Everland by Wendy Spinale

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After a bio-attack on London by an evil new German regime, most adults have perished from the deadly virus dropped on the population. The virus also seems to target girls, leaving nearly all of them missing from the city. Gwen and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey, are some of the last children living in the outskirts of what used to be London (now a ruined city called Everland). During a raid, Joanna is taken by the sinister Captain Hans (Hook), who uses the remaining children as experiments. When Gwen meets the charming but reckless Pete, leader of the “Lost Boys” and who claims he can help Gwen escape, can she trust him to help her get her sister back? And, can she find Joanna before the virus kills the remaining children in London?

If the cover doesn’t sell you on this book (because it’s awesome), think sci-fi Peter Pan with Steampunk. For the most part, this book is a super creative take on Peter Pan, and I loved reading how the author incorporated all the elements of the story into her piece. I also loved how Spinale takes time to humanize the “evil” Captain Hook, rather than just allowing him to be a flat baddie. If you’re into fractured fairy tales, love Peter Pan, or are just looking for a unique read, this is it!

Rating: 4/5

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

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The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull

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By returning to Ireland after years spent living in America, Clare knows that her life will become vastly different. Though Clare believed in “the Strange” and fairies as a young girl, her time away from her home taught her that these things are just stories. However, once back in Ireland, the Strange doesn’t feel like just a bedtime story. Memories and feelings rush back to Clare, reminding her of her past life and her duty. When things go horribly awry, Clare must find a way to repair the damage her absence has caused, or risk losing her home forever.

I have to say, this book is not for everyone. Though it is beautifully, wonderfully written, it is also incredibly slow. The plot was interesting enough, but the pace made it quite difficult for me to progress through it. If you’re a patient reader who loves fairy stories, you might love this book. It was a bit too slow for me, though.

Rating: 2.5/5

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

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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To every Queen of Fennbirn, a set of female triplets is born. The birth of her daughters signifies the end of the reigning queen’s tenure and the beginning of the search for a new queen. Though one of the daughters will be queen, it is unclear which will wear the crown until the girls turn sixteen. At that time, the deadly competition for the throne begins. Each young queen must defeat the others if she wishes to rule. Using her unique gifts, each girl must kill (or be killed) in order to secure her right to the throne. Let the games begin.

Ok, so if you’re going to read this book, try to stick it out until the end. At times, the writing can be dry and the plot super slow. BUT, the ending is definitely worth it. I’m sad that this book wasn’t incredible all the way through, as its premise is just SO good. But, it’s just not. If you’re willing to hang in through the meh parts, you WILL find a treat at the end.

*YALSA, Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2016, Nominee

Rating: 3.5/5

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

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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While Illuminae followed the plight of Kady after her escape from a deadly attack on her home planet, Gemina picks up with Hannah, the daughter of the captain of Hypatia. Though Hypatia may seem to Kady to be a refuge, its status as such quickly deteriorates as BioTech realizes Kady may be headed to the ship to tell her story. In response, BioTech sends an elite team of assassins to “neutralize” the threat Hypatia poses, as well as any possible witnesses. In what was supposed to be a boring weekend of public appearances, Hannah now finds herself swept up in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the ship’s intruders. With the help of unlikely friends, she must find a way to stop BioTech’s squad before the truth is erased forever.

Wow!! This one is so good!! I have to be honest, it took me an arguably embarrassingly long time to figure everything out in Illuminae (the first book in this series). There were just so many moving parts, so to speak. In this one, though, the plot picks up fast and moves even faster. Think Die Hard in space. It’s great. The best part is that, if you haven’t read Illuminae, you can still probably follow what’s going on in this book. You will, however, want to read it after you’re done. Don’t miss this one if you liked the first one, or if you’re in the mood for a techie, sci-fi, action thriller!

Rating: 5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here

The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani

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Evil has finally won. Now, instead of separate schools for girls and boys, two schools for evil exist. One for new evil, and one for old. Now that evil finally has its chance, old villains are coming back to rewrite the past. Though their tales are long over, wicked witches, giants, and murderous pirates are set on executing the heroes who bested them. At the center of the this new regime, Sophie and her new prince, the young schoolmaster, plot to tip the scales in evil’s favor forever. In yet another story filled with adventures, romance, and plot twists, Agatha and Tedros must find a way to save the fate of good before the last ever after occurs.

If you liked the first two books in this series, you will probably like this one. It was a bit repetitive for me, though. I really enjoyed the twist of seeing the old villains come back to seek their revenge, but the Tedros-Agatha-Sophie love triangle was so. old. I will say, though, that the ending is great. Getting to the ending, however, can, at times, prove difficult.

Rating: 3/5 

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

Conversion by Katherine Howe

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When a group of girls falls mysteriously ill at a private school, many believe some kind of poison or side effect is to blame. Colleen, however, doubts the opinions of the media. Guided by anonymous texts, Colleen is drawn to the history of her town, the town once-named Salem, Massachusetts, where nineteen women were hanged for witchcraft in 1692. Is the mystery illness a coincidence? Or is the bloody history of the town repeating itself in the afflicted girls? Told using flashbacks to the confessions of an afflicted girl in the 1700’s, Conversion is the story of paranoia, media frenzy, and a history of violence.

The Salem Witch Trials fascinate me, so I was looking forward to this book. It was extremely disappointing. Though I very much enjoyed the historical flashbacks, the modern part of the book was messy, unconnected, and difficult to read. The author has an interesting theory about what “ailed” the afflicted girls, but the execution of that theory was incredibly confused and lackluster.

Rating: 2.5/5

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