Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Title: The Bird and the Blade
Author: Megan Bannen
Genre: Historical, Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray
Goodreads


As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of ... even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan Bannen.
Review by Nara

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Blog Tour: Save the Date by Morgan Matson


Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Simon & Schuster
Goodreads





Charlie Grant tries to keep her life as normal as possible. Hanging out with her best friend, pining for Jesse Foster - who she’s loved since she was twelve - and generally flying under the radar as much as she can. But sometimes normal is just another word for stuck, and this weekend that's all going to change. Not only will everyone be back home for her sister’s wedding, but she’s also juggling: - a rented dog that just won't stop howling - an unexpectedly hot wedding-coordinator’s nephew - her favourite brother bringing home his HORRIBLE new girlfriend - fear that her parents’ marriage is falling apart - and the return to town of the boy she’s loved practically all her life… Over the course of four days Charlie will learn there's so much more to each member of her family than she imagined, even herself, and that maybe letting go of the things she's been holding on tightest to can help her find what really keeps them together.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

Title: My Plain Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
Genre: Historical, Paranormal Fantasy, Retelling
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Goodreads




You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Reviews: The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge and In Search of Us

Title: The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge
Author: Clare Strahan
Genre: Contemporary
Source: A&U
Goodreads


Vanessa (Van) Partridge is curious about the idea of having sex. But she can't tell anyone. And no one would believe her anyway - because everyone knows she's a goody-two-shoes. But over the summer holidays, Van rebels and everything changes.

At first it feels like delicious freedom as she explores her independence, practising her favourite cello pieces, reconnecting with her long-time summer friend Kelsey and exploring her attraction to environmental activist Bodhi.

But when her sense of self is shaken, Van wrestles with issues of desire and consent, and the questions that have been plaguing her all along… Can someone with sensible plaits and an interest in philosophy really be a raving sex-o-maniac? And if they are, is there anything wrong with that?

The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge is a funny and warm coming-of-age novel about love, sex, friendship, family, and finding your voice.
Review by Nara

Friday, June 8, 2018

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Title: Onyx and Ivory
Author: Mindee Arnett
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss
Goodreads


They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
Review by Nara

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett



Title: Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: S&S
Goodreads




From Jenn Bennett, author of Night Owls and Alex, Approximatelycomes a sizzling, starry romance, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it's not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Title: LIFEL1K3
Author: Jay Kristoff
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: A&U
Goodreads


From the coauthor of the New York Times bestselling Illuminae Files comes the first book in a new series that's part Romeo and Juliet, part Terminator, and all adrenaline.

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.
Review by Nara