Category: YA

Dec 23
First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter (review)

First Year (The Black Mage #1) by Rachel E. Carter (review)

The synopsis was a bit deceptive. I thought we’d get to see or at least hear about, Ryiah and her twin choosing their schools. Or even anything about Ryiah and her powers. But the book starts off with the twins heading to the magic Academy. I also wasn’t a fan of how the book dealt with her powers prior to entering the School. It almost felt like important story bits had been cut out of the beginning of the book during an editing phase. The friendship theme with Darren didn’t work for me at first. He had been too much… Read more »

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Dec 17
Valiant by Sarah McGuire (review)

Valiant by Sarah McGuire (review)

I loved this take on The Brave Little Tailor! Saville was believable and smart. She wasn’t trying to best the giants for her own gain, she was trying to save the life of a younger boy who she had gotten attached to. And then everything started spiraling out of her control. The romance was perfect. There was no insta-love, but rather a slow build where you could see just why each of them fell in love with the other. The characters were fleshed out well, and had enough quirks to make them feel real. There is both plenty of adventure… Read more »

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Dec 16
The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary (review)

The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary (review)

Saki behaved the way I’d expect a 13 year old girl to act, when dragged out into the middle of nowhere and forced to leave her friends behind. Which is to say, she was an almost unlikeable little brat. Which while realistic, wasn’t much fun to read about. Luckily, once the curse came into play, she started to grow up a bit. I loved the kitsune the best of the three spirit guides Saki met. And I liked the tanuki the least. Which was kind of amusing because the kitsune tells Saki that everyone likes the third spirit (the tanuki)… Read more »

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Dec 13
Indelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf (review)

Indelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf (review)

I won the third book in this series in a giveaway, not knowing that it was the third book. So I went to the library to pick up the other two. I think the Universe was trying to tell me something. I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved the world of the Twixt, and how it bled over into Joy’s world once she was marked by Ink. I loved how cute Ink was as he learned about what it was to be and look like a human from Joy. He grew so much as a character during the book. It… Read more »

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Dec 06
Upside-Down Magic (Upside-Down Magic #1) by Sarah Mlynowski (review)

Upside-Down Magic (Upside-Down Magic #1) by Sarah Mlynowski (review)

This was cute and fun. I liked the voices the narrators gave the characters, and the personalities were believable for the age group they were supposed to be. I didn’t like Nory’s father at all, and her upside-down magic teacher sounded both like fun as well as like she would have been that annoying teacher we all had growing up. The one who came up with embarrassing and off-the-wall stuff they made everyone in class do because they thought it would be fun and bond the students together. But usually ended up just making the kids roll their eyes. Most… Read more »

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Nov 26
The Taken (Foxcraft #1) by Inbali Iserles (review)

The Taken (Foxcraft #1) by Inbali Iserles (review)

I loved how the events unfolded in the story. We get to learn what is happening right along with Isla, only knowing what she knows or learns along the way. Because of this, you get sucked right into the story from the first pages. I liked the way the magic worked in the book. And the names the foxes had for human things made total sense. Like streets are called Deathways. Cars are Manglers. And forest areas are called Wildways. The personalities of the various characters were well written. It was easy to connect with them, and the world itself… Read more »

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Nov 25
The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell (review)

The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell (review)

I loved how Sand fixed things in the castle, and how his magic worked. I also liked how Sand and Perotte’s relationship grew. The Saints and the Thorns were twists I wasn’t expecting, both of which I liked. This book is filled with friendship and forgiveness themes, but you don’t really notice until near the end. The story grabs you and sweeps you away while you try to see what’s going to happen next. Two teenagers completely alone, but for a falcon, in an abandoned castle where they don’t know for sure they will ever escape. You would think that… Read more »

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Nov 18
The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn (review)

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn (review)

This was a fairly quick read, though not up to the usual scary standards I’ve come to expect from this author. There was a bit of suspense, but it never got to even slightly creepy. All the workers at the Hall seemed to know Sophia’s ghost was haunting them, and had been a wicked child. But Florence’s Aunt and Uncle had no idea. Florence’s Aunt hated her on sight, and believed the worst about her. While at the same time, thinking Sophie had been the next thing to an Angel. Constantly yelling at Florence and trying to get her sent… Read more »

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Nov 11
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell (review)

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell (review)

I loved all the inventions and steampunk things in this book. I especially loved Jules. I liked that in this Cinderella twist, Nicolette wasn’t trying to get to the ball and meet the prince. She was trying to get to an inventors showcase and find a patron for her inventions so she could be her own person. Not under her step-families thumb and subject to their whims. There was both insta-love, and insta-friendship in the book. The insta-love isn’t surprising considering this is basically a Cinderella retelling. But Nicolette’s love interest as well as her best friend didn’t have a… Read more »

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Nov 05
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (review)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (review)

I read this in two days. I could have finished it faster if I didn’t have to go to work. It was that amazing. And now that I’m done reading it, I’m wishing that it was the first in a series and not a single book. I loved how Agnieszka and Sarkan interacted with each other. It was funny and perfect, and totally believable. I also liked how close she was to Kasia. Their friendship was shown through everything they did together, and I liked how it changed and yet stayed the same. The reason behind the Woods being evil… Read more »

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