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Review, Young Adult / April 26, 2016
The Raven King by Maggie StiefvaterThe Raven King
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #4
Publisher: Scholastic
Date: April 2016
439 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology
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The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

This series has captured my heart and imagination since I first read it in 2012. The first book, The Raven Boys is an amazing example of magical prose, and wonderful characters and plot. The mystery of the boys’ search for the legendary Welsh king, Owen Glendower and Gansey’s foretold death have loomed in my mind for so long, I was so, so eager to see how The Raven King would wrap it all up. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / March 30, 2015
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStayEverything That Makes You
Author: Moriah McStay
Publisher: HarperCollins, Katherine Tegen Books
Date: March 2015
352 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
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One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn't been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn't everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

Everything That Makes You started out as solid 4 wing rating until my curiousness wore off and I became bored and uninterested in the story. I had very high hopes for this book as I do enjoy the “What If?” stories. What if Fiona never had her accident and grew up as a normal teenager? The thought behind how one event can change your life entirely is a great premise for a book. It makes the reader start to wonder how their life might be different if certain events hadn’t taken place. Sadly, once the intriguing factor wore off, this book started to become boring and you find yourself not interested in the characters or what happens to them. read more

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By: Sara
Review, Young Adult / August 27, 2014
The Winner’s Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date: July 2014
368 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
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Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

After reading The Winner’s Curse, I was in a haze for days—a little daydream bubble that couldn’t be popped because this beautiful book was such a delight to read. I wanted to lock myself in a room with a cosy blanket and a cup of tea and savour it again and again.

Make no mistake, if you’re looking for a high-action fantasy read, this isn’t the book for you. In a world where the Valorian race conquers and enslaves the Herrani, most of the story is gradual strategic manipulation and spans themes of slavery, politics, and rebellion. It makes you question whose side you’re on, page by page. It is a beautifully deliberate and concisely written book. Best of all, there is a wonderful slow-burning relationship that I adored. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / June 3, 2013
Shadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Publisher: Indigo
Date: June 2012
305 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genres: Fantasy
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Originally published in the UK as The Gathering Dark.

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom's magical elite - the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina's childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can't she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

I originally read this book when it debuted last year and loved it. Shadow and Bone had everything I wanted in a fantasy—a uniquely imagined world, fantastic characters, and great writing. After having the pleasure of re-reading the book recently (thanks to the lovely team at Indigo’s 2-in-1 mega ARC), I need to caps, bold and add an exclamation mark to my original assessment: I LOVED IT! I know it’s hard to imagine, but it was even better the second time around. read more

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / March 29, 2013
Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #2
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date: September 2012
329 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher
Goodreads

The eagerly anticipated sequel to the international bestseller DELIRIUM, one of the most addictive books of last year. Unflinching, heartbreaking and totally addictive, this novel will push your emotions to the limit.

Lena's been to the very edge. She's questioned love and the life-changing and agonising choices that come with it. She's made her decision. But can she survive the consequences? PANDEMONIUM is the explosive sequel to the critically acclaimed and bestselling DELIRIUM.

SPOILER WARNING

Even after the intense ending of Delirium, Lauren Oliver exceeded my expectations with this book and more. Word circulated that Pandemonium was a lot better than Delirium and I agree wholeheartedly. Not only is it filled with gritty action and true emotion, it also introduced a boy that I love a whole lot better. read more

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By: Daphne