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Archive for May, 2011

Final book in the Ivy League series, Tap and Gown has the countdown to graduation for Amy and the other members of Rose and Grave.  Her time in this secret society has been fraught with peril and plots, but Amy hopes that things are finally settling down.  But of course, life always throws a curveball as Amy and her fellow Diggers must choose the next group of Diggers.  Add in a thesis to finish, a new boyfriend, and more and you have a fun young adult novel.  I really enjoyed this last book in the series.  It reminds me of Gossip Girl except much better written and more engaging without all the cattiness.

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Similar to Hunger Games and the Uglies series, Divergent is a sci-fi young adult book about a world gone mad.  There are four different groups in this world: the honest, the selfless, the brave and the intelligent.  At 16, you must choose what group you will spend the rest of your life in.  Beatrice was raised in the selfless world, but chooses to become part of the brave.  This means never spending time with her family again.  It is the h ardest choice she must make, but she feels that she must.

The training is hard, but she is determined to succeed.  Because if she doesn’t, she will be an outcast.  As she starts to adapt to the world she now lives in, Beatrice must keep a secret.  She is divergent.  And though she has been told to hide this fact, she soon must reveal it in order to save her world.

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I read this when it first came out, but for some reason I didn’t own it.  I found it at the Book Table in Oak Park for $3.50 and who can pass that deal up?  It is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, with a twist.  The third book in the 500 Kingdoms series, this is the story of Katya, a mermaid (although really more siren), who goes on missions for her father, the Sea King.  In one of her journeys, she meets Sasha, who is the 7th son and a fortunate fool.  They fall in love, but when Katya is sent on another mission by her dad, something goes wrong.  A Djinn is taking young girls with magic and keeping them prisoner.  Sasha soon realizes that there is something amiss and sets out to free Katya.  OF course she is fairly self-reliant and is working on a solution herself.  With takes such as Baba Yaga, djinn, and the little mermaid, this is an amalgam of tales.  Yet, it works.  Not my favorite in the series, but definitely a solid read.

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Lord Randall must play a part in order to carry out his missions as a spy.  But when he is told to guard a young woman, he realizes that he doesn’t want to play the part of a rake anymore.  Lady Lucinda is the belle of the ball, but she yearns for some excitement.  Although always proper, her heart wishes that it didn’t always have to be this way.  When she meets Lord Randall, it seems like her wishes will be fulfilled.  Of course, the downside is that someone is trying to kill her.  Soon she has fallen in love with Lord Randall, but he refuses to love her back because of his mission.  Will love conquer all in this romantic suspense Regency novel?

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Of course I am a sucker for any Pride and Prejudice retelling and as soon as I saw this one, I had to read it.  Told in a high school setting, Prom and Prejudice goes through the traditional tale of P&P with a modern twist.  All the familiar elements are there from the initial dance where Darcy disparages Elizabeth to the letter, and even the infamous Wickham.  I thought Eulberg did a fantastic job of taking a classic tale and transforming it into a modern retelling.  I would highly recommend this for fans of Jane Austen or as an introduction to the classic tale.

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The third book in the Tantalize series, Blessed once more delves into the urban fantasy world created in Tantalize and Eternal.  Quincy is now a vampire, kind of, but she is trying to resist the urge to eat from humans.  She has been parted from her former best friend, recently turned boyfriend, and is finding the transition to the life of the undead difficult.  Combine trying to get her parent’s restaurant back off the ground while hiding the truth about her new eating habits from her boyfriend family, whom she is living with, and you have a gripping tale.  Beautifully evocative, Blessed combines the ideas of good and evil, heaven and hell in such a way as to make the reader rethink what they know about the world.  I hope there will be more in this series.

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Pierce died, but came back.  But in the year since, her life has been different.  She feels like death is following her.  And, unfortunately, she is right.  But it isn’t what she thinks.  Soon she learns more about the Underworld than she ever wanted to know and more about Death than any teenager should ever know.  A fascinating look into life after death with Cabot’s flair for a fascinating, but light, storyline.  The first in a series.

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