Book Review: Conversion
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Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Katherine Howe
G.P. Putnam’s Sons/ Penguin Young Readers Group
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Cover Price: $18.99

Colleen Rowley is in her senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, an all girls prep school. She is fighting for the title of valedictorian. She is fighting for spots at top colleges. Will she soon have to fight for her health and sanity?

The girls at the school are falling ill in the strangest ways: tics and twitches, going bald in a matter of seconds, losing the ability to walk, and coughing up pins. Colleen and her friends cannot figure out what the hell is going on, and neither can the afflicted girls, the school, doctors, or the health department. The media is swarming the school, to the delight of the students and to the horror of the faculty.

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Book Review: The Nethergrim
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The Nethergrim
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Matthew Jobin
Philomel Books/ Penguin Young Readers Group
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Poor Edmund Bale…..all he wants to do is read, practice a little magic, and get the girl. But he is the eldest son of a tavern-keeper and must learn to inherit that trade. Therefore, books are only useful as kindling and the girl sees him as just a friend. Ah, but maybe Edmund can prove himself to her!

Strange things are happening in Edmund’s village. A wizard visits the tavern, yet no one remembers him after they encounter him. Pigs go missing and just their pile of bones are discovered. There are whisperings of the Nethergrim’s return. But that’s impossible, isn’t it? The heroes, Tristan, John Marshall (father of Edmund’s crush Katherine), and Vithric the wizard, defeated it and saved the village Moorvale years before. Edmund’s pain-in-the-neck little brother and equally pain-in-the-neck friends disappear into the hands of the Nethergrim’s monster servants, and while the village almost mourns them for dead, Edmund, Katherine, and slave-no-more Tom set out to save them from the returned horror that is The Nethergrim.

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Book Review: The Slanted Worlds
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The Slanted Worlds
Obsidian Mirror, Book 2
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Catherine Fisher
Dial Books/Penguin Group
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Catherine Fisher left us off with the BIG reveal during the last two pages of Obsidian Mirror. It was cruel to make the readers wait almost an entire year to reunite with recluse Venn, fatherless Jake, Sarah from the future, enslaved Piers, trapped Gideon, tutor (or something else?) Wharton, Summer, the Shee, Janus, the wolf, the monkey (sorry–the marmoset), the seven cats, and of course, the Chronoptika, otherwise known as the Obsidian Mirror.

The Slanted Worlds, Fisher’s second book in this time journeying series, continues the battle for control of the Obsidian Mirror. Jake finds himself traveling 80 years back in time to 1940s London during the Blitz, forced to huddle in the Underground with bomb weary inhabitants, while searching for his father. There he is given a luggage tag by an old woman buried in the rubble who somehow knows his name.

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Book Review: Half Bad
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Half Bad
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Sally Green
Viking/Penguin Group
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Cover Price: $18.99

Half Bad, the debut novel of Sally Green, is not half bad, pun extremely intended. We are looking at the next YA movie trilogy, since some exec was smart enough to snatch up these rights. The first book of an intended three, it moves away from the current trendy female heroine that stands up to injustice/conformity/oppression/flammable clothing, and goes back to a male witch from modern-day England (hmmm…) — Nathan. Nathan is half white witch and half black witch known as a half code. Guess which half is bad?

In Nathan’s world, white witches are good and the governing body, while black witches are bad and almost always met with a violent end. The fains (humans) are not prominent, but are muggle in their ability to ignore witchiness. Nathan lives with his white witch family, sans mom. Nathan innocently ratted out his mother’s liaison with his cavernous black eyes and traitorous olive skin. His father is not only a black witch, but the most dangerous, most deadly, most hated one in the world. All witches, excuse me, white witches, get three gifts on their 17th birthday which reveals their magical ability. Nathan will do anything to get to his father so he can receive his gifts and escape a life of ostracism, hatred, loneliness, pain, and fear. How much pain? How much fear? How much loneliness?

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Book Review: The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
Written by Rick Yancey
Penguin Books/Putnam
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Cover Price: $18.99

What would be the one thing that, if taken away from the human race, would leave it even more devastated than if life itself had been all but obliterated? It’s humanity. The 5th Wave is coming, and through the introspective voiced narratives of a few, author Rick Yancey delivers a powerful look at the few willing to make a stand when almost all hope is lost.

After the alien invasion’s first wave, when technology stopped working, Cassie and her family, along with the rest of the world, couldn’t help but wonder where the Others had come from””or what it was they desired; the second wave left millions of people across the planet dead due to a “natural” calamity; the third wave brought sickness and death, taking the lives of Cassie’s mother and billions of others; the fourth wave made it impossible to trust any survivors, with the realization that any person left could in actuality be one of the Others in human form.

...continue reading »
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