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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

don't write it down by c.e. wilson Book Review blog header

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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ARC Review: Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

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Published: June 27th, 2017 by Kensington | Series: N/A | Length: 256 pages | Genre: YA contemporary thriller | Source: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. | Possible Triggers: sexual harassment, racism, violence, bullying, child abuse, suicide, murder

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Summary from Goodreads:

From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

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ARC Review: True North by Elizabeth Burgess

True North by Elizabeth Burgess Book Review blog header

Published: June 27th, 2017 | Series: The Complex #13 | Length: 106 pages | Genre: Adult sci-fi | Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. | Possible Triggers: kidnapping

Amazon (available w/ KU) | Goodreads

Summary from Goodreads:

The Complex Book Series.
A Lone Planet. One Complex.
Unlimited Chaos.
thecomplex.info

Aldous Ravenwood and his mother, Lake, pride themselves on their abilities. Great healers and practitioners of magick when aligned with the Oceans and Stars, Mages consider themselves the most intellectually gifted Meta race, and the leaders of the Mage Imperial Family are among the strongest. Yet Aldous’ son, Rath, has an ailment no Mage can treat. Other races of Metas on their home planet, Famiil, have also failed to cure him, and time is running out.

Their last hope is the Complex, an experimental society with strict rules but access to the medicine Rath needs. The only problem? The Crown Prince’s disease is communicable and he wouldn’t be allowed inside. Lake devises a plan to instead smuggle the little boy into the Complex. She enlists the help of a Human, Gideon, much to the dismay of her son given the long-standing feud between Mages and Humans.

True Mathieu came to the Complex with hopes to heal from her past. War took her husband and it hurt too badly to stay on the planet where they’d shared their lives. As a physician and research scientist, True believes the cure for her grief is found in service to others. After a chance meeting with Aldous, True volunteers to find a cure for Rath. The problem multiplies when other residents of the Complex become sick.

True must race against time and the mysteriousness of the illness before death spreads through the Complex. As she and Aldous grow closer, she also finds herself nearer to the truth of how Rath fell ill to begin with. In this thrilling tale, old alliances are tested and new ones are on trial as hearts are softened and secrets are exposed.

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ARC Review: Amish Guys Don’t Call by Debby Dodds

Amish Guys Don't Call by Debby Dodds Book Review blog header

Published: June 13th, 2017 by Blue Moon Publishers | Series: N/A | Length: 337 pages | Genre: YA contemporary romance | Source: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley. | Possible Triggers: homophobia, bullying, drug/alcohol use

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Summary from Goodreads:

Samantha is already facing scrutiny and anxiety at the start of her junior year, as she’s finally been accepted into the popular girls’ clique called “The Sherpas.” But when she realizes that her new boyfriend Zach was raised Amish, Sam must tackle a whole new set of challenges! Zach has chosen not to end his Rumspringa, instigating a potential shunning from his family. Not only that, but Sam’s new friends can’t miss this opportunity to tease and torment her.

Sam has never really come to terms with her parents’ divorce, so when her world crashes down on her in the form of cyberbullying and Zach’s apparent return to the Amish community, she reverts to old, illegal habits. Does Sam even want friends like these? And, will her culture-crossed love with Zach find a way?

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ARC Review: Bang by Barry Lyga

Bang by Barry Lyga Book Review blog header

Published: April 18th, 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Series: N/A | Length: 304 pages | Genre: YA contemporary | Source: I received an ARC from The Novl in exchange for an honest review. | Possible Triggers: suicide, gun violence, Islamophobia

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Summary from Goodreads:

One shot ruined his life. Another one could end it.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one—not even Sebastian himself—can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend—Aneesa—to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past.

It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

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ARC Review: The Cilantro in Apple Pie by Kimberley Nadine Knights

The Cilantro in Apple Pie by Kimberley Nadine Knights Book Review blog header

Published: May 5th, 2016 by Ravenswood Publishing | Series: N/A | Length: 310 page | Genre: YA contemporary | Source: I received a copy to review from YA Bound Book Tours. | Possible Triggers: violence, suicide attempt, death (not suicide)

Amazon (Available w/ KU) | Book Depository | B&N | Goodreads

Summary from Goodreads:

Fragnut. Confused? Well so is everyone else at Lumiere Hall Prep when sixteen-year-old Rubie Keane rolls in from Trinidad and Tobago talking her weird lingo. Not that she minds the culture confusion; she’s determined to leave the past behind her and be overlooked—but a certain stoic blue blood is equally as determined to foil her plans.

Gil Stromeyer’s offbeat personality initially makes Rubie second-guess his sanity, but she suspects his erratic outbursts of violence mask a deeper issue in his troubled, charmed life. Despite his disturbing behavior, a gradual bond forms between the two. However, on the night of the annual Stromeyer gala, events unfold that leave Rubie stripped of her dignity and kick Gil’s already fragile world off its axis.

Both their well-kept secrets are uncovered, but Gil’s revelation proves that sometimes the best remedy for a bad case of lost identity, is a dash of comradery from an ally packed with flavor.

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