Review | Rules of Seduction by Jenna Mullins

(NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, as part of PLL’s Teen Trendsetter Program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)

Reviewer: Christina
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: The Studio, a Paper Lantern Lit Imprint
Age Group: YA / NA (Characters are NA age but the entire book reads like YA)
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Pages: ??? (around 300 in my copy)
Format/Source: eARC, Received from publisher via Netgalley for PLL’s Trendsetter Program (Thanks, PLL!)
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Rating: 3/5 Stars

The first rule of seduction is: don’t fall in love.

Fresh out of college, Dani Young heads for the LA sun to chase her dream of becoming a screenwriter-director. So when her former BFF turned actress Elise offers Dani the opportunity to work on the hit teen show Vamp Camp, Dani can’t refuse, even if it comes at a price: Elise wants Dani to seduce her boyfriend, Vamp Camp superstar Tate Lawrence. Turns out Elise has some major trust issues, and needs Dani to test Tate’s faith. The only rule: don’t fall in love with him.

Sure, Dani doesn’t mind occasionally glimpsing Tate’s megawatt smile…or accidentally-on-purpose brushing up against his perfect torso…but she’s no fool. There’s no way she’d ever fall for a shallow celebrity and no way one would fall for her, a lanky movie nerd.

But amidst vampire-crazed fans, a conniving fellow intern, and a devilishly handsome showrunner, Dani feels like all the rules she used to know have disappeared, except for one: Love doesn’t play by the rules.

A fun read that ultimately had too many flaws to really sit well with me.

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Review | The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy, #2)

(NOTE: Since The Winner’s Crime is the second in a series, this review will probably contain spoilers for the first book. Proceed at your own risk! Or, y’know, read Alyssa’s review of The Winner’s Curse here.)

Reviewer: Christina
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Age Group: YA
Genres: Fantasy, romance
Pages: 402 (hardcover)
Format/Source: Hardcover, Borrowed from library
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | or look for it at your local indie!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

A brilliantly plotted, complex, heartbreaking sequel that absolutely laid waste to my poor fragile fangirl heart.

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Review | A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR, #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (book review)

Rating: didn’t live up to the hype — 2.5/5

Reviewer: Alyssa
Release Date: May 5th, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Age Group: New Adult (suitable for mature YA audiences)
Genres: Fantasy, fairytale retelling (Beauty and the Beast)
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Format/Source: Paperback, purchased
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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Joint Review | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

For our first joint review, Alyssa and Christina have teamed up to talk about A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which was essentially one of the most perfect books either of us has had the privilege of reading.

Reviewers: Christina & Alyssa
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Age Group: Adult
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400 (hardcover)
Format/Source: Paperback, Birthday gift from self (what?) / Hardcover, Borrowed from library
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | or look for it at your local indie!

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

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Review | Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Seraphina, #2)

(NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)

Reviewer: Christina
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Age Group: YA
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 427 (eARC)
Format/Source: eARC, Received from publisher via Netgalley (Thanks, Random House!)
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | or look for it at your local indie!

Rating: A smashing conclusion to one of the most original and wonderfully executed fantasies I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading 5/5 Stars

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?

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Review | Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Reviewer: Christina
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: YA
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304 (hardcover)
Format/Source: Hardcover, Borrowed from library
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | or look for it at your local indie!

Rating: For its beauty and complexity 4/5 Stars

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

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Review | Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

(NOTE: I’ll try my hardest to keep this review spoiler-free, but please go in knowing I may accidentally drop some spoilers of the previous Lunar Chronicles books—CinderScarlet, and Cress.)

Reviewer: Christina
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age Group: YA
Genres: Science fiction, fairy tale retelling
Pages: 222 (hardcover)
Format/Source: Hardcover, Borrowed from library
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | or look for it at your local indie!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

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