Book Review: The Wicked Deep

Title: The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Genre: Young adult paranormal fantasy

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Simon Pulse on March 6th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781481497343

Grade: Exceeds expectations

The Wicked Deep

Synopsis

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow… where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

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Book Review: The Nowhere Girls

Title: The Nowhere Girls

Author: Amy Reed

Genre: Young adult contemporary

Format: E-book

Published: By Simon Pulse on October 10th, 2017

ISBN13: 9781481481755

Grade: Outstanding

Content warning: Sexual assault and harassment, bullying, slut shaming, racism, homophobia

The Nowhere Girls (Book Review)

Synopsis

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school. Told in alternating perspectives, this ground-breaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

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Book Review: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Title: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Author: Edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

Genre: Short story anthology

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Greenwillow Books for Young Readers on June 26th, 2018

ISBN13: 9780062671158 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Synopsis

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish.

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Book Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

Author: Renée Ahdieh

Genre: Young adult fantasy

Format: Audiobook

Published: By G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th, 2015

ISBN13: 9780399171611 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Exceeds expectations

The Wrath and the Dawn

Synopsis

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

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Book Review: The Burning Maze

Title: The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3)

Author: Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Disney-Hyperion on May 1st, 2018

ISBN13: 9781368024129 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Burning Maze

Synopsis

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: ‘The cloven guide alone the way does know’. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon…

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Book Review: The Serpent’s Secret

Title: The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)

Author: Sayantani DasGupta

Genre: Middle grade mythological fiction

Format: Hardcover

Published: By Scholastic on February 27th, 2018

ISBN13: 9781338185706 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

The Serpent's Secret

Synopsis

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

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