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17 July, 2018

[Review] Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Series: Willa of the Wood #1
Release Date: 10 July, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Middle Grade (4-6)/Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Appalachia/Action & Adventure/Mysteries
ISBN: 9781368005845
Edition: Advanced Reader Copy Ebook, Hardback
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 14 July, 2018
Summary:Escape into the story of a brave and unusual girl brimming with the ancient powers of the forest. From Robert Beatty, the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina books, comes a thrilling new series filled with the history, mystery, and magic of the Great Smoky Mountains. Kirkus Reviews described WILLA OF THE WOOD as "A moving, atmospheric journey of hope."

Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.

Willa, a young night-spirit, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the cabins of the day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work--the day-folk kill whatever they don't understand--but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people.

When Willa's curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day-folk world, she calls upon the old powers of her beloved grandmother, and the unbreakable bonds of her forest allies, to escape. Only then does she begin to discover the shocking truth: that not all of her day-folk enemies are the same, and that the foundations of her own Faeran society are crumbling. What do you do when you realize that the society you were born and raised in is rife with evil? Do you raise your voice? Do you stand up against it?

As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her forest home, Willa must decide who she truly is, facing deadly force with warmest compassion, sinister corruption with trusted alliance, and finding a home for her longing heart.

See more by Robert Beatty at his Website.

10 July, 2018

[Review] The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Series: The Hazel Wood #1
Release Date: 30 January, 2018
Publisher: McMillian Audio
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary Fantasy/Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 9781427293534
Edition: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Written: 16 June, 2018
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

See more by Melissa Albert at her Website.

03 July, 2018

[Review] The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, translated by Lilit Thwaites

Series: Stand-Alone
Release Date: 10 October, 2017 (English version), 18 August, 2012 (Original Spanish)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Historical Fiction/Holocaust
ISBN: 9781627796187
Edition: Audiobook and Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 16 June, 2018
Summary: Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

See more by Antonio Iturbe at his Website (spanish).

26 June, 2018

[Review] War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen #4
Release Date: 15 May, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopian Fantasy
ISBN: 9780062422996
Edition: Audiobook and Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 16 June, 2018
Summary: Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

See more by Victoria Aveyard at her Website.

19 June, 2018

[Review] The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Series: Stand-Alone
Release Date: 28 February, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Emotions & Feelings/Social & Family Issues /Prejudice & Racism/Violence
ISBN: 9780062498533
Edition: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Written: 16 June, 2018
Summary: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

See more by Angie Thomas at her Website.

Trigger Warnings: Police Brutality, Murder, Graphic Violence

01 May, 2018

[Review] They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Series: N/A
Release Date: 05 September, 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Gay & Lesbian/Hispanic/Social & Family Issues/Death & Dying
ISBN: 9780062457813
Edition: Ebook
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Written: 24 April, 2018
Summary: On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called "profound."

See more by Adam Silvera at his Website.


24 April, 2018

[Review] A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

Series: Twisted Tales Series #1
Release Date: 14 March, 2017
Publisher: Disney Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
ISBN: 9781484707296
Edition: audiobook
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Written: 18 February, 2018
Summary: What if Aladdin never found the lamp? This first book in a new Disney YA series will explore a dark and daring version of Aladdin.

When Jafar steals the Genie's lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish. To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

See more by Liz Braswell at her Website.
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