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Review: Edgewood and Wanderlust by @KarenMcQuestion

Edgewood and Wanderlust are the first two books in the Edgewood Series. The third, Absolution, is scheduled for release in September.
Edgewood_WanderlustThe night Russ Becker witnesses a strange astronomical event, his world changes forever. Before long Russ discovers he’s developed incredible superpowers, and he’s not the only one. Three other young people—beautiful Mallory, arrogant Jameson, and mysterious Nadia—have had the same experience and all of them now have powers of their own. Mallory can control peoples’ minds, Jameson moves objects with his thoughts, and Nadia has empathic abilities.

At first the four relish their newfound gifts, but things become serious when they learn they are being hunted by an organization that wants them for its own nefarious purposes. When Russ’s family is threatened, he’s forced into action. What transpires will change all of them in ways they never imagined.

Space? Teens with superpowers? Sign me up!

Edgewood‘s plot and characters were extremely engaging (I flew through the book). The biggest thing that stood out to me after reading it was McQuestion’s excellent job of narrating the mind of a fifteen year old boy. She handled the topic of YA sex well without being distasteful or ignoring it completely, both of which can be pitfalls in YA books.

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3 Ways Sex is Portrayed in YA Books

3 Ways Sex is Portrayed in YA Books
Photo Credit: http://goo.gl/kMA5u

I recently attended a workshop on Sex in YA by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. It was my first workshop by them, and I didn’t want to go by myself. Solution? Beg the husbster.

“But it’s about sex!”

“It’ll be awkward. I don’t read YA.”

“But it’s about sex!”

“I don’t care. It’ll be awkward.”

“Why don’t you sit in the back and get some work done? Productivity.”

When we got there the seats were in a circle. Poor guy. He couldn’t hide.

The speaker was Bree Ervin, red-haired, smiley, owner of Think Banned Thoughts LLC, who had an intimidating stack of books behind her. A writing prompt later, we dove right into three ways sex is portrayed in YA books:

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Review: Legend by @Marie_Lu

Legend is the first in a trilogy. The second, Prodigy, was released earlier this year. The third, Champion, will be released in November.
LegendBorn into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

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Review: The Maze Runner by @JamesDashner

Valentine’s Day 2014, The Maze Runner is coming out as a movie. Which should give you plenty of time to read this action-packed book first. And then the rest of the trilogy. Check it out on IMBD.
The_Maze_RunnerWhen Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Confession. By the end of this book, I had a major character crush on Thomas. I hope that’s okay because he’s supposed to be 16, and I’m, well, not 16 and married.

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Review: A Million Suns by @BethRevis

A Million Suns is the second in a trilogy. Check out my review of the first, Across the Universe, and be sure to read the third, Shades of Earth.A_Million_Suns

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed.

But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to act on his vision—no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success—or failure—will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and the love between them more impossible to fight.

I love what Maggie Boyd wrote in her review of A Million Suns. “Growing pains can be a horrible thing, especially when those growing pains are experienced by hundreds of people.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Book Review: Of Poseidon @ByAnnaBanks

Of Poseidon is Anna Banks’ debut novel. The sequel, Of Triton, released this year.

Of_PoseidonGalen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

Of Poseidon is a fresh mermaid tale written from both Emma and Galen’s perspective. I’ve been on a mermaid kick lately, so I appreciate Banks’ thought and twist to mermaid lore, even going so far as to explain the difference in biology between humans and ‘maids. I especially loved the Syrena’s “pulse”, which is like a Syrena’s fingerprint whenever they touch water and can be felt even miles away. I wonder what my pulse would feel like . . .

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