Review: Outcasts by Jill Williamson

Outcasts (Safe Lands #2)
Jill Williamson
Blink/Zondervan
Published January 7, 2014

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After rescuing many of the women from their village and hiding them within the Safe Lands, Levi, Mason and Omar formulate a plan to rescue the children and return them to their families. As the plan begins to take shape, the boys learn that one of their allies may have an agenda all his own.

Mason still pursues research to develop a cure to the deadly disease plaguing residents of the Safe Lands. His relationship with his beautiful supervisor deepens, and Mason longs to ask her for help. But Ciddah keeps her own secrets, some of which may directly threaten Mason and his … Continue reading

Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

Captives (Safe Lands #1)
Jill Williamson
Zondervan
Published February 19, 2013

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Omar, an unappreciated artist in a village of hunters, has a plan to make everyone realize his worth. Surely once they see the wonders of the Safe Lands, they’ll crowd in to thank Omar for bringing them. But when the envoy from Safe Lands arrives and shots are fired, Omar’s brilliant dream twists into a deadly nightmare. Eighteen people are dead, and everyone blames him.

Levi returns from an errand to find his village emptied and many dead. Filled with grief and fury, he vows to enter the Safe Lands to rescue the captives taken from his home. Nothing prepares him for the … Continue reading

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

Review: Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Tension of Opposites
Kristina McBride
EgmontUSA
Available May 25, 2010

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Two years ago, Tessa’s best friend Noelle disappeared, leaving behind only her red bicycle and shattered memories. Tessa forces herself to accept the likelihood that her friend is dead. Then, in a shocking revelation from Noelle’s brother, Tessa learns that her friend is alive. That she’s been rescued from her captor. That she’ll be coming home.

Desperate to revive the kinship she once shared with Noelle, Tessa calls and visits, trying again and again to see her friend, only to be told Noelle isn’t ready. When she’s finally able to confront her, Tessa finds Noelle – who now insists on being called Elle – to … Continue reading

Review: Edna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman

Edna in the Desert
Maddy Lederman
eLectio Publishing
Published September 9, 2013

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Thirteen year-old Edna is out of control, and her wealthy, indulged parents are out of ideas for how to handle her. As a last-ditch effort to reform their daughter, Edna’s parents drop her off at an isolated cabin in the desert with only her stoic grandmother and Vietnam veteran grandfather for company. Furious, Edna pulls out all her most manipulative, most challenging behaviors, but this time they have no effect. She is left with no choice but to survive the next two months with her grandparents, zero technology and a never-ending chore list. Her feelings about the desert change when she meets … Continue reading

Review: Cut the Lights by Karen Krossing

Cut the Lights
Karen Krossing
Orca Book Publishing
Published October 1, 2013

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Young first-time director Briar can’t wait to put her ideas onto a real stage. When she is chosen for a real chance to direct a student-written one act play, she soars. But working with real live actors proves to be more difficult than Briar imagined, and she’s forced to navigate everything her crew throws at her, from absence to bold-faced narcissism to outright boredom. With the date of the performances just a few days away, Briar is desperate to pull her disaster of a show together. Just as she begins to turn things around, disaster strikes, fragmenting the cast and leaving her without a lead. What now? Faced with … Continue reading

Review: Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard

Merlin’s Blade
Robert Treskillard
Blink YA
Published April 16, 2013

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Scars from a wolf attack leave young Merlin’s eyesight damaged almost to the point of blindness, making it difficult for him to assist his father the blacksmith or find his way around the small village alone and leaves him an easy victim to trickery. When two druid leaders bring a glowing stone into the village, Merlin’s blindness saves him from falling into the stone’s enchantment. As the druids whisper sweet lies to the townsfolk, further bewitching them, Merlin must find his courage and stand up to the powerful men, even if he is forced to stand alone.

The druids’ plans are far more nefarious … Continue reading

Review: Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen

Aquifer
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: It’s Over by Laura L. Smith

It’s Over
Laura L. Smith
Playlist Fiction
Published April 14, 2013

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Tragedy greets Kat when she arrives home from college for fall break. Though her three roomies band together in support, Kat can barely find the strength to move through the motions of her life. Claire, still reeling from her own injuries of heart, seems to be the only one who can reach Kat. As Thanksgiving draws closer, each girl faces a shift in an important relationship, and as Claire suggested, each attempts to discover something to be thankful for amidst the rubble that remains. Palmer fields not-so-subtle comments on her waistline from her mother and expertly blocks her boyfriend’s attempts for sex. But … Continue reading

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