Tag: YA

Sorcery of Thorns

Author: Margaret Rogerson
Published: June 4, 2019
456 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Kim’s Review:

This is a great story! I get really tired of all the same stories told over and over again, and Sorcery of Thorns is refreshingly unique. The cover is also gorgeous! I love everything about this book. The characters were all larger than life and were still realistic and relatable. I related to Elizabeth really well, especially her sheltered background. The story would have suffered greatly had Silas not been included. He was one of the most complicated characters I’ve seen in a while and I loved him! The setting was beautiful and those libraries; I would totally visit those libraries! One thing that stood out to me was the pacing. Everything was well spaced out and after every calm sequence, action followed. The reading was easy and quick. Overall, an excellent fantasy book for anyone, especially for teens!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Release Day Review: The Hive

Authors: Barry Lyga & Morgan Baden
Published: Today, September 3, 2019
416 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 26-31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Cassie McKinney has always believed in the Hive.

Social media used to be out of control, after all. People were torn apart by trolls and doxxers. Even hackers – like Cassie’s dad – were powerless against it.

But then the Hive came. A better way to sanction people for what they do online. Cause trouble, get too many “condemns,” and a crowd can come after you, teach you a lesson in real life. It’s safer, fairer and perfectly legal.

Entering her senior year of high school, filled with grief over an unexpected loss, Cassie is primed to lash out. Egged on by new friends, she makes an edgy joke online. Cassie doubts anyone will notice. But the Hive notices everything. And as her viral comment whips an entire country into a frenzy, the Hive demands retribution. One moment Cassie is anonymous; the next, she’s infamous. And running for her life.

With nowhere to turn, she must learn to rely on herself – and a group of Hive outcasts who may not be reliable – as she slowly uncovers the truth about the machine behind the Hive.

New York Times bestselling authors Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden have teamed up for the first time to create a novel that’s gripping, terrifying and more relevant every day, based on a story proposal by Jennifer Beals and Tom Jacobson.

Jessica’s Review:

Social media is everywhere and just about everyone is a part of it.  Imagine we are in a United States where you are required to be on social media once you reach 13 years old and anything you say can have consequences (Likes, Dislikes, Condemns). The more Condemns you receive the greater your chances are to have Hive Justice carried out against you by anyone and everyone in a serious way.  And the police cannot stop the mob mentality because it is all legal. 

Although The Hive started a bit slow for me (the introduction to Hive, BLINQ, and Cassie being in high school) it was all necessary to the buildup of the joke that Cassie made that cause her to go viral. BLINQ is a government owned social media that connects all forms of social media together. My opinion is that BLINQ is a bit like ‘Twitter on crack’. Cassie is an angry girl experiencing some grief and she transfers to a new school her senior year.  The beginning is a bit like Mean Girls and some typical high school drama of Cassie trying to figure out where to fit in. 

Once Cassie’s joke goes viral the novel really starts moving and doesn’t stop until the end.  I could not put the novel down and read it in just a few days.  It’s hard to fathom that people want to go out and find Cassie and hurt her (or worse) because of a tasteless joke.  It is definitely a mob mentality/vigilante justice. Forget the fact that she is just a kid, people just want to do what they can do without legal repercussions, not even knowing the whole situation. They just want to kill because they can. 

There are some political overtones to the novel. Normally, I cannot stand that in novels, but with this particular subject matter, the politics are necessary.  The Hive is also be a coming of age type novel as Cassie grew on me showing her growth and maturity she reaches as the novel progresses.  The Hive is definitely relevant to our society today.  So much is done online now that it seems more important than ‘real life’.  Maybe real life is actually our online life…. The Hive definitely shows how anything we say or do has consequences (both positive and negative). We really should think about what we are about to say or do. 

I was personally hoping for a different ending, something that shows how truly evil and damaging the Hive and BLINQ are to this society. Being this is a young adult novel, maybe that was the case for the ending we received.

The Hive is a novel everyone 14+ should read ( I say 14+ as there is foul language used throughout the novel, mainly the ‘f-word’).  The Hive will leave you thinking about social media and where we are heading with it.  How much do YOU share online, and could something you say or do cause you to receive a ‘Hive Alert’?

Many thanks to the publisher KCP Loft for sending me an arc copy. It was a pleasure to read and review.    

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Author: Rory Power
Published: July 9, 2019
353 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Kim’s Review:

This. Cover. I am so in love, I can’t even tell you. And now that I’ve read the book, I love it even more. There’s a girls school on an island; that should be enough for y’all to realize that I was hooked pretty fast. Everything started quickly and the sickness has zombie like qualities, but with a new twist. There was plenty of tension, conspiracy and mystery. I actually hope that there’s a second book coming because I’d love to learn more. My only issue is the hypocrisy of Hetty at the very end. She ends up doing exactly what she accuses others of doing. However, the story itself completely outweighs any problems that arise. This reminds me of a condensed version of The Girl with All the Gifts. It’s actually in my top ten so far for this year. This would be a great one for trying to get teens to read. I absolutely recommend it to most people!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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