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Book Review: Before She Ignites

Before She Ignites is an extended prisonbreak story, with dragons. On the surface it doesn’t sound exciting, but I ended up adoring the book.

The Summary

Mira is a political figure by birth, and lives a soft, seemingly untouchable, life. Then she uncovers a horrifying political scandal and finds herself in jail. Why was she put in jail? Will she be in jail forever, or will she find a way to escape? What do dragons have to do with this story? There aren’t many questions to answer, but the story still ends being compelling.
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The Night Circus

The Night Circus isn’t something that warrants a book review, because The Night Circus isn’t really a book at all. Sure it looks like a book, smells like a book & feels like a book. But it’s not… It’s an experience. The Night Circus takes the reader on a journey through time, it’s vivid descriptions and plot lines take everyone through twists and turns and it’s impossible to put down.

The Summary

Two old magicians are trying to settle a score, who has the better magic? Who can dazzle crowds and mystify audiences with a simple illusion? However, there is no illusion. These two are anything but charlatans, they’re the real deal. And now they’re trying to settle a life-long rivalry by pitting their two apprentices against each other.

Celia & Marco have trained to create. They can spin wonder from a simple spell, dazzle guests with a trick & they are always trying to top one another. The stage for all of these contests is perfect, the Night Circus. It’s mysterious where it came from because frankly no one knows. It just rolls into town unannounced under the cover of darkness & the next day, just as the sun starts to fall the tents appear. It’s the perfect place to test out their magic, because at the circus magic has the perfect home.

With a slew of amazing characters and a twist ending this story takes readers for a spin & they’ll suddenly start craving popcorn, candy floss, & a ticket to this circus.  Continue reading “The Night Circus”

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Book Review: Renegades

If any other author wrote this, I would have loved it more. With Marissa Meyer, however, I expect nothing less than perfection. So when she puts out a book that is good, but isn’t perfect…it’s more disappointing than reading a book that is actually bad.

The Summary

Renegades is yet another story following the superhero trend. This one provides two points of view: that of hero and Renegade, Adrian, and the villain and Anarchist, Nova. After a botched assassination attempt, Nova goes undercover as a new Renegade on Adrian’s team.
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Book Review: The Glass Spare

Before kicking off this review, I apologize for being MIA. Life gets busy, especially during the holidays. I’m back full force, however, and have several great books to review this month!

I recently joined the Owlcrate subscription service. I love it! If you have ever considered a book subscription service, and enjoy YA, I recommend Owlcrate. My first month as a member brought me the November box that, amongst other things, had a copy of Lauren Destefano’s new book The Glass Spare. I have a rocky relationship with Destefano’s books. When her debut Wither was published, I loved it. The sequels? Not so much. (I didn’t even finish the series.) It started well but quickly fizzled out. To approach any Destefano book for me is a tricky process indeed. Continue reading “Book Review: The Glass Spare”

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Devils and Thieves

Magically charged motorcycle gangs that have to solve a mystery… Well yes, this book has my full attention!

The Summary

Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic, however Jemmie is an absolute mess when it comes to doing anything with her powers. She feels a little alone and out of place around everyone who takes to magic so easily.

Crowe is the leader of the Black Devils & he’s tough as nails, pretty sure he has them for breakfast every morning with a side of OJ. He has done everything and anything for his gang & he demands respect for all he’s done.

The annual festival of magic has come to town once again, but something is amiss… People from every motorcycle club are going missing, and no one knows anything. With rampaging fear and anger rising everyone starts to blame Crowe for what’s happening. It’s up to Jemmie & Crowe to solve the mystery, find those missing people, and clear Crowes name, before it’s too late.  Continue reading “Devils and Thieves”

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Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye

For the final book in the series, Wendelin assumes the role of narrator. At first this change is jarring, but by the end of the book it makes sense. The titular kiss goodbye is meant for the author, and for the reader. Though Sammy’s spunky narration is missed, the series still pulls off a touching, sentimental end.

The Summary

When Sammy visits her former residence, the Senior Highrise, someone pushes her off the fire escape (and into a coma). Sammy’s friends, family, and the many wacky citizens of Santa Martina join together to catch Sammy’s attacker.
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Book Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

I read a lot of mixed reviews for this book, and most focused on one aspect: the main character. Do note that I did not call her the protagonist. There’s a reason for it. I get why Xifeng is such a polarizing character to discuss, but for once, I didn’t hate the antiheroine for putting the “anti-” in antiheroine. Xifeng does questionable things, and that made this is very interesting book to read…

The Summary

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is an East Asain imagining of the Evil Queen legend. Xifeng is our dark Evil Queen on the rise. She begins the book with humble–and dark magic-filled–beginnings. She runs away from her abusive aunt with the love of her life, Wei, to pursue the destiny her aunt foretold of Xifeng for years: becoming the Empress of Feng Lu.

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Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise

Killer Cruise is a book Sammy deserves. At the background of this series, we always had Sammy’s tumultous relationship with her mother. Without her diva Hollywood mother, none of this series would have happened. If Lana had brought Sammy to Hollywood with her, Sammy never would have lived in the Senior Highrise, met any of her fantastic friends (aside from lifelong friend Marissa) or encountered any of these mysteries. Though the series started with something difficult–Sammy abandoned by her mother–Sammy’s life evolved into something amazing.

Darren, her father, echoes this sentimate at the end of the book. Though Sammy and Darren didn’t know about each other until Showdown in Sin City, if they had known each other all along, Sammy would be a different person. And since Sammy as she is now is the perfect match for her rockstar father, it worked out in the end. Watching Sammy develop a loving, understanding relationship with one of her parents is incredible. Sammy deserves this happy resolution to a lifelong mystery. In a different series, this resolution might seem more contrived than natural, but in this series…it is perfect. Killer Cruise is the perfect, emotional Sammy Keyes book.

The Summary

A cruise is headlining Darren Cole and the Troublemakers as the talent for one of the nights of the trip. Sammy, with Marissa in tow, joins her father on the trip for some father-daughter bonding time. Though most of the book is about Sammy and Darren, Sammy, Marissa, Darren and Marko (the drummer in Darren’s group) encounter a missing person mystery involving the Kensington perfume tycoons.
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Book Review: Warcross

Years ago I went through a YA dystopian phase. (Didn’t we all?) This, of course, means I read Legend back in the day. (Believe it or not, that was six years ago.) I then swiftly forgot about the series, though it came to mind recently when my younger sister told me she was reading it. Then I read Warcross, a surprising new edition to my favorites list. What an action-packed stunner! I forgot Legend long ago, but I have to reread it, as well as Lu’s other series, now.

The Summary

When Emika Chen attempts to steal a valuable power-up to help pay her rent, she accidentally glitches into the international Warcross opening game. Instead of facing jail, this accident brings Emika to Tokyo as an undercover player in the Warcross competitions, tasked with competing while she looks for the source of an advanced cybersecurity threat.

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They Both Die at the End

Imagine a world where companies can predict the day you die. They have call centres that specialise in ringing people on their “Death Day” to let them know it’s the end. Oh, & they have an app where you can find someone else who shares your death day if you don’t want to go out alone. That’s the premise of They Both Die at the End & you guessed it, they both really do.

The Summary

This book is best read with the least amount of knowledge possible, and I absolutely refuse to spoil any of the heartbreaking scenes. Instead I’ll briefly talk about the characters & try not to get tears on my keyboard.

Mateo is a precious little angel who’s lived his entire life protected in his bubble. He’s terrified of the world around him, too scared to live his life to the fullest & when he gets the Death Day phone call his world comes crashing down around him. He feels like he’s lived too short of a life, and he has to do something about it, before it’s too late.

Rufus on the other hand, he’s lived by a completely different set of rules. He’s wild and untamed, live life on the edge & taken plenty of names… but he still has his own secrets and regrets too. He has such a great soul and a heart of freaking gold that makes him the perfect friend for Mateo on their Death Day. Maybe he can show Mateo what living is actually all about.

The Analysis

So I cried… a lot. This book has so many great moments & it really tugs at the heart strings. These two boys couldn’t be more different, & they couldn’t be more perfect for one another. I’m giving They Both Die at the End 9/10 angsty teen moments. It was almost perfect, and I mean that. The main boys were amazingly written, the minor characters around them had personality & were actually intriguing, and the whole premise of the world was fascinating, The only thing that bothered me was that it dragged a little in the middle. Maybe a little too long in parts, but beyond that I can’t complain about anything else!

This book and the world it creates gave me so many questions and had me looking deep inside myself & facing my fears on death & the world. Just imagine, you have 24 hours to live, & you’re aware of every single minute that passes. 24 hours to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, 24 hours to confess any hidden feelings & 24 hours to truly forgive anyone that has wronged you. 23 hours to read any books that are on your waiting list, 22 hours to spend with your pets telling them how much you’re going to miss them. 21 hours to research any and all religions and any philosophers words on death itself. 20 hours to listen to your favourite songs for the last time, 19 hours to look up all those places in the world you’ll never get a chance to see in person. 18 hours to debate buying a plane ticket or 5, 17 hours to spend chasing that wanderlust deep inside your bones. 16 hours to eat all of your favourite foods, 15 hours to visit places of your childhood, 14 hours to be nice to everyone you meet. 13 hours to watch some of your favourite movies and remember the first time you saw them, 12 hours to re-invent yourself with makeup or a fresh haircut you’ve always wanted to try. 11 hours to accomplish your new-years resolutions, 10 hours to spend wondering what comes next. 9 hours to read over text conversations and notes passed in school, 8 hours to look through photo-albums & 7 hours to cry about the memories you swore you’d never forget. 6 hours to pick out your dying outfit, 5 hours to change your mind & put something else on & 4 hours to change your mind again. 3 hours to tell everyone you care about that you love them again, 2 hours to debate if you want to be alone or with someone & 1 final hour to really see the world for how fragile it is.

 

This book is as inspiring as it is heart-breaking. They Both Die at the End begs the question, “What would you do on your last day?” … and your answers might just say more about you than you think.