The Blood Orchid by Claire Warner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Blood Orchid by Claire Warner has Melissa and Justin opening the story with the ending events of The Black Lotus. Marcus searches for and finds Melissa after discovering the death of their mother. He fights for her to go back home with him and then finally realizes that she can’t and is now dealing with the same curse as Justin. This book is genre bending and includes historical fiction plus all the mystery, suspense and paranormal fun of The Black Lotus, the first book in the Night Flower series. 4 stars for this supernatural young adult book with a touch of romance!

The Black Lotus by Claire Warner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
The Black Lotus by Claire Warner is the first book in the Night Flower Series.  The opening of the book pulled me into the story with danger and intrigue. Melissa is experiencing memory loss and seems to have been kidnapped and she’s overhearing two people discuss her while they think she’s unconscious. She gradually recalls her circumstances and how she came to be in her current state. Then, the story jumps back to five months earlier. Melissa is attending her first social outing as a demure debutante. She meets all types of men, one she can’t get out of her mind, even though she’s been warned away from him, and has an altercation with another man who is extremely pushy. Her night didn’t fare very well in society’s standards. The man she can’t stop thinking about is Justin and, little does she know, he has a horrible curse that he’s trying to survive. As the story is told, the curse is revealed with the sorrow and dangers that go with it. This fantasy has mystery, suspense, romance and intrigue all wrapped together for an interesting supernatural book, 4 stars.

Legion by Julie Kagawa

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

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review the fourth book in the Talon Saga, Legion by Julie Kagawa!  This is a perfect addition to the already popular Talon, Rogue and Soldier books with just as much action, intrigue, romance and suspense!

Each of the books in the Talon Saga are told from a different character’s point of view. Talon is told in Ember’s point of view, Rogue is in Riley’s and Soldier is told in Garret’s point of view. Legion brings back all of the main characters and their points of view, including Dante’s. Dante is Ember’s brother and has been loyal to the dragon rule all  along because he believes he will be the dragon in power someday.  At first, he wanted to help his sister succeed and only cared about pleasing their instructors and taking care of her.  Then he had an epiphany about the position of power he could be in someday.  This changed his entire perspective. The strong, dynamic characters are worth cheering for while the tension builds in this addition to the Talon saga. I didn’t see the specific conflict coming and was shocked and appalled at the Elder Wyrm’s use for Ember Hill!  This book is as amazing as the rest of the series and is suspenseful and intriguing with new mysteries springing up and adding to the un-put-down-ability of the story. 5 stars for characters I love and the building anticipation!  I am already anxious for the fifth book in this series and I plan on a complete re-read when the entire series is complete!

The Takedown by Corrie Wang

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Book Group for the opportunity to read and review The Takedown by Corrie Wang! The Takedown is a futuristic realistic fiction story dealing with the overwhelming use of social media and all of the issues that go along with it. Kyla is in the popular clique of the prep school she attends until someone shares a video on social media of Kyla being intimate with a teacher. The story is all about her innocence and trying to figure out who did the posting. She wants to get to the source and get rid of the video that has potentially scarred her reputation and future permanently. The story also involves forgiveness and introspection. 4.5 stars for the ability to give readers food for thought and for making it about a topic most people are interested in these days.

True North by L.E. Sterling

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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 True North by L.E. Sterling! True North continues with the the mystery of Lucy and Margot. I still enjoy the relationship between Lucy and Jared and the story’s mystery is being chipped away in this second book of the series. I don’t want to give anything away, but what is happening to Margot is disturbing and horrific. The series does not end with this book and I think I will re- read the entire series, one book after the other, once it’s completed. 4 stars for a creative dystopian world and character building!

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Lock & Mori: Mind Games by Heather W. Petty. This sequel begins two weeks after the first book in the Lock & Mori series ends. Alice, a close friend of their mother, comes to stay with Mori and her brothers while their father is being investigated. A severed hand is found in the outside garbage can causing suspicion to fall on Mori. The four siblings try to go to school, but are bombarded by reporters and angry people. Alice helps more than the siblings could have imagined and even though their father has been arrested, he still continues to threaten their safety. This story keeps twisting and unraveling and then finally shows who the killer is and why. Mori loves her brothers and struggles to keep them safe and together and she shows maturity beyond her years. Lock and his brother Mycroft help keep the siblings safe and work with Mori to solve the murders that have been taking place. The author has created a complex story around Sherlock and Moriarty and they have a strong friendship and charming relationship. 5 stars for this suspenseful and thrilling mystery!

The Castaways by Jessika Fleck

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Castaways by Jessika Fleck. Olive is relentlessly bullied by three girls she has named The Trio. She meets her friend Tawny at the pirate-themed traveling carnival after hours, so they won’t be bothered by anyone. They decide to go into the corn maze, which has a mysterious and dangerous past. Teenagers have gone missing and never come out of the maze. Olive ends up going into the maze alone and, while running from bullies, she ends up being transported to a secluded island where no one ages. This island is completely surrounded by ocean as far as the eye can see and seems to be inescapable. Olive meets people on the island that are considered missing in real time. These teenagers were born long ago and have stayed teenagers and only have memories from decades past. Such as sixteen-year-old Tilly, who is from Sheffield England, 1940 and fifteen year old Lewis from 1953 Memphis, Tennessee. Olive discovers each of their stories and secrets and she eventually shares her own. They all realize that they transported to the island because they were running from something and they work together to find out how to face their problems and give each other the hope of returning home someday. I fell in love with the island inhabitants and relished the relationship between Will and Olive. This book is so much more complex than I thought it would be when I first began reading it. The complicated story line and dynamic characters all come together to make The Castaways an interesting read and the cover is perfect for this story, in more ways than one. 4.5 stars for the fantasy realism and lovable characters!

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.

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!