The Rosegiver

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I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to NetGalley and Createspace for the arc of The Rosegiver by Sandy Benitez. This book started out promising and I was drawn into the story until about halfway. Then I felt like the world building, character development and backstory stopped. Rachel, seventeen years old, is traveling on a train to help her Aunt run her inn at Thistlegrove. While on the train, she hears horrible scratching outside of her compartment and the next morning she finds a long, raggedy, broken fingernail. She travels in a carriage to the Thistlegrove inn with a fellow train traveler. To this point, the story kept my interest. Then it’s revealed that Rachel is a rosegiver and she discovers her heritage. After that the story is too drawn out, so I give it 3 stars.

All These Perfect Strangers

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Thanks to NetGalley and Alibi for the arc of All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford! This adult mystery thriller begins with Penelope, Pen, visiting her therapist to receive a written report of how he feels she is doing after a tragedy has surrounded her. Part of the deal is, before Frank will write the report, Pen has to write down the truth and discuss it with him during future visits. Pen recounts her University days, as well as her days as a young girl in a different tragedy involving her best friend. The story unfolds spinning several more people into the problems on campus including drugs, deceit and murder. Suspenseful and heartbreaking, making All These Perfect Strangers a great read!

Children of Icarus

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Thanks to NetGalley and Switch Press for the download of Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith! This story begins with the story of Icarus, which sets the scene for the rest of the book. Clara and her friend, the main character, are going to the Temple of Icarus to see if they will be chosen as angels, as children of Icarus, and will become Icarii. The chosen enter the labyrinth and what awaits them is unexpected. Violence ensues. A group saves them and takes them with as they travel out of the labyrinth and into Fates. The older Icarii explain their future – each of them makes a choice between being a scavenger or a caretaker. Once they reach Fates, their new lives begin. The main character says “Clara” in her sleep and another girl assumes that is her name. Collin, the real Clara’s brother, finds her and it has been so long since they’ve seen each other that he only recognizes her because of Clara’s hair ribbon that she is wearing. Collin later finds parts of the real Clara while he’s on a scavenging trip and calls the main character Nameless and treats her violently. She is sent away with Gina and Felix, who both end up dying and the only people left are her and The Executioner. The Executioner teachers her survival skills and becomes her friend. When The Executioner sacrifices herself to save Nameless, she reads a letter left for her by The Executioner and discovers who she is and the truth about who The Executioner is also. Confusing storyline made sensible by the author – 4 stars!

For This Life Only

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Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers for the arc of For This Life Only by Stacey Kade! This realistic fiction, young adult read is touching, contains strong character development and is inspiring. Jace loses his twin brother, Eli, in a vehicular accident and has survivor’s guilt and depression. He also knows Eli was keeping a close secret and was about to tell Jace this secret right before the accident occurred. The secret starts to unfold and involves his family in a way that he never would have realized. This story deals with dysfunctional families, community problems and pressure in a way that helps the reader feel true empathy for the characters. 4.5 stars!

Strange History

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Thanks to NetGalley and Portable Press for the digital download of Strange History by Bathroom Readers Institute! This incredible book kept me reading from beginning to end and I finished it in one sitting because of its entertainment value! Strange History is a fact driven world history of slang, fads, quotes that stand the test of time, boring parts of history, historical food facts, styles and trends by decades, almost assassinations, misconceptions, freaky facts, made-up languages, obsolete words, real life Frankensteins and a bunch of other historical fact categories. I want to use this book for a jigsaw lesson to teach what facts can be found in the 000’s section of the DEWEY Decimal System. Great entertainment!

The Bold Dry Garden

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Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the arc of The Bold Dry Garden by Johanna Silver! This book is a story of one woman’s beautiful gardens and her impressive talent with plants. Ruth Bancroft’s story is told from when she was a young girl up to the age of over 100. The book breaks down the plants into different species and types and contains gorgeous photographs of Ruth’s gardens and different plant examples.