2 Points, Reviews, Romance, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Arcadia Awakens | Arcadia #1 | 451 pages | ISBN 9780062006066 | Balzer + Bray, 2012 | 2.5 out of 5 Points

“To New Yorker Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic, and wholly unknown. But when tragedy strikes, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where her sister and aunt have built their lives and where centuries of family secrets await her.

Once there, Rosa wastes no time falling head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem. Continue Reading

1 Point, DNF, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Marked by Kim RichardsonMarked | Soul Guardians #1 | ISBN 9781458164896 | Kim Richardson, 2011 | 1 out of 5 Points

DNF at 40%

Sixteen-year-old Kara Nightingale is unpopular, awkward and positively ordinary—that is until one day she is struck by a bus and dies…Within moments her life changes from ordinary to extraordinary as she wakes up in a mysterious world with a new career—as a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion. Kara is pulled into the supernatural where monkeys drive the elevators, oracles scurry above giant crystal balls and where demons feed on the souls of mortals.

When an Elemental child is kidnapped, Kara is sent on a danger-filled quest and plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything she could ever imagine.

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1 Point, Fantasy, Gothic & Horror, LGBT+ Fiction, Reviews, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Unnatural | Archangel Academy #1 | ISBN  9780758253385 | Kensington, 2011 | 1 out of 5 Points

Lesson 1: Nothing is ever what it seems… In the town of Eden in northwestern England stands the exclusive boarding school known as Archangel Academy. Ancient and imposing, it’s a place filled with secrets. Just like its students…

For Michael Howard, being plucked from his Nebraska hometown and sent thousands of miles away is as close as he’s ever come to a miracle. In Weeping Water, he felt trapped, alone. At Archangel Academy, Michael belongs. And in Ciaran, Penry, and especially Ciaran’s enigmatic half-brother Ronan, Michael finds friendship deeper than he’s ever known.

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3 Points, Contemporary Fiction, LGBT+ Fiction, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Young Adult

One Of Us Is Lying | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781524714680 | Delacorte Press, 2017 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“Pay close attention and you might solve this. On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.  Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, Gothic & Horror, Reviews, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Shallow Graves | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9780062366207 | Katherine Tegen Books, 2016 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how. Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.

Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.” Continue Reading

2 Points, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Reviews, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Trial by Fire | Worldwalker #1 | ISBN 9781509809875 | MacMillan Children’s Books, 2014 | 2.5 out of 5 Points

“This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe. What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.” Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, Gothic & Horror, Reviews, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Memory | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781408326510 | Orchard Books, 2013 | 4.5 out of 5 Points

“This is a book about a ghost called Story. She’s lost in the city – alone, afraid and without her memory. Then she meets Jude, a boy who sees the dead. And he is the only one who can help her remember…

Jude Finney has a special talent: He can see the dreams of the dead. Or ghosts, as you might call them. In Highgate Cemetery, in a world between reality and dreams, he meets the ghost of Story, a mysterious girl, who knows thousands of stories but can’t remember her own. But Jude is sure that Story is still alive somewhere in London. And that it’s time to find her, before it’s too late.”  Continue Reading

3 Points, Fairytales, Fantasy, Reviews, Young Adult

Dorothy Must DieDorothy Must Die | Dorothy Must Die #1 | ISBN 9780062280671 | HarperCollins, 2014 | 3 out of 5 Points

“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe. My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission.” Continue Reading

3 Points, Humour, Reviews, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Just Dreaming | Silver #3 | ISBN 9781627790802 | Henry Holt, 2017 | 3 out of 5 Points

“The course of dream travel never did run smooth—at least, not in Liv Silver’s experience. Able to visit other people’s dreams (whether they want her to or not), Liv has solved mysteries, unearthed difficult truths, fought madmen, and escaped life-threatening peril, all from the comfort of her own bed. But Liv’s troubles are just beginning…

A rocky romance, a malicious blogger with a hidden identity, a wedding, and a classmate (or two) dead-set on revenge all await Liv in this action-packed conclusion to the Silver trilogy.” Continue Reading

3 Points, Gothic & Horror, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Young Adult

Wish Me Dead | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9780141363028 | Penguin, 2015 | 3 out of 5 Points

“The funny thing is I never even meant the first one. Now I bitterly regret visiting the cursed witch’s house, deep in the middle of the forest. It’s where I made my wishes. I wished Klara Klein dead. It came true. I wished for the most gorgeous boy in town to finally notice me. It came true. I wished to be rid of the poisonous busybody who destroyed my family. It came true.

I didn’t mean for this to happen. Not me, Steffi Nett, the shy one who never says anything. But as the body count increases with every wish I make . . .who else could it be?” Continue Reading