Book Review: One Dark Throne, Kendare Blake

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After the indelible events of the quickening, it seems that all sisters have a good chance to win the crown. Katherine, the once weak sister, is now stronger than ever after returning from her mysterious disappearance. Meanwhile, Arsinoe is attempting to hide her secret talent and trying to figure out how she can use it to her advantage. Lastly, Mirabella, no longer the chosen queen, is faced with attacks that not only put her in danger, but those around her. As this Ascension year begins, all sisters are put to the test to see who will be the next queen of Fennbirn.

One Dark Throne is a thrilling and suspenseful tale of sisterhood, love, betrayal, and family. Right off the bat the story continues where it left off from the first book, Three Dark Crowns, which left its readers on the edge of their seats. This book is for anyone who loves a rich story full of unexpected twists and an extraordinarily built world full of magic.

Book Review: 500 Words or Less, Juleah Del Rosario

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Nic had everything under control. That is until her boyfriend transferred to a different school because she cheated on him. With his best friend. Now, everything is spiraling out of control and Nic doesn’t know what to do. So when the opportunity comes up to write other people’s college essays, Nic jumps at the chance. She figures, maybe it will help her forget herself.
What Nic doesn’t know is that as she writes the stories of other people’s lives, she’ll discover things she never knew about her own story. Things she isn’t sure she wants to share with the world. As secrets fly and Nic’s life turns upside down again, she loses sight of who she really is and why she started writing the essays in the first place. Will Nic be able to find where she is meant to be?
500 Words or Less is a creative representation of the amount of stress students have placed on them today. Reading this book will make you feel less alone and will help you realize that everyone is going through the same thing, and that everyone deals with stress differently. Juleah Del Rosario perfectly captures the essence of high school students and 500 Words or Less is a great book for anyone feeling lost or anyone who just needs a laugh.

Book Review: The Foreseeable Future, Emily Adrian

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After graduation, Audrey’s always had one plan: attend the college that both of her parents work at. The problem is Audrey has never really wanted to go to Whedon, but she’s not quite sure what she wants to do instead. All she knows is that she needs a summer job. When she finds one for a Certifiable Nurse Assistant at a nursing home, Audrey takes the course and discovers that she loves being a nurse. Plus, there’s the benefit of your coworker being an extremely attractive guy.

As the summer goes on, Audrey and Seth connect in ways she’d never imagined and Audrey is happier than she’s been in a long time. She realizes that being a nurse might be the job she wants to do for the rest of her life. When an opening comes up in Seattle, the city of her dreams, Audrey can’t pass it by. Even as her friends start to fade away and her family is going through tough times of their own, she and Seth fight to stay together. Will Audrey end up with the job of her dreams or the boy of her dreams?

The Foreseeable Future is a joyful book that expresses the freedom and fear that encompass you as you make a big decision. Anyone who’s ever made a decision they know is right for them, even if others don’t approve, will instantly connect with Audrey. Emily Adrian has written a gorgeous telling of a girl who knows what she wants and will do anything to get there.

Book Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

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Starr lives in the ghetto. She knows it and she’s proud of it. The problem is, she can’t be proud of it at Williamson. Her white school. To help with that, Starr has created two versions of herself – Williamson Starr and ghetto Starr. Every day she has to hide who she truly is at school until it becomes too confusing and Starr isn’t sure who she is. Then something happens that forces Starr to find out who she truly is and how brave she is, deep inside. One night, as she’s driving home from a party, she and her friend Khalil get pulled over. Starr goes home hysterical over Khalil who had just been killed by Officer 115.
As Starr starts to come to her senses, she realizes how wrong what happened was. Khalil had been doing nothing wrong. She finally concludes that the only thing he had done was to be black. Starr is outraged and is soon approached by a local lawyer who wants to help Starr as the incident is being investigated. With everything falling apart both at Williamson and at home, Starr hopes for the best with the cop. However, when the grand jury doesn’t indict Officer 115, Starr discovers how much strength it takes to speak up and fight for everything she believes in.
The Hate U Give is a thought-provoking novel about the cruelty and racism still in the world today. This book will open your eyes to things you’ve never even seen before and make you think about the differences that separate us today – after all, are we all that different? Reading this book will make you fall in love with Starr and her inner strength. Angie Thomas has written a truly inspirational book that will have everyone fighting back.

Book Review: Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

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Madeline Whittier is sick. So sick that she can’t step foot outside for fear of contracting something. Everything in her house is sterile with no risk of contamination. Basically she’s allergic to the world. Madeline’s happy with her life, as she knows nothing else. She gets her schoolwork done, reads books, and hangs out with her mom and her nurse. There’s only one problem: new neighbors moved in.

Olly and Maddy hit it off right away. Even without being able to talk to each other or meet each other in real life, they find ways to communicate, such as IMing, or writing on windows. Maddy is entranced with a life she never knew she could have. Slowly but surely, they become close. Close enough that Maddy’s nurse lets Olly into the house with a strict warning – no touching. Maddy decides that she is willing to risk it all for a chance at something she could never have. When a sudden change in plans turns everything upside down, Maddy and Olly must decide; is love worth it?

Everything, Everything is a beautiful story that shows exactly how it feels to have everything you need but to never feel sustained. Follow Olly and Maddy’s story as they long for each other and discover the true meaning of heartache. As they fall in love slowly and then all at once. You will cry with them and laugh with them, and most of all, you will thank Nicola Yoon for bringing this amazing story to life.

Book Review: Spoiled, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

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Molly is a normal teenage girl. That is until her mother dies and the truth comes out. Molly’s dad is Brick Berlin, the famous movie star. Her life is flipped upside down when she moves halfway across the country to Beverly Hills to live with her newly discovered father and sister, Brooke. Things get interesting as Molly discovers that Brooke hates her with a burning passion and will do anything to stay in the spotlight – with both the paparazzi and her dad.

Molly thought that teenage drama was the same everywhere, but apparently not. When things take a turn for the worst with Brooke, Molly may need to rethink her approach at life here. With logic flying out the window, she finds new friends, both popular and not, and Molly discovers that maybe the best thing in the world isn’t to be famous.

Spoiled is a truthful novel about what it’s like to be a teenager anywhere in the world. Everyone will be able to connect to it and laugh along with Molly and Brooke as they struggle to be sisters. Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have written is hilarious and honest. Any teen who is struggling to find themselves will enjoy Spoiled.

Book Review: Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver

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Samantha Kingsley has a perfect life. She’s one of the most popular girls in her school, she’s dating the hot quarterback, and everyone loves her. Or so she thinks. Just like with everything, there are downsides to her popularity. Sam and her friends make fun of people, especially Juliet – aka Psycho. Deep down Sam knows it’s wrong but she isn’t willing to risk her perfect life just to stand up for some Psycho girl.

One night, on the way back from a party on February 12th, Sam dies in a car crash. Somehow, she wakes up again in the morning – but it’s February 12th again. Sam stumbles through the day in a daze, confused. When the same thing happens that night again, Sam wakes up on February 12th. For seven days, Sam relives that one day, until she finally comes to a realization about what she’s supposed to do. With secrets abound and friendships on the line, Sam needs to not only save herself but Juliet as well.

Before I Fall is a stunning recollection of a teenager just trying to survive in high school and figuring out who she truly is. Lauren Oliver beautifully describes what it’s like to feel lost and have nowhere to go. Reading this book, you will ache for Sam and Juliet, laugh and cry along with them, and discover the meaning of true friendship.

Book Review: The Cellar, Natasha Preston

 

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Summer is just a normal teenager. One day as she’s walking to a club, Clover approaches her and soon kidnaps her. Summer is taken to his cellar where three other girls (or flowers) wait – Rose, Violet, and Poppy. However, these are not their real names. They are the names given to them by Clover. Summer will soon join them as Lily to create the family that Clover aspires to have. Clover’s perfect flowers.

For months, Lily is trapped down there. She sees many murders and disturbing things. She starts to lose track of who she really is and what it’s like outside in the world. She starts to wonder; is Summer is gone forever? Lily needs to get out of there soon. After all, flowers can’t survive long underground and time is running out…

Follow the story of Lily, a courageous young woman who just wants to get out. She just wants to see her family again. The Cellar is a heart-wrenching, page-turning novel, that shows us how to stay strong in times of desperation. Natasha Preston beautifully describes what it’s like to see horrific scenes every day. Reading this book, you will discover how strong you truly are, and if you could survive the cellar.

The Sun Is Also A Star: Book Review

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, is about Daniel, a Korean American boy who is getting ready for an interview for Yale (a school that he isn’t sure that he wants to go to) and who just happens to cross paths with Natasha, a Jamaican-American girl who came to America illegally with her parents and is on the verge of being deported. The two end up in what seems like a doomed romance based on both of their circumstances. Throughout the novel Natasha and Daniel have many philosophical discussions about religion in relation to science;dreams in relation to reality; and what it is like to lose all hope. This book also highlights the difficulties that come with moving away from your native country and why many people may choose to make that decision. This book was heartfelt and fascinating in the way that it tackled these topics and it was heartbreaking knowing how their relationship would end. In fact I was nearly moved to tears at the ending of this amazing book. There is so much more that I could say about this book, but I will leave that for you to find when you read it. I would highly recommend this book to others as it masterfully tackles such difficult topics as I mentioned above and leaves us with the endearing message that sometimes all one can do is never lose hope.

Upcoming YA Book Releases: July 2019

Here are a few of the many amazing YA books coming out next month! Take a look, maybe you’ll find one that piques your interest.

**All summaries are taken from Goodreads.**

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Spin The Dawn (The Blood Of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

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Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . 

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Symptoms Of A Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra

The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in the contemporary romantic comedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak.

Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.

But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.

It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.

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How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates

A plague, called Wicked, is pulsing through the world; and in its wake, it’s dividing the population into thirds:

The WICKED: Already infected by the droves of Singers, the ultraviolet mosquito-like insects who carry the plague, the Wicked roam the world freely. They don’t want for much—only to maim and dismember you. But don’t worry: They always ask politely first.

The TRUE: The True live in contained, isolated communities. They’re the lucky ones; they found safety from the Singers. And while the threat of the Wicked may not be eliminated, for the True, the threat has certainly been contained…

The VEXED: The Vexed are the truly fortunate ones—they survived the sting of the Singers, leaving them immune. But they’re far from safe. The Vexed hold the key to a cure, and there are those who will do anything to get it.

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Sand Dancer by Trudie Skies

Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death.

But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued across the desert by the soldiers and guards of the noble Houses. To survive, she knows she’ll have to abandon her past and learn the way of the sword. But only boys are allowed to carry a blade. There’s only one solution…

Disguised as a young nobleman, Mina must make a new life for herself in the heart of her enemies. But she knows she can’t keep up the masquerade forever. With time running out, which will she choose to find—the truth or revenge?