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Friday, April 17, 2015

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life by P.J. Hoover

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life by P.J. Hoover
"You'd think it would be great being an Egyptian demigod, but if King Tut has to sit through eighth grade one more time, he'll mummify himself.

Granted the gift of immortality by the gods--or is it a curse?--Tut has been stuck in middle school for ages. Even worse, evil General Horemheb, the man who killed Tut's father and whom Tut imprisoned in a tomb for three thousand years, is out and after him. The general is in league with the Cult of Set, a bunch of guys who worship one of the scariest gods of the Egyptian pantheon--Set, the god of Chaos.

The General and the Cult of Set have plans for Tut… and if Tut doesn't find a way to keep out of their clutches, he'll never make it to the afterworld alive."- summary from Amazon

I've really enjoyed Hoover's previous books and was excited to see a new middle-grade from her, going back to her ancient history roots. That made it even better because I am a huge fan of Egyptian history and mythology. Hoover weaves humor, mystery and action so well together and it makes for a very compelling read. Young boys would definitely enjoy this book and I hope that there will be more of Tut in the future!

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profits go toward funding contests.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
"When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom invaded her homeland. Ten years later, Wil and the other noble children who escaped are ready to fight back and reclaim Wil's throne. To do so, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom palace with hopes of gathering information that will help them succeed.

But Wil has a secret—one that could change everything. Although magic has been illegal for a century, she knows her ability could help her save her kingdom. But magic creates wraith, and the deadly stuff is moving closer and destroying the land. And if the vigilante Black Knife catches her using magic, she may disappear like all the others. . . ."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely loved Meadows' Incarnate trilogy and was excited to start a new series from her. This is the first book in a duology (with the sequel out next year) and it is simply fantastic. The world building in this book is done so well and it's easy to get a sense of how this world operates. Wil was an amazing main character- empathetic, witty, strong-willed, and strong in body. Tobiah's character was interesting too as Wil gets to know him in court, but the one who I really enjoyed was James (and not just because he shares my name), his right-hand man. James is loyal, smart, and very hilarious, which provided for some light moments throughout the book. Wil's relationship with the Osprey leader Patrick is handled very well and slowly unravels throughout the rest of the book, becoming more and more unstable.

I will warn you all though that the ending may make you want to throw the book across the room, only because of the huge cliffhanger at the end. I am so eager to get my hands on the sequel and find out what happens next!!

Overall, another winner from Meadows and I highly recommend it, even with the crazy cliffhanger. Don't worry, there's a support group.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, April 13, 2015

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
"Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend.
For twenty-three hours.
In eighth grade.

Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?

The results of Josh's semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love -- or at least a girlfriend -- in all the wrong places."- summary from Amazon

I'm really liking this new trend of YA non-fiction (another example is Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler, which is also amazing and also published by Little Brown) and so I was excited to read this book. Sundquist has a breezy, compelling style of writing that makes the book a quick and easy read. There's some interesting tales in here from his romantic past (or lack thereof) as he investigates the previous women in his life and why the feelings never really turned into romance. The results run the gamut of being surprising, weird, and somewhat vague.

Overall, this was a really interesting experiment-turned-book and it's definitely worth a read.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass
"Aubrey and her best friends made a pact to play by the guys' rules when it comes to dating. They're hoping the rules will keep them from experiencing high school heartbreak—they don't realize that these rules could just as easily keep them from opening their hearts and minds. And when new boy Nathan Diggs moves to town, Aubrey starts to think that some rules are meant to be broken."- summary from Amazon

I really enjoyed this book. It was such a refreshing take on a contemporary book. There is a romance in it but it's just handled so realistically and so differently from a lot of other YA. I loved Aubrey and her friends' pact, though (and this was probably done on purpose) I would get annoyed sometimes with how they all dealt with things and they seemed condescending too when they saw other girls that weren't as "enlightened" as they were. But part of that mentality is a crucial part of Aubrey's emotional arc in the book.

Nathan and Aubrey's blossoming friendship-turned-relationship is an interesting journey and Bass takes her time with it, letting them grow closer and closer until it's inevitable that they wind up together. Then, she writes about the ensuing relationship, rather than ending it on that happy note, which has its ups and downs. It's a fantastically written portrait of a high school relationship and was very compelling to read.

Overall, Bass' debut is an interesting and engrossing look at relationships in high school, and I'm so excited to see what she releases next!

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen
"When Cynthia Rothschild's best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why; he's really young and very good-looking. But after meeting Mr Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn't quite right. Maybe it's the creepy look in the librarian's eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she's around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr Gabriel is, in fact ...a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school production of Sweeney Todd from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!"- summary from Amazon

This was such a fun and witty book; it reminded me a bit of Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier. I wish there was more humorous paranormal YA. Knudsen did a wonderful job writing some humor into a normally dark subject, though there was still plenty of dark and creepy things going on.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.