I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
Published by HarperTeen on June 7, 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
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Worlds collide in Lindsey Klingele’s debut young adult novel, The Marked Girl, an exciting fantasy tale turned upside down.
When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day LA via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task.
The Marked Girl has humor, heart, and harrowing adventures, perfect for fantasy lovers and reluctant fantasy readers alike.
I started The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele not knowing too much about it. I knew a group of teens traveled into an alternate dimension and landed in modern day L.A., other than that I went in blind. And I am glad I did. This was such a different take on a YA time travel type read. Cedric, his fiance Kat and his cousin Merek have been fighting the evil Malquin and his band of wraiths in Caelum. During a fight they run for their lives into a portal that pops them into L.A. and into the life of foster kid, Liv. As they struggle to find a way home, Liv ends up being more than she seems and the group must work together to save themselves and both of their worlds.
Told primarily from the perspective of Liv and Cedric, this was an interesting fish out of water tale. The trio from Caelum is lost in the modern world and so is Liv but in a very different way. I loved how the two tales intersected to show that all of the teens were adrift in their own ways. There were a few bumps with the pacing and a few people came into the plot a little too easily, but other than that I really enjoyed the tale. Klingele crafted a debut that is a great combination of action and heart, and I am already ready for book two.
Favorite lines – “Having you around, it confuses things.” Cedric continued. “My priorities shift when you are close. My priority becomes you. And it cannot be you. Not now, when we need so desperately to get home, and not soon, when we have such fighting ahead of us. And not later, when I have to take up my responsibility to my family and my kingdom. Not ever, Liv.” Cedric turned away from her then.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Unplugged by Donna Freitas
Published by HarperTeen on June 21, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Action & Adventure, Young Adult
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The first book in a provocative new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas—Feed for a new generation.
Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.
Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.
But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.
In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Unplugged kicks off a thrilling and timely sci-fi series for teens from an award-winning writer.
Unplugged by Donna Freitas poses the question of what happens when humans prefer to live in an all digital world. In this version of the future, App World is real and people can chose to be plugged in for their entire lifetime, for a cost of course. The rich are striving to live in a world where they are no longer bound by physical bodies. The “Singles” are children who were plugged in by their families who must work as “Keepers” to maintain the bodies of those plugged in. Risking everything in both worlds is Skye, a teen girl who would give everything to see her mother and sister just one more time.
I was impressed by the depth of this tale. I was expecting it to be more of a surface read as the App World is described as glamorous, but was happily surprised by the breadth of the story. Skye is an intriguing main character, as she sees both worlds as special in their own ways. She is struggling to find happiness and is willing to risk everything to do it. I didn’t love some of the supporting cast and the rampant shallowness of some turned me off, but overall this was a very unique read. I loved the cliffhanger ending and am sure book two in the series will not disappoint either.
Favorite lines – Her instincts to keep me safe and hidden were nearly parental, drawn from a well of good intentions, however stifling. But my instincts pulled me in another direction. And I wouldn’t look back. It’s in looking back that we lose the game.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Published by Roc Books on June 14, 2016
Genres: Time Travel, Science Fiction, Fantasy
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The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!
Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman intrigued me from the synopsis. I love books set in and around libraries and couldn’t wait to see how they would employ spies. Irene is a Librarian for the shadowy Library, an organization that exists outside of normal time and space. Set between dimensions, it collects books that it deems important from these various realms. Irene is sent into a dangerous version of London, complete with clockwork centipedes and marauding werewolves, to find a specific version of Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
So who knew that book collecting is a life or death task? Cogman crafted a tale rich with details and filled with wondrous creations and people. The beginning was a bit jarring to me, as the story almost seemed to pick up right in the middle of a scene. However, as I began to get a grasp on the characters and the settings, I knew why the author began the book in that way. I enjoyed the journey Irene took and wondered right long with her what the end game was. The nuanced setting with zeppelins flying overhead and animatronic beasties skulking about was fantastic. This is a series that has endless possibilities among the varied dimensions and I can’t even imagine where the next in the series will take us.
Favorite lines – ‘We want books. We love books. We live with books. Someone who joined the Library just so that they could try to use the Library to benefit their own world . . . well, I suppose it would be ethical, but it isn’t the purpose of the Library.’ ‘Then what is the purpose of the Library?’ Vale asked. ‘To save books,’ Irene said firmly. The words were so automatic that she didn’t even need to think about them. She’d spent all her life with the idea. But they had never sounded hollow to her before. She made herself focus on the familiar justification. ‘To save created works. In time, if their original alternate loses them, we can give them back copies, so that they aren’t lost. And in the meantime, the Library exists and endures.’
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Debut Author Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge