A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade final for Irene

★★★★★

Goodreads Summary:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. Read More »

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Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

33163378★★★

Yes! So much girl power in this novel, it’s so inspiring to read about. The heroine is funny, smart, and strong. The book does fall to some high school stereotypes like the behavior of the boys football team that seems a tad unrealistic (I guess I can’t actually say, just because I’ve never experienced it doesn’t mean it’s not true), but I understand and totally support how it’s meant to highlight the theme of girls embracing each other for who they are. I especially liked how girls weren’t lumped into different cliques or labels, instead they were shown as someone more than their social circle; they were shown as human. Pretty easy to read and super empowering, Moxie is a book everyone should look at!

Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

22103884★★★

This book deals with issues like depression, suicide, and other challenges teens in high school deal with. Zhang tells the story of Liz Emerson, the “it” girl of a small town and how her seemingly perfect life drove her to fatally crash her car. It shows that what we show on the surface is not what is actually beneath us.

Liz has always felt responsible for other people’s problems. And to some extent, she is. She’s the one who got her friend Julia addicted to drugs, kissed her friend Kennie’s boyfriend, and ruined people’s social lives. She’s filled with self-loathing for her actions, yet she can’t stop being the person she’s become. Add a cheating boyfriend, an absent mother, and a case of bulimia to the mix, and Liz has a problem: herself. So she decides to remove the problem, permanently. But things don’t go as planned, and she’s left to make a choice: to let go or to keep fighting.Read More »

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

693208★★★★

This book was wonderfully hilarious yet at the same time sad but hopeful. It’s a story of resilience: of facing a gray world with spots of color, laughing amidst sadness, being hopeful in a situation of bleakness. By telling the story in an unflinchingly upbeat manner, Alexie juxtaposes the tone with the setting and highlights the downright shitty circumstance our narrator is in.

Meet Junior. He’s just a teenage boy, living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He’s been marked as an outsider since birth, due to the cerebral spinal fluid in his brain that is the cause for merciless bullying. His family are alcoholics, but at least they’re not abusive. Junior has dreams to leave his reservation, where people’s futures are about as nonexistent as the possibility of garden gnomes. (I’m sorry, I really couldn’t think of a better analogy). He transfers to a dominantly white high school 22 miles away for a better education, and finds himself grudgingly accepted into a new world full or wealth and privilege. Stretched between two lives, and alienated by both Indians and peers, Junior struggles to deal with the prejudices and conflicts of being a poor Indian boy at a white school, all the while maintaining his roots.Read More »

The Broken Road by Richard Paul Evans

25814229★★★★

A wonderful book. I don’t read much realistic fiction, so my judgement may be skewed, but I loved this book. The complexity of the main character, themes of love vs. success, and beautiful prose kept me thinking about this book for days. If anything, this book left its mark on me…

We are taken through the life of Charlie James, a very rich man who has done some bad things to become who he is. Encounters with his old mentor he betrayed and a father accusing James of causing his son to commit suicide plagues him with stress and guilt. And despite how successful he is, he’s not happy. So when the airplane James was supposed to board crashes and burns, he makes a monumental choice of walking away from his life and starting over.Read More »

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher By Hilary Mantel

91j7tk86orl★★★

This is a collection of short stories all by Hilary Mantel, the most famous and probably the best being the one the book is named after. All of the stories are pretty creepy and weird, all leave you feeling a bit uneasy and freaked out. Any Neil Gaiman fans will definitely enjoy these.

13 Little Blue Envelopes By Maureen Johnson

5108fmavs-l-_sy344_bo1204203200_★★

The book follows a girl named Ginny who has recently lost her beloved aunt on her “quest” around Europe. Ginny is guided only by some little blue envelopes that she was sent in the mail along with $1,000 on a debit card. Each envelope has a different task to do in each city she visits, to help Ginny become less shy and more confident.Read More »