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Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side by Kasie West book review blog header

Published: January 31st, 2017 by HarperTeen | Series: N/A | Length: 346 pages | Genre: YA contemporary romance | Source: Borrowed from library | Content Warning: anxiety, car accident, child neglect, drug addiction

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Summary from Goodreads:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

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Review: Station Fosaan by Dee Garretson

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Published: February 14th, 2017 by Month9Books | Series: Torch World #1 | Length: 300 pages | Genre: YA sci-fi | Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for a review. | Content Warning: racism, colonialism

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Summary from Goodreads:

Earth scientists and their families stationed on the remote planet of Fosaan were promised a tropical vacation-like experience. But Fosaan, devastated from an apocalyptic event nearly three-hundred years ago, is full of lethal predators and dangerous terrain. 

Earthers are forbidden to go beyond the safety zone of their settlement and must not engage the small population of reclusive Fosaanians, descendants of the survivors. Sixteen-year-old Quinn Neen plans to do both of those things.

When Quinn discovers a beautiful Fosaanian girl named Mira stealing food from his family’s living unit, he soon learns Earth’s government may not be telling the whole truth about Fosaan and the cause of the past disaster. 

There are some who to restore the planet to its former glory by any means necessary. Quinn finds himself caught between his loyalty to his own people and what is right for Mira and her people. 

Before he can decide what to do, the scientists are taken captive, stranding the young Earthers on Fosaan. 

Quinn must go from renegade to leader and convince Mira to become an ally in a fight against an enemy whose very existence threatens their lives and the future of those both on Fosaan and at home.

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Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

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Published: February 14th, 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers | Series: N/A | Length: 234 pages | Genre: YA contemporary | Source: Borrowed from library | Possible Triggers: death, depression

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Summary from Goodreads:

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

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ARC Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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Published: July 18th, 2017 by Simon Pulse | Series: Book #1 in The Last Magician duology | Length: 512 pages | Genre: YA historical fantasy | Source: Edelweiss | Possible Triggers: sexual assault, racism

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Summary from Goodreads:

Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

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ARC Review: Don’t Write It Down by C.E. Wilson

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Published: July 10th, 2017; self-published | Series: Rainbow Noir #1 | Length: 90 pages | Genre: horror | Source: I received an eARC from the author. | Possible Triggers: violence, ableism (related to mental health), sexist insults (like sl*t, wh*re), self-harm

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Summary from Goodreads:

Words have consequences. For some, more than others.

Bestselling novelist Emma Ross isn’t satisfied being number two. She wants to be number one. She can’t stand always looking up to Jessen Blake – an amazing writer – but also a dead one. She vows that her next book will top the charts no matter what it takes. But after repeated encounters in her dreams with Jessen Blake himself, warning her that she must never become number one, Emma drives herself harder than ever to top him. But as her grip on reality starts to unravel, she begins to suspect that her words may have more power than she could possibly imagine.

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Review: No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace

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Published: September 8th, 2014 by Flux | Series: N/A | Length: 229 pages | Genre: YA contemporary romance | Source: Library | Possible Triggers: bullying

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Summary from Goodreads:

Sometimes, the cost of love is too steep

Olivia’s twin brother, Liam, has been her best friend her whole life. But when he starts dating, Olivia is left feeling alone, so she tries to drive away Liam’s girlfriends in an effort to get her best friend back.

But she meets her match in Zoey, Liam’s latest fling. A call-it-like-she-sees-it kind of girl, Zoey sees right through Olivia’s tricks. What starts as verbal sparring between the two changes into something different, however, as they share their deepest insecurities and learn they have a lot in common. Olivia falls for Zoey, believing her brother could never get serious with her. But when Liam confesses that he’s in love with Zoey, Olivia has to decide who deserves happiness more: her brother or herself?

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Review: Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney Book Review blog header

Published: February 14th, 2017 by Clean Reads Publishing | Series: Book 1 in Black Dawn series | Length: 180 pages | Genre: YA fantasy | Source: I received a copy to review from Xpresso Book Tours. | Possible Triggers: violence

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Summary from Goodreads:

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

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