Cassandra’s review of The Reader by Traci Chee

25064648“If anything could be a book, there was no telling what you could learn, if you knew what to look for. Smooth river stones spelled out across a mossy floor. Lines drawn in the sand. Or inscribed on the side of a fallen log, half-obscured by twigs and mulch: This is a book.” The Reader by Traci Chee begins with Sefia, who escapes to the forest with her aunt Nin after her father is viciously murdered. The two of them are able to survive in the wilderness together until Nin gets kidnapped. Suddenly on her own, Sefia will do anything in her power to rescue Nin. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object left behind by her parents, something she comes to realize is a book. Sefia slowly learns how to read, unearthing the Book’s secrets, which could explain the cause of all of her misfortune. With the help of legendary pirates and a boy-soldier, Sefia sets out on a dangerous adventure to rescue her aunt. Through the journey, she learns more about the world around her and the power she has to change it.

I loved The Reader!!! It took me a while to get into it (especially when the point of view switched from Sefia to Lon), but after I got through a slight reading slump, I breezed through the book. The characters are wonderful! Sefia is a tough girl with a strong moral conscience. I loved how there are multiple story lines that run through The Reader, which eventually intertwine in a plot twisting way. The balance between character development (the “slow” moments) and action was perfect. Also, it is hard to pinpoint an evil character, because you get an idea of how everyone is thinking [omniscient narration]. I would recommend The Reader to anyone who likes fantasy. (The Reader kind of reminds me of Six of Crows.) I can’t wait till the second book comes out!!

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

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Cassandra’s Review of The Young Elites by Marie Lu

20821111The Young Elites describes a world weakened by a deadly illness. Most people who got the illness perished, but many children, who survived, obtained strange scars. In the kingdom of Kenettra, the survivors are considered abominations (malfettos). A majority of the marked are innocent, but some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and they have come to be known as the Young Elites. This story is about the Young Elites and their struggle to bring justice to the malfettos.

I really enjoyed The Young Elites! The novel is told in three different perspectives, including both people in the Young Elites group and in the Inquisition Axis, a force that strives to hunt down the Young Elites. Though the characters are not very likable, I really loved the world building and plot line. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Thankfully, The Young Elites is followed by two more wonderful novels: The Rose Society and The Midnight Star. This trilogy is a safe bet for high class fantasy.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Kennedy’s Review of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

17675462Blue, a psychic’s daughter, has no real psychic power, until one day she sees the future spirit of a boy walking along a ley line. His name is Gansey, and he is a rich student at the local private school. Blue meets Gansey and his three friends, and soon learns they are searching for the ley line. For Blue’s entire life, she has been warned that she will cause her true love to die when she kisses him, but never thought it would be a problem. But the more she gets involved with the boys and the magical powers of the ley line, she is less sure of what her future will bring.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in magic. Anything can happen in the ley line, so this book keeps you on your toes. The book has a slow start, but once the mystery picked up I could not put the book down without being drowned by questions of what happens next. When I finally finished the book, some questions were still left unanswered, but I guess that’s what the next 3 books are for!

Kennedy rates this book 4/5

Tiffany’s review of When by Victoria Laurie

51iohpnw0hl-_sx334_bo1204203200_Maddie can see everyone else’s death dates on their foreheads. After her father’s death, her mother became an alcoholic. So to make ends meet Maddie has even began reading the dates for money. One day, Maddie accidentally reads a young boy’s near death date for his mother and ultimately gets wrapped up in a Federal investigation along with her best friend Stubby. Now they both have to find out who the serial killer is before it’s too late and maybe Maddie would see one death date finally change for the better.

I would recommend this book because you can really see the struggle of Maddie and trying to cope with her weird power. Also there is so much hope when you read this book with constant page-turning excitement. Maddie’s other problems seem normal though so if you’re looking for a fantasy-like plot and ending this is not the right book.

Tiffany rates this book 4.5/5 stars

Review: A Fierce & Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

fiercesubtlepoisonLucas lives in Puerto Rico part of the year, where his dad is a developer.  He has friends, but he knows he’s tolerated–an outsider who, despite his nonchalance, desperately wants a place in this world.  Throw in the mystery of the wish granter, missing girls that show up dead on the beach, and poison, and you have the elements of the plot.

If you’ve read any gothic romance, especially of the Nathaniel Hawthorne/Bronte variety, or if you enjoy magical realism, you’ll get a kick out of this book, which takes you from the winding streets of Old San Juan where the old ladies tell tales to the jungle, where not only is the weather out to get you, but the flora and fauna are too.

Mrs. Ashworth rates this book 4/5 stars.

A review of The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

51t8mom-znl-_sy344_bo1204203200_What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

I love this book so, so much. Which sounds like I’m being unenthusiastic, but it is. I’m not mentally great right now. I checked out this book during my period of not-mentally-great and I wasn’t sure if I was going to read it and it turned out so. beautifully. I spent like half of it crying (albeit just a little) even though it wasn’t supposed to be sad. I don’t think it was supposed to be sad. (which means that if you don’t like sad books I’m still forcing you to read it.) This is a book about the people who AREN’T going on some quest to save the world. I was playing with writing a similar concept but it didn’t work out; this one did. The characters are good at quipping (oops) and are weird and quirky and are occasionally part cat god and deal with mundane things like mental health and elections and car crashes and concerts and mini-golf. All with a touch of Magic, Explosions, and Destruction (trademarked). Cats are good. I offer you hugs, and I love you, and if you’re not feeling that great, READ. ❤

This reviewer rates the book 5,000 Million Stars

Julia’s review of Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

23677316Sonya Petrova is an Auraseer, one with the power to sense the emotions of others, living in the Tsarist Russia-based fantasy country of Riaznin. After a terrible tragedy, she is made the Sovereign Auraseer whose job is to serve the emperor and protect him from those who wish him harm. Slowly, however, she is caught in the feud between Emperor Valko and his brother, Anton, just as the sparks of rebellion stir in the empire.

I would recommend this book to people who are fans of the genre. If you like Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, you may enjoy the similar setting. This book also touches upon politics, and the dichotomy between an absolute monarchy and a democracy. And if you like books that develop a deep antagonist-protagonist relationship, this might be the book for you.

Julia rates this book 3/5 stars.