Book Review: Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 28, 2017

Series: Strange the Dreamer, #1

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 528

Source: library

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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

 

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Mini Reviews: The Mentalist Series, by Kenechi Udogu

Mini Reviews: The Mentalist Series, by Kenechi Udogu

For this set of mini reviews, I’m going to talk about The Mentalist series, which consists of a trilogy and prequel. This isn’t a direct comparison by any means, but this paranormal YA romance series had vibes that reminded me of Twilight. If that and the blurb below sounds like your thing, read on for my thoughts on each of these books!

*Thanks to the author for providing copies of this editions in exchange for an honest review.

For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?

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Book Review: The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Published by Wednesday Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)

Series: The Gilded Wolves, #1

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 464

Source: Netgalley

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Set in a darkly glamorous Paris, the book follows a charismatic but cursed heir of a massive fortune as he plots to steal one of three ancient and powerful artifacts of fate. He and his crew will navigate the elite gatherings of secret occult societies, traveling through Paris’ catacombs where they must confront their worst secrets as well as a destiny they never imagined.

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Book vs. Movie: The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, young adult

Format & Length: hardcover, 444

Source: library

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Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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Audiobook Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Published by Hachette Audio on October 20, 2016

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1

Genre(s): fiction, historical fiction, mystery, young adult

Format & Length: audiobook, 09:26:50

Source: library

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Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

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Book Review: Elai Nelson and the Prophecy of the Child, by Michael Ban

Elai Nelson and the Prophecy of the Child, by Michael Ban

Elai Nelson and the Prophecy of the Child by Michael Ban

Published by author on February 11, 2018

Series: Fire on the Clouds Trilogy, #1

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 454

Source: author

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Ever had one of those days when your parents get murdered by assassins from another planet, and your toothbrush tells you to head for an ancient castle, to shut down a dangerous inter-dimensional portal? Yeah, me too. That was last Monday.

Turns out, there’s a war going on in a land that I have to get to, through a portal to another planet. These big, mean monsters are rampaging all over, killing everyone in their path.

Apparently, I was born in that land, and some people think I’m the only one that can stop those monsters. Which is quite a laugh, actually, since I can’t even stop myself from being bullied on playgrounds.

So, armed with only my trusty schoolbag and a magical toothbrush, I head there to find out what destiny has in store for me.

Elai Nelson and the Prophecy of the Child is a young adult fantasy book, charting the hilarious and whimsical journey of a 16-year old city kid, as he journeys through a mystical realm and battles enemies, humans and monsters alike, with his smarts, his courage, and a backpack full of toys.

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Book Review: Phantom Wheel, by Tracy Deebs

Phantom Wheel, by Tracy Deebs

Phantom Wheel by Tracy Deebs

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on October 16, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller, young adult

Format & Length: paperback, 403

Source: publisher

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Believing they have been recruited by the CIA, six teen hackers arrive in LA for a hacking aptitude test with the promise of a college scholarship and a job with the CIA after graduation. But one of the teens, Owen, walks out, refusing to participate. The other five decide to stay and complete the tests. When they finish, they leave feeling equally accomplished and unnerved.
Then silence-until they receive a text from Owen: You’ve been played. He’s uncovered evidence that the hackers created “Phantom Wheel,” the most devastating virus ever made. Jacento, the corporation behind it all, plans to use this virus to gain unprecedented access to personal data. And that’s just the beginning of the devastation. Can the teen hackers stop Phantom Wheel-and protect their own secrets from being revealed-before it’s too late?

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Audiobook Review: Everless, by Sara Holland

Everless, by Sara Holland

Everless by Sara Holland

Published by HarperTeen on January 2, 2018

Series: Everless, #1

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: audiobook, 09:59:00

Source: library

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In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

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Audiobook Review: Warcross, by Marie Lu

Warcross, by Marie Lu

Warcross by Marie Lu

Published by Penguin Random House Audio on September 12, 2017

Series: Warcross, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, science fiction, young adult

Format & Length: audiobook, 11:46:17

Source: library

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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

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Book Review: Select Few, by Marit Weisenberg

Select Few, by Marit Weisenberg

Select Few by Marit Weisenberg

Published by Charlesbridge Teen on October 9, 2018 (expected)

Series: Select, #2

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romance, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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After rejecting the cult-like influence of her father’s family, Julia moves into a fancy hotel in downtown Austin. But she finds herself alone except for her boyfriend, John–and her fears. Once again she’s suppressing her abilities, afraid her family will come for John when they find out he’s been developing abilities of his own in her presence. The FBI is also keeping a close eye on Julia hoping she can lead them to her father, Novak, as he’s wanted for questioning in his former assistant’s death.

With tensions high, Julia and John agree to go separate ways for the summer, paving the way for Julia to reunite with Angus, fellow outcast. Together they set out on a road trip to California to find Julia’s mom and a way into Novak’s secret underground world. Along the way Julia will learn the Puri perhaps aren’t the only humans evolving into something different. . . and that maybe she’s the leader her people have needed all along.

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