Author: Lauren Oliver. Summary: For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making eve...

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Passenger #1. Author: Alexandra Bracken. Summary: Violin prodigy Etta Spencer has given up everything for her music – hobbies, friends, and dating. But in one devastating night she is snatched from her life and thrust into a strange new one with no one she knows. Can Etta navigate the currents of time, escape the manipulative lord who has forced her services, and get back to her mother? But as more and more secrets are revealed, the question b...

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A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills—which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it’s up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ...

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The Castor Chronicles #3. Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl. Summary: Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. E...

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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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Author: Gail Carson Levine. Summary: Olus is the young god of winds. He has no play-mates among the immortals, being the only child right now, and he wishes to live with humans. Kezi doesn’t believe in him – she believes in the one God, and she has only a month to live before she is to be sacrificed to him. When she and Olus cross paths their journey will begin, from her belief in Olus’s divinity to his longing for her love, ending only when t...

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Author: Ally Condie. Summary: For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose. Guided ...

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Author: Lauren Miller. Summary: Sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn is motivated, happy, and successful. She’s been accepted to the most prestigious school in the country, and she’s the envy of her classmates. But none of them know her secret: that she hears the Doubt, the small inner voice, aka auditory hallucination, that can herald madness. When she meets a handsome boy in town who also hears the Doubt, and listens to it instead of using Lux, the ...

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Author: Gavriel Savit. Summary: Anna Lania lives in Krakow in 1939, and she’s only seven years old. She doesn’t understand what’s happening, or why her father is gone. But she does understand that a little girl needs a father, so when the Swallow Man goes past she’s ready to follow him. The Swallow Man is an enigma, but he’s in danger, like her father, and he is a speaker of many languages – like her father. He may be reluctant to take on a li...

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Heartstrikers #2. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: Julius finally has his own magical business, in partnership with his human friend Marci. He’s happy to settle down there and never see the heartstriker clan again – but Bethseda is finally interested in him. His involvement with the Three Sisters has made him useful, and she’s not letting him disappear. Soon, Julius realizes he can’t try to back out – his clan needs him, whether or not he likes ...

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Why Vampires?
Outside the Reviews / June 4, 2017

Trends and fashions generally move through books at about the same speed as they do in clothing; perhaps a little slower. And just like clothing trends, most of the time they’re completely harmless, but sometimes they go all weird and pear-shaped, and readers find themselves looking back and wondering “Just how did we end up with seventeen supernatural books following the same angelic plot line published over the same two...

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 m...

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 c...

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. (...

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 Silver Trumpet
Middle Grade / Juvenile / May 31, 2017

Author: Owen Barfield. Summary: In this delightful fantasy of kings and queens, a magical Silver Trumpet, a jester dwarf, and castle intrigues, English author Owen Barfield has created an enduring tale to captivate the imaginations of all readers. (Goodreads Summary) My Thoughts: Really, a lovely fairy tale in the old style. A handful of interesting metaphors for older readers to discuss, but nothing that tangles the story up or leav...

Wyrms
Adult / May 30, 2017

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 usurpe...

Uprooted
Adult / May 29, 2017

Author: Naomi Novak. Summary: Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate alm...

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 poli...

The Day to Day Impact of Books
Outside the Reviews / May 28, 2017

How has reading changed you? And I don’t mean “This biography was so meaningful it changed my life!” or “Reading the classics turns you into an intellectual.” I mean the small, every-day things that we don’t always realize come from the books and stories we surround ourselves with. Recently, I was working through a plateau in my martial arts training. I was tired, bored, and didn’t feel like ...