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review 2017-10-17 17:39
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Finally picked up my first Marissa Meyer book after rave reviews from friends and fellow #bookstagrammers and it did not disappoint! Seriously impressive world-building, with deep commitment to the dystopian future China cyberpunk setting. Novel, easily recognizable, and thoroughly interwoven.

 

Loved the disaffected teen characterization of Cinder too; her determination and frustration felt authentic and appealingly off-kilter. Her punk/grunge aesthetic was both sympathetic and, at times, hilarious. Love the silk-and-grease-stained awkwardness. Sort of pitied and rooted for her at the same time.

 

Strong emotional beats; stakes were clear, and loss was handled with sensitivity. The world and abuses felt traumatic, but not traumatizing. Gritty, but not unrelentingly dark. The light romance was well played. Overall one of the best fairytale adaptations I've read; fresh, and with clear but not slavish awareness of the plot and tropes of the original. I picked up the sequel immediately on reaching the last page.

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review 2017-10-12 23:20
The Weight of Feathers: Or, Romeo & Juliet in the Night Circus
The Weight of Feathers: A Novel - Anna-Marie McLemore

Anna-Marie McLamore writes so beautifully I think I would be mesmerized even if she were writing about paint drying. No lie. She is the sort of writer that makes me feel simultaneously inspired and dejected when it comes to my own writing craft. She's that good. If you haven't read her before you owe yourself the treat of discovering her voice.

 

Weight of Feathers is best described as a heady blend of Romeo and Juliet meets The Night Circus. I usually really hate comparing books to other books in a review, but in this case it's really accurate. You have this lovely lyrical and rich feel mixed with this feuding family drama. The magical realism blends with the dreamy quality of the traveling performers. There is a sensuality, not just to the romance, but to the performances and world as a whole. Simply put it was lovely.

 

There was some predictability and repetitiveness to this book, which was its one down side. The fairytale feel means that some of the characters fit neatly into molds, and take the stage as set pieces more than people. The familiarity of the story being told feels like the one dull point surrounded by so much originality. I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but if I were going to recommend a McLemore book I would much more heartily champion When the Moon was Ours, wherein her storytelling catches up to her beautiful prose. As is McLemore has entered onto a short list of authors that I will pre-order future titles from on the spot.

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review 2017-10-09 20:32
Wow! What an Ending!
Asylum - Madeleine Roux

The kids in the Teen Book Club asked for a scary book that wouldn't scare them. No dolls, no clowns, etc. This fit the request. It was creepy and had a mystery to it. 

 

A group of teens has come to the college in NH for college prep. They are to live in the dorms (what used to by the asylum) for the 5 weeks while attending different classes every day. On the first day, Dan Crawford, meets his roommate, Felix, and Abby and Jordan. Abby, Jordan, and Dan become friends, to the point of being called the Hydra by a professor, but at the end of a week, their friendship has hit some bumps. They separate the next week and rarely come together. They are dealing with their own issues (Jordan is gay and has to stay in the closet, Abby's parents are going through problems and she just wants to find her aunt and Dan has moments where he doesn't remember things, blanks in his memory). They all explore the rooms that are supposed to be off-limits. After their first trip into those rooms, they start to have dreams and the dreams cause them to change. They explore the basement areas a few times, together and alone. Things start to happen and they are all beginning to have issues. 

 

Really good suspenseful book and I do recommend it. It was a very fast read, for my youngest and I. The older girls are dragging on it as the suspense builds and creeps them a little more. 

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review 2017-10-05 21:04
Worst Nightmare Come to Life
The Leaving - Tara Altebrando

When my kids were little (and even now), I worried that someone would take them. In this, 6 children are taken from their school and held for 11 years. But before their 16th birthdays, they are returned to their families, all but one. The story follows Avery, the younger sister of the child who doesn't return, Lucas and Scarlett. 

 

It had many errors and there were times where I felt that the conversations should have been from someone else, not the one talking. On the whole, it was a good story. I don't recommend this book to anyone with littles because it would be too close to home. 

 

This book deals with shooting at schools, memories being modified and kidnapping of children. The emotions of the families affected, the children who were taken and trying to get back to some form of normal. 

 

 

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review 2017-10-05 01:01
Switched
Just One of the Boys - Leah and Kate Rooper

Alice AKA "Al" and her twin brother try out for a local hockey team after moving to Chicago.  She wants on this team so bad she will literally do anything.  There she meets Hayden. She is immediately attracted and the sparks fly between them anytime they meet.

 

Hayden does not want to be interested in his teammates sister.  This is typically taboo behavior among hockey players.  He just cannot help how he feels anytime she his near.

 

This is an original story with an unusual twist.  Surprises are inside!  I love the characters banter and the heat between the MC's nearly leapt off the pages.  I devoured every page and then wished there were more.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and the publishers.

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