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Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones

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Murder, Magic, and What We Wore is a young adult novel written by Kelly Jones. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because it is set in the Regency era, one of my absolute favorite historical periods.

Annis Whitworth is a young woman whose life is thrown into upheaval by her father’s death. She did not know her father very well because he was often traveling, and his sudden death prompts many questions about his occupation. This event also seems to serve as the catalyst for Annis learning that she can sew “glamours” that transform garments and the person wearing them. Continue reading

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One of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

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One of Us Is Lying is a young adult novel written by Karen M. McManus. I found it on the new release shelf at my town library.

Five teens walk into detention: Bronwyn is an academic overachiever, Addy is a pretty girl, Nate is a drug dealer, Cooper is a baseball star, and Simon is brooding and aloof. They are all there because they were caught with cell phones during class. There’s just one problem- the phones aren’t actually theirs and none of them have any idea what the phones are doing in their bags. They are a rather eclectic group, and don’t necessarily run in the same social circles. Being in detention for a something they didn’t actually do is the least of their concerns because by the end of detention, one of the five is dead. Continue reading

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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The Hate U Give is a young adult novel written by Angie Thomas. I kept hearing about how amazing it was, so I requested a copy through my library network.

Starr Carter is a typical teenager who searches for her place in the world. Her parents want her to have more opportunities than her urban neighborhood can offer, so they sacrifice to send her to a private school in the suburbs where she is one of the only African American students. She drifts between these two worlds, not feeling entirely comfortable in either. She is excited to reconnect with her best friend Khalil at a party, but when Khalil offers her a ride home, their car is pulled over and Khalil is shot by the police officer. Starr is the only witness, and initially, she takes solace in her anonymity. But when the police officer claims that she and Khalil were combative and that his actions were self-defense, Starr knows that she has to speak out. Continue reading

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The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer

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I initially read/listened to audiobook version of the Enola Holmes mysteries when my girls were very small. Now they are much older and enjoy listening to audiobooks, I thought it would be fun if we listened to the Enola Holmes stories this summer when we drive around on errands.

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets is the third book in the Enola Holmes series. Even if you are unfamiliar with this series, you might be able to deduce that Miss Enola is the younger sister of the famous detective. After her mother’s disappearance, Enola runs away from home and has been living in London. She has her own detective business, and solves mysteries in between evading her brothers and trying to figure out what happened to her mother.

After the events in the second book, Enola is afraid her cover has been blown, so to speak, and that her brothers will be able to track her down. So when she sees a newspaper article about the disappearance of Dr. Watson, she initially suspects that it might be a trick to lure her out of hiding. Continue reading

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The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

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I first listened to the audiobooks of Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes series when my girls were very young. Now that they are older, I thought it would be a good time to introduce them to this delightful series.

The Case of the Missing Marquess is the first book in the Enola Holmes series. As you may have guessed from the surname, Enola is Sherlock and Mycroft’s sister. At fourteen, she is much younger than her brothers, and in fact, has not seen them in over ten years. But when her mother disappears mysteriously, Enola summons them to the Holmes countryside estate. There are very few clues as to where Mrs. Holmes may have gone, and Sherlock and Mycroft determine that the best course of action is for Enola to enroll in a boarding school. She has been raised quite unconventionally, and does not know any of the social graces that she ought to know by the age of fourteen.

Enola objects to this plan, so she runs away. She stumbles, quite unexpectedly into the disappearance of a young marquess. She proves to be quite astute at determining where a young aristocrat might bolt if he grew weary of his pampered life. Things look quite dicey for awhile, but Enola is a fighter, and is much more clever than her brothers could have possibly imagined. Continue reading

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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I have been looking forward to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue for several months. I had it preordered on Amazon, and I was very excited to finally read it. I read the whole book yesterday, alternating between the Kindle version and the Audible version- thank you, Whispersync for allowing me to “read” and fold laundry at the same time.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a YA novel written by Mackenzi Lee. Its protagonist is Henry Montague, a young 18th century aristocrat who is generally perceived to be a rake and a wastrel. As the story begins, Monty is about to embark on his Grand Tour, accompanied by his best friend Percy and his annoying younger sister Felicity. Monty is looking forward to a year of debauchery, but his hopes are dashed when he finds out that this is strictly an educational experience. Monty’s father also issues a clear warning that Monty will be cut off if he doesn’t stop cavorting with other boys. The biggest problem with this sword of Damocles is that Monty is desperately and unequivocally in love with Percy.   Continue reading

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Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey

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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Duels & Deception is a YA novel written by Cindy Anstey. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her first book- Love, Lies and Spies– so I was looking forward to returning to the Regency era and reading this book.

Miss Lydia Whitfield is an heiress. She does not harbor very many romantic sentiments, and plans to marry the baron whose estate borders her own. This is far from a love match, but aligning her fortune with his ancient name seems to be the best possible outcome. Continue reading