winged reviews
Uncategorized, Young Adult / November 16, 2016
The Deviants by C.J. SkuseThe Deviants
Author: c. j. skuse
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Date: 22/09/2016
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?

Big thank you to Mira Ink for sending me this for review! This in no way affects my review.

This year I have been reading a lot of books from the fantasy genre, so when offered the opportunity to read The Deviants, I thought I’d take a break from my comfort genre and go and explore a contemporary read. This was no fluffy contemporary book though. Instead it was a fast paced, dark story that I really enjoyed that I actually read within a day. Having never read anything by C. J. Skuse before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I am glad I took the chance to give this a go. read more

By: Vicky
Review, Young Adult / August 28, 2015
Joyride by Anna BanksJoyride
Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date: June 2015
288 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
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Who says opposites don't attract?

It's been several years since Carly Vega's parents were deported. Carly lives with her older brother, studies hard, and works the graveyard shift at a convenience store to earn enough to bring her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He used to date popular blondes and have fun pranking with his older sister. But now all that's changed, and Arden needs a new accomplice. Especially one his father, the town sheriff, will disapprove.

All Carly wants, at first, is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to not do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they've been living according to the wishes of others. Carly and Arden's journey toward their true hearts - and one another-- is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. Just like real life.

Anna Banks does it again with her latest story, Joyride. This is the story of Carly Vega, a pragmatic, 16-year-old Mexican-American girl who spends all of her waking hours either going to school or working dead end jobs to save up money to sneak her parents and younger siblings into the country. It is also the story of Arden Moss, local golden boy and son of Sheriff Moss, the biggest, baddest racist in all of Houghlin County. After a misunderstanding with not one but two shotguns, Arden and Carly and their lives are never the same. read more

By: Sara
Review, Young Adult / July 8, 2015
The Cost of All Things by Maggie LehrmanThe Cost of All Things
Author: Maggie Lehrman
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date: May 2015
416 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.

Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.

The Cost of All Things is a book that reminded me a lot of We Were Liars, except I finished this book. I did not finish We Were Liars, so that made me almost put this book down. Several times I almost quit this book yet I pushed myself to finish. This is a story about four teenagers in a town (civilization?) where it is the norm to go to special people, Hekamists, to buy specific spells. That is right – spells. Either you can purchase one for yourself or it could be for someone else. Regardless, nobody is fazed by the fact that it can be done and it seems to be done often by parents and children alike. In this particular story, these four teenagers each react very differently to the death of a fellow high school classmate. As a result, friendships are tested, lines are crossed, and truths are revealed. Now I am not saying this was a good story, I am saying that the concept of the story was interesting. This story fell short of the low expectations I had set for it. read more

By: Sara
Review, Young Adult / June 8, 2015
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann AguirreThe Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan
Date: April 2015
336 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
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Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won't peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She's learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it's working just fine . . . until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He's a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He's got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn't expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn't mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again. . . .

I have been a huge of fan of Ms. Aguirre’s work ever since I read the Razorland Trilogy. When I received a copy of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, I couldn’t wait to read it. Boy, oh boy, I was not disappointed!

Sage is on her third year of living with her aunt, who took her in to help her get her life together again after a very rocky past. Sage always tries to go above and beyond to be the perfect teenager – both at home and in school. Sage has taken on a new outlook on life – she tries to only look on the bright side of things and help others to do the same. How does she do this? At school she does it by leaving a post-it note on the locker of one student she feels deserves some cheering up. At home, she is the very grateful teenager who eagerly helps her aunt cook, clean, and does all of the chores without question. What Sage is trying to cover up by doing all of this is her very troubled, disturbing, terrifying past. A past she would rather forget because it is actually the very opposite of the persona of who she is now. read more

By: Sara
Review, Young Adult / June 2, 2015
The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle PaigeThe Wicked Will Rise
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #2
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: March 2015
304 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Fantasy
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In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, who is good—and who is actually Wicked?

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

After a tornado swept through my trailer park, I ended up in Oz.

But it wasn't like the Oz I knew from books and movies. Dorothy had returned, but she was now a ruthless dictator. Glinda could no longer be called the Good Witch. And the Wicked Witches who were left? They'd joined forces as the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and they wanted to recruit me.

My mission?

Kill Dorothy.

Except my job as assassin didn't work out as planned. Dorothy is still alive. The Order has vanished. And the home I couldn't wait to leave behind might be in danger.

Somehow, across a twisted and divided land, I have to find the Order, protect the true ruler of Oz, take Dorothy and her henchmen down—and try to figure out what I'm really doing here.

I was so, so, so excited when I received a copy of The Wicked Will Rise because I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen in the next installment of this series. Oh how that excitement was misplaced. The sequel to Dorothy Must Die was a very slow read about how Amy Gumm was on the run in Oz after a failed attempt to kill Dorothy, the self-declared Princess of Oz. The Order feels Dorothy needs to be removed from power and trains Amy on how to use magic and how to kill Dorothy. read more

By: Sara