Tuesday, July 25, 2017

YA Tropes I Hate


Admittedly, one of the reasons I stopped reading an abundance of YA books is due to the surplus of insanely ridiculous and overused cliches that seem to appear in every other novel.  I think we are all a little sick of them.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst


Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 368
Series: The Queens of Renthia #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: An idealistic young student and a banished warrior become allies in a battle to save their realm in this first book of a mesmerizing epic fantasy series, filled with political intrigue, violent magic, malevolent spirits, and thrilling adventure. Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . . But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land...before it’s bathed in blood.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Martian by Andy Weir


Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 369
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive. But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson


Publication Date: July 31, 2007
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 643
Series: Mistborn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land. He failed. For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably. Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Postcards from May


Summer is finally so close I can almost taste it...or feel it?  Smell it?  Who came up with these expressions anyway?  But in all seriousness, May has been a whirlwind of end of the school year insanity and I'm a little shocked I made it through all in one piece.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich


Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Pages: 352
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Horror
Synopsis: When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

On Turning 17 (And Becoming a Dancing Queen)


One month and one day ago, I turned 17.  In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it isn't the most exhilarating or eventful age.  To me, 17 is a bridge--a gap year between "child" and "adult."  Whatever that's supposed to mean.