Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review: On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1), By Ilona Andrews

On the Edge (The Edge, book 1)
By: Ilona Andrews
ISBN: 0441017800
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When a haughty blue blood from the Weird shows up demanding Rose issue him challenges for the right to take her away with him, Rose is determined to outwit him and send him on his heals. But when deadly creatures start attacking the community and targeting her family, Rose realizes she has bigger problems than her impossible love life.

On the Edge is an adult urban fantasy of sorts set primarily in the narrow land that creates a border between the broken (our world) and the weird (magical version of our world with it's own unique history and political divisions). The book can seem a tad slow to get going, but picks up significantly a little ways in. It has strong themes of romance, trust issues, and trouble accepting death.

It also contains:
  • Profanity (God d*mn, sh8t, f word, wh*re, b*tch)
  • Vomiting
  • Injuries (blood, sewing wounds back together) 
  • Killing
  • Cannibalism referenced
  • Blood drinking
  • Use of magic to hurt, kill, curse & change shape
  • Necromancy (animation of corpses)
  • References to segregation and imprisonment of children
  • References to marital unfaithfulness
  • Open mouthed kissing (detailed)
  • Making out 
  • Implied sex 
  • Detailed sex scene (outside of marriage)


On the Edge is the first book in a four novel series, but can be treated as a stand alone story. Each book has unique protagonists and plots, but also furthers an overarching plot about the world these books take place in. The second book, Bayou Moon, does cameo some beloved characters from On the Edge.

Readers who enjoy On the Edge may like Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews:

Book Review: Bayou Moon (The Edge, Book 2), By Ilona Andrews















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The 5th Wave Movie Trailer is Finally Here!

If you’re a fan of Rick Yancey’s action-packed science fiction novel The 5th Wave (like I am!) then you should be excited to hear that the movie trailer has finally been released!

In the trailer, Cassie explains that the aliens, also known as the Others, are invading earth, one wave at a time. For those who have read the book, there are a few glimpses of Ben Parish and Evan Walker that should make you eagerly anticipating the movie’s release! The movie will be out in theaters January 15, 2016 in the US.


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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review: Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon YA young adult book contemporary romance coming of age realistic fiction published 2015 publication new ya september release date cover pretty lovely review popular best young adult books of 2015 sarah's reviews ssbookreviews.blogspot.com by drew cernava reviewer content review parents parental guide guidance teen readers teens what's in it is it clean
Everything, Everything
By: Nicola Yoon
www.NicolaYoon.com
ISBN-10: 0553496646
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Madeline has been stuck inside the same house for eighteen years. Why is this? Maddy has a rare disease that makes her deathly allergic to any germs, so she has to stay inside at all times. But when a new boy moves in next door, Maddy is prepared to risk everything for him.

It contains:

• Profanity (Jesus, godd*mn, sh*t, and oh my God)
• Kissing, sensual touches, biting, imagining licking a boy’s chest, and mentions of breasts
• A semi-descriptive sex scene with reference to a condom
• Asking if someone got knocked up by their boyfriend
• A girl has deadly allergies
• Reference to a father and son dying in a car accident
• Lying
• Running away
• Snooping in someone’s office
• Reference to teens smoking
• A man is an alcoholic and yells at his family and hits his wife
• One character is mentally unstable
• References to prescription pills
• Reference to a character being gay
• Vomiting

Everything, Everything is a coming-of-age story and a unique take on young love. The writing is fluent and easy to read. The heavy topics are also handled in a fairly light manner, so it should be all right for younger teens to read.


Readers who enjoyed Everything, Everything might also like A Twist in the Story by Sophia Olson and:



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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, Book 2), by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, book 2)
By: Stephanie Perkins
naturalartificial.blogspot.com
ISBN-10: 0525423281
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At the age of seventeen, Dolores “Lola” thinks she has the perfect life: she’s living happily with her two dads, has an awesome punk-rock boyfriend, and is an aspiring fashion designer who practices by creating her own costumes every day. But when her childhood crush, Cricket, moves back home, she suddenly can’t get the boy next door out of her mind.

Parents should be aware that this is a young adult novel and contains the following content:

• Lola has two gay dads (it is mentioned that they go on a date once)
• Lola and Cricket are extremely physically attracted to each other
• Lola almost kisses Cricket a few times while she’s dating someone else
• Kissing and making out
• References to sexual activity as well as sexual innuendos
• References to loss of virginity
• Profanity (including a few F-bombs)
• One character drinks and at one time smokes pot; another is a recovering alcoholic

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a worthy installment in the adorable young adult chick lit Anna and the French Kiss series, and ends satisfactorily. Though this book is more sexual-oriented than the first one, there is less profanity. Anna and the French Kiss is a series of three books that are all connected, but follow different characters.


More Anna and the French Kiss reviews:
Book 1: Anna and the French Kiss

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review: Heist Society (Heist Society Series, Book 1), by Ally Carter

heist society book cover, ally carter
Heist Society (Heist Society Series, book 1)
By: Ally Carter
ISBN-10: 142311639
AllyCarter.com
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Kat’s family has always been a bit . . . different. When most girls were spending their childhoods playing with dolls and dressing up, Kat’s parents were teaching her how to break into a museum. Now Kat wants to leave her life as an expert thief behind—that is, until a new “job” comes up that is so huge and dangerous it’s impossible to resist.

Light-hearted and fast-paced, Heist Society is the first in a charming espionage series. It combines mystery and witty characters in a clean read for young adults. The only inappropriate content is stealing, some analyzation of female bodies, and a kiss. I would recommended this book for teenaged and preteen girls (though guys can read it too) who have a sense of adventure.


Readers who enjoyed Heist Society might also like:



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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1), by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, book 1)
By: Sarah J. Maas
SarahJMaas.com
ISBN-10: 1619634449
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Feyre should have known better than to shoot a wolf in the woods—especially a magical wolf who came from the forbidden boundaries of the Fae world. When a High Fae Lord comes to Feyre’s house, demanding her life in exchange for the faerie’s she took, Feyre agrees to be taken to his house if he will spare her starving family. When she arrives at the mansion, she soon begins to lose herself in the magical land and to the High Fae Lord, Tamlin.

It contains:

• Profanity (sh*t d*mn, h*ll, whore, and b*lls)
• Violence (evil creatures roam the night and cause hallucinations, shooting a wolf, a gory nightmare, descriptions of blood, a magical beast tries to draw in its prey, descriptions of magical creatures tearing humans apart, stabbing people in the heart, a wormlike monster chases its victim, a faerie’s wings are hacked off, a head is impaled on a stick, breaking bones, a group of men attempt to rape a woman)
• A family is in poverty and is starving
• References to past sexual encounters (mild descriptions)
• Reference to taking a brew to have “safe sex”
• Several sex scenes (quite descriptive, including oral sex, kissing breasts, mentions of sexual fantasies, lap dancing, and references to sex slaves)
• One character is a prostitute
• Lots of drinking and drunkenness

A Court of Thorns and Roses contains less action than the author’s Throne of Glass series, and focuses more on the romance aspect. The genre is also new adult, not young adult, meaning it has more sexual content than you would usually read in a YA book. That said, Sarah J. Maas’s writing is still breathtaking and compelling, and the fantasy world is intriguing.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Best Books of 2015! (So Far)

I have had the privilege of reading quite a few books published this year. Here are twenty-one of my favorites! (That I’ve read so far.)

If you see a book you might be interested in, click on the title to read the full review. Please note: not all of the books listed below have reviews published yet. Also, the books are in no particular order!


Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
 1. The Winner’s Crime

In this sequel to the fantasy romance bestseller, Kestrel plays a dangerous game with the emperor. The stakes are higher, the romance more sizzling, and the characters as dangerously clever and full of wit as ever. There is a knife-sharp edge to this book that guarantees readers won’t be able to put it down.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
2. The Last Time We Say Goodbye

The author of Unearthly combines a deeply poignant story about suicide with family and love. The emotions are raw and the themes ring true in this heartfelt standalone.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
3. The Wrath & the Dawn

Shahrzad becomes King Khalid’s new bride, but she’s heard the stories—that after marrying them, Khalid kills each of his new brides before dawn. Can she find a way to stop him? This fantasy romance debut is diverse, mesmerizing, gorgeously written, and based on a collection of Arabian tales.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
4. The Walls Around Us

Dark, strange, unsettling, and eerie. But possibly the best thing about this standalone that straddles the genres of contemporary and thriller is the lyrical writing. The Walls Around Us follows ballerina Violet and her ex-best friend Orianna, a juvenile convict sentenced to prison for murder.
Marie Rutkoski, Cynthia Hand, Renée Ahdieh, Nova Ren Suma, Sabaa Tahir, Sally Green, Rosamund Hodge, Stacey Lee, Tommy Wallach, Jasmine Warga, Kody Keplinger, Jennifer Mathieu, Kathryn Holmes, Robin Benway, Sara Taylor, Sophie Kinsella, Rebecca Maizel, Katelyn Detweiler, Courtney Summers, Liesl Shurtliff,
 5. An Ember in the Ashes

Elias and Laia’s lives are full of hardship. One is a soldier, the other a slave. This intense, action-packed, edge-of-your-seat dystopian novel set in a world based on ancient Rome follows the two main characters as they break free from their chains.
top 21 twenty one books of 2015 so far young adult ya best books of 2015 two thousand and fifteen publication new books releases published list fun
6. Half Wild

Nathan, half Black, half White Witch, is back, but now he has a new, dangerous shapeshifting ability he must control if he wants to save his girlfriend Annalise. This novel is the sequel to Half Bad and is just as gripping, gritty, and violent as the first book.
7. Crimson Bound

Rachelle is a forestborn, an assassin cursed to obey the darkness covering the land. In Rosamund Hodge’s second young adult retelling, this time of Little Red Riding Hood, things are even gorier and more breathtaking.
8. Under a Painted Sky

Sammy and Andy are two Chinese and African girls fleeing prison and slavery. As they make their way across the wild frontier, disguised as boys, they band up with a group of cowboys. This is an exciting and adventurous historical fiction debut.
9. We All Looked Up

Four teens defined by stereotypes get to know each other during their last few weeks on earth before a possible meteor will blow them all sky high. This a realistic apocalypse novel that focuses heavily on character development.
10. My Heart and Other Black Holes

Depression and suicide go hand in hand, and Jasmine Warga explores these two issues deeply and thoughtfully in her darkly emotional debut book. Aysel and Roman are both planning to commit suicide, but they can’t do it alone. When the two meet online they decide to become Suicide Partners, but can they overcome the grief and sadness that haunts them before it’s too late?
11. Lying Out Loud

Sonny has a problem: she’s addicted to telling lies. So when she gets a new boyfriend her bad habit might cause a lot of problems. This is a companion novel to The Duff and is equally engaging, funny, and bittersweet.
12. Devoted

Rachel loves God, but she is beginning to question the ways of the community she lives in, and she starts searching for an escape. Devoted is a coming of age story following Rachel, and it explores religion in a wonderful and respectful way.
13. The Distance Between Lost and Found

Hallie and her two friends get lost in the mountains on a hike with her youth group, and they end up getting lost for days. The three teens have no choice but to survive, but can they make it on their own?
14. Emmy & Oliver

Oliver was kidnapped as a child, but now he’s back in his hometown and Emmy is seeing her childhood best friend for the first time in ten years. This book portrays friendship, quirky personalities, and relationships wonderfully.
15. Boring Girls

Rachel gets into metal music and starts writing her own lyrics for songs. Before she knows it she’s in a band, but Rachel doesn’t care about the fame when a horrible crime is committed. She’s out for one thing: revenge. This is the author’s first published novel and it is ruthless, psychological, and disturbing.
16. Finding Audrey

Audrey lives in a large family and has an anxiety disorder. Is love the cure for her problems? This contemporary standalone is both hysterical and heartwarming.
17. Between Us and the Moon

Sarah loves to watch the stars, but she’s sick of being seen as the nerdy baby in her family, so she starts an experiment to become popular. This contemporary novel explores first love, the consequences of lying, and family.
18. Immaculate

A beautiful, modern retelling of the Virgin Mary. Mina is one hundred percent a virgin—but who’s to believe her now that she’s pregnant? There is no other explanation for her condition other than a miracle.
19. All the Rage

In true Courtney Summers fashion, this book is extremely dark, wonderfully written, and full of complex characters. Romy was raped by the sheriff’s son, but no one believes her. Full of hurt and anguish, Romy starts bottling up her emotions until she’s sure she will explode.


20. Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk

This is a delightfully funny and charming middle grade retelling of the classic story. Jack and his little sister must venture into the land of giants to save their papa. If you enjoyed Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, then you won’t want to miss this second book by the author!
21. Everything, Everything

Madeline has deadly allergies that keep her trapped in the house all the time. When Olly moves in next door, Madeline is willing to risk her life so she can be with him. This contemporary debut is sad, funny, and a unique take on young love.

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Book Review: The Ghosts of Heaven, by Marcus Sedgwick

The Ghosts of Heaven
By: Marcus Sedgwick
www.MarcusSedgwick.com
ISBN-10: 1626721254
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Whispers in the Dark

A young tribal girl whom no one respects has a gift for the written word.


The Witch in the Water

Anna makes medical remedies with her mother, and one day the preacher’s son comes to her house to court her. But when Anna dismisses his affections, the furious young man is determined to get Anna sentenced as a witch.


The Easiest Room in Hell

It’s the twenty-first century, and a senile man living in a psychiatric ward is terrified of the spiral staircase looming in the hospital.


The Song of Destiny

In the far future, a pilot has the job of helping fly a spaceship, but when he notices his co-pilots are slowly being killed off, things begin to get out of hand.

The stories contain:

• Minor profanity
• A man admires a woman’s figure and attempts to kiss her
• Violence (one character is drowned and people are mysteriously murdered on a spaceship)

The Ghosts of Heaven contains four interconnected short stories from an imaginative blend of genres, including historical fiction, poetry, and science fiction. The stories all revolve around the same main subject: a spiral.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review: Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10), By Jim Butcher

Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10)A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 10
By: Jim Butcher

Chicago's professional wizard – Harry Dresden – may have thought being attacked by a children story gone nightmare constituted a bad day, but that was before the fairy queen of winter-herself showed up.

Small Favor is yet another enjoyable and action packed installment to the Dresden Files. Readers should be aware that it contains mild references to arousal, partial nudity, profanity, killing, injuries, and disembowelment.

Small Favor was the first Dresden Files I ever went through and I enjoyed it a great deal without any knowledge of the prior nine books. However, when I went through it again having read or listened to the earlier books, I found that there was a lot I had missed my first time through. My conclusion: You can read any of the first eleven Dresden Files and you will get a good entertaining story, but if you want to understand the overall plot I recommend starting at the beginning and working your way through.
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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound
By: Rosamund Hodge
www.RosamundHodge.net
ISBN-10: 006222476X
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The Forest is a dangerous place to be. Three years ago Rachelle strayed off the path and was seduced by a forestborn, a lethal creature bound to the darkness that is slowly overtaking the whole land. Now Rachelle has become a forestborn, and her human abilities are enhanced. The catch is, she has to obey every order the darkness commands her to carry out—even when it means killing the people she loves.

It contains:

• Lots of kissing (including with tongue)
• Lustful thoughts and desires
• Sex scene (it cuts off before anything happens, with only some minimal descriptions of naked bodies and tangled legs and sheets afterward)
• The word “d*mn” is used throughout
• Violence (killing innocents, beheading, cutting out parents’ hearts and eating them in a stew, stabbing people with knitting needles, fighting with swords, injuries, deaths, lots of blood, gruesome descriptions)

Crimson Bound is a young adult retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl with No Hands. It’s very violent, but does contain some good messages, and the story is led by a strong female protagonist. The writing is also beautiful to behold and should keep readers engaged in the complex plot.


If you enjoyed Crimson Bound, you might also like:

    

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