Thick as Thieves
Young Adult / June 4, 2017

Queen’s Thief #5. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: Deep within the palace of the Mede emperor, in an alcove off the main room of his master’s apartments, Kamet minds his master’s business and his own. Carefully keeping the accounts, and his own counsel, Kamet has accumulated a few possessions, a little money stored in the household’s cashbox, and a significant amount of personal power. As a slave, his fate is tied to his master’s. If Nahuseresh’s fortunes improve, so will Kamet’s, and Nahuseresh has been working diligently to promote his fortunes since the debacle in Attolia. A soldier in the shadows offers escape, but Kamet won’t sacrifice his ambition for a meager and unreliable freedom; not until a whispered warning of poison and murder destroys all of his carefully laid plans. When Kamet flees for his life, he leaves behind everything—his past, his identity, his meticulously crafted defenses—and finds himself woefully unprepared for the journey that lies ahead. Pursued across rivers, wastelands, salt plains, snowcapped mountains, and storm-tossed seas, Kamet is dead set on regaining control of his future and protecting himself at any cost. Friendships—new and long-forgotten—beckon, lethal enemies circle, secrets accumulate, and the fragile hopes of the little…

A Conspiracy of Kings
Young Adult / June 3, 2017

Queen’s Thief #4. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father’s villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace. In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again. Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the Magus and Eddis, sets out on an adventure that will change all of their lives forever. My…

The King of Attolia
Young Adult / June 2, 2017

Queen’s Thief #3. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: Eugenides, no stranger to desperate circumstances, has gotten himself into difficulties he can’t get out of. Used to being treated with a certain measure of wariness, if not respect, he suffers the pranks, insults, and intrigue of the Attolian court with dwindling patience. As usual, nothing is as it appears when he rescues a hot-headed young soldier in the Palace Guard. (Published Summary) My Thoughts: The point of view progression away from Gen continues. Now we are relegated to a secondary character, circling in Gen’s orbit. Poor Costis. Really, that’s exactly what he is – even to the readers. He’s quite likable; loyal, brutally honest, possessed of some sense of humor (despite Gen’s opinion), and totally trapped. But he gets only minor character growth, and what plot/arc of his own that he does get also revolves around Gen (coming to understand Gen better, finalizing loyalty to his king). Eugenides too is trapped. It is his misfortune that the woman he fell in love with is queen, and along with her he must accept the crown. This book is a length of struggle and personal growth for Gen, as he is forced to…

The Queen of Attolia
Young Adult / June 1, 2017

Queen’s Thief #2. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: Revenge When Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, stole Hamiathes’s Gift, the Queen of Attolia lost more than a mythical relic. She lost face. Everyone knew that Eugenides had outwitted and escaped her. To restore her reputation and reassert her power, the Queen of Attolia will go to any length and accept any help that is offered…she will risk her country to execute the perfect revenge. …but Eugenides can steal anything. And he taunts the Queen of Attolia, moving through her strongholds seemingly at will. So Attolia waits, secure in the knowledge that the Thief will slip, that he will haunt her palace one too many times. …at what price? When Eugenides finds his small mountain country at war with Attolia, he must steal a man, he must steal a queen, he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph, and his greatest loss, comes in capturing something that the Queen of Attolia thought she had sacrificed long ago… (Goodreads Summary) My Thoughts: When was the last time you saw a main character this wounded? Come this close to broken? Not as a one-time, see how the poor brave kid handles his affliction, aaand…

Unwholly
Young Adult / May 28, 2017

Unwind #2. Author: Neal Shusterman. Summary: Thanks to Connor, Lev, and Risa—and their high-profile revolt at Happy Jack Harvest Camp—people can no longer turn a blind eye to unwinding. Ridding society of troublesome teens while simltaneously providing much-needed tissues for transplant might be convenient, but its morality has finally been brought into question. However, unwinding has become big business, and there are powerful political and corporate interests that want to see it not only continue, but also expand to the unwinding of prisoners and the impoverished. Cam is a product of unwinding; made entirely out of the parts of other unwinds, he is a teen who does not technically exist. A futuristic Frankenstein, Cam struggles with a search for identity and meaning and wonders if a rewound being can have a soul. And when the actions of a sadistic bounty hunter cause Cam’s fate to become inextricably bound with the fates of Connor, Risa, and Lev, he’ll have to question humanity itself. (Published summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: “Dad’s late nights at the office aren’t really at the office. They’re with Nancy.” // “I would love to be your first. You can do that, right? I mean… you’re complete, right?”…

Unsouled
Young Adult / May 27, 2017

Unwind #3. Author: Neal Shusterman. Summary: Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever. Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human. With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed. (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: Man threatens rape, non-graphically. Character says he’s impregnated three girls. Scene with male teen hanging out with three girls with his shirt off – they’re all acting in a flirtatious,…

The Thief
Young Adult / May 26, 2017

The Queen’s Thief #1. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses. My Thoughts: The Thief remains on my list of favorites, and I’ve reread it four or five times by now. I think this is one of those books that just gets better every time you reread it. ​Gen is an unreliable narrator in the sense that he’s certainly not telling you everything that happens, and he’s got nothing against using misdirection. But he always tells the truth. And every time I reread it, I find more delightful instances of this, where Gen said something innocent that – now – I can see as foreshadowing/hinting at what we don’t know yet. Gen is a delightful example of the thief archetype. Vain, lazy, amusing – and yet competent, friendly,…

The Impossible Knife of Memory
Young Adult / May 25, 2017

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 Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own. Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: Passing two boys, “Others would stick out their boobs, push their butt high and swing it side to side to say ‘check it out. Like it? Want it?’ Some girls are stupid.” “When he dumped some girl named Zoe she blasted a disrespectful description of his man-parts on the internet. Topher responded with photographic evidence she was lying.” Advices boy going on date to “keep your pants zipped”. Character finds out her father was…

Crooked Kingdom
Young Adult / May 24, 2017

Six of Crows #2. Author: Leah Bardugo. Summary: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: Woman distracts a man flirtatiously, displaying a low-cut top over her cleavage. Girl is forced to explain a book series (“They get to know each other intimately”) because of innuendo (woman asked him if he’d like to play princess and barbarian). Passionate kissing. Girl remembers her painful nights as slave in a pleasure-house. Two men kiss. Language: 13 d***, 10 hell, 9 derogatory…

Six of Crows
Young Adult / May 23, 2017

Six of Crows #1. Author: Leah Bardugo. Summary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager A runaway with a privileged past A spy known as the Wraith A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: Girl’s narrative: “It would have been easy enough to turn away when they called her names or sidled up to ask for a cuddle, but do that and soon enough it was a hand up your shirt or a try at you against a wall. So she’d always struck first and struck hard.” Boy takes off his shirt to wash in front of a girl (she’s somewhat admiring). Mention of…