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.

Fate’s Keep by T. Rae Mitchell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Original Mix Media for the opportunity to read and review Fate’s Keep by T. Rae Mitchell! In this sequel to Fate’s Journey, Fate is not going alone to the realm of the Book of Fables. Her father, Eustace, her best friend, Jess and her book fans are going along for the adventure. While Sithias was an interesting and entertaining creature in book one, Faurok takes the role in this story. It takes cleverness on the author’s part to create Faurok’s dialogue because he mixes words up to make new ones. Finn is on his own in the realm and he’s trying to figure out how to get to Fate and he is bound and determined to reach her. I was so happy when Sithias made an appearance in this story because I missed him and his fun personality and his extra s’s on his words! Fate is being pulled in several directions while her allies become enemies and her enemies become allies and her story doesn’t end in this book. There’s a third book entitled Fate’s War, which is a good thing because Fate’s Keep ends with a cliffhanger. 5 stars!

The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday (Audiobook Version)

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I received an advance reader copy and an audiobook and volunteered to review the story.
The Silver Thread audiobook has the same great voice actor as The Flame and the Arrow! Talvi and Annika come together again but they discover that love takes work and they seem to have a lot more to deal with while they are staying with her brother and their friends. Being married and realizing they need to rely on and and share with each other is difficult for both of them. At times, I became annoyed at Talvi and even Annika because they didn’t seem to be trying to care for and be there for each other. Finn is amazing and selfless and he and his father straighten Talvi out. I thought the punishment Ambrose set for Talvi was priceless, including the conversation Ambrose conducted with Talvi while he was digging, not realizing that Annika was there the whole time overhearing everything, just as Talvi’s father planned. The cliffhanger ending is intense! 5 stars for the wonderful, flowing writing of Emigh Cannaday and for her creative fantasy world, prophecies and all!

Fate’s Fables by T. Rae Mitchell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Original Mix Media for the opportunity to read and review Fate’s Fables: One Girl’s Journey Through 8 Unfortunate Fairy Tales! Fate’s Fables, Book 1 of two books compiling Fate’s Journey, pulled me right in while reading the synopsis and I couldn’t wait to start reading this book. Chapter one starts off with Fate, a teenager, at the Seattle Public Library on the last stop of her very own book tour! Her fans are lined up for book signings and some of them are dressed up and playing the parts of her book characters. She leaves her book signing and takes a cab to her grandmother’s deserted bookstore, Fables Bookstore. She finds the place run down and also finds a stranger there. The stranger’s name is Finn. The two of them get pulled into the giant book of fables and Bruna Inkwell tells Fate that she must rewrite eight stories and give them each a happy ending to escape the book’s hold. Fate is funny and Finn is brave and familiar to Fate. I like their relationship with its ups and downs and Sithias, the snake like creature that travels with them, adds wonderful humor also. The first story takes place on an island under the control of a goddess ; next deals with a dark faerie in a forest; third , a goblin queen; fourth, a troll with a heartbreaking story; fifth, a dragon empress; sixth, Mother Grim; seventh, a lightning sword; the eighth and last fable is about the bloodthirsty oak. Each fable is a complete story all on its own and Fate and her companions add another dimension to each fable by trying to overcome each fable’s tragedy. The story is complex and interesting with characters that are dynamic, dimensional and lovable. I love it and am excited to read the sequel, Fate’s Keep. There’s also a prequel, Chaos in the Keep, that is included in the paperback edition of Fate’s Fables and I plan on purchasing this book for my library patrons as well as for my personal library. I think readers that love magic and adventure will enjoy this fun fantasy, 5 stars.

Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray! Katie Ray has previously published works under the name of Katie Kacvinsky and her books have been popular with my library patrons. I believe that this new book of Katie’s will be a popular read also. Don’t Kiss the Messenger is a retelling of sorts. The story line is similar to the play, Cyrano de Bergerac where inner beauty overpowers outer beauty. This book is intelligent and eloquent in many ways, while still staying a young adult contemporary story! CeCe and Emmett take turns by alternating points of view throughout the book. CeCe has a scar on the right side of her face that she prefers to not be the focal point when she meets someone for the first time. Emmett is new to the school and a known high school football player. They both attend Honors Shakespeare class and are partnered on the first day. CeCe and Emmett share the trait of clever wit and they have tremendous similarities with their tastes in and knowledge of music and literature. They are both intense and dedicated athletes also; CeCe is the captain of the volleyball team and Emmett is the star quarterback. I love this book with its romantic gestures, self-esteem building thoughts and loyalty and friendship. 5 stars for this amazing realistic fiction read!

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!

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!