Young Adult

DNF Mini Reviews: Blood Brothers and The Queen’s Army

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Blood Brothers by Jody ZimmermanBlood Brothers by Jody Zimmerman

Rating: DNF

Thirty-three year old Philip Hampton is an award winning freelance writer and investigative journalist. His younger brother, Billy, an A-list New Yorker, is on the brink of stardom in the international art market.

Orphaned as children, the two brothers are the only family either has until Billy is murdered. Shattered by his brother’s death, Philip vows revenge.

During a visit to Billy’s studio, Philip discovers Billy’s final painting. Certain that the painting somehow holds clues to Billy’s murder, Philip begins to unlock the painting’s secrets.

He finds himself drawn into a frantic search for the treasures from the largest art theft in history—the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist of 1990. Discovery of the treasure is Philip’s only hope of solving the murder, attaining retribution, and healing from emotional and sexual trauma from his childhood.

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DNF Mini Reviews: Monstrous Beauty and The Spirit Clearing

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Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth FamaMonstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Rating: DNF/1 of 5 stars

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

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Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

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Hex Hall by Rachel HawkinsHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Series: Hex Hall #1

Rating: 1 of 5 stars

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father–an elusive European warlock–only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

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Learning Not to Drown by Anna ShinodaLearning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Family secrets cut to the bone in this mesmerizing debut novel about a teen whose drug-addicted brother is the prodigal son one time too many.

There is a pecking order to every family. Seventeen-year old Clare is the overprotected baby; Peter is the typical, rebellious middle child; and Luke is the oldest, the can’t-do-wrong favorite. To their mother, they are a normal, happy family.

To Clare, they are a family on the verge of disaster. Clare: the ambitious striver; Peter: the angry ticking time bomb; and Luke: a drug-addicted convicted felon who has been in and out of jail for as long as Clare can remember—and who has always been bailed out by their parents.

Clare loves Luke, but life as his sister hasn’t been easy. And when he comes home (again), she wants to believe this time will be different (again). Yet when the truths behind his arrests begin to surface, everything Clare knows is shaken to its core. And then Luke is arrested. Again.

Except this time is different, because Clare’s mom does the unthinkable on Luke’s behalf, and Clare has to decide whether turning her back on family is a selfish act…or the only way to keep from drowning along with them.

Debut novelist Anna Shinoda’s raw, gritty, powerful novel cuts right to the bone and brings to life the skeletons the lurk in the closet.

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