The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh

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Gigi has always had her life spelled out for her — get good grades, do her homework, go to a good school, etc.. But, when she and her sister, Didi, move to a new town, Gigi is determined to start living her life the way she wants to live it. In her new school, Gigi makes a plan to make lots of friends, join in the with popular crowd, and actually have fun. At first, Gigi’s new set of goals works perfectly. But soon she is faced with school drama, frenemies, and secrets from her and Didi’s past coming back to haunt her. Can Gigi rise above these obstacles to become her “most successful” self?

I was really expecting to be bored by this book, but it was SO good. Yes, it’s a cute, easy, read, but it has a surprising amount of depth, and the characters are the best. Gigi, of course, if one of my favorites. She’s smart, funny, and gets herself into some crazy scenarios. Perhaps the best part about this book are the recipes! If you love to cook, you’ll love having the opportunity to make the dishes Gigi talks about all the time. Also, don’t be fooled by the book’s cuteness. There are some serious plot twists — just wait until the end! If you’re a fan of realistic fiction, cooking, for “school drama books”, this book is for you. It may or may not be required to eat treats while reading it 🙂

*Lonestar, 2016

Rating: 5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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When by Victoria Laurie

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Since Maddie can remember, she’s been able to see numbers on the foreheads of everyone around her. As she grows older, Maddie realizes that the numbers she sees are the dates that person will die. After the death of her father, Maddie’s mom uses Maddie’s power to make extra money for the family, even though her daughter would rather keep the death-dates to herself. One day, Maddie reads the death-date of a healthy young boy, a boy who turns up missing on the exact day that Maddie predicted he would die. As authorities begin to look at Maddie for the possible crime, Maddie must find a way to clear her name before others around her go missing as well.

This book was soooo great! I really loved it! The plot is super fast-paced, the mystery intriguing, and it gave me a lot to think about. Would I want to know when I die? I can’t decide. My one complaint about the book is that I felt the ending was too quickly wrapped up. I wanted more! If you’re looking for a in-depth, challenging read, this isn’t it. BUT, if you’re looking for an exciting, quick read with a unique plot, here’s your book. Give it a try the next time you’re in the mood for a mystery/thriller.

Lonestar, 2016

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

The Thickety: The Whispering Trees by J.A. White

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The second book of The Thickety series finds Kara and her brother, Taff, fleeing from the town they once called home. As their father is possessed by the evil spirit of the town’s former leader, Kara searches for a way to free her father and return her home to peace. Racing through the Thickety, Kara and Taff must also flee the forest demon, Sordyr, who is intent on using Kara’s power for his own gain. Along the way, the two rely on a perceived enemy, hoping that she is, in fact, a friend. Kara must escape the Thickety and somehow formulate a plan to save her father, before she is trapped in Sordyr’s home forever.

I read the first book in this series, so I was excited to read this one. It was really good! I liked that basically the whole book is Kara’s struggle to get through the Thickety, and the story ends on a great cliffhanger. I also enjoyed that a major character in the book is Mary Kettle, the evil witch from the stories Taff used to hear back in their town. There’s some pretty cool twists and turns as well! Definitely give this one a try if you liked the first book.

Rating: 4/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

After May’s best friend, Libby, dies in a car accident, May is lost. The girls used to do everything together, including creating a comic series called “Princess X”. The comic features a strong female character (Princess X) who must take back her kingdom from usurpers. A few years after Libby’s death, May begins to see pictures of Princess X plastered around town. At first, May thinks the stickers and posters must be some sort of weird coincidence — someone must have copied Libby’s drawings. But, as the clues keep piling up, May isn’t so sure. Is Libby really dead? If not, where is she, and why does everyone think she’s dead?

Wow! I LOVED this book. I really like that it features strong, smart female characters who are obviously super talented. I also loved that we get to read the Princess X comments along with May’s story. While this book has a large “tech-thriller” aspect, don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy; the book is still very easy to understand. I can’t lie, I read this book in almost one sitting because I just HAD to know what happened next. If you’re looking for a new mystery/thriller to read or if you love web comics/graphic novels, definitely try this book out. I just hope there are more!

*Lonestar, 2016

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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Sold in marriage to a foreign kingdom for the sake of a peace alliance, Lia, Princess of Morrighan, decides to take her fate into her own hands. Rather than marry her chosen prince, Lia conspires with a castle maid, and the two flee the kingdom the very day Lia was supposed to be married. However, though Lia believes she has escaped court life, her path is nowhere near as simple and freeing as she hoped. Pursued by both an assassin and the prince she jilted, Lia must come to terms with the past she thought she left behind, and the future she must forge.

Meh, this book was just ok. I really, really liked the set-up — a princess who bolts because she doesn’t want to get married to a random prince? Yes. But, once the escaping is done, the plot slows to a crawl. Things pick up by then end, but, by that point, the damage was done. If you’re a huge fantasy fan, give this one a try, but be patient. Maybe the next one will be better.

*Lonestar, 2015

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.