Bright Burning Stars

by A.K. Small



I love the cover it’s very striking and will make you pick up the book as you walk by it.  I’m still trying to decide where I stand on it. It was hard to read and there are a lot of triggers for some readers. It offers what I think could be a pretty accurate world of ballet for some. At least it seemed like a lot that is in the book I’ve heard about from ballerina’s. It is a cut throat sport, yes ballet is a sport have you seen their muscles!?  Overall I think it is one that many will love and while others will have a tough time reading. This is a YA novel that I would not put in the hands of a middle grade reader. It  for me is considered more New Adult. Overall is was beautifully written I just wish there wasn’t so many triggers in the book. It was a hard book to read and I wish some of the heavy topics had been discussed and resolved in a positive manner.

Trigger Warnings: Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, mental illness, mentions of previous suicides, discussion of suicide, attempted suicide, substance abuse, emotionally abusive relationships, toxic friendships and more.


About the book: Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for allowing me to read the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.


In The Neighborhood of True

by Susan Kaplan Carlton


This book was a real surprise. I thought it sounded really good and I knew I’d like it but man I really loved this book! It handles some tough subjects and captivates the reader.  It is about family, grief, racism, fitting in or speaking out (why can’t those 2 things co-exist!) and being true to yourself and knowing that your true friends will always stick with you!

The main character Ruth is struggling, her father passed away, her mom uprooted the family from NYC back to her childhood home in Atlanta, she wants to fit in but not sure where she really fits in. She wants to hang with all the girls her ages that are Debs – aka: Debutante girls. I really don’t get that society but it is a big thing, just not my thing. So in order to fit in to that society she keeps her Jewish faith a secret. Ruth herself didn’t really impress me she seemed a bit shallow and to into looks and getting accepted with the fancy girls. I personally liked her tomboy sister who was just always herself and if you didn’t like it to bad for you. The book is split into different time frames the trial of the explosion at the Jewish temple – Ruth is a witness and key to the trial. Then it jumps to just before the debutante ball and back again. The jumps could have been a little more smooth but it’s okay. The instant love usually seems weird but given that it was the late 50’s my mom said instant love was more likely. While I wish Ruth didn’t want to hide her Jewish faith and I wish she was like her sister everyone is different and it was a different time back then. Course thinking back to then and now I’m not sure it was that different. Many people still to this day hide what faith they are for fear of threats of violence to them if crazy fanatics found out. Would I recommend In the Neighborhood of True? YES! I have already told my soon to be 8th grader she has to read it. I know my senior would like it as well.

About the book: After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

Thank you Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for allowing me to read the book. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

I Do Not Trust You

by Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz


First off can we talk about the beautiful cover! I love its bold reds on the dark background! It is really eye catching and what made me stop and read more about this book.

I Do Not Trust You is the first book I’ve read from this author duo and hopefully I can find the other book or books they have written. I really enjoyed this book and would love to read their other stuff. I’m always up for a good mythological adventure and this one did not disappoint!  I loved all archeology and mythology the book had in it. There was even some suspense with hoping and wondering if they were going to be okay. The characters were well developed and diverse. Memphis is a kick butt girl many have compared to a teenage Laura Croft. I haven’t seen those movies but I do know a little and yes I see it. Ash was a good character as well and they really bounced off of each other making the reader feel like they good for each other even if they didn’t know that yet. The main aspect that hooked me and kept me reading was the myth and world building. The authors did such a great job and I’d love to read more mythological – archeological stories by these two fine authors.

About the book: Memphis “M” Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome. Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.

From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.

Thank you so much Algonquin and Netgalley for allowing me to read I Do Not Trust You. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.