Showing posts from September, 2020

All Your Twisted Secrets / Diana Urban / Review

ALL YOUR TWISTED SECRETS The queen bee, the jock, the brains, the stoner, the loner, and the orchestra geek: when high school senior Amber Prescott is awarded a scholarship to pursue her education in music, there are a few strings attached. One of them is the mandatory reception dinner with the Mayor and the other scholarship recipients. Her boyfriend, her crush, her bestie, her ex-bff, and the local high school drug dealer all join Amber for the reception, but what should be an evening of small talk and future plans is a trap. The Mayor never arrives, the door locks behind them, and the heat is rising--literally. This cast of high school stereotypes finds themselves presented with a bomb, a syringe full of poison, and a choice: pick one person to die in the next hour or everyone ends up dead. PROS Nonlinear Plot All Your Twisted Secrets starts with a bomb and unravels from there. Diana Urban

Star Daughter / Shveta Thakrar / Review

STAR DAUGHTER Silver-haired Sheetal, half-human and half-star, has a star-song in her soul. The daughter of a star who came to earth and fell in love with an astrophysicist, Sheetal has spent her life torn between two worlds: the heavenly realm above and the not-quite-so-magical world of her Indian American community in New Jersey. On the verge of her seventeenth birthday, Sheetal feels more than ever before the call of that celestial realm and the mother who abandoned Sheetal and her father ten years ago. At the same time, Sheetal longs to belong, longs to be an ordinary girl living an ordinary life on earth. When a terrible accident leaves Sheetal's father in the ICU on the verge of death, Sheetal knows there is only one thing that can save him: a drop of a pure star's healing blood. She must make the journey to meet her celestial family above for the first time in her life, her father's life hanging in the balance.

Loveboat, Taipei / Abigail Hing Wen / Review

LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI Straight A's Dress Like a Nun Curfew of Ten No Drinking No Wasting Money No Dancing with a Boy No Kissing Boys No Boyfriend These are the Wong Family rules, and 18-year-old Ever follows them religiously. Ever plans to spend her last summer before entering a joint BA-med school program in the fall doing what she loves: dancing. This is her last shot, her grand finale before her family's dreams of medical school take over Ever's life. But Ever's dream of one last summer is interrupted when her parents give Ever the gift of a lifetime: a summer attending Chinese school in Taipei. Studying, studying, and studying fill Ever's new summer agenda--no room for dancing. Yet when she steps off the plane, she learns that this summer school won't be what she thought. Limited supervision, ample free time, and plenty of boys: Ever decides this might be the perfect summer to break out of her shell, and she'll start by breaking every one of

All the Stars and Teeth / Adalyn Grace / Review

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH Eighteen-year-old Amora Montara is the princess of Visidia, an island nation full of magic, pirates, and bioluminescence. Each island of Visidia has its own unique magic ranging from enchantments to curses, and as heir to the throne, Amora is also heir to the rarest and most powerful type of magic: soul magic. On her eighteenth birthday, the princess must prove her magic and her worth to her people in a public celebration, but when her performance goes awry, Amora finds herself on the run instead, accompanied by a mysterious pirate, a sullen mermaid, and her passionate (though unwanted) soon-to-be fiancé. Off her home island for the first time in her life, Amora quickly discovers that she doesn't know as much about her kingdom as she thought she did. Secrets abound, and rebellion stirs beneath the waves. PROS Vivid Worldbuilding Adalyn Grace spares no expense in