Title: The Woodlands
Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Source: from publisher for Juniper Grove book tour
Review Summary: Although it includes many cliched dystopian elements, this book has a flavor all it’s own and gets lots of points for avoiding the more annoying cliches.
The dictatorial rulers of The Woodlands, known as The Superiors, believe that diversity is the enemy of peace. Disobedience is punished swiftly and violently. Day by day The Superiors are usurping more control over the lives of the citizens, dictating the careers they can have; how many children they are allowed; and who they can marry. Rosa has always been different and her uniqueness will eventually land her in trouble she might not be able to get out of.
Title: The Registry
Author: Shannon Stoker
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Review Summary: A respectable addition to the dystopian craze, well written with an interesting premise and great character development.
In a dystopian America, women are listed in the registry where they are auctioned off as brides when they turn 18. Boys are considered worthless and often thrown out to survive on their own between school and mandatory military service. Unsurprisingly, not all the men produced by this brutal system are men a girl would want to be married to, as Mia finds out from her married older sister. Sheltered as Mia is, escape will be difficult even with the help of a better educated friend and a boy working as a farm hand. Especially once the ruthless man who wanted to buy her discovers she’s run away. Continue reading
Title: Etiquette and Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Review Summary: Great world building, a strong female protagonist, no angsty relationships, and an incredibly fun boarding school. This one’s a keeper.
Etiquette and Espionage, Gail Carriger’s first foray into young adult fiction, is set in the same fascinating world as her Parasol Protectorate series with its enjoyable blend of fantasy and steampunk elements. As a bit of a tomboy, Sophronia doesn’t quite fit her mother’s idea of a proper lady, so her mother is thrilled to send Sophronia off to finishing school. Fortunately for Sophronia, the finishing school is not what her mother thinks, teaching young ladies not only the “fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but [also how] to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course” (source) .
Title: Blood and Chocolate
Author: Annette Curtis Klause
Review Summary: With unique social norms in place to govern sexual tension and a propensity for violence, these are werewolves done right.
This is primarily a coming-of-age story. As werewolf Vivian’s pack struggles with the loss of their leader, Vivian herself struggles to figure out who she and what she wants. Her confusion is only increased when she falls for a human who she desperately wants to accept her for who – and what – she is. When a murder puts both her pack and her human friends in danger, Vivian is stuck in the middle of the conflict between them.
Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V Snyder
Review Summary: Complex but easy-to-follow plots, believable characters, and an impressive protagonist – very well done!
This book has so many exciting twists and turns, that I’m checking the standard description to make sure I don’t give anything away! We start when Yelena, about to be executed for murder, is instead offered the position of royal food taster. The catch is that she’s intentionally fed a poison that will kill her unless she shows up every day for the antidote. Although to an extent this attaches her loyalty to the king, Yelena is put into a variety of situations where she has to decide where her loyalty truly lies. And just for an extra challenge, Yelena starts to develop magical powers, the possession of which is punishable by death. Continue reading
Author: Rachel Hartman
Review Summary: A fun, light read but one set in a
very unique unusual fantasy world and with a fast-paced, engaging plot.
A tenuous peace exists between humans and dragons, made more fragile by the murder of a member of the royal family – apparently by a dragon. The dragons aren’t quite like us or quite like the dragons you might expect in a fantasy novel. They can take a human shape, but despise all emotional displays as a form of weakness. Seraphina’s insight into the dragons’ behavior leads to her involvement in the murder investigation. This position has a high risk of revealing a secret she’s fought to keep hidden, but may also help lead her to greater self-acceptance. Continue reading