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

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: October 9th, 2018
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast/Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Humor, Family


BLURB:

Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when her parents are killed by pirates. This does not bother her particularly: her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons. Now, however, her parents have left detailed instructions for Bronte in their will. (Instructions that, annoyingly, have been reinforced with faery cross-stitch, which means that if she doesn’t complete them, terrible things could happen!) She travels the kingdoms, perfectly alone, delivering gifts to ten other aunts: a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard, a veterinarian aunt who specializes in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship, and a former rock star aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom. But as she travels from aunt to aunt, Bronte suspects there might be more to this journey than the simple delivery of treasure. Continue reading

Giants Beware! (Chronicles of Claudette #1)

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Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: 2012
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Super Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Friendship, Adventure


BLURB:

Claudette’s fondest wish is to slay a giant. But her village is so safe and quiet! What’s a future giant slayer to do? With her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess), and her brother Gaston (a pastry-chef-to-be), Claudette embarks on a super-secret quest to find a giant—without parental permission. Can they find and defeat the giant before their parents find them and drag them back home? Continue reading

Circus Mirandus – Cassie Beasley

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Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Magic, Fantasy, Family


BLURB:

Do you believe in magic? Micah Tuttle does. Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.
Continue reading

Akata Witch – Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch by Nnedi OkoraforAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: July 11th, 2017
Publisher: Speak
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Culture, Friendship, Secret Society


BLURB: 

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs? Continue reading

Spellslinger – Sebastien de Castell

25181955Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: Orbit
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, War Setting


BLURB: 

Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage’s duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi – a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She’s difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen’s only hope… Continue reading

Bras & Broomsticks (Magic in Manhattan, #1)

26210Bras & Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: 2005
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Magic, High School, Family


BLURB:

What if all your wishes could come true? Blink your eyes, drink a fizzing pink potion, and poof! Life is perfect. That’s Rachel’s situation. Except she’s not the one who suddenly has magical powers. Her younger sister is. And as Rachel would tell you, spellbooks are wasted on the young. Yes, yes, of course world peace and cures for horrible diseases are important. But so is dancing without looking like she’s being electrocuted, winning back her best friend, stopping her dad’s wedding, and finding a date for Spring Fling. Rachel’s not bewitched. Yet. . . . Continue reading