South of Sunshine

“What I want is for Bren to press her lips against mine. To see if kissing her is different than kissing the boys I’ve been with.”

Title: South of Sunshine

Author: Dana Elmendorf

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 1st 2016 by Albert Whitman

Pages: 256

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love?
And what will she risk for acceptance?

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.

Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

My Thoughts:

South of Sunshine was sweet, but like that candy that sticks on the back of your tooth and hurts and hurts and hurts. That probably sounds harsher than I mean for it to be, but, oops?

This book is one of those sickly sweet coming out stories that you love but it makes you cringe all at the same time because it is like swimming in a vat of goddamn nacho cheese. Small town Tennesse, hatred of anyone different (in this case homosexuality), hiding in a closet, and then boom! Love, addition, and everything you could have ever wanted to happen just puts the icing on the cake. South of Sunshine was a very good read, if you can overlook some small things – but I’ll get into that later. It is a story of discovery, of fighting yourself and then fighting for what you believe in. It was very good, it was just too much good.

Kaycee McCoy, likes girls, hides behind boys. She tries to fit in, she tries to pretend like she isn’t who she really is – she suffocates herself in her cloud of guilt. Then, all of a sudden, everything in her perfect plan to fit in goes horribly, wonderfully wrong. A new girl moves to Sunshine, Tennessee. A new girl, who, despite the stigmatized view in the town, isn’t afraid to be who she really is and vocalize things that would probably make your grandma blush brighter than a cherry. She is adventurous, she is witty, she is smart, oh, and she’s also gay.

I really did like Kaycee. Though I couldn’t identify with her struggle, I could find myself identifying with her strength. I felt sorry for her, but I never pitied her. Honestly, there was more than one occasion where I sort of got fed up with her Mary-Sue bullshit and I wished she would just grow a pair and stand up for herself. But, I can also see why it would be difficult to do so in her circumstances – and therefore, I found myself respecting her. But, she was also the main issue I had with the book – besides the pacing. Kaycee, while real and surprisingly complex, was also an unavoidable Mary Sue. I couldn’t escape Perfect Kaycee having to be perfect all the damn time – at her own expense. It was actually quite sickening. Additionally, her sweet little romance with Bren (whom I adore) was just… too much. There was too much of everything and not enough of the things we really needed. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t believable, and it wasn’t enjoyable. It was sort of like biting down on a caramel and getting it stuck on a cavity or something equally as painful.

My other big issue was the beginning. While the overall pacing was awful – though it did sort of redeem itself at the end – the start of this book is so damn unbelievable. It was rocky, shaky, and all other possible ways you can call something unstable. It’s confusing, it’s too fast, and it is simply a thorn in my side. I wanted more – I wanted a backstory, I wanted to see relationships build and break. South of Sunshine kind just shoves it up in your face and expects you to both understand and care. Um… sorry, but no.

Overall, while South of Sunshine is a pretty good read if you’re capable of overlooking minute details – it is also an unrealistic, almost sickeningly perfect story that seems to be clinging onto your bare minimum sensibilities for dear life. It was charming, the setting was charming, the characters were charming – but charm is not enough. I needed more beyond the surface layer, and in that respect I found this book to be sorely lacking. But, don’t count this book out of the running just yet – you could potentially like it more than I did. Just… be prepared to read a shallow first draft rather than what could have been a deep, profound final copy.

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Waiting On Wednesday # 24

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week’s Waiting On Wednesday is The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead!

Publication: April 5th 2016 by Razorbill

Summary from Goodreads:

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else’s property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.

Umm… EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO DIE OF HAPPINESS! Another Richelle Mead book? Bless the Lord and thank Sweet Baby Jesus. I love, love, love Richelle Mead’s books – every single one. I cannot wait for this book to get into my greedy little hands. Love for the Selection? Check. Love of the television show Reign? Check. Complete and utter obsession with Richelle Mead’s writing? Check.

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Teaser Tuesday # 24

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

This week’s Teaser Tuesday is for South of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf!

“What I want is for Bren to press her lips against mine. To see if kissing her is different than kissing the boys I’ve been with.”

“A blanket and a boyfriend–or a girlfriend if that’s the case–are the only two things you need on a hayride.”

“How do you expect anyone to accept you if you can’t accept yourself?”

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Tell The Wind and Fire

Maybe that is the only thing I have ever learned about love: love is when you save someone no matter what the cost.”

Title: Tell The Wind and Fire

Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Series: Standalone?

Publication: April 5th 2016 by Clarion Books

Pages: 368

Source: Publisher in exchange for honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

My Thoughts:

Well, right out of the bat I had no idea this was a retelling of A Tale Of Two Cities when I jumped into this book. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So, I found myself pleasantly surprised at recognizing little details here and there throughout Tell The Wind and Fire. I cried, I laughed, and I did everything that this book wanted me to. I felt just as broken as when I read the original – and that’s saying something.

Tell The Wind and Fire was, for lack of a better description, pretty awesome. I mean, there was enough of the old to bring back that hint of nostalgia – but there was also a fresh twist, a sense of vibrancy that breathed new air into an old classic.

I think, despite the obviously amazing scope of pretty much everything, that one of the best parts of this book is the complexity of the character development. Each character has a specific line they follow. A carefully hand-crafted and intricate thread that winds through each and every element of the story. There is not one thing that is not important – and it makes this book all the more wonderful. Everyone has a secret and everyone’s secret is either their downfall or their salvation. Each piece is an unstoppable force – each character is an irreplaceable role in the story. Lucie, Ethan, Carwyn… they’re all pieces of a larger puzzle.

Overall, Tell The Wind and Fire was a surprise in more ways than one. The writing was astounding, the character development was, and the plot was both wholly original all while paying homage to its predecessor.  This is a story of the battle between good and evil, between light and dark. It is a story that will strike you with its subtle power and even more subtle message. Balance is the most important concept of all, what are you willing to do to achieve it?

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Fangirl

“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.”

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 445

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts:

ALL THE FEELS! Oh my goodness…this book, this freaken book. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before this – stupid Sammi. Someone should have knocked some sense into me sooner. Fangirl was the book I have been waiting for and never knew it. Fangirl is the type of book that speaks to you. It breaks down your defenses and breaks your heart, makes you feel things you never even knew existed, and it opens your eyes. This is one of those books that resonates deep down within you and you have no idea until it’s all over and you’re left with this feeling in your gut that you can’t describe but you just.. know.

“It’s just… everything. There are too many people. And I don’t fit in. I don’t know how to be. Nothing that I’m good at is the sort of thing that matters there. Being smart doesn’t matter—and being good with words. And when those things do matter, it’s only because people want something from me. Not because they want me.”

In all honesty guys, I really have no idea what to say about this book. I’m sure you’ve heard of Fangirl before, read plenty of reviews, seen promos and stuff – all I can tell you is that this is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read. It just gets you. It gets the reader, it is the reader – Cath is all of us. Well, she is me and I know she is me.

Cath is a severe introvert who writes fanfiction online. She has a huge following… fanfiction is her life. She doesn’t know anything else. She can’t go out, she can’t be around people, she hates crowds and new things and being in the dining hall because of social anxiety. She is me, in every way possible – only I lose myself in my blog and books. Cath is insecure, she is unsure of herself and everything around her – she is not strong, yet she is oh so strong. You get me? She is, by far, my favorite protagonist in existence simply because is so real.

“There are other people on the Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a contemporary without romance – but this is the special type of romance. Cath and Levi, Levi and Cath… they are so natural. They build and grow together, they compliment each other, they just are. It was subtle, it was sweet, it was everything I ever needed in a contemporary romance and this book just gave it to me. Fangirl is not centered around the romance, don’t get me wrong guys – but it is a key part in Cath’s journey throughout the book. She has to learn to accept the love he gives despite her own fears about herself. It was truly something beautiful.

Overall, Fangirl – like I said – is one of the best books I have ever read. It breaks the mold, it shatters your expectations and builds them back up to unmentionable heights. This book is simply life in the way life happens and the way we deal it. There are no terrifying climaxes, no plummits, no peaks – it is just life and it was beautiful. By far, Fangirl is superbly written, profound, and everything in between. Go read it… trust me.. go read it.

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The Lie Tree

“People were animals, and animals were nothing but teeth. You bit first, and you bit often. That was the only way to survive.”

Title: The Lie Tree

Author: Frances Hardinge

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 19th 2016 by Amulet Books

Pages: 384

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

In this deliciously creepy novel by the author of the critically acclaimed Cuckoo Song, the fruit of a magical tree uncovers dangerous truths

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy—a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder—or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.

My Thoughts:

If I had to describe The Lie Tree in one word, it would be: Fascinating. But, since I don’t have the constraints of one word, I can do a little word vomit. Enchanting, compelling, dark, captivating, historical, hypnotizing, clever, complex, intelligent. Get the picture? Guys, The Lie Tree is an awesome read – it will grab you by your ankles and yank you into its chaos.

The Lie Tree is a mystery set in Victorian England, but there is a twist. For a basic outline of what is going on and what happens throughout the course of the novel – only non-spoilery stuff, of course – Faith, a young Victorian woman, is forced to move to a remote island with her family after her father’s findings and the reaction to them cause a scandal. Oh my! As we know from the synopsis, Faith’s father is soon found dead and everyone rules it to be a suicide, everyone but Faith – that is.

Faith is shy, intelligent, well-mannered, and unafraid. She makes it her mission to uncover the secrets her father kept, restore his good name, and find out the truth of what really happened to him. I admired her, to be honest – especially considering the time period working against her and what she wanted to do. She is courageous, she isn’t afraid to admit mistakes or to allow her mind to wander past her own opinions. She is self-aware, beautifully so – in fact.

I think the most amazing part of this book is how everything comes together in the end. There are so many little details, so many different threads and pieces of a puzzle – you don’t realize it until the end, and then it all suddenly clicks into place. This book is the perfect mystery in that sense. I didn’t figure anything out before it wanted me to, and that alone is an accomplishment.

Overall, The Lie Tree is a gem of a book. It is heart-pounding, thought provoking, dark, witty, and everything a book should be. Frances Hardinge has crafted a beautifully complex story that’s allure is hard to ignore.

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This Was A Bad Idea But I Did It Anyway Bookhaul

OOPS I DID IT AGAIN!  I bought a lot of books.. with nowhere to put the books, but I bought a lot of books. What else did you expect from me? I am a book dragon – I hoard things and never stop collecting.

Someone really needs to keep me off of BookOutlet and Amazon… just sayin’. (But I would fight you. You can’t stop me.)

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So, for the first half of this monstrous beast – here is my list from BookOutlet:

1. What Goes Around by Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers fans are in for a treat! Two of her most critically acclaimed titles bound together for the price of one. In Cracked Up To Be, Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, is that a horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault. In Some Girls Are, climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome. And just like the other members of this all girl clique, she was both feared and revered by the students of Hallowell High… that is until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around.

2. Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup truck, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

3. The Tiger Saga books 1-4 by Colleen Houck

From Amazon because why the hell not:

1.Carry On Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

3. The Word For Yes by Claire Needell

After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfriend. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, and dealing with all the pressures of life in high school, aren’t exactly close. Erika is serious and feels awkward and uncomfortable in crowds, though her beauty tends to attract attention. Melanie is socially savvy and just wants to go out—to concerts, to parties, wherever—with her friends. The gap between all three girls widens as each day passes.

Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.

And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.

At once touching and raw, Claire Needell’s first novel is an honest look at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart.

 

4. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year.

5. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.

But the end to it all looms closer every day.

Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.

For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.

She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.

Or she could disappear.

6. Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.

7. Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott

For fans of rich and complex historical novels like Girl with a Pearl Earring or Code Name Verity, Laura Malone Elliott delivers the stunning tale of real-life Renaissance woman Ginevra de’ Benci, the inspiration for one of Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest masterpieces.

The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them, one Ginevra only begins to understand. In a rich and vivid world of exquisite art with a dangerous underbelly of deadly political feuds, Ginevra faces many challenges to discover her voice and artistic companionship—and to find love.

8. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

9. Velvet Undercover by Terri Brown

Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

10. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.