His Reverie by Monica Murphy
I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one. The only girl I could ever want.
The only girl I could ever love.
She is light.
I am darkness.
She is innocent.
I’ve done too much.
She is good.
I am bad.
She is my every dream.
I should be her every nightmare.
We come from different worlds. She’s…perfect. And I’m…Not.
Somehow she wants me anyway. So we’ll grasp at what we can. We’re going to make this summer count. She’s my secret. And I’m hers.
The problem with secrets is they never last for long. And when others discover we’re together, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep us apart. All I know is: I won’t let them.
Because Reverie Hale? She’s mine.
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.
There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.
Before You by Amber Hart
Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.
Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn't stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.
At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.
The Bridge From Me to You by Lisa Schroeder
Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.
Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.
Dark Hope by Monica McGurk
For years, Hope Carmichael, survivor of a shocking child abduction, has lived a sheltered existence under the protection of her fanatically religious father. Now, liberated by her mother, Hope prepares to start life over as a normal kid in an Atlanta, Georgia, high school.
Normal, that is, until Hope meets Michael, a gorgeous emancipated teen with a mysterious past and a strong interest in Hope. And soon, Hope’s life is filled with questions. What’s behind the angry looks Hope gets from Lucas, leader of a gang of students? Who’s responsible for sending Hope a strange valentine inscribed with Bible quotations? How does this relate to the sinister business of human trafficking that operates on the periphery of Hope’s suburban world? And is Michael really a protector, or something more sinister—and just why does he seem so familiar?
Some Boys by Patty Blunt
When Grace meets Ian she's afraid. Afraid he'll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But...Ian doesn't. He's funny and kind with secrets of his own.
But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
As a rule, I stay away from romance books, because I am always disappointed. Maybe disappointed isn't the right word. I just find romances to be too cliched, with too little plot. I can appreciate a good love story, but there comes a point where I can't help but roll my eyes.
For fans of teen romances, this is a fantastic book: it's sweet and the characters are fairly well developed. There wasn't much happening besides the love story; even the travel was really an extension of the romance. Throw in some family troubles and you've covered the entire plot.
I'm being a bit harsh. Honestly, I enjoyed The Geography of You and Me. As someone with permanent wanderlust, I absolutely adored the world-travel aspect of the book. The romance was sweet and I was rooting for Lucy and Owen, I'll admit. That doesn't mean there wasn't a whole lot of fluff and a few nearly-painful cliches, but The Geography of You and Me is definitely in the top 20% of teen romance.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.
Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
This book is strange and wacky and I absolutely love it.
No One Else Can Have You starts off with the discovery of Ruth Fried's body, stuffed with straw and hung from a tree in the middle of a corn field - a pretty gruesome scene. As Kippy investigates her friend's death, she uncovers shocking police negligence, small town secrets, and the darker side of Friendship. But this is not an overly serious story.
Although a lot of heavier themes run through the book (murder, grief, PTSD, etc), No One Else Can Have You is funny and, above all, entertaining. Most of the dialogue contains "okeydokeys" and "don'tcha knows", the story takes a number of unexpected turns, and the characters are hilarious. Some of them are almost caricatures, but Hale rounds them out and gives them realistic and endearing qualities along with their goofier ones. Kippy herself has a lot of personality, as eccentric as she is lovable. Her honest, occasionally foot-in-mouth narration kept the story interesting. Actually, she's pretty badass. And although she's no Sherlock Holmes, Kippy was better than a lot of YA "detectives."
The murder, in all its grotesqueness, was the perfect offset to the strangeness of Friendship and its inhabitants. Kippy's investigation was amateur, as to be expected (what sixteen-year-old has access to a forensics team?), but it also carried a lot of weight with it. As Kippy uncovered more evidence that the killer was still on the loose, and as that evidence was repeatedly ignored by the police department, the more dire the situation became. Friendship's smiling, happy populace contrasted with all the secrets the town kept buried like black and white, and the contrast kept the book from being too dark or too light.
There were a few little things in the book that I didn't like as much or weren't, technically, politically correct (ie, referring to Norse mythology as "Nazi stuff"), but overall it was a solid read. The pacing is perfect, all the crazy things work, and even the romance is good. If you're looking for a cold, hard mystery novel, this isn't it. But No One Else Can Have You is a wildly entertaining story with a dark side, and the most fun you'll ever have reading about murder.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...
Speculative fiction is about recognizing uncomfortable truths. Authors take everyday things that may only be slightly disturbing to us and introduce a society where they've become the law. We want to believe that societies like Gilead couldn't exist, and it's the author's job to convince us, to make us believe.
Set just after the initial rise of Gilead, when there are still people who remember "the time before," The Handmaid's Tale sets itself apart from most other spec-fic/dystopian books. Atwood builds the world of Gilead slowly; Offred doesn't so much explain it as mention in passing its various workings. Some parts of the rise of Gilead are less plausible than others, but taken as a whole, the world-building is convincing. The result is a complete, unsettling portrait of a society where all actions are policed, women are only valuable as domestic servants and childbearers, and no one is truly free.
Offred's narration is brutally honest and expressive. She relates daily life as a Handmaid personally but without complaining; her flashbacks to the time before are filled with longing. Readers will ache for Offred - whose real name we don't even know. I read this book with a mix of fury, shock, and frantic hope. The plot is driven mainly by Offred and her reactions to life in Gilead, and it's the strong connection readers will find with her that keeps the book interesting.
Through Offred and Gilead, Atwood explores the impact of misogyny and religious extremism (as well as a few other important ideas) by taking them to excess. Regardless of whether or not you find the idea of a Gilead-like society far-fetched (as some do), this is an important read. While it's unlikely the government will strip women of their names and right to property, there are dozens of organizations and politicians lobbying against women's rights bills, and women are not yet equal to men socially, politically, and economically - in 2014. This is the uncomfortable truth Atwood wants us to recognize when reading The Handmaid's Tale.
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
What’s your worst nightmare?
For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.
And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.
Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.
Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.
By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.
One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington
For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.
Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.
While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?
Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.
Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke
Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.
Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.
But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.
Like No Other by Una LaMarche
Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing.
Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters).
They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did.
When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection.
Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up?
Hosted by The-Concealed-Ambry // Original Post
There are quite a number of very nice themed reading challenges out there, but this isn’t one of them. The goal is simple: Read as many or as few books (fiction, non-fiction, biography or memoir, anything goes) as you wish containing elements from the list of themes below. The rewards are debatable: maybe you’ll learn something, maybe you’ll be more resilient, maybe you’ll be traumatized. Who knows? But you are a winner, whether you only read part of a single book, or whether you trudge the distance and go for all thirteen.
Slashes indicate and/or, and the themes are open to individual interpretation. You can go for the bleaker end of the spectrum, or you can use this list to seek out something harsh but uplifting, or you can have plain old fun. Be disturbed, or explore rough healing territory, or have a morally ambiguous spree, or progress as a more wise, jaded, or possibly monstrous person.
She Wore Red Trainers by Na'ima B. Robert
When Ali first meets Amirah, he notices everything about her—her hijab, her long eyelashes and her red trainers—in the time it takes to have one look, before lowering his gaze. And, although Ali is still coming to terms with the loss of his mother and exploring his identity as a Muslim, and although Amirah has sworn never to get married, they can't stop thinking about each other. Can Ali and Amirah ever have a halal "happily ever after"?
Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist. She's also a thief.
After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?
The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives
Dirty Wings by Sarah McCarry (All Our Pretty Songs #2)
Maia is a teenage piano prodigy and dutiful daughter, imprisoned in the oppressive silence of her adoptive parents' house like a princess in an ivory tower. Cass is a street rat, witch, and runaway, scraping by with her wits and her knack for a five-fingered discount. When a chance encounter brings the two girls together, an unlikely friendship blossoms that will soon change the course of both their lives. Cass springs Maia from the jail of the only world she's ever known, and Maia's only too happy to make a break for it. But Cass didn't reckon on Jason, the hypnotic blue-eyed rocker who'd capture Maia's heart as soon as Cass set her free--and Cass isn't the only one who's noticed Maia's extraordinary gifts. Is Cass strong enough to battle the ancient evil she's unwittingly awakened--or has she walked into a trap that will destroy everything she cares about? In this time, like in any time, love is a dangerous game.
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks #5)
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman
Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn't fit the role of a proper 1900's lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella's dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.
Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment--to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.
But this is no time for child's play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal ... or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?
Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.
The Rain by Virginia Bergin
One minute sixteen-year-old Ruby Morris is having her first proper snog with Caspar McCloud in a hot tub, and the next she’s being bundled inside the house, dripping wet, cold and in her underwear. Not cool. As she and Caspar shiver in the kitchen, it starts to rain. They turn on the radio to hear panicked voices – ‘It’s in the rain . . . it’s in the rain . . . ' That was two weeks ago, and now Ruby is totally alone. People weren’t prepared for the rain, got caught out in it, didn’t realize that you couldn’t drink water from the taps either. Even a drip of rain would infect your blood, and eat you from the inside out. Ruby knows she has to get to London to find her dad, but she just doesn’t know where to start . . .
After rescuing all the neighbourhood dogs, Ruby sets off on a journey that will take her the length of the country – surviving in the only way she knows how.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells--taken without her knowledge in 1951--became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. A riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
The first time I heard of Henrietta Lacks was in seventh grade, during our genetics unit. "Her cells were taken by doctors and used for research," the teacher told us. "They're behind almost all of the medical advances made in the last fifty years. The cells never died, which is why scientists have been able to use them for so much research. Now open your textbooks to page two-fifteen."
Another science teacher recommended this book to learn more about Henrietta and the HeLa cells . Four years later, I've finally read it. I wish I'd read it sooner.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is all at once a family saga, a history of medical science, and a record of the role race has played in medicine. The HeLa cells launched a medical revolution - with questionable ethics behind it.One of my pet peeves with nonfiction books is dry, boring narration; if I wanted to read a textbook, I would've bought one.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, in the words of the Washington Post, "reads like a novel." Descriptions of 1950s science labs were vivid, and even the long-dead characters felt alive on the pages. Immortal Life isn't a dull dissertation on medical history and ethics, it's a story - and a really good one at that.
Quite a lot of research and brain power goes into writing a nonfiction book, of course, but some authors write like they're looking down their nose at the reader - my second nonfiction pet peeve. There's a lot of science involved with Henrietta's legacy, and let's face it, we don't all know what somatic cell fusion is. Skloot explains the medical terminology simply and without condescension. The scientific revelations that HeLa caused were fascinating to read about, but the part I most enjoyed was the story of Henrietta's family.
Skloot went to great lengths to interview the Lackses and to learn about Henrietta and their experiences concerning HeLa. She pays them the respect Henrietta herself was denied for so many years.Their quotes are edited only for length and clarity, meaning that the dialects they speak in are intact. Although several members of the Lacks family never finished high school, and some of them were involved with drugs and crime, Skloot never portrays them as uneducated or as "bad people." Instead, Skloot writes about them fondly.
Learning that Henrietta's cells were still alive - twenty years after the HeLa line was first grown in culture - had a tremendous impact on the Lacks family, especially Henrietta's daughter, Deborah. Since finding out that Henrietta's cells had been taken, grown, and experimented on without her of her relatives' knowledge, the Lacks family has been asking for someone "to honor [Henrietta] and make right with the family." Skloot has done exactly that.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She's always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny had certainly never held her tongue, or held onto a job for very long, but now she's working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter has just returned from college with ambition and a degree, but, to her mother's lament, no husband. Normally Skeeter would find solace in Constantine, the beloved maid who raised her, but Constantine has inexplicably disappeared.
Together, these seemingly different women join to write, in secret, a tell-all book about what it's really like to work as a black maid in the white homes of the South. Despite the terrible risks they will have to take, and the boundaries they will have to cross, these three women unite with one intention: hope for a better day.
I don't know where to start.
I loved everything about The Help. Reading it feels like time-travelling back to Jackson, Mississippi, circa 1962 - 1964. Stockett's attention to detail is impressive, especially when it comes to the interactions between characters. The subtleties in the way Hilly, Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny talk to each other showcase the racial tensions of the early 1960s vividly. Stockett doesn't gloss over her subject. She tells the good, the bad, and the ugly - which is entirely the point of The Help. She doesn't try to cast the white women in a positive light, just an accurate one. The relationships between the maids and their employers; the maids and the children they take care of; and the maids and Skeeter are complicated - sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter.
All of the characters are complicated and dynamic, too. The three narrators are easy to sympathize with for a plethora of reasons. Their stories are very different, but each one is full of heartbreak, humor, and courage. Each woman has a distinctive voice and a lot of personality. Stockett presents their stories as sympathetic but not pitiful; the narrators don't complain about their situation, they just tell the truth of it. I especially love that Skeeter isn't portrayed as a saint. She doesn't escape the influence of racism, and it's obvious that she has to go back on what she was taught and overcome it. It was touching, to see her making that effort.
A teacher once told me that the reason we learn about history is so that we don't make the same mistakes out ancestors did. Jim Crow is a mistake I hope we never repeat. Reading about the lives of Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter was like stepping into a different world for me, but many of its lessons are still relevant today. The Help is fiction, but it isn't false, and that's what makes it so important. NPR called it "one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird," and I have to agree. The Help is a heartfelt, wonderfully written book that leaves an impression even after the final page has been turned.
Coral and Bone by Tiffany Duane
Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can't help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.
Altaica by Tracy M. Joyce
Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life.
Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.
Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.
Survival carries a high price.
Welcome to Altaica.
The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.
Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.
Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.
Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.
Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride…
Wild by Alex Mallory
The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving— that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger…
Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy— he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.
Thrust back into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.
As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?
In Too Deep by Coert Voorhees
Annie Fleet, master scuba diver and history buff, knows she can’t fight her nerd status as a freshman at her Los Angeles private school. And she doesn’t care—except for the fact that her crush, Josh, thinks she’s more adorable than desirable. Annie is determined to set him straight on their school trip to Mexico. But her teacher has other plans: he needs Annie to help him find Cortez’s lost-long treasure.
Suddenly, Annie finds herself scuba diving in pitch-black waters, jetting to Hawaii with Josh, and hunting for the priceless Golden Jaguar. But Annie and Josh aren’t the only ones lured by the possibility of finding the greatest treasure ever lost at sea. Someone else wants the gold—and needs Annie dead. In deeper danger than she ever imagined, can Annie get the boy and find the Jaguar, or is she in over her head?
Once Upon a Time...
As a longtime lover of stories and a believer in the power and magic of books, I've spent my life seeking out the best reads. This blog is dedicated to reviewing the books I read - good, bad, or magnificent - to help other readers find their next favorite books.