Review: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

25526296Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Tor.com
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery, Death

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BLURB:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost. Continue reading

Review: The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel by Khaled Hosseini, Fabio Celoni & Mirka Andolfo

11296523The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel by Khaled Hosseini

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: January 1st 2011
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Point of View: Masculine
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres &  Themes: Adult, Historical, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Betrayal

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BLURB:

The perennial bestseller-now available as a sensational new graphic novel.

Since its publication in 2003, nearly 7 million readers have discovered “The Kite Runner.” Through Khaled Hosseini’s brilliant writing, a previously unknown part of the world was brought to vivid life for readers. Now, in this beautifully illustrated graphic novel adaptation, Hosseini brings his compelling story to a new generation of readers. Continue reading

Review: Summerlost by Ally Condie

Summerlost_BOM.inddSummerlost by Ally Condie

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres &  Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Summer

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BLURB:

It’s the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. Continue reading

Review: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

25528801Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: March 15th 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Abuse, Sports, Friendship

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BLURB:

“I love you,” Polly says suddenly when I’m almost to the door.

“I know,” I say.

Hermione Winters has been a flyer. She’s been captain of her cheerleading team. The envied girlfriend and the undisputed queen of her school. Now it’s her last year and those days and those labels are fading fast. In a few months she’ll be a different person. She thinks she’s ready for whatever comes next.

But then someone puts something in her drink at a party, and in an instant she finds herself wearing new labels, ones she never imagined:

Victim. Survivor. That raped girl.

Even though this was never the future she imagined, one essential thing remains unchanged: Hermione can still call herself Polly Olivier’s best friend, and that may be the truest label of all.

Heartbreaking and empowering, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the story of transcendent friendship in the face of trauma.

“I love you,” I say, because I really, really do.

“I know,” says Polly. Continue reading

Review: Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green

20814989Half Wild by Sally Green

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: March 24th 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, War-Setting, LGBT, Romance, Action

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BLURB:

“You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad.”

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father. Continue reading

DNF Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

25810644A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Diversity, Romance

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BLURB:

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life. Continue reading

Review: Paper Princess (The Royals, #1) by Erin Watt & Jen Frederick

28678119Paper Princess by Erin Watt

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: April 4th 2016
Publisher: Indie
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres &  Themes: New Adult, Romance, High School, Family

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BLURB:

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from. Continue reading

Review: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

1627Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: October 13th 1997
Publisher: Scribner
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres &  Themes: Adult, M/M Romance, Western, Short Story, Sacrifice, Forbidden Love, Historical Romance, True Love, LGBT

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BLURB:

Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, “Brokeback Mountain” is her masterpiece.

Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they’re working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.

Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that’s what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of “Brokeback Mountain,” and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world’s violent intolerance.

Continue reading

Old Bookshelves vs New Bookshelves

Dear Readers,

This is what my bookshelves looked liked four years ago, a time when I was still in high school and writing zero book reviews, let alone blogging.

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And this is what my bookshelves look like today. Continue reading

Review: The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski

20443235The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, War Setting, Romance, Fantasy
Book One Review: The Winner’s Curse
Book Two Review: The Winner’s Crime

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BLURB:

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win? Continue reading