Saturday, July 22, 2017

Death and Night (Star-Touched Queen series) by Roshani Chokshi

Death and Night (The Star-Touched Queen #0.5)Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this treat, a novella at the end of Crown of Wishes! Once again, Priya Ayyar awesomely narrated the chance meeting of Death & Night (both destined to be alone) and their attraction to each other despite what the future has foretold. I loved the fact that Gupta re-appeared in this lovely little tale.

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Back in Black (SBC Fighters #5) by Lori Foster

Back in Black (SBC Fighters, #5)Back in Black by Lori Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great Lori Foster romance with an irreverent male, Drew who needs his image cleaned up if he is to remain the head of the SBC. Gillian has been hired to reshape Drew and she has her work cut out for her! Also a subplot about another aspiring fighter meeting Audrey who is involved in a group trying to clean up violent sports.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Crown of Wishes (Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this lush 2nd book in The Star-Touched Queen series gorgeously narrated by Priya Ayyar in a tale fraught with desires & wishes, a pair of royals from enemy countries band together to help themselves (and their kingdoms). Protagonists Vikram (OMG, loved his strength and cunning) and Gauri (loved her obstinance and might) join The Tournament of Wishes in a mythical kingdom containing many forms of magic, deceit, Indian folklore, fantastic & bizarre creatures, adventure, mayhem, magic, and mystery. Ayyar's narration was pitch perfect and I can't wait to hear more of her audiobooks. Don't miss this one, it is epic and the magnetism between Vikram and Gauri dripped with tension and yearning!

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What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

What to Say NextWhat to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just loved Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum so as soon as I knew she was writing another YA novel, I pre-ordered it and dove right in. I read this wonderful, serious, funny, definitely sad book in one day, but the SAD was integral to the story of Kit Lowell sitting at David Drucker's lunch table. Kit is popular but grieving the death of her dad and really can't deal right now with her friends' company, sympathy, etc.(not that she tells them this). Kit sitting with David (OMG, their growing friendship was palpable, sweet, engrossing) changes his (and Kit's) life. David and Kit were such authentic characters; you rooted for them, wanted to punch them (you will see), and you hoped & prayed their friendship was string enough to survive reality that is HS life. The book is told in alternating chapters by Kit & David and really spoke to me about them as real teens. David was such a great character, being on the spectrum of autism (which he doesn't really think he has) and totally supported by his family was so nice to see in YA literature. But I really liked the way Buxbaum let us see David's thoughts (and desires) about Kit. She becomes the reason he really tries to be more normal- his sister is away at college & they do a lot of FaceTime- Miney helps & supports David. Due to his sister's deep abiding love- David keeps a notebook on his thoughts of his classmates, who to talk to, and who to stay away from. He has been bullied by Justin & Gabriel since middle school and this is detailed in his notebook too. But as he comes to wonder & rely on seeing and talking to Kit everyday at lunch (his sister tells him to text Kit too) you see his awkwardness but since he is so intelligent and his sister has tried to drum normalness into him, David becomes so much more to Kit and to the reader. You feel his loneliness, his yearning, his intelligence as he begins to look Kit (and others) in the eye, uses his headphones less, look around as he walks in the school halls. I really enjoyed the new David with clothes and haircut (just as everyone else does, but Kit already saw that David) and I loved David's honesty when he told Kit she was beautiful and in his thoughts how he loved her just as she was (with or without makeup, nice clothes, smiling or crying) I just could not put this book down, Kit and David are two protagonists I really enjoyed getting to know, teens will like the HS drama, develop empathy for those who are different and despise the horrible bullying for teens like David.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, I loved this book about witches (girls are brujas and boys are brujos), magic, and family. Taking place in Brooklyn, Alex does not want the magic that will be hers on her DeathDay ceremony and what she does to stop the magic is horrendous - she inadvertently banishes her family to LosLagos (a magical underworld). In order to get her family back, determined, confused Alex joins with bad boy brujo, Nova and her best friend, Rishi, entering the mysterious underworld and performs much magic trying to defeat the enemies who keep her family and many others prisoners. I loved the Latin American culture, gods and goddesses, and assorted creatures - I look forward to the 2nd book!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

My Sister RosaMy Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! What a terrifying sick read, my heart broke for Che, a nice, normal 17 yr old teen in a totally dysfunctional family, with the daily torment of psychopath sister, Rosa. Oh she is such a sinister character, but not many people see her evil (she is a cute 10 year old blonde with curls and a sweet smile) or believe Che. So Che has had to worry his whole life and try to circumvent Rosa without letting her see/know what he truly thinks/feels. Thankfully when Che, Rosa, Sally and David (they must call their rentals by their first names) Che meets his benefactors family and becomes friendly with Leilani and her little sister, Maya (they instantly dislike Rosa) while Rosa targets May's twin as her "best friend" and begins working out at the gym and meets Sojourner. I love Larbalestier's other books Liar & Razorhurst and would really love to see this book as a series! Totally creepy, teens will love this book.

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Dash of Peril (Love Undercover #4) by Lori Foster

Dash of Peril (Love Undercover, #4)Dash of Peril by Lori Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Dash meets Margaret Peterson, head of a police unit and hard as nail, what will happen as they work together to uncover corruption? I love the Love Undercover series by Lori Foster and this book did not disapppoint!

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