Erika’s POV: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Series: The Grisha #3

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Format: Published June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co

Source: Own copy; bought in National Bookstore

“He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he’ll never have enough of her. Like he’s trying to capture what he can before she’s gone.”

The Summary:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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Erika’s POV: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Series: Standalone

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Format: Published June 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Source: Own copy; bought in Barnes and Noble

“I just meant that… I want to be the last person who ever kisses you, too… That sounds bad, like a death threat or something. What I’m trying to say is, you’re it. This is it for me.”

The Summary:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

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Erika’s POV: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

11071466Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: Standalone

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Format: Published May 7th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Source: Own copy; bought in Fully Booked

“A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted- mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.”

The Summary:

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

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Erika’s POV: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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Title: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Series: An Ember in the Asher #1

Format: Published April 28th 2015 by Razorbill

Source: Own copy; bought in Fully Booked

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after that.”

The Summary:

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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Erika’s POV: The Program by Suzanne Young

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Title: The Program

Author: Suzanne Young

Series: The Program #1

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance, Fantasy

Format: Published April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse

Source: Own copy; bought in Fully Booked

“I look back at James one last time, and he gives me his signature smile, wide and cocky, but it’s not real. Sometimes I think it’s never real. James is the best at hiding his pain, disguising the feelings. He knows what it takes to stay out of the Program. He’ll keep us safe. He promised.”

My Summary:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

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Erika’s POV: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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Title: My Life Next Door

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Series: Standalone

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Format: Published June 13th 2013 by Speak

Source: Own copy; bought in Power Books

“You have to kiss me,” I find myself saying.

“Yeah.” He leans closer. “I do.”

The Summary:

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

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Erika’s POV: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

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Title: This is What Happy Looks Like

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Series: This is What Happy Looks Like #1

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Format: Published April 2nd 2013 by Headline

Source: Own copy; bought in National Bookstore

“Exactly. How can you know it makes you happy if you’ve never experienced it?”

“There are different kinds of happy,” she said. “Some kinds don’t need any proof.”

The Summary:

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

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