Review: Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

26864835Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Alternative History, Shapeshifters, Romance, Family

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BLURB:

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love? Continue reading

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Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

24033058Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, (Bad) Romance

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BLURB:

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take. Continue reading

Review: A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

24694022A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Friendship, Disability, Albinism

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BLURB:

Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville.

For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. Continue reading

Review: Vicarious by Paula Stokes

26114131Vicarious by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 16th, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Science Fiction, Family

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BLURB:

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process. Continue reading

Still Life with Tornado – A.S. King

28588459Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Abuse, Magical Realism, Family


BLURB:

Sarah can’t draw. This is a problem, because as long as she can remember, she has “done the art.” She thinks she’s having an existential crisis. And she might be right; she does keep running into past and future versions of herself as she explores the urban ruins of Philadelphia. Or maybe she’s finally waking up to the tornado that is her family, the tornado that six years ago sent her once-beloved older brother flying across the country for a reason she can’t quite recall. After decades of staying together “for the kids” and building a family on a foundation of lies and violence, Sarah’s parents have reached the end. Now Sarah must come to grips with years spent sleepwalking in the ruins of their toxic marriage. As Sarah herself often observes, nothing about her pain is remotely original —and yet it still hurts. Continue reading

Review: The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan

25226270The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Science

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BLURB:

Future scientist Madeline Little is dreading the start of middle school. Nothing has been right since her grandfather died and her best friend changed schools. Maddie would rather help her father in his research lab or write Standard Operating Procedures in her lab notebook than hang out with a bunch of kids who aren’t even her friends. Despite Maddie’s reluctance, some new friends start coming her way—until they discover what she’s written in that secret notebook. And that’s just part of the trouble. Can this future scientific genius find the formula for straightening out her life? Continue reading

Review: Flying (Flying #1) by Carrie Jones

26114232Flying by Carrie Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: July 19th 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Aliens, (Bad) Romance, Family

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BLURB:

People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while.

But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire.

First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective.

It turns out, Mana’s frumpy, timid mom is actually an alien hunter, and now she’s missing–taking a piece of technology with her that everyone wants their hands on, both human and alien. Continue reading