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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo {4 Stars}

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo {4 Stars}

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Sept. 27th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 536 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

4 Stars

All right, so I have a problem. During November of last year I took a break from blogging to win NanoWrimo. But of course I was still reading! I’ve been debating what to do with the notes that I took after finishing each book. I had a plan to write out a full review of them based on the notes, but three months later and I have to admit that that is just not likely to happen. I still want to talk about the books with you though! So here is a barebones, just-my-notes chat about Crooked Kingdom!

Strengths:
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Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter … or four. Check out the announcement post for more information.

This whimsical fantasy hits just the right notes as a light-hearted fantasy adventure suitable for middle-graders to read as they curl up with a cup of hot chocolate on some of these dark, winter nights.

Note: I received an advanced copy of ENTER A GLOSSY WEB from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush {Just Hatched}

Enter a Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Twelve-year-old George has no idea what to expect when she’s sent to stay with eccentric relatives following the disappearance of her brother. Soon after her arrival, she learns that Uncle Constantine has been kidnapped. George sets off to recover him and is joined by two orphaned boys along the way and Cavendish, a talking map. Together they visit magical worlds full of monsters, witches, and dragons as they attempt to find Constantine--the Timekeeper--a man of great significance. If he’s not rescued, events will cease to happen at their designated times, disrupting the unfolding of the universe. Can this ragtag crew save the future before being outwitted by evil captors?

3 Stars

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The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

The Left-Handed Fate blends historical fiction with a touch of middle-grade adventure fantasy.  The protagonists are all tweens and teens who step into adult roles alongside older family members during the war of 1812.  As people on both sides of the British-American and British-French conflicts strive to find the pieces of a mysterious magical object that will end the war, loyalties and friendships are challenged.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE LEFT-HANDED FATE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford {Just Hatched}

The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on August 23, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, MG
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell Ault are on a mission: find the three pieces of a strange and arcane engine. They're not exactlysure what this machine does, but they have it on good authority that it will stop the war that's raging between their home country of England and Napoleon Bonaparte's France. Despite being followed by mysterious men dressed all in black, they're well on their way to finding everything they need when their ship, the famous Left-Handed Fate, is taken by the Americans.

And not just any Americans. The Fate (and with it, Lucy and Max) are put under the command of Oliver Dexter, who's only just turned twelve.

But Lucy and Max aren't the only ones trying to put the engine together, and if the pieces fall into the wrong hands, it could prove disastrous. Oliver is faced with a choice: help Lucy and Max and become a traitor to his country? Or follow orders and risk endangering that same country and many others at the same time--not to mention his friends?

3 Stars

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The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers ARC {4.5 Stars}

The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers clearly promises a silly and fun middle grade adventure from that cover. I was impressed, however, with how compelling this fantasy story ended up being beyond just a light read. You will never look at penguins the same way again.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Voyage to Magical North from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers ARC {4.5 Stars}

The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 5th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter.

When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship theOnion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don't even think it exists. If Brine is lucky, she may find out who her parents are. And if she's unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks ARC {4 Stars}

AWWT_blogtour (1)

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks is the second in an adorable middle grade series about the world writers escape to for inspiration for their books and a young girl just learning how to be a writer. I adored Finding Serendipity, and am happy to report this sequel goes back to the fun parts of the first book while greatly adding to the world and plot. This is definitely a must-read series for middle grade fantasy fans!

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Week Without Tuesday from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks ARC {4 Stars}

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks, Stevie Lewis (Tuesday McGillycuddy #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 384 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they'll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn't know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ARC {4.5 Stars}

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is the first in her new series set in the same world as her Grisha trilogy. There has been a lot of anticipation and hype for Six of Crows and I can happily say that it lives up to expectations and more. I can really see how Bardugo has developed as a writer and absolutely love how she is building her world and giving us a whole lot more characters to fall deeply in love with.

Note: I borrowed an advanced copy of Six of Crows. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ARC {4.5 Stars}

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (The Dregs #1)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Sept. 29th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC {3 Stars}

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson is the second book in the Remnant Chronicles and the sequel to The Kiss of Deception. There are some big surprises in The Kiss of Deception, so I recommend you check out my review of book one if you haven’t read it yet! The Heart of Betrayal continues the story pretty much exactly where The Kiss of Deception leaves off, with Lia and Rafe captive in Venda and trying to stay alive. I like pieces of The Heart of Betrayal quite a lot, but the emphasis ended up being on the pieces I didn’t enjoy, making this a sequel that couldn’t live up to book one for me.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Heart of Betrayal from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC {3 Stars}

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 470 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

3 Stars

Strengths:
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Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye eARC {2 Stars}

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye is a middle grade tale of two trouble makers dropped off at a very strange and mysterious boarding school. I had high hopes for Witherwood Reform School, but ended up disappointed by the complete lack of an ending or any answers and annoyed with the pretty bratty main characters. The illustrations are gorgeous though!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Witherwood Reform School from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye eARC {2 Stars}

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye (Witherwood Reform School #1)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on March 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Purchases made support this blog

After a slight misunderstanding involving a horrible governess, oatmeal, and a jar of tadpoles, siblings Tobias and Charlotte Eggars find themselves abandoned by their father at the gates of a creepy reform school. Evil mysteries are afoot at Witherwood, where the grounds are patrolled by vicious creatures after dark and kids are locked in their rooms. Charlotte and Tobias soon realize that they are in terrible danger--especially because the head of Witherwood has perfected the art of mind control.

If only their amnesiac father would recover and remember that he has two missing children. If only Tobias and Charlotte could solve the dark mystery and free the kids at Witherwood--and ultimately save themselves.

2 Stars

Strengths:
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NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson ARC {4 Stars}

NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson is the sequel to NIL, but features a different couple and is quite easy to jump into with having read the previous book. You don’t even really need to worry about spoilers below since the two books are nearly companion novels. If, like me, you weren’t 100% on board with the romantic focus and lack of island-reveals of the first book, you should definitely consider giving NIL Unlocked a try because it was everything that I wanted the first book to be (ie YA Lost!).

Note: I received an advanced copy of NIL Unlocked from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson ARC {4 Stars}

NIL Unlocked by Lynne Matson (Nil #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on May 12th, 2015
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 432 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

4 Stars

Strengths:
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Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks ARC {5 Stars}

Finding Serendipity by Angelic Banks is a charming middle grade story of a girl discovering the true magic of words in the world created by her mother’s fantasy series! Finding Serendipity has everything that I love in a middle grade: writing that will appeal to both younger and more “mature” children (hehe), whimsy, illustrations, and a unique idea with a strong heroine to adventure with! Apparently Angelica Banks is actual a pseudonym for two writers from Tasmania who decided to give children’s books a try and I’m so thrilled that they did :D. (Just so you know, Finding Serendipity was the book I read while I was sitting around in the hospital, so my experience was probably a bit influenced by that ;-).)

Note: I received an advanced copy of Finding Serendipity from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks ARC {5 Stars}

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on Feb 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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