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Four Star Review: Black Coats by Colleen Oakes – Published 2/12/2019

Black Coats recruit women who have sustained a substantial lost, never vindicated and give them the chance to help other girls get vindicated and then earn an "inheritance" aka, the right the avenge the grievance of the loved one they lost. They don't kill. They scare. They ensure it never happens again and they promise female empowerment. Women will go on from this organization feeling inspired, vindicated and ready to join support women through traditional means and make things right as judges, cops etc. But things aren't always what they seem.

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Five Star Review: Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Everything you come to expect from M. R. Carey if you aren't constantly expecting The Girl with All the Gifts. It is like asking Travis to make The Man Who repeatedly or The Beatles to stay a boy band, stuck in A Hard Day’s Night (If I have to link The Beatles or A Hard Day's Night you are just doing life wrong).

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Review: Black Wings Beating

NetGalley and Macmillian Children's Publishing provided ARC for honest review The difficulty in starting a new series is in balancing world building, introducing characters and the multiple plot points that leave many unresolved questions. When incorrectly done this can frustrate readers rather than leaving them wanting more. Fortunately in Black Wings Beating, Alex London has …

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Four Star Review: Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

What makes Dry so brilliant is that it doesn't hold back. It hits hard. Without spoiling anything specific, the Shusterman boys don't hide from the harsh realities of humanity lost. We all like to think we know what we would do, how we would act in these kinds of situations. The truth is until we are in that situation, we don't know what we will do or who we will become. Until our lives, our loved ones lives are on the line. Until it is literally life or death. Your life or someone else's life? You don't know what you are going to do. Dry was dedicated "to all those struggling to undo the disastrous effects of climate change". It was meant to send a message. For 360 pages it sent that message loud and clear.

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Top Tuesday: Books/Series that Led Me to a Novel Life

I wanted to do a different spin on the Top <fill in the blank> Tuesday and so I came up with an idea. There was NO DOUBT that there was a landslide of Young Adult books that led me to start Novel Lives. I am not going to review or even attempt a mini-review of …

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ARC Four Star Review: The Disasters by M.K. England

The Disasters is a laugh out loud mash-up of characters so diverse that even when you think you know where they lie on the spectrum of diversity, two chapters later you realize they have a multi-cultural and sexual orientation chasm going on in one character. Meanwhile I don't remember any of this being mentioned in the promotion for the book, nor the overriding Middle-Eastern themes. Well done on the England and HarperTeen's part to let that be a surprise welcome. This book is being promoted on the the plot, characters and overall fun to be had. Oh and the dedication, which I love.
To everyone who's ever felt like a disaster. Here, have a spaceship! Now fly. 

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ARC Five Star Review: For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide

Heidi Heilig  has created a piece of art that is multi-faceted in characters, writing structures and plot points. Within this she has interwoven an own voice struggle as a bipolar woman through the main character, Jetta, who simply refers to it as her malheur, the french word for misfortune. Heilig discusses writing a bipolar heroine at the end of the book. She balances writing Jetta's manic highs driving her family's successful shadow plays, her ability to defend herself and control spirits through necromancy. However, it also causes rash decisions and leads to actions that harms herself and those she cares the most about. This comes with the depressive lows where she withdraws, panics and sleeps due to the exhaustion of fighting it all because of a driving resilience, intelligence and need to not have her malheur define who she is nor her life.