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A Death-Struck Year

A_Death_Struck_Year.pngA Death-Struck Year (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) by Makiia Lucier is a wonderful historical set 100 years ago.

Seventeen-year-old Cleo Berry is temporarily staying at her school in Portland, Oregon while her guardians are on a trip to San Francisco. But then the Spanish influenza, which has been devastating the East Coast, hits Portland. Cleo is supposed to stay at her school but she sneaks out and goes home where she is alone. She ends up volunteering for the Red Cross and risks her life helping those who are stricken with flu.

Cleo is a strong character who grows during the story to understand much more about life, and death, than she ever has before. I love how this wealthy girl who knows so little about practical things in the real world learns what's really important.

This was author Makiia Lucier's debut novel. The book was named an ABC Best Books for Children Selection by the American Booksellers Association. Oh, and a bonus on the author's site is pictures of what Portland was like in 1918. See them here.

Makiia's next book is a fantasy that came out in April. Read about it here.

The Traitor's Kiss

traitor'skiss.jpgI *loved* The Traitor's Kiss (Imprint, Macmillan, 2017) by Erin Beaty. A strong and smart heroine, a matchmaker, future brides, soldiers and spies, intrigue, danger, lies--this fantasy has it all. I really do love a story that keeps me guessing.

Sage Fowler does not want to be a lady. She does not want to go to the matchmaker for a "suitable" marriage. And she's got the temper to share those facts. But what's a girl without parents to do? She becomes the matchmakers apprentice which leads her to go on a bridal trip with a bunch of other girls and the soldiers guarding them. However, no one in their party knows that nefarious schemes are going on behind the scenes that could put the whole kingdom at risk.

This was author Erin Beaty's debut novel--and you should really read her humorous bio here.

Plus, I'm excited to say a sequel The Traitor's Ruin is coming out in July! Woo hoo!traitor'sruin.jpg And on her blog, Erin says she's working on book three of the trilogy.

Read more about both books here.







Tempests and Slaughter

tempestsandslaughter.jpgI'm a big Tamora Pierce fan and love the new book in her new series. Tempests and Slaughter (Random House, 2018) is about Arram Draper. Yes, if you've read the stories about Daine, you'll probably recognize that name. This story is set farther back in time in Tortall.

Arram is only eleven, well, ten really, but he says he's eleven. Because he's always getting into trouble. Especially at the School of Mages where he's attending with older students. Strange events happen around him. All the Masters know his name.

This story takes Arram through his mage training where he meets the two older students, Varice and Ozorne, who become his best friends. (Whose names again will sound familiar if you are a fan.) With friends by his side life is a bit easier, but the Masters keep adding more and more duties and harder classes. Throw in the crocodile god, the Graveyard Hag, and service in the arena, and Arram is juggling a lot. Will he be able to keep it all in balance?

I didn't want to stop reading and when I reached the end, I was ready for the sequel, which isn't out yet! I know I'll be rereading this story.

If you aren't familiar with Tamora Pierce, you can read about her here.

Infinity

infinity.jpgA student told me about author Sherrilyn Kenyon. I found the first book in the Chronicles of Nick (a spin-off series from the Dark-Hunter® novels if you've read her adult work), infinity (St. Martin's Griffin, 2010). So far, there are nine books in this series. You can see them here. But back to infinity.

You can't necessarily judge a book by it's cover, but maybe in the case of this contemporary fantasy you can. Isn't that a beautiful cover?

Nick Gautier (Go-shay) is fourteen and mortified by the orange Hawaiian shirt his single mom bought him at Goodwill. Are those pink and gray trout? Salmon? He can't be seen in school in this . . . hideous thing. It's bad enough he's a scholarship kid in a "snotty overprivileged school."

But life is about to get worse. First, it's a fight to defend his mom's honor. Then he's suspended from school. When Nick helps three hustler friends as their watchdog, he gets shot and is taken to the hospital by this guy Kyrian.

But then life looks up. Sort of. Kyrian wants him to work for him to pay off the hospital debt. Then there's a werewolf, and the undead, and flesh-eating zombies. Nick has to hide his dangerous new world from his mom.

Sherrilyn Kenon is an author with an amazing list of bestsellers. You can read all about her here.


To Catch a Killer

to-catch-a-killer-sheryl-scarborough.jpgTo Catch a Killer (Tor Teen, 2017) by Sheryl Scarborough is one of those compelling hard to put down books.

The story opens with seventeen-year-old Erin in the back of a police car pulling into the police station. Someone has killed her biology teacher and Erin found her. She's here to give her statement. But once they learn Erin's full name there's concern whether this could have anything to do with her mother's murder thirteen years ago. It can't possibly, right?

Rachel, Erin's guardian and her mom's best friend, doesn't talk about that time or even about Erin's mother. Or who Erin's father could be. The biology teacher was helping Erin narrow her potential fathers down with DNA. Her last words to Erin were "be careful." Turns out Erin's crush, Journey Michaels, was also being helped by Miss P. Even though they've never spoken before, the two band together to solve both crimes.

to-right-the-wrongs-685x1027.jpgThe novel is full of forensic facts--Erin's been reading her Uncle's books (he's an FBI agent), suspense, secrets, betrayal, and danger. I'm excited to learn the book has a sequel.

Read about author Sheryl Scarborough here and read her forensic facts blog here.


A Death-Struck Year

The Traitor's Kiss

Tempests and Slaughter

Infinity

To Catch a Killer

The One Memory of Flora Banks

My Lady Jane

Strange the Dreamer

The Sun Is Also a Star

Who Killed Christopher Goodman?

Six of Crows

What Goes Up

Daughter of the Burning City

Before She Ignites

The Lost Girl of Astor Street

The Black Witch

The Seventh Bride

The PROBLEM with FOREVER

Red Queen

The Reader (Book One of Sea of Ink and Gold)

Heartless

Just a Normal Tuesday

Defy the Stars

Given to the Sea

Holding Up the Universe

The Passion of Dolssa

The Diabolic

The Secret of a Heart Note

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Enchantress Sacrifice

Shadows

A Time to Dance

Scythe

The Scourge

Written in the Stars

Poppy

the impossible knife of memory

Bottled

In the time of the Dragon Moon

The Chance You Won't Return

Ship Breaker

Uprooted

Not in the Script

All the Bright Places

This Girl Is Different

An Ember in the Ashes

Tunnel Vision

How It Went Down

Thrills and Chills - The Third Twin

Eerie - Sorrow's Knot

Draw or Die - The Rithmatist

Not just a Mystery Weekend - Suspect

Dangerous Impersonation - The False Prince

Girl in Trouble - The Rules for Disappearing

Shaping Her Own Fate - Passion Blue

Fated to be Useless? - Firstborn

Secrets! - The Pledge

Ultimate Fractured Fairytale - Enchanted

A Cat Lover's Novel - Cat Girl's Day Off

Fantasy AND Humor - The Last Dragon Slayer

The amazing Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Eye-opening Historical - Jepp, Who Defied the Stars

Not Your Average Greek Myth - King of Ithaca

Amazing Historical - The Year We Were Famous

Fascinating Premise - Wake

Fascinating problem - Flip

Whose life? - How to save a life

Historical YA Giveaway - Second Fiddle

Another time and now - Blessing's Bead

Another place - Island's End

Powerful Story - After

Memorable Story - Tell Me A Secret

Twist after twist - White Cat

Distinct voices - Blink & Caution

Great first line - Split

Very Very Good! - Crunch

Very Interesting - The Everafter

Hard to put down! - Divergent

Murder in Space? - Across the Universe

Another great heroine - Girl, Stolen

Another Very Good Book - Absolutely Maybe

Unputdownable Fantasy - The Demon King

Humorous SciFi - The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Historical Fantasy - Plain Kate

Facts just slip into your mind - The Red Umbrella

How could you not care?

Focus, shoot! - Flash Burnout & hold still

Book Felt SO Real - memoirs of a teenage amnesiac

Book Plus - Invisible i - The Amanda Project

Fantasy Sequel - yea! - The Timekeeper's Moon

Book 1 - glad more is coming - Shiver

Steampunk and Darwin - Leviathan

Emotional Book - Rubber Houses

Modern Fantasy - The Demon's Lexicon

Powerful Book - Hate List

Please let me slap the father! - Candor

Unforgettable - Unwind

Parental Discretion Advised - Jumping Off Swings

Companion Book - Eternal

Character Growth - Red Glass & Mexican WhiteBoy

Modern-day Retelling - Beastly

Powerful story - Right Behind You

Must read - The Hunger Games

Fantasy to Love - Graceling

"we become what we have to be" - Nation

Catching Up on Reading - Book of a Thousand Days

Murder Mystery, yet so much more - Perfect Shot

Couldn't Stop Reading - Elsewhere

Prepare for fun - Once Upon a Marigold

Science Fantasy - Enchantress from the Stars

Novels in Verse - Seeing Emily

Limits not reached - Downsiders

Hooked by Voice - Stuck in Neutral