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Showing posts from May, 2015

When You Leave

When You Leave is a YA contemporary mystery novel by Monica Ropal.

Skater girl Cass doesn’t plan on becoming friendly with anyone at her new private high school. After all, her experience with getting close to people is not a positive one.

Her recent change of lifestyle is due to her mother’s remarriage to a wealthy man, when it was her mother’s previous husband – Cass’s father – that left them high and dry in near financial poverty.

It’s an adjustment. One of her only constants is her best friend – whom she almost lost to cancer. All in all, not the best situations to build trust in relationships…

But despite concealing her skater girl personality under the preppy plaid skirts, Cass’s good-looking, popular locker neighbor, Cooper, notices her. Oddly enough, he’s interested in her – and against her better judgement, she begins to be interested in return…

Yet just as Cass begins to let him in, Cooper is murdered.

Stunned, the news only gets worse when one of Cass’s closest friends is…

Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey is a dystopian satire novel by Jasper Fforde.

In a world where color perception determines the hierarchy of a Colortocracy society, what you can see is everything.

That’s why Eddie Russet is trying to secure a marriage into the powerful Oxblood family to combine his better-than-average Red perception to their aristocratic name – yet those plans are upended when he and his father are sent to the fringe town East Carmine.

Manners, rules and accepted mores in the Chromatacia seem a bit more lax in East Carmine – dangerously so. Beyond the normal fear of lethal swans and lightening, the sneaky Yellows seem sneakier than ever, the deMauve’s are angling to marry their horrid Violet to Eddie and he’s finding himself fascinated by a Grey named Jane.

Riskiest of all is the knowledge Eddie begins to gather in East Carmine – truths behind the ordered, peaceful, rule-abiding Colortocracy that shed light on its deceptions…

And it’s that innate inquisitiveness that could lead him …

Off the Page

Off the Page is a YA contemporary fantasy companion to Between the Lines by mother-daughter writing team Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer.

Oliver is about to start his new life as an ordinary teen boy at a new high school.

But he’s not an ordinary teen boy. He’s a prince taken from the pages of a fairy tale – and his new life is due to hard-earned freedom to be with the reader he loves, Delilah.

In order to do this, he has to fake an American accent and pretend to be Edgar, son to the author of the book he is from.

Totally not complicated.

At first, Oliver and Delilah delight in their ability to be together – but then real life interferes. Things aren’t as easy as fairy tales.

And the real Edgar, who is voluntarily taking Oliver’s place in the fairy tale – which he has now changed to a sort of space adventure meets alien invasion storyline – is finding his new role isn’t as easy as he expected either.

Is Happily Ever After possible?

Off the Page has full color illustrations and d…

As Love Blooms

As Love Blooms is the third book in The Gregory Sisters Christian historical romance series by Lorna Seilstad.

Though each book focuses on a different sister, reading the books out of order potentially spoils you for the other sisters’ romances. I would recommend reading When Love Calls first and then While Love Stirs before As Love Blooms. Click on the titles to be swept away to my reviews of said novels!

In 1913 St. Paul, Minnesota, youngest Gregory sister Tessa is determined to put her horticulture education to good use by getting a position at prominent Como Park.

When she is rebuffed for being a woman best left to garden at home, Tessa’s persistent, audacious spirit is flamed all the more.

With a mixture of a little good hearted deception involving penetrating the affluent and powerful society to drum up financial support for a new conservatory for Como Park and working with a attractive male gardener at the Park to utilize her creative designs, Tessa is sure she can make her dr…

The Madness Underneath

The Madness Underneath is the second book in the urban supernatural YA series Shades of London by Maureen Johnson.

I strong recommend reading the books in order – so if you haven’t read The Name of the Star yet, check out my review of that first book here.

Final warning to look away if you haven’t read the first book yet…

Rory’s move from the American South to a London boarding school didn’t turn out the way she expected it to.

Suddenly gaining the ability to see ghosts was startling enough – to then also be nearly killed by a Jack the Ripper copycat was the icing on the horror cake.

Yet Rory doesn’t feel like she’s as psychologically damaged as she should be – and when she’s given the opportunity to return to Wexford, she does.

But there’s evidence of a new potentially ghost-like string of murders and Rory’s powers have morphed into something stronger since she was nearly murdered…

Is she as ready as she thinks she is to take on another dark force?

First off, I love Maureen Johnso…


Coraline is a middle grade contemporary fantasy by Neil Gaiman.

Perhaps you’ve already read Coraline.

Perhaps you are wondering, “How on earth could a self-proclaimed bibliophile have not yet read this modern classic?”

Perhaps I am wondering the same thing. Yet this is an issue that has been rectified!

In Coraline’s new flat there is a door that when opened reveals nothing but a wall of bricks.

Yet being the young adventurer she is, Coraline tries it again another day and instead finds it is an entrance to another house – a house just like hers but better.

Instead of always working and being very busy, these new versions of her parents want to spend time with her and want her to stay with them on this side of the door.

Coraline, though, wonders why.

There appears to be something sinister and secretive beneath the improved surface of this mirror house – and Coraline will have to use her wits and her nerve to save herself.

I can’t say my summary of the premise of Coraline really does …


Seeker is a YA futuristic fantasy novel by Arwen Elys Dayton.

After years of training, Quin Kinkaid and her two fellow trainees, Shinobu and John, they are finally ready to take the Oath that will officially make them Seekers – protectors of the weak and wronged.

Yet – once the Oath is taken, Quin finds the truth is much darker.

After centuries of nobility, the life of a Seeker now is not what it once was. Everything has changed.

Nothing is what she thought – her family, the boy she loves, the life she’s been preparing for since a little girl.

And it’s too late.

Seeker looked kind of cool and interesting, so I went ahead and put it ahead of some other books on my shelf. Sadly, that was not a correct choice.

First off, trying to get a handle on the period we are in is very difficult – I finally landed on some sort of futuristic world with a medieval Scottish highlands vibe. Sort of odd.

Seeker starts with an action sequence featuring an oily weapon that can change shape at will – differ…

The Color of Magic

The Color of Magic is the first book in the bestselling Discworld fantasy series by Terry Pratchett.

On the back of a giant turtle stands four enormous elephants and on the back of those elephants the Discworld is balanced.

As the giant turtle hurtles through space, the inhabitants of the Discworld live a life not grounded so much in logic as much as illogic.

One of those inhabitants is Rincewind – a wizard to the most minimal degree, having been thrown out of the Unseen University after absorbing one of the original spells of creation entirely by accident.

When his path crosses with Twoflower – a tourist with Luggage that walks by his side on multiple legs – he is pressed upon to act as a tour guide.

A tourist is something entirely new to Discworld – after all, why on earth would someone want to see the sights when the sights are as unwelcoming, violent and ridiculous as they are?

Two answers: adventure and lunacy.

I have long heard of Terry Pratchett – and being a lover of quirky…

The Truth About Twinkie Pie

The Truth About Twinkie Pie is a middle grade contemporary novel by Kat Yeh.

What would you do if you won a million dollars from a national cooking contest?

Intellectual twelve-year-old GiGi is not real impressed by her hairdresser big sister DiDi’s choice of living the same modest lifestyle – not even buying a new car!

However, DiDi does move them out of the trailer park of South Carolina and into a little apartment in the North Shore of Long Island, enrolling GiGi in a fancy school to better her academic gifts.

That’s all fine and good, but GiGi feels that a change should mean things actually change – so she decides that she is going to try and make friends, let herself indulge in a crush and try to do more “normal” things than studying 24/7.

Yet, GiGi’s changes seem to be putting a strain on her relationship with DiDi – something they’ve never had, like this, before – and leads GiGi to a road full of unexpected family secrets that could change everything…

The Truth About Twinkie Pie


Cinder is a YA futuristic sci-fi fantasy retelling of Cinderella, and the first book in TheLunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer.

Being a cyborg is almost as shameful as being an android – despite the fact that Cinder knows she is human, there are many in New Beijing who would argue that fact.

So, as she spends her days utilizing her gifts as a mechanic to provide income for her derisive adoptive mother and sisters, Cinder doesn’t advertise her cyborg parts. Not good for business.

Yet, she’s never felt the weight of being a cyborg as strongly as when her path crosses with Prince Kai – an admittedly attractive and charming young man. Not to mention royal.

Soon, Cinder is pulled deeper into the most concerning struggles of Earth – a ravaging, deadly plague that they’ve been trying to find a cure for without success in twenty-five years and a possibility of war hinging on nothing more than the whims of a mad queen from the country Lunar, on the moon.

There are secrets to Cinder’s past that …