Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road #1) by Rachel Hartman

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was written by the author of the popular story “Seraphina”, which I have not read yet but after reading this book I think I’d like to!

I might say that if I had read “Seraphina” before this, I probably would of had a better grasp behind Seraphina’s character although I really, really, really liked her step sister Tess!  This story is set in the medieval times in a Kingdom where ladies are meant to be ladies and men are the strong protectors….but when you throw dragon’s into the mix, well….they can do whatever they please.

Main character Tess is a strong willed gal who can also be a bit of a troublemaker.  Tess also has another sister, who is about to be married while her family wants to send Tess to a nunnery.  She knows that if she doesn’t leave while the tide is low, she’s never going to be truly ‘free’.  The only thing Tess can think of is to set out on her own….alone and pretending to be a boy.

Tess isn’t really sure where she plans to go, so when she runs into an old friend, luck seems to be on her side.  Her friend is a quigutl, which you will learn a little bit about – its a subspecies of dragon – who gives her protection and company while she’s on the road.  Little does her friend know, Tess is hiding a secret, one to her past that she’s tried years to forget is now threatening to expose her.

The story was a little hard to get into right at the start, but once it got rolling it was good!  I think that I would have been able to understand the terminology a little bit better if I had read the “Seraphina” books prior to this, but it’s not necessary I would say.  The cover art is amazing, story line was well written and I really enjoyed the characters. I look forward to reading more from this author, especially her popular series “Seraphina”.

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What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is quite the unusual story.  Although I like the story line, I did feel like in some places, the story rambled on leading me to lose interest but then a few more pages and I was back into the story!

Maisie Cothay has never been allowed to touch anything, humans included.  She was born with the power to kill or resurrect almost anything with just the slightest touch.  In trying to keep her safe, her family sequesters her in the family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest.

Her father, an anthropologist sees her more as an experiment that a daughter.  He also strictly warns that she is never to go venturing into the woods behind their home.  Locals have told stories of people disappearing within and then coming back out with bizarre stories.  What Maisie’s father doesn’t tell her is that for hundreds of years, her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, although none of them ever returned – for Maisie is descended from a long line of cursed women…..

Then one day Maisie disappears and returns several days later as if nothing has happened.  While gone, her father goes into the woods in search of his daughter.  Maisie must venture beyond the walls of all she has ever known and into the forbidden woods as she slowly uncovers the truth.

People Like Us by Dana Mele

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now this was a whirl wind of a ride!  For fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, you will want to dive into this book as soon as you can get your hands on it.  The story is twisted, thrilling and you won’t know what hit you in it’s completely unexpected ending.

Kay Donovan is the main character, who attends

 

an all girls academy called Bates.  Unlike all the other girls at the school, she is solely relying on her athletic ability and good grades to keep her at Bates where everyone else’s families are wealthy.  She’s the star soccer player who has gorgeous friends and are all high up on the popularity totem pole.

Everything seems picturesque until Kay and her friends discover the body of a girl in the lake next to Bates Academy. Then….Kay’s life she’s built begins to topple into chaos when the dead girl sends her an e-mail including a password coded link to a scavenger hunt website that implicated suspect after suspect in the case against who killed the girl they found in the lake.  It gets worse when Kay finds herself in the cross hairs of the murder investigation.

Will Kay let herself be backed into a corner and accused of a crime that she didn’t commit or will she do whatever it takes to keep herself from becoming the next victim to uncover the real murder?  Kay may have skeletons in her closet, but you will have to find out for yourself what secrets she hides as well as play the game along with her to uncover the truth behind everything……

Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer and a work at home mother. A graduate of Wellesley College, she is a former actor, lawyer, musician, and briefly, associate producer. She prefers tea to coffee, snow to sand, and stars to sunshine, and she lives in the Catskills with her husband and toddler. This is her first novel.

Here’s the People Like Us tumblr: https://jessicalanefinalproject.tumblr.com/

 

 

Winterhouse (Winterhouse #1) by Ben Guterson

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a must read for children, full of mystery that will keep them entertained though the whole story!

Elizabeth Somer lives with her aunt and uncle because her parents passed away.  They are by no means a wealthy family and Elizabeth has a feeling that her aunt and uncle really don’t like her.  Until one day out of the blue, her aunt and uncle receive money and instructions to take a vacation by themselves while sending Elizabeth off to a hotel called Winterhouse over Christmas break.  Elizabeth has no idea who sent them the money, which is where her mysterious journey to Winterhouse begins…..

Upon her arrival, Elizabeth is mesmerized at the charms Winterhouse seems to offer, which I won’t delve into because you must read the story to find out all of it’s magical amenities!  She meets a boy her age, whose parents also sent him to Winterhouse for Christmas and they quickly become friends.

Elizabeth loves to read and to her excitement, there is a vast library at Winterhouse several stories tall.  While browsing one day she happens upon a magical book of puzzles that unlocks a mystery involving the Hotel’s owner and his family’s secrets.  Elizabeth quickly realizes that something is happening to her and somehow she is connected Winterhouse, but how?Elizabeth is the only one who can solve the mystery of the strange things that begin to unravel during her stay at Winterhouse……

This story is full of mystery and adventure, a great book for young readers with beautiful writing combined with illustrations that make you feel like you are right next to Elizabeth solving the mystery!

Published January 2nd 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.

 

Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a middle grade story for fans of  Julie of the Wolves or Hatchet.

The story is about a 12 year old orphaned girl Nika and her 7 year old brother Randall as they leave a California foster home to visit a long-lost uncle in the wilderness of Northern Minnesota.  This takes them on a journey in a small floatplane over the thick green forest canopy, to spend the summer on a wilderness island. Nika, of all people, knows not to get her heart set on anything, but as she follows her uncle in his job studying wolves, Nika stumbles upon a relationship with an orphaned wolf pup that makes her feel — for the first time since her mother died — whole again. Here in these woods, with this wolf, none of the hard things in her past can reach her.

I really like to read books about wolves and this one touches great details about wolf behavior and a deep sense of interconnection with nature.  I really enjoyed it.

 

The Merciless (The Merciless #1) by Danielle Vega

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

I picked this book up at my library book sale.  The story revolves around main character  Sofia Flores who gets mixed up with a group of girls from school, whom she thought was harmless….

Sofia befriends Riley, Grace and Alexis on her first day at her new school.  Of course they have perfect hair, perfect lives……they tell Sofia about another girl at the school who they are going to “save” and they want Sofia to help them.  The girl who they want to ‘save’ is Brooklyn Stevens whom the group thinks is possessed.

Brooklyn ends up in a pool of her own blood, tied up in an abandoned house’s basement, its dark and no one can hear her calls for help.  The girls have her where they want her, in place so they can perform and exorcism – but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation.  All Sofia wants to do is get out of this house, but she soon finds out that there is no way out at all, unless she pretends to go along with them and somehow save herself and Brooklyn.

This was a pretty eerie story, it wasn’t the best writing I’ve read, but this is Danielle’s debut novel.  I can see her potential as a writer and will check out more for her in the future!

 

 

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

The story line was ‘okay’.  I most enjoyed the narrator as I listened to this on audio! It made me giggle at how into the characters she was, along with a few other narrator voices that played other characters as well.  This audio version was even paired with creepy music to go along with the story.  I’d say at least give it a shot on audio for sure, I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks!