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ARC Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh Book Review blog header

Published: May 16th, 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers | Series: Flame in the Mist #1 | Length: 368 pages | Genre: YA fantasy, retelling | Source: I received an early copy from Penguin’s First to Read program. | Possible Triggers: violence (with some pretty graphic descriptions at times)

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Summary from Goodreads:

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

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ARC Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord book Review blog header

Published: May 16th, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens | Series: N/A | Length: 400 pages | Genre: YA contemporary | Source: I was provided a copy by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. | Possible Triggers: abuse*, teen pregnancy, suicide*, transphobia, cancer, parental death*

*these don’t happen during the course of the book, but are mentioned

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Summary from Goodreads:

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

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ARC Review: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis Book Review blog header

Published: April 11th, 2017 by Putnam’s Childrens | Series: Given Duet #1 | Length: 352 pages | Genre: YA fantasy | Source: I received a free copy from Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review. | Possible Triggers: Sexual assault & harassment, racism, ableism

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Summary from Goodreads:

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Book Review blog header

Published: February 28th, 2017 by Balzer + Bray | Series: N/A | Length: 464 pages | Genre: YA contemporary | Source: Bought | Possible Triggers: Racism, violence, police brutality, child abuse (no on-page scenes)

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Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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Review: Nexis by A.L. Davroe (+ Giveaway!)

Redux blog tour Banner

Today I’m going to be reviewing Nexis by A.L. Davroe as part of the blog tour celebrating the release of the sequel, Redux. Since it’s part of a tour, there’s also some promotional info at the bottom of the post about both books AND there’s a giveaway where you could win a pretty awesome prize pack, so be sure to check it out! Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour, too.

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Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray book review

Published: May 24th, 2011 by Scholastic Press | Series: N/A | Length: 396 pages | Genre: YA, contemporary, satire | Source: Borrowed from the library | Possible Triggers: Racism, dieting/diet restriction, transphobia (not a lot, but it’s there a little), girl goes “crazy” (very stereotypical, inaccurate portrayal)

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Summary from Goodreads:

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

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