The Summer Marked by Rebekah L. Purdy

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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 The Summer Marked by Rebekah L. Purdy, the second book of The Winter People series! The story opens with a taste of Shakespeare’s writing. Salome is now living with Gareth in the Faerie realm and the opening of the book shows us more about her grandmother and her secrets. Kadie receives a message from Salome asking her to meet at a club. Kadie goes, but Salome is not there and she ends up being captured by the Winter Queen’s helpers. They demand to know where Salome is but Kadie doesn’t know, so they keep torturing her. I love the descriptions of the beautiful tattoos Salome receives as she becomes a part of each season and she gains power to help the Fae. The character pool grows in this second book of The Winter People series, making the story more complex and interesting. As people and their relationships evolve, the danger grows. I’m very happy there is a third book to this series because I am not ready to let these characters go. 5 stars for dialogue that matches and portrays the characters perfectly in this fantasy story!

Redux by A.L. Davroe

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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 Redux by A.L. Davroe! Redux is more action packed than Nexis, the previous book in the Tricksters series. Ella is on a tumultuous ride between virtual reality and actual reality and her friends keep flip-flopping so she feels completely alone. Her society is in shambles and she wants to do everything she can to make it better and to make up for the problems that she feels she caused. The story is smoothly transitioned between the events taking place and the reader is given concise background information from the first book. The action has been pumped up to even include cannibals! Creepy, sci-fi dystopian fun. 4 stars!

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.

Proof of Lies by Diane Rodriguez Wallach

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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 Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach. Anastasia lives with her sister Keira in their family home after their parents died in an accident a few years earlier. Keira gave up medical school and works as a nurse to take care of her younger sister. The morning after a party, Keira disappears, leaving behind a bathroom full of blood and no sign of a body. A distraught and depressed Anastasia knows Keira is alive and needs help. Their mutual best friend Charlotte is amazing with technology and she’s helping with Keira’s case. Charlotte’s parents are Anastasia’s legal guardians now. As Charlotte and Anastasia hunt for clues, the mystery deepens and more people become a part of the mystery, either as suspects or helpers or both. I love this book and it made me realize how much I enjoy mysteries. Proof of Lies became unputdownable and I was pulled into Anastasia’s life and her searches across the globe. The author’s writing is flamboyant, smooth and believable. The clever writing and word play are entertaining, such as, “It felt like I was one giant headache lately – eat, sleep, breathe, Tylenol.” Great humor! I appreciate the facts at the end of the story and the excerpt of book two of the Anastasia Phoenix series, Lies That Bind. Clean read worth 5 stars!

Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon

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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 Fanning the Flames by Chris Cannon, the fourth book in the Going Down in Flames series. It has been a while since I read the first three books in this series, but the author’s writing brought the setting and the characters all back seamlessly and I was happy to be back in Bryn’s world again. The humor is refreshing and makes the story even better. The young dragons have now paired with friends to make temporary bonds that strengthen both individuals. Each class of dragon has a pair and together they are searching for hidden doors beneath the library that conceal artifacts and weapons from generations of dragons. The Directorate wants to study these finds and keep on top of any rebellions that might pop up. Bryn continues to stir things up in the stuffy, uptight dragon society while she continues living with her grandparents. She seems to be softening her grandparents up also. I can see this series continuing because of the added plot twists and surprises. This enjoyable fantasy series is fun and intense at the same time – 5 stars!

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

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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 Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell! The story begins by showing the setting of captured girls and young women kept in cages. Some women are forced to entertain, they are called flowers, while their cage mates, called the wilted, take the punishment when the flowers do something wrong. The captured young girls are being trained to become flowers or wilted when they are teenagers and the cycle continues with young girls being kidnapped, trained and eventually taking the places of the flowers and wilted that are no longer serving their entertainment purposes and are expired or killed. The Gardener runs the Garden with a strict hand and his helper, Shears, enjoys the violence and gladly harms the entertainers. Entertaining is forbidden by the Emperor of Imperial City, but he has seemed to have recently changed his mind. After Rose’s friend Fern is killed, Rose decides to plan a distraction during entertaining the emperor so she can escape and eventually free all of the other girls. Rose uses a member of the audience as a hostage and runs. Little does she know that her hostage is the leader of the rebellion against the Emperor, Rayce. Rose is harboring a secret and she’s terrified to trust any man. She also has a lot to learn about the rebellion and the histories of the people involved. The intrigue and secrecy kept me interested and I liked the unique story line. I grew to care about several of the characters and found myself rooting for them when they were up against danger. I figured out some of the back story on my own, but not all and I appreciated the unpredictability-4 stars!

Relic by Renee Collins

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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 Relic by Renee Collins! The story begins when three siblings run from a fire and only two survive with the help of an Apache. Maggie and Ella survive, but their brother Jeb does not. Now it’s up to Maggie to raise Ella on her own. Maggie waitresses at the local saloon and restaurant. She meets Landon and his two friends there. At first, Maggie trusts no one, but she soon sees that Landon, Bobby and Adelaide are true friends. The fires continue to be started in different towns and the communities are blaming the Apache people. Maggie isn’t so sure about this because her Apache friend saved her and Ella from the fire. I love the western setting within this fantasy story and the broad group of characters keeps the story interesting. The characters are all very dynamic and surprises keep coming. 5 stars for this imaginative and original story.

Off the Ice by Julie Cross

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Actually, 4.5 stars!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Off the Ice by Julie Cross. This first book in her Juniper Falls series is told by Tate and Claire through alternating points of view beginning in the prologue. The story picks up one year later in Chapter One. Claire is two years older than Tate and she has taken a semester off of college because her dad has an inoperable brain tumor and she wants to be with him and help him and her mother. Tate is a high school junior and a varsity hockey player. The two have known each other since they were children and now their friendship is growing into something more. Tate feels like he has to live with his father overshadowing everything he does and it’s suffocating him. Tate and Claire each have their own problems to deal with while trying to figure out their relationship and their future plans. A mature and realistic story line shows that being a young adult isn’t always easy and the people around you are either helpful or harmful. 4.5 stars for a young adult story with the gritty situations that make it feel real!

The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy

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The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy is an enjoyable read and, first of all, the cover is gorgeous! So cover love definitely drew me into the book along with the promise of a frosty supernatural read. The poetry of Lord Byron sets the tone of icy winter and opens the story. The prologue describes the accident Salome survived when she was six years old. She fell into the frozen pond on her grandparents’s property and she heard voices. Since then, Salome has been terrified of winter. Now at the age of seventeen, she has to be the caretaker of her grandparents’ house and property in the middle of the dreadful winter. Colton and Salome have been secretly crushing on each other since elementary school and they finally begin to date. While she’s enjoying her new relationship with Colton, Salome meets Nevin, who mysteriously appears when she’s on her grandparents’ land. Salome is drawn to both guys, but unsure of both of them. I thought it was so cute when Colton took Salome on a sleigh ride to help her feel more comfortable with the cold weather. Salome’s safety is endangered when she believes a woodland supernatural creature attacks her several different times. Colton shows too much aggression in protecting Salome and scares her off. Nevin blurs reality and makes Salome doubt her feelings for him. Gareth, who she met at the local coffee shop, makes her feel the safest. For each season represented, a famous author (such as Edgar Allan Poe) is spotlighted with a piece of their writing. This romantic winter fantasy, full of the Fae, is an entertaining read and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Summer Marked. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, setting and characters but there are a few grammatical errors, so I’m rating the book 4 stars!

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Ward Against Death by Melanie Card! Ward, a necromancer, and Celia, an assassin meet and against all odds become teammates working together to find out who killed Celia. Ward is a physician who is not allowed by law to practice medicine, so he uses his skills to wake recently deceased people to talk to them for a short time and find answers about their deaths. He was performing a wake on Celia for her family. When she woke, she escaped because she was determined to find her killer. The wake should last only fifteen minutes but Celia stays awake longer! A broad mix of symbolism and magic create a dark sense and the humor lightens the story; 4 stars for an interesting mix of fantasy and supernatural fiction and fun characters!