Jinxed, Amy McCulloch


Sometimes you have to change your dreams, Lacey. No matter how hard you work, sometimes things won’t go your way

When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus.

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4 / 5

So I’m probably a bit (read: a lot) too old to be the target audience for a book like Jinxed, but dang it was a fun book to read whilst I was on the train for three hours. Because that’s how long it took me to start and finish Jinxed. A girl with big dreams, electronic companion pets, a school with a twist; Jinxed is a coming of age book with all the classic themes and some different ideas.

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The Undoing of Arlo Knott, Heather Child


If waves of regret could have washed me so far backwards, they would have done so already 

Arlo Knott discovers he can rewind time – just by a minute or two – enough to undo any mistake, say the right thing or impress his friends with his uncanny predictions. But second chances aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. As wonderful as his new life is, a mistake in Arlo’s traumatic childhood still haunts him and the temptation to undo, undo and keep undoing is too much to resist.

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4 / 5

Enthralling and fascinating, unsettling and haunting, The Undoing of Arlo Knott is definitely an interesting read. The story of Arlo Knott bobs and weaves, ducks and dodges along the entire timeline of his life and what a life it is. There is something bleak and disturbing and warped about Arlo, and it makes for such an engaging read.

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American Royals, Katherine McGee


Beatrice wasn’t living a story. She was living history, and history went on forever.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.

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2 / 5

McGee’s other series, The Thousandth Floor, is a guilty pleasure of mine. I loved the drama, the glitz, the glamour, the rumours, the intrigue, and the imaginative setting. Instead of being set in a futuristic tower, American Royals takes the premise “what if George Washington made himself King?” and runs with it. Well, it’s more of a shuffle. 

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Arctic Zoo, Robert Muchamore


He felt every bit an awkward giant. Fifteen years old and seven thousand kilometres from anyone who loved him.

Georgia gets straight As at school, writes essays for fun, has been placed first in twenty-six drone races and has a serious addiction to buying Japanese stationery. She plans to follow her older sister Sophie and become a doctor, but her worldview is shattered when Sophie commits suicide.

Julius lives in Ondo, a Nigerian state where half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. But he isn’t one of them. He finds refuge in a derelict zoo with best friend Duke, but as the two of them grow close, the world outside becomes more and more hostile.

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3 / 5

Robert Muchamore writes fantastic YA novels about contemporary topics concerning teenagers: racism, sexuality, the wealth gap, mental health, and family. Arctic Zoo is no different; it is bold and ambitious and diverse, but it also felt a little disjointed. I am a huge fan of Muchamore’s CHERUB series and I was thrilled to read something with his characteristic style that still managed to feel totally new with original characters.

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The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake, Sif Sigmarsdóttir


Imogen Collins is everything I expected her to be: beautiful, stylish, elegant, and a total cow. 

Hannah Eiríksdóttir has been banished from her home in London to a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. No, not Hell, but close: Iceland. Imogen Collins has the perfect life as a social media influencer, showing off her glamorous London existence to adoring fans. But behind the filters lies a dark secret. When a man is found murdered at the edge of the road in snowy Iceland the girls’ lives collide. 

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3 / 5

Reading The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake was a much better experience than the other book that I had read by this author – I Am Traitor. Snowflake is a contemporary murder mystery with heavy themes of sexual assault, family, and social media.

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Girls With Sharp Sticks, Suzanne Young


Wake up, Philomena. Wake up now.

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

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2 / 5

It’s official: I am simply not a fan of Suzanne Young. I tried The Program a few years ago and now I’ve tried Girls With Sharp Sticks, and the problem is that Young comes up with some fantastic sounding premises and then fails to deliver on them in a way that I find enjoyable.

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Lovestruck, Kate Watson


It’s everything I can do not to shoot him with an arrow. And not the love kind

Sixteen-year-old cupid-in-training Kali is in an Olympus-sized mountain of trouble. Rule number one in arrow-toting matchmaking: don’t stick yourself. But accidents happen, and Kali instantly falls hard for her indie rock, bass-playing target, Benicio. The God of Love is going to kill her. Even if he is her dad.

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2 / 5

It’s not often that I pick up a romance novel. It’s a rare occurrence in fact, but a great romance novel can be a little guilty pleasure of mine. But unfortunately whilst Lovestruck had a pretty cool premise, it devolved into a bratty girl wanting to make out with a boy who was petty and jealous whilst not loving another guy but also not wanting to let him be with anyone else. How exhausting.

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The Secret Runners of New York, Matthew Reilly


at the school where new girls go missing, I was the new girl

When Skye Rogers and her twin brother Red move to Manhattan, rumours of a coming global apocalypse are building. But this does not stop the young elite of New York from partying without a care. And then suddenly Skye is invited to join an exclusive gang known as the Secret Runners of New York.

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4 / 5

The Secret Runners of New York got weirder and crazier as the book went on until it reached the heights of weirdness and then ended in an absolute bloodbath. It was awesome.

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Love Like This (Seven Shores #4), Melissa Brayden


“Follow me.” Spencer smiled. “Anywhere”

Hadley Cooper believes in happily-ever-afters with her whole heart. However, when her job as the assistant manager of Silhouette, a posh boutique on Rodeo Drive, is on the line, she realizes it’s time to pull her head out of the clouds and find a way to turn business around, and that just might mean partnering with the most stubborn up-and-coming fashion designer she’s ever encountered. 

Read my reviews of the other books in this series: Eyes Like Those (#1), Hearts Like Hers (#2), and Sparks Like Ours (#3)

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3 / 5

I felt like I ought to read the last book to round things out in this series. I liked how Brayden mixed things up a little bit, delving into the realm of fashion with her two main characters and throwing in some different relationship twists. But I also don’t think she went far enough to make it stand out: all four main characters of the Seven Shores series have the same kind of romance and life goals: all four want to get married and have kids, and it would have been great to have seen a more atypical relationship explored.

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The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, Kim Fu


She felt a thrilling, terrifying dissolution of self

A group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home.

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3 / 5

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore had a misleading synopsis. I believe I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I opened it with the correct impression of what it would be about. According to the back, this book is about five girls who attend a camp and go on an overnight kayaking trip to an island. Once there, they find themselves stranded and without adequate adult supervision. And yeah, this does happen, but it takes up about thirty pages of the book.

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