Review: Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined

Review: Everything Beautiful is Not RuinedTitle: Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined
Author: Danielle Young-Ullman
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21, 2017

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Wild meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a girl who must survive an extreme wilderness experience to prove to her mother that she has the strength to pursue her dreams.

Then
Ingrid traveled all over Europe with her opera star mother, Margot-Sophia. Life was beautiful and bright, and every day soared with music.

Now
Ingrid is on a summertime wilderness survival trek for at-risk teens: addicts, runaways, and her. She’s fighting to survive crushing humiliations, physical challenges that push her to her limits, and mind games that threaten to break her.

Then
When the curtain fell on Margot-Sophia’s singing career, they buried the past and settled into a small, painfully normal life. But Ingrid longed to let the music soar again. She wanted it so much that, for a while, nothing else mattered.

Now
Ingrid is never going to make it through this summer if she can’t figure out why she’s here . . . and why the music really stopped.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined by Danielle Young-Ullman is a book about a camping trip. It also has some backstory woven in throughout the story. The supporting characters are all so developed and have such complex stories. The main character is also smart, strong, and musically talented. This book does not disappoint. Continue reading

Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Review: Blackhearts by Nicole CastromanTitle: Blackhearts
Author: Nicole Castroman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 9, 2016

five-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Blackhearts

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman is as incredible as its cover! It is definitely the kind of book that can be read in a single sitting.This is a captivating Blackbeard origin story with a perfect, shy maid as one of the main characters. While the ending is not one that readers will be satisfied with, this novel is a must-read for 2016. Continue reading

Review: Instructions for the End of the World

Review: Instructions for the End of the WorldTitle: Instructions for the End of the World
Author: Jamie Kain
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 8, 2015

three-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man—except for the one that struck.

When Nicole Reed’s father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, her life is completely turned upside down.

It’s not that Nicole isn’t tough. She’s learned how to hunt, and she knows how to build things—she’s been preparing for the worst-case scenario for what seems like forever.

But when she and her sister, Izzy, are left alone in this remote landscape to fend for themselves, her skills are put to the ultimate test. She’s fine for a while, but then food begins to run out, the pipes begin to crack, and forest fires start to inch closer every day.

When Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help, Nicole feels conflicted. She can take care of herself. But things have begun to get desperate, and there’s something about this boy she can’t shake.

As feelings develop between these two—feelings Nicole knows her father would never allow once he returns—she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow’s disasters, or will she take a chance and start living for today?

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Instructions for the End of the World

Sometimes when I read a synopsis for a book or even find the cover to be appealing, I am immediately drawn in. Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain certainly has a fantastic sounding synopsis and the cover is quite stunning. Sadly, the plot of this book took forever to move forward, which I didn’t appreciate. I did enjoy the forest setting, though, which was probably why I continued reading. However, this book is overly unrealistic and hard to believe, which really affected my enjoyment of the novel. Continue reading

Review: Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Review: Never Never by Brianna ShrumTitle: Never Never
Author: Brianna R. Shrum
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: September 22, 2015

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child - at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children's dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn't about Peter Pan; it's about the boy whose life he stole. It's about a man in a world that hates men. It's about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

Looking for the ultimate pirate book this season? Never Never by Brianna Shrum is an action-packed prequel to the classic tale, Peter Pan. This unique adventure story includes a fast-paced plot, a beautiful setting, and a likeable side character. Continue reading

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Review: Vengeance Road by Erin BowmanTitle: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, eighteen year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers--and justice. In the spirit of "True Grit"," "acclaimed young adult novelist Erin Bowman brings to life the unpredictable and cutthroat days of the Wild West. 

Amazon “Book

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Vengeance Road

Saddle up, pardner, and get ready for one of the most memorable books you will ever read. Vengeance Road is a wonderful western with a main character that is brave and desperate for vengeance and a theme that is fairly common, but with a western twist. This is the perfect book to introduce you to the western genre. Continue reading