Review: Sweet Dreams by Carla Stewart

Sweet Dreams
Carla Stewart
FaithWords
Published May 14, 2013

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When Dusty’s father sends her off to a fancy finishing school instead of the geology program at Miller College, the only consolation for Dusty is the fact that her fun-loving cousin will also be joining her. Paisley was raised on the road by her unmarried mother who still chases dreams of stardom. She’s not exactly any town’s debutante. Though fitting in won’t be easy, Paisley is determined to stick it out for her cousin’s sake.

As the year progresses, Paisley finds making friends easier than she imagined. Things seem to be going well until her mother returns for a surprise visit with a new get-famous-quick … Continue reading

Review: Moonblood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Moonblood
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House
Published April 1, 2012

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Prince Lionheart returns to his ruined kingdom and struggles to reclaim the trust of his people. But when the people demand the death of Lionheart’s only loyal friend Rose Red, he banishes her instead to the treacherous Goldstone Wood, filled with deadly magical creatures.

Captured by her father, King Vahe, and imprisoned in the lost kingdom of Arpiar, Rose Red refuses to call for help. She waits for the Night of Moonblood and her father’s vile plans to unfold, a talking statue and lost boy with no memory for her only companions.

Lionheart pursues Rose Red, determined to rescue her and atone for his … Continue reading

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson
Square Fish
Published May 10, 2011 (Orig. published 1999)

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At a high school with an ever-changing mascot, Melinda begins her year friendless and alone. She’s the pariah who called police at a summer party. The one where the awful thing happened. Through a caring teacher and a challenging art project, Melinda struggles to piece herself back together. But when the familiar face of that boy materializes out of the halls of her new school, she spirals into silence and isolation. As the boy, Andy, draws closer to Melinda’s former best friend Rachel, Melinda tries to reach out, to warn her. Rumors swirl that he’s hurt other girls, the same way … Continue reading

Review: Perverse by Larry Rodness

Perverse
Larry Rodness
ITOH Press
Published December 31, 2012

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As a second generation Goth, even Gothic life for Emylene is weird. Not weird. Perverse! While she enjoys her position in her community as a Goth princess, she doesn’t always see her spoiled and self-centered behavior and how it impacts others. When she inadvertently frees a mysterious girl from a charcoal sketch found in a dismal antique shop, Emylene’s world begins to shift. Her parents are barely recognizable and what’s the deal with her friends at her nightly club hangout?

Too late, Emylene realizes her new friend is not what she seems. As events spiral out of control, Emylene finds new allies to face the … Continue reading

Review: The Girl Who Played Chess with an Angel by Tessa Apa

The Girl Who Played Chess with an AngelThe Girl Who Played Chess with an Angel
Tessa Apa
Big Planet Corporation
Published June 8, 2012

Currently Out of Print

Thirteen year old Florence doesn’t want reasons; she needs answers. About her father’s death. About her mother’s fierce anger. But Florence knows answers change things, and everything is about to change.

Things have been changing ever since the day she played chess with an Angel. One might think meeting a real live angel answers a lot of life’s questions, but Florence is taking things slowly. One answer at a time.

As she wrestles with her father’s sudden death and her mother’s bitterness, Florence begins to see life beyond her own needs. In her tenuous friendship with Max, she finds the courage to ask an even bigger question: is God … Continue reading

Review: Annabeth’s War by Jessica Greyson

Annabeth's WarAnnabeth’s War
Jessica Greyson
Ready Writer Press
Published December 6, 2012

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When a mysterious peasant bests him at swordplay, Ransom can’t help but wonder if the disguise conceals the elusive girl he seeks. Once he tracks her down, Ransom finds convincing Annabeth to accept his help is no easy task. As she slips away again and again, always warning him she acts for his own safety, Ransom begins to question his orders to subdue and kidnap the girl.

Annabeth can’t stop running. With a price on her head and her prince’s life hanging in the balance, she must stay one step ahead of Lord Raburn and his men, those who would seek … Continue reading

Review: Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

Quintana of Charyn
Melina Marchetta
Candlewick Press
Published September 26, 2012

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Hidden in a valley north of her homeland, Charynite princess Quintana waits for the birth of her son. Only in her dreams does she sense Froi, her love and the father of the child she carries. Even there, she is not certain if he survived the attack she barely escaped. Another person haunts her dreams as well, one she can’t place at first. She fights the woman’s presence, certain she is an enemy.

Queen Isaboe of Lumatere wakes with Froi’s name on her lips, an occurrence she can’t explain to her husband satisfactorily. Frustrated and feeling betrayed, Finnikin leaves her and their unborn child … Continue reading

Review: Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston

Black HelicoptersBlack Helicopters
Blythe Woolston
Candlewick Press
Published March 1, 2013

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She heard the sound of the black helicopters approaching the day Mabby died. Since then, Valley and her big brother Bo have been hiding and waiting for their Da to come home. Staying out of sight because you never know when Those People will show up again. Valley wants to help. Da sends messages to Those People, ones they will not forget. Ticking packages that make Them listen.

But Da is gone now, and it is only Valley and Bo. Bo is forgetting. Only Valley remembers what Da said. Only Valley sees the bigger game. She will make Those People listen to her … Continue reading

Review: The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

The Rising
Kelley Armstrong
HarperCollins
Published January 1, 2013

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Maya and her friends have been on the run since they discovered their roles as test subjects in an experiment to resurrect supernatural abilities. Worse than that, they’ve now become mixed up in a war between rival groups, both of whom want the supernatural teens for their own use. With nowhere to go and only one possible contact left, Maya seeks a meeting with someone who might help. Turns out his help means putting up with an awful lot of attitude and a part of Maya’s past she’s not ready to face. More than that, as Maya and her friend Corey’s abilities continue to develop, so … Continue reading

Five Books I Couldn’t Stop Reading

In honor of summer’s approach, I wanted to do something a little different today. (A new review will be posted on Wednesday.)

When I was in school, I looked forward to the summer for all the usual reasons. One of my fond memories is taking family vacations with my family. We’d visit my grandparents in rural North Carolina and tube the creek, shop the flea market, hike in the woods and play Nintendo until deep into the night. But one of my most cherished evening activities during those lazy summer trips was reading. I’d often stumble upon an unexpected gem in one of the rundown flea market used book shops. Some of those books I read and reread until my copies came apart. Here are a few of the finds that never left me.

beauty


Beauty
by … Continue reading

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