Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters – Emily Roberson

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Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: October 20th, 2019
Publisher: FSG
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Forbidden Love, Competition, Reality TV


REVIEW:

This book was such a pleasurable experience. I feel like sincerely thanking the author for writing it because we all need positive distractions in our lives. I’m a university student who takes school seriously but I also need time to chill with a fun and surprising book. This story combines so many of the things I enjoy immersing myself in: mythology, retellings, forbidden love, competition and reality TV. I especially liked the ways in which Emily Roberson negotiated antiquity and modernity. On the one hand, Ariadne and everyone else in her world believe in the gods—Poseidon, Athena and such—and will do anything to please them. On the other hand, technology is very much present in everyday life and myths are understood as truths to be remembered but also, to some, truths to be questioned. Continue reading

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, LGBTQIA+, Politics, Royalty, Forbidden Love, Family Dynamics, Humor


REVIEW:

It feels as though the whole book world is talking about this book right now, so naturally I needed to find out what was so special about it. The idea of a first son and a prince falling in love is something new for me but a story that feels like it should have existed already, especially considering how many of us are enticed by forbidden love stories and the high amount of straight royal romances that surround us. Continue reading

Seafire – Natalie C. Parker

37822534Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Pirates, Action, Adventure, Revenge, Loyalty, Family, Sisterhood, Feminism, Romance


BLURB:

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for? Continue reading

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, War Setting, Ghosts


BLURB:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real? Continue reading

The Bird and the Blade – Megan Bannen

32702487The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: June 5th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Forbidden Love, Adventure, Dynasties, Retelling


BLURB:

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love. Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die. Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart. Continue reading

To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

34499221To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dark, Fairytale Retelling, The Little Mermaid, Forbidden Love, Mother Issues


BLURB:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? Continue reading

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

26114135All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 15+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Forbidden Love, Family Drama

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BLURB:

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer. Continue reading