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Showing posts from June, 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter

The Sin Eater’s Daughter is a YA fantasy novel by Melinda Salisbury.

Seventeen year-old Twylla is the Goddess embodied. This means she is impervious to poison but by simply touching another, she kills them.

When she was brought to the castle as a young girl, at the time an apprentice to her mother, the Sin Eater, she did not realize that being the Goddess embodied meant being the royal executioner.

She knows now.

Under constant guard to protect others from her divine, lethal touch, Twylla is avoided as much as she is tentatively revered. Even the royal family, including the prince she is betrothed to, shuns her company despite being the only ones immune to her poison.

Her loneliness is permeated only by her guard who has been with her since the beginning. It’s a professional relationship, but she feels that he actually cares for her.

But when he falls ill, Twylla is given a new, young guard. He throws her off balance with easy smiles, a lack of understanding of the boundaries meant …

The Cake House

The Cake House is a contemporary novel by Latifah Salom.

When Rosaura Douglas’s father shoots himself, her entire life changes.

Suddenly she is living in “The Cake House”, a monstrously pink manor that is nothing like the small apartment she was recently calling home.

She has a step-father that wants to shower money on her with no clear explanation as to where the wealth comes from, and a new step-brother that keeps just as mum.

Soon Rosaura begins to see her father’s ghost – and he always seems to be warning her that her step-father is not to be trusted… That, perhaps, his death was not a suicide…

The Cake House
was odd.

Rosaura was very difficult to try and relate to. First, trying to pin down her age was very difficult – the way she reacts to her father’s death made me initially think she was very young. Once it was revealed that she was thirteen/fourteen I found it a little bizarre. I know people deal with grief differently – but her reaction gave me an impression of definite i…

The Moon and More

The Moon and More is a YA contemporary novel by the beloved bestselling author Sarah Dessen.

Emaline is at a precipice – she is going to college once this summer in her beachside small hometown of Colby is over.

This is the time to savor every moment with her parents, sisters, best friends and longtime high school boyfriend, Luke. He’s handsome, nice and there’s a comfortable understanding of each other that comes with being together so many years.

Yet comfortable is losing its appeal.

When one of her family’s rental properties is inhabited by a two-person documentary crew, Emaline meets Theo – a driven, wide-eyed New Yorker that is so very different than anyone she’s ever known in Colby. Theo makes it clear that he thinks Emaline is meant for bigger things than tiny Colby.

Then Emaline’s biological father is also in town with her little brother – and an event that occurred earlier in the year between them is straining their already less than close relationship. But, like Theo, has …

Mark of the Thief

Mark of the Thief is a YA historical fantasy adventure novel by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

A slave in the mines of ancient Rome, Nic dreams of freedom for himself and his sister.

Yet, instead, he faces certain death as he is forced to enter the recently located cavern allegedly containing the hidden treasures of Julius Caesar.

Amidst the jewels and gold is an artifact, a bulla, which has extraordinary magical power – something that some Romans would kill for.

Managing to survive the dangerous cavern, Nic is now armed with this bulla and his determination is freedom – however, his possession of this powerful object places him in a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor.

To save Rome, Nic must learn how to use his new powers and figure out who he can trust…

The beginning of Mark of the Thief reminded me of a Roman version of Aladdin. Felt a little familiar, though adding in a griffin to protect the treasure was a bit more fantastical.

I loved Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy, but for whatever sad …

The Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd

*This post is shared from Grammarly - Grammarly.com/grammar-check

Lying Out Loud

Lying Out Loud is a YA contemporary novel and a companion to The Duff by Kody Keplinger.

I have not read The Duff and was able to enjoy Lying Out Loud as it focuses on different characters. It does, however, glimpse into where the characters of The Duff are now – so reading The Duff first would probably be most rewarding. No spoilers in this review, though!

Sonny Ardmore has become an excellent liar.

From why she’s late to work and school to where her father is – to why she needs to stay at her best friend Amy’s house every night.

Sometimes it almost seems like lying is second nature to her at this point.

Amy may be the only person who sees through her lies and knows the truth – yet even that is beginning to get foggy. There are some things Sonny does not want to share even with her…

Then enters new guy at school: Ryder. Constantly whining about how his pretentious school in D.C. is better than their small-town education and being essentially impossible to befriend – his ridiculous cr…

Across a Star-Swept Sea

Across a Star-Swept Sea is a YA sci-fi, dystopian retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel by Diana Peterfreund.

Though this story stands on its own, it brings back characters from Peterfreund’s wonderful For Darkness Shows the Stars – so I personally would recommend reading that first. You can read my review of For Darkness Shows the Starshere – but there will be no spoilers for it in this review, no worries!

New Pacifica’s two separate islands are all remaining of the world after centuries of war and destruction. Even the prior horror of the Reduction – a brain disorder that caused many of the wars and left much of the population without fully-functioning minds – is a thing of the past.

After all, there is now a cure.

Yet on the island of Galatea, there has been a revolution – a revolution against the aristocracy that has morphed into the ultimate revenge. A drug has been created to cause Reduction – and the revolutionaries are forcing anyone who disagrees with them to take it.

However,…

All Fall Down

All Fall Down is the first book in Ally Carter’s YA Embassy Row series.

Returning to embassy row in the small, but powerful, European country her mother grew up in does not change the three truths Grace knows to her core:

1. She’s not crazy
2. Her mother was murdered
3. Someday she WILL find the murderer

But no one believes her – not her ambassador grandfather, nor his formidable secretary – just like no one at home believed her. So why should her new friends?

There’s Alexei, the Russian boy next door who wants to watch over her per her brother’s instructions, her appointed best friend, Israeli Noah, and a couple others who Grace finds herself surprisingly drawn to being friends with – an oddity for her.

Yet knowing that there’s no way they would understand her determination to find her mother’s murderer over the last three years – after witnessing it at thirteen years old – keeps her at a lonely distance. So she puts on her smile that says she’s normal and tries to control her impul…

The Witch Hunter

The Witch Hunter is a YA fantasy novel by debut author Virginia Boecker.

Elizabeth Grey has worked hard, training her slender frame into one of the king’s best witch hunters – meant to locate those practicing witchcraft and bring them to justice.

So, when Elizabeth is accused of being a witch herself – she knows the future that lies ahead of her. Fire and death.

Clinging to the fact that she is innocent, she grows increasingly ill as she waits in her cell – sure that one of her fellow witch hunters will free her.

Instead the very last person she ever expected to show up arrives: Nicholas Perevil, one of the most wanted, most powerful wizards in the kingdom. He offers her freedom in exchange for her help to break a curse that has been placed upon him – a curse that is killing him.

Suddenly thrust into the other side of the world she has been living in, Elizabeth finds herself among witches, ghosts, pirates and an uncomfortably attractive healer. Everything she is meant to hunt, to d…

Those Girls

Those Girls is a YA contemporary novel by debut author Lauren Saft.

Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls – the ones that are attached at the hip and the ultimate party girls.

But in their junior year in their Philadelphia suburb – things are about to change.

Everyone knows of them, but does anyone actually know them?

Alex is crushing on her next door neighbor and has decided to join a band - without clueing her friends in first.

Mollie is dealing with her first exclusive relationship with a popular jock boyfriend – who isn’t the nicest person.

Veronica fulfills her bad reputation superbly – but does she want to explore something more? Is she even able to?

This is a year that could change their bond forever…

Every once in a while I run across a book that totally and completely does not work for me – and I am sorry to say that Those Girls is one of those books.

I’ll preface by saying there are readers out there, of course, that will enjoy Those Girls – and I applaud the writer f…