The Runaway King – Review

book cover for "The Runaway King" - a broken sword on a green background

The Runaway King is the second book in the Ascendance Trilogy.

Jaron has just barely become king when an assassination attempt forces him to begin making plans. As pressure mounts on his shoulders, he finally concludes that deserting the kingdom is likely his only chance to save it. Or, in other words, going to the Avenian Pirates is the only lead he has on how to begin saving his country. Resuming his old identity of Sage, he is forced into dangerous situations in hopes of pulling off a miraculous save. Jaron must face his past, learn his friends from foes, and who he truly can trust, or more correctly, who he cannot.

I really enjoyed this book. Jaron is the sort of character that you love and cannot help but be driven up the wall by at the same time. This new adventure is full of exactly the sort of ridiculous things I could see him doing, and he does them perfectly. Or not perfectly, I guess, but incredibly well, given what the actions themselves are. He is hilarious and determined to save the day,  no matter the personal cost.

I would give this a 4.6/5. Jaron is determined to save everyone and everything, and this book shows that determination perfectly.

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Edenbrooke – Review

Edenbrooke book cover: girl in a long dress standing in an orchard, above a picture of a historic estate

Edenbrooke is definitely one of my favorite books. The perfect blend of adventure, daydream, action, romance and humor makes it a book worth reading again and again.

Marianne Daventry is a witty young woman living in Bath with her grandmother after her mother passed away while her father is grieving. She is a proper young lady-in-the-making, and an unwilling one at that as she would much prefer horse riding or painting or simply twirling in the countryside, with its natural beauty spinning all around her.

Marianne’s twin, Cecily, was sent to stay with their cousin in London, and asked Marianne to come visit her on her quest to become “Lady Cecily” by making the rich brother of her friend fall in love with her.

While Marianne doesn’t care much for the romance part, and is a little skeptical of the fact that she would be any help on this quest, she is elated at the chance to leave the confines of Bath and escape an unwanted suitor’s relentless attentions.

Unfortunately, a few things do not quite go as planned. Marianne soon finds herself in quite the unexpected adventure of the heart, mind and wits and struggles to keep on her toes.

This is a truly humorous, sentimental and clever romance book that keeps the reader interested in the plot and greatly entertained.  I definitely recommend Edenbrooke as more than a love story, but an intriguing and entertaining must read romance novel for romantics who love to have a good adventure brewing in the background.

I would give Edenbrooke a 4.8 out of 5 review.

Masterminds: A Book Review

Five teenagers with bikes beneath a helicopter with a search light

Living in a perfect city may sound like a blessing, right? Or is it a curse? Eli Frieden is a current resident of Serenity, New Mexico, where the mere idea of crime and poverty, and the thought of unemployment are oblivious to human-kind. Here in Serenity, there is no concept of stranger-danger, or danger at all. Here in Serenity, everything is okay, and everything is alright. But deep down inside, is the city as wonderful as it appears?

Eli Frieden lives in this so-called “perfect city” and seems to be living a normal life. However, upon biking to the city limits for the first time with his friend, Randy Hardaway, he experiences unimaginable pain. The next day, Randy makes a spontaneous trip to his grandparents, although Eli suspects this is not the whole story. He sets out to discover the genuine truth about this desert utopia. At a cost of knowing about the city, he also learns the truth about the 184 other residents, and even himself. Meanwhile, many of his friends notice strange behaviors from many adults, and start to lose trust in the people he, and the rest of the town, live with.

Masterminds, altogether, is a phenomenal title that definitely deserves praise for its riveting plot twists and relatable characters. Along with that, this realistic fiction is a Maryland Black- Eyed Susan nominee. This book has a breathtaking storyline, and leaves mysteries lying in every corner. Chapter by chapter, this story starts to unfold, and one by one the pieces connect into a grand idea, that the reader has yet to discover. I would highly recommend this book to teens, and anyone  who enjoys thrillers and unforeseen conclusions. For these reasons, I would rate this book a 9/10. Masterminds holds a special place in my top favorites, and hopefully will do the same for you too!

The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler

The Truth About Us book cover - a teen girl and teen boy embracing in front of a brick wall

Seventeen year old Jess has dealt with more problems than most teenagers her age. After a tragic incident in the past, her family can never be the same again. Her life becomes a ball of confusion and anger that only ends in her sabotaging her only true friendship with her best friend, Penny. After Penny and Jess stop communicating with each other, Jess gets involved with the wrong crowd, leading her to get into trouble with her father and being sent to help out at the Local Soup Kitchen for the whole remainder of the summer as punishment.

When Jess goes to the Local Soup Kitchen for the first time, she ends up seeing Flynn, a poor boy who eats there with his family and also helps out when he can. Whenever Jess sees him, her heart flutters. Soon, Jess feels like Flynn is the only person that understands her. They end up wanting to be together but since Flynn and Jess live different lifestyles, both families disapprove. Sometimes opposites attract – but can this relationship withstand the pressures against it?

I would recommend this book to mature readers. If you are up for a good romance story that will make you cry at times but also make your heart skip a beat, this is for you!

The False Prince – Review

book cover for The False Prince featuring a broken crown

The False Prince is the first book in the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Neilsen. It is the fast-paced intriguing tale of a careless orphan named Sage.

When a nobleman named Conner buys Sage from the orphanage, despite Mrs. Turdebly’s warnings, Sage is suspicious that Conner has ulterior motives. Once Sage and three other boys have been gathered, Conner reveals a treacherous plan he believes will save Carthya from a war that will surely destroy the country. The boys are forced to compete with each other for the “privilege” of posing as the long-lost son of the queen and king, and now heir to the throne, each knowing that if he is not chosen, he will die, and if he is chosen, he will have to lie the rest of his life to avoid much worse than death.

Lies, deception and duplicity blend together in hopes of pulling off the greatest scandal in Carthya’s history, and a truth is revealed that is as dangerous as all the lies together.

Sage is a character that one cannot help but adore. He is defiant and uncaring and almost definitely too clever for his own good, and this, along with his wit and humor, endears him to readers.

I really like how the author keeps the story moving with secrets to be understood, arguments to be fought, and overall Sage being as defiant as possible while making his own plans to win this awful game, but on his terms.

I would give this book a 4.6 / 5 . incredibly clever and fun to read with plenty of adventure and danger along the way.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte(Book Review)

cover of book Jane Eyre featuring a close up of a woman's face looking downward

When Jane Eyre is left parentless, she must live with her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed. A servant named Bessie takes care of Jane and shows her the most amount of kindness in the house, telling her stories and singing songs to her. One day, as punishment for standing up against her abusive cousin John Reed, Jane’s aunt locks her in the red-room, the room in which Jane’s uncle died. While in the room, Jane faints from fear. She wakes up to the apothecary, Mr. Lloyd, who suggests that Jane be sent away to school. Fortunately for her, Mrs. Reed agrees.

Lowood School is an awful place and Jane has a hard time. She spends eight years at Lowood, working as teacher for two of those. Jane wants to leave this place so she accepts a governess position at Thornfield teaching a French girl named Adele. She works alongside the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax and is employed by a mysterious man called Mr. Rochester.

Strange things happen at Thornfield causing danger to its inhabitant’s lives. On top of that, Jane finds herself falling madly in love with Mr. Rochester. This manor is not all that it appears to be. Jane finds herself trying to solve the mystery while also fighting the rules of society to win Rochester’s heart.

I liked this book because it was a classic tale of romance but also it showed the struggle that women went through at that time in history.

Part 1: Summary — “Her Dark Curiosity”

book cover for Her Dark Curiosity, featuring a girl in a long black dress overlooking the city of London

“Her Dark Curiosity” is a young adult and science fiction novel by Megan Shepherd. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers, it is the second novel in “The Madman’s Daughter” series and is filled with breathtaking content that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

In the beginning of the book, Juliet Moreau has returned to her hometown, London, after running away from her father’s island. Montgomery had put her in a small boat by herself to send her away and save her from the burning island. Fast-forward a few months later and Juliet finds herself heartbroken and unsure about whether or not Montgomery — or anyone living on the island — survived.

Now alone, Juliet occupies a small attic as her workspace. Her disease is getting even worse, causing her symptoms like shaking hands, dizziness, shifting joints, and many more. Being the skilled daughter of London’s most gifted surgeon, she desperately tries to find a serum that will help her with her disease. She is running out of time, however, with the symptoms getting worse and worse with each passing day.

Finding a cure for her illness is not her only problem. After slicing Dr. Hastings’s wrist for attempting to abuse her, and being put in prison for it, Juliet is always afraid and paranoid. That changes when one of her father’s former colleagues, referred to as Professor Victor von Stein, one of the people who had turned her father in after the scandal, gets her out of prison. Guilty for having left Juliet and her now-dead mother, Evelyn, in the streets, the Professor takes her whole-heartedly into his home.

At this point, Juliet’s life is starting to look more promising. Her best friend, Lucy, might marry Scotland Yard inspector, John Newcastle. She doesn’t really like him, because she likes another mysterious gentleman, but Juliet thinks she will be in good hands for now. Everything seems to be going great. Well, almost great. That is, because of her progressing illness, and something else…

It all started when she went to the meat section of a store. She had become familiar with the butcher after buying animal organs in an attempt to recreate her father’s serum. The butcher tells her that a killer, nicknamed as the “Wolf of Whitechapel”, is roaming the streets of London, killing his victims in a violent way, tearing them apart “like an animal”. When she hears about this, Juliet has a sinking feeling. “That’s how Edward had killed his victims”.

She didn’t think much of it, at first. London is a big city, where many murders happen. Her views toward the recent murders change once she learns the victims’ names. First, Annie Brenton — a “friend” who had stolen a ring, the only thing Juliet had after her mother’s death. Then, Daniel Penderwick — the person who had taken the fortune of Juliet’s family after the scandal. Juliet found the third victim herself, after following traces of blood in the snow. It was the girl-thief who had tried to steal Juliet’s silver buttons not more than half an hour earlier. What was most remarkable, however, was that she found a flower dipped in a pool of blood. She later learns that this type of flower doesn’t grow in London.  This means that someone must have brought it from a tropical place. “Flowers dipped in blood. That is his mark.”

Juliet can’t help but notice a pattern- all the victims had wronged her in the past. That is what she thinks, until the Wolf of Whitechapel kills the Professor. Juliet is, once again, heartbroken; all the Professor had ever done was help her. The real question is what will Juliet do now? Is Edward the Wolf of Whitechapel? Will she find Montgomery? Will she find a cure for her illness, and will her life ever be normal?