Sinda has grown up as a princess, but on her sixteenth birthday she is told that she was only a decoy. She was a commoner baby switched with the royal baby to shield the real princess from a murderous prophecy. Sinda has to leave the only life she has ever known to live in a poor country village with an aunt she has never met.
I loved this book so much! Sinda is a wonderfully complex character, and goes through really intense character development. She is shy and awkward in the beginning, floundering around in fear and anger. But she gradually learns to trust her own strength, and she begins to fight to build a life of her own.
The plot is really interesting with brilliant magic and plot twists.
Ember is a young witch with a great deal of untapped power. Jack is a supernatural being, who keeps his soul in a pumpkin lantern and guards the crossroads to a magical realm. Jack is determined to stop Ember from crossing to the OtherWorld where her power could be stolen from her, but he has a hard time guarding his heart against her sweet charms.
There were so many things that I loved about this book, and a few things that annoyed me.
First, the world-building and magic systems are wonderfully imaginative and interesting. I was entranced with the magical setting and the witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, goblins, and succubi that populate the OtherWorld. They each have particular powers and traits that were fascinating to discover as they are explained through the plot. I also really loved the steampunk feeling of the world, and how automatons and clockworks are integrated with magic power. Continue reading →
Mabel is done with high school and ready to teach her first year of school at a little country one-room schoolhouse. Her boyfriend, Russ, is pressuring her to make plans for their future wedding, but Mabel isn’t ready to commit to a formal engagement. Meanwhile, Mabel has trouble with her country students when there is a scarlet fever scare, a break-in at the schoolhouse, and a blizzard runs through the area. Another young man seems to have feelings for Mabel and she has to decide between a new love or the steady old relationship with Russ.
I just love how spunky and energetic Mabel is! She is always getting into the most ridiculous situations with her best friend, Sarah Jane. Just because she is grown-up now, doesn’t mean she isn’t still mischievous and playful, but her problems are bigger and require a deep solution now that she can’t rely on her parents and teachers to bail her out of scrapes. Continue reading →
Paula travels with her merchant father to Istanbul, hoping to acquire a religious artifact of rare and precious value. There is fierce competition for the artifact, and unscrupulous merchants will use violence to get their hands on it. Paula’s father hires a bodyguard, Stoyan, to keep his daughter safe on the dangerous streets. Paula befriends a wayward pirate captain, Duarte, hoping to get information from him about the artifact. The powers from the Other Kingdom send Paula on a quest, to retrieve the artifact, to unravel the riddles surrounding its history, and to learn from her perilous voyage the meaning of love and friendship.
My heart is too full! I can barely think, my mind is still reeling with all the complex details of the story. I have cried and laughed and clutched the book with white knuckles. What a journey! My heart just went on a rollercoaster ride, and I am still gasping for breath. Continue reading →
12-year-old Claudia’s best friend, Duffy, is an 8-year-old boy, and together the two get into mischief of all kinds. Her parents think she should be making friends with girls her own age, but Duffy is the only one who really understands and accepts Claudia. When the mean girls at school begin to make trouble for Claudia, it seems even more impossible to make other friends. Claudia finds the strength and imagination to stand up to bullies, navigate the treacherous waters of neighborhood kid politics, and find a new appreciation for her boring normal family.
I loved this book! Poor Claudia is so awkward, but her heart is pure and strong. Duffy is adorable as a sidekick for all Claudia’s adventures, and I loved all the supporting characters in Claudia’s family. I hated the villainous mean girls, and cheered for the good guys in every scene!
Kitty is a 19-year-old pilot on a summer mission to observe humpback whales in Juneau, Alaska, when she stumbles across the path of some gold thieves and is forced on a trek through the Alaskan wild as their captive.
Move over, Nancy Drew! I have a new favorite teen detective! This book ended up being so much more amazing than I ever expected, with an adventurous plot full of twists and turns, compelling and complex characters, and clever dialogue. Continue reading →