Grave Mercy

Book 1 of the His Fair AssassinSeries

By Robin LaFevers

7.5/10 Stars

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Ismae was chosen to serve the god of death, Mortain, at the convent. She is trained in poisons, weaponry, and womanly arts - though she skips the class more than learning the art. When she is sent out on one of her first assignments, she is eager to prove herself & faith to Mortain. However, she quickly learns all is not as it seems, and sometimes one must make a choice between what’s right and what she has been taught all her life. Torn between loyalties & betrayals, Ismae must decide the true nature of the god she serves, at everyone’s peril.

This book starts out slow, and brutal. I was tempted to set it down and look for another, but my curiosity drove me to keep reading. I’m glad I did. Ismae is a relatable, though sometimes not likable character who grew on me throughout the book. I was impressed by the depth of research the author did for the book, and how she applied it in the layered story line. Once Ismae left for her assignment, the book became much better & very interesting. The romance was done well, though a bit predictable, the characters had great depth & confusion that spiced up the romance. This book also had hidden lessons in the story line, written extremely well. I recommend this book to lovers of YA fantasy. 

9.08.14. Fantasy Books,Romance Books,Action/ Adventure Books,Adventure/ Action Books,Young Adult,

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The Here and Now

By Ann Brashares

9/10 Stars

Prenna comes from the future. She and the other travelers are back before the world went wrong to try to stop the bleak future ahead of them. The rules from the leaders are for her protection, and for the world’s. Don’t accept medical attention from anyone except the travelers medics. Don’t stand out and don’t tell any of the time natives about who you really are. And most importantly, don’t fall in love.

Prenna is an amazing protagonist. She is relatable, developed, and interesting, along with being a character you admire. The time travel and future ideas were the best I’ve ever read. They are very realistic & understandable. This book warns us what will happen if we don’t change our ways. A must read for everyone.

8.31.14. Fantasy Books,Science Fiction Books,Romance Books,Popular Books,

5

Angel Burn

Book 1 of the Angel trilogy

By L.A. Weatherly

8/10 Stars

Published by the title of Angel in the UK

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When Willow is asked to give a psychic reading to one of the most popular girls in school, it starts a chain of events that changes her life. She finds out that angels inhabit the earth, feeding on humans and quickly sending the world into disrepair. Alex has been an Angel Killer for his whole life, and his next assignment seems typical, until he meets Willow. Unexpected, clueless, and strangely angelic, he doesn’t know what to think anymore. And the angels know something that the two can barely guess at, but must learn if they want to save themselves & the world.

This book blew me away. It was such an interesting concept - of angels being the bad guys - and the writing was good. I enjoyed the character development and unexpected twists in the tale. I highly recommend it.

8.31.14. Fantasy Books,Romance Books,

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The Staff of Serapis

Book 2 of the Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover

By Rick Riordan

9/10 Stars

While chasing a mysterious monster, Annabeth Chase runs into a strange girl with even stranger powers. The two band together to battle an ancient force that is commanded by one Sadie Kane has heard of before..one she hoped she’d never hear of again. Will the combined might of the smartest demigod in Camp Half Blood & the magician & Isis bonded girl be able to save the gods..of both worlds?

This book was even better than the Carter-Percy crossover. I loved the bond of Annabeth & Sadie, and the unique events. I highly recommend this to fans of the Kanes or of the demigods.

8.25.14. Fantasy Books,

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Everblue

Book 1 of the Mer Tales

By Brenda Pandos

4/10 Stars

Ashlyn’s life was going well. She was spending time with her best friend, Tatiana, fantasizing over her twin, Fin, and practicing for upcoming swim meets. Suddenly, Tatiana & Fin disappear and Ashlyn is stuck wondering why. Fin & Tatiana are stuck in the secret world of mermaids and mermen, trapped by the tyrant king and his incessantly frustrating son. How will Ashlyn, Fin, and Tatiana cope with their separate struggles?

I had high hopes for this novel. It started strong, but unfortunately declined in quality. Ashlyn turns into a pining girl who does stupid things and can’t do anything without a guy. Fin & Tatiana are very flat characters, which is disappointing, since they both had great potential. This book sends the wrong, sexist message to young girls, and I don’t recommend reading it.

8.25.14. Fantasy Books,

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Son of Sobek

A short story involving the characters from Heroes of Olympus & the Kane Chronicles

By Rick Riordan

7/10 Stars

Carter is just trying to kill a pesky monster when another guy shows up with a glowing sword and an arrogant attitude. Percy doesn’t understand what type of demigod this guy is and why he is jabbering about Egyptian myths. The Egyptian & Greek world collide as two talented heroes face off to fight a great monster, and get into a whole lot of trouble.

This was great, and hilarious, but I wish it was longer! I loved the ending, and how it leaves possibilities for a new Egyptian-Greek connection to come out in Rick Riordan’s future books! I highly recommend it to any fans of Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus or the Kane Chronicles. 

8.14.14. Fantasy Books,Popular Books,Boys Books,

1

Of Poseidon

Book 1 of the Syrena Legacy

By Anna Banks

8/10 Stars

Emma & Chloe’s peaceful Florida vacation turns into a nightmare, and Emma is forced to deal with Galen, a mysterious, handsome stranger who keeps showing up. Galen is determined to protect the Syrenas, the kingdom of “mermaids/mermen” under the sea. It takes many encounters, including a tragic one, to convince him of her legacy. But can he convince her that she holds the key to uniting two kingdoms?

This book is a difficult one to describe. It’s intensely exciting & humorous, with very entertaining characters and a surprisingly original story line. The romance in the book is also a highlight. However, the characters all react to things in extreme, unrealistic ways-which can be amusing, but also irritating. I highly recommend this book to fans of romance, mermaids, and adventure.

8.14.14. Fantasy Books,Romance Books,Popular Teen Books,

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The Testing

Book One in the Testing series

By Joelle Charbonneau

8/`10 Stars

Ages 12+

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After the Seven Stages of War that ripped the world apart, the United Commonwealth government invites the most promising students to the University to become leaders in their society. However, to make it to the University, the students must go through a process called the Testing. No one knows what happens in it, but Malencia’s dad, a University graduate, warns her that it’s not pretty. The process isn’t optional, and Malencia is selected for it. As Malencia journeys through the Testing process, her enthusiasm and excitement to be chosen dims as she realizes that the Testing will punish wrong answers, and she can’t trust a soul.

Malencia Vale is an intelligent, relatable character. Parts of this book are very predictable, in the corrupt-dystopian-government theme of the book, but the book has many layers that aren’t advertised immediately. This book had been on my reading list for a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. I highly recommend this thrilling start to a series

8.06.14. Science Fiction Books,Fantasy Books,Action/ Adventure Books,Adventure/ Action Books,Popular Teen Books,Dystopian,

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All Our Yesterdays

By Cristin Terrill

9/10 Stars

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The world is falling apart and it’s up to Em to go back in time and change the fate of the future. The problem is, she’s tried before, and now she only has one option left. You have to kill him. Marina has been trying to get James to confess his feelings with her for ages, and she finally feels like he likes her. Suddenly, a tragedy strikes and she’s not sure what’s happening, or if James is really so trustworthy. Em & Marina race against time for a result only one will can win.

I bought this book after reading half of it at the library, and then setting it down. It’s so thought provoking and suspenseful that I couldn’t start another book without comparing it to this one. The characters are so believable, they seemed to jump off the page. Em & Marina are flawed and question themselves constantly, which is a trait I always appreciate in characters (so it’s realistic). The time aspect of the book was understandable, unlike most time-related books I’ve read, and fascinating. This is time travel done right. I highly recommend this book. 

7.08.14. Science Fiction Books,Romance Books,Fantasy Books,

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City of Heavenly Fire

Book 6 in the Mortal Instruments Series

By Cassandra Clare

9/10 Stars

Institutes are being attacked. Hundreds of Shadowhunters are dying, or turning into demon-like creatures fighting for evil. Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, and Alec are the only ones who can save their society, but even they can’t do it alone. Nothing under Heaven can defeat Sebastian, Clary’s ruthless brother, and they must travel to the demon realm to try to stop him..before the world is burned to the ground.

This is the finale of the Mortal Instruments series. Action-packed, romantic, and exciting, it’s my favorite book of the year. The characters are so realistic and flawed, it makes me love them more than the perfect ones of other stories. The connections between this book  & the Infernal Devices series were just what the book needed. I highly recommend

6.25.14. Fantasy Books,Romance Books,Action/ Adventure Books,Adventure/ Action Books,

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The Selection

Book 1 of the Selection series

By Kiera Cass

8/10 Stars

America Singer had an invitation to apply for the Selection. The chance to fall in love with the prince, marry him, and become Queen sounds like a dream for most girls, but America only applied because her true love wanted her to. And now, she’s been selected and forced away from her home & boyfriend, and into a situation with 34 other girls, competing for a Prince’s affections. How much more worse can it get?

This book surprised me with the depth and interesting plot. I was expecting a fun, shallow book, but instead got a fun, thought-provoking book about the life of royals and the people below them. The world in which America lives in is strange and revolutionary, hurting some, and saving others. I highly recommend.

6.15.14. Dystopian,Fantasy Books,Romance Books,

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Cinder

Book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles

8/10 Stars

By Marissa Meyer

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Cinder is a gifted mechanic and a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen, scorned by her family and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. However, when her life suddenly becomes wrapped up with Prince Kai’s, she might be her world’s only hope.

This book was enjoyable & mysterious. It was a bit predictable at times, but the characters were not, and I enjoyed the new vision of “our” world. The story, seemingly familiar at first, spirals into a new realm of fascinating. I highly recommend it.

6.15.14. Fantasy Books,Popular Teen Books,Dystopian,

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The Menagerie

Book 1 of the Menagerie series

By Tui & Kari Sutherland

7/10 Stars

Logan Wilde is the new kid in town, and he’s lonely & exasperated with his dad for still searching for his mother. His mother, who ran away from them. When he finds a griffin under his bed, his eyes are opened to a whole new side of his new town. He quickly discovers that there is trouble brewing at the magical creature paradise across town. But how will he be able to help?

This is a fun, humorous, and well-thought out novel. I highly recommend it for kids, young to old, with an interest in magical creatures. The characters are interesting and developed, and the author gives Logan a great voice.

5.09.14. Fantasy Books,Popular Kid Books,

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Throne of Glass

Book 1 of the Throne of Glass series

By Sarah J. Maas

9/10 Stars

When magic is gone from the world and a vicious king rules over the kingdom, an assassin comes to the castle, not to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty three other killers, thieves, and criminals, she will become the King’s Champion, the personal assassin of the king. And after that, she’ll be free. She is Celaena Sardonithan. Two men love her. Everyone wants to kill her. And only she can save them all.

Celeana is such a great character. Raw & real, she’ll have your sympathy as soon as you read her story. The book is packed with action and mystery, twisted with betrayal, friendship, and romance. Very well written and exciting. Highly recommend! Can be a bit gory, so keep above age 12.

2.07.14. Fantasy Books,Popular Teen Books,Romance Books,

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Divergent

Book 1 in Divergent series

By Veronica Roth

9/10 Stars

Movie in March 2014

In a futuristic Chicago, to keep the peace, you must decide your life at sixteen. Will you be honest in Candor, peaceful in Amity, intelligent in Erudite, selfless in Abnegation, or brave in Dauntless? Beatrice Prior has always pushed herself down to be the daughter of an Abnegation leader, but even then, she isn’t perfect. So when it comes time for her to decide, and she finds out she is Divergent, which means she has the ability for three- Erudite, Abnegation, or..Dauntless. Going against every instinct, Beatrice picks Dauntless. In Dauntless, she becomes Tris, and learns how to jump trains, fly off cliffs, fight and kill people, and shoot a gun. And there’s a boy, of course. She learns the meaning of Divergent, and learns that she must keep it a secret at all costs. That people would kill her if they found out. And that her peaceful society has a breed of plotters, about to start a war.

Oh, my. I have heard about this book for a very long time, and though I searched for it in the libraries, I never found it. Until the other day when I saw it peeking out of the shelves. I picked it up, opened the pages, and I was hooked. This book is impossible to stop reading. It had me on the edge of my seat. The author writes with an unmistakeable voice, and characters so developed they will blow your mind. The one part I didn’t like about this book was the tinge of violence to everything. Knives, blood, guns, easy death, suicide, sure that’s all fine in small doses. But over and over it can prove to be too much. Overall though, I loved this book, and am dying to find the next one. I highly recommend it.

11.12.13. Popular Teen Books,Fantasy Books,Romance Books,Science Fiction Books,Movie,

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