“Parachutes is a novel about two worlds colliding. Clarie and Dani, two girls who are so similar but could not have been raised any differently, are fighting to discover who they are while dealing with wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They are asked how much they are willing to pay for freedom and how far they are willing to go to live the life they desire. Clarie “parachute” from Shanghai and Dani, the host sister in California tell the story. I expected a narrative about high school drama based on the cover, but it is so much more. Yes, while this is a narrative about high school kids, it explores themes as they navigate the toxic situations in which the girls find themselves: classism, sexism, racism and xenophobia. This was a really powerful and important YA story.
The book focuses on many issues that are really relevant to high school and college aged students today. There are cautionary notes at the start of the book since two of the themes are sexual harassment and sexual assault. I would not recommend this book to a young adolescent. However, this book is not graphic, and I believe it tells two essential stories. This book contains some romance. However, it is intertwined with the more important themes on which the author focuses. I was engrossed in the story of both females. Dani and her debate team captivated me, as did Claries and the fact that she was sent to the United States on her own to study. It was fascinating to read the author’s note and see how her own experiences paralleled some of what was in the book. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I looked forward to reading it every time I got the chance.”
“In the fourth book of the New York Times bestselling series, The Unwanteds, comes Island of Legends, a whole new book with twists, turns, and of course, magic. During the chaos in Artime of the sky vessel crashing into the water during the masquerade ball, Aaron sneaks away into the tubes and finds himself deep in the jungle, where he discovers a powerful secret that could change the course of the struggle between Artime and Quill. After a time, he comes up with a new, terrible plan for eliminating the Unwanteds using this newfound power. Meanwhile, Alex and his friends prepare to fight, as Queen Eagala’s army comes after Artime to take back Lani, Samheed, Sky and Crow. However, Alex hasn’t forgotten his promise to Sky, and the Unwanteds begin to plan how to rescue Copper, Sky and Crow’s mother, travel to the rest of the islands, and hope they find more allies than foes. Alex has been going through Mr. Today’s journals and finds a powerful spell that could help Artime in a sea of enemies, but will it backfire? And will the Unwanteds ever find more allies? As Aaron’s plan grows, Queen Eagala attacks, and Gondoleery grows stronger in secret, will the Unwanteds solve the new mysteries?
Island of Legends is one of the best in the series so far. With an abundance of new characters being introduced, and old ones evolving and sharing more of their stories, one can feel connected to the book. Island of Legends has many new mysteries to solve and places to explore as the Unwanteds travel through the islands in search of allies. With Quill still a threat, and Wabler starting to attack, one can only hope they find more help. This book is ideal for anyone who enjoys action, clues, adventure, friendship, and of course, magic.”
“Nova Ren Suma’s novel, The Walls Around Us, follows two different perspectives: Amber, a girl who was in Aurora Hills juvenile detention center for girls (currently deceased), and Violet, a ballet dancer who is alive three years later. This book is suspenseful, psychological and paranormal. The story starts with Amber, a girl who is in a juvenile detention center, who doesn’t actually belong there because she is innocent. All the other girls exclude her and treat her differently because of this.
Then the story turns to Violet, an 18-year-old ballet dancer who is excited to pursue her dance career at Juilliard. How are these two girls connected? By Orianna, a girl who was sent to Aurora Hills 3 years ago. There are rumors going around that Orianna did not actually commit any crimes. Orianna met Amber as they shared the same cell, and she shared that she used to be friends with Violet, and that she isn’t as innocent as she seems.
This novel was really interesting and well-paced. There wasn’t really a moment where I got bored of what was happening, or wished for it to be over. The only problem I had with it was that there were a lot of events left unexplained that you had to try to figure out yourself. I literally had to google what the ending meant because it was so vague. But overall, this is a pretty decent read! Make sure to look up the trigger warnings if you need to!”
“The fifth book of the New York Times bestselling series, The Unwanteds, is a new book filled with friends, enemies, and magic. After falling off the world’s edge trying to follow Lani’s map, Alex and his friends end up back in the ocean, on the other side of the world, with a whole new set of islands and mysteries. Shortly after they recover, they hit a hurricane, and their ship crashes, leaving Artime’s most powerful mages stranded on an empty island surrounded by shipwrecks. However, they find the land to be inhabited and gain more questions than answers, and Henry discovers a powerful tool that could save the Unwanteds or destroy them. As the hurricane rages on the Island of Shipwrecks, Aaron has to come to terms with the decision he made and the guilt he has for Eva Fathom’s death. Fueled with more anger, he makes an alliance with a powerful ally and prepares for the final battle with the Unwanteds. However, across the sea, pirates hunt for Alex and plan on capturing him for taking Copper and freeing the sea creatures. As Gondoleery plans to put her plans into action and Aaron prepares to eliminate the Unwanteds for the last time, Alex has to figure out how to get home soon.
Island of Shipwrecks is fantastic, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy and enjoys a story that they wish could go on forever. This story shows how some characters struggle with their guilt over things they have done in the past and the secrets they have that could change everything. As the story progresses, you feel the helplessness of the characters, as they have no means to escape the island, and a battle is on the horizon.”
“Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future. The Inheritance Games follows Avery, whose plan is to go through high school, secure a scholarship, and leave. But when millionaire Tobias Hawthorne passes away and leaves Avery nearly his entire fortune, her circumstances quickly shift. The problem? Avery doesn’t even know who Tobias Hawthorne is, let alone why. Avery must relocate to the enormous, secret passageway-filled Hawthorne House in order to claim her fortune. The old man, who also enjoyed puzzles, riddles, and codes, has left his mark in every corner of this place. I found the characters to be nicely written, which was one thing I noticed when reading this novel.
The primary character, Avery, was intriguing, but I thought there was more to her that we should know. She was a character who was undoubtedly intelligent and skilled at solving problems, but I think there’s more to her. Once I remembered everyone’s names, it was simple to tell each brother apart who get introduced as Avery makes her way through her journey because they all had distinctive personalities. It became a little more challenging for me to keep track of the other side characters once they were introduced but weren’t given any tasks to complete. I’m hoping that further books will feature these characters. Although I wouldn’t describe these developments as fantastic, I was entertained enough to be surprised nonetheless. To entertain and divert the reader is, in my opinion, a delicate balance. I thoroughly enjoyed this book overall. It was a cozy mystery with some entertaining puzzles and drama thrown in, and I’m eager to read more works by these authors and others in this genre.”
“The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is about two 13-year-old twins from the land of Quill; Aaron, a Wanted, soon to be sent off to the university to train to be a part of the Quillitary, an army so fearsome that no outsiders dare to cross the walls and chain-link dome that protects Quill. Alex, an Unwanted, is sent to his death for being too creative, like the other twenty Unwanteds from the annual Purge. In Quill, creativity is a crime and the high Priest Justine sends all thirteen-year-old children to death in the Great Lake of Boiling Oil each year. However, the Death Farmer, Mr. Today, has a secret. Every year he saves the Unwanteds from death by hiding them in his magical world of Artime, where they can express their creativity safely from the Governor’s watchful eyes. Not only is art abundant, but with it comes a variety of magic and a life so different from the one in Quill. When Alex and his friends Lani and Meghan realize they are free, Alex has a new goal; to save Aaron from Quill.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure, friendship, and magic. The story shows a contrast through Aaron and Alex’s view of the desolate, strict Quill and the creative carefree Artime. It shows that creativity is just as important as intelligence and strength. Throughout the story, you also meet a variety of important and unique characters designed carefully to bring the story together. As the cast develops and changes, you are always excited to see what happens next. After all, in the world of Artime, anything can happen.”
“ Twilight follows seventeen-year-old Bella Swan as she leaves Arizona and moves in with her father in the gloomy Pacific North-West town of Forks. She is not expecting to like it there. She has given enough reasons over the past few years not to go there. Not only that, but she will have to find new friends and adjust to a new school. Bella rapidly establishes some new acquaintances at school, but she is immediately attracted when she notices a boy named Edward Cullen seated with his siblings in the cafeteria. Even though Edward is nearly unfathomably gorgeous and beautiful, he is also an outcast. Despite living in Forks for two years, Edward and his family have never completely been acknowledged by the locals. When they initially meet, Edward is distant; at moments, it almost seems as though he can’t bear to be in the same room with her. However, over time, they develop an unexpected bond. Bella still isn’t able to figure out exactly what makes Edward so unique from everyone else, despite the fact that she falls madly and completely in love with him. Bella learns about the ‘cold ones,’ which is an Indigenous legend about vampires. She knows that although Edward is a vampire, it has no bearing as to how much she still absolutely adores him. Everyone in Edward’s family are vampires. Even though it occurred at the close of World War I, Edward too was turned into a vampire at the age of seventeen. Edward’s adoration for Bella is mostly a joy and a source of pain to him. She is the very first woman he has adored since transforming into a vampire, which makes loving her a pleasure. A pain because, notwithstanding the swearing off human blood and exclusively hunting wildlife, his thirst for human blood never really decreases, and the slightest smell of her gratifies it further.
Although the book is targeted at young adults, it may be appreciated by audiences of all ages and will appeal to both teenagers and adults. Bella and Edward’s bond is endearing and captivating. Their inconceivable love has a melancholy air to it, yet they both refuse to give up the belief that their union would survive. The tension in the novel rises to a ridiculous level as Bella and Edward’s relationship transforms into a desperate struggle for survival. I personally was immediately drawn to Edward from the get-go, and never thought otherwise. If you’re looking for a book series to get emotionally and physically attached to, I would deeply recommend giving this a try.”
“The Outsider, probably my favourite horror novel by far, is a thrilling and disturbing story from the twisted mind of Stephen King. We’re introduced to a horrific crime centred around an 11-year-old boy whose corpse was found after an unspeakable crime in the park. Piles of evidence point to neighbourhood Little League coach, Mr. Terry Maitland. But slowly, new evidence and discoveries are found and blows the case wide open.
This book was a wild ride of fear and drama that was virtually impossible to put down. I mean some crazy stuff happens. Unfortunately, there aren’t many things I can say without spoiling this book, but trust me: for anyone who loves horror or thriller, this book is a must-read. If you do plan to read this novel, you should know that this story contains homophobic language, homicide, suicide, sexual assault, swearing, and gory depictions.
This book was definitely a good read and worth the $25.99. Some parts had me too scared to even go to the bathroom at night. I would say this book should probably be read by people older than 12 for sure. Not only is it pretty scary, but the gore is pretty intense. This book has also been made into an HBO mini-series, but if I’m being completely honest, I preferred the book. This book also contained little Easter eggs from another Stephen King series known as the Bill Hodges Trilogy. Overall, I rate this book 4.8/5 only because it was longer than necessary in my opinion and my attention span isn’t great. Otherwise, it was amazing.”
“Deka, age 16, is terrified and eagerly awaits the blood ceremony that will determine if she will be accepted into her village. Deka, who already stands out from the others due to her unusual intuition, prays for red blood in order to feel more at home. However, on the day of the ritual, her blood turns a purplish gold tint, and Deka knows she will suffer an outcome worse than death. Then a mystery woman approaches her and offers her the option to either remain in the village and accept her fate or to join an army of girls who are just like her in fighting for the emperor. They are known as alkali-near-immortals with exceptional abilities. The biggest threat to the empire can only be stopped by them. The characters had a strong sense of development and reality. Deka developed alongside us, and we gained insightful knowledge about her world in the process. She felt genuine and unforced in how she learned. She had real and profound relationships with the other Aliki. Forna does not, however, devote much of the page to illustrating the development. We catch the crucial details, and although not spending the entire time with Deka, we can still make out the genuine friendship and trust that have grown over this period. In the end, her boyfriend Keita proved to be such a wonderful character. It’s intriguing to see how this friendship develops because, like with the girls, we only get to see little glimpses of their interactions.
Although the world is highly imaginative, it is not so fantastical that it is impossible to imagine. You can see the parallels to the real world that Forna made while writing, brought the universe to a whole new level. Without being info-dumpy or making the reader feel overburdened by the magical features, Forna was able to inform us about an entire world and how that civilization is organized. Overall I found the plot and the story structure itself to be very intriguing and organized. Nothing was unnecessarily added to the story and nothing seemed to be missing either. From the amazing cover art to the story, It really was such a satisfying read and I will for sure recommend this book to anyone!”
“In Trinity, a town in Ohio, teenager Jack Swift lives an ordinary life after surviving a deadly heart condition when he was a baby. However, one day he forgets to take his medicine and discovers he is more powerful than ever before until which leads to disastrous consequences. Soon his mysterious aunt shows up under the guise of genealogy and searching for a family heirloom. One thing leads to another, and he discovers the Weir, a secret, magical society of enchanters who can convince others into anything, sorcerers who craft magical amulets called Sefas, warriors who are physically strong and skilled at combat, seers who can see things others can’t, and wizards, who rule them all. The wizards are divided into the Red Rose and White Rose, and in an endless fight for power, they invent the Game, where each Rose hunts down a warrior and forces them into battle against another, nearly bringing them to extinction. When Jack’s world turns upside down, will he be able to survive the wizards that now hunt him down?
Warrior Heir is a perfectly refined tale, with readers following Jack as he discovers the truth about his family, friends, and Trinity. It has many shocking points and surprises that, through a second read, you can find phrases foreshadowing future events that you may not have paid much attention to before. This book can be read countless times and is just as good as the last. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys modern fantasy and secret groups. The books only get better from here!”