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A Ruinous Fate / Kaylie Smith / Book Review

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Calliope Rosewood is a witch hounded by bad luck. Which is how she finds herself in the basement of a seedy tavern, her Fate on the line in a high-stakes game of cards. When she gets caught cheating (and who can blame her, with the Witch's dice staring up at her?), she has to run for her life. Three unlucky Rolls away from becoming the last Blood Warrior and jumpstarting a major Witch war, Calla knows nothing good can come of sticking around town when she's been caught. But a girl can't run forever. When a betrayal by her ex leaves her one step closer to her Fate, Calla decides she'll do anything to wipe her slate clean... even if that means entering a cursed forest to find someone powerful enough to reset her destiny. Even if that means traveling with her traitorous ex and his equally handsome brother. Even if that means growing closer to the very Fate she's trying to dodge. 

Always the Almost / Edward Underhill / Book Review

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  Miles Jacobson wants two things: 1) to finally win the regional classical piano competition and 2) to win back his ex-boyfriend, star football player Shane. But neither of these goals are as easy as they sound. Sure, Miles has placed high in the regionals every year before, but he has a new teacher this time... and she's pretty intense. He's not sure he'll make it to regionals in one piece, let alone ready to blow everyone else out of the water. And when it comes to Shane, well... Shane broke up with Miles just weeks after Miles came out as trans, and if that isn't a hurdle in a relationship, nothing is. Plus, there's a new boy in town, a queer artist from Seattle named Eric. And Eric is interested in Miles as a person... and maybe as something more. But Miles can't afford distractions, not even handsome and funny ones. Not when he's got goals to achieve. 

Breakup From Hell / Ann Davila Cardinal / Book Review

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  Mika is ready to get out of this town. Small town life, familiar faces and familiar places, just isn't for her. Sure, her friends want her to stay, and her Abuela won't even let her consider leaving. But that hasn't stopped Mika from applying to college in California.  So when another boring Sunday sermon leads to a run-in with a new boy in town, of course Mika is interested. And he's interested back. Plus they share the same interest in horror novels. So what if Abuela doesn't approve? But when strange things start happening when Mika is with Sam--and then even when she isn't with him--Mika starts to think that Sam isn't quite who he says he is. This isn't any old high school relationship. It's something straight out of the horror novels they both love... something devilish.

Best and Worst of 2022

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  Best                      First Place:             The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea           Axie Oh                                         ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐ In this Korean myth fantasy, Mina might not be the meekest, sweetest, prettiest girl to become the Sea God's bride, but that doesn't stop her from throwing herself into the sea in order to barter with the God himself. An ethereal spirit world with a dark undercurrent, Axie Oh's prose is evocative and pristinely beautiful with a protagonist who takes charge. Though the true danger of this world might feel malleable and elusive, this short and sweet myth retelling is worth every lyrical word.  Runner-Up:          Katzenjammer                                                      Francesca Zappia                                         ⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐ In this contemporary body horror, High School won't let Cat or her classmates go, and these halls are not safe as everybody twists into something dark, deadl

The Poison Season / Mara Rutherford / Book Review

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On a cold and savage mountain in the middle of a poison lake sits an island. Leelo has never been off this island. Not only is the lake too dangerous to approach, even when it freezes over in winter, but Endla is her home. The outside world is dangerous, savage, willing to kill without question--especially kill someone like Leelo, with the magic she carries in her voice. To let outsiders in would be to forfeit her entire community. So when Leelo sees an outsider about to be swallowed by the lake, she knows what she must do: let him drown. If by some miracle he were to make it to the shore of Endla, it would be her duty to kill him. Leelo knows what she should do, but when it comes to the killing blow, she can't do it. Jaren didn't mean to cross the lake. He was being chased. The boat was just convenient. He's not from the village. He doesn't know the stories about Endla and its ruthless inhabitants. But even he realizes something is off when Leelo hides him, betraying h

No Accident / Laura Bates / Book Review

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One second, they were a championship team on the flight home from their victory tour. The next, seven survivors find themselves washed up on a deserted island, no way to get home. No signal. No supplies. No hope. Being popular in high school doesn't get you far when survival's on the line. The elements aren't the only thing putting these teens at risk, either. When strange accidents start happening shortly after their arrival on the island, cheerleader Hayley realizes somebody here has a secret... a potentially deadly one. Nobody wants to talk about the last party of the tour, the party Hayley skipped, but something happened there. Something that means they might not make it off this island alive. If the island itself doesn't kill them... one of their teammates might. 

Never Ever Getting Back Together / Sophie Gonzales / Book Review

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When Maya learns her ex-boyfriend Jordy has been invited onto a brand new reality dating show, her first thought is, Of course . Younger brother to a princess-by-marriage, Jordy has enjoyed the spotlight in the two years since they broke up--even though he doesn't deserve it.  When Maya learns Jordy wants her to be one of the contestants on Second-Chance Romance, her first thought is, Definitely not . He cheated on her, after all, and somehow convinced the world it was her fault. But the more she thinks about it, the more Maya sees that this might be the opportunity she's been looking for. Where better to tell the world the truth about Jordy than international television? But there's one problem: Skye Kaplan has been invited to compete, too. Skye, the girl Jordy chose instead of Maya. Skye, the girl Jordy dated for two months while he was still with Maya. And the producers want Maya and Skye to share a room... just for the fun of it.