Shiny Broken Pieces
Young Adult / September 2, 2016

Tiny Pretty Things #2. Author: Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton. Summary: June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice. June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. But being the best could mean sacrificing the love of her life. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. It all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever? (Published summary.) My Thoughts: This is such a fluffy drama it almost deserves one or two stars. Certainly, the first book was one star. Yet I’m drawn to the vivid portrayal of the girls – petty, obsessed, vengeful, but only human in the end. And they’re driven, focused teen girls who know where they’re going and won’t let anything stand in the way. I have to admire this. Yes, it’s horrifying how they turn against each other,…

The Magic Thief
Middle Grade / Juvenile / September 1, 2016

Magic Thief #1. Author: Sarah Prineas. Summary: Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery’s pocket and stole the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Astonished and intrigued, Nevery agrees to take Conn on as his apprentice, on the condition that the boy find a locus stone of his own within a month. But with his wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who – or what – is stealing the city of Wellmet’s magic, time is running out for Conn to find his stone. (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: 1 d***, mostly people say “Curse it!” Violence: One schoolboy fight, group gets attacked by minions and wizard turns the minions into rats, boy gets knocked around once by a bodyguard, boy is arrested and chained for breaking and entering. Other Issues: Main character is a thief, pickpocket and lock-pick, and very likeable.