Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Genre
: YA Fantasy, Magic
Publication: February 6th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Series: The Belles #1
Length: 440 pages
Format: Finished copy from publisher
Rating: ★★★★.5

Amazon || Book Depository

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

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Review: Mirage by Somaiya Daud

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Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Genre: YA Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure

Publication: August 28th 2018 by Flatiron Books
Series: Mirage #1
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★☆

Amazon || Book Depository

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death. Continue reading “Review: Mirage by Somaiya Daud”

Review: The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman

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The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication: July 31st 2018 by Swoon Reads
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★☆

Amazon || Book Depository

The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.

When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.

But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.

Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?

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5 Reasons Why YOU Should Read To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (A Review)

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To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Genre: YA Fantasy, Fiction, Retelling, Romance, Action, Adventure
Publication: March 6th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 342 pages
Format: ARC from Fierce Reads
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

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Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

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The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Genre
: YA Graphic Novels, Sequential Art, LGBTQIA+
Publication: February 13th 2018 from First Second Books
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 288 pages
Format: e-Galley from Fierce Reads
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

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