Category: Young Adult

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Lost and Found

July 5, 2016 Fiction, Young Adult 4 ★★★★

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Lost and FoundTitle: The Lost & Found
Author: Katrina Leno
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: Although cute, sweet, and quirky, this book managed to tackle some big issues believably and sympathetically.

“Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear. […] They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost.” (Source) During the trip and with each other’s help, they may be able to come to terms with big changes in their lives. Read more »


Shadow Scale

April 13, 2015 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 12 ★★★

Shadow ScaleTitle: Shadow Scale
Author: Rachel Hartman
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: Although I still loved the politics and world-building in this sequel, I found the pacing too slow and the action unengaging.

As a half-dragon, Seraphina has a unique connection to others of her kind. However, her country of Gored has only recently made peace with the dragons and now this fragile peace may be shattered by a dragon civil war. The fragile peace means that many humans still hate dragons and that most half-dragons such as Saraphina must hide who they are. Each half-dragon has unique gifts and together they might be able to protect Gored if Seraphina is able to use her own unique powers to find them. To do so, she will have to avoid humans and dragons who want to stop her. But the biggest threat is one very bitter and very dangerous half-dragon who uses her powers to control others and manipulate the war for her own purposes.
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YA in Mini-Reviews

December 26, 2014 Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Thriller, Young Adult 4 ★★★★★

YA in Mini-ReviewsTitle: Mortal Heart
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

20522640Like the previous two books in this series, I loved Mortal Heart. The premise of assassin nuns was obviously awesome from the very beginning and the writing is beautiful, but what I think makes these books so perfect is the world building and character growth. As in the previous two books, the main character has lived through some difficult times and isn’t quite comfortable with who she is. She’s also questioning her faith, particularly her role serving the god of death. As Kelley points out in her review at Oh, The Books!, part of the reason this series is successful is because the author makes you feel for the main character. I also particularly love that at the end of every book the author has managed to surprise me with new information about the mythology of the world she’s created. Seeing this wonderfully creative mythology intersect with the main character getting a happy ending is something I’ve found enjoyable and heart-warming in each of her books. They always leave me smiling. Thanks to Christina at You Book Me All Night Long for the giveaway of this great book!
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Small Town Witch

June 8, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Young Adult 11

17888783Title: Small Town Witch
Author: Kristen S. Walker
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book exceeded all my expectations with natural-sounding dialogue, perfect pacing, fascinating world-building, and a main character who doesn’t create her own drama.

“Teen witch Rosamunde thinks she has it all: friends, parties, a happy family, and magic at her fingertips. But something dark lurks underneath the surface. When Rosa uncovers strange spells in her house, the illusion of the perfect life begins to crack, hinting at family secrets she never imagined. With the help of her friends and the handsome kitsune Kai, Rosa peels back the layers of lies. Her search for the truth will take her far from home, into the dangerous Land of Faerie . . . but if the truth threatens her family’s apparent happiness, will she choose to live with the lie or break the enchantment that binds them all?” (Source) Read more »


Neil Gaiman Mini-Reviews

May 14, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult 11

Neil Gaiman2Title: Neil Gaiman at Syracuse OnCenter
Rating: ★★★★★

I’ve been hearing fantastic things about Neil Gaiman’s books since I started blogging, so I’m excited to have finally gotten to reading some of his books and to have gotten to hear him speak. I thought it would be nice to open with a brief review of his talk since it made me want to read and listen to more of his books, even more so than the books of his which I’ve read. Looking at a list of Gaiman’s published works and hearing him speak solidified my impression that he is an author who writes at least as eclectically as I read. His talk was very thought-provoking and often hilarious and I felt as though every word was chosen with care. His dynamic readings convinced me that I should read some his books as audiobooks and his mastery of language convinced me that I should read more of his books in general. If you get a chance to see him talk, I’d highly recommend it Read more »


The Falconer

May 11, 2014 Fiction, Steampunk, Uncategorized, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult 2

15791085Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Source: from First Reads giveaway
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This was a fun, light adventure with  cool steampunk elements, not too much romance, and a very abrupt ending.

Killing fairies is hard enough even when you don’t have to look like a proper lady at the same time. After Aileana’s mother is killed by a fairy, she has very few friends to turn to as she navigates balls and teas. Fortunately, she does have a fae mentor to help with fairy killing as she seeks revenge for her mother’s death. As the fairies Aileana battles become more dangerous, she has a tough decision to make. Is she willing to give up appearances and the proper, married life she dreamed of in order to exact her revenge? Read more »


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

April 29, 2014 Fiction, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult 11

12000020Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Summary: This was perfect.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.” (Source)
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February 6, 2014 Fiction, Steampunk, Young Adult 17

19448543Title: Lumière
Author: Jacqueline E. Garlick
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This was a fun, action-packed steampunk adventure with two unique and lovable protagonists.

Although her father gave away the invention meant to cure her before he died, Eyelet is determined to hunt down his invention and use it herself. In a world where madness is treated without mercy, the machine may be her only hope to cure her seizures. However, her father’s power hungry colleague, Professor Smrt, is determined to beat her to it. When she finds it at last, it’s only to watch Urlick Babbit steal it before she can. In order to defeat Smrt, she and Urlick will have to face many dangers together, including the machine which may turn out to be the greatest danger of all. (adapted from goodreads)
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Healer Series in Mini-Reviews

January 29, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 6

Scent of MagicTitle: Scent of Magic
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Source: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★☆

Like Touch of Power, this book clearly exhibited the superb writing I’ve come to expect from Maria V. Snyder. Even better, she completely fixed the pacing issue I had with the first one. Instead of dragging at the beginning, this book started off fast. The author kept the tension and excitement high with the introduction of a second viewpoint. Strategic chapter breaks kept me constantly wondering what would happen next. The world building of the last book was expanded on in new and clever ways, always staying internally consistent. I was more engaged in this book than the previous one and loved every minute of it. Read more »


Touch of Power

January 29, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 3

Touch of PowerTitle: Touch of Power
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although this dragged a bit for me, the writing was practically perfect and the world building was fascinating.

Avry is the last of the healers. After a plague the healers couldn’t cure decimated the Fifteen Territories, all of the healers were hunted down and killed. On the run, Avry is eventually captured by a band of men who, surprisingly, value her healing skills over the bounty for turning her in. Unfortunately, they want her to heal the man Avry blames for the healer’s demise. The decision she has to make is a tough one, since he might also be her land’s best chance at peace. Read more »