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.

 

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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!

Weregirl by C.D. Bell

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I loved this book and cannot wait to read more from C.D. Bell!

Nessa Kurland is trying her best to earn a college scholarship for her cross-country running.  One night, a girl on her team who claims running at night could help Nessa progress, plans to meet up with her at a local trail.  Nessa is a tad late so she tries to catch up with her team-mate.  It’s dark on the trail and Nessa thinks she see’s something in the woods and then happens upon a wolf stuck in a trap.  Nessa has a heart for animals, same as her mother who works at the veterinary clinic and Nessa decides that she is going to try to free the wolf.  Next thing she knows, she is waking up in a hospital room with a wolf bite to her hip, jeopardizing any hope she had at getting that running scholarship.  Then she starts to remember that it wasn’t the wolf that was trapped that bit her…there were two wolves.

Nessa’s wound starts to heal quicker than normal, her hearing becomes magnified as well as she can now see perfectly without her contacts….changes that happen overnight!  Nessa soon finds out that bite from the wolf will lead her down a powerful and freighting path transforming into a full werewolf!  But why was Nessa chosen? We soon find out why and delve into a story brushed with human darkness and a town with an eerie past that is now affecting the future of the town and even Nessa’s own family.

 

 

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you enjoyed the Maze Runner books, you’ll like this story as well.  This is a dystopian novel that will keep you on turning the pages until you realize that you’re at the end and you haven’t moved in hours.  I enjoyed the story line, although in a few places I felt as though the story was going drug along.  I will chalk this up to the fact that 90% of the story is riveting and a story does need a little down time every once in a while.

Main character Eden’s life has changed drastically since the war.  There’s a new powerful group called the Wolfpack that is controlling everything on earth including all the resources.  This group killed Eden’s family and has imprisoned her.  She has a lot of spunk and decides that she isn’t going to be held captive any longer.

Eden knows a secret.  She knows that the myth of Sanctuary Island, is actually not a myth at all…thanks to her father.  Eden races and risks her life to reach this island to find solace.  What she finds is far more complicated than she or the others escapees had expected.

What would you do to reach freedom if your future is looking deadlier every second?  How do you survive?

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Before, I didn’t know about perspective.  Now I know it can change how you see the whole world.

This was a beautifully written story!  I didn’t realize until the end that this was a rendition of the author’s life as a little girl.  I loved the main character, Ruthie Mizrahi.  It’s the 1960’s and Ruthie is a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl adjusting to her new life in New York City.  It’s been hard for her family to learn the customs of the big city and on one dark night, their lives are changed forever…a horrific car accident leaves Ruthie in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery.

This is the story of a young girl who learns to love in darkest of times and how her heart can go from being stone cold to growing larger.  She teaches us how fragile life can really be and no matter what your circumstances happen to be, there is always something to look forward to.  Ruthie’s hope was to recover and learn to walk again as well as forgiving the person who had caused the accident and her displacement being confined to her bed for almost a whole year.

This moment in their lives seems to have brought many people together and closer to Ruthie.  The story was moving and very well written.  I felt myself rooting for Ruthie and almost crying with her at times.  She is a tough gal, who although fell into the darkness, it didn’t take long for someone to show her the light again. She let their rays of sunshine warm her heart and from there, Ruthie spread the rays onto others.

 

 

The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Alys was the only witness to the night the soul eaters came into her village and only the children were spared, although put into a deep trance.  Little did she know then, Alys would be the key and lock from this moment on.

The soul eaters…happen to be twin sisters.  When they were young, the two girls and their mother were banished from their village and into the forest, villagers claiming they were witches.  Then, slowly the sisters did start to morph into something not quite human and hungry for things you cannot cook or grow….they were becoming hungry for human souls.

After Alys’s village was terrorized, her and the other children were sent to live in a neighboring village, although most of the villagers there were filled with fear hearing the story of how all of these children became orphans.  In this new village, the inhabitants are strict in their ways with their fundamentals of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.  Along with their fears of the soul eaters, they also believe that another entity is what leads these beings and they call it, the Beast.

Alys begins to feel different, almost as if she is somehow connected to these twin sister soul eaters and…..a connection to the Beast it’s self.  She has always been drawn to the forest since she was a child and has a gift that she doesn’t want to tell anyone about as she may also be deemed a witch and suffer the same fate as the twin sisters had, banishment.   She soon learns the truth of her abilities and along the journey, it becomes her mission to protect the ones she loves from the danger that is threatening them all.