Sorcery of Thorns (Non-Spoiler Review)

Sorcery of Thorns by Brigid Kemmerer

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on June 4, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Pages: 464

Format: Hardback

Source: Owl Crate (Personally bought)

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. It was fast pace magic themed historical fiction novel. I was immediately captured by the world building focused on the library system. I also thought he author did such a good way of explaining the world building in an easy to understand way. I felt immediately connected to the main character and really was invested in her storyline from page one. I liked how the romance developed through the novel and it had some laugh out funny moments. For me the highlight of this read was the magic system and the world building system. I also thought all the characters were so fleshed out and though the mystery was so well crafted. I really hope we get a book 2, in this series!

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Keeper of the Lost Cities: Non-Spoiler Review!!

Keeper Of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Published by  Aladdin on October 2, 2012

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Pages: 497

Format: Paper Back

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Source: Personally bought

I would give this book 4.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

In this riveting debut, a telepathic girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world—before the wrong person finds the answer first.

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…

But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

My Thoughts:

I thought this was magical start to a new series. I have had this book on my shelves for so long and I am so happy I gave it shot. I found this book to be fast pace story. I really loved the main character and by the end felt so connected to her. I felt that the first 50 pages introduced you to so many characters and sometimes i got a bit confused about who was who, but I was happy to solve most o fly issues by going back. I adored the world building in this book so much. I felt that some of the “elements” and twists were predictable but then so other twists really shocked me. I really loved the balance between adults and children characters. I felt the mystery was super compleling and I am def reading book 2 ASAP!!

In real life (graphic novel Review)

In Real Life  by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

Published by First Second on October 14, 2014)

Genres: Young Adult, graphic novel

Pages: 191

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally bought

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.  
From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash. 

This title has common Core connections.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. I thought this story was super fast pace story. I loved how this book focused on girls and the gaming life. I also really enjoyed the art style of this graphic novel. I really loved this face pace story and also really loved the harder issues this tackled. I also enjoyed the under currents of romance that was present this story def put a smile on my face. I really hope to read more by this author in the future.

The Other side of lost (Arc Review)

The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

Published by HarperTeen on August 7, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 320

Format: ARC

Source: Publisher

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least, to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet.

But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives a major backlash.

To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir Trail. Mari and her late cousin Bri were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri. 

With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back from to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was super well crafted. I really enjoyed the focus on self discovery and dealing with grief. I would def. pitch this book at as the YA version of Wild. I also really enjoyed the main character in this book and how her character arc progressed throughout the novel. I love the progression of the friendship that was in this novel. I thought this book def tugged at heart strings and it really was a fast pace read. I would def check out more books by this author in the future. 

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Arc Review)!!!

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe  by Carlos Hernandez

Published by  Rick Riordan Presents on March 5, 2019

Genres: middle grade mythology

Pages: 400

Format: ARC

Source: NYCC

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.75 for a review.

Summary!!!

How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany’s locker?
When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter. Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past. When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

My Thoughts:

I really loved this read. I found this book to be a prefect science fiction themed novel with some cuban influences and it was such a fast pace read. I thought this book handled some many modern day topics in such a fun way. I really loved how this book handled complicated science fiction topics like the multi verse in such a easy to understand way. i thought the ending of the book had a some structure and info dump issues but I still really enjoyed the read and will def be checking out the sequel in 2020!

9 From the Nine Worlds (ARC) Non-Spoiler Review!!

9 from the Nine Worlds  by Rick Riordan

Published by  Disney Hyperion on October 2, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade Mythology

Pages: 176

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy may have concluded, but we haven’t heard the last of our favorite einherji and his friends. The nine Norse worlds are rich with lore, as this collection of nine original stories, each told from a different character’s point of view, will prove.

My Thoughts:

I though this collection of short stories was really cute. I really loved how this collection followed the minor characters in the magnus chase series and did not include magnus and it was such a fun read. I also liked how thor storyline was the connecting link between all the stories. I really found this to fun read and loved going back to norse world.

Dragon Pearl (Arc Review) Non-Spoiler

Dragon Pearl  by Yoon Ha Lee

Published by  Disney Hyperion on January 15, 2019  

Genres: Middle Grade, Mythology

Pages: 320

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds. When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name. Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams. This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination.

My Thoughts:

I really did enjoy this read. I really loved the main character in this story. I found this book to be such a refreshing read. I found this book to also be a super diverse read and really liked the pace of this novel of this as well. I also really liked this space adventure themed novel. I really was impressed by this read. It was such a fast pace read. I did think the ending was a bit rushed. I also really enjoyed the korean mythokolgoy system that we had in this novel. It was quick read and i hope we get more books in this series eventually.

The Distance Between Us (Non-Spoiler Review)

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Published by   HarperTeen on July 2, 2013

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 325

Format: paperback

Source: personally bought

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Money can’t buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

My Thoughts:

I am so happy that I got around to this read. This book was such a fun read but it also tackled harder issues like class differences and money issues. I though the romance as was adorable and found it to be quite a page turner. I really loved the main character in this book and she was so fun to read from her POV. I also thought the doll shop was such a fun setting. I really liked the subtle twists and turns that happened in this book and it was such a engaging read. I really liked zander as bf and loved the ‘concept” of this novel. I thought the side characters could have been developed a bit more but it was a fun read and I am happy to finally read it! 

All’s Faire in Middle School (Non-Spoiler Review)

All’s Faire in Middle School  by Victoria Jamieson 

Published by  Dial Books on September 5, 2017

Genres: midle grade, graphic novel,

Pages: 248

Format: paperback

Source: personally bought

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind—she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.  

As she did in Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson perfectly—and authentically—captures the bittersweetness of middle school life with humor, warmth, and understanding.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. I loved how this book was structured. I thought this book had such a fun structure using the medieval festival as a the framework of the chapters. I thought his book really represented so many issues that come up in middle school and found it to be refreshing read. I really enjoyed the art style and this book just put a smile on my face. I really loved the concept of this novel. It was such a fun read and grew to love the main character and i felt like this story could happen in any middle school and most students could relate to this character. I hope to read more by this author in the future.

Always Never Yours (Non-Spoiler Review)

Always Never Yours  by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Published by Penguin Books on May 22, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Pages: 349

Format: Hardback

Source: personally bought

2019 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.75 for a review.

Summary!!!

Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are. and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script. Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to star in her own love story?

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. I thought the backdrop of romeo and juilet production was so prefect. I also was really drawn to the character of megan. I thought she was unique character because she was not likable from page one but she grew on me throughout the read. I thought this was also a very sex positive novel and thought it was a super realistic read. I loved the complicated family dynamics off all the characters and also the connection this story had to Romeo and Juliet. I will def read more by this duo of authors in the future.