Monday, March 25, 2019

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

Eight Keys is a middle grade realistic fiction book about friendship, kindness, and forgiveness. 12-year-old Elise is starting middle school, and she doesn't fit in. She is bullied and tormented every day by her locker partner. She doesn't fit in, and drifts away from her only true friend in an effort to gain acceptance. She is not alone, as before her father passed, he left her an intricate puzzle to solve. As keys start showing up all over the place, Elise unlocks the hidden rooms in her barn. Her father's messages teach her to have confidence in herself.

Eight Keys is an extremely realistic depiction of sixth grade and how schools tend to handle cases of bullying and harassment. Sixth grade is a huge transition year where everyone is trying to figure out who they are, where they belong, and how to fit in. I loved to watch Elise's development from being scared, embarrassed, and insecure to being confident and able to stand up for herself.

Elise's journey of self discovery was beautiful, and I loved the vast support system of her family helping her though these tough times. Elise was far from perfect but lovely all the same. Elise felt very depressed at times, and I loved witnessing her evolve and find happiness. This book is extremely inspirational and shares the importance of standing up for yourself and loving who you are. Every girl should read this sweet story.

I highly recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading another book of the author's, Love, Aubrey

Title: Eight Keys
Author: Suzanne LaFleur
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 216
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten YA Books I Want to Read This Spring

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you want to participate, click here. This week's theme is Top Ten Books On My Spring 2019 TBR. In order of priority, these are the books that I look forward to reading the most this spring!

1. Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
Moss Jefferies has had enough of the constant racial discrimination in his school and decides to stand up for himself and his humanitarian rights.

2. The Wave by Todd Strasser
Based on a true event at a school in California in 1969, a history teacher invents a "game" to help the students understand how Nazism was created, but the simple experiment quickly grows out of hand.

3. Beetle Boy by Margaret Willey
Charlie Porter is the world's youngest author having published a book when he was seven about a talking beetle. Now Charlie is 18 and must figure out how to put his past behind him.

4. As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti
Mojave Desert, Madison is a magical town where every person gets one wish that always comes true. With anything he could possibly want at Eldon's fingertips, he struggles with what to ask.

Dashka Slater
In this nonfiction story, two teens (Sasha and Richard) on a school bus in Oakland, California became involved in an "accident" that ended up with severe consequences. 

6. Educated by Tara Westover
This inspirational autobiography follows the story of Tara Westover who lived in the mountains of Idaho, forbidden to go to school. Against her parent's wishes, she teaches herself to read and write, eventually earning a PhD at Cambridge University.

7. Dreadnought by April Daniels
After the superhero Dreadnought dies, his powers are passed down to Danny. Finally feeling like herself, she must learn to master her powers and defeat an evil cyborg.

8. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
The only home Carey and her little sister Jenessa have ever known is a cabin deep in the forest with their mother, who one day disappears. The girls soon are swept up in Child Protective Services and start a new life; but their past threatens to never let them go.

9. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Just a year after 9/11, Shirin is constantly stereotyped and bullied for being a Muslim.

10. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
High school senior Emoni Santiago has a passion for cooking and becoming a real chef one day, but her dreams are crushed when she gives birth to her daughter.

What are you excited to read this spring?

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June is a YA fantasy book. Sisters April, May, and June rediscover their magical powers. April can see the future. May can turn invisible, and June can read minds. When April foresees a tragic accident, the girls must work together to prevent it.

I loved how realistic the characters felt and how wild their emotions were. The dialogue was rich in a lack of vocal self-control, which I thought was ironic given the situation at hand. I enjoyed how the characters felt real even though their powers weren’t. I also loved the suspense and the race against the clock. April had so much pressure on her shoulders. I didn't expect the ending at all, which left a very philosophical question at the end.

A complaint of mine is that the girl's powers were simply stated, but not explained. They have magical powers, but why? How? Where did they come from? I loved the story, however I was left with many unanswered questions. In addition, I thought there wasn't enough difference in the personalities of the three sisters, as the pages and pages of dialogue felt very similar to each other. I was also looking for a "superhero" vibe that I did not receive. But all in all, I still enjoyed the book very much.

I recommend this book! I am excited to try another book from the author, though, Audrey, Wait!

Title: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 281
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Monday, March 4, 2019

Eternal Love (Eternal Book 2) by Karimah Colden

35215378Eternal Love is the second book in the YA fantasy trilogy Eternal. This book was sent to me by the author. As Reign La’Roche continues to train in her abilities and learn more about her ancient bloodline of undiscovered power, Nicola and Donovan heighten their pursuit of her. She will have to rely on old and new friends to get her through these next few months of both love and anguish.

Similar to the first book in the series, Eternal Soul, the imagery was breathtaking. I also loved the flow and grace of the writing. It was really cool to have Latin, French, and English all the same book. It was surprisingly not confusing at all! I was impressed of how Eternal Love was in sync completely with the previous book.

The drama in Reign's personal life starts to take a toll on her abilities, and I loved watching her battle her internal fears of how nobody would understand her. The entrance of Detective Dominic Amoureux added a fascinating twist to the plotline beyond just another love interest as he holds secrets of his own that intertwine with Reign's. Thus, entering a whole new plotline of mystery.

Her desire to protect the ones she loves is powerful, and as Reign comes to deal with new emotions, it was exciting to watch her figure out how to not let her emotions control her, but rather aid her powers. As she gained more control over her powers, her confidence grew, and with every slip, it fell again. I loved watching her battle real life verses her visions. In Eternal Love when the pressure is heavily rested on her shoulders, I appreciated the importance of her friends to hold her up.

I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read the final book in this trilogy, Eternal Vengeance! 

Click here to read my review of the first book in this series, Eternal Soul.

Title: Eternal Love
Author: Karimah Colden
Publisher: Karimah Colden (self-published)
Pages: 292 pages
Series: Yes, Book 2
Rating: 5 Stars
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