Publisher: Scholastic

The False Prince Review

23 Mar, 2017 by in fantasy, scholastic, ya fantasy Leave a comment

The False Prince Review

The False Prince

by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: Ascendance Trilogy #1
Published by Scholastic on April 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 355
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads

This book is chock-full of action, suspense, and humor! With twists and turns in the plot, I could hardly put it down. Each character had completely different strengths and weaknesses. Sage’s dry humor and sarcastic remarks kept the mood from becoming too foreboding. With Conner’s mysterious plan and Sage’s shadowy past, the reader has to continually guess what will happen next.

The False Prince is also a coming-of-age novel. Sage has to refine his character by decreasing his arrogance and leaving some things unsaid. He is my favorite character because he won’t give in to anyone and intelligently takes note of small details that ultimately save him. The suspense in the plot only resolves at the very end, so the reader has to keep reading to find out what happens. I would recommend this book to ages 12 and above or anyone that wants to be pulled into a complex story.

-Kaykay, 15


See How They Run Embassy Row #2 by Ally Carter

17 May, 2016 by in ally carter, embassy row, see how the run Leave a comment

See How They Run

by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row #2
Published by Scholastic on December 22, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

Grace is experiencing trauma from the death of her mother and can only remember bits and pieces of the event she witnessed. Her memories are muddled but all lead to a scar faced man who seems to now be following her. Spending time in Adria with her grandfather, a diplomat on Embassy Row, she’s afraid she is literally going mad. Her friends Noah and Alexi are there to hold things together when she unravels, but the anxiety and flashbacks are coming on stronger and more frequently. A plot driven, action packed story, See How They Run is riddled with past tradition, secret societies and murder. I’ve struggled a bit with this series because it is so much darker than anything else Ally has written. I put it down at one point, then came back after a break to finish it out.

Oh the ending!

You will definitely want to read book one to be able to decipher all that is going on. There are many layers to the story and the cliffhanger left me needing book three! I enjoyed the dynamic between Grace and her brother as well as the sparks. I would recommend the series for older teens as there is some violence and the tone is more dark than the Gallagher Girls or Heist Society series. There may also be some triggers for teens experiencing PTSD or anxiety. There is lots of history woven in to the backstory and I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds.

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer and rancher. I have one older sister.

In high school, I was very active in a number of student organizations and graduated as co-valedictorian of my senior class. I then attended Oklahoma State University and Cornell University and worked for several years in the agricultural industry before writing full-time.

My first novel, Cheating at Solitaire (Berkley) was published in 2005. The following year I published the sequel to Solitaire, Learning to Play Gin. There are no more plans for future books in that series at this time.

My first novel for young adults, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You was published by Disney-Hyperion in April 2006. Love You Kill You (as we call it) was followed by Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (October 2007), Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover (June 2009), Only the Good Spy Young (June 2010), Out of Sight, Out of Time (March 2012). United We Spy (September 2013) is the sixth–and final–Gallagher Girls novel.

I am also the author of Heist Society (February 2010) and its sequels Uncommon Criminals (June 2011), and Perfect Scoundrels (February 2013).

In January 2013 I published the cross-over novella Double-Crossed that features characters from both the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. It is available for free at and wherever ebooks are sold.

ALL FALL DOWN is the first book in my new Embassy Row series. It was published on January 20, 2015 and will launch a new three-book series with Scholastic.

My books have been published in more than twenty countries and have appeared on best-seller lists from the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, and Bookscan. They have sold over two million copies in the United States.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and today, I’m able to do the job I wanted to do when I was a kid, and I am back living in Oklahoma.


Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

01 May, 2014 by in catch a falling star, kim culbertson, netgalley, scholastic, young adult fiction 5 comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Catch a Falling Star

by Kim Culbertson
Published by Scholastic on April 29th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

I’ve been on a contemporary YA kick lately looking for sweet, summer reads. Catch A Falling Star is just that! Small town girl Carter Moon lives in Little California and works in her parents’ sandwich shop. She’s perfectly happy with the way her life is now. No need to go off to New York or explore the world. She has roots in her town. Carter teaches the elderly dance classes and is not at all fazed when movie star Adam Jakes rolls in to town to shoot his latest movie. Adam is your typical arrogant child star turned young adult. He gets what he want s and he has an attitude. Carter’s best friend Chloe is the adoring fan, with poster plastered all over her walls. So no one is more shocked when Adam seems to take a liking to Carter. How did her friend make the radar and the cut to become Adam’s girlfriend?

Delicately yet realistically exploring addiction and the masks we all wear, Catch a Falling Star is a clean, sweet YA. We get a very clear picture of Carter, but not much fleshing out of Adam or the other side characters. I would have loved to know more about each of them! Carter had a functional relationship with her parents, she is down-to-earth and likable. She has the hard decision all seniors must make in the summer after high school. What to do, where to go to college, to take a gap year or to stay at home? In the vein of Wish You Were Italian and Jennifer E Smith books, Catch a Falling Star ended with a twist, and left me with a smile on my face. A cute read with some great poetic passages peppered through out. Thanks to Scholastic and Netgalley for the sneak peek!

Content: suitable for younger YA readers– boy taking off his shirt a few times, drinking at a party and kissing.


heatherAbout the Author

Sourcebooks Fire published Kim’s award winning first YA novel Songs for a Teenage Nomad (2010, originally Hip Pocket Press, 2007) and her second YA novel Instructions for a Broken Heart (2011) which was named a Booklist 2011 Top Ten Romance Title for Youth and won the 2012 Northern California Book Award for YA Fiction. Her third YA novel Catch a Falling Star will be published by Scholastic on April 29, 2014. When she’s not writing for teens, she’s teaching them. She’s a college advisor and teaches creative writing at Forest Charter School. Kim wrote her eBook novella The Liberation of Max McTrue for her students who, over the years, have taught her much more than she has taught them. Kim lives in the Northern California foothills with her husband and daughter.

Learn more on her website*facebook* twitter


ARC Tour Review- Defy by Sara B. Larson

19 Nov, 2013 by in ARC tour, review, Sara B. Larson, scholastic, young adult fiction Leave a comment

ARC Tour Review- Defy by Sara B. Larson


by Sara B. Larson
Series: Defy #1
Published by Scholastic on January 7th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 336 pages
Format: ARC
Source: ARC Tour
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
Review: I received this book as part of a two state ARC tour and was so excited to read local author Sarah B. Larson’s debut. It reminded me a bit of Shannon Hale and Kristin Cashore–fantasy with a strong female heroine all mixed in with fantasy elements of magic.

Defy starts out with the death of Alexa’s parents, and her decision to flee with twin brother Marcell, ultimately disguising herself as a male soldier. She is welcomed as one of the King’s Elite guard who lives in the castle protecting royalty. 

I made a rocky start with this one as the opening chapter describe in detail the King’s breeding program.  Its a horrific description of the mistreatment of young women in Defy’s world. Alexa must visit the complex to escort newly orphaned girls which put a dark, sinister tone in the beginning that I did not like. However, after reading on, there were lots of things I did enjoy:

the relationship between Alexa and her brother– the family loyalty
the sparring of the guard, watching Alexa train
the idea of healing, of sorcery being used for good
the pacing, which kept me flipping pages, and
the two men who are vying for Alexa’s attention

The dynamic between Alexa and her main love is super confusing and uncomfortable for me, until we are sure where things stand. There was also a difficulty for me believing who does and does not know her identity secret.

In the end, this is not your run of the mill happily ever after. The character arc and progression of Alex to Alexa is a very conflicted, emotional one– from warrior to confused and in love, to the ending, which I can’t spoil, but is quite a twist. This is a solid debut by Sarah, one that you can tell she poured her heart into. Because of my personal content preferences it was rocky for me but I think it will appeal to many YA readers. 

Thanks so much to Windy Aphyrath, Sarah B. Larson and Scholastic for letting us have a sneak peek into Defy.

Content: This is a definitely pick for older teens or adults because of content (highlight the line after parenthesis for content) 
rape, violence against young women, moderate war related violence, heavy sensuality

Author Bio: I love writing, reading, and dessert–but the order varies by the day. I write books that have magic and romance and kick-butt girls and a whole lot more. My husband and I live in Utah with our three children. I write during naptime and the hours when most people are sleeping. My husband claims I should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” On occasion you will find me hiding in a bubble bath with a book and some Swedish Fish. I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary and my YA debut DEFY is coming Spring 14 from Scholastic!

Find Sarah on Goodreads/ author website/ twitter/ facebook