Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1. Author: Rick Riordan. Summary: Magnus Chase is a homeless kid who’s mother is dead. He’s doing pretty well, surviving by his wits and a pair of friends, but everything goes wrong one day. First his uncle is trying to track him down for the first time in years, then a fire-god attacks him, and the next thing he knows he’s dead. Things just get weirder from there when he finds himself in Asgard. Content Re...

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Author: Ji-li Jiang. Summary: On Ji-li’s twelfth birthday, her world changed, although she didn’t realize it at the time. The cultural revolution in China had begun, and the abolishment of the “Four Olds” began to pick up momentum. This non-fiction biography of one child’s experiences from twelve to fourteen in China is a moving personal portrayal of a historical period. My Thoughts: I found this documentary very down-to-earth and moving. The ...

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Winter Rose #2. Author: Patricia McKillip. Summary: When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn returns to her childhood home in upstate New York, she meets the Fiber Guild-a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew-and learns why her grandmother watches her so closely. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods. (Published Summary) My...

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Author: Laurie Halse Anderson. Summary: For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with ...

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Three Dark Crowns #1. Author: Kendare Blake. Summary:  When kingdom come, there will be one. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stoma...

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Author: John Green. Summary: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good st...

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The Legend of Beka Cooper #1. Author: Tamora Pierce. Summary: Beka Cooper is a rookie with the law-enforcing Provost’s Guard, commonly known as “the Provost’s Dogs,” in Corus, the capital city of Tortall. She’s assigned to work with Mattes and Clary, famed veterans among the Provost’s Dogs. They’re tough, they’re capable, and they’re none too happy about the indignity of being saddled with ...

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Storm Siren #1. Author: Mary Weber. Summary: In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse – and the girl – can be controlled. As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth – meaning, she shouldn’t even exist. Standing on t...

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Author: Emma Mills. Summary: Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running b...

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Embassy Row #2. Author: Ally Carter. Summary: For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest. But the truth has only made her a target. And the past? The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all. On Embassy Row, power can make you...

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Uncommon Criminals
Young Adult / June 23, 2018

Heist Society #2. Author: Ally Carter. Summary: Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. There are only three problems. First...

The Sight
Young Adult / June 13, 2018

The Sight #1. Author: David Clement-Davies. Summary: In the shadow of an abandoned castle, a wolf pack seeks shelter. The she-wolf’s pups will not be able to survive the harsh Transylvanian winter. And they are being stalked by a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed of a mysterious and terrifying power known as the Sight. Morgra knows that one of the pups born beneath the castle holds a key to power even stronger than her own power tha...

Surprise! I’m alive
Outside the Reviews / May 21, 2018

It has been… six weeks since I vanished without a word. Sorry about that. In the time since I last reviewed a book, I’ve: survived the flu graduated highschool started a new summer job In other words, I’ve been a little busy. I do want to start reviewing books again, but I don’t know for sure how soon I’ll be able to. In the mean time I just wanted to note that no, I’m not dead, yes, I’m stil...

All Things Austen, Part 2
Uncategorized / April 7, 2018

And so we continue our heart-pounding rush through the world of Austen with…. Mansfield Park OK, the only Austen that everyone hates. (Well, almost everyone.) Fanny Price, at 10 years old, is sent to live with her rich relatives to acquire some education and, eventually, a suitable marriage (provided it isn’t higher than her rank – we can’t all be the most important people). I actually liked Fanny very much, a...

The Ladies of Grace Adieu
Adult / March 24, 2018

Author: Susanna Clarke. Summary: Susanna Clarke delivers a delicious collection of ten stories set in the same fairy-crossed world of 19th-century England. With Clarke’s characteristic historical detail and diction, these dark, enchanting tales unfold in a slightly distorted version of our own world, where people are bedeviled by mischievous interventions from the fairies. With appearances from beloved characters from her novel...

Stupid Perfect World
Young Adult / March 22, 2018

Author: Scott Westerfeld. Summary: In this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a “perfect” world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity every day wasn&#...

Unbound
Young Adult / March 20, 2018

Unwind series: extra. Author: Neal Shusterman. Summary: Connor Lassiter’s fight to bring down Proactive Citizenry and find a suitable alternative to unwinding concluded in UnDivided. Now Connor, Risa, and Lev are free to live in a peaceful future—or are they? Neal Shusterman brings back his beloved Unwind characters for his fans to see what’s left for those who were destined to be unwound. (Published Summary) Thoughts: Unlike most sh...

The Man Who was Magic
Young Adult / March 12, 2018

Author: Paul Gallico. Summary: A stranger comes to the city of Mageia and challenges its inhabitants with a new kind of magic – a magic that restores innocence and faith. My Thoughts: The Man Who was Magic is a pretty little fable, a little too straight-forward and moralistic to my tastes. Adam is a sweetly naive young magician who assumes only the best of everyone, but still navigates his time in a city of hostile pseudo-magic...

Heist Society
Young Adult / March 10, 2018

Heist Society #1. Author: Ally Carter. Summary: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life”...

Croak
Young Adult / March 8, 2018

Croak #1. Author: Gina Damico. Summary: Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business. She quickly assimi...