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: A Shadow on the Land by Krystine Kercher

A Shadow on the Land
Kristine Kercher
Scorched Suit Press
Published January 6, 2013

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Bjorn Horsa and a group of his loyal men are being housed in the castle under King Olaf. To fulfill the ancient prophecy and spare the people of ruin, Bjorn must not seize the crown which is rightfully his. Instead, he must show the stubborn king that the only way to spare the land is to peacefully turn over his rule to Bjorn, Eiathan’s Heir.

As one disaster follows another, the people of Astarkand grow desperate. Bjorn continues to seek the Dreamsender, believing the prophecy will come to pass only if he chooses a path of nonviolence. Struggling to stay … Continue reading

Review: The Scratch on the Ming Vase by Caroline Stellings

The Scratch on the Ming Vase
Caroline Stellings
Second Story Press
Published September 15, 2012

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Fourteen year-old Nicki Haddon arrives in Canada, ready to begin her training at the Fire Dragon Academy. But when she reports to the academy to meet kung fu master David Kahana, Nicki finds him lying in a pool of blood. He is only able to slur out a few words and begs Nicki to find a priceless vase and return it to its owner.

The search for the Chinese vase causes Nicki to question her past. She wrestles with the absence of her wealthy adopted parents as they manage their hotel chain, and her origin as an abandoned baby from a Chinese … Continue reading

Review: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
James Patterson
Little, Brown and Company
Published April 11, 2005

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For fourteen year-old Max and the others in her care, life is anything but normal. How can it be even close when she has wings bursting out of her back? Max and the others spend their lives hiding from scientists who would put them back in cages and continue the genetic experiments which resulted in their avian mutations. Just when Max thinks the coast is clear, and she and her friends are safe, the Erasers, frighteningly strong boys who morph into wolves, close in on them. When one member of the flock is captured, Max and the others have … 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
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Review: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House
Published November 1, 2012

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The entire court of immortal faeries is distraught when beloved and beautiful Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a fearsome dragon-witch. Two of her most devoted admirers race to her rescue, and the Bard Eanrin is determined to be first to reach his ladylove. On his journey he encounters a human girl locked in a spell of sleep and finds he cannot simply leave the unlucky mortal to her fate.

Eanrin wakes Starflower from her sleep, intent upon sending her on her way, but the maiden knows little of the treacherous Wood. As she accompanies Eanrin on his quest, a … Continue reading

Review: Liberty by Annie Laurie Cechini

Liberty
Annie Laurie Cechini
Rhemalda Publishing
Published February 1, 2013

Goodreads | Currently out of Print

Captain Tabitha “Dix” Dixon and her crew make a living transporting cargo across the solar system and staying off the radar of the corrupt and powerful System of United Planets (SUN). To Dix, the crew are family, and she will do anything to protect them.

But Dix carries a secret in a tiny vial that even most of her crew don’t know, one that could cost them their lives. Eternigen is a miracle serum that would allow humans to travel through deep space, beyond the control of the SUN. Agents of the SUN will go to any lengths to get it back, and now they have a new ally.

Eira … Continue reading

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched

Matched
Ally Condie
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Published November 30, 2010

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Cassia has looked forward to her Match Banquet for as long as she can remember, and nothing could be more wonderful than sharing that day with her best friend, Xander. She is elated when the Society choses Xander to be her very own match. He is right for her in every way, a confirmation to Cassia of the Society’s perfection.

So she believes until a rare malfunction occurs and another face flashes across Cassia’s screen. Ky Markham’s face. Confused, Cassia allows the Society leaders to reassure her that everything is fine. Her doubts resurface in the form of a gift from her grandfather: … Continue reading

Review: Beyond Corista by Robert Elmer

Beyond Corista
Robert Elmer
Zondervan
Published May 1, 2009

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After a narrow escape from an intense battle on her home planet Corista, Oriannon and her friends head toward a way station, guided by the mysterious pilot stone. Oriannon’s mentor, Jesmet, appears to her and instructs her to take word to each way station, warning the people of an impending attack by the merciless Troikans. Oriannon wants to obey, but there are two problems:  she is saddled with the presence of their enemy, Sola Minnik, blinded in the attack on Corista, and no one seems to believe her visions of Jesmet and his message about the doom to come. Is Oriannon wrong? Are her experiences … Continue reading

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