Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review of Shadow & Bone-Leigh Bardugo

Two orphans, Alina & Mar, are separated when it is discovered that Alina has magical powers that can save the world from the Fold, bringer of darkness.  Alina is taken under the wing of the Darkling, but he is not what he seems.  Amid court intrigue and luxuries she's never known, she misses Mal and when the Darkling's plan is revealed, Alina escapes to be reunited with Mal.  This novel immediately takes you to a highly imaginative world full of monsters who feed on human flesh and monsters who pretend to be saviors.  I loved the Russian folktale elements of the book and will read the sequel as soon as I can.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review of Bewitching Season-Marissa Doyle

This novel is about twin girls coming of age in London during a time just before Victoria becomes queen.  With all of the balls, frocks, court intrigue and romance, this book wouldn't be very interesting except for one element:  magic.  Persy and Pen have a beloved governess who tutors them in all of the essentials but also instructs them in magic.  When the governess mysteriously disappears, the girls get clues that she is hidden in Kensington Palace and they must use all of their wits to try to rescue her.  Helped by their little brother, who has some magic of his own, and a dashing lord, with a crush on Persy, they race against the clock to save their governess before Victoria is crowned queen. 3 Elves - Recommended for both middle grade readers and teens

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review of Above Earth-Jenn Reese

What a fun, imaginative book!  This novel takes place on a future earth and the heroine is Aluna, a thirteen-year-old who has lived her whole life under the sea.  When her race is threatened by dying technology, she and her best friend, Hoku, go above the ocean and meet centaurs, avians and other bio-tech people.  Although her race has always mistrusted and feared other who weren't like them, Aluna found allies and friends. The book is full of action and adventure and ends with the sequel in sight; I can't wait to read it!  4 Elves - Highly recommended for readers 7-12.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review of The Selection-Kiera Cass

I had seen this book several times but was never compelled to read it because of the cover; from the artwork, it looked like a romance.  After reading a review of the whole series, it sounded like so much more, so I picked up the first book in The Selection series.  Set in the future, a sixteen-year-old America Singer is picked, along with 34 other young girls, to enter a competition to win the hand of the prince of the land.  Divided into caste systems, citizens can not easily escape the caste of their birth, but marrying the prince puts her into the top caste, along with her family.  America's love for a lower-caste boy complicates her desire to marry the prince but when she is charmed by the prince, her affections are split. This book is made even more interesting by the rebellious and high-spirited America. 4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens

Friday, March 7, 2014

Review of Fangirl-Rainbow Rowell

I adored her book Eleanor & Park, but her latest book is much lighter.  Cath & Wren are twins, but Wren is pulling away as they start college.  Cath spends most of her time writing fanfiction; the book she works from is the Simon Snow series and it's similar to the Harry Potter series.  Her sister used to share her enthusiasm but now it only comes from her thousands of fans.  Slowly both girls find their way after moving away from home and entering college life.  I had never read any fanfiction but now I can see why it's addicting.  Unhappy with the way Harry Potter ends?  Write your own ending!  3 Elves - Recommended for older teens

Monday, March 3, 2014

Review of Hold Still - Nina LaCour

I really loved this book!  This novel is about a teen who has lost her very best friend to suicide.  Caitlin can't move on from this and is struggling at home and especially at school.  Then she finds Ingrid's journal - a journal that she stuffed under Caitlin's bed.  As she slowly reads the journal, she learns more about her friend and the sadness she carefully hid from everyone.  As Caitlin starts to move on from the tragedy, she begins to make new friends at school and her grades stop slipping.  Very believable characters and although the subject mater is grim, the book is anything but.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for older teens