Author: Sarah Dessen. Summary: Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store. This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark,...

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Author: Neil Gaiman. Summary: Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting desp...

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Author: Pat Frank. Summary: “Alas, Babylon.” Those fateful words heralded the end. When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness. (Summary from Goodrea...

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Author: Orson Scott Card. Summary: The sphere is alien in origin, but has been controlled by man for millennia. A legend as old as the stars rules this constructed world; When the seventh seventh seventh human Heptarch is crowned, he will be the Kristos and will bring eternal salvation . . . or the destruction of the cosmos. Patience is the only daughter of the rightful Heptarch, but she, like her father before her, serves the usurper who has ...

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A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide. Author: Rick Riordan. Summary: How do you handle an encounter with Medusa on the New Jersey interstate? What’s the best way to take down a minotaur? Become an expert on everything in Percy’s world with this must-have guide to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Complete with interviews, puzzles, games, and original short stories by Rick Riordan. My Thoughts: Some interesting backstor...

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Author: Connie Willis. Summary: Sandra Foster studies fads – from Barbie dolls to the grunge look – how they start and what they mean. Bennet O’Reilly is a chaos theorist studying monkey group behavior. They both work for the HiTek corporation, strangers until a misdelivered package brings them together.It’s a moment of synchronicity – if not serendipity – which leads them into a chaotic system of their own,...

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Author: Jo Schreiber. Summary: Will Shea is completing his senior year at one of the most elite prep schools on the continent. The catch? He doesn’t belong there – conning their way into things is a family specialty, and this is only Will’s latest exploit. It’s just bad luck that he picked this particular school, for it already has a resident con artist, Andrea, and she isn’t interested in sharing the school. In proper thieving tradition, the ...

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The Illuminae Files #1. Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff. Summary: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady an...

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Author: Julia Golding. Summary: Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he’s not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance. When Tashi an...

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Splintered #1. Author: A.G. Howard. Summary: Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the...

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Half-Way Nano Point
Outside the Reviews / November 16, 2017

Every Nanowrimo I’ve done so far has brought some new experience with it. This year, so far… this year’s record is “most re-starts”. I didn’t hit it off with my first story idea, persisted for about 14K words, and then when I still didn’t like any of it I decided to start a new story. That one didn’t work either. I’m working on my third beginning now, and this time I love the stor...

Five Reasons to Read Brandon Sanderson
Outside the Reviews / November 10, 2017

By Bernadette and Marietta Oathbringer, the third book in the Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, is coming out in just a few days! ​Because we just can’t wait in honor of the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of five reasons to read Brandon Sanderson’s books. If you’ve never read his books, I hope this can convince you to remedy that situation, as well as explaining why I’m such a huge fan of his. 1...

The Scorpio Races
Young Adult / November 6, 2017

Author: Maggie Stiefvater. Summary: Some race to win. Others race to survive. It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. ...

How To Get All The Books
Outside the Reviews / November 5, 2017

First, a quick disclaimer: everything in this post is wholly unsponsored. It’s just ideas from my long experience of never-enough-money-for-all-the-books, compiled for you out of the goodness of my heart. All bookworms are intimately familiar with budgeting problems, right? All these shiny books, and they cost so much. A reader has to keep a sharp eye out for deals and freebies. There are two main divisions here: physical books...

Warcross
Young Adult / November 2, 2017

Warcross #1. Author: Marie Lu. Summary: 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 ...

Turtles All the Way Down
Young Adult / November 1, 2017

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,...

October: Monthly Roundup
Outside the Reviews / October 31, 2017

My town usually only gets a few days of autumn color before it snows or freezes and all the leaves wither brown, but this year the weather has held true, crisp and (mostly) clear. I’d like to say that the sweeping color and lovely skies are the reason for only fourteen books reviewed this month, but I haven’t gotten outside anywhere nearly as much as I’d like. It just hasn’t been a productive month overall. Bu...

The Creeping Shadow
Young Adult / October 30, 2017

Lockwood & Co. #4. Author: Jonathan Stroud. Summary: After leaving Lockwood & Co. at the end of The Hollow Boy, Lucy is a freelance operative, hiring herself out to agencies that value her ever-improving skills. One day she is pleasantly surprised by a visit from Lockwood, who tells her he needs a good Listener for a tough assignment. Penelope Fittes, the leader of the giant Fittes Agency wants them–and only them–...

It’s Okay if the Sky is Awful
Outside the Reviews / October 29, 2017

It’s okay if the sky is awful. ​ Did you know that the words awesome and awful are directly related? “Awful” was around a lot earlier, going back almost a thousand years, and it meant something that was awe-inspiring. Full of awe. It could mean “worthy of, or commanding, profound respect or reverential fear”. It was not a far stretch, back then, to use it to mean “causing dread”. Sometime aft...

Once and for All
Young Adult / October 28, 2017

Author: Sarah Dessen. Summary: Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isnR...