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

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DNF Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

25810644A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Diversity, Romance

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BLURB:

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life. Continue reading

Every Day – David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 28th, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance, Philosophy


BLURB:

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day. Continue reading

Review: The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: YA, Magical Realism, Contemporary, Romance,

BLURB:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari’s boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.

Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy. Continue reading

Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Giveaway
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Family, Magical Realism, Science Fiction, Lyrical

BLURB:

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds…two races…and two destinies.

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Continue reading