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The Young Elites by Marie Lu Book Review


I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.



I've only read one of Marie Lu's other books, the first book of her Legend series, I liked it well enough. But something about this book captured my attention stronger. I'm not sure if was the setting or just the mix dystopian/fantasy characters...with powerful, unexplainable gifts. I picked up this book while waiting in Barnes & Noble and read a few chapters and knew I needed to get ahold of a copy as soon as possible. The first 20 pages grabbed me and I was very eager to finish reading. 

There's a hint of something familiar about this book, it reminded me a little of Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms series although both books are still quite different. Maybe it was the group of young people mixed with politics and strange powers all mixed together with a sense of danger, desperation, and romance. Either way, I liked the vibe of this book a lot and enjoyed the plot just as much. Towards a third of the way through I thought I had figured out the way the story would swing, but I was almost completely wrong. It has a different ending and it's not necessarily a bad one, it's just surprising and it leaves you wanting more and questioning what could happen next. And practically dying for the next book ;)

There are a lot of things that are original to the story, the world-building and the countries in this fantasy world, some of the creatures, and certainly the gods and the gifts they have apparently bestowed upon certain malfettos (children scarred by terrible blood fever that swept through the land of Kenettra) that have led to the formation of the Young Elite. It was all very interesting and was one of the main reasons I was drawn to this book and enjoyed it so much. However towards the end of the book things take a darker turn, it had been building up and it was almost inevitable. It doesn't really get very dark, but just dark enough to let you know that things aren't going to be a simple. They're going to be complicated and maybe play with your emotions. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book even with it's darker elements. It had a nice fantasy vibe, a unique group of heroes with gifts that some call curses and others praise, and the world-building was great, I really loved it, with an Italian feel but still different. I liked the characters and thought that Adelina was very interesting and despite how the book ends, you understand her. However, it still was a bit dark and that probably took away some of my enjoyment, even if I know that was kind of the point of the book...to be different than the cliche hero plot. So I'm giving The Young Elite 4 out of 5 flowers.
Sara Bennett happens to be a slightly crazy girl. A slightly nerdy girl. A slightly strange girl who likes being that way.  A slightly obsessed girl when it comes to things she loves. A girl who cries when reading books. A girl who desperately wants her own personal library. A girl who is a total bookworm. A girl who would rather read than watch reality tv. A girl who wants to be an author someday. A girl who loves her Savior. And a girl who just loves to read.

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier Book Review


Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.


Loop by Karen Akins Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up. After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.  Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.
But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future. 


Announcing the 2014 YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt + Giveaway

YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to announce that starting this Sunday, the 26th, Katie's Book Blog and I will be hosting the 1st Annual YA Contemporary Scavenger Hunt through October 29th. There's 28 amazing authors participating, with several fun interviews and guest posts. Along with those, there's going to be two main international giveaways (both of which you can preview on the website). Each author is also hosting their own individual giveaways, so there's lots of chances to win :) To help get the word out about this event, we're hosting a giveaway for two winners to each win a 2014 contemporary release of their choice. This giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!



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Rooms by Lauren Oliver Book Review

The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Deliriumtrilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways 
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance. 
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb. 
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.
Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.