Review: One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Cultural, Family, Friendship, Love

BLURB:

A heartfelt, laugh-out-loud-funny story of romance, family, and self-discovery.

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.

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Review: The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 1993 first published
Publisher: Ember
Point of View: 3rd Person & Male
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Life, Family, Friendship

BLURB:

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

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Review: Princess Academy (Princess Academy, #1) by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: April 17th 2007
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Point of View: 3rd Person & Female
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Prince & Princess, Education, Fantasy, Magic, Love, Family, Friendship

BLURB:

Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.

Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

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Review: Brute by Kim Fielding

Brute by Kim Fielding

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: December 3rd 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Genres & Themes: YA – NA, M/M romance, Fantasy, Magic, Witches, Friendship.

BLURB:

Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.

Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.

As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own. Continue reading

Review: Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: July 15th 2014
Publisher: Del Rey
Point of View: 3rd Person & Male
Genres & Themes: YA, Epic Fantasy, Adventure, Kingship, Betrayal, Friendship.

BLURB:

“I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy… Continue reading

Review: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

My rating: 3.5 of 5 unicorns
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: September 13th 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Female
Genres & Themes: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires, Family

BLURB:

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do? Continue reading

Review: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy, #2) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)
Genres & Themes: YA, High Fantasy, Romance, War-setting, Conspiracy, Secrets, Betrayal, Family.

BLURB:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. Continue reading

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: August 31st 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry
Genres & Themes: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Vampires, Demons, Witches, Conspiracy, Steampunk, Dark, Friendship, Romance

BLURB:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…. Continue reading

Review: Jackdaw by K.J. Charles

Jackdaw by K.J. Charles

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: February 17th 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genres & Themes: NA, Fantasy, M/M romance, Magic, Warlocks, Betrayal.

BLURB:

If you stop running, you fall.

Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief…and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser’s life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge.

Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can’t seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah’s chaotic existence all over again, and they’re running together—from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them.

Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them?

This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies series.

Warning: Contains a policeman who should know better, a thief who may never learn, Victorian morals, heated encounters, and a very annoyed Stephen Day.

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Review: Crane (The Legends Saga #1) by Stacey Rourke

Crane by Stacey Rourke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: May 26th 2014
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Genres & Themes: NA, Paranormal, Legends, Romance, Suspense, Mystery.

BLURB:

The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides? Continue reading