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Book Freak-Out

Series Sum Up: The Graceling Realm

Author: Kristin Cashore
Spoiler-free, except if you haven’t read Graceling then the Bitterblue section will spoil some things, because that’s how sequels work.

If you’re looking for these on the shelves, the top row of the header image has the US/CAN covers, the bottom row is for UK/AUS/NZ. I included both because I believe the UK covers much more accurately capture the series vibe. Honestly, the US Bitterblue cover always reminds me of toy keys when in truth it’s the heaviest book of the three.

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Just no.

Also, I’ve found it’s not a rare occurrence for someone to DNF (did not finish) Graceling and give up on the whole series. I was one of those people until this January. If this applies to you, KEEP READING. There is valuable information for you in the section on Fire. And if you did like Graceling, then you’re good for whole dealio. With that, away we go! Continue reading “Series Sum Up: The Graceling Realm”

Labyrinth Lost

Author: Zoraida Córdova

Depending on your culture, a prominent coming of age event might be a Sweet 16, quinceañera, or bat mitzvah. For Alejandra (Alex) Mortiz, it means summoning her dead relatives to deliver a family blessing that will help control her magic, should it ever decide to develop. After all, nothing says “I’m a normal teenage girl” like, “Want to come to my Deathday celebration?” Alex is a bruja – a Latinx witch – but she’d really rather not be.

Continue reading “Labyrinth Lost”

All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

To give you some perspective, understand that I do not read a lot of historical fiction. So when I say this book is amazingly good, that should tell you something.

Don’t let the Pulitzer Prize win make you think this is a stuffy read – All the Light We Cannot See is an astoundingly accessible WWII story that grants humanity to all parties involved. It’s not a Holocaust novel, instead focusing on the invasion of France and Russia coupled with the indoctrination of German youth. It acknowledges the horrors of war without presenting anything that would be inappropriate for a young adult audience; if you’re introducing kids to Elie Wiesel’s Night then they can absolutely handle this. The hefty 544 page count may seem daunting, but chapters are rarely longer than four or five pages, which I imagine would lend itself well to an ebook or audio format in addition to traditional print. Continue reading “All the Light We Cannot See”

Given to the Sea

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: April 11

Fair warning, I did not like this book. But since I got an eARC from Penguin’s First to Read program and it’s also been included in the Epic Reads April Most Anticipated Reads list, I felt I should give it (and you all) due diligence and finish/review it.

Khosa has been raised knowing she will be Given to the Sea. To keep her homeland from being flooded by a cataclysmic wave, she must be sacrificed to the waves via a strange seizure/dance that will overtake her body and send her to her death. But before she can take the plunge, she must give birth to the next Given. Herein lies the issue: Khosa cannot stand to be touched by anyone.  Continue reading “Given to the Sea”

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Author, Artist: Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

This graphic novel is straight up HILARIOUS.

Public high school. Limited activities funding. Science team wants to go to a robotics tournament. Cheerleaders want new uniforms. The budget will only fund one of them. Whichever side can get their candidate elected as Student Council president will control the budget.

Nothing could possibly go wrong. Continue reading “Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong”

Wires and Nerve

Let’s get this out of the way – Marissa Meyer is killing it. We already knew she was a rock star novelist, but graphic novels are a bit of a different beast. In a departure from the norm, Wires and Nerve is not merely a graphicalized* version of an existing book (which we’ve seen for series like Marie Lu’s Legend) but a continuation of her wildly popular Lunar Chronicles. Brand new stories, brand new medium, brand new awesome. Continue reading “Wires and Nerve”

The Bear and the Nightingale

Author: Katherine Arden

It’s hard to fight a war when you’re the only one who can see your enemy. Vasya has always been able to see the household spirits and wild guardians that few people still believe in and even fewer leave offerings for. What used to be commonly accepted customs have been relegated to mere stories told during the brutal Russian winters. But a bit of bread for the stove-dwelling domovoi is hardly the biggest issue, because if the most innocuous of the fantastical spirits are real, then it’s entirely possible that more malevolent forces are real as well. But will anyone recognize the signs of their coming?
Continue reading “The Bear and the Nightingale”

T5W: Now Hiring

Regular jobs are so boring compared to fictional jobs. Oh, you tweet for the student union of a Big 12 university?* Yeah well I’M A WIZARD. Though to be fair, books jobs often come with a unique set of downsides, particularly the fantasy ones. Apply here to be the long-lost queen! Except your kingdom has been taken over by warmongers and nobody knows who you are, and you’re probably an insecure, unskilled teenage girl! I hope you enjoy the classified ads for my Top 5 fictional jobs! Continue reading “T5W: Now Hiring”

Bound by Blood and Sand

Author: Becky Allen

To put it simply…Mad Max meets Ella Enchanted.

Granted, that probably caused more head-scratching than it solved, but if it intrigues you enough to keep reading then my work here is done. Continue reading “Bound by Blood and Sand”

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