ARC Review: The Takedown

thetakedownThe Takedown by Corrie Wang

Note: advanced copy received from publisher through NetGalley. (I don’t think that influences my review, but it’s fair to know.)


Kyla Cheng is a straight A senior at a fancy school in NYC. She’s one of four popular girls, her applications to the Ivy League schools are nearly ready, the hottest boy at school is her very close “just friend,” and her biggest problem is that her mom doesn’t seem to like her much now. Until a much bigger problem: a viral video of her having sex with a teacher. The video is fake, but Kyla has trouble convincing people of that. The only solution is to find the original file and delete. But Kyla’s hater is completely anonymous.

Initial Thoughts

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Book Review: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

511-hbczuwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Title: Take the Key and Lock Her Up

Series: Embassy Row #3

Author: Ally Carter

See my reviews of Book 1 & Book 2

I’ve long been an Ally Carter fan, but I struggled more with this trilogy than any of her other books. As I documented in my previous reviews, I think that had a lot to do with growing out of her target age range.

Thankfully, Take the Key and Lock Her Up was a really good conclusion to the trilogy.

NOTE: Spoilers for the first two books will start immediately. Read at your own risk. Please keep the comments a safe section. I’m available via Twitter or email for spoilery discussions.

Plot Summary

Grace Blakely just discovered that she is the descendant of a long-lost princess. Now she, her brother, a hot Russian, and the Scarred Man are on the run. People are trying to kill her and she doesn’t know who to trust. Also, she might be crazy. Continue reading

Book Review: Everything, Everything

cover of book everything, everythingWhat I Knew Going In

Nothing, nothing. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon has been pretty hyped. It was promoted a lot & loads of bookish people were talking about it & it was a very popular debut novel. I somehow managed to tune out most of the hype and literally only knew the title and author’s name. It was an e-book deal for $1.99, so I grabbed it, knowing that a better deal would never come along.

What It’s About

Madeline Whittier (Maddy) has SCID, a genetic disorder that means she basically has no immune system. Because of that, she lives in a completely sterile environment with just her mother and nurse. She reads a lot, plays silly games with her mom, and studies online. It’s a pretty happy life until a family with a teenage son moves in next door.

What I Thought

I was hooked really early in this book. Because I didn’t know anything about the plot, I had a lot of fun learning about Maddy’s disease and life. From a purely intellectual standpoint, I found the premise fascinating. I don’t see many YA books about something like SCID. And Maddy is a reader! The book is full of literary references, funny charts and drawings, and philosophical musings.

I think that Everything, Everything aspires to be the next TFIOS. It’s a beautifully tragic love story about a really sick girl, full of metaphor and smart conversations and really hard stuff.

But this book is not TFIOS. Continue reading

The A-Z Book Challenge!

Thanks to Nerdish Mum for tagging me in this fun challenge!

Author you’ve read the most books from

This was harder to determine than I thought it would be. I’m pretty sure the answer is Lois Gladys Leppard, author of the Mandie series. I’ve read at least 25 of her books, possibly 30.

Best sequel ever

Tentatively The Kestrel, the middle book in Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark trilogy (Which is, despite the name of my blog, my favorite Alexander series). It is full of intrigue and politics and ethics and is much darker than a children’s book seems like it should be. (Wikipedia informs me that it is a fantasy novel, but it was shelved with children’s fiction in my library.)

Currently reading

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Book Review: All Fall Down

all fall downTitle: All Fall Down
Series: Embassy Row #1
Author: Ally Carter

Oh look, Ally Carter wrote another book about a girl in a high-stakes world! Maybe this will be good!

I’m too cynical. But Carter’s well on her way to being pigeon-holed. And since I get bored with similar plot lines, I might stop reading her stuff soon…

Thankfully, All Fall Down has more redeeming qualities than Perfect Scoundrels did.

Plot Summary

Grace is just a normal 16 year old girl living at the American embassy in (fictional) Adria. She’s surrounded by hot embassy guys, attending royal parties, and, oh, hunting her mother’s murderer. And she’s not crazy. Continue reading

Book Review: Battle Magic

battle magicTitle: Battle Magic
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Fantasy/YA 

I loved Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy, so I was excited to pick up her most recent book, Battle Magic. Not long into the book, I began to wonder if it was part of a series, but couldn’t find any indication on the cover that it was. Afterwards, I did some research and discovered that it’s a continuation of other Pierce books in the Circle universe. So now I need to read those.

Plot Summary

Have I mentioned that I hate plot summaries? I love going in not knowing anything. So the summaries I write are a bit skimpy. Anyway…

Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are three mages who are traveling in the East, visiting various realms and learning from other magicians. But they end up caught in a massive war and have to choose their allegiances.


The characters in this book are well-developed. I found them especially interesting not having the background of previous Circle books (apparently Rosethorn and Briar feature heavily in the earlier series). Continue reading