Posts Categorized: 4 star books

Brooklyn, Burning: review

Brooklyn, Burning: review

Brooklyn, Burningby Steve Brezenoff There is a certain rough beauty which can be found in urban environments. Anyone who has stood on a rooftop at sundown or noticed a patch of wildflowers poking out of a concrete sidewalk will appreciate the strange duality of natural and manmade aesthetics, as well as the occasional difficulty in finding security and happiness in such surroundings. For Kid, who has been living on the streets for over a year, the city of Brooklyn offers both strength and sadness and love and loss. Kid’s parents can’t seem to accept a lifestyle that doesn’t fit neatly into a box, and Kid turns to one person after another looking for fulfillment that can’t be found at home. This is a slow, gritty coming of age story that deals with painful family relationships, small but impossible dreams, unexpected kindness, hopeful love, and the hard truth that sometimes friends… Read more »

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Sixteenth Summer: review

Sixteenth Summer: review

Sixteenth Summerby Michelle Dalton There’s something about rhythm of summer that slows down time and makes every moment especially delicious. Summer’s fleeting season means that its moments are also bittersweet, however, and no one knows this better than beach-town girl Anna Patrick. She’s falling head over heels in love with Will…but knows that he’ll soon have to go back to New York where he belongs. I’m not much of a contemporary YA romance person, but found myself thoroughly charmed by this book, which is the perfect lighthearted beach read but is also filled with unexpected layers. After reading so many paranormal or dystopian novels with complicated set-ups or books that put you through the emotional wringer, it’s so nice to relax with a book that doesn’t have a typical love triangle, bad boy posturing, or some sort of looming imminent danger. It’s also a pleasure to read about teens who are… Read more »

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Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #4): gob-smacked reaction

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #4): gob-smacked reaction

Hard Bittenby Chloe Neill You’ll notice that the title of this post doesn’t say “review” because frankly, even after three days of thinking about the game-changing events in the newest installment of the Chicagoland Vampire series, I find myself incapable of writing a coherent analysis. Though there were moments where I thought certain things were a little out of character, the big big thing that happens still took me by surprise. Chloe Neill, you have punched me in the face, and now you have to put some ice on it. All I have to say is, if you’re a fan of this series, you have to read Hard Bitten now. Because if you don’t, sooner or later it’s going to get spoiled for you, and believe me, you do not want that to happen. (Don’t read any reviews unless you know the source won’t ruin it!) Besides, the more people… Read more »

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The Poisoned House: review

The Poisoned House: review

The Poisoned Houseby Michael Ford A haunted house, a forbidding lady, a master who has gone mad, and a servant girl caught up in the middle of the whole mess. If this premise appeals to you, there’s no doubt you’ll delight in this book. I’m a big fan of Victorian fiction, and the author does a superb job of making the era come alive and keeping the language and decorum pretty true to the period. Abigail Tamper is a 14-year-old servant at Greave Hall, where she’s lived all of her life. Her mother died under mysterious circumstances not long ago, and the troubled Master of the house seems to know more about her death than he will admit. Abi has few confidants among the other servants, and her only protector against the cruel Mrs. Cotten, who rules the household, is her childhood friend Samuel, who is the Master’s son who… Read more »

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Demonglass (Hex Hall #2): review

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2): review

Demonglassby Rachel Hawkins I love a good paranormal book as much as the next person, but sometimes they take themselves too seriously. Enter Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall series, which follows the hilarious 16-year-old Sophie Mercer as she enters a reform school for supernatural kids. In the first installment, she learns that her father is a powerful warlock and that she’s inherited powers that are greatly coveted and feared–and tries to stop an attacking werewolf by yelling, “Bad dog!” I’m happy to report that Demonglass retains the same sarcastic humor and snappy, action-packed plot. Sophie is spending some time on her father’s estate to figure out whether she’s going to keep her awesome but pesky powers, and she’s still secretly pining for her missing demon-hunter crush, Archer Cross. Complicating matters is the revelation that cute-as-heck Cal has been betrothed to her for years (hey, they do things differently in the otherworld)… Read more »

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Mercy: review

Mercy: review

Mercy by Rebecca Lim What if you were an angel in exile…but you had no memory of why you’d fallen? Mercy is a fallen angel who repeatedly wakes up in a new body following each time she’s helped someone through a personal crisis. She doesn’t know why she’s doomed to this existence, only that she must somehow try to better that person’s life while she’s there. This time, however, she wakes up as a foster child of a deeply troubled family, whose 18-year-old daughter Lauren has been missing for two years. The mystery unfolds slowly as Mercy and Ryan, the missing girl’s twin brother, follow various clues and interview different people who might know more than they volunteer about Lauren’s disappearance. The blend of suspense, romance, and the supernatural come together beautifully in this first book of a quietly dazzling new series. Mercy’s powers are extraordinary, but as a girl who… Read more »

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Try Me and Fang Me: review

Try Me and Fang Me: review

Try MeFang Meby Parker Blue Sometimes you ask for something…and the author actually grants your wish! After reading Bite Me recently, I noted that the series would be a lot more fun if Val, who is a vampire-slaying part-succubus, actually got a decent boyfriend. I’m happy to say that in the second and third installments in the series, Val breaks up with the honorable but boring Dan and hooks up with someone much more interesting. And that someone is Shade, a fascinating shadow demon who has transparent skin that shows the powerful energy swirling around inside him. Shade’s skin only appears normal when he’s grounded by touching someone else, and paired with the ability to absorb and reshape energy, this character pretty spectacular. Val is partnered with Shade to help figure out who’s betraying the Demon Underground and to recover the missing Encylopedia Magicka, and later finds that he’s very… Read more »

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