Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

24934065Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Western, Magic, Romance, War


BLURB:

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is. Continue reading

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

26109391Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 10th, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mental Illness, LGBT, Friendship

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BLURB:

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same. Continue reading

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

25614492Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher:Philomel Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, World War II

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BLURB:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope. Continue reading

Gem & Dixie Review

18484793Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Dysfunctional Family

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BLURB:

Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table; and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other.

When their dad returns for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie, on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she’s tried so hard to keep. Continue reading

The Hate U Give Review

32075671The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publication Date: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Social Issues, Race

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BLURB:

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star. Continue reading

Review: Ash by Malinda Lo

8792631Ash by Malinda Lo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: September 1st, 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling (Cinderella), LGBT

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BLURB:

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief. Continue reading

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

22752127The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Tundra Books
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing:Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Friendship, Coming of Age, Family

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BLURB:

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending one that will rock his life to the core. Continue reading