Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell

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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 Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell! This is a humorous story about Cassie and her discovery of zombies and how she dealt with this not-so-great turn of events. While she travels across the country with friends, she spends the time pondering how the zombies came to be and observes how each person deals with the tragedy in their own way. Cassie’s personality makes the story funny and lightens the dystopian mood. 4 stars for this action packed fun zombie story!

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!

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

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The Hunt by Megan Shepherd is the sequel to The Cage where humans are treated like displays for the entertainment of an otherworldly race. The characters become more dynamic and, after their escape attempt, have been placed in different settings. Cora is now a singer, others are dancers, a dollhouse family and some are placed as prey in a hunt. All of the captured are trying to work together to escape the planet and get to Earth. Cora has developed telekinesis and Cassian believes that Cora can beat the Gauntlet and prove that humans are intelligent. Cora is thrown into the hunt and she discovers a surprise about her predator. Using her telekinetic abilities, she kills him and Cassian takes the blame. The group escapes for Earth only to decide they need to save Cassian because he’s the only one who has a strong hope for humanity. The loyalty and action kept me reading this sci-fi dystopian and I am looking forward to The Gauntlet, the third book of the series, because of the four sets of puzzles that will be presented to the captured to prove that humans are sentient beings worthy of freedom; 4 stars!

Girl Rising by Tanya Lee Stone

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read and review Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time by Tanya Lee Stone! The research done by Tanya Lee Stone after watching the film, Girl Rising, is attributed to the film producers sharing over forty-five hours of video interviews with her. The author combed through the videos to find touching, true, heartbreaking stories that will open up our eyes to what is happening to so many innocent young women and girls all over the world. The whole concept of Girl Rising is overwhelming and a vicious cycle. Families having too many children and they can’t afford to take care of them, so they sell or trade their daughters off to continue the cycle with another generation. The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking about birth control and trying to brainstorm some way of stopping the injustice. The cultural reasoning is one-sided and doesn’t take into account the loss of education and childhood/teenage-hood that these girls are missing out on. A girl’s eye view of human slavery, child marriage, lack of education and educational opportunities make this a difficult book to read, but we all need to be aware. This book is inspiring because of the highlighted stories and struggles that these girls have overcome – 4 stars! I want to get books to these places, if possible, so these young women and girls have a chance to read even if they can’t attend school on a daily basis.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the opportunity to read and review Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill! This fantasy story contains a refreshing new plot idea and wonderfully complex characters. The main character, Britta, has lost her father and after her allotted two months of mourning, will now lose her home. She has been told that her one true friend, Cohen, killed her father. Britta has the gift of knowing what is truth and what is a lie. She feels that Cohen did murder her father. She has been given an offer to catch Cohen and then she can keep her father’s home. She ventures out to find Cohen and discovers him and so much more about her past and her family. The believable characters and the clever and cohesive world building make this book one of my favorite reads and I am anxiously awaiting the sequel that comes out December 2017! I give Ever the Hunted a 5 star rating for a highly recommended fantasy read!

Stranded

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I read Stranded by Melinda Braun as a Riveted free read download. Thank you Riveted! The story instantly grabbed me, as someone is trapped in a vehicle underwater and struggling to escape is described in terrifying detail. Emma survives the car accident, but her sister Lucy does not. Emma has to deal with survivor’s guilt and the recurring nightmares of not being able to save Lucy. Her counselor tries to help Emma and, while sitting in the counselor’s waiting room, she sees a brochure describing a week long adventure. She believes that this is the answer to pull her back to life. The camp turns out to be adventurous and terrifying. A freak storm, injuries, a forest fire and wild animals threaten the campers’ survival. Intense and character building, the story has something for every reader to enjoy – 5 stars!