Ten Books I Can’t Wait to Read

OutcastsOutcasts by Jill Williamson

Release date: 1/7/14

Three brothers and a young girl fight for survival within the towering walls of the Safe Lands. Despite its name, the city is ravaged with disease and infested with corruption. Each brother follows a mission: to find a cure for the sick; to free the captives; to take down the Safe Lands in a rebellion.

The second in her Safe Lands series, Outcasts is quickly earning a reputation as an intense story set in a captivating world. As a fan of Williamson’s fantasy series, Blood of Kings, I’ve been eager to get lost in another story by this worthy author.

The Captive MaidenThe Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Release date: 11/9/13

Lonely Gisela spends her … Continue reading

Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen FoxleeOphelia and the Marvelous Boy
Karen Foxlee
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published January 28, 2014

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Eleven year-old Ophelia’s father brings her and her older sister Alice to a magical museum in a city in which it always snows. When science-loving Ophelia wanders off to explore the museum in search of dinosaurs and fossils, she finds a boy locked in a small room. He tells an impossible story and asks for her help. Ophelia, who only believes things which can be scientifically proven, is torn about helping the boy, who says he must find a magical … Continue reading

Favorite Reads from 2013

Out of just over 100 books I had the pleasure of reading last year, here are my top ten favorites:

Glass Girl by Laura Anderson KurkGlass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk

From my review: “Glass Girl is a beautiful story of a girl who has lost not only her brother but faces the terrible toll grief has taken on her family. Meg’s emotions are vivid and gripping, as are the relationships she has with each of her parents and friends. The rugged Wyoming countryside provides the perfect backdrop for both the tumultuous feel of the emotional story and the golden-hearted cowboy who teaches Meg about courage, compassion and mercy. This is a novel that demands to be finished once it is begun. Tissues are … Continue reading

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)
Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published March 27, 2007

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When fifteen-year-old Clary witnesses a murder, she is determined to find out what’s happening. Unfortunately, she’s the only person who can see the perpetrators and the victim literally disappeared post-mortem. As she tries to reconcile herself to the strange happenings, she encounters one of the vicious youths again, only to discover that he belongs to an elite and mysterious group called Shadowhunters who protect ordinary mortals (which they call mundies, or mundanes) from demons. What they still aren’t sure about is why Clary can … Continue reading

Review: Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen

Jonathan Friesen
Blink YA
Published August 6, 2013

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Fifteen year-old Luca has grown up with a heavy burden of responsibility on his shoulders. In a world plagued by drought, only his father has the knowledge and ability to journey deep underground and negotiate with the fearsome people known as water rats for another year’s supply of water to be pumped up to earth’s surface. Luca painstakingly memorizes his father’s instructions to navigate the caves below, for one day it will fall to him to make that lonely, life-preserving journey as the Deliverer.

Life on the earth’s surface is carefully monitored and controlled by the Council of Nine and their representatives, called Amongus, who … Continue reading

Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Rachele Alpine
Medallion Press

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Sixteen year-old Kate still reels from the recent loss of her mother. Now she and her brother Brett communicate with their emotionally-absent father through a series of post-it notes. When Dad lands a new job as basketball coach at a ritzy private school, he opts to transfer both kids to the new school.

Kate, determined to adjust and desperate to reconnect with her father, begins attending basketball practices and cheering from the stands. That’s when she meets Jack, a gorgeous and popular star player and boyfriend of any girl’s dreams. But the thrill of being Jack’s girlfriend soon loses its shine when she discovers several unsavory habits of … Continue reading

Review: Perfect Glass by Laura Anderson Kurk

Perfect Glass
Laura Anderson Kurk
Playlist Fiction
Published June 1, 2013

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Henry begins his year-long trip to Nicaragua, leaving Meg behind in Chapin to finish her senior year. Henry faces the challenges of assembling a new building for his sister and brother-in-law’s orphan home in a country with limited supplies and deep distrust toward Americans. Meg meanwhile finds herself the center of affection for the new and fascinating Quinn O’Neill and the unlikely companion to a feisty elderly woman wielding a shotgun.

Meg wants desperately to secure admission to the University of Wyoming, so she and Henry can stay together through college and she can pursue a degree through the writing program there. Quinn … Continue reading

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends/MacMillan
Published January 3, 2012

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When her reputation as one of the best mechanics in New Beijing draws a covert visit from the prince, Cinder can’t help but be charmed by his easygoing, friendly nature. She hides her cyborg leg and foot, desperate to hold on to the moment where he sees her as human, rather than as property, as the law dictates. An outbreak of a terrible plague interrupts Cinder’s work and nearly her life when she is sent to the labs as a research subject, a sure death sentence.

Prince Kai watches helplessly as the ruthless plague destroys his father and the responsibility of leadership falls to … Continue reading

Review: The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill

The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet
Stephanie Morrill
Playlist Fiction
Published October 13, 2013

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The day of Ellie’s book debut draws near, and the pressure is on. On top of school and family commitments, Ellie’s editor presses for detailed revisions. Instead of support and cheerleading, Ellie’s best writing buddy has gone AWOL, and her boyfriend Chase doesn’t seem to understand how much work writing can be or how important it is to Ellie.

Tension between Ellie and Chase only rises as he pushes her to spend more time with his friends and their short-term girlfriends. While Ellie believes in the goodness of Chase’s heart and his ability to succeed, he only sees his tarnished reputation. He expects Ellie to bail … Continue reading

Review: Running Lean by Diana L Sharples

Running Lean
Diana L. Sharples
Published August 6, 2013

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Haunted by a cruel playground song, Stacey is determined never to be fat again. With her best friend Zoe, she embarks on a rigid diet, rejecting the high-calorie, deep-fried southern dishes her family seems to thrive on. But just when Stacey has it all under control, a fainting spell alerts her boyfriend Calvin that things aren’t as well-ordered as they seem. Stacey brushes off the event as “female problems” and hopes Calvin will just forget it.

Calvin just wants Stacey to be okay, and he’s willing to pay just about any price to make that so. He endeavors to support her, but his own … Continue reading

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