4 Points, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult

CaravalCaraval | Caraval #1 | ISBN 9781250095251 | Flatiron Books , 2017 | 4 of 5 Points

“Remember, it’s only a game… Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Continue Reading

3 Points, Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Reviews

The Lies of Locke Lamora | Gentleman Bastard #1 | ISBN 9780575079755 | Gollanzc, 2007 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood”, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling…

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting. Continue Reading

4 Points, Contemporary Fiction, Reviews, Romance

The Big Girl’s Guide to Buying Lingerie | Bluebonnet Texas #4 | ISBN 9781517413804 | Dancehall Diaries, Ltd, 2015 | 4 out of 5 Points

“”Redneck Casanova”: After a disastrous marital near-miss Jade Ballard retreats to San Antonio, cutting herself off from the world in general and more specifically her family’s country club lifestyle, which she no longer wants any part of. She takes comfort in food and eventually, the safety of an internet love affair.

“Miss Snooty Pants”: Rowdy Yates is a semi-reformed womanizer who’s leery of long-term entanglements. Until Jade, he never seriously considered anything beyond a “Wife-For-A-Night.” After months of flirting on the internet the couple meets, only to discover they already know one another.
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5 Points, Favourites, Historical Fiction, Regency, Reviews, Romance

True Pretenses | Lively St. Lemeston #2 | ASIN B00M3XTPXK | Samhain Publishing, 2015 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Never steal a heart unless you can afford to lose your own. Through sheer force of will, Ash Cohen raised himself and his younger brother from the London slums to become the best of confidence men. He’s heartbroken to learn Rafe wants out of the life, but determined to grant his brother his wish. It seems simple: find a lonely, wealthy woman. If he can get her to fall in love with Rafe, his brother will be set. There’s just one problem—Ash can’t take his eyes off her. Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Reviews, Victorian

Crocodile on the Sandbank | Amelia Peabody #1 | ISBN 9780445406513 | Robinson, 2011 (first published 1975) | 5 out of 5 Points

“Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn’t need a woman’s help — or so he thinks.” Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, Reviews, Science Fiction

Sleeping Giants | The Themis Files #1 | ISBN 9781101886694 | Del Ray, 2016 | 5 out of 5 Points

“A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Continue Reading

5 Points, Contemporary Fiction, Humour, Reviews, Young Adult

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen | Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen #1 | ISBN 9780763628277 | Dyan Sheldon, 1999 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Mary Elizabeth Cep (or Lola, as she prefers to be called) longs to be in the spotlight. But when she moves to New Jersey with her family and becomes a student at Dellwood “Deadwood” High, Lola finds the role of resident drama queen already filled, by the Born-to-Win, Born-to-Run-Everything Carla Santini. Carla has always gotten everything she wants — until Lola comes along and snags the lead in the school play. Can Lola survive Carla’s attempts at retaliation? Once the curtain goes up on the school play, which drama queen will take center stage?” Continue Reading

3 Points, Historical Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Victorian

The Duchess War | Brothers Sinister #1 | ISBN 9781937248093 | Courtney Milan, 2012 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“Sometimes love is an accident. This time, it’s a strategy. Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention. But that is precisely what she gets. Continue Reading

3 Points, Fairytales, Fantasy, Low Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult

The Ugly Stepsister | Unfinished Fairy Tales #1 | ISBN 9781511956727 | Aya Ling, 2015 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?” Continue Reading