The Pearl Thief (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Julia Beaufort-Stuart is the granddaughter of Sandy Murray, Earl of Strathfearn, and the descendant of a queen. They are a very wealthy and respected family, but when Sandy dies and leaves behind a lot of debt, the Stuarts have to sell the house and all his artifacts.

The family is staying at the house as the new owners get it ready to become a school to sort out any last minute problems. Julia gets there three days before her family is expecting her, so they don’t realize anything is wrong when she gets attacked. Waking up in the hospital, she doesn’t remember anything that happened, but when she gets home she realizes that her accident may not have been an accident. An employee of her family, Dr. Housman, went missing the same day Julia was in the hospital, and she has a theory they were attacked by the same person.

Euan McEwen found Julia unconscious and brought her to the hospital, and she thinks he and his sister, Ellen, might be able to explain what happened to her. The McEwens are Travelers, which means they are nomadic and are treated terribly. She notices how hard their life is so she tries to help, but it is getting more difficult because the cops blame Euan for the attacks.

Julia and the McEwens go on adventures and discover more secrets to help solve the mystery. When a body shows up the cops are just as lost as they were before because the body is so mangled they can’t actually tell the identity. It is assumed that the body is Housman because the cops didn’t find anything to prove otherwise. Now everyone is a suspect but the real criminal is someone no one expects.

I liked The Pearl Thief  by Elizabeth Wein because it was thrilling with a new surprise on every page. I recommend this book because it is a wonderful mystery.

Lifeblood (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

This review contains spoilers for Firstlife by Gena Showalter.

As Tenley “Ten” Lockwood’s Firstlife ended, she chose her realm in the Everlife. This decision, though, has many consequences as the war between Myriad and Troika continues. One of these is that the love of her life, Killian, is Myriadian, which means they can’t even touch each other without getting hurt.

Ten is a Conduit, which means she absorbs the sunlight and directs it to Troika. They need sunlight because it acts as a fuel for their bodies. There are only two Conduits currently in existence and the other one is in hiding so Ten’s role is even more important for Troika’s survival. Myriad realizes this, so they are doing everything they can to get to Ten, mostly by using Killian against her.

Another weapon they use against her is Penumbra, a disease capable of draining Troikans of Light. They placed it into two humans and there is a chance for it to be spread to more. Ten is the only one who can cure them but with all the fighting it is extremely difficult to reach them.

With no end in sight for the war and Ten’s life constantly in danger she realizes that everyone isn’t who they appear to be and that nowhere is safe anymore. A big battle breaks out in Troika and a lot of innocent people die. Ten really wants this war to be over and she will do anything to stop it.

I liked Lifeblood by Gena Showalter because it was suspenseful and I couldn’t stop reading. I recommend this book because it was very different and well written.

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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Review by: apiazza4

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan is the first book in The Trials of Apollo series. In this book, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus by his father Zeus, king of the gods, for starting the war with Gaea, the Greek earth goddess. He is turned into a 16-year-old mortal boy with none of his godly powers. Without Apollo (the god of poetry, healing, prophecy, and other things) up in Olympus, the oracles go silent. Oracles tell prophecies, the prediction of what is to come. Apollo meets a street girl in New York named Meg and it turns out she is a demigod, half-human, half-god.

Meg has a goddess mother and a mysterious step-father who has some big plans that become clear in the end. Meg’s real father was killed by “The Beast” when she was young. Apollo and Meg go on an adventure together to reclaim the stolen oracles and find the missing campers from Camp Half-Blood.

I liked the unexpected twists and the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter. I also liked that it was told from the point of view of Apollo, so you knew what he thought about the different events in the story. I would recommend this book because it is full of adventure and suspense, so you will never want to put it down.

Empress of a Thousand Skies (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an of Kalu is the only surviving heir of the Ta’an dynasty. The rest of her family was killed when the current Crown Regent, Seotra, exploded their ship. Rhiannon, or Rhee, only has days left until her sixteenth birthday and coronation when her own teacher attempts to assassinate her. She is saved by a Fontisian boy only a few years older than herself and they go on the run. Even though they get away the news still states she was killed because Seotra wants to keep his power and declare war. Rhee decides that she needs to end Seotra and his reign, so they travel to Tinoppa where he will be attending her “funeral.” She comes extremely close to killing him but she finds out a shocking truth that sets her on a different adventure.

Alyosha Myraz, UniForce soldier and star of The Revolutionary Boys has the misfortune of being with the wrong person at the wrong time. His co-star on the show is actually a spy for the United Planets, an organization that tries to keep peace between the planets. His mission was to get information on the UniForce, which he strayed from until he got a message that there might be an attempt on the princess’s life. Alyosha finds out he can’t  go back to an UniForce base anyway because a video was put out of him saying that he was going to kill the princess. Only he and his co-star know he never actually said this- someone messed with audio from the show to frame him. Alyosha is now the most wanted person in the universe and while on the run he meets someone he thought to be dead.

I liked Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza because it was fun with cliffhangers every chapter. I recommend this book because it is not like anything I have read before and it was very interesting.

Freya (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Freya, the Norse goddess of love and war, beauty and death, has been living as Sarah Vanadi in a mental hospital. For years she has been growing weaker from the decreasing number of worshipers for her. Freya isn’t getting many worshipers at the hospital but she has nowhere else to go.

All this changes when a government employee comes to see her because he knows her true identity. He’s trying to recruit her to join his organization, Finemdi, that collects gods so they can get more worshipers. Freya is suspicious of him so she declines, but he won’t take no for an answer. He tries to take her by force, but she manages to get away with her meager strength. She and her new mortal friend Nathan create new lives for themselves in Orlando, Florida so that they won’t be easily found. Unfortunately, they meet Dionysus and he hands them over to Finemdi.

Freya will not stand for what they are doing to the gods they capture but has to play along anyway. She knows that she needs to open the eyes of the other gods so they can revolt against the government and be free. All of this comes at a price, but Freya is prepared to fight.

I liked this book because it included a wide variety of gods from different civilizations and I learned a lot of new myths. I recommend Freya by Matthew Laurence because it was interesting and I couldn’t put it down.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

In The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill the people of the Protectorate sacrifice a baby to the witch in the woods each year to keep her from attacking them. The council of elders of the town made up this witch to scare the people so they maintain power. What they don’t know is that there actually is a witch, but she saves the children from getting eaten and gives them to good families in a better town.

This year, it is a little baby girl with a crescent moon birthmark that gets left in the woods to die. The witch picks her up and realizes she is different than the others and special. On the journey to the baby’s new home the witch finds herself circling back and not going toward the right place because she is mesmerized by the little girl. What the witch usually does when she runs out of milk for the children is reach up and feeds them starlight, which makes the children healthier. Instead of starlight she accidentally feeds her moonlight, which gives her magical powers. The witch then knows that she can’t give up the baby so she raises her as her granddaughter. This child, though, causes a lot of trouble and can’t control her magic so the witch goes to drastic measures that almost destroy their lives.

I liked this book very much because it was nothing like I had ever read before. There was a new surprise in each chapter and I couldn’t put it down. I recommend this book if you like fantasy and suspense.

The Wonder of Us (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson is a dual-perspective novel about two friends traveling around Europe. Abby and Riya have been best friends since preschool, but when Riya moves to Berlin for a year they stop talking. To mend their friendship, Riya decides to invite Abby to do a tour around Europe for two weeks. Abby is really into history and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, so Riya thinks her itinerary will be perfect. Instead of going to the actual wonders, Riya connects other sights to them. The two girls are “chaperoned” by her cousin, whom she finds very annoying.

Abby feels like she barely knows Riya anymore because she acts and dresses differently. Also, she doesn’t seem very anxious to get back to Yuba Ridge, California. During their time apart they have been keeping secrets from each other and this trip will finally bring them out. This secret keeping makes them get into fights on their first stop in Florence.

The next cities they go to are Zurich, Berlin, and Edinburgh. Abby finds out Riya’s life changing secret, can’t handle it, and decides to go back home. Will everything work out or will they stop being friends forever?

I really liked this book because it felt very real since it could happen in real life. The ending even made me sad. I recommend this book because it was interesting and a real page-turner.