Bible Twists

The Red Tent

Author: Anita Diamant

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press | 1997

Pages: 336

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So, what’s it about?

This is a biblical story from Genesis about Jacob’s wives and his only daughter, Dinah. It is told from the perspective of Dinah from her birth to her death. It was interesting to read from a woman’s perspective where it is predominantly told from a man’s point of view in the bible.

“The more a daughter knows about the details of her mother’s life, the stronger the daughter.”

The characters ~ The main character, Dinah, is not necessarily extraordinary. If you’ve read the bible, you’d know that it was implied that she was raped by her husband and because of that her brothers murdered all the men in her husband’s family. However, Diamant employed a Hebrew term, midrash, of extending or imagining a different story or ending from bible stories. She does this in the story of Dinah and her mothers. I read the book without knowing any of this and I still thought the writing was well done. Learning the background information made The Red Tent even more interesting.

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Intergalactic Shenanigans


Author: Melissa Landers

Series: Alienated #1

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Disney Hyperion | February 4th, 2014

Pages: 344, paperback

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So, what’s it about?

This book is about aliens but not like Sigourney Weaver in Ridley Scott’s Alien. It’s more like aliens that are super formal and stuck up. And then there’s a romance between the super stuck up alien and the more laid back human girl.

“I won’t be your intergalactic booty call.”

The characters ~ So, we got this hot alien dude with no belly button, Aelyx. I mean it kinda reminded of that show on ABC Family (I’m sorry now Freeform), with the guy with no belly button but I can’t remember the name. Anyways, Aelyx is this super hot, unattainable guy that goes to Earth but hates the very existence of humans. He ends up staying with Cara and her family as part of a foreign exchange program, but for aliens.

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Helplessness in a Place of Hope

All the Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Series: Standalone

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Knopf | January 6th, 2015

Pages: 378

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So, what’s it about?

Two teens meet on top of a bell tower and end up falling in love. There’s quirky, witty dialogue. Yes, it might sound like The Fault in Our Stars or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Bear with me, this book can stand on its own from those two, because its writing is uniquely different and its story draws you in and makes you rethink a lot of things in life.

“What a terrible feeling to love someone and not be able to help them.”

The characters ~ Theodore Finch is what really makes this book shine. Jennifer Niven creates a character that seems somewhat unrealistic, but I think that’s what makes him even more relatable. His quirkiness, his different Finch’s (80s Finch, you’re amazing), his intelligence, and his sarcasm, make him feel like a boy right out of a novel or movie (which, like, he kinda is ha). However and most importantly, this makes his illness seem even more real. You can’t help but root for him even though you speculate his fate from the first page on.

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Sisterhood & (Un)opened Love Letters

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Author: Jenny Han

Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Penerbit Spring | March 20, 2015

Pages: 355, paperback

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So, what’s it about?

Lara Jean writes these love letters to all the boys she’s ever loved. The idea is that she writes these letters and never sends them, but keeps them for herself, in order to get over these boys. Until all of sudden, those letters get mailed out and her love life goes craaazzyy. Good premise, right? The book is more than this though. It’s also about the relationship Lara Jean has with her sisters, Margot and Kitty.

Sisters are supposed to fight and make up, because they are sisters and sisters always find their way back to each other.

The characters ~ It’s so difficult to start with Lara Jean because she’s just ANNOYING. This is supposed to be a 16-year-old girl who has lost her mother, and yet she is one of the most immature characters I’ve ever read in a YA novel. Her narration is utterly grating and I swear I rolled my eyes at least 10 times when she thought something or said the most childish things to Peter or Josh.

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Just Dance Through It

Holding Up the Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Series: Standalone

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Knopf | October 4th, 2016

Pages: 388, paperback

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So, what’s it about?

A guy with face blindness. And a girl who had to be cut out of her house when she was younger. And so girl, Libby Strout, goes back to high school after being homeschooled and rocks the hell out of it. I mean, sure, she’s bullied and the center of a nasty game called ‘Fat Girl Rodeo’ but she is a quirky protagonist who is not afraid to be herself. Jennifer Niven writes a real, adorable, and funny story of loss, searching for identity, and first time love.

“Libby Strout, you deserve to be seen.”

The characters ~ First of all, I love Libby Strout. I wasn’t sure when I originally started reading but Libby is hilarious. Her love of dancing and her I don’t give a F attitude is admirable. I mean, she still cares what other people think about her but the way she goes about shedding this attitude is cute and funny and dorky. It’s also strong, as she tells herself throughout the book.

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It’s (Supposed) to be for Love

Once and For All

Author: Sarah Dessen

Series: Standalone

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | June 6th, 2017

Pages: 357, paperback

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So, what’s it about?

Lots of weddings and a pessimism for happily ever afters. Flashbacks are a thing in this book, tells a story of a previous love that left Louna fearful of any type of intimacy. Unfortunately, the romance in the book was blah. I really really wanted to say “cute, quick summer beach read, a classic Sarah Dessen story” but it was the opposite of this honestly.

“I always wanted a happy ending for everyone else.”

The characters ~ Louna (her name is a mix of her vegan hippie mom and dad’s name, Natalie and Louis) seems to me like a character I had trouble getting invested in. She seems alright but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that she “falls in love” with Ethan within the span of one night. Like all of a sudden this Ethan guy (whom she has never met before) asks her to dance and she says yes and then they say I love you within like .25 seconds. And then she ends up giving her virginity on the beach to this guy. Yeah. This is ALL IN ONE NIGHT OF MEETING EACH OTHER.

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Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

The Maze Runner by James DashnerBloodfever

Author: Karen Marie Moning

Series: Fever #2

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Delacorte Press | October 16th, 2007

Pages: 303

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I used to think my sister and I were just two nice southern girls who’d get married in a few years and settle down to a quiet life. Then I discovered that Alina and I descend, not from good wholesome southern stock, but from an ancient Celtic bloodline of powerful sidhe-seers, people who can see the Fae. Not only can I see the terrifying otherworldly race, but I can sense the sacred Fae relics that hold the deadliest of their magic.

When my sister was found dead in a trash-filled alley in Dublin, I came over to get answers. Now all I want is revenge. And after everything I’ve learned about myself, I know I have the power to get it….

MacKayla Lane’s ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland’s shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh–a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V’lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.…

“I used to have a recurring nightmare when I was a child. A dream of four distinct, subtly varied tastes…I tasted one of the vile ones now…regret.”

So, what’s it about? ~ More Fae. More Barrons. And of course more Mac. A decidedly better sequel to the first book  in the Fever series.

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Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

The Maze Runner by James DashnerLady Midnight

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Dark Artifices #1

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderly | March 8th, 2016

Pages: 698

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In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

“People live through heartbreak, and you are strong enough to live through it many times.”

So, what’s it about ~ Cassandra Clare’s newest addition to the Shadowhunter universe is, unsurprisingly, full of everything you’d expect from one of her books. There’s mystery, action, magic, wonderful dialogue, and, of course, forbidden love.

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Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

The Maze Runner by James DashnerVampire Academy

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #1

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Razorbill | August 16, 2007

Pages: 332

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Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

“Only a true best friend can protect you from your mortal enemies.”

So, what’s it about ~ Boarding school with a twist. Student population comprised of vampires as the title of the book so nicely describes. There are three types of vampires. 1. Moroi – who drink blood and have powers that are called elements. 2. Dhampirs – do not drink blood, also does the general ass kicking to protect moroi from 3. Strigoi – evil, bloodsucking monsters that are more like the vampires from legends, myths, and horror movies. VA also has one kickass heroine, an awesome friendship, one hot Russian dhampir, and some high school drama.

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Review: Lux Series 1-4 by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Maze Runner by James DashnerObsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Lux #1-4

Genre: Young Adult Sci Fi

Publisher: Entangled Teen | May 8, 2012  August 14, 2012  December 11, 2012  August 27, 2013

Pages:  335, 366, 382, 364

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Synopsis (from book 1 Obsidian):

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

“I understood books. I did not understand boys—especially alien boys.”

So, what’s it about ~ This series is not your normal series. In fact, it’s kinda your extraterristial type series. Before you get ahead of yourself, it’s not about the green wrinkly weird shaped head sort of aliens. These aliens are what you call Luxen. They came down to Earth and live as regular humans. They glow really bright in their true form and can manipulate stuff kind of like Magneto from X-Men. Anyways, girl moves in next to family of aliens and you can guess what happens next or, you know, just read the books.

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