DNF Short Review: Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard

21414439Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: January 5th 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Point of View: 3rd Person, Feminine & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Magic

BLURB:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. Continue reading

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Review: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews

19090384Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: January 1st 2012
Publisher: Indie
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Magic, Vampires, Werewolves

BLURB:

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything. Continue reading

Review: Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1) by Bill Konigsberg

16100972Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: May 28th 2013
Publisher: Arthur L. Levine Books
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Boarding School, LGBT, Romance

BLURB:

The award-winning novel about being out, being proud, and being ready for something else . . . now in paperback.

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself. Continue reading

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16068905Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: St Matin’s Press
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Love, College, Family, LGBT

BLURB:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? Continue reading

Review: The Notebook (The Notebook, #1) by Nicholas Sparks

15931The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: 1996
Publisher: Bantam
Point of View: 1st and 3rd Person
Recommended Age: everyone!
Genres & Themes: Love, Social Class

BLURB:

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever. Continue reading

Review: Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda, Yuu

18170149Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 25th 2014
Publisher: Yen Press
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Manga, Slice of Life, Werewolves, Family, Lost

BLURB:

When Hana falls in love with a young interloper she encounters in her college class, the last thing she expects to learn is that he is part wolf. Instead of rejecting her lover upon learning his secret, she accepts him with open arms. Soon, the couple is expecting their first child, and a cozy picture of family life unfolds. But after what seems like a mere moment of bliss to Hana, the father of her children is tragically taken from her. Life as a single mother is hard in any situation, but when your children walk a fine line between man and beast, the rules of parenting all but go out the window. With no one to turn to, how will Hana survive? Continue reading