Review: The Winner’s Curse – I asked for politics, not pretty dresses!

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy, #1) by Marie Rutkoski
Publication date: March 4, 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Genres: Fantasy | Romance | Young Adult
Pages: 355
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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Review: Illuminae – one of the dullest books I’ve ever read

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publication date: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Romance | Science Fiction | Young Adult
Pages: 599
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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Review: Anna and the French Kiss – one of the most ignorant and immature books I’ve ever read

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publication date: December 2nd, 2010 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary | Romance | Young Adult
Pages: 372
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

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Review: How To Be A Grown-Up

How To Be A Grown-Up by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Publication date: July 28, 2015 by Atria Books
Genres: Adult l Contemporary l Romance
Pages: 256
Links to: Amazon l Goodreads

Rory McGovern is entering the ostensible prime of her life when her husband, Blake, loses his dream job and announces he feels like taking a break from being a husband and father. Rory was already spread thin and now, without warning, she is single-parenting two kids, juggling their science projects, flu season, and pajama days, while coming to terms with her disintegrating marriage. And without Blake, her only hope is to accept a full-time position working for two full-time twenty-somethings.

A day out of b-school, these girls think they know it all and have been given the millions from venture capitalists to back up their delusion that the future of digital media is a high-end lifestyle site for kids! (Not that anyone who works there has any, or knows the first thing about actual children.) Can Rory learn to decipher her bosses lingo, texts that read like license plates, and arbitrary mandates? And is there any hope of saving her marriage? With her family hanging by a thread, Rory must adapt to this hyper-digitized, over-glamorized, narcissistic world of millennials whatever it takes.

Since their diabolically funny (The New York Times, on The Nanny Diaries) debut, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have proven their ability to illuminate provocative issues with wry wit and heartfelt emotion. How to Be a Grown-up is an entertaining and insightful story sure to resonate with all those readers who first fell in love with The Nanny Diaries.

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Review: 21 Stolen Kisses

21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely
Publication date: May 26, 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
Genres: ContemporaryNew Adult l Romance
Pages: 251
Links to: Amazon l Goodreads

When I first met him I resisted.
Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass.
That was a lie. It never faded.

And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard.

There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us. Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword. Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love — the big, intense, never-been-like-this-before love — landed me in therapy. Now I’m heading to college, and it’s time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he’s still in my life Because the one man I’ve always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can’t have…And he wants me just as fiercely.

Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?

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Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures photo 15789462_zpspz1y967d.jpgBeautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publication date: November 20, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 2009)
Genres: ParanormalRomanceYoung Adult
Pages: 563
Links to: Amazon  | Goodreads

Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.

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Review: House Trained

House Trained by Jackie Bouchard
Publication date: October 20, 2015 by Lake Union Publishing
Genres: Adult | Romance
Pages: 301
Links to: Amazon | Goodreads

Alex Halstad, a childless-by-choice interior designer and dog mom, is a true perfectionist. But her orderly life turns chaotic when the teenage daughter her husband, Barry, never knew he had shows up on their doorstep…with a baby girl of her own in tow. While Alex’s dog enthusiastically welcomes the new arrivals, Alex struggles with the loss of her steady routine. She desperately needs peace and quiet to get her business back on track before Barry finds out she’s spent most of their savings. Meanwhile, the arrival of the girls stirs up old insecurities, and Alex can’t help but worry that Barry’s ex will make an entrance too. With her tidy life a distant memory, will Alex be able to learn from her dog the true meaning of love and acceptance?

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