Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

Bright We Burn by Kiersten WhiteBright We Burn by Kiersten White
Published by Random House Children's Books on July 10th 2018
Genres: Historical
Pages: 416
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“Disrupt stability. Petition for gold. Provoke the greatest empire on the face of the earth.” He paused. “This is going to be fun.”

 

Oh, it was. So much bloody, nasty fun.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa TahirA Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Published by Penguin on June 12th 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 480
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“There are worse things than death,” I say. “Shall we learn about them together?”

 

When it comes to heart-racing action scenes, I cannot think of another YA author who does it better than Sabaa Tahir. She plunges you into the chaos almost immediately and once again, for the third book in a row, she keeps the drama and bloodshed coming until the very end.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch by Sarah HenningSea Witch by Sarah Henning
Published by HarperCollins on July 31st 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
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The sea is a fickle witch.
She is just as likely to bestow a kiss as to steal the breath from your lips.

 

I gave myself a bit of a headache trying to rate this book. Parts of it were 2 teacups, other parts 4/4.5, so in the end I’ve settled on this. But I will say one thing: this book is probably not what you are expecting. I hope it can find the right readers.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen MirzaA Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
Published by Crown/Archetype on June 12th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 400
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She could hold in her heart a belief in Islam as well as the unwavering belief that every human had the right to choose who they loved, and how, and that belief was in exact accordance with her faith: that it is the individual’s right to choose, and the individual’s duty to empathize with one another.

 

Do you love those slow-burning, quiet family dramas that take you so fully into the lives of the characters? The kind that show complex human beings trying, often failing, and trying again to do their best? It’s not an action-packed fantasy or a spine-tingling thriller, but get me in the right mood and I adore these kinds of books. Celeste Ng is one of my personal favourites.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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