The Immortal Rules
Young Adult / August 7, 2016

Blood of Eden #1. Author: Julie Kagawa. Summary: Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters. Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again. (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: A hug. Two kisses. Female walking out alone on a couple different occasions is approached by men whom, she is aware, have dishonorable intentions (nothing of the sort actually happens, although a few fight scenes incur.) Language: 40 d***, 22 derogatory terms, 13 scatological terms, 11 hell, one rude hand gesture. Violence: Three ‘criminal’ teens are hung. Character punches another in…

Young Adult / August 6, 2016

Hunter #1. Author: Mercedes Lackey. Summary: To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people. Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers, and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they’re in—to them, Joy and her corps of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV. When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, she uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them… Content Review: Sexual content: Two kisses. A hug. One character playfully warns another that gossip runs rife, and if she’s not careful the vid-feeds will have her and her mentor a couple. Woman mentions having a wife. Character remembers…

The Graveyard Book
Young Adult / August 5, 2016

Author: Neil Gaiman. Summary: After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family… (Published summary.) My Thoughts: Although written from a third person point of view, the story takes the tone of the main character. It is quite simple and not at all scared in the beginning, even though narrating strange and even frightening events – the vocabulary and prose becomes more complex as the story and the protagonist progress. Definitely an interesting read. Content Review: Sexual content: One kiss. Language: 1 bloody Violence: The actual deed is not shown, but it is known main character’s parents and sibling…

Ella Enchanted
Middle Grade / Juvenile / August 4, 2016

Author: Gail Carson Levine. Summary: Ella is a strong-willed, contrary girl – but if you give her an order, she’ll obey every time. She has to. Her fairy godmother gifted her with obedience at birth, and while Ella has learned to stretch the limits, in the end she must live with it. But this isn’t going to stop her from running away, taming ogres, meeting elves, and chasing down fairies to try and break the spell. And even maybe, just maybe, falling in love. My Thoughts: One of the funnest fairy tale retellings I’ve ever read. Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: None. Violence: Some girls at boarding school are mean to her, ordering her around. Some ogres tie her up and threaten to eat her. Her stepmother makes her work as a servant.  

Dragon Keeper
Adult / August 3, 2016

Rain Wilds Chronicles #1. Author: Robin Hobb. Summary: Too much time has passed since the powerful dragon Tintaglia helped the people of the Trader cities stave off an invasion of their enemies. The Traders have forgotten their promises, weary of the labor and expense of tending earthbound dragons who were hatched weak and deformed by a river turned toxic. If neglected, the creatures will rampage–or die–so it is decreed that they must move farther upriver toward Kelsingra, the mythical homeland whose location is locked deep within the dragons’ uncertain ancestral memories. Thymara, an unschooled forest girl, and Alise, wife of an unloving and wealthy Trader, are among the disparate group entrusted with escorting the dragons to their new home. And on an extraordinary odyssey with no promise of return, many lessons will be learned–as dragons and tenders alike experience hardships, betrayals . . . and joys beyond their wildest imaginings. (Published summary.) My Thoughts: A richly complicated fantasy world with real problems and people. The dragons’ plight was truly moving – trapped in malformed bodies through no fault of their own, they have all the memories of their ancestors, and know exactly what they’re missing and how they are deficient….

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Young Adult / August 2, 2016

Song of the Lioness #3. Author: Tamora Pierce. Summary: Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death — either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe’s first female shaman — despite the desert dwellers’ grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes — for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall. Content Review: Sexual content: “Some of the most intelligent women I knew growing up were prostitutes.” Multiple kisses. Girl moves her things into a man’s bedroom. Possibly implied sexual intercourse? If so, it’s vague enough implication I couldn’t be sure. Language: Low. Violence: Sword fight with hillmen in which several hillmen are killed. Magical fight, in which several hillmen are killed. Multiple foiled magical attacks, shaman dies from overusing his life force in magic. Man dies of illness.

The War That Saved My Life
Middle Grade / Juvenile / August 1, 2016

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Summary: Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: 1 bloody, 1 derogatory term Violence: Although it’s not very present in the book, Ada’s mother severely abused her. Ada flinches every time someone raises a hand near her for weeks. She’s afraid to go into an air-raid shelter because it reminds her of the cupboard she was locked in as punishment. World War I is happening, and there are air-raids….