Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

ivyBook Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Ivy is set to enter into an arranged marriage, but her ultimate goal is to kill her new husband so her father can overthrow the government. The problem? Her new husband is actually a great guy. It’s dystopian, so of course the main character has to question everything and start creating a plan of her own. HA! BUT Ivy is more broken than she realized, and keeps getting in her own way.

I read this book and the second book back to back on audio (minus the few days I had to wait for the someone to finish reading the second one. I really enjoyed this series. I thought there was an honesty about love in this book, and although similar to some other dystopian works, it kept me reading because it was more a study of human nature than anything. The second book is just as good as the first.

Quotes: (listened on audio, so punctuation might be wrong). The second one made me stop and actually rewind. Such powerful words!

“Love isn’t something you can legislate. Love is more than charts and graphs and matching interests. Love is messy and complicated, and it is a mistake to deny its random magic.”

“He didn’t save me though; he allowed me the freedom to save myself, which is the very best kind of rescue.”

Recommended Grades:8-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Average only because I’ve read so much dystopian, but probably would have rated above average if I’d read a few years ago. I’m curious to read her other book now to see how it compares. I really do enjoy her writing.
Source: audiobook

Book Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

crownBook Review: The Crown by Kiera Cass

Book 5 in The Selection series. The sudden illness of Eadlyn’s mother forces her to cut the Selection down dramatically. As events unfold, she must take on more responsibilities with the kingdom, while still coming to grips with the fact that her people don’t love her like she’d once thought. She tries desperately to save both her country and her own heart.

I really appreciated how this book showed so much growth in a character I didn’t really like in the previous book. Eadlyn’s story is about more than just a romance, it’s about how you learn to love yourself too. And, I’m happy to report Eadlyn chose correctly! Wink.

Quotes : none

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Technically dystopian, but reads like a romance
Overall Opinion:   Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: Queen by Aimee Carter

Book Review: Queen by Aimee Carter

Book three of The Blackcoat Rebellion finds Kitty back in the world of Prime Minister Hart due to a cruel trick on his part (won’t give it away, but I was not happy with him). Kitty plans to use the Lila masquerade only as long as necessary to get what she wants; freedom from the oppressive government.

Maybe it isn’t a good sign that I had to remember if I really finished the book or not. HA HA. Really just more a sign that I was too busy I think. The bow on this was a little to quick for me. Not to simple, just story…story…okay it’s done. That said, I really did enjoy the trip to get there. And I’m not even sure how I would tie the bow differently. I think I needed a little more struggle, but maybe that is the beauty of the ending that exists. Read it and let me know.

Quotes: none

Recommended Grades: 8-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Average
Source: book

Book Review: Ruins by Dan Wells


Sorry about the lack of posts. I had surgery and although I read (and binge watched Heroes) like a crazy person, I couldn’t bring myself to blog. I’ve cued a few to post next week to make up for it. 🙂

Book Review: Ruins by Dan Wells

Warning, this is the last book in a series, so it is impossible to summarize without spoilers. The fate of both the humans and the Partial hinges on what happens next. Kira sets out to connect with the Partials and humans, hoping to find a cure that will benefit both, while Samm decides to stay behind to help the captive Partials from book two. Add in some more war between Partials and humans, and you have quite a novel.

While I loved the actual language more in this book, I still think that the plot of the second book was more compelling. This book has us saying goodbye to some friends and celebrating with others. Overall it was a satisfactory end to the series. Also a few good twists to the story.


~Heroism (Marcus):

The camp fell silent, each group staring tensely at the other. Finally Marcus stepped forward. “If you insist on going through me to get to him, it’s your call. But I warn you, I will probably cry when you hurt me, and you’ll feel bad about it later.”

Vinci looked at him. “That’s your defiant speech?”

“Get used to it,” said Marcus. “There’s a lot more useless heroics where that came from.”

~On purpose:

People aren’t mugs, we’re clay. Living, breathing, thinking, feeling clay, and we can shape ourselves all our lives, getting better and better at whatever we want to be, and when we want to be something else we just smooth out the clay and start over. Your lack of ‘purpose’ is the single best thing about you, because it means you can be whatever you want.”

~On love (kind of a spoiler so read ahead with care):

Marcus’s face was impossible to read, but it finally broke, and he laughed. “You don’t apologize for this, Samm. It’s love, and love doesn’t weigh its options and pick the best one-love just wants things, and doesn’t know why, and it doesn’t matter why, because love is the only explanation love needs. Looking at Kira right now, I…know this is what she wants too. I-“He stopped and looked away sharply. His voice thick with emotion. “I’m not going to stand in the way.”

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction
Overall Opinion:   Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: Captive by Aimee Carter

captiveBook Review: Captive by Aimee Carter

Forced to continue her impersonation of Lila Hart, Kitty isn’t sure who to trust, especially when Benji starts to work for her fiancé. When plans go wrong, she is sentenced to Elsewhere; her worst fears realized. Can Kitty trust those who have promised to protect her before it is too late?

This is book two in the Blackcoat Rebellion series. This second book didn’t disappoint! I was glad to see new characters developed and old characters return as well as some interesting plot twists. I thought I might have to hunt the author down at one point for revenge, but I’m over that now (you see, sometimes I feel the need to stick up for a character I love).  Elsewhere certainly isn’t a place I’d like to spend my time, but I was definitely surprised by what she found there.

P.S. Whoever does the cover art for these is awesome! Love these covers.


Knox scowled deeply, but at last he said to Sampson, “If this gets me killed, I’m blaming you.”

Recommended Grades: 8-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Highly Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: Partials by Dan Wells

PartialsBook Review: Partials by Dan Wells

Kira is one of a small group of survivors left after a manufactured virus takes out most of the world. The immunity to the pathogen causes infertility and thus makes Kira consider the unthinkable; an alliance with the bio-engineered humans that caused the virus in the first place. When they capture the partial Samm, she begins to have even more questions.

Yes, I know this is an older series, but I’m just now getting to read it. I listened to the first two on audio and I am currently reading the third book. This series drew me in right away. I love the characters and the plot. I think the action sequences are believable and the moral issues faced by the characters are interesting discussion points.

I’m curious to see where the last book is headed, but so far so good!

Quote on Confidence:

“Sometimes a vote of confidence can be the most nerve wracking thing in the world.”

Quote on Strength:

“If you have the strength to whine, you have the strength to do something about it.”

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: Audiobook

Book Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

The Glass ArrowBook Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Aya’s world involves hiding from the businessmen and traders who hunt women for sport and then sell them at the markets. She is ripped away from the only family she knows and forced to survive with a group of girls waiting for auction. As the plot unfolds, she makes new friends and enemies; and in the process, learns new truths about herself.

This book was different from the Article 5 series in many ways and yet so similar (in a good way). The characters are strong and the plot nonstop from start to finish. There is so much humanity; both good and bad, in the characters. Hoping to see more from these characters.


On women:

“I think of Salma’s last words to me in the shop-that we are just women. As if that weren’t enough. It makes me sad-not angry, nor bitter. She always wanted more and in the end settled for nothing.”

On trust:

“But,” I say, wetting my lips, “but, if trust was a thing you could hold in your hand, I would give mine to you. I’d let you have it forever and never ask for it back.”

Recommended Grades: 8 and up
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Book