My 2015 ”Did Not Finish” Titles #1

Fortunately, I have not DNF’d that many books so far but DNFing for me is inevitable because of the amount of books I pick up and the variety of genres I read. Not every book can be a winner, sadly.

Here it goes:

1. Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol. I actually wrote a review for this one. You can read it HERE. I just couldn’t stand the heroine, among many other things.

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Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Little Peach by Peggy Kern

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Abuse

BLURB:

What do you do if you’re in trouble?

When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.

Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.

But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.

This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive. Continue reading

Review: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1) by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Kingship

BLURB:

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world. Continue reading

Review: Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Family, Love, Psychological

BLURB:

A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!

Darren hasn’t had an easy year.

There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.

Then one Thursday morning Darren’s dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.

Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy’s debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:

1. painful
2. unavoidable
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all. Continue reading

Review: Oddly Normal Vol. 1 by Otis Frampton

Oddly Normal Vol. 1 by Otis Frampton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Point of View: Feminine
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, School

BLURB:

Meet Oddly Normal, a ten-year-old girl with pointed ears and green hair — a half-witch who will be the first to tell you that having a mother from a magical land called Fignation and a father from Earth doesn’t make it easy to make friends at school! On her tenth birthday, she blows out her cake’s candles and makes a disastrous wish. Now, Oddly must travel to Fignation to uncover the mystery of her parents’ disappearance. Join Oddly as she navigates a strange new school, monstrous bullies, and Evil itself on an unforgettable fantasy adventure through the vibrant world of Fignation in ODDLY NORMAL.
Collects ODDLY NORMAL #1-5
Continue reading

Review: The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe

The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Psychological, Love, Life

Goodreads | Amazon.ca | Indigo

BLURB:

This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.

Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul.

With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It’s the age he’s at.  The tragic age.

Stephen Metcalfe’s brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel, The Tragic Age, will teach you to learn to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world. Continue reading

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance, Loyalty, Freedom

BLURB:

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. Continue reading

Hinges: Clockwork City – Meredith McClaren

Hinges: Book 1 Clockwork City by Meredith McClaren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Point of View: Feminine
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Steam Punk


BLURB:

HINGES is a fantasy webcomic, turned graphic novel, about a doll named Orio and her troubling companion Bauble. New to the city of Cobble, Orio must depend on help where ever she can find it, but her assigned familiar Bauble has other interests. And as the two explore the walls of their city, they find that they are not the only new arrivals. In a place that runs like clockwork, it only takes a little disruption to upend a city. Continue reading

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Swapped
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, FairyTales, Dark, Romance

BLURB:

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.) Continue reading