A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

A Guy, a Girl, and a Teen Book Blog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick

Title: Tsarina
Author: J. Nelle Patrick
Pages: 352
Publisher: Razorbill
ISBN: 9781595146939
Publication Date: February 27, 2014
AR Levels: TBD
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18079793-tsarina

In a nutshell: Amid the stirrings of the Bolshevik Revolution, Natalya is falling in love with Tsarevich Alexei Romanov, and he entrusts her with his family's biggest secret, a Faberge egg that protects the royal family. Will it be enough to save their way of life, their future together, and their lives? The fate of her country rests in Natalya's hands, and she can't trust anyone.

I'd recommend it to grades: 8 and up (for mild language and mostly off-screen violence)

I'd recommend it to: fans of the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

What I liked most about this book: This beautifully descriptive historical fantasy captures this period in history like I've never read before. I felt completely transported to Russia in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution. The ending left a bit to be desired, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. What an adventure! And I absolutely want to go to Russia even more now!

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): The book opens with a gorgeous description of a ball at the Winter Palace. It hooked me instantly; I could hear the music and see the sparkling jewels and shiny dresses. It was magical.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 4 stars

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy

Title: The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw
Author: Christopher Healy
Pages: 528
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
ISBN: 9780062118486
Publication Date: April 29, 2014*
AR Levels: TBD
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18635036-the-hero-s-guide-to-being-an-outlaw

In a nutshell: All is not well in the Thirteen Kingdoms, and things are not so great for the League of Princes either. Wrongfully accused of murdering Princess Briar Rose, Liam, Gustav, Frederic, and Duncan are on the run from the law in this third and final League of Princes book. In addition to trying to prove their innocence, the Princes must once again save their kingdoms from a nefarious plot with the help of a few new (and hilarious) characters too!

I'd recommend it to grades: 3 to 7

I'd recommend it to: fans of the first two books (obviously) and kids who like a dash of slapstick with their sword fighting

What I liked most about this book: I don't think it's much of a spoiler to tell you that there are PIRATES in this one considering what's on the cover, but yes...PIRATES! The Princes are back and better than ever, and their lady friends share a considerable amount of the spotlight too! There's something to delight guys and gals alike in this conclusion, and it's still perfect for a middle school read-aloud.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): This might be a tad bit spoiler-y, but I'll tell you that there's a new female character we meet in prison. Her name? Val Jeanval. Her crime? Stealing a loaf of bread. ;) #LesMis

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 swashbuckling stars!

*I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Unbound
Author: Victoria Schwab
Pages: 368
Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423178200
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
AR Levels: Book Level - 5.2, Interest Level - 9th-12, Points: 15.0
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13638131-the-unbound

In a nutshell: In this sequel to The Archived, Mackenzie Bishop is still coping with the aftereffects of what happened on the roof of the Coronado and struggling to find normalcy as she begins her junior year at Hyde School, a fancy private school where she just wants to keep a low profile and move on with her life and her job as a Keeper. But when people around her start disappearing and she continues to have all-too-realistic nightmares about Owen, the History who almost ended her life and Wesley's, Mackenzie must solve the mystery before everything around her begins to go to pieces, and she'll have to question everything she trusts about the Archive in order to do so.

I'd recommend it to grades: 9 and up (for violence and mild language)

I'd recommend it to: fans of the Beautiful Creatures series and anyone who loves a good mystery

What I like most about this book: I fell in love with the world of this book series when I read The Archived, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. It DID NOT disappoint. Wow. I'm still amazed by the sheer creativity and uniqueness of the concept of this series, and this second book delves deeper into the characters' emotions and motivations while still maintaining page-turning suspense in every chapter. Plus, there's a healthy dose of will-they-won't-they between Wesley and Mackenzie. Their chemistry is undeniable and age-appropriate. The author has said she plans to write a third novel, but there's no official publication date or any other information, and with the bomb she dropped at the end of this one, I sure hope we'll hear something more definite soon because I am so not ready to leave this series behind.

Single favorite moment (without getting spoiler-y): All the parts with Wesley Ayers. All. Of. Them. ;) Add him to my very long list of book boyfriends.

Star rating (where 5 stars is awesome and 0 stars is atrocious): 5 stars