Review of How To Speak Boy by Tiana Smith (physical arc)

 

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How To Speak Boy by Tiana Smith

Quinn and Grayson have been fierce speech and debate rivals for years. They can’t stand one another, either in competition or in real life.

But when their AP Government teacher returns their school assignments to the wrong cubbies, they begin exchanging anonymous notes without knowing who the other is.

Despite their differences, the two come together through their letters and find themselves unknowingly falling for the competition. Before the state tournament, the two of them need to figure out what they want out of life, or risk their own future happiness. After all, what’s the point of speech and debate if you can’t say what’s in your heart?

Expected publication: January 7th 2020 by Swoon Reads

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Review of Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (paperback)

 

 

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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, is an empowering novel for anyone who has ever felt that fandom is family.

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Review of Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf (physical arc)

 

This is a book two.  There will be spoilers below for book one (but not for book two).

 

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Find Me Their Bones by Sara Wolf

No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

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Review of Undercover Thief by H.T. King (digital arc)

 

 

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Undercover Thief by H.T. King

Fourteen-year-old Pamela Torres is an exceptional girl. After her parents abandoned her at the tender age of nine, she had to be to stay alive. But Pam has come a long way from stealing food from the supermarket and huddling beneath shop windows for shelter. Now, Pam and the band of fellow misfit kids who took her in, are some of the most notorious thieves in Underground London. She has a home, a family, and a killer wardrobe, to boot. Life is pretty good.

But when her parents suddenly return to Pam’s childhood home after years of zero communication, Pam’s world is turned upside down. They steal her away from her home and chosen family to enroll her into the Victoria Institute: an American boarding school for spies.

Desperate to get back to the world she knows and loves, and wholly unfamiliar with the concept of homework, Pam does not take the strict, disciplinary vibe of the Victoria Institute – or to her parents, government spies themselves and teachers at the school, who seem to have developed a newfound sense of responsibility for Pam’s wellbeing and education. But what would they do if they knew her true, unlawful identity? What’s more is that something seems off about one of Pam’s classmates… something that could threaten not only the school, but also international government relations and the lives of millions…

Full of humor, heart, and a healthy dose of sass, UNDERCOVER THIEF is a story of adventure, family, and redemption – a must-have for any teen’s book collection.

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Review of Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd (finished HC)

 

This is a sequel, so there will be spoilers for Grim Lovelies below.

 

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Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd

The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology. 

Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.

With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazelwood Wood.

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Review of Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao (physical arc)

 

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Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

 

From the acclaimed author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns comes a fantastical new tale of darkness and love, in which magical bonds are stronger than blood.

Will love break the spell? After cruelly rejecting Bao, the poor physician’s apprentice who loves her, Lan, a wealthy nobleman’s daughter, regrets her actions. So when she finds Bao’s prized flute floating in his boat near her house, she takes it into her care, not knowing that his soul has been trapped inside it by an evil witch, who cursed Bao, telling him that only love will set him free. Though Bao now despises her, Lan vows to make amends and help break the spell.

Together, the two travel across the continent, finding themselves in the presence of greatness in the forms of the Great Forest’s Empress Jade and Commander Wei. They journey with Wei, getting tangled in the webs of war, blood magic, and romance along the way. Will Lan and Bao begin to break the spell that’s been placed upon them? Or will they be doomed to live out their lives with black magic running through their veins?

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Review of Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf (late arc review)

 

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Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

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