Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

28110852The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Family, Animals

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BLURB:

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known. Continue reading

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Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

23341894Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: June 16th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Poetry Contemporary, Swoon Romance, Mental Illness, Friendship

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BLURB:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear. Continue reading

Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

27883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Family, Game, Magic, Action

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BLURB:

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. Continue reading

Review: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

25488299The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Animals, Friendship, Historical Fiction

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BLURB:

There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own.

Tucked into the garden’s once-gleaming sundial, Emmaline finds a letter from the Horse Lord. He is hiding the wounded white horse, named Foxfire, from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep the Black Horse from finding her new friend, she must collect colorful objects with which to blind him. But where can Emmaline find color when her world is filled with gray? Continue reading

Best Ever Fairytale Retellings on Earth

best fairytale retellings

Best Fairytale Retellings

Dear readers, my love for fairytale retellings is incomparable. I have read them ever since I learned how to read and, even today, I cannot spend two weeks without reading them. They are truly magical and wonderful – most of them, anyway. Making this list was hard for me, but here are my favourite fairytale retellings! Continue reading

Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

ForbiddenWish_BOM.inddThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Revenge, Royalty, War Setting, Magic, Fairy Tale Retelling

BLURB:

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury. Continue reading

Review: Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot

Shadowland by Meg Cabot

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: November 1st 2000
Publisher: Avon
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, High School

BLURB:

There’s a hot guy in Susannah Simon’s bedroom. Too bad he’s a ghost.

Suze is a mediator – a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind… and Suze happens to be in the way. Continue reading