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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Book Review: The Sky Drifter, by Paris Singer

The Sky Drifter, by Paris Singer

The Sky Drifter by Paris Singer

Published by Booktrope Editions on August 27, 2015

Series: n/a

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

Format & Length: e-book, 223

Source: author

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Wandering in the vastness of space, is the Sky Drifter; an academy reserved for the best students in the known universe. Seven is just such a student. Gifted in strategy and Sphere, he lives happily on-board with his friends Iris and Pi, taking on his rival, visiting planets for exploration and competition. Everything is the way he likes it, until he sees a mysterious girl in a red coat, who will reveal to him a secret that will bring everything he thought he knew crashing down around him.

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Mini Reviews: The Liberty Box trilogy, by C.A. Gray

Mini reviews: The Liberty Box trilogy, by C.A. Gray

For this set of mini reviews, I’m going to talk about the sequel and final book in The Liberty Box trilogy, as I think this will be a great way to talk about these books without giving away any spoilers for the series. I listened to The Liberty Box on audio a few months back and enjoyed both the premise and the story but found the narration wasn’t to my taste. So when the author reached out and asked if I’d be interested in reading the other books in print format, I jumped at the chance!

The Liberty Box is a dystopian that starts to bridge the gap between YA and adult fiction and has a premise I find to be chillingly possible in this day and age. If you haven’t already, you can see my review for that HERE. Otherwise, keep reading for the initial blurb and my thoughts on the rest of the series.

Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancee and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie.

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom.

Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?

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Book Review: Winter, by Marissa Meyer

Winter, by Marissa Meyer

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Published by Square Fish on January 30, 2018

Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #4

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

Format & Length: paperback, 823

Source: purchased

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Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestelling Lunar Chronicles series.

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Book Review: The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn, by R.E. Palmer

The Never Dawn by R.E. Palmer

Published by FrontRunner Publications on August 5, 2016

Series: The Never Dawn, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: author

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All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he’s only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah’s people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn – the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy.

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong. Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside.

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Book Review: Smoke and Iron, by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron, by Rachel Caine

Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Published by Berkley on July 3, 2018 (expected)

Series: The Great Library, #4

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

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making…if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

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Book Review: Lies You Never Told Me, by Jennifer Donaldson

Lies You Never Told Me, by Jennifer Donaldson

Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson

Published by Razorbill on May 29, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, suspense, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: First to Read

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“A compulsive page-turner with a shocking twist–get ready to stay up all night!” –Sara Shepard, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Pretty Little Liars 

Gabe and Elyse have never met. But they both have something to hide.

Quiet, shy Elyse can’t believe it when she’s cast as the lead in her Portland high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Her best friend, Brynn, is usually the star, and Elyse isn’t sure she’s up to the task. But when someone at rehearsals starts to catch her eye–someone she knows she absolutely shouldn’t be with–she can’t help but be pulled into the spotlight.

Austin native Gabe is contemplating the unthinkable–breaking up with Sasha, his headstrong, popular girlfriend. She’s not going to let him slip through her fingers, though, and when rumors start to circulate around school, he knows she has the power to change his life forever.

Gabe and Elyse both make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, and falling hard. Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences that not everyone will survive.

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