The Everlasting Rose ★★☆☆☆

The fact that I couldn't get past the first chapter is awfully telling... Which is a shame, since I loved The Belles and was beyond excited for the release of The Everlasting Rose--I even pre-ordered it before I was approved to review it! But, sometimes, the second one just isn't as good as the first. … Continue reading The Everlasting Rose ★★☆☆☆

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Upcoming March YA Titles

Spring is right around the corner (sooooo soon!) and we all need a good book (or two or three or ten) to pick up while we wait for the weather to get warmer and the sun to shine just a little bit brighter.

The Gilded Wolves – ★★★☆☆

A heist, a band of misfits, a stolen inheritance and Bond-levels of gadgets. What's not to love about The Gilded Wolves? Well... From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes The Gilded Wolves, a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change—one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires...No one believes in them. But soon … Continue reading The Gilded Wolves – ★★★☆☆

Bloodwitch ★★★★★

It is no secret how much I love Susan Dennard's Witchlands series. I fell head over heels in love with Truthwitch and even more so with Windwitch and Sightwitch. And then when I found out I won an ARC of Bloodwitch from BookishFirst a few weeks ago? Tears. Instant happy tears. And, y'all, I could NOT put … Continue reading Bloodwitch ★★★★★

The Brilliant Death ★★★★☆

A stunning, violent fantasy with beautiful writing and amazing queer characters that made me fall in love with them immediately. The Brilliant Death was one of my most anticipated 2018 reads, and it spot on the Favorites shelf is well-earned. For Teodora DiSangro, a mafia don’s daughter, family is fate.All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that … Continue reading The Brilliant Death ★★★★☆

You Are The Everything ★★★☆☆

An unusual, often confusing tale of a boy and a girl who are the sole survivors of a plane crash, and the relationship that blossoms afterwards. Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, … Continue reading You Are The Everything ★★★☆☆

Chameleon Moon Review ★★★★★

Before I get into my (hugely delayed) review of Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver I have to talk about how I found this book first. I'm a big fan of tumblr, specifically, I enjoy wasting time on tumblr. It's a great source of procrastination. Sometime in early 2014 or late 2013, I saw a post go … Continue reading Chameleon Moon Review ★★★★★

What If It’s Us ★★★★☆

A sweet, co-authored meet-cute that takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions from some amazing heart-breaker writers What If It's Us is sure to leave you wanting more--and crying just a lot a bit. Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver … Continue reading What If It’s Us ★★★★☆

Eon ★★★★★

There are few books that I hold in high enough regard to give them a five star rating. The only other book I've ever done that for is Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I had a lot of trepidation going into this book, but I came out of it feeling like a kid again; like … Continue reading Eon ★★★★★

Truthwitch ★★★★★

Can someone love a book more than I loved Truthwitch by Susan Dennard? Can anyone love anything more than I loved that book? Probably not. I loved Truthwitch (and Susan Dennard. I nearly cried when I saw her in the hallway at BookCon Chigaco) so much. In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate … Continue reading Truthwitch ★★★★★

Glass Sword ★★★★★

If I could sum up my entire experience of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard in a single gif, it would be this one: If you've spent any amount of time on this site, or listening to our Podcasts, you know how much of a fan Jess and I are of Victoria Aveyard. We fell in love with … Continue reading Glass Sword ★★★★★

The Dragon Waking ★★★★☆

An endearing tale of a girl who meets her best friend in the Nevada desert, who just so happens to be a dragon. The Dragon Waking by Grayson Towler is a heartwarming tale of friendship, adventure and a splash of magic. For thirteen-year-old Rose Gallagher, having a friend who is really a dragon and can perform … Continue reading The Dragon Waking ★★★★☆

A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic ★★★★★

Magic is my favorite thing in a story. I get to see how it works in the universe and how it affects the characters. Magic in a modern day world, like the one in A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic, where cell phones and blogs make a regular appearance, always intrigues me. How will magic and technology … Continue reading A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic ★★★★★

Toil & Trouble ★★★★☆

An incredibly beautiful and diverse anthology about witches, women, love and mischief. With stories that ranged from modern-day to historical to magical realism, there's a little something for everyone in Toil & Trouble. A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, … Continue reading Toil & Trouble ★★★★☆

Mirage ★★★★★

Once in a while, there comes a book where you go into it with almost no expectations, in a genre you only occasionally read, where you go into it with an open mind. And then it consumes your entire life. In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. … Continue reading Mirage ★★★★★

Ruin of Stars ★★★★☆

Y'all. I'm still a mess whenever I think about Mask of Shadows. And then along came Ruin of Stars? More like RUINED MY HEART! The thrilling conclusion to the Mask of Shadows duology that weaves a tale of magic, shadows, and most importantly, revenge. As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, … Continue reading Ruin of Stars ★★★★☆

Reign of Mist ★★★★☆

Imagine Heart of Mist. Now turn it up to eleven. Reign of Mist, the high-stakes, daring sequel to Heart of Mist was even more action-packed and intense than its predecessor. While I had trouble holding on to the first one, this one dug its claws into me and wouldn't let go. The realm’s darkest secret is out. The cruelty … Continue reading Reign of Mist ★★★★☆

Freeks ★★★★☆

Magic abilities, a traveling performance troupe and a monstrous secret that could kill everyone sounds like the perfect recipe for a great story. That's exactly what Amanda Hocking's Freeks delivers! Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act… Mara has always longed for a … Continue reading Freeks ★★★★☆

The Shadow Hour ★★★★☆

Sequels are hard; sequels in trilogies are even harder. So many of them suffer through Sagging Middle Syndrome that some people aren't even able to finish them. I read and reviewed The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey last year, and I fell head over heels and finished it in one go. It's sequel, The Shadow Hour, … Continue reading The Shadow Hour ★★★★☆

The Mesmerist ★★★★☆

Jessamine works with her mother pretending to be spiritualists—until the day where the pretending becomes real and she finds out she has mysterious powers. Ronald L. Smith has made a dark and memorable middle-grade story in The Mesmerist. Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists—until they discover that Jess is a … Continue reading The Mesmerist ★★★★☆

5 Star Quotes: Furyborn

Furyborn ★★★★★

I was PUMPED when I was approved for a review copy of Furyborn late last year. It was one of my top anticipated YA Fantasies of 2018. I loved the concept, the cover was gorgeous (why am I such a shallow reader? I love shiny covers) and I'd been following Clare Legrand for some time on … Continue reading Furyborn ★★★★★

Heart of Mist ★★★★☆

I was immediately intrigued by Heart of Mist when I saw it online; not only was the cover beautiful but the entire concept grabbed my interest from the get-go. There was a lot to like about Heart of Mist, but a whole lot to get through first... In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic … Continue reading Heart of Mist ★★★★☆

The Hate U Give ★★★★★

Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give blew up the book community when it released in February 2017, and for good reasons. The Hate U Give is an intense look into the lives of black kids living in a racist society that's trying to keep them down. It was not only an incredibly well written story that had … Continue reading The Hate U Give ★★★★★

The Abyss Surrounds Us ★★★★★

If there's anything that can be said for me, is that I love my fiction to have a hearty dosage of pirates. And queer girls. And queer pirate girls. The Abyss Surrounds Us is that, and more. So much more. For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner … Continue reading The Abyss Surrounds Us ★★★★★

Windwitch ★★★★☆

I've got so many emotions about this one guys, I was a wreck reading it from start to finish. I loved Windwitch, and it definitely lived up to the high bar Truthwitch set up. Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies… After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred … Continue reading Windwitch ★★★★☆

Ghosts ★★★★★

Graphic novels have always had a special place in my heart, and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier has taken my heart in its adorable fist and crushed it to smithereens. Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for … Continue reading Ghosts ★★★★★

5 Star Quotes: Labyrinth Lost

The Girl and The Grove ★★★☆☆

There was a lot I was expecting from The Girl and The Grove and everything that I wanted didn't really come out. There were parts I really enjoyed and parts where I just had to put the book down. This one was a DNF from me. Teenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around … Continue reading The Girl and The Grove ★★★☆☆

5 Star Quotes: Dread Nation

5 Star Quotes: The Lie Tree

The Wicked Deep ★★★★☆

The Wicked Deep was a creepy story with rich world building, beautiful language and amazing imagery. That, and the cover is amazing and so sparkly. I just need it on my shelves at all time, illuminated by a little spot light. But--there were plenty of issues too. Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced … Continue reading The Wicked Deep ★★★★☆

The Lie Tree ★★★★☆

I'm always enamored by girls in stories that seem innocent and invisible but use that to their advantage to carve their own path -- which is exactly what Faith Sunderly does in The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. It's impossible to put down this historical mystery, set just after the advent of Darwin's On The … Continue reading The Lie Tree ★★★★☆

Ash Princess ★★★☆☆½

A princess kept captive, ready to take back her kingdom, a smart girl lying in wait to snap at her abusers, a hidden power waiting to be unleashed. Theodosia was meant to be all of this, but Ash Princess just fell short. Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was … Continue reading Ash Princess ★★★☆☆½

Dread Nation ★★★★★

I don't remember the last zombie book I'd read--it might have been a few years ago--but Dread Nation is not one I'll forget for a long time. It was thrilling, captivating and all around amazing. Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between … Continue reading Dread Nation ★★★★★

Ice Wolves ★★★★★

I've only ever read one other book by Amie Kaufman, and that was Illuminae. So when I saw she had a middle grade piece about kids who turned into wolves and dragons well... I needed to get my hands on it! And Elementals: Ice Wolves did not disappoint! Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragonsare sworn enemies who … Continue reading Ice Wolves ★★★★★

Beyond the Red ★★★★★

When it comes to the broad sibling genre of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I've always been more in the favor of Fantasy. But Beyond The Red by Ava Jae showed me a whole new world within the Sci-Fi realm, and I have fallen in love. Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson … Continue reading Beyond the Red ★★★★★

Inkmistress ★★★☆☆

I wanted to love Inkmistress. I wanted to so hard; I knew it was a prequel-companion type to Of Fire and Stars, which I hadn't read yet but c'mon, queer ladies! I got about halfway through the book before I just had to put it down... Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to … Continue reading Inkmistress ★★★☆☆

Maggie’s March TBR

I finished Children of Blood and Bone the other night, and it was my most anticipated March release, so now I get to go through all the new March releases, and even work on some of my April release ARCs! The Wicked Deep Releases: March 6th, 2018 Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow… Where, two centuries … Continue reading Maggie’s March TBR

5 Star Quotes: Sightwitch

Sightwitch ★★★★★

It's no secret that I love a good fantasy book, and Susan Dennard sure knows how to write one. Sightwitch has catapulted to the top of my fave books of 2018 list and I have a feeling it's going to stay there for a while. From New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard, Sightwitch is an illustrated novella set in … Continue reading Sightwitch ★★★★★

THE BELLES Giveaway Winner!

Our giveaway for THE BELLES has ended and congratulations to Dynal R for winning! Didn't win? Don't worry! We've got more giveaways coming! Keep your ear out for the next episode of the Booked All Night podcast for another bookish giveaway! Follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all Booked All Night news and … Continue reading THE BELLES Giveaway Winner!

5 Star Quotes: Truly Devious

 

The Belles ★★★★☆

Let me just say, The Belles made me so damn hungry. Hungry for snacks and hungry for more story. It was SO. DAMN. GOOD. Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are … Continue reading The Belles ★★★★☆

THE BELLES Giveaway!

Howdy booknerds! I seemed to have found myself with two copies of Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles--a review copy I won in a BookishFirst giveaway and my pre-ordered copy. So I wanted to share this AMAZING book with y'all, so I'm giving away one of my copies! Just enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win! … Continue reading THE BELLES Giveaway!

Reign of the Fallen ★★★☆☆

There are two things you, dear booknerds, should have gathered about me if you listen to our late-night podcast: one, I'm a lover of all things fantasy and two, queer books are my absolute faves. But Reign of the Fallen fell short of my expectations despite being an awesome queer necromancer fantasy. Odessa is one of … Continue reading Reign of the Fallen ★★★☆☆

Maggie’s February TBR

I keep making the mistake of requesting more and more ARCs even though I haven't finished the ones on my list... But with The Belles coming out in a few days and Reign of the Fallen out already, I can hopefully breeze through my February ARCs so I can get to the ones I'm most excited … Continue reading Maggie’s February TBR

5 Star Quotes: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Truly Devious ★★★★★

Maureen Johnson has broken my heart in the past (I'm looking at you, Shades of London) and Truly Devious was no different. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full … Continue reading Truly Devious ★★★★★

Maggie’s January TBR

First TBR of the new year! The one with the most hope attached to it! Reign of the Fallen Publishes January 23rd, 2018 Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous … Continue reading Maggie’s January TBR

Conspiracy of Stars ★★★★☆

I only recently came into Sci-fi and I'm glad I did, because it introduced me to Olivia A. Cole's A Conspiracy of Stars and my emotions are still in tatters. Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study … Continue reading Conspiracy of Stars ★★★★☆

Between the Blade and the Heart ★★☆☆☆

I was really excited for this one. I'd read Amanda Hocking's Freeks and enjoyed it, but Between the Blade and the Heart just sort of... didn't work for me. Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests … Continue reading Between the Blade and the Heart ★★☆☆☆

5 Star Quotes: Windwitch

5 Star Quotes: The Hate U Give

5 Star Quotes: Warcross

December TBR

Tess of the Road In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he … Continue reading December TBR

Maggie’s October TBR

I got approved for two new ARCs recently, Between the Blade and Heart and Tess of the Road. I've been meaning to get through The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding and Six of Crows too, so no better time than now! Meet Tess, a brave new heroine from beloved epic fantasy author Rachel Hartman. In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, … Continue reading Maggie’s October TBR

Starfish ★★★★☆

It's always rare for me to pick up a contemporary book and love it. The last one that did that was They Both Die at the End earlier this month and that one made me sob. Starfish was emotional for different reasons. Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With … Continue reading Starfish ★★★★☆

5 Star Quotes: They Both Die at the End

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Shadowhouse Fall Publication Date: September 12th, 2017 The extraordinary sequel to the New York Times bestseller Shadowshaper is daring, dazzling, defiant. Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #12

They Both Die at the End ★★★★★

Holy mother of feels, y’all. I was warned this one had a lot of heart-smashing, toe-curling feels to dish out, and even thought I knew what was going to happen (because, regardless of how hard you hope, the title tells you everything you need to know about the ending) I still cried like a baby. On … Continue reading They Both Die at the End ★★★★★

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Starfish Publication Date: September 26th, 2017 Pre-order it here! Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #11

Maggie’s September TBR

I'm still reading a lot of the same ARCs; but I've been approved for Adam Silvera's They Both Die At The End so expect that review up soon! I'm also finally starting Six of Crows and finishing up my all time fave The Savage Dawn, book 3 of Melissa Grey's The Girl at Midnight series. I won't include the … Continue reading Maggie’s September TBR

Waiting on Wednesday #10

One Dark Throne Publication Date: September 19th, 2017 Pre-order it here! The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail? With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #10

Girls Made of Snow and Glass ★★☆☆☆

I had hoped, more than anything, that I would love Girls Made of Snow and Glass. I was promised a feminist f/f fairy tale retelling, but all I got was a slow, dull book where the LGBT+ themes took a backseat to...whatever the hell was happening. I really really wanted to like this book. But I had … Continue reading Girls Made of Snow and Glass ★★☆☆☆

Waiting on Wednesday #9

Warcross Publication Date: September 12th, 2017 Pre-order it here! From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths. For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #9

Waiting on Wednesday #8

A Reaper at the Gates Publication Date: April 10th, 2018 Pre-order it here! Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #8

Mask of Shadows – ★★★★☆

Pre-order it here! Mysterious and tense, Mask of Shadows delivered on almost every promise it had given. I was pulled in by the characters and Linsey Miller’s writing was thrilling and poetic. Plus the representation of genderfluid and other queer identities was everything that fantasy books have been missing. And yet… I Needed to Win. … Continue reading Mask of Shadows – ★★★★☆

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Mask of Shadows Publication Date: August 29th, 2017 Pre-order it here! I Needed to Win. They Needed to Die. Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #7

Maggie’s August TBR

Zero Repeat Forever – ★★★★☆

Pre-order Zero Repeat Forever here! When the apocalypse comes and the invading Nahx destroy civilization, Raven struggles to survive with her friends in a world that’s slowly burning. A dark and lonely sci-fi story, Zero Repeat Forever was enthralling—but also a little disappointing. He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t … Continue reading Zero Repeat Forever – ★★★★☆

Witchtown ★★★☆☆

A mother-daughter witch duo that pulls heists as they travel across the continent seems like it would have been exciting, magical and engrossing. Instead, Witchtown was slow, vague and a bit of a let down. When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only … Continue reading Witchtown ★★★☆☆

Maggie’s July TBR

Waiting on Wednesday #6

The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue Publication Date: June 27th, 2017 Buy it here! An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #6

The Best Kind of Magic ★★★½☆☆

A cute premise with great potential that was squandered by a forgettable character voice and boring writing. Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber's pretty far down the sorcery … Continue reading The Best Kind of Magic ★★★½☆☆

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Want Publication Date: June 13th, 2017 Buy it here! From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city. Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy … Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday #5

Blood Rose Rebellion ★★☆☆☆

It's no lie that I'm a lover of all things fantasy; give me a book about magic and I'll instantly add it to my TBR pile. But sometimes, among the diamonds, I'll just find shiny bits of broken glass. And Blood Rose Rebellion certainly falls into the "glass" territory. The thrilling first book in a YA … Continue reading Blood Rose Rebellion ★★☆☆☆

WoW: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

That's mah teachah!! I'm not going to lie, I'm mainly excited for The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora because Pablo Cartaya was my mentor last fall at Sierra Nevada College and he was the #Best. Pablo is ridiculously talented and I'm 100% psyched for everything he does. And since, technically, Epic Fail is already out, I'm just … Continue reading WoW: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Magdalyn’s May TBR

Affiliate Links Strange the Dreamer A Court of Mist and Fury The Seafarer's Kiss Star-Crossed Apartment 1986 A Court of Wings and Ruin Passenger

The Hate U Give ★★★★★

Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give blew up the book community when it released in February 2017, and for good reasons. The Hate U Give is an intense look into the lives of black kids living in a racist society that's trying to keep them down. It was not only an incredibly well written story that had … Continue reading The Hate U Give ★★★★★

Windwitch ★★★★☆

I've got so many emotions about this one guys, I was a wreck reading it from start to finish. I loved Windwitch, and it definitely lived up to the high bar Truthwitch set up. Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies… After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred … Continue reading Windwitch ★★★★☆

The Edge of the Abyss ★★★★★

If there's anything I love in my YA books, it's feels and queer pirates. And The Edge of the Abyss threw my feelings through the mouth of a vicious Reckoner, chopped it up and spit it back out to have Emily Skrutskie stomp on it. The point I'm trying to make is that The Edge of the Abyss … Continue reading The Edge of the Abyss ★★★★★

The Mesmerist ★★★★☆

Jessamine works with her mother pretending to be spiritualists—until the day where the pretending becomes real and she finds out she has mysterious powers. Ronald L. Smith has made a dark and memorable middle-grade story in The Mesmerist. Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists—until they discover that Jess is a … Continue reading The Mesmerist ★★★★☆

The Magician’s Workshop ★★☆☆☆

The Magician's Workshop started with an interesting concept: magic that can make illusions from one's own imagination, a girl who wants to make beautiful things but can only make monsters, and a boy who wants to have fun but is an outcast in his own town. But it turned sour pretty quickly. I wanted to like The Magician's … Continue reading The Magician’s Workshop ★★☆☆☆

Scythe ★★☆☆☆

Neal Shusterman's Scythe is a tale of humans conquering death, and taking the matter of population control into the hands of the scythes, a group of men and women entrusted with the power of permanent death. I've always been a fan of Shusterman's work--I loved his Unwind series and Everlost--but Scythe was lacking something I desperately needed in a … Continue reading Scythe ★★☆☆☆

Maresi ★★★☆☆

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff is a tale of girls looking out for each other in a world where they're abused, mistreated and often thought of as less than human. There are plenty of diverse characters, bright young women, and strong role models. Unfortunately, what this book had in great female characters, it lacked in action … Continue reading Maresi ★★★☆☆

Freeks ★★★★☆

Magic abilities, a traveling performance troupe and a monstrous secret that could kill everyone sounds like the perfect recipe for a great story. That's exactly what Amanda Hocking's Freeks delivers! Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act… Mara has always longed for a … Continue reading Freeks ★★★★☆

Dragon Round ★★☆☆☆

A swashbuckling adventure! Dragons! Ships! High fantasy! Sounds like the perfect recipe for a perfect book. Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power seemed like it'd be entering my Top Books of 2016 list. It even has a gorgeous cover to boot! Look at how pretty it is. Unfortunately, the cover and the summary hyped me up … Continue reading Dragon Round ★★☆☆☆

The Dragon Waking ★★★★☆

An endearing tale of a girl who meets her best friend in the Nevada desert, who just so happens to be a dragon. The Dragon Waking by Grayson Towler is a heartwarming tale of friendship, adventure and a splash of magic. For thirteen-year-old Rose Gallagher, having a friend who is really a dragon and can perform … Continue reading The Dragon Waking ★★★★☆

Truthwitch ★★★★★

Can someone love a book more than I loved Truthwitch by Susan Dennard? Can anyone love anything more than I loved that book? Probably not. I loved Truthwitch (and Susan Dennard. I nearly cried when I saw her in the hallway at BookCon Chigaco) so much. In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate … Continue reading Truthwitch ★★★★★

The Abyss Surrounds Us ★★★★★

If there's anything that can be said for me, is that I love my fiction to have a hearty dosage of pirates. And queer girls. And queer pirate girls. The Abyss Surrounds Us is that, and more. So much more. For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner … Continue reading The Abyss Surrounds Us ★★★★★

The Shadow Hour ★★★★☆

Sequels are hard; sequels in trilogies are even harder. So many of them suffer through Sagging Middle Syndrome that some people aren't even able to finish them. I read and reviewed The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey last year, and I fell head over heels and finished it in one go. It's sequel, The Shadow Hour, … Continue reading The Shadow Hour ★★★★☆

A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic ★★★★★

Magic is my favorite thing in a story. I get to see how it works in the universe and how it affects the characters. Magic in a modern day world, like the one in A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic, where cell phones and blogs make a regular appearance, always intrigues me. How will magic and technology … Continue reading A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic ★★★★★

Ghosts ★★★★★

Graphic novels have always had a special place in my heart, and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier has taken my heart in its adorable fist and crushed it to smithereens. Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for … Continue reading Ghosts ★★★★★

The Wolf in the Attic ★☆☆☆☆

The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney is the long winded tale of Anna, a Greek refugee living in London with her father in the early 20th century. There was exactly one exciting, plot driven scene in the first quarter of the book and everything else is countless pages of details, descriptions and character … Continue reading The Wolf in the Attic ★☆☆☆☆

Akarnae ★★☆☆☆

I always thought I loved portal fantasy stories; after all, I did spend ten years writing one, but Akarnae proved that I did not love portal fantasies as much as I thought I did. Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in … Continue reading Akarnae ★★☆☆☆

The Lie Tree – ★★★★☆

I'm always enamored by girls in stories that seem innocent and invisible but use that to their advantage to carve their own path -- which is exactly what Faith Sunderly does in The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. It's impossible to put down this historical mystery, set just after the advent of Darwin's On The … Continue reading The Lie Tree – ★★★★☆

Asteroid Made of Dragons ★★★☆☆

If you gave me the option to read a book with dragons, versus one without, I will pick the dragons over everything else. I love dragons that much. So, of course, being promised an asteroid made of dragons, I was pretty excited. And Asteroid Made of Dragons by G. Derek Adams was pretty exciting--at first. When a … Continue reading Asteroid Made of Dragons ★★★☆☆

Beyond the Red ★★★★★

When it comes to the broad sibling genre of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I've always been more in the favor of Fantasy. But Beyond The Red by Ava Jae showed me a whole new world within the Sci-Fi realm, and I have fallen in love. Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson … Continue reading Beyond the Red ★★★★★

Glass Sword ★★★★★

If I could sum up my entire experience of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard in a single gif, it would be this one: If you've spent any amount of time on this site, or listening to our Podcasts, you know how much of a fan Jess and I are of Victoria Aveyard. We fell in love with … Continue reading Glass Sword ★★★★★