Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rebel Mechanics

cover_imageTITLE: Rebel Mechanics
AUTHOR: Shanna Swendson
PUBLISHER: Margaret Ferguson Books
PAGES: 310 pages
SERIES: Rebel Mechanics book 1
GENRE: Fantasy
APPROPRIATE AGE: grades 7-12

SUMMARY: In 1888, New York City is under British control, specifically magical Magisters. Verity moves to the big city with hopes of becoming a nanny for a prestigious family. She never would have guessed that on her first day, she experiences a train robbery, rides in an illegal steam car, and is hired by a magical family. When Verity befriends a group of steampunk rebels, she will have to choose between spying on her family or being loyal to the ones trying to start a revolution. 

WHAT I LIKED: This book had three of my favorite things: magic, steampunk, and a love triangle, of course. I love reading about the time period of the 1800s, but this story added so much more by including magical families called Magisters, and also the group of inventors that are trying to undermine the need for magic by creating things using steam. 

SERIES UPDATE: Book Two: Rebel Magisters is available in ebook, hardback coming soon

READALIKES: Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

BOOK TRAILER: This trailer is not official, only created for the use of TLA's 2016 Lone Star list

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Sin Eater's Daughter

cover_imageTITLE: The Sin Eater's Daughter
AUTHOR: Melinda Salisbury
RELEASE DATE: February 2015
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
PAGES: 312 pages 
SERIES: The Sin Eater's Daughter book 1
GENRE: Fantasy
APPROPRIATE AGE: grades 9-12

SUMMARY: Twylla's mother is the Sin Eater, at every funeral, she is paid to eat the sins of the dead. Twylla was supposed to follow in her footsteps, but at the age of twelve, Twylla was taken to the castle of Lormere to become Daunen Embodied, the goddess whose touch can kill. For four years she is the queen's personal executioner and the prince's betrothed, until she begins to question it all. 
FAVORITE QUOTE:  "I am the perfect weapon, I can kill with a single touch." (Salisbury, )

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I felt the storyline seriously lacked some details. The entire time I'm reading the book I'm asking questions, like "Why was Twylla chosen?". "Why can only the royal family touch her?", "Why hasn't she asked to see her family?", etc. I never really liked the character of Twylla, who would go into that kind of life so passively? This book would be great with a little more backstory, I felt there was no depth to the characters and because of that I felt absolutely no attachment to them while reading the story.

SERIES UPDATE: Book 2: The Sleeping Prince, and Book 3: The Scarecrow Queen due out in 2017

READALIKES: A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J Maas, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

BOOK TRAILER: Author Melinda Salisbury reads an excerpt from The Sin Eater's Daughter

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses

cover_imageTITLE: A Court of Thorns and Roses
AUTHOR: Sarah J Maas
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury
PAGES: 419 pages 
SERIES: A Court of Thorns and Roses book 1
GENRE: Paranormal, Fantasy
APPROPRIATE AGE: grades 8-12

SUMMARY: Feyre's homelife is depressing, their house is barely standing, her father can no longer work due to his injuries, her mother is dead, and her sisters treat her like trash; but still Feyre cares for them. One day while out on a hunt, while she is preparing to shoot a deer, a large wolf approaches, only considering her own protection, she shoots the wolf through the eye. Well, this wasn't any wolf walking through the forest, this was a Fae in his wolf form and according to the accords between the Fae and the Humans, it is a life for a life. Now the High Fae, Tamlin is demanding her life as punishment. He takes her into his kingdom, in the Fae world, and  Feyre must figure out how to survive long enough in this strange land before she can return to her family.
FAVORITE QUOTE: "I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world." (Maas, ) 

WHAT I LIKED: This story is kind of like a retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. But in this story, the beast is a fae and the beauty is a tough

READALIKES: Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, Graceling by Kristen Cashore

SERIES UPDATE: Book Two: A Court of Mist and Fury releases May 3, 2016

BOOK TRAILER: I wasn't able to find an official book trailer for A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I was able to find a video of the author, Sarah J. Maas, describing the book. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

I'll Give You The Sun

cover_imageTITLE: I'll Give You The Sun
AUTHOR: Jandy Nelson
RELEASE DATE: September 2014
PAGES: 371 pages 
GENRE: Realistic Fiction
APPROPRIATE AGE: grades 9-12

SUMMARY: Jude and Noah are twins and the very best of friends, together forever; until their mom dies in a car accident and both their lives spiral out of control. Noah was supposed to be the artist, but now he gets his thrills by jumping off the highest cliff to the water below. Jude was used to be confident and popular, but now she prefers to be alone while haunted by the ghost of her mother. Can the two put their past behind them in order to move forward together? 
FAVORITE QUOTE:  "Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people," I say. "Maybe we're accumulating these new selves all the time." Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things. " (Jandy, )

WHAT I LIKED: I really enjoyed the different point of views: Jude as a seventeen-year-old and Noah's story being told from when he was fourteen. It helped you see how the past affected the future for both of the story lines.

READALIKES: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan