Monthly Archives: April 2017

Piper Perish

Piper Perish Book Cover Piper Perish
Kayla Cagan
Young Adult Fiction
Chronicle Books
March 7, 2017

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper's dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she's never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper's sister's tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper's art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much? Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this dynamic, utterly authentic work featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul. Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What is home? And who is a person when she's missing any one of these things?



“Piper Perish” is the perfect book for the kids who are creative and ponder life’s big questions.  It’s also great for the adults who once were those kids and probably are still the same as adults.  I really wish there would have been a book like this when I was in middle and high school.  Highly recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Alice and the Fly

Alice and the Fly Book Cover Alice and the Fly
James Rice
Juvenile Fiction
April 4, 2017

Greg is cripplingly shy, afraid of spiders, and obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany's. He's not exactly the most popular kid at his high school. In fact, he pretty much goes out of his way to avoid talking to anybody he doesn't have to. And it doesn't help that he has a severe lisp. But Greg's English teacher, Miss Hayes, can see that there's something different about him. He's insightful and sensitive beyond his years, and maybe--just maybe--he'll use these strengths to break out of his shell someday. Miss Hayes urges Greg to keep a journal. "This isn't an assignment," she tells him, "just write down your thoughts." Greg begins to write about everything from his mother's ill-conceived interior decorating ideas to his job at the local butcher's shop. When Greg begins to take an interest in a girl at his school named Alice, he realizes that he will have to face his most paralyzing anxieties if he wants to befriend Alice and help her escape from her violent family life.



I’m not really sure how to review “Alice and the Fly.”  It wasn’t a bad characterization of mental illness, though it did lack any real answers for the reader.  I feel like I just didn’t connect to the main character the way I wish I could.  Overall, I can neither recommend nor not recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Broken Glass (The Mirror Sisters, #2)

Broken Glass Book Cover Broken Glass
The Mirror Sisters, Book 2
V.C. Andrews
Simon and Schuster
February 28, 2017

Sisters until the end...

Which may come sooner than they think.

Under their mother’s watchful eye, identical twins Haylee and Kaylee Fitzgerald have lived their entire lives in sync. Never alone, never apart, everything about them must be exactly the same: clothes, friends, punishments.

One night, in the darkness of a movie theater, Haylee reveals that she’s leaving to meet up with someone she knows from online. But suddenly feeling ill, and not wanting to disappoint this older man, she convinces Kaylee to go in her stead. He’ll never know, and this way he won’t think she stood him up.

Kaylee reluctantly agrees to go, but when the credits roll and she’s nowhere to be found, Haylee confesses everything to her mom. With the manhunt on, Haylee knows everything must be done to find her sister. Still, for the first time in her life, she’s free from her twin, which, really, isn’t so it?



What can I say about “Broken Glass?”  I feel like this can sum it up for all fans of V.C. Andrews books: It is exactly what you want and expect to find in one of them, meaning creepy and a guilty pleasure. It’s a fun story that continues the story of Haylee and Kaylee, two of the world’s creepiest twins.  A perfect beach read.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Redux (Tricksters #2)

Redux Book Cover Redux
Tricksters, Book 2
A.L. Davroe
Juvenile Fiction
Entangled: Teen
March 21, 2017

The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city. To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created. But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis. But then Ella learns a secret...and it changes everything. Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered. Or die trying.



The second book in the Tricksters series, “Redux”, left me feeling somewhat let down.

The plot is fun and kept my attention, but there were large info dumps throughout that could be quite confusing.  I understand that the characters were not aware of the situations, so it was like they were finding everything out all at once, but for the ease of the reader it could have been handled better.

“Redux” is still a good escape type of book, and I encourage those who enjoyed “Nexis” to continue with the series.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion Book Cover Blood Rose Rebellion
Blood Rose Rebellion, Book 1
Rosalyn Eves
Young Adult Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
March 28, 2017

In this first book in a fantasy trilogy, social prestige is derived from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic. However, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place. Sent from England to her family's once powerful but now oppressed native Hungary, Anna Arden finds herself in the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani. She must choose to either deny her unique power and cling to the life she's always wanted, or embrace her gift, spark a rebellion, and change the world forever.



I’m going to keep the main review of “Blood Rose Rebellion” short, because there are some other issues I’ve seen mentioned that I feel it’s important to give my opinions on.

This book has complex world-building, a fun romance, and quite a bit of action.  It’s an enjoyable read for those who like historical fantasy.  The characters are developed to a certain degree, with some mystery being left for the next book in the series.  If you like those things, this book is worth a read.

Now for the heavy stuff.  I’ve seen some complaints about there being racism in the book.  Some people have not finished it.  Yes, the word gypsy is used quite a bit.  That’s because the story is set in mid-1800s Hungary.  As the main character gets to know them, her opinions change and that is reflected in her attitude.  In fact, the author introduces the term Romani at that point, even though historically it wasn’t in use at the time.  There’s an entire section at the end written by the author about the treatment of the Romani during the time, along with a bibliography for more information.

What I’m saying is please don’t let accusations of racism scare you away from “Blood Rose Rebellion.”  Ignoring the harsh realities of history is a disservice to everyone, and I applaud the author for being brave enough to tackle it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Racist Speech and Actions

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life Book Cover The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
Benjamin Alire Saenz
Young Adult Fiction
Clarion Books
March 7, 2017

"A story set on the American border with Mexico, about family and friendship, life and death, and one teen struggling to understand what his adoption does and doesn't mean about who he is"--



“The Inexplicable Logic of My Life” is a book I had mixed feelings about, but in the end I found it well worth the time to read.

The plot is meandering, and while that can be a good thing, in this instance I wish about a quarter of the length had been shaved off.  The repetitiveness sometimes took me out of the story.  The plot itself is a good one about the nature of friendship and family instead of romance.  That’s refreshing to find in a young adult book.  Extra points for being a diverse book with both lgbtq and Mexican-American characters.

The flaws in the length of the story were more than made up for in the absolutely stunning writing.  Every chapter contained at least one beautiful sentence.  It felt like candy in the brain.  The characters, because of the writing style, seemed to jump off of the page and into my life.  They will undoubtedly live on inside of my mind, and I’ve already found myself repeating quotes.

Overall, I can definitely recommend “The Inexplicable Logic of My Life” to any older young adults and adults who are looking for beauty over a fast-paced plot.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

Language, Violence, Hate Speech