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Review, Young Adult / July 12, 2016
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee AhdiehThe Rose & the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #2
Publisher: Penguin
Date: April 2016
416 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

This review will have spoilers for the first book in the series, The Wrath & the Dawn, so if you haven’t read it yet then stop here!

The Wrath and the Dawn was one of my favorite books of 2015 and so I had been eagerly awaiting its conclusion for a year. Things started out really good, characterizations were consistent and the language and descriptions as beautiful as ever. I enjoyed both Shahrzad’s story at the camp as well as Khalid’s experiences at the palace, especially his relationship with Jalal. Unfortunately once the story started moving the plot felt glossed over and resolutions came too conveniently.

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By: Diane
Review, Young Adult / June 14, 2016
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica KhouryThe Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill
Date: February 2016
352 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy
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She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

“You’re a -you’re a -“

Say it boy. Demon of fire. Monster of smoke. Devil of sand and ash. Servant of Nardukha, Daughter of Ambadya, The Nameless, The Faceless, The Limitless. Slave of the Lamp. Jinni.

“… a girl!”

In this Aladdin retelling, the focus is not Aladdin himself but Zhara, a several thousands year-old jinni whom history does not remember kindly. Zhara’s past affection for humans did not play out well and the narrative moves back and forth in time to relate the story of her friendship with a long-dead queen and her current struggle as old themes resurface in new forms. She is intelligent, lonely, and loving.

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By: Diane
Review, Young Adult / September 21, 2015
I Am Her Revenge by Meredith MooreI Am Her Revenge
Author: Meredith moore
Publisher: Razorbill
Date: April 2015
336 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
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She can be anyone you want her to be.
Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception.

And she can destroy anyone.
When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago.

Anyone…except for the woman who created her.
With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.

In I Am Her Revenge, Vivian is our heroine that has been honed into a killing machine by her mother, a woman wronged. The reader learns pretty early on that Vivian has been brainwashed and trained by her mother to enact a revenge that the mother has lived with all her life. Vivian’s mission takes her to a boarding school in England. Her mission, and she cannot fail, is to win the affection of a young man on campus, who is the target.

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By: Sara
Review, Teenage Musings, Young Adult / June 28, 2013

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Reviewed by: Jack

The Bunker Diary is a brilliantly written novel. This is the first book I’ve read by Kevin Brooks, and I have to say that he’s a very talented author. The synopsis caught my attention for this novel. It seemed mysterious and creepy. I was intrigued to find out more. So I bought it and started reading straight away.

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / February 15, 2013
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret StohlBeautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Publisher: Penguin
Date: February 2010
576 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Paranormal
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Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. WhenLena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

I’ll admit I’m a late adopter. I picked up Beautiful Creatures because of all the hype about the film and numerous references to it on my Twitter feed. It seemed like not having read it was a big minus to my YA street cred, so I rectified that immediately. That and I hate watching movies before I’ve read the book.

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By: Daphne