A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings Published by HarperCollins on June 26th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 336
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This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

The Bird and the Blade by Megan BannenThe Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
Published by HarperCollins on June 5th 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
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“Should you fail to answer correctly each riddle by the end of seven minutes, you shall forfeit your life. Do you understand?”

 

Mongolian fantasy with ghosts and riddles, anyone?

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand

My Plain Jane by Cynthia HandMy Plain Jane by Cynthia HandBrodi AshtonJodi Meadows
Published by HarperCollins on June 26th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 464
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I really wanted to love this. So badly. My Lady Jane was so so much fun when I read it last year, but I just felt like both the humour and the story were pretty bland in this book. I felt like the previous book was a hilarious historical comedy; this one was a meh Jane Eyre retelling.

One StarOne Star

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila SalesIf You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
on May 1st 2018
Pages: 336
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Before we go any further, I want to make sure you understand this: I am not a good person. If that’s important to you, to only read things by good people and about good people, where all their conflicts are unfair things that happened to them despite their pluck and kindness, then you should stop reading right now. I am not the girl for you.

 

^Heed this warning. Seriously. If you are someone who needs to like your protagonist, this book – and Sales’s books in general – are not for you. If you need books where bad actions are justly punished and all the right moral lessons are learned, this book isn’t for you. This book made me angry, made me pause, think, and question; it is not an easy book to read.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth DurstThe Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by HarperCollins on May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
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I suppose I’ll need Jastra’s plan after all. Pity.
It would have been nice to avoid murdering anyone.

 

I have really enjoyed this series. I came to the end of The Queen of Sorrow and, aptly, felt a lot of sorrow at having to leave these characters behind. At least the author’s note promises a standalone set in the same world – in Belene this time – so I will get to return to, and explore more of, Renthia.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring BlakeGirl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 15th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
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I can’t think about Owen. I can’t attach his name to Hannah on a hospital bed, bandages on her wrist, tears on her lovely face.

 

I cried.

Girl Made of Stars is about a situation that for the vast majority of us is not only horrifying, but unimaginable. For other feminists like me, our default is to offer compassion to rape survivors. To offer belief. To unite against the rapist. But… imagine if the alleged rapist was your closest friend, your anchor, the one person you’ve always been able to trust. Imagine if it was your twin.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn by Claire LegrandFuryborn by Claire Legrand
on March 1st 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 512
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The one question that kept spinning around in my mind as I read Furyborn is “why should I care?” I didn’t like the characters, the story almost put me to sleep, the stakes were never high enough to get my blood pumping, and the sex scenes made me laugh (not in a good way). I dislike giving one star but there was literally nothing I enjoyed about this book.

One Star

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Smoke in the Sun by Renee AhdiehSmoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2) by Renée Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on June 5th 2018
Pages: 416
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It was a night for magic. A night swirling with mystery, an unknowable energy pulsing in its depths.

 

Okay, I’m going to be honest about something: I remember enjoying the arc I read of Flame in the Mist last year but, before reading this book, I couldn’t remember anything that happened. In fact, I wasn’t sure I was going to continue with the duology. When I was lucky enough to get an arc of this sequel, I figured I’d just give it a shot.

And it all came flooding back to me in a stream of drama, action and royal manipulations! It makes me sad to think I might not have continued with this series and missed out on a lot of enjoyment.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion by Brandy ColbertLittle & Lion by Brandy Colbert
Published by Hachette UK on August 8th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 336
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When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

I know how easy it is to believe you’re doing the right thing if you say it to yourself often enough.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star