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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Allied by Amy Tintera

Title: Allied
Author: Amy Tintera
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: Allen & Unwin
Goodreads



In the final book in the New York Times bestselling Ruined series, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.
Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia's violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.

But it's not only Em who is upset by Olivia's increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia's army and joins Em instead.

The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Academy by Katie Sise

Title: The Academy
Author: Katie Sise
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss
Goodreads


Frankie Brooks knows what she wants in life: to become the world’s next great fashion editor. All she needs to do is get into the elite American Fashion Academy in New York City. If she gets in, her life plans will be going right on schedule. Anna Wintour, watch out.

But after Frankie messes up one too many times—hey, it’s hard keeping up with classwork and an acclaimed fashion blog—her parents come up with entirely different plans for her future: Military school. How is Frankie, the least athletic person in the world, who knows absolutely nothing about the military, going to survive a whole semester at the famed—and feared—Academy?

With students who seem to be totally uninterested in her, a course-load that’s even more difficult than at her old school, and the weird athletic War Games competition Frankie has to join—her life is way harder than it used to be. And no one, including her roommate Joni, seems to understand Frankie at all.

As she learns how to cope in about a million drills, a hundred different specialized classes, and is maybe even falling for super-hot and super-smart cadet Jack Wattson, can Frankie prove to everyone that being a fashionista doesn’t mean she can’t succeed?
Review by Nara

Thursday, May 17, 2018

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: A&U/Hot Key Books
Goodreads



Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Review by Nara