Roseblood

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Rating: 3 Stars
Published: January 2017
Genre: Young Adult // Retelling
Favorite Quote:

Roseblood is a retelling of Leroux’s haunting Phantom of the Opera.  Rune Germain left everything behind to attend a music conservatory outside of Paris in hopes that she’ll overcome her compulsion to sing opera.  The opera house in which is school is located is famed to have ties to the novel by Leroux.  She soon befriends Thorn, the mysterious violinist, who helps her understand more about herself.  As their connection gets stronger, the danger surrounding them grows.

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By Your Side

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Rating: 3 Stars
Published: January 2017
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary
Favorite Quote

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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The Fifth Petal (The Lace Reader #2)

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Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction // Fiction // Witches
Published: January 2017

And once you start demonizing groups of people, when you make the other, you can justify doing just about anything you want to them, can’t you?  Look at history if you don’t believe me.

Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, investigates a 25-year-old triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed one Halloween night. Aided by Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims who has returned to town, Rafferty begins to uncover a dark chapter in Salem’s past. Callie, who has always been gifted with premonitions, begins to struggle with visions she doesn’t quite understand and an attraction to a man who has unknown connections to her mother’s murder. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian and sometime-aunt to Callie, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again? (Summary from Goodreads)

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We Should All Be Feminists

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Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Non-fiction // Essay
Published: July 2014

Adapted from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx talk. This powerful essay explores feminism and a woman’s journey.  You can watch the video here. She is such a lovely speaker and I enjoyed hearing her words spoken aloud.  Both forms of this essay are powerful and I urge you to consume the one most easily accessible to you.  

This is the book that I want to give to everyone I meet who claims they don’t understand feminism and the vast differences in how women are treated in daily life. This is the essay everyone needs to read/hear.  Mandatory reading material. 

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Girl Against the Universe

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Rating: 4.5 Stars
Published:  May 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary
Favorite Quote

Some people think they can just decree that everything will be fine.  The world doesn’t look like that.  I’m not sure the world gives a crap about anyone’s promises, well-meaning or otherwise.  Sometimes the Universe just takes what it wants.

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.
It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away may be harder than she thought. (Summary from Goodreads)

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Written in the Stars

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Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Contemporary // Young Adult
Published: May 2015
Favorite Quote

My mother always says when you fight destiny, destiny fights back. Some things, they’re just written in the stars. You can try but you can never escape what’s meant to be.

Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late. Summary from Goodreads.
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The Casquette Girls

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Rating: 4 Stars
Published: November 2015
Genre: Young Adult // Paranormal

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal. (Summary from Goodreads)

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The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You

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Rating: 5 Stars
Published: May 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary
Favorite Quote:

Idle nerds become supervillains.

Summary from Goodreads:
Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.
Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.
The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.

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The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks

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Rating: 3 Stars
Published: May 2015
Genre: Nonfiction // Feminism // Pop Culture
Favorite Quote: 

Trust: I know how hard is not to just freak out all the time about your current obsession.  But flailing, squeezing, and swooning all the time can scare off the uninitiated.

Sam Maggs is hilarious.  Check out some of her other writing on her website here.  In The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Geek Girls, she looks at different fandoms and how being a feminist geek girl, at any level, is empowering.

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The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1)

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Rating: 2.5 Stars
Published: May 2016
Genre: Young Adult // Fantasy
Favorite Quote

“Oh, where to begin?”
“At the beginning?”
“Of time?”
“How about the beginning of today?”
“Oh, yes, today, that’s a good place to start.”

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose. (Summary from Goodreads)

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