The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett! Hawthorn’s personality makes the story comical, despite the dreary undertone. She’s blunt and practical and sometimes she can’t understand people’s reactions and the circumstances. Other times, Hawthorn feels like people are just ridiculous when all she is trying to do is understand the situation. Hawthorn loves to analyze logically and that is how she looks at the world. Hawthorn matures as the story unfolds and she has many different experiences and meets and gets acquainted with new people. The story has an overall depressing feeling, but as the reader I am supposed to learn from it. I did learn to not make assumptions and to keep my chin up because today doesn’t mean the end. I give this very unique book a 4 star rating!

Pushing the Boundaries by Stacey Trombley

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Pushing the Boundaries by Stacey Trombley! Myra travels to a health clinic in Haiti with her mother and a group of Americans. Myra is of Pakistani heritage and her mother is a doctor. Her mother expects Myra to become a doctor also, but she wants to be a photographer instead. Myra’s looking for the perfect photo to submit to a scholarship contest. With the help of the Haitian translator, Elias, Myra discovers the beauty of Haiti and learns more about herself and her mother than she could have ever realized on her own. The author’s personal connections with the Haiti setting and the Haitian culture and language make the story an interesting and unique realistic fiction – 4 stars!

Journey to the Rift by Cathi Shaw

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours and Ink Smith Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Journey to the Rift by Cathi Shaw! Brijit attends an all girl school and her two best friends accidentally overhear a mysterious and dangerous conversation involving her. Brijit and Weylon, from an all boy school, will travel to the Rift and fulfill a prophecy. None of the three friends know anything about the Rift or the prophecy, but they do know that Brijit has something to do with both. Brijit and Weylon both learn that the adults they have most trusted are hiding things from them and some of the adults may not be trustworthy at all. The story is great and I love the whole plot! As the story progresses, the characters develop and the plot comes together more smoothly. This is the first book in the Coimirceoiri: Guardians of the Marked Ones series and it alludes to much more adventure and intrigue in the books to come. 4 stars!

Anathema by Megg Jensen

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and All Night Reads for the opportunity to read and review Anathema by Megg Jensen! Reychel is a slave turning fifteen, the birthday when slaves are branded. Her friend Ivy was gone before Reychel woke up and in Ivy’s place was an Anathema token. The Anathema supposedly kidnap slaves, but no one is sure why. Reychel is rescued and reunited with Ivy. She discovers that some people are gifted and learns much more about her world than she could have ever imagined. The characters are a bit choppy but the storyline is interesting and unique – 3.5 stars! I want to read the next two books in the Cloud Prophet trilogy to see if the writing becomes smoother.

Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley! The book opens with an excerpt from “The Fight with the Dragon” by Friedrich von Schiller, translated by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton 1852. I found the excerpt and its implications to the story interesting. The area has been attacked by hostiles, as the warning siren is telling the city. The students and teachers at the school are heading to the shelter. Maia sees a terrified young girl under a jeep. Maia feels the need to save her, since she is now an effigy and has been for forty-eight hours. That’s when an Effigy mentor died and Maia took her place. There can only be four effigies at a time. Earth, fire, ice and wind are the four effigies at a time. When Maia meets Saul, I was instantly intrigued by his silver hair and mysterious ring. There’s more to Saul and his ring than Maia realizes. The Effigies are a type of super hero with flaws and attributes just like regular people. The mystery goes beyond someone just being a villain. The plot is intense, interesting and full of twists. I give 4 stars for this science fiction adventure!

Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Clarion Books for the opportunity to read and review Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst! Ji-Lin and Seika are sisters and best friends. Their father is the Emperor and both daughters have been sent on their own Emperor’s Journey. Seika is all about tradition, whereas Ji-Lin struggles with focus. The two sisters are sent on their journeys together. Seika is following the traditional journey that takes place every generation, to speak with the dragon and renew their bargain of protection. Ji-Lin will be Seika’s protector and they will be riding on the winged lion, Alejan, Ji-Lin’s companion. They will travel for five days to converse with the dragon and then the following morning they will meet the Emperor and Guardians to celebrate the end of the ritual. The author describes the scenery and creatures beautifully by painting pictures with her descriptive words and the mythological tales are entertaining and interesting. The sisters work through their insecurities together and come to relate to each other better as they discover the truth behind the ritual. This adventure fantasy is wonderful for tweens – 4 stars!

 

Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for the opportunity to read and review Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body. by Jessamyn Stanley! The author’s humor makes this instructional and informational book interesting to read. Includes the author’s story and background, history of yoga, the eight-limbed path (restraint, discipline, poses, breath work, external detachment, concentration, meditation and total absorption), yoga styles, supplies needed, correct placement, posture mixing, breathing techniques and illustrations with detailed instructions. A helpful, encouraging book worth 5 stars!

What Light by Jay Asher

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What Light by Jay Asher is a clean, young adult romance that takes place during the Christmas season. This setting makes What Light perfect for a warm, cozy, winter read! Sierra and her family leave their Oregon tree farm and head to their California tree lot each year around Thanksgiving until Christmas. This might be their last year doing this, so Sierra wants to make it memorable. Her friends in Oregon miss her during this time, while her friend in California, Heather, loves Sierra being near. Heather wants to double date and is trying to find someone for Sierra, but Sierra takes care of that on her own when she meets and gets to know Caleb. There is a bad rumor going around about Caleb and something he did in the past. My curiosity kept me reading and I enjoyed the whole Christmas theme. The realistic kindness warmed my heart. Caleb introduces Sierra to his mom and sister in an awkward moment. The relationship between Caleb and Sierra struggles because of gossip, parents and the long distance between their homes and they have to learn how to handle all of these problems if they want to make their relationship work. A touching romance that’s perfect for the holiday season or anytime you want to feel warm and cozy – 4.5 stars!

 

Frostblood by Elly Blake

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review Frostblood by Elly Blake! Ruby is Fireblood, (can build heat and flame within her body and can expel both), and loses her mother in an attack on their home. Ruby is taken as a prisoner because Firebloods are persecuted. She spends some time in prison, then is released to go with Frostblood (can build cold and frost within their bodies and can expel both) people and taken to Forwind Abbey. The abbey catches on fire and one of the monks blames Ruby, so she runs away. Arcus, a mysterious resident of the abbey, finds her in the woods, alone, lost and with no horse. He takes her back to the abbey and she makes an agreement with Brother Thistle and Arcus that she will stay and help them if they explain their purpose to her. They finally have mutual trust and their backstories unfold gradually. This adventurous tale comes to life full of action and intrigue in a beautifully described fantasy world. I enjoyed the depth of the characters and how the explanation of the Frostblood world unfolded – 5 stars! I am anxiously looking forward to the sequel, Fireblood which is scheduled for publication September 2017.