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Review: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Review: Wilder Girls by Rory PowerWilder Girls by Rory Power
Genre: Magical Realism
Release Date: 9th July 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there's more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Wilder Girls has received a lot of hype this year in the run up to its release. I think a lot of people were excited because a) it’s queer, and b) it sounds super weird. And it is super weird. I don’t normally go for weird books, but I picked up Wilder Girls at YALC and decided I should give it a go.

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManusTwo Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 8th January 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Two Can Keep a Secret is such a meaty thriller. There was so much going on, and there were so many characters and relationships to wrap my head around. Because there was so much going on, I felt like there had to have been a lot of pressure on the author (and her editor!) to do a good job of it. And I think they did great! Two Can Keep a Secret flows incredibly well, and the suspense is real.

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The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren MorrillThe Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-half-stars

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

The Trouble with Destiny didn’t grab me at all. I read the first 25% or so and then I had to skim read because I was falling asleep and I felt so bad about it. I hate it when that happens with review copies! Or any book in general, really, but with review copies you get an extra serving of guilt to go with that main course of dismay. Continue reading

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel VincentThe Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
Series: The Stars Never Rise #1
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

The Stars Never Rise was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It’s one I had been waiting for for two years, ever since the author said that she was working on it. I fell off my bed when I got the email saying I could review it for the publisher, because I was just SO. DAMN. EXCITED. But – yes, you can see where this is going – I was disappointed.

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And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay by Jenny HubbardAnd We Stay by Jenny Hubbard
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

And We Stay was my first official read of 2014 and was kind of an impulse request on my part; I wasn’t expecting much but guys, I really, really liked this book. It tells the story of a teenage girl left to pick up the pieces when her boyfriend kills himself in a school shooting he is the perpetrator of. Sent away to a boarding school hundreds of miles away, Emily begins to express her grief and the secrets that burden through poetry, which is interspersed through the novel.

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