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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

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The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

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I just finished listening to The Dark Days Pact. This YA novel was written by Alison Goodman, and it is the sequel to The Dark Days Club. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the series, imagine Regency England- but with demonic creatures who have taken on the guise of everyday citizens and living amongst the general populace. The Dark Days Club is tasked with maintaining order, and eliminating the “Deceivers” who threaten the social order. Right before her Presentation at Court, Lady Helen Wrexhall discovers that her late parents were members of the Dark Days Club, and that she has her own connection to the Club.

The Dark Days Pact picks up several weeks after the events in the first book. Lady Helen is spending the summer in Brighton, residing with her new friends in the Dark Days Club. She plans to spend her days learning more about the Club and preparing for some additional initiation rituals. Unfortunately, the enigmatic Lord Carlston appears disjointed and more mercurial than usual. Lord Selburn shows up in Brighton, still determined to rescue Lady Helen from what he perceives to be an ignominious situation. And then there’s the mysterious journal that Lady Helen has been tasked with recovering. Continue reading

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These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

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

I enjoyed reading These Vicious Masks last year, and found the combination of teenagers with extraordinary powers (like the X-Men) placed in Victorian England to be highly original.

These Ruthless Deeds is a young adult novel written by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. It begins not too long after the events in These Vicious Masks, and protagonist Evelyn is still processing what happened at the end of the first book in the series. However, she is preoccupied by her family’s move to London for the “Little Season” and everything that entails. She learns more about a shadowy organization that oversees “Aberrants”: what is her place is supposed to be within the group and what are the group’s true intentions? The love triangle from the first book returns in a sequel; what good is a YA novel if there are not at least two gentlemen vying for the attention of the plucky protagonist? Continue reading

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

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

The Bone Witch is a YA fantasy novel written by Rin Chupeco. It is the first entry in a planned series.

Tea (whose name is not pronounced like the beverage) is a young girl living in a world surrounded by magic. Witches are valued for their power, but when Tea accidentally brings her brother back from the dead, she learns that there is a limit to society’s tolerance for witchcraft.

Bone witches are scorned, but they are also an integral component in keeping the world a safe place. Bone witches are a scarce commodity, so Tea is fortunate to find a mentor who can help her. Most of the book is devoted to Tea undergoing training to understand how to utilize her power. Continue reading

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The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

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I’ve enjoyed several of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books, so I was excited when I found her latest book The Amateurs at the library.

Speaking of Pretty Little LiarsThe Amateurs begins in a similar fashion. The details are different, of course, but the bottom line is that Helena Kelly, a pretty girl in an affluent suburb disappears and is found dead.

Five years later, Seneca Frazier is a college student who is obsessed with the Helena Kelly case. She connects with Maddy, an online friend from a true crime/amateur sleuth website. Maddy, who is from Dexby, the town where the crime occurred, invites Seneca to come visit for Spring Break. What better way to cross-reference the details of the case? Perhaps they can uncover some clues that the police missed! Continue reading

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Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

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

I have not had the time to read very many YA novels lately, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist. I am not familiar with Sundquist’s work on YouTube, but YA is one of my favorite genres, and the description piqued my interest.

Will Porter is a visually impaired teenager who is fulfilling his desire to attend a regular high school instead of the school for the blind that he has attended up until now. After some awkward encounters, Will makes some new friends, including a girl named Cecily who is in several of his classes. Continue reading

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Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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My oldest daughter is nine years old, and she loves reading. She has started reading novels, but her favorite genre has always been graphic novels. Raina Telgemeier has always been my daughter’s favorite author; she has all of Telgemeier’s books, and even met her a few years ago. Needless to say, my daughter has been looking forward to Ghosts for months.

Ghosts is Telgemeier’s newest graphic novel.   Teenage protagonist Cat is not very happy about having to move to the small town of Bahia de la Luna, but her little sister Maya has cystic fibrosis and the climate will help her breathe better. Cat learns that the whole town is really into Dia de los Muertos; she thinks this is silly, but Maya really wants to meet a real ghost.

There is a boy in the story, Cat’s friends tease her about Carlos liking her, but the focus is not on a romantic relationship. Instead, there is an emphasis on friendship; Carlos shows Cat and Maya around the town, and he is the first one to tell them about the ghosts who live near the mission. Continue reading