The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

Okay everybody, take a seat. This is another case of “Why didn’t anyone force me to read these before?!” So here I am to shove these books in your face and make you read them.

This is a three-book series: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts off with Mara starting a new school in Florida after surviving a building collapse that kills her three best friends. Mara is understandably distraught and is diagnosed with PTSD that leaves her hallucinating at random. At her new school, Mara meets Noah Shaw, a supposedly notorious ladies’ man. There’s something about him that she can’t put her finger on, but he eventually convinces her to go on a date with him.

But Mara isn’t sure all of her hallucinations are actually figments of her imagination. Some of them are too real. She starts receiving creepy messages and photographs, and she suspects they’re coming from her deceased ex-boyfriend, Jude.

I can’t really get into any more details because it’ll be too spoiler-y.

This series is awesome because it combines so many genres flawlessly. It has YA contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, historical fiction, and more. It’s amazing, really. The audiobooks are narrated by Christy Romano… yes, that one — Christy Carlson Romano, known best for her role in Even Stevens and the voice of Kim Possible.

My review of the first book was few words — I couldn’t process it. “Wowwwww. Yes. Amazing.”

The same happened with the second book. ” Wow wow wow. Normally a second book falls flat. But that ending……..On to the next oneeeee!!!”

And the last book prompted this, “Well that ending had me SHOOK. But it definitely felt like it was dragging in the middle there. I can’t wait to read The Shaw Confessions series. NOVEMBER GET HERE NOOOOOW.”

Because *excited face* there’s a new spinoff series coming out that focuses on Noah! The first one is called The Becoming of Noah Shaw and it comes out November 7th, 2017.

So get caught up now, because there’s about to be another installment in the series! Overall, I give this series 4.5 stars.

Buy the box set of the first three books here.

Pre-order The Becoming of Noah Shaw here.

“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

static1.squarespaceAnna and the French Kiss is a YA contemporary book that despite its frustrating premise and the questionable actions of one of the main characters, is too cute for words. Anna, to her disgust, has just been forced to attend a boarding school in Paris, far away from her best friend Bridge and her love interest, Toph. (At this point, I’m like BOO-freaking-HOO! You’re having your school and living expenses paid for to study in Paris! How awful could that be?!)

Though Anna is angry and frustrated at starting at a new school in a new country, she quickly becomes friends with her dorm neighbor, Mer, and all of Mer’s friends.Including the absolutely dreamy Etienne St. Clair (known to most as just St. Clair). He’s gorgeous, funny, smart, and British. *swoons*

But there’s one problem. St. Clair has a girlfriend already at a nearby college (and her name is Ellie, which made this book really hard for me to read!). But then St. Clair begins to take an interest in Anna, finding out they both like movies and they both enjoy each other’s company. They become very close — like best friends close.

As much as Anna likes St. Clair, she has to remember Ellie. And St. Clair seems to have a hard time remembering her as well. Thus, here’s the book’s big question: Will St. Clair stay with Ellie, or will he follow his new crush with Anna?

This book had me feeling very conflicted. I found it absolutely adorable and fun and unputdownable, but I also had a lot of issues with Anna’s spoiled attitude and St. Clair’s unfaithfulness (while not physical, it was still emotional cheating). If you can look past these things, it was really enjoyable — don’t get me wrong. It’s just really exhilarating to cheer for Anna to finally get her French Kiss.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Purchase the book here.

“Scythe” by Neal Shusterman

28954189In a futuristic world, humans have found the cure for every disease and can keep people alive indefinitely. Since this would lead to overpopulation, the world has Scythes who randomly choose citizens and kill them. It’s a government-provided service and is considered something that is good for the community. Citra and Rowan both have run-ins with Scythe Faraday, who is in turn impressed with the two teenagers’ personalities. Faraday decides to take both on as apprentices for one Scythe position. They learn more about the society that Scythes are ruled by, and train in combat, compassion, and common sense. There are several tests that they are required to perform, and the best apprentice will become a full-fledged Scythe, granting them and their family immunity from death.

While this sounds very morbid, this book was absolutely fascinating. I read this monster in one day, putting off everything I should have been doing instead. Scythe is so well-written and has such an amazing premise and world-building. This is the first book I’ve read by Neal Shusterman, and I definitely plan on reading his other books now. It’s easy to get lost in the story, rooting for the good guys, hoping the bad guys get what’s coming to them. Definitely pick this one up — it’s to die for.

Rating: ★★★★★

Purchase the book here.