Review: Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz

Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publication: April 17th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Series: Alex & Eliza #2
Length: 384 pages
Format: ARC from Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★

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1780. Albany, New York.

As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama.

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Review: Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young
Genre: YA Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Publication: April 24th 2018 by Wednesday Books
Series: No. Standalone.
Length: 352 pages
Format: ARC from Wednesday Books
Rating: ★★★★.5

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OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

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Review + INT’L Giveaway: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: YA Contemporary, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age
Publication: March 6th 2018 by HarperTeen
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 368 pages
Format: ARC from HarperCollins International
Rating: ★★★.5

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A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

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Review: Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge

Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge
Genre: YA Biography, Nonfiction, Graphic Novel, Sequential Art
Publication: January 30, 2018 from Roaring Brook Press
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5)

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A young adult biography of Frankenstein’s profound young author, Mary Shelley, coinciding with the 200th anniversary of its publication, told through free verse and 300+ full-bleed illustrations.

Mary Shelley first began penning Frankenstein as part of a dare to write a ghost story, but the seeds of that story were planted long before that night. Mary, just nineteen years old at the time, had been living on her own for three years and had already lost a baby days after birth. She was deeply in love with famed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a mad man who both enthralled and terrified her, and her relationship with him was rife with scandal and ridicule. But rather than let it crush her, Mary fueled her grief, pain, and passion into a book that the world has still not forgotten 200 years later.

Dark, intense, and beautiful, this free-verse novel with over 300 pages of gorgeous black-and-white watercolor illustrations is a unique and unforgettable depiction of one of the greatest authors of all time.

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Review: The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser
Genre: YA Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance
Publication: January 2, 2018 from Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan USA
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 368  pages
Format: ARC from Fierce Reads
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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A Jane Austen-inspired YA tale about a sixteen-year-old girl who finds a magical book—and discovers that anything she writes inside it comes true.

Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she’s convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon.

As it turns out, Emma hasn’t seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma’s way: anything she writes in the book comes true.

But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn’t the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her—and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed.

A new boy in school—the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter—becomes Emma’s unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.

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Review: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Hate to Love
Publication: July 18, 2017 from Swoon Reads
Series: N/A
Length: 256 pages
Format: ARC
Rating: ★★★★☆

Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.

So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.

But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.

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