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 trainer-in-training … Continue reading The Abyss Surrounds Us

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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 ★★★★★

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 ★★★★★

Mice of the Round Table ★★★★★

I have been waiting to get my hands on a copy of this book ever since I heard about it from the author herself. I'm so happy that it's finally out and that I can review it. Young mouse Calib Christopher dreams of the day when he will become a Knight of Camelot like his … Continue reading Mice of the Round Table ★★★★★

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 ★★★★☆

Last Seen Leaving ★★★★☆

After reading the initial back copy, I was a little hesitant to request Last Seen Leaving, but I'm so glad that I did. Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own? Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling … Continue reading Last Seen Leaving ★★★★☆

Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆

A thrilling mystery with a terribly wrapped up ending. But most of the book was amazing and a great approach to popular period of history. Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she … Continue reading Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆

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 ★★★★☆

Heartless ★★★★☆

Aside from the fact that this book looks gorgeous, the writing was amazing. I expect nothing less from Marissa Meyer. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. … Continue reading Heartless ★★★★☆

Labyrinth Lost ★★★★★

Córdova immerses us in fantasy, language, and LGBQT in a way I haven't seen done successfully in today's YA literature. Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person … Continue reading Labyrinth Lost ★★★★★

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 ★★★★☆

The Darkest Corners ★★★★☆

Looking for a nice, well-paced, slow build? You need to pick up a copy of The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas. There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of … Continue reading The Darkest Corners ★★★★☆

Follow Me Back ★★★☆☆½

I love the cover. I love the format. And I love the alternating viewpoints. But I don't love the third viewpoint or where it gets added. Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his … Continue reading Follow Me Back ★★★☆☆½

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 ★★★★★

Lifeblood ★★★☆☆½

I was not a fan of Firstlife. I only finished it so that I could review Lifeblood. And I have some thoughts on that too. With her last living breath, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences. … Continue reading Lifeblood ★★★☆☆½

Firstlife ★★★☆☆

What do we do with Firstlife? The cover is gorgeous, the premise is intriguing... the book is... meh? ONE CHOICE. TWO REALMS. NO SECOND CHANCE. Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to … Continue reading Firstlife ★★★☆☆

Fly by Night ★☆☆☆☆

Definitely one of many books I have requested based on a good description and an awesome cover, but definitely not one that I would recommend. Everybody knew that books were dangerous. Read the wrong book, it was said, and the words crawled around your brain on black legs and drove you mad, wicked mad. Mosca … Continue reading Fly by Night ★☆☆☆☆

Tricked ★★★★★

Tricked is everything you want in a middle grade title--EVERYTHING! Things are changing at Fairy Tale Reform School. At least, that's what Gilly's heard through the Enchantasia rumor mill. Word is, notorious trickster Rumpelstiltskin has taken over management from Headmistress Flora, and he's locked down the school tighter than the Pied Piper's pants. Not that this … Continue reading Tricked ★★★★★

King's Cage ★★★★★

So not that long ago, I posted Full Series Stop, in which I was talking about how the preview for this book was making me less excited for it. I would now like to apologize for letting my enthusiasm wane. We waited for King's Cage and Aveyard delivered. In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s … Continue reading King's Cage ★★★★★

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 ★★★★☆

Heartless ★★★★☆

Aside from the fact that this book looks gorgeous, the writing was amazing. I expect nothing less from Marissa Meyer. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. … Continue reading Heartless ★★★★☆

Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆

A thrilling mystery with a terribly wrapped up ending. But most of the book was amazing and a great approach to popular period of history. Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she … Continue reading Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★☆

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 ★★☆☆☆

Carve the Mark ★☆☆☆☆

I was so excited to get Carve the Mark, especially since I loved Divergent and I am an enormous Star Wars fan. But Carve the Mark left so much to be desired that I put it on my #DNF list when I was a quarter of the way through the book. On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in … Continue reading Carve the Mark ★☆☆☆☆

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 ★★★☆☆

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett ★★★★☆

Bitter, bored, and sarcastic-Lizzie Lovett is a girl after my own heart. Want to go back to high school and talk to You: Senior Year Edition? Great. Because she's in this book. A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her … Continue reading The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett ★★★★☆

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 ★★★★★

The Thousandth Floor ★☆☆☆☆

Maybe it's because the performance was terrible--maybe it's because the book itself couldn't be salvaged by a good reading--maybe I want to give it the benefit of doubt because I love the cover. Who knows? But I did NOT enjoy nor did I finish Katherine McGee's The Thousandth Floor. A thousand-story tower stretching into the … Continue reading The Thousandth Floor ★☆☆☆☆

Mice of the Round Table ★★★★★

I have been waiting to get my hands on a copy of this book ever since I heard about it from the author herself. I'm so happy that it's finally out and that I can review it. Young mouse Calib Christopher dreams of the day when he will become a Knight of Camelot like his … Continue reading Mice of the Round Table ★★★★★

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 ★★★★★

Last Seen Leaving ★★★★☆

After reading the initial back copy, I was a little hesitant to request Last Seen Leaving, but I'm so glad that I did. Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own? Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling … Continue reading Last Seen Leaving ★★★★☆

Puddle’s Wonderous Worry Dolls ★☆☆☆☆

I’ve been meaning to read more easy readers and middle grade, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with this one. Puddle’s Wonderous Worry Dolls reads like an easy reader but it tried desperately to enter into the heftier realm of middle grade. Jemima- Puddle to her friends- helps out in her Mum’s shop and discovers Worry … Continue reading Puddle’s Wonderous Worry Dolls ★☆☆☆☆

The Killer in Me ★☆☆☆☆

This is unfortunately just one of those books where we're trying to please everyone so everything is happening all at once and all up front. Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in … Continue reading The Killer in Me ★☆☆☆☆

The Assassin Game ★★★☆☆

It's always scary when the games we play get too real, and I think McKay did a really good job keeping me on the edge with The Assassin Game. Who will be left after lights out? At Cate's isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it's an elite secret society. Members must avoid … Continue reading The Assassin Game ★★★☆☆

Labyrinth Lost ★★★★★

Córdova immerses us in fantasy, language, and LGBQT in a way I haven't seen done successfully in today's YA literature. Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person … Continue reading Labyrinth Lost ★★★★★

For This Life Only ★★★★★

I have a theory that Stacey Kade wants to watch me die from dehydration. A scene that's absolutely plausible given how much I cried while reading For This Life Only. Three minutes. Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes. And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is … Continue reading For This Life Only ★★★★★

Unhooked ★★★☆☆

I loved the story and the re-imagined world of Neverland. I loved the descriptions and the pictures that were painted in my mind. I didn't love the romance or accents. For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting … Continue reading Unhooked ★★★☆☆

The Darkest Corners ★★★★☆

Looking for a nice, well-paced, slow build? You need to pick up a copy of The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas. There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of … Continue reading The Darkest Corners ★★★★☆

The Cresswell Plot ★★★☆☆

It's dark, it's creepy, it's coming out today... and I just don't know how I feel about The Cresswell Plot. The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, … Continue reading The Cresswell Plot ★★★☆☆

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 ★☆☆☆☆

The Outliers ★★★☆☆

Getting panic attacks makes you special? Count me in! It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: … Continue reading The Outliers ★★★☆☆

Lions in the Garden ★★☆☆☆

I was severely disappointed by the stereotypical romance and on and off strong female character in Luna's Lions in the Garden. Ludmila Novakova--Mila--has barely set foot outside Prague Castle in her seventeen years. But with the choice between braving the bandits and wolves of Bohemia's uneasy roads or being married off to a disgusting old baron, … Continue reading Lions in the Garden ★★☆☆☆

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 ★★☆☆☆

Hunter ★☆☆☆☆

Lackey gives us just another anti-social "no I don't want to" heroine. Doesn't anyone ever actually want to save the day? They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares. … Continue reading Hunter ★☆☆☆☆

The One and Only Ivan ★★★★★

I was so pleasantly surprised by The One and Only Ivan, I just had to give it all five stars. This is what a middle grade novel should be. Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass … Continue reading The One and Only Ivan ★★★★★

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 – ★★★★☆

Lydia’s Enchanted Toffee ★☆☆☆☆

Planet Plenti is a most extraordinary place, a world of incredible edible delights; of confectionery minerals, fizzy pop springs, forests and jungles full of delectable plantlife … And yet, for children in the land of Likrishka, life is less than ordinary, and mostly very grim - as the Likrish population lives under the watchful rule … Continue reading Lydia’s Enchanted Toffee ★☆☆☆☆