Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Love Between Enemies by Molly E. Lee! Gordon and his father have lived alone since Gordon’s mother passed away from cancer years ago. The two of them run a restaurant together while Gordon finishes high school. All is going well until their business partner makes bad decisions and they have to sell the restaurant to the rich businessman in the community, Zoey’s father. Zoey and Gordon have been competitive classmates since they were very young. They’re both trying for a Stanford full ride scholarship and an internship. Zoey receives the scholarship and Gordon is disgusted, especially since his dad broke the news about the restaurant the same morning he found out he didn’t get the scholarship. While introducing Zoey for her valedictorian speech during their high school graduation, Gordon loses his temper and spouts angry accusations about Zoey for the entire audience of classmates and family members to hear. Zoey is hurt, becomes angry and wants revenge on Gordon so she makes a plan to get a picture of him hosting a party at his family restaurant and posting it on social media to ruin his chance at the internship. Little does she know how much her plan will backfire as she sees how much she really cares for Gordon. Cute, romantic, stressful and funny story worth 4 stars!
“Received an advance reader copy for a fair review.”
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel. A dinosaur expedition to dig up the first Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil is the story in this book. Told in alternating points of view between Rachel and Samuel, both of whose fathers are competing paleontologists. The transitions between the two points of view took me a while to get used to because a small change in font is the only acknowledgment. The fathers are competing against each other and Rachel and Samuel are along for the expedition. They end up working the same dinosaur site with tremendous animosity. This historical fiction story includes T-Rex bones, Badlands fossils, the infamous Mr. Barnum with a bit of romance added into the mix. Someone steals from the Indian burial grounds and the Sioux Indians are looking for the items that were taken. This adds more suspense and interest to the story. The story is inspired by a true paleontologist rivalry between Edward Drinkwater Hope and Othniel Charles Marsh. This rivalry took place in the late 1800’s and is known as the “Bone Wars”. 4 stars for this interesting paleontology read!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the start of the Grisha Trilogy about two orphans, Alina and Mal. Alina and Mal are being interviewed by Grisha as children, then the story jumps ahead to their young adulthood. Mal is a tracker in the army and Alina is an assistant to a cartographer. The army is crossing The Fold, a place where monsters called Volcra live. Volcra attack and Mal and Alina protect each other. As the Volcra claw at her back, Alina lights up. She’s suspected of being a Sun Summoner and people will want her to light up The Fold so traveling can be safer and ports can be used once again. The Darkling takes Alina to Os Alta for her safety, her training and to serve the kingdom. Alina feels like she doesn’t fit into this life any better than her last dwelling and job as a mapmaker. She hasn’t seen Mal since she was taken to the palace. Alina has a revelation as a forgotten memory resurfaces. Alina’s power comes forth and as her power grows, it becomes easier for her to call upon and she learns who she can and cannot trust and who she truly loves. I like how the author has woven Russia into the story. Leigh Bardugo is an impressive author and her debut novel, Shadow and Bone, brought anxiety to my mind and tears to my eyes – 5 stars!
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo is the second book in the Grisha Trilogy. Mal and Alina escape from the Darkling and are trying to earn enough money to travel to a place where no one has heard of the Grisha. Before they can move on, the Darkling finds them again. The White Stag captured in the first book was only the first of the amplifiers the Darkling wants. He is now after the Sea Whip. The crew is overthrown by a privateer who rescues Mal and Alina from the Darkling, just as the Sea Whip is captured and killed. Alina now has a second amplifier and reads a story about a third one, the Firebird. The privateer, Sturmhond, has many tricks and secrets up his sleeve. While Alina is put in charge of the Second Army with Mal as the Captain of the Guard, the kingdom is searching for the Darkling and preparing for war. Alina learns that the amplifiers were not discovered, but created, which makes their safety more questionable and makes them even more of a mystery. Lives are lost and some are forever changed in the battle with the Darkling. Once again, Leigh Bardugo has entered the Grisha’s world with magnificent writing and dynamic characters- 5 stars!
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo is the third and final book in the Grisha Trilogy. The Apparat is supposedly caring for Alina, the Sun Summoner, while all of her allies have been accused of treason. The group escapes and goes in search of the Firebird, the third and last amplifier. Once again, Nikolai saves them and he brightens up everything with his clever wit and resilient personality. The elevator scenes made me laugh, with the great dialogue! The group fights the Darkling again and horrible things happen. The author brings the characters to life with her details and the development of Genya is impressive and creates empathy for her struggles and amazement for her bravery at the same time. The descriptive world building made me feel as though I was in the middle of the action. I could feel the air move as the Firebird flew by and my ears hurt with its screech. Unpredictable, suspenseful and touching in all the right ways – 5 stars!
I look forward to reading the Six of Crows Duology that is set in the same world as the Grisha Trilogy!
Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the opportunity to read and review The Devil You Know by Trish Doller. This young adult thriller is the perfect horror story with just the right amount of suspense. Trish Doller brings the characters to life and makes them believable. Cadie is a young woman in need of a break from taking care of her father and younger brother. She has kept their household together since her mother passed away from cancer, years earlier. All she wants is a little adventure for a few days, but she gets so much more than she expected! I read this book straight through because the writing flows well and the suspense pulled me in. I was right alongside the characters, rooting for Cadie! I highly recommend this book for any reader that wants a bit of scare – 5 stars!
Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the copy of The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle! I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this book about a classical musical competition and scholarships, but I am very pleasantly surprised! The Sound of Us is so much more than just music, but, at the same time, is engulfed in the musical students’ world. I like the musical and literary references throughout the book and I grew to care about the characters, who are very dynamic as they mature and learn through their struggles. I am very proud of Kiki and all that she accomplished. She learned valuable lessons about herself and others and moved forward with that knowledge. Kiki is a teenage girl that gets into the classical music summer camp that she has aspired to. The camp is cut-throat and each student is competing and fighting for one of seven scholarships (four-year, full-ride scholarships to the college). This story is engaging, fun to read, enjoyable, intelligent and has the perfect ending in which the future awaits!