Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Beauty That Remains, The--Ashley Woodfolk

Title: The Beauty That Remains
Author: Ashley Woodfolk
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books, 2018.
Pages: 336 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: none
Read: November 2017

Told from three different points of view The Beauty That Remains is an emotional examination of loss and grief. Autumn mourns her best friend Tavia who died in a car crash after leaving a party that Autumn decided not to attend. Guilt complicates Autumn’s grief since she chose to spend the evening with Tavia’s older brother Dante. Both Autumn and Dante lament not being with Tavia to prevent her from driving in icy conditions. Shay feels lonely and devastated since her twin sister Sasha died of leukemia. Frequent panic attacks make it difficult for Shay to continue her hobby as a music blogger. Logan is a songwriter who cannot write songs since his ex-boyfriend committed suicide. He drowns his sorrows in alcohol and obsessively watches his ex’s vlogs searching for clues. Autumn, Shay and Logan are connected not only by their overwhelming loss, but also by the band Unraveling Lovely. Dante, Logan, and Shay’s friend Rohan are all former members of the band that Shay and her sister managed until they dramatically broke up. When Shay decides to plan a reunion of Unraveling Lovely, the three teens are able to take their first steps toward healing. 

The Beauty That Remains is a gut wrenching tear jerker that teens are sure to love. Although the chapters alternate with the three different perspectives, the characters still feel developed and real. Frequent mentions of alcohol, drugs, sex, and adult language make this more appropriate for mature readers.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Disruptor—Arwen Elys Dayton

Title: Disruptor
Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Publisher: Delacorte, 2017
Pages: 352 p
Source: Library Ebook
Compensation: None
Read: January 2018

Disrupter is the thrilling conclusion to the Seeker series that started with Seeker and continued with Traveler. Everything comes together in this final book and it’s well worth the wait. The series starts with Quin, Shinobu and John attempting to finish their Seeker training... and learning that being a Seeker is not what they thought it would be. Instead of protecting people, righting wrongs, and avenging evil, Quin’s father has perverted the sacred Seeker training and created a team of assassins to murder other Seekers. The young Seekers revolt but cannot even trust each other. In Disruptor we learn the true history of the Seekers and the Dreads and the only way anyone can be saved is if they work together.

I loved this entire series and Disruptor is no different. It was written perfectly, alternating chapters with the different characters, slowly revealing the secrets and mysteries set up in the first book, and keeping the reader riveted the whole time.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You—Vicki Grant

Title: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
Author:  Vicki Grant
Publisher: Running Press, 2017
Pages: 288 pages
Source: Library ebook
Compensation: None
Read: January 2018

Hildy signs up for the local college’s psych study because she’s interested in things like that and she needs someone to talk to. Paul signs up because he needs the 40 bucks. All they have to do is ask each other 36 questions and answer them honestly. They couldn’t be more different—Hildy is the well spoken daughter of the high school principal and Paul *almost* graduated high school. Hildy is sensitive and cries easily, Paul is gruff. Can 36 questions really bring strangers closer together?

This was a quick cute read. Interspersed throughout the traditional narrative are messages between Hildy and Paul, and Paul’s drawings. There were no major surprises and the big reveal of their secrets was predictable, but it was an enjoyable read.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Shadowcaster—Cinda Williams Chima

Title: Shadowcaster
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Harper Teen, 2017
Pages: 551 p.
Source: Library
Compensation: None
Read: May 2017

Shadowcaster is the sequel to Flamecaster, which is the “sequel” series to the Seven Realms. I really liked the universe that Cinda Williams Chima created with the Seven Realms so I’m thrilled that she’s continuing to explore it. While Flamecaster focused on Han & Raisa’s son Ash, Shadowcaster tells his little sister’s story. Alyssa is the heir to the throne, but much like her mother, she’d rather be fighting with a sword than dealing with Princess duties. The events in Shadowcaster take place at roughly the same time as Flamecaster, with Jenna making an appearance towards the end of the book. There’s SO much in this one in addition to Alyssa and her journey. There’s a young boy Breon who has a mage mark similar to Jenna’s and who can also do strange things. There’s an honorable Arden captain who is taken prisoner by Alyssa’s company but winds up being much more. Fans of the series will enjoy this one and eagerly await the next book.


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