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Review, Young Adult / October 25, 2012
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarryPushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: August 2012
416 pages
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary
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What if the last person you should fall in love with is the only one who can save you?

No one knows what really happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of the horrible night that changed her life forever.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And now Echo has to ask herself just what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again...

This, my friends, is how you do chemistry. I literally wrote that every single time I made a note while reading the book, because it was just that good.

Pushing the Limits is the story of Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins, both outsiders in their own way. Echo was once popular but after she disappeared from school and returned with her arms covered in scars, she found herself the subject of gossip and without many true friends. Noah has been bounced around foster care since his parents died in a tragic fire and casually does drugs and looks for one-night stands. They are both broken and they need to find their way out of it. When Echo is encouraged by her guidance counsellor to tutor Noah, well, the sparks just fly. read more

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By: Daphne
The Iron Legends by Julie KagawaThe Iron Legends
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1.5, 3.5, 4.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: August 2012
304 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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Enter the world of the internationally bestselling Iron Fey series. Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of the Iron Fey plus the Guide to the Iron Fey with exclusive information about Julie Kagawa's unforgettable world of Faery.

NOTE – This reviews both the novella Iron’s Prophecy and the Iron Legends Anthology.

Iron’s Prophecy

This is book 4.5 in the Iron Fey series and takes place some time after the events of The Iron Knight.

Firstly, this story is just the right size for a novella. Not too short and not too long. It is about 65 pages and is actually very crucial to the story. This novella is no gap filler. If you are a fan of the Iron Fey series then I really recommend you read this as without it, the new books in the upcoming ‘Call of the Forgotten’ series will NOT make sense. read more

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By: Alison
The Goddess Legacy by Aimee CarterThe Goddess Legacy
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #2.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: July 2012
395 pages
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mythology
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For millennia we’ve caught only glimpses of the lives and loves of the gods and goddesses on Olympus. Now Aimée Carter pulls back the curtain on how they became the powerful, petty, loving and dangerous immortals that Kate Winters knows.

Calliope/Hera represented constancy and yet had a husband who never matched her faithfulness....
Ava/Aphrodite was the goddess of love and yet commitment was a totally different deal....
Persephone was urged to marry one man, yet longed for another....
James/Hermes loved to make trouble for others-but never knew true loss before....
Henry/Hades's solitary existence had grown too wearisome to continue. But meeting Kate Winters gave him a new hope....

Five original novellas of love, loss and longing and the will to survive throughout the ages.

I am always hopeful (perhaps naively so) about the Goddess Test books, because I love mythology retellings. However, the first two books were disappointing due to poor characterisation and predictable plots. The latest offering, The Goddess Legacy, includes five short stories from the point of view of the other gods and goddesses and delves deeper into their histories and character. While I was frustrated by more of the same from Aimée Carter, some of the stories made me feel emotions other than frustration, and I took that as a good sign. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / June 28, 2012
The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: April 2012
485 pages
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal
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In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

I have to start this off by saying that Julie Kagawa blew my expectations away. In this saturated genre, I never expected such a refreshing take on the vampire story, and I truly enjoyed this book.

The Immortal Rules takes place in a dystopian future where vampires rule over cities and humankind have been all but wiped out by the Red Lung disease. Humans have little choice—either become a marked as a registered ‘pet’ used for feeding, or choose to be free but have to fend for yourself. Allie Sekemoto is one of these unregistered humans, constantly living in hunger and facing the harsh realities of life in New Covington. She’s tough, she’s street smart and she would rather starve than take a vampire’s mark. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / March 29, 2012
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee CarterGoddess Interrupted
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: March 2012
304 pages
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mythology
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Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future. Henry's first wife, Persephone.

I was disappointed in the first book of the series, The Goddess Test mainly because of the weak plot. I was drawn in with the ‘trials’ and expected more from them. This time, I was hopeful that it would be better, especially since I’m a big fan of mythology and there are so many rich stories to draw inspiration from, but alas. I was disappointed again, but for an entirely different reason. read more

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By: Daphne