Reminiscent of the many threads introduced in THE RAVEN BOYS, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE once again widens the lens of this world to follow oh so many stories at once. With more of a focus on action than relationships, BLUE LILY covers significant ground, and yet, feels paradoxically shorter than its predecessors.
Genre: Young Adult
Don’t be fooled into expecting the usual YA ghostly love story, SUBLIME will entrap those tender expectations and twist them into horror. While the characters are as charismatic as expected from the expert romance duo Christina Lauren, most of the ghostly promise of the plot ultimately fell flat.
A very creative take on the Snow White fairy tale, STITCHING SNOW has a brilliant heroine coupled with a stubborn and honorable hero, taking place in what appears to be a galaxy, far far away. While some of the plot points were a bit predictable, it was a diverting read, and a fun way to spend a few hours.
Though the world of SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch is a bit uninspired in its construction, Raasch more than makes up for kingdoms named after seasons and capital cities named for misspelled calendar months with Meira and the other refugees of the Kingdom of Winter. An aspiring soldier, desperate to be important to her people and her lost homeland, sixteen-year-old Meira struggles with being kept off the battlefield and forced into a world of political machinations. She’s a pawn, she’s a symbol, she’s a hero – much like THE HUNGER GAMES Katniss, all Meira really knows is that she wants to survive. That, and she’s in love with her best friend, the once and future king.
At slightly over 400 overwhelming pages, WHISPER THE DEAD took a few chapters for me to fully immerse myself. Once I did, however, I was rewarded with a mystery that managed to be consequential and yet a story that felt lighthearted, all at once.
CROWN OF ICE offers so much more than just the tale of The Snow Queen with a change of perspective. A solid YA adventure with teenagers who learn so much about themselves, and each other. Even the expected happily ever after offers believable surprises that underscore the maturity and independence they each have gained.
It’s hard to be anything but seduced by the magical beauty of the WINTERSPELL cover. Luckily, the story that Legrand crafts has a magical beauty to match. Clara’s journey through Cane, coming into powers she didn’t know she had, her quest to save her father, and the delicate romance between her and Nicholas are all fascinating parts of this fairy tale.
THE RISE OF AURORA WEST takes familiar superhero tropes and flips them to a new angle, like a Batman story told through Robin’s eyes. Though Aurora’s monster fighting skills are a credit to her training, she’s also the intellectually curious lens through which readers question her world. Where did this war against monsters begin? Where do they come from? And what really happened all those years ago on the night when Aurora’s mother died…
SALT & STORM sounded so good, but unfortunately, the description and the book don’t actually match up, and not for the better. With a whiney heroine, strong deviation from a typical romance plotline, and some frustrating questions left unanswered, SALT & STORM isn’t a book I’ll be revisiting.
When a wicked bishop starts a witch hunt in Bavaria, orphan Rune finds herself targeted – but unlike most of the so-called witches caught in the net of hysteria, Rune really does have powers, and a reason to fear for her life. She also has an ally in the son of the local magistrate (called the Electorate), after he nearly tramples her with his horse. What follows in FOREST OF WHISPERS by Jennifer Murgia is a young adult romance, but, more importantly, a story about confronting the past, accepting where you come from, and embracing your strength.