The idea of it …

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave is a YA sci-fi novel by Rick Yancey.

OMG.

The 5th Wave left me feeling pretty drained and exhausted.

For the best reasons.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s have a little synopsis, shall we?

Within a span of less than a year, the world has turned upside down. Sixteen-year-old Cassie saw how people reacted when alien ship first arrived. Some were excited, some panicked – but no one expected the truth.

Just how much smarter they truly were than humans.

First there was the 1st Wave, then a 2nd, then a 3rd and a horrifying 4th.

Each Wave cost humanity more and more until there’s very few left – and of those Cassie knows one thing above all else: trust no one.

A single purpose keeps Cassie moving – all alone, hungry, tired – a promise she made to her baby brother Sam.

That she would find him again. That they’d be together again.

Maybe it’s impossible – but that promise is keeping Cassie alive right now.

But on the horizon… the 5th Wave is coming.

Pretty vague, I know. But…

Being Sloane Jacobs

Being Sloane Jacobs is a YA contemporary novel by Lauren Morrill.

Sloane Emily Jacobs is about ready to launch her big ice skating comeback after a devastating moment in the junior nationals.

Or she’s supposed to anyway.

Training has been made harder by her political family’s issues, and knowledge of something that is eating her up inside.

So, when she leaves home for a hardcore ice skating camp, she’s miserable.

Sloane Devon Jacobs has been an ice hockey player for years. She’s tough and practically made for the lifestyle. It’s her one chance for a scholarship and a shot at college.

Lately, though, her aggressive streak has worsened and she finds herself forced to go to hockey camp to prove she’s worthy of being scouted come senior year.

Yet, she’s been playing worse than ever – as her mind hasn’t been in the game lately. This is not the time for hockey camp…

When the two Sloane’s serendipitously meet during travel to their camp’s, an idea is formed. Neither one of them wants to go …