Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

18196040730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped.
18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible….

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister….

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She’s about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window…..

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

PUBLISHER: Little, Brown

PAGES: 432

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I was pretty much desperate for a good read when I randomly downloaded this book from my library. I don’t even think I ever read the book blurb–so this was a bit of a stretch.

I’m a big fan of diverse YA fiction, but I encounter it so infrequently that this book surprised me at first. Set in China, the characters have distinctly Chinese names and the setting of the Walled City was an actual location in Hong Kong once upon a time called Kowloon Walled City.

walledDoes that not look like the perfect setting for a Dystopian novel? Continue reading

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Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

11988046Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

PUBLISHER: HarperTeen

PAGES: 343

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I read this book on a plane to Dallas and finished it in roughly 24 hours. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that two of the most important factors of a novel are the writing and the plot. If the plot is amazing, I can often disregard poor writing. If the writing is amazing, I can often disregard the poor plot. Continue reading

Sunday Short Reviews

FotorCreated2I’ve recently been so caught up with life and midterms and college and internship applications and… well, you get the point. I’ve been reading novels, but haven’t quite had the time to post reviews for them. I’ve become a bit backlogged in the review department. Here’s some short reviews of books I was too impressed with to write an excellent, all-inclusive review (or not impressed with enough to bother writing a full review)!

I’m a busy college student, what can I say?

Continue reading

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

16059149In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

PUBLISHER: Simon and Shuster

PAGES: 336

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I went to Powell’s during the past 3-day-weekend and limited myself to a book budget of $15. I happened to go over by one dollar, but, really, if you know me, it could have been much worse. Leaving $16 poorer is the best of all possible Powell’s scenarios. Truly.

I haven’t read a book set in the South for some while, and I’m always up for a good YA romance. Magnolia has been on my TBR for some time. While this plot was a bit too unrealistic for my tastes (two kids being left alone right before a gigantic storm? I don’t know about that), it was still a fun read. Continue reading

Review: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

MMD+final+cover+hi-resSixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray

PAGES: 420

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Walked into the library. This book caught my eye. Recognized that several of my book blogging peers had read this book. Read the blurb. Gaped at the beautiful cover. Checked this book out.

I didn’t used to check Goodreads before checking a book out at the library, but I’ve become a Goodreads fanatic since becoming a book blogger. People seemed torn about this book, and I inevitably find myself torn at the end, like everyone else. Continue reading

Review: Storm Fall (Rebel Wing #2) by Tracy Banghart

23556036In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will survive.

Aris Haan gave up everything to join the Atalantan Military: her family, her boyfriend, even her identity. In the end, though, it didn’t matter that she was a war hero. When the all-male Military discovered that she was actually a woman, she was sent home and erased from history.

Now she has a chance to go back to the battlefield—as herself. But as hard as it was to be a soldier in disguise, it’s even more difficult now. The men in her unit undermine her at every turn. The Safaran army has spies everywhere, perhaps even on Aris’s stationpoint. And she’s falling for her mysterious superior officer, Milek. But their relationship is forbidden, just stolen moments between training sessions and missions. There’s no room for love in war.

Then Aris discovers that Safara’s leaders have set their sights on her, Atalanta’s hero. And she must find them before they find her . . .

PUBLISHER: Alloy Entertainment

PAGES: 230

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A big thanks to Alloy Entertainment, NetGalley, and Tracy Banghart for a copy of this book so I could write a honest review 🙂

I love seeing the sequels of books that I reviewed at the beginning of my book blog be released… It makes me so excited! I read the first book and reviewed it here (then titled “Shattered Veil”–I love this new cover and title so much more). Tracy Banghart is an emerging voice in YA Fiction and I’m glad that I’ve had the privilege to read her novels. Continue reading

Review: Hit by Lorie Ann Grover

81awgUsb5dLAfter receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah’s future is all laid out before her that is until she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with a poem in her back pocket one that will declare her feelings once and for all.

Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah’s attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning.

But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her.”

PUBLISHER: Blink

PAGES: 215

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A huge thanks to Blink, Booklook Bloggers, and Lorie Ann Grover for a copy of this book! All opinions expressed in this review are my own honest opinions and they are not affected by my receiving this book for free.

Based on a true story, Hit tells the story of a young and infatuated Sarah. Even though she knows it’s wrong, she’s head-over-heels in “like” with her poetry teacher, Mr. Haddings. While he’s driving to school one rainy morning, Mr. Haddings takes his eyes off the road for a few seconds. Unfortunately, in those couple seconds, he doesn’t see Sarah crossing the road in front of him. Set over the span of three days, both Haddings’ and Sarah’s lives are turned upside down due to a tragic car accident. Continue reading