Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge

Spells & Sugar: Recipe for Fun!

ISBN: 1943858225

All Anise wants is to become a pastry chef, but applying to college isn’t easy when you’re a witch. Shouldn’t magic make her life easier? In small ways, maybe. But baking a little happiness into cookies isn’t the same thing as waving a magic wand and making all your dreams come true. Normal people are scared of her, and even her own mother—the only other witch Anise has ever known—would rather she didn’t use her powers at all.

When Anise is assaulted at a local fair, her untempered magic comes to her rescue, incinerating the baking tent and leaving a trail of crime behind. Then, with superior witchy timing, Anise’s great-aunt invites her to apprentice at the only witch-sanctioned bakery in the country, and Anise jumps at the chance. But things go from bad to worse as Anise discovers that finally embracing her power might come with a terrible price.

I just loved this read! I mean, spells and sugar? My two favorite things! Add a young woman trying to find her way in the world, and, yeah, Lola Dodge hooked me hard. The first chapter is one of my favorite first chapters ever, so I think might have over-hyped myself for the rest of the book. (Can you over-hype yourself on a read? What do you think? Is that a thing?) Continue reading “Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge”

How You Ruined My Life by Jeff Strand

A Quick, Quirky Romp

ISBN: 978-1492662020

Rod’s teenage life isn’t perfect, but things could be worse. He lives with his single mom in a modest home. They don’t have a lot of extras, but they’re getting by. He has a punk rock band called “Fanged Grapefruit” and a beautiful girlfriend. Life is pretty good. That is, until Blake moves in. Blake is Rod’s cousin, and from the moment his privileged mountain of luggage arrives—the day before he does himself—Blake manages to make Rod’s life a living hell. But is he a harmless idiot? Or does this demon-spawn of a cousin know exactly what he’s doing? Continue reading “How You Ruined My Life by Jeff Strand”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Rare. Epic. Legendary.

ISBN: 978-0307887436

THE STORY

In a future of limited resources and failing infrastructure, humanity lives out its dreams in a massive virtual reality game-world. Wade Watts is a high school student, getting an elite education for free despite his impoverished real-world life, because that was the vision of the game’s creator: unlimited access to knowledge, for rich and poor alike, where every kid has a genuine opportunity to make something of themselves. But not everyone wants to keep it that way.

The original programmer is dead, and a prize is hidden in the game. Whoever decodes the clues first will inherit his billions—and control the virtual universe. Wade has been searching for years. If he wins, he can leave his life in “the stacks” behind, and he can protect the world he knows and loves. But big business is searching too. If they win, the world can say goodbye to free education. That could add up to trillions, and they’ll do anything to get it. Continue reading “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline”

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

A Well-crafted Global-blackout Thriller

ISBN: 9780374355029

Adam is 16. He’s a good student. He’s building an ultralight with his dad in the garage. He likes a girl he’s too nervous to talk to. And then every computer in the world goes dark. Permanently.

What’s a guy to do?

If his mom’s a police officer and his next door neighbor is some kind of retired government operative (spies tend to be vague about their personal history), he fortifies his suburban neighborhood and turns it into the last bastion of sanity amidst a dying civilization. Obviously.

If that sounds like an unrealistic plot line, here’s the crazy thing: it isn’t. Eric Walters’ brilliance as a writer is that he shows you that it isn’t–drawing you in, page by page, while his characters go through the slow burn of realizing that everything might not be okay.

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Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm

An Adorable Holiday Slump-buster!

ISBN: 9781484768174

Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.

As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.


I was SO excited to be approved for this Disney-Hyperion title on Net Galley, and it did not disappoint!

If you’re in the mood for a fast, slump-buster read–whether to get you back into reading or to kick-start you into the holiday spirit–this is it! I loved Dylan immediately. She’s the awkward, self-conscious, shy younger sister of a beauty-pageant winner, dragged into a high-profile world she never wanted to be part of. When she ends up meeting a boy she might actually LIKE (for the first time, like, EVER), she’s forced to go through the roller coaster of first love on reality television. UGH, right???

Continue reading “Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm”

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

A Masterpiece of Story and Literature

ISBN: 978-0316341684

Lazlo Strange is a war orphan, born without a name and raised without any sympathy for his plight—or for his vast imagination. But as he is playing in the orchard one day, pretending to be a famous Tizerkane warrior of… of… of where? The very name of the mystical city that lies across the desert is suddenly erased from his mind.

Erased from everyone’s mind, as it turns out. But what sort of magic could steal a name? Most people don’t even seem interested in the question, but Lazlo is determined to find out. And his quest leads him on one of the greatest adventures it has ever been our pleasure to read.

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The Crimson Throne by Christi Stallard

Surprising, Entertaining, Screen-worthy

ASIN: B06X3SHYW2

4.25 stars!

If you love monsters and fantasy creatures, you’ll love Christi Stallard’s The Crimson Throne. Vampires, dragons, sirens, pixies, werewolves, ghouls… they all live side by side in a world that no longer belongs to humankind, which is a real problem for Sadie Carlisle, the teen heroine who has spent her entire life surrounded by the walls of Section 18. When the city gets raided, Sadie is forced to fight for her very survival.

If that sounds at all cliché, trust me, it isn’t. The world Christi Stallard has created is masterful, from its invented history to the setup of day-to-day life. Movie companies and TV networks, take note: the reimagining of so many mythical creatures into one seamless, dystopian nightmare makes this universe ripe for acquisition.

Continue reading “The Crimson Throne by Christi Stallard”