Tag Archives: book review

YA Book Review- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

If wishes were real things you could spend like money, what would you wish for? Karou’s friends don’t believe that her blue hair grows naturally, but it does, because of a wish she got for her birthday. She was raised by strange creatures she calls monsters that are part human and parts of lots of other animals. Brimestone’s shop, full of teeth from all kinds of creatures, is where she learned to read and write and play. She’s been sent to school all over the world through the strange shop door that opens to different cities every time she leaves it. For high school, she’s been attending an art school in beautiful Prague and living her life as mysteriously as she can while maintaining a few good friends. Things are nice and as normal as they can be for her- until the day she meets an angry angel on the streets who she soon learns is out to destroy her family and the life she knows behind the shop’s doors. What she doesn’t realize is how much has been hidden from her about the lives of her monster friends, and how important she will be in the dangerous battle that is looming between angels and devils.

Laini Taylor weaves an incredible tale of heartbreak and beauty and life and death. Her words will make you want to visit Prague and peak in to alleyways to see if her characters are real. This book is great for anyone who likes supernatural romances and strong female characters. Bonus: it’s the first in a trilogy and you will not want to miss the other two books!



YA Book Review- The Ruining by Anna Collomore

Growing up in a broken home in Detroit has Annie feeling like she’s got nothing but bad luck, until she lands the perfect new job nannying while she’s away at college in California. Her new employer Libby, the beautiful young mother of a little girl and baby boy, immediately accepts her with open arms and showers her with nice clothes and a luxurious home life. The little girl Annie is in charge of is darling, school is exciting, and Annie cannot believe her luck when she attracts the attention of the hunk next door. Things seem almost too good to be true. Her bubble of happiness doesn’t last very long, however, when she starts to get in to strange arguments with Libby that leave her feeling like she’s done something wrong even when she hasn’t. Annie’s bedroom door is removed for “repairs”, taking away her privacy, and her work schedule goes from being a normal 9 to 5 to including every minute she isn’t at school. She feels herself going crazy and things are falling apart around her- but whose fault is it?

Based on the classic story The Yellow Wallpaper, this author creates an exciting and twisted psychological thriller set in the idyllic hills of California. The reader will be just as lost as Annie is when trying to determine who is to be trusted and the ending will have you thinking about the book for days.


YA Book Review- Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore (Graceling Realm series)

This book opens up eight years after Graceling. Bitterblue is Queen of Monsea, busy with trying to lead her kingdom in the wake of her sadistic father’s rule. While she trusts her group of advisers, she is starting to realize that she doesn’t know much about her kingdom or her people at all. This leads to her sneaking out at night and witnessing the deteriorating villages that surround her castle, which her advisers had carefully kept quiet about. Bitterblue slowly starts uncovering secrets and exposing lies, but it all just makes things more confusing: Why is no one in her kingdom taught to read? What is causing everyone around her to act irrational and crazy? How will she discover all of her father’s horrific secrets in time to save her kingdom? The lead characters in Graceling and Fire make appearances to assist the brave Queen, but is the web her father wove too thick and deadly to be undone?

This is considered a sequel to Graceling and definitely worth reading if you loved the other two books in this series. Fantasy enthusiasts will get wrapped up in the kingdom details, and mystery lovers will try desperately to figure things out before Bitterblue does.


YA Book Review- Ender’s Game

This book is science fiction and dystopian of some of the best kind. The movie based on this book is due out in November of this year, so grab it in print before you enjoy it in theaters!

I’m going to let the Goodreads description tell you the details:

“In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.”

If you like to read about aliens, futuristic space wars, kids saving the day, or even if you like video games, definitely pick this up.

Enders Game


YA Book Review- Fire by Kristen Cashore (of the Graceling Realm series)

Imagine a world where there are not only regular animals and humans, but brightly colored monster animals and humans that are vicious and beautiful and can compel you to do anything they want you to do? This is the world where Fire lives, and she is one of these monster humans, with hair all shades of reds and pinks and beauty so stunning that men and woman alike will do unreasonable things, like try to kiss her or kill her on sight. Fire has always hated her abilities, but she is the only monster human left ever since her greedy and scheming father, Cansrel, killed himself. Monster human blood attracts monster animals, and so she is in constant danger of attacks- the only thing that saves her is her ability to manipulate creature’s minds, which is something her father delighted in but she has always felt made her a terrible person. When mysterious attacks by blank-minded men make her home estate an unsafe place, she happily takes the invitation to visit the King’s city, even though it means having a constant steel-minded guard with her and trusting herself to the sullen younger brother of the king, Prince Brigan. The dangers are many and the longer she is away from home the more mysteries present themselves. Can she help a kingdom that is quickly falling apart, a good king who cannot control himself around her, and a damaged prince who seems to be the only one to understand her?

Once again, this author does a wonderful job of world building. This book is part of the Graceling series but is set in a land that knows nothing of the Graceling-filled kingdoms, separated from them by a treacherous mountain range. You do not need to read Graceling in order to understand the story- Fire actually takes place before Graceling and is considered a companion novel. Fantasy lovers, you will not be dissapointed!



YA Book Review- Spoiled by Heather Cocks

Have you ever daydreamed about finding out you’re secretly the heir to a fortune, or the child of a movie star? In this story, Molly Dix discovers exactly that from her mother who is dying of cancer. After her mother passes, Molly’s unknown father- who happens to be mega action-star Brick Berlin- flies her out to Hollywood to start her new life with him. Not only does she now only have to ask to get anything she’s ever wanted, but she has a new half sister too! Molly is a simple Midwestern girl who has a lot to get used to now that she is living the glamorous life of one of Brick Berlin’s daughters. Her new sister, Brooke, seems happy to guide her in the right direction…but nothing is really as it seems in this town.

This book is a whirlwind of scenes set in exciting and sparkly Hollywood. The authors of this novel have a celebrity gossip blog, so all of their descriptions are accurate looks in to this world. Grab this up if you like designer clothes, celebrities and paparazzi, long-lost-family stories, or you just need something new and different! Bonus: there’s a sequel that stars one of the friends Molly makes at her new Hollywood prep school, so if you love this, there is MORE!


YA Book Review- Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin Book Two)

Lady Sybella is now a trained assassin of the convent of St. Mortain, and is undercover as the girl she would have grown up to be in her noble father’s household. While she pretends to be the aloof, cruel offspring of one of the most disturbed nobles alive, Count D’albret, she is secretly passing every minute waiting for the chance to slay this evil man who raised her. When she gets an assignment from the convent of St. Mortain to free D’albret’s prisoner, an ally of the Duchess who is being held for torture and agonizing death, she is accidentally whisked away with him and must learn how to navigate a countryside riddled with her father’s men and their other enemies, the French. Can they survive until they reach the young Duchess of Brittany and carry out a plan to overthrow D’albret? And why is this strong, fiercely loyal prisoner getting under her skin the way no man ever has?

If you loved Grave Mercy, you will love Dark Triumph. This book is a whirlwind of adventure, intrigue, romance, and historical fiction with a twist. Sybella’s character is very different from that of Ismae, who is the subject of Grave Mercy, so those who may have thought Ismae’s story was not quite exciting enough will probably still want to pick this up. A great read!

Dark Triumph