Review: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2) by Ally Carter

568645Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: October 2nd 2007
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Espionage, Boarding School, Mystery Contemporary, Romance, Family, Secrets,

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Cammie Morgan is back, and it’s clear that her life hasn’t calmed down since the events of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. At first, giddy anticipation is in the air. Gallagher Academy, Cammie’s elite spy school, is hosting a visit from a covert training center for boys. Soon after the boys’ arrival, though, everything goes dangerously awry when a series of security breaches are discovered at the academy. Worse yet, teenage agent-in-training Cammie is being blamed for the penetration. With the school’s top-secret status at risk, the Gallagher Girls have to work quickly to save their beloved school. Continue reading

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Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

6624871Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publicatio Date: January 5th, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, High School, Abuse, Bullying, Friendship

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Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her—and her best friend’s boyfriend—start going around.  Now Regina’s been frozen out, and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina were guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth, and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past whom she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend…if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens, as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be. Continue reading

Best Young Adult Books with Mild LGBT Themes

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Dear readers, I was reading an M/M romance erotica that was really disappointing me (off with Insta-Lust’s head!) when I decided to make a list of the best Young Adult books with mild LGBT themes I’ve read in my life. (Click on the covers to buy.)

Here it goes. Continue reading

Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

3521484Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publicatio Date: December 23rd 2008
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, High School

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When “Perfect” Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter’s High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher’s pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn’t want to talk about it. She’d just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there’s a nice guy falling in love with her and he’s making her feel things again when she’d really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she’d turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. Continue reading

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

22297294Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publicatio Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Sports, Family

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Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck. Continue reading

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

15821260Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publicatio Date: March 26th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Sports, Friendship

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Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. After all, real life will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. But when an unexpected event proves they’re missing out on the full high-school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. The trio makes a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge and totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed; it could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that might mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . . Continue reading

Review: Red Queen (The Chronicles of Alice, #2) by Christina Henry

27246122Red Queen by Christina Henry

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publicatio Date: July 12th 2016
Publisher: Ace
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Dark, Magic, Romance

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The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll…
 
The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen… Continue reading