Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder
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: Secrets of the Realm by Bev Stout

Secrets of the Realm

Secrets of the Realm
Bev Stout
Published by Bev Stout
Published on April 28, 2013

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After her uncle’s death, Annie’s aunt blames and severely punishes her. Determined that life as a street urchin will be far better than survival beneath her cruel aunt, Annie runs away. She leaps at a chance to serve as a cabin boy aboard the Realm. If she is to last the voyage, Annie will have to conceal her gender and perform as well as any seasoned sailor. Some among the crew members are deeply superstitious and would not take kindly to a woman on board their vessel, not to mention the impropriety … Continue reading

Review: Winter Shadows by Casey Bond

Winter Shadows
Casey Bond
Tate Publishing
Published October 29, 2013

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The day Claire’s father warned her about has finally arrived. Armed with few provisions, Claire and her father join friends and church members fleeing from government mandated confinement in quarantine camps. At first the camps may have been necessary to prevent a deadly pandemic from decimating the entire population, but surely the threat has passed, and the government may be using fear of this disease to round up the remaining citizens and control them. Determined to live free, Claire’s father has created a living space off the government grid, and he’s taking anyone willing to come along.

At first Claire isn’t too thrilled about … Continue reading

Review: City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by Tracy L. Higley

City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii
Tracy L. Higley
Thomas Nelson
Published September 24, 2013 (Originally published 2011)

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Ariella, a slave girl in service to a lustful, vicious master, finds her chance for escape during a secret celebration to honor Bacchus. Before she can flee the city, however, she is drawn to a young slave boy in a troupe of gladiators. His resemblance to her missing younger brother moves her heart, and she takes his place among the troupe members, setting him free. As a gladiator, she conceals her gender and hopes to make a name for herself, winning enough favor among the people to be rewarded with freedom.

Young Roman nobleman Cato … Continue reading

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of Poseidon
Anna Banks
Feiwel & Friends
Published May 22, 2012

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After surviving a devastating shark attack, the last person Emma wants to see haunting the halls of her high school is the mysterious boy she met on her beach vacation. But try as she might, Emma can’t seem to escape Galen, nor can she find an explanation for the powerful connection she feels when she’s around him.

When Galen finally explains his reasons for following Emma across the country, she can’t – or doesn’t want to – believe him. But neither can she deny the inexplicable gift she possesses, a gift Galen says holds the key to saving his people from war. If … Continue reading

Review: Broken Forest by Eliza Tilton

Broken Forest
Eliza Tilton
Curiosity Quills PressPublished May 1, 2013

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Since the death of his little brother, Akivar has wanted only to get away and leave family and memories behind. Before he can have his chance, however, savage men kidnap his sister Jeslyn. Akivar and Derrick, his best friend and Jeslyn’s fiancé, pursue the kidnappers, determined to rescue Jeslyn and bring her safely home.

Jeslyn vows to escape her captors, but once she arrives in Daath, a place of legend which she remembers her mother fondly describing, Jeslyn can’t help being intrigued. Her captor, Lucino, seems a wealthy lord, and she is honored by his attention and wants to believe his claims that he had … Continue reading

Review: Running Lean by Diana L Sharples

Running Lean
Diana L. Sharples
HarperCollins/Blink
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

Review: Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light by Jaimie Engle

When a mysterious arrow turns up in a dusty closet, Clifton Chase thinks he’s uncovered nothing but old worthless junk. The arrow, however, turns out to be so much more. With a flash of light, Clifton finds himself transported back to fifteenth century England, in a time when a ruthless ruler has seized power and locked away two young princes. Continue reading

Young Reader Review: Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Eight-year-old Anna calls Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris, “…the best book in the world!” Review and content notes from Anna and her mother, Kasey Giard. Continue reading

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