Caraval

27883214Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval, #1
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 1/31/17
Pages: 416
Source: ARC

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Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved 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 far-away, 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.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. Continue reading

We Own the Night

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We Own the Night

Author: Ashley Poston
Series: Radio Hearts Series, #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication Date: 6/28/16
Pages: 238
Source: Requested from Netgalley

*I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

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No one would ever suspect that responsible, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North is the incognito radio deejay known only as Niteowl. Finally a high school grad, she can’t wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams. Thankfully, her three best friends–Billie, LD, and Micah (who she is definitely, absolutely not in love with)–are more concerned with spending one last epic summer together than finding out where Ingrid slinks off to every weekend.

But for that one glorious hour every Saturday night, Iggy shucks her own skin to become Niteowl–an infamous and daring deejay with the answers to everyone’s love life but her own. There is one caller in particular–Dark and Brooding–whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off the fact that Micah is rapidly falling for a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare. But when Ingrid lands an interview in New York City for the internship of a lifetime, her secret life begins to unravel. It’s her chance to follow her heart, but she’ll have to leave everything behind–her ailing grandmother, her friends, her radio show . . . and a chance at her very own happy ending.

Torn between her dreams and her home, Iggy begins to realize that to get what she wants she has to give up the things that mean the most to her. But letting go could lead to a summer of sunflowers, rock stars, and the show of a lifetime.

And Iggy might just find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.  Continue reading

And I Darken

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And I Darken

Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: 6/28/2016
Pages: 496
Source: ARC from BookCon 2016

*I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

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NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Opinion:
Yes, yes, yes!!! A strong female lead, an entertaining cast of characters, and super intriguing gender bent historical fiction plot that leaves me NEEDING more – what else could I ask for from a book? Maybe an awesome cover too? Oh wait, check. Continue reading

The Name of the Star

9780142422052_p0_v1_s192x300The Name of the Star

Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London, #1
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: 9/29/2011
Pages: 368
Source: Borrowed from Library

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New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him—the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. Continue reading

Red Queen

9780062310637_p0_v2_s192x300Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 2/10/2015
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased

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Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal. Continue reading

The Hunger Games

9780439023481_p0_v4_s192x300The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games Series, #1
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 384
Source: Borrowed from library

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Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Continue reading

Graceling

9780152063962_p0_v1_s192x300Graceling

Author:  Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm Series, #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 480
Source: Purchased

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Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more. Continue reading