Review: Lei and the Fire Goddess

Anna Leilani wishes she could be like every other sixth grader. She wishes she could sit with the cool kids, like her former best friend has started to do. She wishes she didn’t have to sit by the trash cans every day for lunch. And she especially wishes that she could spend a month in Hawaii doing actual tourist stuff instead of spending the whole month with her grandmother, trying to learn her family’s stories. What do these stories matter, anyway? She can always Google them later, right? They’re not real. But at least Anna will have her Hawaiian best friend, Kaipo, there with her.

In an attempt to prove that the stories aren’t real and don’t matter, Anna picks a flower belonging to none other than Pele, the fire goddess. Now, Kaipo has been kidnapped by the goddess, and lava is slowly trickling down the volcano to destroy her grandmother’s home. It’s up to Anna to make things right, and learn to use the stories she doesn’t believe in to formulate a plan to save everyone.

I received an advanced reading copy of Lei and the Fire Goddess in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Scavenge the Stars

Amaya has spent the last seven years of her life on a ship, worked to the bone, gutting fish to pay off her father’s debts in Moray. But finally, freedom is so close she can almost taste it. That is all put in danger, however, when she rescues a drowning man from the middle of the ocean. Escaping with him, he offers her a deal: the chance to make her enemies pay, as long as she restores his own name in the process. Amaya has nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Cayo Mercado is the son of one of the richest merchants in Moray, but he’s working hard to deserve that title. After losing half his fortune gambling, and discovering that his sister has a frightening disease, he has a lot to make up for. Now, all his family’s hopes are pinned on him, and he has to wonder whether he will buckle under the pressure.

As their destinies intertwine, Amaya and Cayo will discover just how much darkness the shadows of Moray hold, and how few people one can really trust.

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Review: Crown of Coral and Pearl

Nor and Zadie are twins, identical except for the scar on Nor’s cheek. While they’re both equally beautiful, the scar on Nor’s cheek ruins her chances of being chosen from among the other Varenian girls to marry the Ilarian prince. Every generation, one girl is chosen to become a part of Ilarian royalty, and escape the difficult life in Varenia, where they are forced to dive ever deeper for pearls as their supply slowly dwindles.

When Zadie gets chosen among all the other girls, both she and Nor are disappointed. Zadie because she’s never really wanted to leave home, and Nor because all she’s ever done is dreamed of seeing something new outside their small village. Everything changes when Zadie is badly injured and scarred, and no longer the perfect choice for the prince. Nor is called to step in, and she does so gladly. But when she arrives in Ilara, it’s not what she’d dreamed. The forbidding castle is deep in the mountain, in the cold and dark, and the prince she’s supposed to marry seems to match. Nor is determined to make the best of a bad situation, and make it so that back home, the risk of starvation is no longer possible. But how will she do it when the world she’s stepped into seems determined to break her down?

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Review: The Hazel Wood

Alice and her mother, Ella, have been running for a long time. Running from the mysterious bad luck that seems to follow them everywhere they go, running from every mention of the famous author grandmother Ella refuses to ever talk about, running from the world. But when they receive a message that the famous Anthea Proserpine, Alice’s grandmother, is dead, they feel like they can finally relax. They settle in New York, Ella marrying a wealthy man, Alice trying to live a normal life when she’s never felt like a regular person. But when Ella goes missing, taken by mysterious strangers, and Alice starts spotting characters from her grandmother’s infamous book of fairy tales walking on the streets, her world is turned upside down. The only place to go to for answers is the Hazel Wood, Anthea’s manor. Only problem is, how does one find a manor that seems to exist on the seam between two worlds?

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Review: Chosen Ones

Sloane is tired. Ten years ago, she and her friends were picked out from among all the other kids in North America and told that they were a potential “Chosen One,” meant to destroy the Dark One and save their world from extinction. She and her friends did that, and since then, they’ve been dealing with the consequences, the trauma. Sloane still has to remind herself that she’s in the present, and not captured by the Dark One. She has to remind herself that the torture, the pain, all her experiences are in the past. But they continue to haunt her to this day.

But when more than memories begin to haunt her, Sloane begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. Their world is changing, and the Dark One might not be as dead as they thought he was.

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Review: Some Faraway Place

Rose is not like the rest of her family. They’re all Atypical, able to do things such as moving things without touching them or reading people’s minds. Rose, however, is typical. Or so she thinks. But when she starts having dreams, her family learns that she’s a Dreamdiver, able to walk into people’s dreams, whether they’re awake or asleep. Unfortunately this come about at the worst time, right when Rose meets a young woman named Emily. Now, Rose is dealing with more complications to her life, and the dream world is so tempting to fall into. Is it possible for her to stay there forever?

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ARC Review: Julieta and the Romeos

Julieta, Jules, is a writer, or so she wants to be. Luckily, she’s gotten into one of the best summer intensive writing programs in the country, led by none other than her favorite author. And sure, doing this program means less time to hang out with her best friend, Ivy, and less time to spend working at her parents’ restaurant, but it’s worth it for her dream, right?

But when one of the assignments involves Julieta posting a story online, and she receives a message from a mysterious writer, someone who wants to collaborate with her on her story, her imagination takes hold. Is this mysterious writer Calvin, the boy who lives next door to her abuela? Maybe it’s Lucas, her childhood best friend who works with her at the restaurant? Or what about Ryan, Ivy’s brother who’s doing the writing intensive too, and whom she used to hate? Or still hates? Either way, this summer just got interesting!

I received an advanced reading copy of Julieta and the Romeos in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Circe

Circe is a minor deity in a world that has gods around every corner. In fact, she grows up in a home with many others, and her none are exactly like her. There’s something about Circe that makes them hate her. She’s different in more ways than one. When Circe unlocks her power of transformation, she is exiled for having proven her strength. In this island, she has to face many evils, the greatest of which is her own loneliness. Luckily, mortals often sail the seas and find themselves in need of help. Luckily, Circe possesses just the magics to help… or harm…

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Review: A Neon Darkness

Robert has been alone and on the road for years. Now, after having left Las Vegas, he’s decided to try Los Angeles next, see if he can remain there for longer than a few months. It shouldn’t be too hard, after all, he has an ability that lets him impose his wants on other people, and thus control them. It should make his life easier, and yet, sometimes it does the complete opposite. But when Robert arrives in Los Angeles, he gets to know some people who are similar to him, who have abilities like he does, and he’s excited at the prospect of maybe having a family again. But something darker lurks in the shadows, and when it emerges, the whole family Robert has created may fall apart.

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