Fate’s Fables by T. Rae Mitchell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Original Mix Media for the opportunity to read and review Fate’s Fables: One Girl’s Journey Through 8 Unfortunate Fairy Tales! Fate’s Fables, Book 1 of two books compiling Fate’s Journey, pulled me right in while reading the synopsis and I couldn’t wait to start reading this book. Chapter one starts off with Fate, a teenager, at the Seattle Public Library on the last stop of her very own book tour! Her fans are lined up for book signings and some of them are dressed up and playing the parts of her book characters. She leaves her book signing and takes a cab to her grandmother’s deserted bookstore, Fables Bookstore. She finds the place run down and also finds a stranger there. The stranger’s name is Finn. The two of them get pulled into the giant book of fables and Bruna Inkwell tells Fate that she must rewrite eight stories and give them each a happy ending to escape the book’s hold. Fate is funny and Finn is brave and familiar to Fate. I like their relationship with its ups and downs and Sithias, the snake like creature that travels with them, adds wonderful humor also. The first story takes place on an island under the control of a goddess ; next deals with a dark faerie in a forest; third , a goblin queen; fourth, a troll with a heartbreaking story; fifth, a dragon empress; sixth, Mother Grim; seventh, a lightning sword; the eighth and last fable is about the bloodthirsty oak. Each fable is a complete story all on its own and Fate and her companions add another dimension to each fable by trying to overcome each fable’s tragedy. The story is complex and interesting with characters that are dynamic, dimensional and lovable. I love it and am excited to read the sequel, Fate’s Keep. There’s also a prequel, Chaos in the Keep, that is included in the paperback edition of Fate’s Fables and I plan on purchasing this book for my library patrons as well as for my personal library. I think readers that love magic and adventure will enjoy this fun fantasy, 5 stars.

The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski

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The Boyfriend Whisperer by Linda Budzinski is a fun, young adult clean read! Lexi has made a small business of helping young women gain the attention of guys they are interested in. She calls herself The Boyfriend Whisperer and no one knows it’s Lexi, except her assistant Abi. All seems fine until Lindsay hires the boyfriend whisperer to help her get Chris, Lexi’s best friend and long time crush. Lexi questions her matchmaking business, her friendships, her future as a basketball player and even her relationship with Chris. It becomes a roller coaster ride of teen angst and young love. This realistic fiction and romance story is cute and charming with a wide range of characters that keep Lexi on her toes; 5 stars for this enjoyable read!

Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull! I absolutely love the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull and Dragonwatch is a continuation of that series, so I was excited to dive right in and devour the book! The prologue is told in the grandfather’s point of view. The story is told in alternating points of view with each chapter, taking turns between Kendra and Seth, the grandkids. Seth is a shadow charmer. Kendra is fairykind. The two siblings can charm dragons as long as they are together. Because of this, they have been asked to be caretakers of a dragon sanctuary, Wyrmroost. They are charged with finding a scepter that will help keep the sanctuary safe and, on their ques,t they run into many interesting creatures: dire bears, a troll and a very old dragon whose help they need. They work together well and it seems that Seth has become a bit wiser. It sure is nice to be back in the world of Fablehaven. 5 stars for this book that brings readers back to the adventurous Fablehaven life and I am looking forward to more books in this series!

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin. This silly, charming and sometimes cheesy clean read tells the story of Adrianna Bottom, Andy for short. Andy has to deal with being called Porcelain Princess because of her family’s toilet accessories business as well as the reality TV show highlighting them. Since her real name is Adrianna Bottom, Andy has already been bullied endlessly about her last name, even before becoming the Porcelain Princess. Her family has now moved, so Andy is attending a new school and the bullying doesn’t take long to start. On top of the bullying, she has to deal with the producer of the reality show being pushy and invading every aspect of Andy’s life that he can. This quick read has romance, humor and the lesson of keeping secrets, 4 stars.

The Last Shadow Gate by Michael W. Garza

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review The Last Shadow Gate by Michael W. Garza! Gavin and Naomi are staying with their great grandmother (Mama Walker) for the summer and they are not sure what to expect. They have heard strange tales of shadow gates from Mama Walker. Their great grandfather has been missing for years and Gavin and Naomi search the woods where he disappeared. They end up in another world and the creatures that reside their know of Papa Walker, their great grandfather. Tiberius, half spider/half human, helps them search for Sir Walker, as he is known in this world. The siblings are told that just trying to return home is not a worthy quest. They are told to bring freedom to the world they are now in and to restore Alandra’s rightful heir because that is a worthy quest and Sir Walker’s dream. They make friends in unlikely places and see strange creatures on their journey. There is so much more to come of this story and I am looking forward to it! 4 stars for this fantastical adventure!

Shades of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

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Thanks to NetGalley and Blink for the ARC of Shades of Doon by Carey Corp! I didn’t enjoy the beginning of this book as much as I did Doon and Destined for Doon. It took me 100 pages to become interested in the story and for it to really get going. The first part of the book was too cutesy for me and contained too many plugs for Disney movies. I love Disney, but that did get annoying. Once the action started, I enjoyed it immensely. The story came alive and the main characters (Verranica, Makenna, Jamie and Duncan) made the book enjoyable. Each book has a mission for one of the main characters and in this third book, Kenna and Duncan are separated from Vee and Jamie. I am looking forward to the fourth book of the series, and I give 4 stars to the Shades of Doon for the comfort of familiar characters!

Valkyrie: The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn, the second book in the Valkyrie series based on Norse mythology. Freya, Archie and Maya are still being punished for leaving Asgard and, while the challenge games are taking place, they are only allowed to watch one each day. But then Odin sends them on a mission back to earth and Freya learns much about her family and their secrets. The adventure and action are nonstop in this sequel and the intertwined characters make it even more interesting! I rate this book 5 stars for a fun, clean fantasy read!

Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels! A mystery is surrounding a set of twins. The story begins with their injuries and the brother sacrificing his life to save his twin sister so she can heal and live. This fantastically written story uses beautiful prose to bring “a pocket realm” alive in a forest full of mysterious creatures and their unknown tales. The twins have lived a tragic life and they just want happiness and what’s best for each other and they will sacrifice everything to help the other twin. This heartbreaking, enchanting tale of what it truly means to be family and share unconditional love brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. I give this book 5 stars for dynamic characters and a beautiful setting!

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!

Nemesis by Anna Banks

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Thanks to NetGalley and Feiwel and Friends for the opportunity to read and review Nemesis by Anna Banks! Sepora has escaped her kingdom with the help of her mother and her pet, whom she loves very much. In a neighboring kingdom, Tarik has been honored as he takes over the role of king when his father gets sick, deteriorates quickly and dies. This story is told in two points of view featuring Sepora as one and Tarik as the other. Sepora and Tarik alternate consistently throughout the book. I like this switching between the two because it gives insight into both of their thoughts and perspectives.

Sepora is captured then sold as a concubine in Tarik’s harem, which he never visits. She escapes and seeks an audience with Tarik and being amused by Sepora, he makes her an assistant. She’s a handful for Tarik and he’s not sure how to deal with her because he enjoys her and learns a lot from her, but he is expected to punish her actions by his peers and subjects. Told in beautiful prose, Nemesis weaves romance, intrigue and a unique story into a new and fantastic world, 5 stars! I’m looking forward to the sequel, Ally coming out Fall 2017!