Aurora Rising Review

About the Book:

Title: Aurora Rising

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Release Date: May 7, 2019

Pages: 473

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Sci-Fi

Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasmdownload (1)A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic. 

Review:

5

This was the first book I read by either Amie Kaufman and/or Jay Kristoff! Gasp! The good news is, it certainly did not disappoint. I don’t read a ton of sci-fi books, but I truly enjoyed this one. The story hooked me from the beginning. The amazing world building, and all the action kept me wanting to not put the book down. I forced myself too though, as I was doing a buddy read and didn’t want to cheat. 😉

The story follows seven characters, which was a little confusing at first because of the multiple POVS, but I quickly got into the groove. It’s honestly hard for me to pick a favorite, as I came to love and care for each character. Tyler is a star student at Aurora Academy in the year 2380, and is ready to be assigned his first mission and have the squad of this dreams. His own heroism lands him with the dregs that no one else would have chosen, and that is how Squad 312 is born. Their first mission goes south fast, but maybe they are actually just right for each other, and maybe there’s a bigger battle they must face together?

If you like stories about space, cool space ships, action, mystery, drama, heists, parties, creepy planets, and unforgettable characters, then this story is for you! The next book, Aurora Burning is coming out May 5, 2020. I’m so excited to find out what happens next!

 

About the Authors:

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and is in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

You can sign up for her newsletter to see what she’s working on, hear when she releases a new book, and be automatically entered for giveaways: www.eepurl.com/6Ya8j

Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLES, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of six Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a million books in print and is published in over thirty five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Splinters of Scarlet Review

About the Book:

Title: Splinters of Scarlet

Author: Emily Bain Murphy

Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers

Release Date: July 21, 2020

Pages: 352

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Synopsis:

Frozen meets Downton Abbey in this atmospheric YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark.

For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her51U3tkCc1gL blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.
But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.

Review:

5

* I received an e-arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I don’t even know where to start. I feel like my words have left me. This book was absolutely AMAZING! Emily Bain Murphy captivated me from the very first page. I love the setting which is 19th Century Denmark. The way that Emily described everything, it felt so tangible. The imagery is so lush and vivid. The main character of the story is Marit Olsen, and I head over heels fell in love with her. I could definitely see myself being her BFF, she’s such a kindred spirit.

Marit was born with magic. Magic flows through her blood, but if she uses it, there’s a deadly ice build-up in her veins, called the Firn. She has vowed not to use it, as it killed her sister. Marit’s father also died in the Vestergaard family’s jewel mines and she is left an orphan. In the orphanage, she meets Eve who becomes like a sister to her. I loved the relationship between Marit and Eve. Their bond is so strong, and so pure. Marit is fiercely devoted to Eve. When Eve is adopted by the very wealthy Helen Vestergaard, Marit pulls out all the stops to stay by Eve’s side. Marit also secretly wants to go with Eve to find out what happened in the mine accident that killed her father. Helene brings Marit home with her and Eve as a servant. Helene begins to tutor Eve in ballet, as Eve had shown promise at the orphanage. I loved meeting all of the characters that live in the Vestergaard home and getting to know their distinct personalities. They very much reminded me of the blurb that compares this story to Downton Abbey meets Frozen. Marit begins to develop relationships with the people that she is living and working with. A romance also evolves between a couple of the characters. As the story goes on though,  Marit starts getting closer to truth of what happened in the mines, and everyone she loves is in danger. Marit soon discovers that magic may be the only thing that can save her.

If you love stories about sisterhood, magic, mystery, ballet, beautiful gowns, jewels, historical settings, and romance, then this story is for you. Please do yourself a favor and add this beautiful book to your TBR. It is available at retailers for preorder now and you can also request it from your local library.

About the Author:

Emily Bain Murphy was born in Indiana and raised in Hong Kong and Japan. Sheimage-asset graduated from Tufts University and has also called Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California home.
Murphy is the author of The Disappearances, which was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. Murphy currently lives in the St. Louis area with her husband and two children. For more information, visit www.emilybainmurphy.com or find Emily on Instagram at @emilybainmurphy.

The Queen’s Rising Review

About the Book:

Title: The Queen’s Rising

Author: Rebecca Ross

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Pages: 464

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.61fM41AklGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Review:

5

Oh my gosh! This book! I loved this story so much. Rebecca’s writing is so gorgeous, I felt like I was watching a movie unfold in my mind. Her writing is just so vivid and lush. It was hard to put this one down, as it was that good.

Brienna is such an amazing main character. She grows up in the kingdom of Valenia, but knows that her father is from the neighboring kingdom of Maevana. Her grandfather has kept the identity of her father a secret from her.  I love how we get to see her grow, from the time she started at Magnolia House at 10 years old, to her present 17 years of age. I was quite fascinated with Magnolia House, sort of an elite boarding school.  Brienna is accepted at the school only after her grandfather has a private discussion with the headmaster. Usually the people who are accepted excel in one of the five passions-art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge. Brienna struggles her first few years at the school to find a passion that fits. She belatedly chooses knowledge, taught by Master Cartier, as her study. There is an amazing sisterhood between the girls at Magnolia. Brienna is fiercely loyal and she cares about her friends and thinks about them before herself. There is a bit of romance in the story as well, but I don’t want to say more, as I don’t want to spoil anything. Unfortunately after all of Brienna’s years of preparations at Magnolia House, she is not chosen by a patron at the solstice which was her worst fear.

Months later a disgraced lord offers her patronage. She decides to accept his patronage and is whisked away. Things soon take an unexpected turn. Brienna must decide where her loyalties lie as a war may be on the horizon between the two neighboring lands of Valenia and Maevana. The ending was perfect, and left me wondering what would happen to my favorite characters and what their reactions would be to all of the revelations.

The Queen’s Rising is an amazing story about friendship, family, amazing world building, a beautiful setting, magic, political intrigue, twists and turns, and a slow burn romance. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you pick it up ASAP. It’s an amazing debut and I feel that it’s highly underrated. Please give it the love that it deserves.

 

 

About the Author:

Rebecca Ross grew up in Georgia, where she continues to reside with her husband, lively dog and endless piles of books. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from UGA. In the past she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college.

Rebecca writes fantasy for young adult readers. Her debut novel, THE QUEEN’S RISING, will be out February 6, 2018 from HarperTeen.

THE QUEEN’S RISING is set to be translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Dutch, German, Hebrew and will be available in the UK.

The Betrothed Review

About the Book:

Title: The Betrothed

Author: Kiera Cass

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Release Date: May 5, 2020

Pages: 400

Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:

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When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

Review:

4

I am a big fan of the Selection series, so I was super excited to be able to read The Betrothed early thanks to a bookseller friend! This book was full of passionate female characters, cute boys, beautiful dresses, and court mystique. Cass is very good at what she does. She definitely makes you swoon! I loved the fun setting of the story and her lavish descriptions.

I felt like the main character Hollis was slightly annoying at first, but as the story went on, she started growing on me. She became much more confident and independent. I really enjoyed the relationships between the female characters in this story the most. I am glad that they were portrayed as strong. I wasn’t completely swayed by the love interests in this book, however. I wanted to be completely enraptured by the romance, but I just wasn’t. I felt like I didn’t get to know the male leads as well as I would have liked. There were other elements of the story that were really enjoyable as well, like the revelations and twists. Some moments had me on the edge of my seat and I had to keep reading!

I think Cass fans will definitely enjoy this one! I am excited after that ending to see what happens next in the series.

 

About the Author:

Kiera Cass is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series and The Siren. She is a wife and mom and too many other things to list. If she could make a crown out of anything, it would be the unending tears of her readers. You can learn more about Kiera and her books at http://www.kieracass.com .

Last Girls Review

About the Book:

Title: Last Girls

Author: Demetra Brodsky

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: May 5, 2020

Pages: 368

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Thriller

Synopsis:LGkindle&BookWrap

No one knows how the world will end.

On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.

Prepare for every situation.

But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:

Nowhere is safe.

Review:

5

*I received an e-Arc from the author on Netgalley for an honest review*

And just like that, Demetra has done it again! Just like her debut, Dive Smack, I was completely sucked into this story. It was fan-flipping-tastic!  This is a story about doomsday preppers, secret compounds, and survival for TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Doomsday preppers are constantly prepping for the end, and carry an EDC (Every Day Carry). It’s so crazy that this book happens to be coming out during a worldwide pandemic, and it made the story that much more real to me. Are you a psychic, Demetra? 😉 Demetra weaves in just the right amount of mystery and suspense, and I found myself trying to figure things out as I went along, and couldn’t stop reading.

At the heart of the story though, is the relationship between the Juniper sisters. Honey, Birdie, and Blue are all unique characters, and very well fleshed out. I love the inseparable bond between them, and they are my favorite part of the story. Honey is the oldest and loves to paint, Birdie is the middle and loves to draw comics, and Blue is the youngest and embroiders in the color blue. They stick together, no matter what. I’m so excited for you to meet them! If this book wasn’t on your radar already, I hope that you pick it up when it releases on May 5, 2020. I’ve already preordered my finished copy and can’t wait for it to arrive. And while you’re at it, add Dive Smack to your TBR too!

 

About the Author:

DEMETRA BRODSKY loves to write twisty thrillers about dark family secrets. She is an award-winning graphic designer & art director turned full-time author. A first-generation Greek American and native of Massachusetts with a B.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Demetra now lives in Southern California where she’s always exploring and researching, hunting for clues to things that might feed into her next book. Dive Smack, her debut novel, is a 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection and (ALAN) pick.

Demetra Brodsky –  Author
DIVE SMACK (Available Now!)
LAST GIRLS (Coming 5/5/20)

Connect with Demetra on: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr
www.demetrabrodsky.com

DIVE SMACK, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and (ALAN) Pick.
What critics are about saying:
“An impressive debut…A real page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers…will not be disappointed.”―Voya
“A tense psychological mystery.” —Booklist

Praise for LAST GIRLS:
“A riveting, pulse-pounding story.” —Kathleen Glasgow, NYT Bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“Prepare to stay up late reading this one.” —Emmy Laybourne, International Bestselling author of the Monument 14 Trilogy
“A real page-turner.” —Booklist
“A suspenseful tale reflective of the current political landscape.” —School Library Journal

www.amazon.com/author/demetrabrodsky

There’s Something About Sweetie Review

About the Book:

Title: There’s Something About Sweetie

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 14, 2019

Pages: 378

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they 817k7lbR5oLcould find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.

The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?

Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.

Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.

Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?

Review:

5

Oh my gosh, this book was amazing! Sandhya is the queen of swoon! I was so excited to go back into this universe after meeting Ashish in When Dimple Met Rishi. This book was everything I needed and more. I adored Sweetie and Ashish and the whole cast of characters. They all stole my heart. This book conveyed such an important and empowering message about body positivity, and you will be cheering for Sweetie from the beginning like I was. She’s an athlete, a fantastic student, has some amazing friends, a complex relationship with her mother, and I loved her Sassy Sweetie Project! I loved Ashish as well. He was funny, and accepted Sweetie as is, and was the perfect love interest for her. Fans will be excited to know that Dimple and Rishi do make a cameo, so it was like a big reunion. I’m glad I was finally able to read this, and I am now caught up on Sandhya’s backlist books. Can’t wait to read 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, coming July 21, 2020.

 

About the Author:

Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met RishiOf Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and Sandhya Menon Author Photo_Digitalswoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen VogueNPRBuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. Visit her online at SandhyaMenon.com, on Twitter @smenonbooks or on Instagram @sandhyamenonbooks.

 

 

 

From Twinkle, With Love Review

About the Book:

Title: From Twinkle, With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 22, 2018

Pages: 330

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

An aspiring teen filmmaker finds her voice and falls in love in this delightful romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi.

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and 51X-rfbqvHL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy-a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man N begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

 

Review:5

I loved this book! After reading When Dimple Met Rishi and Of Curses and Kisses, I knew I had to catch up on Sandhya’s backlist books. It was exactly what I needed. This was written in a diary format, which was really easy to follow. Twinkle is an aspiring film maker and I admire how she follows her passion, despite not having much support from her parents. She jumps at the chance to direct a movie for the upcoming arts festival when approached by fellow film geek and classmate, Sahil. She’s also juggling not being as close to her bff, crushing on a boy named Neil, making new friends, and trying to be a good student in school. She starts getting emails from N, her secret admirer and thinks she has finally found happiness. While in the process of filmmaking though, she finds herself falling for Sahil. A sweet story about growing up, family, friendship, and first loves.

About the Author:

Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met RishiOf Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and Sandhya Menon Author Photo_Digitalswoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen VogueNPRBuzzFeed, and Seventeen. A full-time dog servant and part-time writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. Visit her online at SandhyaMenon.com, on Twitter @smenonbooks or on Instagram @sandhyamenonbooks.