THE HELP By Kathryn Stockett

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE HELP By Kathryn StockettThe Help by Kathryn Stockett
Published by Berkley on 4/5/11
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 544
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyAli

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town..

Dear Friend,

Recently, I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I absolutely loved it! Why I didn’t read it sooner, I don’t know.

I picked up the book because its been my sister, Dani’s, favorite read of all time for a while now. It even holds a prominent place on her bookshelf.

I’ve seen the movie a while ago and thought it was very good. It never crossed my mind to read the book, though. Yet I’m so glad I did.

Seeing the movie beforehand didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. Even though the characters were described differently than their movie counterparts, I still saw them as the actors who portrayed them.

You won’t be surprised, of course when I tell you that the book is so much better than the movie! It’s richly detailed and you grow to know Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minny on a deeper level. This story is rich with emotion, history, and relationships. The relationship between the main characters themselves, their families and friends, between blacks and whites, and maids and their employers.

After all I’ve said so far, you must know that I think you read this now. And if you’re like me, always looking for romance in what you read, you won’t be disappointed by miss Celia and Johnny.

I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Until next read 😉

Your Friend and fellow book-nerd,

Ali.

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THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED By Page Morgan

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED By Page MorganThe Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
Series: The Dispossessed #1
Published by Delacorte Press on 5/14/13
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties for Ingrid, and, disturbingly, the house her twin brother, Grayson, was sent ahead to secure for the family isn't a house at all. It's an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson is missing.
Yet no one seems worried about his whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn't dead--she can feel it deep in her soul--but she knows he's in grave danger, and that it's up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost.
The path to Grayson will be twisted, leading Ingrid to discover dark secrets and otherworldly truths that, once uncovered, can never again be buried.

Short and Sweet

After a weird accident Ingrid Waverly, her mother, and younger sister leave London and move to Paris. When they arrive they discover that Grayson, Ingrid’s twin brother who was to have arrived earlier has gone missing. Ingrid and Gabby vow to find their brother before its too late.

Characters

Ingrid: Our main character who discovers that her brother is missing and that there may be more to the accident that happened in London than she thought. Ingrid was a good main character she cared about those closest to her. The things she learns about in Paris are interesting it makes her think about things from all angles.

Gabby: Gabby is Ingrid and Grayson’s younger sister. Gabby as the younger sibling is impulsive, but she does mean well.

Romance

Ingrid and Luc: I loved these two Luc clearly cares a lot about Ingrid more than he has for anyone before and I think that these feelings have him confused as to why he feels this way mainly because gargoyles only protect their charges because its their job, but there’s something different about the way he feels when it comes to Ingrid.

Gabby and Nolan: I don’t know which couple I liked more Gabby and Nolan or Ingrid and Luc. There was romantic tension between Gabby and Nolan and I just wanted them to be together so bad! Nolan kept pushing Gabby away and she had feelings for him and this made me ship them.

My Thoughts

~ I’ve read a lot of paranormal books and this is the first one I’ve read that had gargoyles in it. I loved it, this book was so different and I loved the setting of 1899 Paris.

~ Each of the characters were enjoyable and I also liked their interactions with each other and how they all came together, because of Graysons disappearance.

~ The mystery surrounding Grayson’s disappearance was so intriguing to me, we do get some chapters in his point of view but we don’t know who took him and why.

~ I liked that there were two different groups the gargoyles and the alliance. They don’t like each other but they try to stay on good terms with each other in case they need each others help.

~ There’s also demons coming from the underworld trying to get to the sisters, because the same thing that took Grayson is looking for his sisters next.

~ One thing that really surprised me was when one of the characters turns out to be one we can’t trust.

Overall

This was an amazing read, I’m excited to read the sequel, which is on my shelf. The ending was great and left me wanting more and to see what these siblings will have to endure next. I think this is a great book for people who like paranormal books with a little bit of a mystery.

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THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE By Mackenzi Lee

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE By Mackenzi LeeThe Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 6/27/17
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical, LGBT, Mystery & Detective, Young Adult
Pages: 528
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi LeeSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Short and Sweet

Monty and his best friend Percy are going on a grand tour of Europe, and they plan on having the time of their lives. Even with his younger sister, Felicity coming along, Monty won’t let it ruin his fun. But things get crazy when the group encounters an ancient artifact, highwaymen, and pirates.

Characters

Henry “Monty” Montague: Our main character who grew a lot over the course of the book. Monty has the most engaging voice, he’s entertaining and sassy. He got the group into the mess they were in by trying to get even with someone. Monty had the problem of saying things without thinking and often came to regret it, but his friends called him out on it. He was a flawed character but that’s whats great about him because over the course of the book he learned from his mistakes.

Percy: Monty’s best friend and our voice of reason. Percy is also a person a color which I found interesting, because of course during the time that this book takes place it makes travel for the grand tour a bit harder because certain places won’t allow him to stay. Percy also struggles in this book because throughout the course of his friendship with Monty he has always supported him and now Percy has his own demons to fight and wonders if Monty can support him.

Felicity: Monty’s younger sister and the brains of the group. Felicity’s strength and knowledge saved the group from dangerous situations. I was rooting for her throughout the book she had goals and I felt bad that during that time girls her age didn’t have many choices.

Romance

Monty has liked Percy for a while, and thinks the grand tour will be the perfect time to express how he feels. But things don’t work well mainly because Percy seems more annoyed with Monty than smitten. It seemed like Monty always said or did the wrong thing that ended up pushing Percy away.

My Thoughts

~ This isn’t an ordinary grand tour of Europe, like it was expected to be. Mayhem begins when the group reaches their first stop in Paris. This leads them to places that are off of their original course.

~ In Paris, Monty steals an artifact that leads to the group being attacked by highwaymen, hiding in a small town, going to Barcelona, meeting pirates, and trying to find something on an island that is sinking.

~ My favorite part of the book was the whole mystery surrounding the artifact and what it does. The artifact was the whole reason the group had to go off course so I was eager to find out what it could do.

~ What I loved the most about this book was how fast paced it was. From the very beginning we embark on a journey with these characters.

~ In each city we meet different characters and all of them add to the story in their own way. My favorite characters were the pirates I loved learning more about them and their ultimate goal.

~ I felt like I was with the trio of characters and I was worried about their well-being, they were in some dangerous positions and on the run from some people who wanted them dead.

Overall

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a must read! Everything about it is amazing, the characters, the action and adventure, the diversity, and of course the romance. The ending was great and everything was wrapped up nicely. Monty, Percy, and Felicity are a set of characters I won’t forget. This is hands down one of my favorite reads of 2017, and I encourage everyone to pick it up and read it!

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THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE By Colleen Gleason

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE By Colleen GleasonThe Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes #2
Published by Chronicle Books on 10/7/14
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 360
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you're the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak.

After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa appear lunatic using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected?

As Uncle Sherlock would say, there are no coincidences. It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.

Short and Sweet Review

In The Spiritglass Charade, Mina and Evaline are asked to investigate who is trying to get a young heiress’ fortune. There’s also the mystery of a missing brother and vampires coming back to London. In this book we still have the same characters we met in the first book. This time both of the girls are eager to show that they have the skills to solve this mystery. The mystery surrounding Willa was well done, it wasn’t obvious who was trying to get her fortune. Mina was a hard character to connect to mainly because she comes across as smug  whenever she makes a deduction. I like Eva but during this book she made a lot of reckless decisions. Pix was also in this book and he’s just a big mystery. Who is he working for and what is he up to? Grayling is also back and I just love his character I want more of him he takes his job seriously and keeps Mina on her toes. I thought that Grayling’s scenes with Mina were cute I liked when they were together. The Ankh doesn’t make an appearance in this book but she was mentioned. I love mysteries and this series is great, I can’t wait to read the next book!

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THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB By Colleen Gleason

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB By Colleen GleasonThe Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes #1
Published by Chronicle Books on 9/17/13
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 356
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business.

But when you're the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there's no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: the strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high.

If Stoker and Holmes don't unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they'll become the next victims.

Short and Sweet Review

Mina Holmes is the niece of Sherlock and Evaline Stoker is the younger sister of Bram. These girls live two totally different lives, Mina has the same great observation and deduction skills that her uncle has, and Evaline has strength and quickness which helps her to fight vampires. The girls meet at the British Museum and meet Irene Adler, who informs them of a mystery. The mystery being young women who have either disappeared or have been found murdered. Both Evaline and Mina have to work together to stop the evil that is going on throughout London. These two girls did not mesh Mina thought that Evaline was impulsive and Evaline thought that Mina was a know it all. I enjoyed this book it’s so different, its a steampunk novel that takes place in London. The mystery itself kept me on my toes we get to see a bit of Egyptian mythology as well. There’s a lot of character development in this book and though we do get to meet male characters they’re not the focus of the book. I love mysteries and this one was so interesting the steampunk aspect and the two main characters. This book is worth reading!

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SILVER STARS By Michael Grant

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

SILVER STARS By Michael GrantSilver Stars by Michael Grant
Series: Soldier Girl #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 1/31/17
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 576
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

The summer of 1943, World War II. With heavy memories of combat, Frangie, Rainy, Rio and the rest of the American army are moving on to their next target: the Italian island of Sicily.

The women won’t conquer Italy alone. They are not heroes for fighting alongside their brothers—they are soldiers. But Frangie, Rainy, Rio, and the millions of brave females fighting for their country have become a symbol in the fight for equality. They will brave terrible conditions in an endless siege; they will fight to find themselves on the front lines of WWII; and they will come face-to-face with the brutality of war until they win or die.

Short and Sweet

Frangie, Rainy, and Rio are back, this statement just makes me happy. These soldiers are on to their next target, Italy, and back to the front lines to sacrifice their lives for their country.

Characters

Rainy: Is given a mission that will in the end help the US Army, which she’s all for because she follows orders, but while she’s on the mission she begins to question if she should have taken the mission in the first place.

Rio: Is on the front lines in battle and has a more prominent role in this book because she’s looked at by everyone on camp as someone who was meant to be a soldier.

Frangie: Is still a medic just trying to do her job trying to save the lives of injured G.I’s if she can and just going where she’s needed.

Romance

There’s not really that much romance in this book. Rio still has her hometown sweetheart, Strand that she talks to via letters, and they do get to meet up at one point in the book. I thought Rainy would have a romantic interest in this book, but boy was I wrong, I was really wrong. I don’t want to spoil anything… While writing this I realized that Rainy was talking to another boy and now I’m questioning myself and if they could have a romantic relationship. Halev are you the one for Rainy? Because C definitely wasn’t.

My Thoughts

~ I loved this book just as much as the first one (Front Lines).

~ Rio, had a lot more page time than the other girls which I didn’t really mind because she had more action going on in her story line.

~ Okay so Rainy has a mission that she goes on in this book which we follow her through the motions. Her story line was interesting but it gets better towards the end of the book. Rainy is intelligent and her knowledge of multiple languages is impressive. By the way after finishing the book I did some research on what Rainy would have went through and its awful.

~ Frangie, I love her so much. She’s caring and she picked a job that suits her strengths. I would say that Frangie’s story line is kind of like Rainy’s it’s interesting but gets better towards the end. I’m glad she got to meet up with a loved one to brighten her mood.

~ I will say that the war has changed these three girls. You can tell it changed Rio in the first book and you get more of that change in this book, shes a little more excited to kill than she was before she killed her first Kraut. I didn’t feel like there was much change with Frangie but she does learn a few things about her family that surprises her. Rainy didn’t have a change until the end of this book which was understandable especially with what she had to endure.

~ Rio is really the only one in this series who has a best friend with her in the war, Jenou. I like that she has a friend with her but I was upset by the strain that their friendship was going through.

~ My favorite thing about these books is when the girls meet and have interactions. It happened in Front Lines and it happened in this book too. I love how they remember each other and are friendly.

~ Michael Grant does a GREAT job writing this series. He definitely does his research and makes this series so true to the time it’s placed in. When reading this book it feels like you’re transported to the front lines with these girls and seeing what they see and feeling how they feel.

Overall

I love love love this series its one of my favorites! I want the third book now, just to see the next mission these girls will have to tackle. If you haven’t read Front Lines you should, and then pick up Silver Stars, because these books do not disappoint! I would recommend this series in a heartbeat, so if you like action and historical fiction with details that make you feel like you’re there then this series is for you!!!

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COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET By Gayle Rosengren

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET By Gayle RosengrenCold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on 8/4/15
Genres: Childrens, Historical, War, Young Adult
Pages: 192
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Joanna can’t get over how her brother broke his promise to never leave like their dad did. Sam is thousands of miles away on a navy ship, and no matter how often he sends letters, Joanna refuses to write back. When she makes a promise, she keeps it.

But then President Kennedy comes on TV with frightening news about Soviet missiles in Cuba—and that’s where Sam’s heading. Suddenly Joanna’s worries about being home alone, building up the courage to talk to a cute boy, and not being allowed to go to the first boy-girl party in her grade don’t seem so important. Maybe sometimes there are good reasons to break a promise.

The tense timeline of the Cuban missile crisis unfolds alongside a powerful, and ultimately hopeful, story about what it means to grow up in a world full of uncertainty.

Short and Sweet Review

This book is short so why not write a short and sweet review? I liked this book but it wasn’t what I thought it would be, and when I say that I mean it was more of a middle-grade book then a young adult book. Other then that I really enjoyed this book. Joanna’s brother is in the navy and Joanna feels that he broke his promise to her about not leaving her so she promised not to talk to him. As tensions with the Cuban missile crisis rise Joanna starts to worry about her brother. Joanna was a good main character she was a regular girl she went to school worried about her family and a co-ed party. I love reading historical fiction, because it gives you a feel for how things were during that time. I love how this book ended and how kind Joanna is and how she thinks of things to try to make other people comfortable during this time as well as herself. I would recommend this book, after I got over the fact that it wasn’t a young adult book I read it in a few days.

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THE GILDED CAGE By Lucinda Gray

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE GILDED CAGE By Lucinda GrayThe Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on 8/2/16
Genres: Historical, Mystery & Detective, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper class England in the 1820s, is shattered when she discovers the corpse of her brother George in a lake on the estate-the tragic accidental drowning of a young man, the coroner reports, despite the wound to George's head.

Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can't accept that her brother's death was an accident. A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There's a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham.

Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother's killer claim her life, too?

Short and Sweet

Katherine and her brother George Randolph live in Virginia, but their lives change when they discover that they are heirs to the Walthingham country estate in England. Katherine and George try to adjust to their new life in British aristocracy. Not long after their arrival George is found dead in an icy lake. Everyone believes it was just an accident, except for Katherine. After hearing rumors about the beast of Walthingham, she believ es that their is something more to her brothers death and she won’t rest until she learns the truth.

My Thoughts

~ Alright where should I start? I ordered this book mainly because of the time period and the plot I love mysteries and I also like historical fiction. Gray does a great job making the time period seem realistic and authentic.

~ Katherine is an okay character, she didn’t have a lot of power I often saw her as helpless during some parts of the book. I did like the fact the she was determined and inquisitive about her brothers death and she wouldn’t give up until she learned the truth, she was a sweet character that tried to see the good in others she also had a temper which only made the other characters refer to her as a “Wildcat.”

~ We don’t learn much about George except for the fact that he was Katherine’s older brother and a painting, I think he was only in a chapter or two before the accident occurred.

~ Katherine’s cousins Henry and Grace were awful I couldn’t stand the way they treated her. I took the time to think about this and in the end decided to compare them to characters from Gossip Girl. Katherine would be Dan a girl who worked on a farm without much money, Grace would be Blair and Henry would be Chuck.

~ Characters would often point out how Katherine was impolite and improper, I mean she was still trying to get the hang of things.

~ Oh yeah there were some romantic interest but I didn’t like it I mean Katherine hooked up with one and then something happened and then she moved on to another guy.

~ We don’t learn much about the Beast of Walthingham mainly because no one will say anything about it.

~ Something happens near the end of the book towards the end I don’t want to spoil it for you guys but I thought it wasn’t necessary to have in the book.

Overall

In my honest opinion there was something that was missing, and that just made me change my rating for this book. I thought there could have been more in discovering what happened to George I feel like that was just thrown out there and like I said the beast of Walthingham isn’t even mentioned enough to make it relevant. Things just felt too rushed to me I don’t think this book was anything special. I was into it at the beginning but towards the end the downward spiral ensued.

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THE WINNER’S CURSE By Marie Rutkoski

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE WINNER’S CURSE By Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Published by Square Fish on 3/3/15
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

They were never meant to be together. As a general's daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can't help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other. Set in a new world, The Winner's Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Short and Sweet

Kestrel is the daughter of a general, and she has two choices get married or join the military. In this empire the Valorians have enslaved the Herrani. When Kestrel goes to an auction and buys a slave, she doesn’t realize the problem with what she has done until it’s too late.

My Thoughts

~ My favorite thing about Kestrel is how intelligent and strategic. She was also good at getting situations to turn in her favor.

~ Arin was also smart, he knew how to achieve his goals without getting caught.

~ The book is also told in both Kestrel and Arin’s point of view which was interesting, because we get to see what’s going on in their heads and what they’re planning.

~ I liked the relationship dynamic between Kestrel and Arin, it was always shifting. Their relationship also took time to develop.

Overall

I thought this was a great book and I can’t wait to read The Winner’s Crime. I’m interested to see what happens next especially after what happened in the end. I would definitely recommend this book!

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FRONT LINES By Michael Grant

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

FRONT LINES By Michael GrantFront Lines by Michael Grant
Series: Soldier Girl #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 1/26/16
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 576
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

World War II, 1942. A court decision makes women subject to the draft and eligible for service. The unproven American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

Three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering: Rio fights to honor her sister; Frangie needs money for her family; Rainy wants to kill Germans. For the first time they leave behind their homes and families—to go to war.

These three daring young women will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, they will discover the roles that define them on the front lines. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.

Michael Grant’s first Soldier Girl novel Front Lines is a war story that packs a lot of punch, combining historical fact with an alternate version of history in which a court decision makes American women subject to the draft and eligible to fight on the front lines. Not only has Grant imagined army life and conditions from the POV of three different female soldiers, but he also factors in race and the effect this would have had in the early 1940s. Rio Richlin is a white female from small town California, Frangie Marr is an African-American from Oklahoma, and Rainy Schulterman is a Jewish girl from New York City. It’s actually rare that someone remembers that the story of gender injustice and sexism is not the same across all women. The characters themselves are sympathetic, realistic and flawed. Each has a distinct personality, her own ambition, and her own reason for being there. As with male soldiers, some of these female soldiers were eager to fight and prove themselves, others were desperate for an army paycheck. Grant also pays attention to his secondary characters, creating people who bring humor, distaste and flirtations to the mix. The alternate history is fascinating enough, but it’s the characters that truly suck the reader in. They are so real. They are so perfectly written, so true to the past, while also feeling relevant. The pacing of the book was wonderful, and I was hooked from the very beginning. There’s lots of action with a side of romance and plenty of character growth. I also really liked the authenticity of the history and the nostalgic feel of the time period. Grant tells the story in three alternating points of view, and they really contribute and round out the story. The story is ultimately told from one person writing out the events and ruminating and guessing in areas; it lends a bit of mystery to the story. I really want to know who’s actually telling the story. This book does eventually focus on war and the front lines, and I think this has to be my favorite part of the novel. In this second half of the novel we really see the main characters change their perspectives on life and humanity. It’s utterly fascinating and so well written. It’s a bit sad but completely absorbing at the same time. Front Lines has left me wanting more and now I’m counting down the days until book two comes out!

Captivating and Epic Front Lines Gets six Wonderland Hearts!

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