Quick preview: Romanov by Nadine Brandes

I remember watching Anastasia when I was younger and totally getting sucked in. Heck, I watched it last year and still remembered all the songs. The idea of a princess surviving, when her family didn’t, gave me chills. The strength she would have to have. WOW. So when I heard that Nadine Brandes was wrote a story about Anastasia, I HAD to read it. And yet I knew it would be hard to read. I always get choked up at the idea of her family’s assassination. I can’t even imagine how terrified she must’ve been. Ugh.

Romanov was a magical twist of the story of an exiled princess. It tugged at my heart numerous times and it gave me hope. I think I loved it even more because it wasn’t all real, there was a bit a magic woven into the story. I was not expecting that at all. But I’m honestly happy it was there. If this was a 100% true account, I would’ve been crying the whole time.

While the story was a retelling, some parts were very real and mildly graphic. If giving this to a younger teen, give them a little heads up about what really happened. I know my stomach dropped while reading. I was prepared, and yet I wasn’t, for the firing squad scene.

This retelling is now one of my favorites. I look forward to what Nadine gives us next.

You definitely should add Romanov to your TBR!
Release date: May 7, 2019

~Melpomene

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Review: This Book Is Not Yet Rated by Peter Bognanni

What a sweet, sad story this was. Ethan, poor lost Ethan, trying everything to save the very old and very rundown theater that’s his last physical connection to his dad. and since his dad died several years ago, it’s where he spends most of his time. But now it’s slated to be turn down. And Ethan, along with his group of employees who are just as lost as he is, determined to keep that from happening. Funny, not entirely plausible, but completely enjoyable.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: This Book Is Not Yet Rated

Review: We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott

Young love is hard, y’all. All those emotions and hormones and stuff running wild. It’s easy to see how feelings could get out of control. But how far is too far?

Molly is missing. Just disappeared. And of course, the first place the police look is at her boyfriend Cobain. But he’s just as perplexed as the authorities are. He would never hurt her. After all, she’s his everything. Before Molly came into his life, he was just existing as he wandered through life. Molly brought the light to his world. And now she’s gone.

Cobain is determined to find out what happened to Molly. He knows more than what he’s told the police, and he has a suspect list. Did he really know Molly, though? What secrets was she hiding from him?

There’s A LOT going on with this story. It’s told from two different perspectives as well as shifting from past to present. Surprisingly, though, it’s easy to follow and suspenseful enough to keep you reading until the twisty end.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: We Told Six Lies

Review: Roam by C.H. Armstrong

Most of us have never experienced being homeless. And if we’re very lucky, we never will. Not so for seventeen-year-old Abby.

Being in high school is hard. It’s even harder when you’re keeping a secret that could ruin your social standing. In Abby’s case, that secret is that she and her family are homeless. It wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time, not so long ago, they had everything. A nice house, good jobs, friends, all that a teenage girl could want.

But one mistake led to another, and one stroke of bad luck piled on top of another. And just like that, Abby finds herself living in the family’s van. Eating at soup kitchens, cleaning up in public bathrooms, trying to stay warm while sleeping in parking lots…it’s a lot for anyone to handle. Abby’s determined, however, to overcome this gigantic obstacle. With the help of some new friends, will she be able to do it?

I loved this story from beginning to end. It’s a reminder of how quickly things can change, of how everything can be gone in the blink of an eye. And it’s also a reminder that we never truly know what someone is going through.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Roam

Review:The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

Don’t let that gorgeous cover fool you. This a super creepy and crazy book. But in all good ways. After my daughter and I read The Beast is an Animal, we knew that whatever Peternelle wrote we wanted to read it. So when I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Cold is in Her Bones I was through the roof with excitement. And to find out it has a Medusa feel, well then SIGN ME UP.

Milla has been raised in a far off house, away from the towns. She’s not allowed to go anywhere and is raised to be a helper of those who are older than her. She always seemed to do the wrong things and upsetting her parents. When a new girl arrives at a neighbors house she finds hope. Hope of a friend and maybe even a sister. But Iris is keeping a secret from Milla, in the hopes that will keep her safe.

But of course that doesn’t last.

The towns that Milla has been forbidden to go to, have been plagued by demons. Demons possess the girls so Iris and Milla were assumed to be safe since they were far. You know what they say about assuming…

When Iris is “infected” and is sent away, Milla is determined to find her and bring her back home. Her journey is one of self discovery. She isn’t as safe from the demon as she hoped, but for the love of her sister of her heart she is willing to travel far and wide and find a way to save them both. Friendship and familial love was a thread woven throughout this story. Milla broke free from what was expected from her in order to find her own way and take charge of her own life. There were trials and struggles but for love you’d go through anything. Even face a demon.

Girls who run from what frightens them don’t get what they want.

As I was reading this, I kept thinking of my own daughter. She’s the strongest girl I know. She won’t let anyone control her or hold her back. She wants to try everything and if mistakes are made, she owns them and learns from them. And since she LOVED The Beast is an Animal, I know she will love this as well. I can’t wait for her to read it!

~Melpomene

Buy The Cold is in Her Bones https://amzn.to/2BMziUv

Review: The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

If only all parents could be as open and approachable as Lacey’s…this thought kept running through my head as I read this one.

A teenage mom herself, she’s determined to not have Lacey’s life take the same path. So Lacey’s always been raised in an open household where no issue is off limits. And that includes any and all things related to sex. So it’s just natural that Lacey would become the “expert” at school for sex ed advice.

Except that Lacey’s never even kissed anyone, let alone had sex. But when she sees her school pushing an abstinence-only policy, she’s determined to take a stand. Even if that means trouble.

Unusual for sure, probably not everyone’s cup of tea. And likely more than a few people will disagree with the author’s stance on this issue. But I liked it soooo…

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me

Review: The Reckless Club by Beth Vrabel

First, apologies for not writing this the first week of October when The Reckless Club was first released. You or your kiddos have waited too long already to read this book. Perfect for middle schoolers, The Reckless Club is a tweenage-appropriate glance at The Breakfast Club, with the extra twists and turns you’d expect from kids this age.

Beth Vrabel did a great job writing varied characters who have personal quirks that showed me a little bit of their souls. And better yet, the kids got a glimpse of each other’s souls, what made them tick, what made them hurt, and what made them better people.

In this world of divisiveness, where people say things on social media that they would never say to someone’s face, we need commentary on the benefits of seeing each other as human beings. The Reckless Club takes that stand, shining a light on the real people underneath what other people see as a drama queen, a nerd, an athlete…

This book reminded me not to judge until I’ve walked a mile in the other person’s shoes. It would make a great Christmas gift for any middle schooler you know, or their teacher.

-Calliope

Buy THE RECKLESS CLUB