“Don’t You Want to be Beautiful?”: A Review of The Belles

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Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Continue reading ““Don’t You Want to be Beautiful?”: A Review of The Belles”

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Death is my arch-foe: A Review of My Soul to Take.

She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next.

Continue reading “Death is my arch-foe: A Review of My Soul to Take.”

“Corn is the Best for Horror”: A Review of There’s Someone Inside Your House

Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She’s made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget.

And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders. Makani doesn’t know who’s next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally. Continue reading ““Corn is the Best for Horror”: A Review of There’s Someone Inside Your House”

“Do Monsters Make War, Or Does War Make Monsters?”-A Review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

This was our Book of the Month read for Forgotten YA Gems, a Goodreads group I run. Feel free to join us!

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Continue reading ““Do Monsters Make War, Or Does War Make Monsters?”-A Review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone”

“I Solemnly Swear to Not Murder You Today.” A Review of One of Us is Lying

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

(spoilers included, sort of) Continue reading ““I Solemnly Swear to Not Murder You Today.” A Review of One of Us is Lying”

A Review of Mars Girls

Nanoannie is a bored teen stuck on Mars. She wants to go to clubs, wear the latest Earth fashions, and dance with nuke guys. But her life is not exciting. She lives on her family’s Pharm with her parents, little sister, and a holo-cat named Fuzzbutt. The closest she gets to clubs are on the Marsnet. And her parents are pressuring her to sign her contract over to Utopia Limited Corp before she’s even had a chance to live a little. When Kapera—a friend from online school—shows up at her Pharm asking for help, Nanoannie is quick to jump in the rover and take off. Finally an adventure!
What Nanoannie and Kapera find at the Smythe’s Pharm is more than the girls bargained for. The hab has been trashed and there are dead bodies buried in the backyard! If that wasn’t bad enough, the girls crash the rover and Kapera gets kidnapped by Facers who claim her parents are murderers! Between Renegade Nuns, Facers, and corp geeks, Nanoannie and Kapera don’t know who to trust or where to go. Kapera only wants to find her parents so they can get to Earth Orbitals and she can be treated for her leukemia. Nanoannie wants to help her friend and experience a little bit of Mars before selling her contract to the first corp that offers to buy it.
Life isn’t easy when you’re just as a couple of Mars Girls looking for excitement, fun, and adventure and trouble follows you around… Continue reading “A Review of Mars Girls”

The Spree of ’83: The Story of Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Review)

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Sizing up Powers’ influence on country music, Country Music Television has noted that throughout his 50-year career, Powers has “demonstrated a dedication to broadening the perimeters of country & western, particularly in creating a fusion of country honky-tonk and swing jazz. This interest runs throughout Powers’ career,” while his hometown Austin Chronicle has affectionately concluded that “Powers’ name stands alongside some of country music’s most enduring classics.” Now, for the first time, in the pages of his memoirs, “THE SPREE OF ’83,” Freddy recounts first-hand the highly-entertaining and emotionally-touching story behind his decades-long roller-coaster ride through the music business, to the top of the charts, and his inspiring struggle in recent years battling Parkinson’s disease, all while his legacy endured through generations of fans. Helping Freddy tell his story are exclusive interviews from fellow country music legends WILLIE NELSON, MERLE HAGGARD, John Rich, Tanya Tucker, The Voice finalist/Powers’ protégé Mary Sarah, and hosts of other Nashville luminaries.

First off, let me preface this by saying I was raised on country music. I’m talkin’ the good kind, to where I end up immediately disliking people who either A) talk mad shit about country music as a whole, or B) consider the majority of current country music as what the entire genre is about.

Now that I’m done with my little rant, let’s review this book! Continue reading “The Spree of ’83: The Story of Merle Haggard and Freddy Powers (Review)”