Blood Rose Rebellion

Rosalyn Eves

In an alternate Victorian England where social prestige stems from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, sixteen-year old Anna Arden is barred from the society she yearns for by a defect of blood. Anna would do anything to belong, but after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spells, Anna finds herself exiled with her aging grandmother to her grandmother’s native Hungary.

Her life might as well be over. However in Hungary, Anna finds that nothing about her world or her own lack of magic is quite as it seems. Fissures in the Binding that holds her world’s magic are expanding, and the ancient creatures bound by that spell beg Anna to release them. As rebellion sweeps across Hungary, Anna’s unique ability to break spells becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she has always wanted—or embrace her ability, destroy the Binding, spark a revolution, and change the face of magic itself.

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The Locket

Stacey Jay

Katie is more than devoted to her boyfriend of three years, Isaac. She attends all his basketball games, plans their future together, and doesn’t ask for much in return. The one time Katie requires his attendance and support, he misses her performance as the lead role in the musical. Her disappointment and a minor alcohol influence cause her to cheat on Isaac with their childhood friend, Mitch. She regrets her mistake as fast as it happens and would do anything for a second chance. When she discovers her grandmother’s locket, it gives her the opportunity to go back in time! As Katie finds herself back at the night she cheated on Isaac, she learns quickly that there are serious consequences for changing the past and that perhaps the locket does more damage than good.

Stacey Jay’s vivid writing style keeps readers engaged without a hint of boredom creeping in. Suspense is successfully applied throughout since the world suffers a variety of changes every time Katie utilizes the locket and goes back in time. This causes the reader to be on edge, continuously flipping pages in order to see the aftermath of Katie’s repetitive interference with fate. This teaches readers that all actions have consequences.

Most characters are strong, dynamic, and do not simply just revolve around the main character. For instance, Mitch is not implemented for the convenience of a love triangle. He has goals and ambitions that have no correlation with Katie. There is the exception of a few characters that seem stereotypical and lack any originality such as Rachel Pruitt. She plays the distinct role of the mean girl and doesn’t have much more complexity. A more elaborate and interesting element could have been established if all the changes that occurred in Katie’s do-over life were directly linked to her going back in time. Some of the changes such as the homecoming week theme being different the second time seem totally unrelated to the part of the past she deliberately changed. The Locket has an intricate plot and makes use of a number of literary devices making it a great book to invest time in reading. – Julia K.

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All the Crooked Saints

Maggie Stiefvater

Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: What it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

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Invisibility

Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

No one has ever seen what Stephan looks like, and that includes himself. Stephan has been invisible his whole life because of a curse he knows nothing about. He was invisible when he was born, and he is still invisible now at the age of 16. His mother took care of him when his father left them when Stephan was just an infant. It wasn’t until Stephan’s mother died from the toll of taking care of Stephan, that he felt totally lost and helpless. The topic of why he was invisible was never brought up and he now has even more questions than before, with no one to answer them. No one knew he was there. No one could know he was there. He got used to living this life, with everyone totally oblivious that he existed.

As Stephan was sneaking in the elevator to go up to his apartment as he does every day, somebody new to the building notices him. Her name is Elizabeth, and she has no idea that he is visible only to her. Both of their worlds are flipped upside down as they find out more about this other world. A world that involves cursecasters, spellcasters, and spellseekers. Terrifying truths are revealed as these two award-winning authors keep readers guessing and developing theories after every page they turn.

This book takes you on a journey involving many questions that include misfortunes and lifelong grudges. I would recommend ‘Invisibility’ to anyone interested in fantasy and action books, along with some romance. . – Juliana M.

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Flame in the Mist

Renée Ahdieh

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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Zenn Diagram

Wendy Brant

Typically, being a math genius isn’t a great way to be popular in high school. To make it worse for seventeen year old Eva Walker, her classmates think that she is a neat freak. But they could not have it more wrong. Sadly this misconception is because Eva cannot touch anything or anyone. Eva can feel other people’s emotions like no one else. If she touches someone or their belongings -from cell phones to textbooks to jackets- all the emotions of that person’s past will swirl around in her head leaving her dizzy and tired. These emotions can be fun and happy but more often are sad and scary. So, Eva has adapted to her power and tries her hardest not to touch anything that isn’t hers.

Eva believes that because of her power, she will never have a romantic relationship, until she meets Zenn. Zenn is a cliché, a tall and handsome artist with multiple jobs to keep a roof over his and his mother’s heads. As her and Zenn grow closer romantically, Eva takes her chances and touches him. Shockingly, she is not overwhelmed by his emotions but rather by nothing at all. Eva believes that this is some sort of sign that they were meant to be. Together they connect in a way like no other, by sharing nerdy jokes and puns that most people would roll their eyes at.

But as the two grow closer, they begin to unravel the truth. The truth of how Zenn is somehow related to the fact that Eva’s parents died before she could even remember. Could this horrifying secret pull the two apart?

Zenn Diagram is written in a funny yet nerdy perspective of a girl who has had some large difficulties in her life. You cannot help but laugh at Eva’s sense of humor just as you cannot help but fall for Zenn. You will find yourself instantly connecting with Eva and wishing you had the relationship that she and Zenn have. This book will have you reading for hours in suspense, wondering what will happen next. – Melanie G.

Looking for another review of this book? Check out Angie’s review!

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The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)

Sherry Thomas

This book is the sequel to The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea.

The Battle has begun! Iolanthe Seaborne and Prince Titus have regained their memories and are still under the dome that covers the rebel’s base in the Sahara Desert. Surrounded by Atlantis’s chariots, they cannot hide forever, and the time has come to finally take down Bane, the Lord High Commander of Atlantis. Bane knows who Iolanthe Seaborne really is, and what she sounds and looks like. He’s threatening Titus to hand over Iolanthe, or else. Titus won’t ever hand over Iolanthe for reasons such as that Bane will live a good hundred more years with her and will become unstoppable, and Titus’s undying love for Iolanthe that he would rather give away his heir to the throne than hand over Iolanthe. Prophesied deaths and shocking facts won’t stop them from stopping Bane, no matter the cost.

The Immortal Heights was the book readers have been waiting for, anticipating the final battle between Titus and Iolanthe (with the assistance from Kashkari, his family and the rebels) against Bane. For sure it’s anticipation hasn’t disappointed readers. The Immortal Heights answered all questions that readers have been asking, and ended off in a way the reader will be pleased with. I adored this book! It never bored me one bit! The suspense and romance were something to remember. I know that when I was reading that I might have forgotten to breathe from all the action. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in historical fiction, magic, and a drop of romance. The series ended off perfectly! – Celine J.

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The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)

Sherry Thomas

This book is the sequel to The Burning Sky.

Iolanthe Seaborne and Prince Titus are back from the summer break to resume school at Eton College (Iolanthe remaining Archer Fairfax) and training to hopefully defeat Bane, the supposed greatest elemental mage of all. Before the summer, Titus killed the Inquisitor and Bane with the help of Iolanthe. The Inquisitor stayed dead (I never liked her anyway) while Bane was resurrected, looking younger than before. Coming back to Eton, their focus is to take down Bane ensuring that he stays dead. Although the Blood Oath between them was finished, Iolanthe was more determined than ever to resume her training and see the friends she has made before the summer. Guided by Titus’s mother’s visions, Titus discovers something so shocking that it breaks his relationship with Iolanthe and changes his perspective of his mission and life altogether, concluding that maybe he won’t be able to take out Bane.

The Perilous Sea was a very interesting book. Continuing the same storyline as the first book, some events were expected while others were unforeseen. The relationship between Titus and Iolanthe took an astonishing turn that I was shocked me, but I enjoyed as it progressed through the major events. The novel is one that doesn’t seem to stop surprising me. I did, however, get slightly bored in the middle of the story as it almost went stale, almost making me stop reading the book or I would have given it five stars. As always, the story picked up again, leaving me breathless at the ending. A wonderful job, but could have done a bit better. I expect The Immortal Heights to do better and end the series right. – Celine J.

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Finish the series with: The Immortal Heights

The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)

Sherry Thomas

Iolanthe Seabourne can channel three of the four elements, Fire, Earth, and Water, making her an elemental mage. She was raised up by her guardian Master Haywood. Elemental mages are very rare nowadays and if they are powerful enough, the agents of Atlantis take them away. Iolanthe has always embraced her powers, and decides that she will put on a show for her friend’s wedding. Something as simple as putting on a show turns her life upside down, revealing that Iolanthe has a destiny that will alter the future forever.

Prince Titus is the Master of the Domain. His Destiny was to find the greatest elemental mage of all time, protect and train them to remove another mage who doesn’t deserve to be in that position. Prince Titus must risk his life to ensure that this happens as that is his sole purpose. As Prince Titus and Iolanthe cross paths, they realize that their missions are life-threatening and they have no choice but to complete their destinies together no matter what.

The Burning Sky is an excellent book by far. It keeps readers’ hearts pacing at every page. This fantasy was very creative and personally I enjoyed it in a way I can’t explain in words. The Burning Sky is the beginning of a trilogy, making sure readers will pick up the next book and the final book with excitement. This book also carries a romance making you scream “Why?!” out your window… it did for me. Just an amazing book you must pick up! – Celine J.

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Continue with: The Perilous Sea, The Immortal Heights

Zenn Diagram

Wendy Brant

Eva Walker is a math genius, who sees everyone and everything in her surroundings as explosive bombs filled with emotions. Eva possesses the ability to read all the secrets, insecurities and fears that individuals hold by simply touching someone or something that belongs to them. As this power becomes beneficial towards her math tutoring sessions with struggling students by touching their calculators, she also sees it as a curse where she learns that it is just best to keep her hands to herself to stay away from all the trouble. That is until she meets Zenn Bennett, who makes that nearly impossible. With Zenn giving Eva violent and dark visions, Eva cannot suppress her curiosity but to take risks to uncover Zenn’s past.

This book is of nothing more than forbidden love, inexplicable natural powers and dark pasts. It started off with such a casual encounter between the two main characters, but ended with a modern happy ending after facing their biggest hardships. I thought it was such a great book because the conflicts that Eva were encountering were so relatable to me and I love the connection between Eva and Zenn. The tension starts to build when the truth unfolds, as always, and it was so unexpected creating major plot twists. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and would recommend to other youth or young adults out there. However, I would like to give out a warning that there are graphic and inappropriate scenes for those of certain age (14 or under). Aside from all that, the plot is well put and it has a solid ground for the settings, characters and their backstories, and the little bits and pieces that help make the story flow. Overall, Zenn Diagram is great choice to read. – Angie C.

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