Review: The Amateurs (The Amateurs, #1) by Sara Shepard

24974965The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher:Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Nromal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance

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BLURB:

As soon as Seneca Frazier sees the post on the Case Not Closed website about Helena Kelly, she’s hooked. Helena’s high-profile disappearance five years earlier is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

So when Maddy Wright, her best friend from the CNC site, invites Seneca to spend spring break in Connecticut looking into the cold case, she immediately packs her bag. But the moment she steps off the train in trendy, glamorous Dexby, things begin to go wrong. Maddy is nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin Kelly, seems completely hostile and totally uninterested in helping with their murder investigation.

But when Brett, another super user from the site, joins Seneca and Maddy in Dexby, Aerin starts to come around. The police must have missed something, and someone in Dexby definitely has information they’ve been keeping quiet. Continue reading

Review: Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

28961827Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Publisher: Poppy
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Diversity, Family, Coming-of-Age

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BLURB:

For Vân Uoc, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing or pointless. Daydreaming about attending her own art opening? Nourishing. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, star of the rowing team who doesn’t even know she’s alive? Pointless.

So Vân Uoc tries to stick to her reality–keeping a low profile as a scholarship student at her prestigious Melbourne private school, managing her mother’s PTSD from a traumatic emigration from Vietnam, and admiring Billy from afar. Until she makes a wish that inexplicably–possibly magically–comes true. Billy actually notices her. In fact, he seems to genuinely like her. But as they try to fit each other into their very different lives, Vân Uoc can’t help but wonder why Billy has suddenly fallen for her. Is it the magic of first love, or is it magic from a well-timed wish that will eventually, inevitably, come to an end? Continue reading

Review: Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1) by Tara Sim

25760792Timekeeper by Tara Sim

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, LGBT, Mystery, Family, Historical Fiction

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Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever. Continue reading

Review: No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista

27414412No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Friendship, Traveling

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BLURB:

A romantic European vacation is the perfect excuse to let go in this highly anticipated sequel to No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista.

Everyone knows that Nathan is in love with his best friend, Preston…Everyone except Preston. Nathan has always accepted that Preston was too focused on his swim training to worry about love. But Preston is heading off to train for the Olympics soon, so if Nathan wants his chance at love, he has to speak up now. But saying “I love you” is surprisingly difficult, even for someone as confident as Nathan. Maybe a whirlwind vacation in Europe could help? But… what if it doesn’t work out and he loses the best friend he’s ever had?


Continue reading

Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

21787The Princess Bride by William Goldman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 1973
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Love, Adventure, Classic, Kings and Queens, Danger, Pirates

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BLURB:

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything. Continue reading

Ultra Negative Review: The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye

26156203The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Competition, Magic, Romance

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BLURB:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Continue reading

Best Young Adult Books with Mild LGBT Themes

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Dear readers, I was reading an M/M romance erotica that was really disappointing me (off with Insta-Lust’s head!) when I decided to make a list of the best Young Adult books with mild LGBT themes I’ve read in my life. (Click on the covers to buy.)

Here it goes. Continue reading

Review: Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2) by Rachel Caine

25890355Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Publisher: NAL
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, Books about Books

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BLURB:

In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control… Continue reading

Review: Evenfall: Volume 1: Director’s Cut (In the Company of Shadows, #1 part #1) by Santino Hassell & Ais

Evenfall: Volume 1: Director’s Cut by Santino Hassell

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Free
Publication Date: June 2nd 2014
Publisher: /
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres & Themes: M/M romance, Dystopia, Military, Post-War, Psychological

BLURB:

Available at: www.inthecompanyofshadows.com

In a post-apocalyptic future, the Agency works behind the scenes to take down opposition groups that threaten the current government. Their goals justify all means, even when it comes to their own agents.

Sin is the Agency’s most efficient killer. His fighting skills and talent at assassination have led to him being described as a living weapon. However, he is also known to go off on unauthorized killing sprees, and his assigned partners have all wound up dead.

Boyd is not afraid to die. When his mother, a high-ranking Agency official, volunteers him to be Sin’s newest partner, he does not refuse. In fact, his life has been such an endless cycle of apathy and despair that he’d welcome death.

In the newly revised Director’s Cut of Evenfall, the first volume follows these two cast-offs as they go from strangers to partners who can only rely on each other while avoiding death, imprisonment, and dehumanization by the Agency that employs them.

120,000 words.

Warnings: Explicit violence, physical and psychological abuse.

Note: This is the first of the two volumes comprising Evenfall, the first book in the ICoS series. Continue reading

Review: The Cage (The Cage, #1) by Megan Shepherd

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

Goodreads | Amazon.ca | Indigo

BLURB:

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage? Continue reading