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The Divergent Series 2-Book Collection (Divergent, #1-2)
Veronica Roth
Progress: 50 %
Gilded
Christina L. Farley
Code Name Verity
Elizabeth Wein
An encyclopedia of fairies: Hobgoblins, brownies, bogies, and other supernatural creatures
Katharine Mary Briggs
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Holly Black
Where to Park Your Broomstick: A Teen's Guide to Witchcraft
Lauren Manoy

Twixt

Twixt - Sarah Diemer

A young woman wakes up bloody and freezing on the bank of a frozen river under a blood-red sky. This opening scene in Twixt really sets the tone for the rest of the novel. In Twixt, Sleepers live in fear of the Snatchers, fearsome monsters who snatch away anyone who dares to be out in the night. The mysterious Sixers control the supply of Nox, a highly addictive drug that gives Sleepers memories of their waking life. Only the Fetchers can outrun the Snatchers; their job is to fetch the new Sleepers. Lottie, the main character, is rescued by the best Fetcher in Adeo City, Charlie. But what exactly is Twixt, why are they there, and who is Lottie in her waking life?

Full of mystery, intrigue, and suspense, this action-packed novel is by far Ms. Diemer’s best work. The characters are well developed and interesting. The romance is heart-warming but not cliché or sappy. The novel appears to be a horror story, but in truth it’s a story about the redemptive power of love. With a great action-driven plot, wonderful world-building, and a perfect ending that wraps everything up, this novel earns its five stars. If you liked The Dark Wife you’ll definitely like Twixt, and if you enjoyed any of Sarah Diemer’s darker short stories from Love Devours Tales of Monstrous Adoration you’ll love (and devour!) this book. Highly recommended for any YA fans or fans of paranormal fiction.

The Witch's Daughter

The Witch's Daughter - Paula Brackston The Witch's Daughter is the story of good witch Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, told in modern England to an adolescent protégé, in three distinct flashbacks. When Elizabeth and Tegan meet they seem to hit it off right away. While Elizabeth mentors Tegan in the ways of the Wiccan Hedgewitch, she tells her the stories of how she has come to be as she is. When the evil that has haunted Elizabeth threatens Tegan, Elizabeth must face her greatest fears, and herself, to save her newfound family.

Over-all, this novel is a fun read. Some of the characters are more dynamic than others, with one in particular being extremely flat. He does, however, serve his purpose well as a menacing antagonist and keeps the plot moving at a good pace. Each flash-back is richly detailed and framed nicely by diary-style prose in the modern setting. Thrilling, engrossing, and well-balanced, if a little shallow at time, I suggest this novel to anyone who likes a slightly fantastical historical fiction or likes to read about fictional witches.

Troll Or Derby

Troll Or Derby - Red Tash Fifteen-year-old Roller Deb lives in her trailer park home with her alcoholic mother and beauty pageant sister, Gennifer. When Gennifer is kidnapped by drug-dealer and troll prince Dave, it’s up to Deb to save her. With the help of the mysterious but good troll Harlow, Deb will take on the troll king Jarod McJagger himself. All too soon, though, Deb is entranced (literally) by the underground world of fairy drugs and roller derby. Harlow will have to unravel the prophecy and Deb will have to find her true power if either ever wishes to defeat the evil king and rescue Gennifer.

This book is, more than anything, a comedy. One of my favorite lines comes late in the book and is a perfect example of the kind of humor one can expect from Red Tash in her novel: “His voice boomed through the cavern like the MetaTron himself. (I saw a movie once, where the MetaTron was the voice of God. It’s either that, or a Transformer.)” The comedy is one of the few redeeming aspects of this otherwise mediocre novel. The characters are flat, uninteresting, and in some cases, are literal caricatures. (I’m looking at you, Madame Zelda, nomadic Eastern European fortuneteller princess.) The plot and world-building are underdeveloped and the prose is mediocre. I would recommend this book for younger teens or anyone looking for an easy, humorous read. (Or, roller derby fanatics!) If you’re looking for a great lesbian coming of age story or an interesting take on the Fae, go elsewhere.

Dead on the Delta

Dead on the Delta - Stacey Jay Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay is a paranormal romance meets murder mystery thriller. It tells the tale of pill-popping, back-talking, ‘borderline’ alcoholic Annabelle Lee. Set in southern small town Donaldsonville, Louisiana, the scene opens on our protagonist puking her guts. Annabelle is busy collecting evidence from the corpse of six-year-old Grace Beauchamp. The weird thing is that the body shows no signs of infection from the local blood-sucking fairies. When Annabelle’s ex-boyfriend, now an FBI agent, rolls into town, it becomes clear that something sinister is going on. Amidst drug-dealers, invisible assailants, mutant fairies, and tied between her ex-lover and current boyfriend, it’s up to Annabelle to solve the murder.

The prose itself is at times cutting and humorous, at times immature and unprofessional. There is a great diversity of character, and even dysfunctional Annabelle is tempered by character flaws and strengths in equal measure. The plot is fast-paced and contains some great twists. The best part is probably the premise itself; who wouldn’t want to read about blood-sucking, human-flesh-eating, mutant fairies? I’d give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars, which I rounded up to 4 stars for rating purposes because I’m hopeful for the series.