Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and First Second Books for the opportunity to read and review Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld. Spill Zone is fan art geared toward young adults. The art feels frantic and rushed and the drab colors help portray the devastation that an environmental accident caused. The story is interesting, but dreary and a bit creepy. There is some swearing to show the amount of worry and danger of the story. I can see readers of graphic novels and dystopian stories enjoying this book- 3.5 stars.

The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt

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Received a free ebook as a Goodreads giveaway.
The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt is about a mother, wife and a college employee struggling to find happiness and contentment. Ingrid lives with her three children in a small house with her husband. She seems to be having difficulty with all aspects of her home and work life. Problems and misfortunes pile up and she feels overwhelmed. She mistakenly offers too much money for a house bid, things get crazier at work and little mistakes compound into bigger problems. A story that we can all relate to because sometimes life feels like it’s getting out of hand. 4 stars for this realistic fiction aimed toward an adult audience.

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Books for the opportunity to read and review The Education of Margot Sanchez. Right off the bat, Margot Sanchez seems and acts like a spoiled brat who is lost and trying to find herself, but so self absorbed that she can’t see that she’s not the only person on earth that matters. She’s being punished for stealing while she was away at an expensive school and, now that’s she’s home for the summer, she has to work at her family’s supermarket to earn the money for what she stole plus enough money to pay for her tuition to attend the same school again in the fall. She feels as though she’s above working there and is embarrassed by her upbringing. During the summer, Margot’s eyes are opened slowly to some things, such as how she treats others, and opened quickly to how dysfunctional her family truly is. Margot matures and learns to value friendship and she begins to find herself and her place in the world. 4 stars for this believable realistic fiction story.

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!

Birthright by Jessica Ruddick

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review Birthright by Jessica Ruddick! Ava has always seen people’s auras in color and when she turned sixteen, she became a seeker for one of the many Grim Reapers. This is her inheritance. She seeks people with white auras that could become angels and then she tells Xavier (a Grim Reaper) the person’s name and he takes their life. Ava lives with her mother and they move quite often and don’t have much money. Her mother is a seeker also. She meets Cole when he saves her from getting run over by a car. They end up being project partners and have to do internship work together for 80 hours at the mechanic shop where he works. Ava and Cole annoy each other and the annoyance is described perfectly in this statement of Ava thinking about Cole; “He did a good job, worked hard, went the extra mile. God, it pissed me off.”. Funny! Another great line shows how mechanically inclined Ava isn’t, “I couldn’t tell you the first thing about a catalytic converter other than it was metal and shiny. And it probably converted something”. The down to earth sense of humor is great, the chemistry between Ava and Cole is charming and the fact that both of them have less than happy backgrounds makes them perfect for each other. An enjoyable supernatural read, 5 stars and I look forward to the sequel, Retribution!

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the opportunity to read and review Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. Ben lives next door to the Cillo family, who has recently lost their two daughters, Mira and Francesca. Ben secretly loves Mira and he’s devastated by her death. Mira left notes for Ben to find and to help him understand the mystery of the sisters’ deaths. The book has a confusing story line that jumps back and forth between characters and from past to present, sometimes randomly. For some reason, Francesca has bleeding holes appear in her palms and the causes of Connie’s allergic reaction are never stated. The story is based on possible delusional teens and the consequences when they believe one is a saint and things don’t work out as planned. The writing is well done and the characters feel pain and compassion but the story is just not my type,3 stars.

The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Dundurn for the opportunity to read and review The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead. This story is told in four points of view beginning with Clementine, and telling the story of Kit and how he died, which is a mystery. The target audience is right on as described by the publisher – 12 to 15 years. Clementine, Jake and Ellie are part of the group who last saw Kit, who has special needs. Ellie is blackmailing Clementine for favors, such as lying to her parents so Ellie doesn’t get in trouble when she’s doing something she knows she shouldn’t be. The blackmail has ruined their friendship and Clementine finally decides to tell Ellie it’s over. Holding in and denying their secrets is tearing each of them apart and destroying their relationships. When the truth finally comes out, the community can finally heal. Aimed towards young teens with a passion for mystery and realistic fiction, 3.5 stars.

Resist by Ilima Todd

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Resist by Ilima Todd is the second book in the Remake series. The hypocritical world of freedom that Nine escaped from has Theron questioning everything after he is granted a new trade by the leader of the community, Eri. Theron is sworn to secrecy as he is shown the world of makers. He discovers more terrible acts against humans than he could have ever imagined and his world is turned upside down. He has yet to fully understand his past, present and future relationship with Nine because he is just now learning about both sides of his society. Nine has known about their society’s secrets longer and has been able to move on and understand her place in the world. This second book of the Remake series features Theron more than Nine as it follows his enlightenment and struggles in dealing with the problems around him. 4 stars.

The Edge of Brilliance by Susan Traugh

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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 Edge of Brilliance by Susan Traugh. Amy suffers from bipolar disorder and she’s worried that taking her prescriptions and attending therapy will make people think she’s crazy. The author’s note is touching and genuine and explains how the story is loosely based on true experiences and she gives hope to anyone struggling with mental illness. The story takes us through Amy’s ups and downs and the statistics after the epilogue are eye-opening. 4 stars for this helpful and informative realistic fiction story!