Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie LuLegend (Legend #1)
Marie Lu
G. P. Putnam’s Sons / Penguin Group
Published November 29, 2011

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Fifteen year-old Day’s life as a fugitive becomes complicated when his younger brother is diagnosed with a deadly plague. Instead of petty pranks for cash, he must use his skills as a thief to secure the heavily guarded, highly expensive cure that will save his brother’s life.

When word of her brother’s death reaches fifteen year-old June, she earns a promotion out of school and into action as a soldier and prodigy. The general expects immediate results, and June wants nothing less than to be responsible for the capture and demise of the rebel … Continue reading

Review: Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Shadow HandShadow Hand
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House
Published March 4, 2014

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Prince Foxbrush of the Southlands is devastated when he learns that his bride-to-be has fled the castle on the very day they were to wed. Lady Daylily was last seen walking toward the Wood Between, descending into a dangerous gorge into which few enter and none return. Provoked by his cousin Lionheart, whom Daylily once loved, Foxbrush charges into the woods after his lost love, determined to rescue her from whatever peril may befall her.

But Daylily is no helpless princess in distress. She carries a powerful force inside her that may prove the worst enemy her people have ever faced, and … Continue reading

Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah MlynowskiDon’t Even Think About It
Sarah Mlynowski
Delacorte Press
Published March 11, 2014

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It all starts with a simple flu vaccine. One by one, the students in homeroom 10-B discover they have telepathic abilities as their minds become filled with voices of other students, teachers and even their parents.

At first, the students revel in the secrets they learn about one another: who cheated on whom, the identity of a secret crush, the test answers recorded by the smartest kid in class. But they also learn things they didn’t want to know. For one boy, it’s that Dad is having an affair and Mom has a … Continue reading

Review: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

The Mark of the Dragonfly
by Jaleigh Johnson
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published March 25, 2014

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Since her father’s death, Piper has lived by scavenging artifacts that fall from the sky in meteor showers. Nothing she’s found yet promises to be as valuable as Anna, the girl she stumbles upon who bears a tattoo of an intricate mechanical dragonfly. The tattoo indicates the girl is from the Dragonfly Territories and is protected by its king. If Piper can return the girl home, she will collect a reward that will buy her a new life away from the scrap towns forever.

With no memories to guide them, Anna depends on Piper to unearth clues … Continue reading

Why You Should Read Books Your Kids Are Reading

When multi-published YA author Robin McKinley’s novel Deerskin hit shelves in 1994, the story was considered her first foray into adult fiction. Why? The story contained a scene in which a girl is raped and the text contains the F-bomb. At the time, this was not considered appropriate content in the YA market.

Times have changed.

Fast-forward fourteen years to 2008, to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s novel Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, in which readers encounter graphic sexual content between several characters and, on a single page, the F-bomb is dropped no less than 25 times.

(Side soap box moment: if this had been any other word, the editor would have cut 24 of those occurrences. Seriously. Imagine how boring “very” would be on a page 25 times. Why didn’t it get cut? Two words: Controversy sells.)

So what does this mean for today’s thirteen year-olds? It certainly means … Continue reading

Review: Unwind by Neal Schusterman

Unwind
Neal Schusterman
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Published November 6, 2007

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When Connor’s parents schedule to have him unwound, meaning all parts of his body would be redistributed to others, he flees. While on the run, he meets Risa, a girl scheduled to undergo the unwinding process and Lev, a young teen whose family raised him to be unwound as a tithe to God. Together the three evade police and government officials only to discover an entire underground network of runaway kids scheduled for unwinding. At first the community seems like a wonderful miracle. Then the stench of rumors, chaos and death threaten to destroy the delicate balance required to protect so many from … Continue reading

Review: The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

The False PrinceThe False Prince
Jennifer Nielsen
Scholastic Press
Published April 1, 2012

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Sage, a clever orphan from a neighboring country, is sold as a servant to a nobleman with a plan that smacks of treason. With the royal family missing and presumed dead, Conner wants to prepare a replacement prince. Sage and two other orphaned boys are faced with a terrible choice: join Conner in his plan or die at the hands of his henchmen. If they accept, one boy will be chosen to wear the crown as prince of Carthya. With Conner as his chief adviser, of course.

The three boys accept and Conner and his men begin a series of lessons … Continue reading

Cover Reveal: Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

As a long-time fan of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, I’m excited to reveal the cover of the seventh novel in this whimsical series. Golden Daughter will hit shelves in November 2014. Here’s a look at the back cover copy, too:

GoldenDaughterCoverBEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS

IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED

Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.

But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden … Continue reading

Review: Twice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Twice Upon a MarigoldTwice Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published May 1, 2008

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Months after the evil Queen Olympia disappeared downriver in the kingdom of Beaurivage, a bad energy seems to be stirring up trouble. King Christian and Queen Marigold, still newlyweds, suddenly have their first quarrel. Their five family dogs constantly squabble over one blue squeaky toy.

And far away in a tiny town, a woman who spent her last several months as the helpful and compassionate Angie, suddenly remembers her true identity. No longer the peaceful friendly lady the town has fallen in love with, Queen Olympia demands to be taken home to Beaurivage castle. Once there, her demands … Continue reading

Cover Reveal: Winter in the Soul by Jennifer Novotney

From Anaiah Press author Jennifer Novotney comes an intriguing new fantasy novel with a simple, but intriguing cover.

winter in the soul 1600x2400Winter in the Soul
Jennifer Novotney
Anaiah Press
Available July 15, 2014

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A dangerous journey to stop a powerful darkness…

In a world divided by power and greed, seventeen-year-old Lilika harbors an intense desire to return to Winter in the Soul, the place her family left to escape the darkness that was manifesting from a coldness of the soul.

When she meets Talon, their connection is evident right from the start, and together they travel through the Black Kingdom to recover Lilika’s stolen locket. And in search … Continue reading

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