Review: I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan

woke-up-dead-mallI Woke Up Dead at the Mall
Judy Sheehan
Delacorte Press

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When Sarah wakes up, still wearing the mango-colored monstrosity of a bridesmaid dress, she is surprised by two things: she’s far from her New York home in the Mall of America, and she’s dead. Murdered. Sarah’s mentor encourages her (and the other teen ghosts who’ve taken up residence in the mall) to let go of her past, but Sarah can’t let go, especially when she learns what happened and realizes someone she loves is still in terrible danger. Now she can’t rest in peace until her murderer has been stopped and her family saved.

The concept of this story might be a bit dark, but the … Continue reading

Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar by Meg WolitzerBelzhar
Meg Wolitzer
Dutton Books for Young Readers

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When Jam can’t recover from her boyfriend’s death, her desperate family sends her to The Wooden Barn, a boarding school for distraught teens. There Jam finds herself enrolled in Special Topics in English, an elite, invitation-only course. This year, Jam and her classmates will study the works of Sylvia Plath, and will write about their own experiences in special journals given to them by their fascinating instructor, Mrs. Quenell.

As Jam begins to write in her journal, she’s transported to a place where Reeve still lives, and they can be together. A place she calls Belzhar. As the semester winds down, and the pages … Continue reading

Review: Nightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin

Nightingale's Nest by Nikki LoftinNightingale’s Nest by Nikki Loftin
Penguin Young Readers

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Twelve year-old Little John spends his summer days helping his father care for trees on Mr. King’s property so they can scrape together enough money for the rent. There he meets Gayle, who loves nothing more than to sing from her nest high in the branches of a sycamore tree. But Little John isn’t the only one interested in Gayle and her song. When Mr. King hears the girl’s voice, he asks for Little John’s help to get the girl to sing for him. He’s willing to pay enough money to solve all of Little John’s family troubles, too. But when Gayle refuses to … Continue reading

Review: Protector by Jennifer Tubbiolo

Protector by Jennifer TubbioloProtector (The Narthex Academy Series, Book 3)
Jennifer L. Tubbiolo
Relevant Pages Press

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The last thing Asher Haynes expects is to be drawn into another battle for his life. But when servants of the Dark Prince show up in Charleston looking for a powerful artifact, Asher finds himself caught in the center of the conflict. If the Dark Prince finds the artifact and his servants use it, they will unlock terrible power. Asher and the Seer Team are the only ones who can stop them.

I think my favorite thing about this story was the way Tubbiolo set up the story framework—the Seer Team and Dark Prince and the whole conflict that translated really well in terms of … Continue reading

Review: Life at the Speed of Us by Heather Sappenfield

Life at the Speed of Us by Heather SappenfieldLife at the Speed of Us
Heather Sappenfield
Flux

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After the car accident that takes her mother’s life, Sovern stops talking. She tries to lose herself in dating the boy she shouldn’t, in the rush of speeding downhill on a snowboard. But when another accident disconnects Sovern from even more of her life, she embarks on a quest outside time with only a strangely familiar boy who doesn’t speak her language as a guide.

There were things about this book that I liked. I thought it was cool that Sappenfield used Sovern’s dyslexia throughout the story. She really hammered home the idea that just because … Continue reading

Review: Velvet by Temple West

Velvet by Temple WestVelvet
Temple West
Swoon Reads

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After Caitlyn’s mom dies, she moves in with her aunt and uncle to a rural mountainside far from home. Discouraged and alone, Caitlyn wanders in the woods. Then a supernatural tornado-like thing nearly swallows her up. The boy who saves her turns out to be much more than the dark and swoony neighbor all the local girls wish they could get to know better.

But Adrian knows he’s placed Caitlyn in mortal danger. He is a vampire and his father, a demon (no, seriously,) wants to kill her. So the only way to protect her is to pretty much be with her constantly and, well, pose as her boyfriend, of course. Soon Caitlyn … Continue reading

Review: Battle of Beings by Nita Tarr

Battle of Beings by Nita TarrBattle of Beings by Nita Tarr
CreateSpace

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When Gregory finds himself the winner of a large lottery, he knows there’s only one thing he wants to do with the winnings. He will travel to the Congo to help children. Greg and his two friends make the long journey together, but when they finally reach the mission, something isn’t right. The mission director acts suspiciously, and the children are simply too quiet. Greg and his team need to find out what’s really happening to the children at the mission and rescue them. Greg isn’t acting alone, though. All around and unseen, angels aid his efforts, waging war against a legion of demons who would … Continue reading

Review: Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Lullaby by Amanda HockingLullaby byAmanda Hocking
St. Martin’s Griffin

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After Gemma disappeared with Penn and the other Sirens, her sister Harper won’t rest until she tracks them down. She’ll rescue Gemma no matter what it takes. Even if it means spending time with Daniel, whose tanned muscles and bright smile are sure to distract her.

Hidden away in a white beach house, Gemma tries to understand her new Siren needs and abilities. She promises not to run away in a bargain to protect her family and Alex, her boyfriend. At first she’s determined to be miserable, but when that backfires she decides to make the best of it. She tries to enjoy the sea and get to know … Continue reading

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful CreaturesBeautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown and Company

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Nothing ever changes in Ethan’s small hometown. That is, nothing until the day the girl who’s been haunting his nightmares walks into the halls of his high school. Lena Duchannes is every bit as beautiful and tragic as she is in his dreams. As the two fall in love, the weight of the curse hanging over Lena threatens to tear their worlds apart. On the sixteenth moon of her sixteenth year, Lena will be chosen by light or darkness as payment for the sins of her ancestors. Nothing can stand in the way of her fate, not even Ethan’s love for her.

It’s … Continue reading

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
HMH Books for Young Readers

A strange birthmark spares Ismae from an arranged marriage with a cruel man, but thrusts her into the power of the sisters at the convent of St. Mortain. There, Ismae discovers she’s been gifted with great power. To understand her potential, she must embrace the training offered by the mysterious sisters. If Ismae agrees, they will teach her the arts of murder and seduction, so that she can be sent out into the world to bring the justice of an old god: Mortain, the god of death. When an opportunity arrives for Ismae to serve the young duchess of Brittany who faces an arranged marriage of her own, Ismae can’t help but accept, remembering her own past.

Continue reading

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