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Tag Archives: three stars

Review: Beauty of the Broken

Review: Beauty of the Broken

Title: Beauty of the Broken
Author: Tawni Waters
Published: 2014
Length: 359 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ¾

In Mara Stonebrook’s rural and extremely conservative-Christian New Mexico town, being different is frowned upon, but being anything other than straight is downright dangerous–especially in the eyes of her bigoted drunk of a father. Mara has watched him beat her older brother Iggy all her life, and she knows her passive alcoholic mother wouldn’t step in if he found out that she’s interested in girls instead of boys. Yet not long after one of his beatings leaves her brother with permanent brain damage, Mara finds herself unable to resist the charms of Xylia, a transfer student from San Francisco. Her friendship with Xylia eventually turns romantic and provides her with inspiration and hope in an otherwise unhappy life–but at what cost?

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Review: Shadowlark

Review: Shadowlark

Title: Shadowlark
Author: Megan Spooner
Published: 2013
Length: 327 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

In this sequel to Skylark, Lark Ainsley continues searching for her brother Basil in hopes of understanding not only his fate but her own identity as well. Soon, however, she falls into the clutches of men who serve Prometheus, the leader of an underground city called Lethe. There, Renewables are feared and forced into slavery to keep the city and its people alive and safe from the shadows of the wold above. After escaping their clutches, Lark works with the resistance, where she realizes that her brother may have come here, too, and fallen victim to Prometheus as well. She is determined to escape–but not before she frees the captive Renewables and confronts Prometheus to end his reign of terror for good.

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Review: The Bookseller

Review: The Bookseller

Title: The Bookseller
Author: Cynthia Swanson
Published: 2015
Length: 338 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

Though she’s still unlucky in love at thirty-eight, Kitty Miller has embraced her life as the co-owner of a quaint bookshop, which she runs with her best friend in 1960s Denver. She doesn’t have a conventional life, but she has her independence and people who love her and whom she loves in return. Then one day, Kitty wakes up in someone else’s bedroom. In this incredibly lifelike dream, she is married with young children and, better yet, in love with her soft-spoken, attentive husband. As time passes, Kitty’s strange dreams become more frequent and–up to a point–more enticing. She begins to lose track of reality and to dwell more and more on her dream-life until she fears she that the life she already has may slip away from her.

Note: This review is mostly spoiler-free; I’ve included one spoiler is included in my Goodreads review.

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Review: The Crown’s Game

Review: The Crown’s Game

Title: The Crown’s Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Published: 2016
Length: 399 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

In every generation, an enchanter is born who will help guide and protect both the tsar of Russia and the vast Russian Empire itself. Sometimes, however, Russia’s ancient magic is split between two young enchanters, a twist of fate that promises power and glory to one–and death to the other. Such is the case for Vika, a girl raised outside the city to attune her power to wild elemental forces, and Nikolai, whose urban upbringing has directed his magic into fine mechanical and technical skills. With threats looming on all sides of his empire, the Tsar Alexander initiates the Crown’s Game, in which Vika and Nikolai will compete to become his Imperial Enchanter. As each of them tries to win–and to stay alive–they struggle with loss, love, and hard lessons about themselves and those they once considered friends.

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Review: How to Hang a Witch

Review: How to Hang a Witch

Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Published: 2016
Length: 358 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ½

When fifteen-year-old Samantha Mather moves to Salem, Massachusetts, with her stepmother, she finds herself in a centuries-old feud with the Descendants: families whose direct ancestors were victims of the infamous Witch Hysteria of 1692. Sam, whose own ancestor Cotton Mather had a hand in the wich trials, is reported to be the cause of half a dozen deaths and accidents in the Descendants’ families and the school–and town–quickly turn against her. With the help of the spirit of a seventeenth-century boy named Elijah, she desperately seeks a way to break the curse, and to save her own comatose father,  before it’s too late.

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Review: Blood of My Blood

Review: Blood of My Blood

Title: Blood of My Blood
Author: Barry Lyga
Published: 2014
Length: 468 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

In this conclusion to the trilogy that began with I Hunt Killers, Jasper Dent discovers that his long-lost mother–whom he feared he was forced to kill as a child–is alive and in the the clutches of his father, the infamous and recently-escaped serial killer Billy Dent. After Billy ironically saves his life in New York, Jazz pursues him despite being seriously injured as well as an NYPD suspect. Jazz still struggles with the demons of his past and still wonders if he is, indeed, doomed to follow in his father’s murderous footsteps, but he is also determined to rescue his mother, and he will stop at nothing to do so.

Note: this review is mostly spoiler-free. I’ve included some spoilers in my Goodreads review.

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Review: Distant Waves

Review: Distant Waves

Title: Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Published: 2009
Length: 330 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★

Following the death of their father, Jane Taylor and her four sisters grows up in an unconventional spiritualist town in New York with their medium mother. Mimi, the eldest, and Jane, eager to get a taste of the real world, take a spontaneous and unsupervised trip to New York City after the revelation of a family secret. While there, Jane meets her hero Nikola Tesla and Mimi gets swept up in the glamorous world of high society. The consequences of this brief trip will turn all the Taylor girls’ lives upside-down, however, because the next April they all find themselves as passengers on the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

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