THE BLACKTHORN KEY | THE BLACKTHORN KEY #1

25995832The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Published by Puffin
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA, Adventure
For Fans of: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Lockwood & Co, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (yes. This one specifically)
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

London, 1665. Fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe is apprenticed to master apothecary Benedict Blackthorn. In Blackthorn’s shop, Christopher learns the delicate secrets of transforming simple ingredients into powerful medicines, potions and weapons. His beloved master guides him with a firm, steady hand—instilling in him the confidence and independence that prove increasingly vital as Christopher learns of a mysterious cult preying on the most learned men in London. The murders are growing closer and closer to home and soon Christopher is torn from the shop with only a page of cryptic clues from his master and the unambiguous warning—‘Tell no one.’

Helped by his best friend, Tom, Christopher must decipher his master’s clues, following a trail of deceit towards an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.


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THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME – MARK HADDON

41bz6juMwiL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Curious incident of the dog in the nighttime by Mark Haddon
Audio book Option: Presented by Recorded Books, an Unabridged Reading Narrated by Jeff Woodman
Publisher: Vintage Contemporaries
Ratings: 3.5/5
Genre: Fiction, YA, Classic
Post Book Thoughts: Well that was strangely frustrating and fun at the same time

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for a fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbour’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened.
Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.


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MISSING – KELLEY ARMSTRONG

25487124Missing by Kelley Armstrong
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary
For Fans of: Kelley Armstrong, the Taken movies, predictable quick-read mystery novels
My rating: 2 stars out of 5

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?


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DIRT – DAVID VANN

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetDirt by David Vann
Published by Windmill Books
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Contemporary
Rating: 2/5
Post book thoughts:  I need a shower, and alcohol and an antidepressant and some form of brain bleach thank you. Yes I would like fries with that too.

Twenty-two-year-old Galen is a New Age believer on a warpath towards transcendence. He lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded house, surviving on old family money that his Aunt Helen and cousin Jennifer are determined to get their hands on. Galen doesn’t know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother is losing her memory. When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, tensions crescendo. Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain what it is he craves.


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THE GRAVEYARD BOOK – NEIL GAIMAN

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Chris Riddell (This piece of information is so very important because he’s only like one of the greatest illustrators out there)
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, London, Oxford, New York, New Delhi and Sydney
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Children’s literature, Paranormal
Rating: Am I allowed to go above 5 stars here?!
Post Book Thoughts: I currently cannot think of a thought worthy of this book so leave me alone.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

A deliciously dark masterwork by bestselling author Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by award-winning Chris Riddell.


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IDA – ALISON EVANS

30720860Ida by Alison Evans
Published by: Bonnier Publishing Australia
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
For fans of: wonderfully diverse books, time travel, alternate universes!
My rating: 2 stars out of 5

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?


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THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE | THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE #1

25489134

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA
For Fans of:  Uprooted, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Cruel Beauty
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


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SCRAPPY LITTLE NOBODY – ANNA KENDRICK

29868610Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Published by Touchstone
Genres: Memoir, Humor, Nonfiction, Autobiography
For fans of: Anna Kendrick (duh), dry, witty, deadpan-ish humor that some people just won’t get.
My rating:  4 stars out of 5

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).


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DARKNESS FOLLOWS | THE BROKEN TRILOGY #2

30090076Darkness Follows by L. A. Weatherly
Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Genres: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
For Fans of: Legend, Divergent, Shatter Me
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Welcome to a ‘perfect’ world. Where war is illegal, where harmony rules. And where your date of birth marks your destiny. But nothing is perfect. And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust? Set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America, the BROKEN trilogy is an exhilarating epic of deception, heartbreak and rebellion.

Welcome to Harmony 5: a secure prison camp where the rebellious and the Discordant are broken. Amity is their newest inmate. The rules are simple here: obedience or death. Anyone caught trying to escape is executed. But former Peacefighter, Ingo, is prepared to risk everything for freedom. And in a world this dark, what has Amity got to lose?

The second in a brand-new YA trilogy with an exhilarating mix of irresistible romance, breath-taking action and thrilling mystery. Effortlessly fuses the old-style glamour of 1940s America with the corrupt menace of a futuristic world in a hugely original twist on the steampunk genre – Blitzpunk. Darkness Follows is a chilling and compelling journey of revenge, survival and love.


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SO YOU’VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED – JON RONSON

22571552So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Published by Riverhead Books
Genre: Nonfiction, Psychology, Sociology
For Fans of:
My Rating:

For the past three years, Jon Ronson has traveled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us, people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly or made a mistake at work. Once the transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know, they’re being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.

A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice, but what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people’s faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.

Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws and the very scary part we all play in it.


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