Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found, by Kathryn Holmes

The Distance Between Lost and Found
By: Kathryn Holmes
ISBN-10: 0062317261
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Hallelujah, nicknamed Hallie, is on a youth group retreat hiking the Smoky Mountains when she and her two sort-of friends, Rachel and Jonah, wander from the trail and find themselves hopelessly lost in the mountains. Now it’s up to the three teens to survive on their own, and Hallie thinks she just might be ready to spill a damaging secret from her past.

This is a young adult novel and contains:

• Reference to teens drinking beer at a party
• Kissing and reference to a heavy make out scene
• Lying and bullying
• A teenaged boy pushes a girl to have sex with him, but she refuses
• Violence (three teens suffer from hunger and cold, two girls get poison ivy, one girl sprains her ankle, and a boy is washed down a river and gets a large cut on his leg)
• References to cursing, but no words are actually used besides “holy heck,” “dang it,” and “jeez”
• References to parents being divorced
• Speculations about whether God exists

The Distance Between Lost and Found is a survival story in the physical sense as well as the mental one. The writing is easy to read and the characters are realistically portrayed.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Review: Unearthly (Unearthly, Book 1), by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly (Unearthly, book 1)
By: Cynthia Hand
ISBN-10: 0061996165
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When she was fourteen, Clara’s mother told her that she is a quarter angel-blood, and has a purpose she will have to complete during her lifetime. So when Clara starts to have visions of a forest fire, and sees a boy standing amongst the trees, she, her mother, and little brother pack up and move to a new town in search of him.

It contains:

• Reference to rape; attempted rape
• Kissing
• Mild language (cr*p, heck, and suck)

Unearthly is the first in a paranormal trilogy, and is a lot more humorous and fun to read than you might expect from a book about angels.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Stories (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 11), By John Flanagan

The Lost Stories
The Lost Stories (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 11)
By: John Flanagan

The Lost Stories is a collection of enjoyable short stories that tie up some loose ends, continue the tale, and provide answers to some interesting but nonessential questions about the series. Most of the stories take place after the events of book 10, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, but a few also cover incidents prior to the first book and concurrent to the series. 

The content is light and includes kissing, violence, killing, and gruesome injuries in the same manor seen in the prior books. If you have read the earlier books, than you should not have a problem. I recommend it to those who have read all of the previous books, but for first time readers - I strongly recommend The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1).

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Review: The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, Book 1), by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, book 1)
By: Renée Ahdieh
ISBN-10: 0399171614
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Shahrzad volunteers to be the king of Khorasan’s new bride. Every night the young king, Khalid, takes a new bride, marries her, and has her killed by dawn, but Shahrzad is determined to beat him at his own mysterious game.

It includes:

• Profanity (one use of b*tch, *ss, h*ll, and b*stard)
• Passionate kissing, sensual touches, two sex scenes (one is unromantic and fades out before and after anything happens, and the other just has some vague descriptions)
• Dancing lewdly on a table at a dinner party
• Adultery (a married woman kisses another man)
• References to many past murders
• Killing, slicing necks, attempted execution, practicing archery and sword fighting, and injuries
• Killing animals and mixing their blood with human blood for magical purposes
• One character is placed under a curse

The Wrath & the Dawn is an immersive young adult fantasy romance book. Older teens should enjoy the complicated ties between the two main characters and the richly imagined, Persian-like world that is based on Tales From a Thousand and One Nights. This is the first book in a duology.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: The Walls Around Us, by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us
By: Nova Ren Suma
ISBN-10: 1616203722
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Violet and Orianna used to be best friends—that is, until Ori was convicted of murder and sent to a juvenile detention center. Now Violet practices ballet alone, but what she doesn’t know is that another girl, Amber, sits behind bars, longing for the day that she will be free. When Amber and Ori meet, which of the three girls’ secrets is about to be unleashed?

It contains:

• Profanity (one F-word, b*tch, *sshole)
• References to homosexual relationships
• Abusive stepfather
• Blood
• Murder scene (descriptions of slit throats and a gutted stomach; quite gory)
• Fake blood prank
• Violent threats
• A girl beats up another girl
• A girl purposely bashes her head against a door
• References to crimes committed
• References to drugs
• References to making out
• References to sex
• Reference to an orgasm

The Walls Around Us is a young adult mysterious contemporary novel with supernatural themes. The story is told from two different perspectives, and the writing is engaging. The plot does revolve around a juvenile detention center and past murders, so there is quite a bit of violence.

Readers who enjoyed this book might also like:

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: White Night (Dresden Files, Book 9), By Jim Butcher

White Night (The Dresden Files, #9)A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 9
By: Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is a wizard. He finds things, solves cases, and lives in Chicago. When a series of suicides turn out to be murders and the evidence points to his brother, it becomes clear that Harry is simply a pawn in a much bigger game.

White Night brings back old characters while further developing newer ones in an entertaining and satisfying tale. The reader should be aware that the story contains demonic influence, torturing creatures, graphic images of death, drinking, various profanity, images of arousal, intense sexual desire and nudity.

Readers should be aware that while it is not strictly necessary to read the Dresden Files in order, there is an overriding story that is easier to follow if you do.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen, Book 2), by Jodi Meadows

Did you enjoy The Orphan Queen, the new young adult fantasy book by Jodi Meadows, or are you eagerly anticipating reading it? If the answer is yes, then you should be pleased to hear that book two in the series, The Mirror King, will be published on April 5, 2016, and the dazzling cover for the sequel was just released!

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Review: None of the Above, by I. W. Gregorio

none of the above by i. w. gregorio book cover large hd intersex young adult sarah's reviews ssbookreviews
None of the Above
By: I. W. Gregorio
ISBN-10: 0062335216
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Everything in Kristin’s life seems to be going perfect—she’s popular at school, has a great group of friends, and a sweet boyfriend who is also her running partner.

So when Kristin goes to the doctor for a checkup and finds out she’s intersex—a condition that means she was born with tiny male organs instead of female ones—this new fact spins her world out of control as she struggles to come to terms with her identity.

It contains:

• Sexuality (two sex scenes that are significant to the plot, a boyfriend tells his girlfriend to wear her “sexy bikini,” making out with description, a boy gets a “hard-on,” kissing, and condoms)
• Profanity (F-word, Jesus Christ, sh*t, *sshole, godd*mn, d*ck, h*ll, and insults)
• Mugging
• Bullying (including cyberbullying—one of Kristin’s classmates tags her in a photoshopped picture on Facebook)
• Many discussions about male and female private parts, vagina dilation, pubic hair, periods, and PMS
• Reference to abortion
• A pregnant teenager
• Reference to divorce
• Kristin’s mother died from cancer when she was little
• Lying
• Reference to someone’s father coming out as being gay or bisexual
• One female character is homosexual and has a girlfriend
• Drinking

None of the Above focuses on a very real topic combined with the traits of a young adult contemporary novel. This book is fast-paced, sad, and will inform unknowing readers about the subject of intersex.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Review: Paper Towns, by John Green

Paper Towns
By: John Green
ISBN-10: 1606869132
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Quentin “Q” Jacobsen has an obsession with Margo Roth Spiegelman—a mysterious, beautiful girl who also happens to live next door. One night Margo climbs in Q’s bedroom window and they go on the wildest adventure Q could ever imagine. Then the next morning, Margo has vanished, and Q is convinced she’s left clues behind for him to track her down.

It contains:

• Profanity (F-word, sh*t, faggot, and milder swearing)
• Kissing
• References to sex, masturbation, making out, private parts, STDs, and virginity
• Teens smoke and drink (and get very drunk)
• At the beginning of the story, Margo and Q stumble upon a man who has shot himself; Q wonders if Margo has committed suicide
• Two characters play pranks that include breaking and entering, graffiti, and vandalism

Paper Towns is an engaging young adult contemporary novel revolving around the cast of complex, and often hilarious, characters.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2), by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2), by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2)
By: Ilona Andrews
ISBN: 0441015832
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When an elusive criminal steals important pack documents and a coven of witches goes missing, Kate rushes to figure out what's really going on before Atlanta becomes a battleground. A flare is coming and powerful things want to come out and play.

Magic Burns is an adult paranormal/urban fantasy and the second book in the Kate Daniels series. Much like the first book, this installment is fast paced with a healthy dose of action and mystery; but it builds upon the first with additional character/relationship development and world building.

Magic Burns contains:
  • Profanity (wh*re, b*tch, d*ck, sh*t, f word, *ss, d*mn it)
  • Drinking
  • Reference to cannibalism
  • Dead animals 
  • Injuries/death/killing/corpses (some gruesome references)
  • The enjoyment of killing
  • References to rituals and dissecting a living animal
  • An academic type discussion about the details of sex
  • Kiss
  • References to erection
  • Full nudity (both male and female)
  • Desire for sex

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