Review: Umberland by Wendy Spinale

Umberland by Wendy SpinaleUmberland
Wendy Spinale
Scholastic Press
Published on May 9, 2017

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About Umberland
They’re dreadfully fond of beheading people here…

Gwen, Pete, and the others have escaped from Everland. Except the safe haven they hoped to find at Alnwick Castle doesn’t exist. With the Queen of England on her deathbed, Duchess Alyssa has stepped in, but things have gotten worse as the cure Doc created for the Horologia virus has mutated into something even more deadly. The only possible solution he can think of is to go back to the virus’s origin: an extinct poisonous apple.

Legend has it, though, that a tree bearing the apple might be found … Continue reading

Review: Huntress by Julie Hall

Huntress by Julie HallHuntress
Julie Hall
Published on May 16, 2017

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About Huntress
No one’s afterlife is as dispiriting as Audrey’s―at least that’s what she believes after waking up dead without her memories and being promptly assigned to hunt demons for the rest of eternity. She’s convinced God’s made a cosmic mistake; after all, she’d rather discuss the color of her nails than break them on angelic weapons.

It doesn’t help that her trainer, Logan, is as infuriating as he is attractive. And just when Audrey and Logan appear close to developing an amicable relationship, a decision made under duress pushes their hearts in a direction neither of them saw coming.

Despite her sub-par fighting abilities, an ancient weapon … Continue reading

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie Burgis

The Girl with the Dragon Heart by Stephanie BurgisThe Girl with the Dragon Heart
Stephanie Burgis
Bloomsbury
Published on August 9, 2018

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About The Girl with the Dragon Heart
Once upon a time, in a beautiful city famous for chocolate and protected by dragons, there was a girl so fearless that she dared to try to tell the greatest story of all: the truth.

Silke has always been good at spinning the truth and storytelling. So good that just years after arriving as a penniless orphan, she has found her way up to working for the most splendid chocolate makers in the city (oh, and becoming best friends with … Continue reading

Review: Common by Laurie Lucking

Common
Laurie Lucking
Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing
Published on February 14, 2018

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About Common
One person knows of the plot against the royal family
and cares enough to try to stop it — the servant girl they banished.

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the … Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Thou Art a Villain

Thou Art a VillainThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is about amazing book villains. While there is no shortage of memorable villainish characters out there, I wanted to go a little bit of a different direction with my post and focus on stories that repaint a well-known villain or villain archetype as the story’s protagonist. So here we go.

Elphaba in Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

I feel like this list kind of had to include Elphaba, even though it’s not really a YA book … Continue reading

Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C DaoThe Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Julie C. Dao
Philomel Books
Published on October 10, 2017

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About The Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne … Continue reading

Q&A with Snow Witch Author Rosie Boyes

Rosie Boyes’ novel Snow Witch came out last week, and it’s another book I can’t wait to read. The story looks like a lot of fun, especially as we head into the holidays. I’m really excited to find out more about the Christmas curse and the mysterious St. Flurries. Read on to learn more about what inspired this unusual holiday story.

Rosie BoyesQ&A with Rosie Boyes

I find that a story was often inspired by a question. Was there a question that inspired you to write The Snow Witch?

I often imagine the thick snow-covered streets that Charles Dickens wrote about in A Christmas Carol, and the sense of wonder that Lucy Pevensie felt when she stepped through the wardrobe into Narnia – her small feet crunching through the fresh white snow – … Continue reading

Review: The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse

The Echo Room by Parker PeevyhouseThe Echo Room
Parker Peevyhouse
Tor Teen
Published on September 11, 2018

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About The Echo Room
Rett wakes on the floor of a cold, dark room. He doesn’t know how he got there, only that he’s locked in. He’s not alone—a girl named Bryn is trapped in the room with him. When she finds a mysterious bloodstain and decides she doesn’t trust Rett, he tries to escape on his own—

Rett wakes on the floor of the same cold, dark room. He doesn’t trust Bryn, but he’ll have to work with her if he ever hopes to escape. They try to break out of the room—

Continue reading

Review: I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

I Do Not Trust You by Laura Burns and Melinda MetzI Do Not Trust You
Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
Wednesday Books
Published on September 11, 2018

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About I Do Not Trust You
Memphis “M” Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.

Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father … Continue reading

Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal ShustermanScythe
Neal Shusterman
Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published on November 22, 2016

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About Scythe
Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

My Review
When … Continue reading

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