Review: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

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Winners KissTitle: 
The Winner’s Kiss
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 29, 2016
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy
Genre: High Fantasy
Format: Kindle/Audible
Source: Purchased

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Winner’s Kiss

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This Wednesday, I’m waiting on…

Winners KissTitle:  The Winner’s Kiss
Author:  Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #3
Publication Date:
 March 29, 2016
Genre:  YA High Fantasy

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people-and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1
Published: February 10, 2015
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win? Continue reading

Fragments by Dan Wells

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Title:  Fragments
Author:  Dan Wells
Published:  February 26, 2013
Series:  The Partials Sequence #2
Genre:  YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

Author Dan Wells is back with the sequel to the sci-fi blockbuster Partials, which Pittacus Lore called a “thrilling sci-fi adrenaline rush, with one of the most compelling and frightening visions of Earth’s future I’ve seen yet.”

After discovering the cure for RM, Kira Walker sets off on a terrifying journey into the ruins of postapocalyptic America and the darkest desires of her heart in order to uncover the means—and a reason—for humanity’s survival.

Dan Wells extends his richly imagined, gritty world and introduces new memorable characters in this second installment in the Partials Sequence.
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Waiting on Wednesday – The Heir

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This Wednesday, I’m waiting on…

Title: The Heir
Author: Keira Cass
Series: The Selection #4
Publication Date:
May 5, 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

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Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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Title:  Snow Like Ashes
Author:  Sara Raasch
Published:  
October 14, 2014
Series:  
Snow Like Ashes #1
Genre:  
High Fantasy
Format:  
Kindle
Source:  
Purchased

Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this striking fantasy tale of dark magic, dangerous politics, and discovering your true self. Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast story of loyalty, love, and controlling one’s destiny.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own. Continue reading

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

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Title:  The Vault of Dreamers
Author:  Caragh M. O’Brien
Published:  September 16, 2014
Genre:  YA Dystopian, Science Fiction
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there. Continue reading

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Title:  The Winner’s Curse
Author:  Marie Rutkoski
Published:  March 4, 2014
Series:  The Winner’s Trilogy #1
Genre:  YA High Fantasy
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  Purchased

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday – Suspicion

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This Wednesday, I’m waiting on…

Title:  Suspicion
Author:  Alexandra Monir
Publication Date:  December 9, 2014
Genre:  YA Paranormal Mystery

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

“There’s something hidden in the Maze.” Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor.

Haunted by her parents’ deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin’s untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion’s aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself–and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride. Continue reading

The Killables by Gemma Malley

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Title:  The Killables
Author:  Gemma Malley
Published:  March 29, 2012
Series:  The Killables series (#1)
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

Everyone accepted that people were different physically. But inside? Inside, they were different too. You just had to know how to tell, what to look for.

Evil has been eradicated. The City has been established. And citizens may only enter after having the ‘evil’ part of their brain removed. They are labelled on The System according to how ‘good’ they are. If they show signs of the evil emerging, they are labelled a K, but no one knows quite what that means. Only that they disappear, never to be seen again… Continue reading