November 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.indd1.The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon 

The Sun Is Also A Star ARC Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 384

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: In another incredible contemporary from Nicola Yoon, she explores themes of destiny and love. Main characters Daniel and Natasha are complete opposites, but learn more about themselves, confront tough obstacles and come to bring out the best in each other.

The Midnight Star Cover Reveal2.The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (TYE #3)

The Midnight Star Full Review

Publisher: G.P.  Putnam’s Son’s Books For Young Readers

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 316

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Adelina’s dark story comes to an end in this fast-paced conclusion. The world does continue to expand in some aspects and the plot definitely keeps you surprised.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.24.46 AM3.Blood For Blood (Wolf By Wolf #2)

Blood For Blood Full Review

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 481

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: The stakes are raised in this conclusion to Wolf By Wolf. The world continues to develop and world/character development play a huge part in this novel. Tone and pacing are quite different than book 1, but Graudin delivers a fantastic plot that will keep you turning the page!

the-grift-of-the-magi-by-ally-carter-book-review4.The Grift Of The Magi by Ally Carter (Heist Society #3.5)

The Grift Of The Magi

Publisher: NLA Digital LLC

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 105

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Readers return to the world of Heist Society in this holiday novella! Kat and her crew come together to save a charity when one of its valuable auction pieces has been stolen! The plot is fast-paced and entertaining! Characters are given great development and the plot, while wrapping up quite quickly in the end, is filled with mystery and surprise!

labyrinth-lost-by-zoraida-cordova-book-review5.Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (Brooklyn Brujas #1)

Labyrinth Lost Full Review

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: September 6, 2016

Pages: 336

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Weaving together Latinx Culture + Urban Fantasy, we follow Alex, a bruja who is unsure if she wants to keep her powers. When a spell makes her family disappear to Los Lagos (a mythical land) she must find a way to bring them back. The world/plot could have used more development, but regardless its a magical story of self-identity and family!

bound-by-blood-and-sand6.Bound By Blood And Sand by Becky Allen (Bound By Blood And Sand #1)

Bound By Blood And Sand Full Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 320

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: In a magical desert world water is running out and Jae may be the only one who can bring it back. This novel is filled with remarkably written/developed characters that truly come to life on the page. While the world could use a little more development, both world/plot are fascinating and unique. The little-to-no romance leaves so much room for character/plot development.

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #8

What Did You Read This Month? 🙂

Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin Review

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.24.46 AMBlood For Blood (Wolf By Wolf #2)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 481

Summary: There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: A heart-pounding conclusion to the dark and thrilling Wolf By Wolf duology!

It was everything I hoped for and more! Blood For Blood was phenomenal and concludes wonderfully!!💖

This novel opens up with glimpses into the pasts of Yael, Luka, Felix, and Adele. I thought that was a brilliant start because, it sets up the tone for the rest of the story!

By the end of Wolf By Wolf, we learn Yael didn’t kill Hitler as she had planned, but a doppelganger. Now with the SS not far behind, she is racing against the clock to return to the resistance HQ and put an end to him once and for all.

I will admit the pacing in this novel was slower for me than with Wolf By Wolf, but the plot was filled with mystery, action and suspense and it kept on surprising me!

Now with multiple perspectives from Luka, Felix and Adele, we’re shown more in-depth layers to these characters and get more from the politics/world introduced in WBW.

We are introduced to a character from Yael’s past and come to get a bigger picture of what happened all those years ago when she escaped.

However issues arise when Yael, Luka, and Felix find themselves on he run from the SS, back to Germania and must stay out of sight to avoid capture.

The tone of this book is definitely darker than WBW, with interrogations,violence, it was difficult to read at some points. However, Graudin really shows the darkness and severity of this world and the dangers that Yael + others could face.

As for characters, they were all spectacularly written! While I love each main character equally, Yael was definitely my favorite. I was rooting for her every step of the way! She has been through so much, yet no matter what stays strong when all seems lost. In this novel you definitely get to see more of her emotional/vulnerable side as she no longer needs to disguise herself as Adele, with Felix and Luka understanding who she truly is.

Luka has been taught to never show weakness and because of it is unsure of who he wants to be, but knows that, similar to Yael he wants to change things. He doesn’t want to be the “poster child” he’s grown up to be and along the journey learns what it means to be a hero.

Felix will stop at nothing to find his sister and reunite with his family,even if it means siding with the enemy. He struggles with his oath to the SS to get information on the resistance while determination to be with his family and ensure their safety puts Yael and Luka in danger.

Graudin’s writing kept a similar tone to WBW, however in this novel she definitely showed more emotional/vulnerable sides to her characters which not only was heart-breaking to read at times, but definitely gave them more depth and added more to the overall world.

It was incredible being a part of Yael’s journey to change her world for the better! The Wolf By Wolf Duology is a tale I will never forget!

Tears shed, but overall Blood For Blood raises the stakes! There’s intrigue, blood and betrayal but it all comes together to an epic and unforgettable finale!

 

 

July 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Crystal Crowned Cover1.Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova (Air Awakens #5)

Crystal Crowned Full Review

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Pages: 432

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: World-building and character development is still apparent in this final story. The plot keeps you turning the page, yet at points the plot does drag. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to a delightful fantasy series!

Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold2.Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold

Kate Triumph Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Pages: 288

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This book was spectacular! Is a fast-paced superhero”origin-story” with mystery/intrigue that keep you guessing till the very end! The characters/setting/plot are wonderfully written! The ending will definitely leave you begging for a sequel!

Highly recommend this gem of a book! ❤

Never Ever June 213.Never Ever by Sara Saedi (Never Ever #1)

Never Ever Full Review

Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 320

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: An immersive Peter Pan retelling with a writing style which creates a magical/whimsical tone for the story! The mystery surrounding the island + its inhabitants will definitely keep you turning the page!

27 Magic Words4. 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville 

27 Magic Words ARC Review

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: July 30, 2016

Pages: 228

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A middle grade with novel with so much heart & the perfect touch of magic! This novel follows Kobi who had grown up learning words are magic and uses these words during a difficult time in her life. It discusses loss, the importance of family & ups and downs of growing up!

A must read if you are looking for a new MG novel or are looking for a novel w/ complex characters and a wonderful plot + elements of magical realism ❤

Iron To Iron5.Iron to Iron by Ryan Gruadin (Wolf By Wolf #1.5)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 120

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: An action-packed prequel novella filled with incredible character development + mystery/intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Fans of Wolf By Wolf will definitely want to give this a read before the sequel comes out!

9780062379962_31a316. Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: May 17, 2016

Pages: 382

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: The characters are well developed and the romance is never rushed! There is discussion of mental illness and is touched upon wonderfully!

The perfect YA Contemporary with a wonderfully written plot/characters!

A must read for YA Contemporary fans!! ❤

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #4

YA Books I’d Love As Graphic Novels

Top 5 Wednesday

This Savage Song Playlist

Waiting On Wednesday I #7

What books did you read this month? 🙂

Iron To Iron by Ryan Graudin Book Review

Iron To IronIron To Iron (Wolf By Wolf #1.5)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 120

Summary:  Once upon a different time, there was a boy who raced through a kingdom of death.
Sixteen-year-old Luka Lowe has one goal in mind: Win the 1955 Axis Tour and become the first Double Cross victor. If he can accomplish that, maybe his father will finally see him as a worthy son. He’s completed the grueling trek from Germania to Tokyo before, but this time is different. Luka never expected to meet Adele Wolfe, another racer posing as her twin brother and with a singular dream–to live life on her own terms.
When Luka and Adele form an alliance, an unlikely bond forms, and even possibly love. But only one person can win the Axis Tour….Can everything Luka and Adele built together survive the race?

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

My Thoughts:

 Iron Calls To Iron.

This novella takes place 1-year prior to the events of Wolf By Wolf centering around the relationship that develops between Adele Wolfe & Luka Lowe! (so while the title may be 1.5 this is definitely a prequel to WBW)

I loved getting more backstory on Adele+Luka, considering it was hinted they had history prior to WBW!

Overall I loved Luka! I really felt I understood him so much more than in WBW (though I did love him in that book too!!)

I better understood his motives for winning the race + why he has a mysterious aura about him in WBW when Yael enters!

Before I get into the plot, the only minor issue I had, was with the pacing. The plot, characters, descriptive setting, tone etc. are all perfect ❤ There were just a few moments here and there where the pacing could have picked up a little.

In WBW Luka is a very secretive but intriguing character & it was great to get more back story on him.
He competes in the Axis Tour (1955) with his one and only goal: To win!
If he does he will receive a Double-Cross and hopefully, respect from his father.

He has created an armor around himself both on/off the track.
We get more backstory on what led him to become not only the person he is in this story, but who we see in Wolf By Wolf!

When he was younger his mother taught him to draw & it created a special bond between them, but his father never approved.

Now he is a lone-wolf looking only after himself. Until he meets Felix (Adele) Wolfe!

They form an alliance in order to take out the toughest racer in the competition Tsuda Katsuo with the promise to break their alliance once they get him out of the way!

But that all changes when they begin to form a relationship.
While both characters connect w/ eachother throughout this novella, Luka can’t help but begin to realize he’s falling for Adele.

When all looks well, Luka realizes that his trust/faith in Adele to get rid of his armor cost him more than he thought!

While resting in Tokyo before the last leg of the race, Adele betrays him and takes the victory for herself and Luka vows he will reclaim his title & get his revenge!

Graudin’s writing style delivers an action packed and wonderfully developed characters in quite a # of pages and will definitely leave readers who haven’t read WBW curious as to what will happen with Luka + leave fans who have read Wolf By Wolf, eager to what’s to come in Blood For Blood and see how it wraps up!

YA Books I’d Love As Graphic Novels

YA Books I'd love As Graphic NovelsOn my blog you may have noticed I’ve been reading+reviewing more comics/graphic novels which got me wondering… which of my favorite YA novels would I love to see as graphic novels?

I’ve put together a list below of books that I feel would make great graphic novels!

Thoughts On My List? + Any books you would love to see as graphic novels?

Lets discuss in the comments below 🙂

Eleanor And Park And Fangirl Rainbow Rowell1. Eleanor & Park/Fangirl 

With the 80’s background of Eleanor&Park it would give great visuals as a graphic novel! + ever since the announcement of it being optioned for film (back in 2014) I would just love to see some sort of adaptation!

As for Fangirl, Rowell’s writing-style creates such a relatable coming-of-age story surrounding socially-anxious  Cath, who finds solace in writing/reading everything Simon Snow (especially fan fiction) and what she experiences during her first year of college!

The delightful story and realistic characters would make Fangirl a truly incredible graphic novel!

It’d be a dream of mine to see both of these fantastic YA novels adapted into a graphic novel!

Heist-SOCIETY-final2.Heist Society

Ally Carter’s Heist Society Series centers around Katarina Bishop, a 15 yr. old who grew up in a family of thieves who wants out, but gets thrust back into the world she’s tried so hard to escape when her father needs her help!

Carter’s fun & fast-paced novel takes the reader to Italy, Las Vegas, even France as Kat gathers intel w/ her crew to steal back a mobster’s artwork!

The visuals would be absolutely stunning, the planning,theivery,cons & heists that ensue  would definitely keep the reader turning the page!

463. An Ember In The Ashes 

Just imagine the colorful visuals of the Empire , dark shadow creatures/monsters + the intricate details of the Masks, even Blackcliff !!

Laia & Elias undergo their own perilous journeys where they not only learn more about who they are and how their fates become intertwined, but the deep darkness and brutality that lurks within the Martial Empire!

Sabaa Tahir’s debut YA-Fantasy is packed with such dynamic characters and rich world-building and an engaging plot that would make a truly unforgettable graphic novel!

img_87694.Air Awakens Series

Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series centers around Vhalla Yarl, a library apprentice turned sorcerer!

Through Kova’s writing-style she weaves together such a rich and vivid world/world-building with elemental magic, prince’s, libraries…everything that makes a YA Fantasy absolutely magnificent!! ❤ ❤

The cover alone, further proves this would make a magical, colorful and epic graphic novel series!

Don’t you agree?? 😀

725. 5 to 1

Holly Bodger’s feminist-dystopia takes place in 2054 where “India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity.”

Enter the main protagonists, Sudasa and Kiran who are desperate to escape!

Told in dual POV w/ prose and free-verse, Bodger’s novel could make a captivating and exquisitely  written/illustrated story!

six-crows-leigh-bardugo-cover6. Six Of Crows

Expanding on the world she created in her Grisha Trilogy, Bardugo’s Six Of Crows introduces a group of misfits a sharpshooter, thief, spy, Grisha, convict, and a runaway!

Together they takes their chances in a heist that could bring them riches beyond their wildest dreams! But the stakes are high! Can they pull it off?

Bardugo’s writing-style not only captures the complex characters and the bustling city of Ketterdam,the Ice Court+ other vividly described locations, but also is packed with humor, a little romance, and non-stop action!

From the numerous edits/fanart I’ve seen, I am absolutely certain this fast-paced, dark Ocean 11 fantasy would be phenomenal as a graphic novel!

graudin_wolfbywolf7.Wolf By Wolf

Ryan Graudin’s Wolf By Wolf, an alternate WW2 Sci-Fi centers around Yael, a former death camp prisoner who underwent experiments giving her the ability to shape-shift!

With the Axis Tour (motorcycle race) coming up, she is given a task to impersonate a motorcycle racer, with the winner getting a chance to meet Hitler!

But Yael and the resistance she joined have only 1 task: Kill Hitler!

Graudin’s writing-style not only immerses you in the era of WW2/the wonderful characters, but really shows whats at stake for Yael in this  cross-continent motorcycle-race!

The Diviners Cover8.The Diviners

Libba Bray’s YA Historical Fiction takes the main character Evie O’Neill  1920’s New York! Evie is forced to stay with her uncle in his occult museum and when her uncle is called to the scene of a murder, she wants to use her supernatural gift to catch the killer!

Speakeasies, Flappers, Jazz, murder-mysteries??+ The large/diverse cast of characters!

All of these make great elements for a graphic novel!

97804514775388.Rebel Of The Sands

Alwyn Hamilton’s Arabian-Nights/Western Mash-Up would be a spectacular graphic novel!

Because the novel is written in Amani’s POV, elements of Miraji from fouza (the currency) to the outfits, and locations are wonderfully described and from page one you are fully immersed in her world!  Alwyn’s descriptions/dialogue really bring Rebel to life!

 

Here are other YA Novels that I feel would make great graphic novels as well:

the raven boys63The Star-Touched Queen9780062380753

 

 

Book Bytes I #1

Not too sure if something like this has already been created in the book blogosphere, but Book Bytes is a post I created to give quick updates on what is happening in the book community.

From cover reveals to movie options etc., I will find as much as I can for each post!

This Feature will be posted when I’ve gotten enough news to share/figure out big news in the book community!

PenguinTeen Tour

Announced Feb. 3, Hypable posted the tour stops for the PenguinTeen authors!

They Include:

  • Karen Bao
  • April Geneieve Tucholke
  • Alison Goodman
  • Alwyn Hamilton
  • Rachel Hawkins
  • Sabaa Tahir

Star-Touched Queen’s new Release Date

Roshani Chokshi announced on her twitter, Feb. 1 that TSTQ will now be coming out April 26!

Here is my Cover Reveal Post if you would like to know the summary!

Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin (Wolf By Wolf #2)

Full Wolf By Wolf Review

On Feb. 3, EW posted an article showing the cover for Blood For Blood, the sequel to Wolf By Wolf! + An excerpt!

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.24.46 AM

ADSOM Headed To TV

V.E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab) announced on her twitter that there is currently talks for ADSOM to become a TV show! W/ Victoria herself writing the pilot!

More can be found on this Deadline Article

 

If you would want this post to be a regular feature on my blog/if this type of post interests you def. leave a comment!

What Book News Have You Heard? 🙂

 

Top 10 Books of 2015

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly post originally from The Broke & The Bookish!

Here are my top 10 books of 2015! (In no particular order)

These books ,no matter how long ago I read them in the year, have still stayed w/ me! (all of these got 5 Full Star)

  1. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  3. Air Awakens by Elise Kova (Full Review Here)
  4. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  6. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  7. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Full Review Here)
  8. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (Full Review Here)
  9. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  10. Sacred Lies Of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

2015 Top 10 Tuesday.jpg

 

November 2015 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 5

graudin_wolfbywolf1. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Wolf By Wolf #1)

Wolf By Wolf Full Review

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers – Released: October 20, 2015

Pages: 400

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: This was a spectacular YA Historical Fiction filled w/ intrigue, complex/dynamic characters and a compelling story that will keep you turning the page!

Ice like Fire 102. Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

Ice Like Fire Full Review

Publisher: Balzer + Bray- Released October 13, 2015

Pages: 479

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Summary: It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts:  This was a solid sequel. There is more character development and expansion of the world Sara created in book 1. However, the introduction to Mather’s POV did slow down the story. But overall this sequel really builds up something big for book 3!

Mabry_FierceandSubtle_jkt_rgb_2MB13. A Fierce And Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry (ARC Review)

A Fierce And Subtle Poison Spoiler-Free ARC Review

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers – Release Date: April 12, 2016

Pages: 278 (ARC) , 288 (Hardcover)

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.
 
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark,  starcrossed romance–all delivered in lush, urgent prose.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: What an amazing YA Debut!! Samantha’s writing style creates a vivid atmosphere of Puerto Rico and she really writes characters with such complexity. The plot overall kept me turning the page! This is a magical and mysterious story you don’t want to miss!

9781608867370_p0_v2_s192x3004. Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship To The Max (#5-8) by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen

Lumberjanes Vol. 2 Full Review

Publisher: Boom! Box (Boom! Studios) – Released October 13, 2015

Pages: 111

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary: Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are not your average campers and Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types is not your average summer camp. Between the river monsters, magic, and the art of friendship bracelets, this summer is only just beginning. Join the Lumberjanes as they take on raptors and a sibling rivalry that only myths are made of.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: A great sequel to an amazing comic series. The core theme of friendship is apparent throughout these comics. The fun adventures the girls go on really keeps you turning the page!

THE-YEAR-OF-SHADOWS-updated-cover-hi-res-677x10245. The Year Of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year Of Shadows Full Reivew

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers – Released: August 27, 2013

Pages: 416

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Summary:

Olivia wants a new life—and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living…and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Overall Thoughts: A wonderful middle grade novel with heart! The plot is mysterious and entertaining. The characters are all written wonderfully and this story also has important themes of friendship and family. Though at times the plot can be quite slow, its a great read you should really give a chance.

What did you read this month? 🙂

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin Book Review

graudin_wolfbywolfWolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Wolf by Wolf #1)

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers -Released: October 20, 2015

Pages: 400

Summary: The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts: This book was fantastic! Yael, our strong main heroine, gets chosen to be part of an experiment, which causes her to shape-shift, while taken to a death camp. While the main story focuses on her entering a motorcycle race to kill Hitler, we get alternating chapters that show the people she lost and how the experiment she underwent, drove her to change things.

The intrigue surrounding the various riders kept the plot interesting and mysterious. Yael impersonates Adele Wolfe to try and win the race. With that, she has to learn to be Adele with what she has learned and what Adele’s past competitors know of her.

She forms alliances and enemies along the way, while staying fully focused on her goal. What also made this story more complex was how Yael would question herself, in terms of her shape-shifting. She was not sure she even understood who she personally was, if she was constantly shifting her appearance. With that, we learn how alone she feels and how her losses drive her to win.

A plot point which I was not expecting, was Yael to lose! After all the work she went through to win in the first place. However, Luka, one of her “allies” in the race offers her the chance to join him at the ball. With that, her plan continues.

I loved how seamlessly Ryan was able to weave Yael’s past with the present and have it all connect. Yael also has 5 wolves tattooed to her arm. Those wolves all have different stories and push her to win the race and make a difference.

The ending took me by surprise! In the beginning, we learn Yael is special because she is the first to survive the shape-shifting “experiments”. With her main goal being to kill Hitler, she does just that, but it turns out he was a doppelganger! Luckily she escapes unharmed, but this ending really has me excited to start book 2!

If you love YA-Historical Fiction, alternate history, non-stop action and intrigue, or want to read about a strong YA-Heroine, definitely pick this book up!