Publisher: Razorbill

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Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here Blog Tour: Friendships in the Age of Social Media

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here Blog Tour: Friendships in the Age of Social Media

This is the funniest YA book I’ve read in years. YEARS. I laughed so hard as I was reading it, because the outrageous observations and pull-no-punches dialogue fly fast and furiously like a Gilmore Girl high on pie and coffee. The book is so freaking smart, with some surprisingly poignant moments near the end–as well as perfectly in tune with teenagers and their weird, obsessive world. I’ve never felt more affection for the fanfic culture and pop culture references and girl friendships and boy crazies than I did reading this book–it’s like FANGIRL without the manic pixie dream kids, starring one of my favorite YA girls in recent years. Scarlett is a fucking heroine. She’s all the teenage girls who passionately love all the things people make fun of her for, and she hands it back to them with a smart slam. (One of my favorite moments in the book… Read more »

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The Love That Split the World: Review

The Love That Split the World: Review

I’d been slow to read Emily Henry’s debut novel The Love That Split the World (in part because it’d been advertised as the lovechild of Friday Night Lights and The Time Traveler’s Wife, and … I irrationally dislike that book). The Love That Split the World is chock-full of the sort of themes I very much enjoy in young adult novels: relationships, belonging, figuring out one’s identity and one’s place in different communities. And in The Love That Split the World, those were the aspects I most enjoyed. Give me all your feelings! The trappings of time travel or parallel universes, while interesting, were often confusing to me. And while understanding those things was necessary for plot purposes, it wasn’t necessarily all that important in terms of the story’s emotional impact, which was – at least for me – much more powerful. Still, I feel conflicted about The Love That Split the World. Here’s why. The premise is… Read more »

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An Ember in the Ashes: Review

An Ember in the Ashes: Review

I couldn’t put Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes down. This is a statement of fact: I picked it up late at night when I couldn’t sleep, started reading, and had to force myself to go to bed approximately 300 pages later. (Wendy can vouch for me here as the lucky recipient of some early morning “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO GOOD” texts. Hopefully she didn’t mind too much because she liked it, too!) I can’t remember the last time this happened and it was excellent. It reminded me of how I felt about reading as a teenager, which is to say that I was engrossed in Sabaa Tahir’s imaginary world. And that is basically what I want to reiterate, now that An Ember in the Ashes is out and ready and waiting to keep you up at night. Oh my God, you guys. This book is so good. It’s… Read more »

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Zodiac: Review

Zodiac: Review

Zodiac is the first in a science fiction series that centers around a galaxy where every planet takes after, both in name and its populations’ core values and personality, the different signs of the zodiac. Sounds cool, right? I was intrigued by the premise both because it seemed ripe for lots of cool world-building (and also anything centered around astrological signs is awesome). Unfortunately, Zodiac suffered from too much exposition and flat characters. The plot of Zodiac centers around there being a thirteenth sign that has returned to destroy the rest of the signs. After one of these attacks decimates most of Cancer’s population, including its Guardian, the person who protects and  leads the planet, our main character, Rho, is chosen to be her successor. Rho is the only person who believes Ophiuchus, the thirteenth sign is to blame. She goes across the galaxy with her advisor and an envoy from Libra to… Read more »

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Silver Shadows: review

Silver Shadows: review

!!!! was the only reaction I had when I finished Silver Shadows a few days ago. I’m still smiling about it, because Richelle Mead is in fine form in the fifth installment of her Bloodlines series, which features an engrossing story, well-written action scenes, swoony romance, and exciting–OH SO EXCITING–plot developments. As the book begins, we find Sydney in captivity. The Alchemists don’t approve of her involvement with vampires, so they’ve taken her to a “re-education” center, where the methods of controlling the residents are so extreme that Adrian is unable to use spirit to contact her. Sydney’s state of mind, physical trauma, and the day-to-day workings of this awful environment are detailed in a convincing way, as are the quietly clever, methodical ways she works to stay mentally strong, and to help others. One of the things I like best about this book is that it takes place away… Read more »

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Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2): review

Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2): review

Rebel Spring is the much anticipated second installment in Morgan Rhodes’ Falling Kingdoms series. Right where we left off: Princess Cleo’s kingdom has been conquered, King Gaius has won. Jonas is the leader of a rebel group. Prince Magnus is at his father’s side and Princess Lucia is trapped in her magically-induced slumber. As Rhodes made clear in Falling Kingdoms, this is not a fantasy novel of war, power, and magic sugar-coated for its young readers. She doesn’t skip over brutality — in fact, she seems to relish in it. Her world truthfully depicts the heinous and cruel acts of battle…and in turn, its consequences. The good thing: this is highly readable. It’s an easy story to get into and it has enough grit to suck you in. It’s a pretty thick book but pages fly and the story takes you for a ride. The characters are also mostly likeable…. Read more »

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