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

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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

Review: Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

1627Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: October 13th 1997
Publisher: Scribner
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres &  Themes: Adult, M/M Romance, Western, Short Story, Sacrifice, Forbidden Love, Historical Romance, True Love, LGBT

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BLURB:

Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, “Brokeback Mountain” is her masterpiece.

Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they’re working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.

Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that’s what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of “Brokeback Mountain,” and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world’s violent intolerance.

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Review: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

16101128The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: May 7th 2013
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Aliens, Survival, Romance, Action, Suspense, Science Fiction, Forbidden Love, War

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BLURB:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Continue reading