The Girl in the White Van by April Henry

Savannah lives with her mom in her boyfriend’s house. Savannah’s mom met Tim online and the two of them moved to Tim’s community and into his home less than a year ago. Savannah is tired of her mom meeting men online and uprooting their lives every time she thinks a guy will be great. Tim is physically rough with her mom but only verbally rude to Savannah. He makes fun of the fact that she attends Kung Fu classes and just wants Savannah and her mom to wait on him and do everything for him. Savannah is a loner at school and she’s decided that it’s not worth making friends if she’s going to be moving again anyway. She enjoys her Kung Fu classes and there’s a teenage boy that she gets along with really well, Daniel Diaz. After class one evening, the two stay after to mop the dojo floor and walk out together. Daniel offers to walk Savannah home but she tells him her mom is picking her up. This isn’t true because her mom works the swing shift and Savannah plans on walking home on her own. Before she knows what happened, she’s kidnapped and thrown into a van. No one realizes she’s missing for a day and then her mom talks to the Student Resource Officer, who happens to be Daniel’s father. Meanwhile, Savannah is put in an RV with Jenny, who was kidnapped by the same guy ten months earlier. Jenny tried to escape at the beginning but was mauled by the kidnapper’s guard dog. The two teens try to figure out a way to escape and do everything they can to help each other. Young adult horror full of Bruce Lee quotes and inspiration! 5 stars for a suspenseful thriller for young adults!

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis
It took me a day after I finished reading this book to be able to write my review because there’s so much to process: depth, philosophy, relationships, perseverance, and personal strength. The main character is bluntly honest and she’s strong-willed. Being drunk and upset, Ashley ran, fell, was injured, and became horribly lost. She spends many days trying to find her way out of the woods but it seems as though she’s just getting deeper into them. She comes across interesting and amazing things and experiences desperation, humility, and gratitude. This book is just barely over 200 hundred pages but it sure packs a punch, 5 stars for a solid adventure story!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A fantastical adventure for young adults!
Thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss and Margaret McElderry Books for the opportunity to read and review Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson!
Elisabeth is a librarian who aspires to be a warden of the library. Many books are “alive” and have to be kept safe and sometimes locked up to prevent harm. The Book of Eyes escapes and Elisabeth is locked up afterwards. She’s transported to Chancellor Ashcroft’s where she discovers that he’s the mastermind behind the Director’s death and many more atrocities. She escapes his clutches and finds refuge at the Thorn residence. Nathaniel Thorn is a young sorcerer and his servant, Silas, is a higher demon that has served the Thorn family for generations. Together, the three of them try to end the sabotage of the Great Libraries and continue to unravel the entire plan. I really want this book to be the beginning of a series instead of a stand alone book. The fun, dynamic characters and the library setting with live grimoires makes an interesting world that I don’t want to leave. 5 stars for this fantastical book!

Restorative Yoga by Caren Baginski

Restorative Yoga by Caren Baginsku. DK Publishing.
Yoga poses include forward bends, back bends, side bends and twists, and a wonderful section focused on yoga to help specific needs such as anxiety, sleeplessness, headaches and more. Pregnancy variations of the yoga poses are shown to help expectant mothers. The book’s subtitle describes this guide perfectly: Relax. Restore. Re-energize. 5 stars!

Entwined Paths by M.L. Greye

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The prologue for Entwined Paths, by M. L. Greye, is intense and thrilling with Declan and Emry running for their lives. It turns out that Emry was having a dream. A dream that truly happened years before. The story jumps to five years ago and tells how Emry ended up as an emissary to Trezim’s kingdom. While in Heerth, she learns to speak their language and to defend herself. Declan is on guard duty and he’s just getting through his days. In the meantime, people are being taken from the borders and forced to fight for their lives. The kidnapped men and women are called the Stolen. Declan ends up being one of the Stolen. Declan and Emry continuously have dreams involving each other, unbeknownst to both of them. They fall in love through their dream interactions. As time passes, they both conquer much and when they finally meet again, it’s phenomenal! The ending is just the beginning for these two, 5 stars ⭐️!

Mirror Bound by Monica Sanz

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Sequel to Seventh Born!
Thanks to Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Mirror Bound by Monica Sanz!
Sera doesn’t remember much of her past. She’s lived with Nikolai Barrington for the last two years. Barrington is helping Sera do everything she can to become an investigator because she wants to solve mysteries and help others as Barrington has helped her. She’s a seventh born shunned by everyone. Sera has also been tortured due to being a seventh born and Barrington has given her a place to heal in mind and body. She feels safe in his home and his staff treats her with love and kindness also. Sera has a crush on Barrington and she questions if it’s only because he’s made her feel safe and secure or more than that. Together they solve mysteries and hunt criminals, human and supernatural. Barrington’s tumultuous past is partially revealed, as is Sera’s past. The two of them have much in common and their relationship continues to grow stronger. They encounter the Enchantress who drains the magic and life out of humans and they are faced with a dangerous opponent! 4 stars for this romantic fantasy for young adults!

Snackable Science Experiments by Emma Vanstone!

Snackable Science Experiments by Emma Vanstone is a book that I wish I had when my children were young. We used to do STEM/STEAM activities before that was a popular trend. Now, I’m excited to pass the fun onto my grandchildren! Enticing pictures, detailed instructions, learning points and more fun to have with each experiment are included on every activity. This book offers many ways to celebrate everyday science fun and also ideas for holidays, such as the gingerbread house activity. An extremely fun way to learn, create and share, 5 stars!

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare is an intense sequel to City of Bones!
Jace is back to living with Isabelle and Alec, but their younger brother Max and mother are now at the Institute also. Clary and Simon are dealing with the repercussions of their vampire experience. Maryse, Isabelle’s and Alec’s mother, doesn’t trust Jace, so she calls for the Inquisitor to discover whether or not he’s being truthful about his father. The Inquisitor sends Jace to the Silent City, a horrible prison, for one night. He witnesses the Silent Brothers’ deaths and is rescued by fellow Shadowhunters, Isabelle, Alec and Clary. Next, the visit to the Faerie Queen shows the truth of Jace’s and Clary’s feelings, upsetting Simon, who becomes one of the Undead. Events and turmoil keep the story moving quickly as more of Jace’s and Clary’s backgrounds are brought to light. We learn more about their parents, the Inquisitor and much more! A great second book in the Mortal Instruments series, 5 stars!

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper

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Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper opens with a marvelous introduction that grants the reader insight into the author’s imagination and I’m instantly pulled into the story within the first two pages. Simon, Jane and Barney are with their parents visiting Great Uncle Merry when they discover an old manuscript that possibly tells information about King Arthur. The siblings are afraid to tell their parents about the manuscript, fearing that they might get in trouble. Instead of confiding in their parents, they tell Great Uncle Merry (GuMerry). He reads the manuscript to them and explains the danger of others who are searching for it and explains how important this manuscript and map is. The siblings go on a quest with their Great Uncle Merry, working together to discover hiding places and thwarting danger along the way, 4 stars!