Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

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TITLE: Bloodlines

AUTHOR: Richelle Mead

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group

NO. OF PAGES: 421

GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

DATE READ: July 7-12, 2015 (reread)

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

REXY’S RATING: 3 stars

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Blue Yodel by Anson Elkins

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TITLE: Blue Yodel

AUTHOR: Anson Elkins, Cal Phillips (Foreword)

PUBLISHER: Yale University Press

NO. OF PAGES: 88

GENRE: Poetry, Fiction

DATE READ: January 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

In this imaginative and haunting debut collection, Ansel Elkins introduces readers to a multitude of characters whose “otherness” has condemned them to live on the margins of society. She weaves blues, ballads, folklore, and storytelling into an intricate tapestry that depicts the violence, poverty, and loneliness of the Deep South, as well as the compassion, generosity, and hope that bring light to people in their darkest times. The blue yodel heard throughout this diverse compilation is a raw, primal, deeply felt expression of the human experience, calling on us to reach out to the isolated and disenfranchised and to find the humanity in every person.

REXY’S RATING: 3 stars

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Ben Singkol by F. Sionil Jose

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TITLE: Ben Singkol

AUTHOR: F. Sionil Jose

PUBLISHER: Solidaridad Publishing House

NO. OF PAGES: 243

GENRE: Fiction, Historical, Philippine Literature

DATE READ:  April 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

He is “supot.” Scared, he ran away from the ritual of manhood. He ran away again from his foxhole in Bataan when the Japanese were closing in. and through much of his life, even when he had become comfortable, he still ran away, haunted by the poverty of his boyhood, of the treachery that he may have committed. This is Benjamin Singkol—perhaps the most interesting character ever created by F. Sionil José. After World War II, Sionil Jose enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas and came under the wing of Paz Latorena, one of the country’s foremost writers and literature teachers and the Dominican writer, Juan Labrador. He worked in journalism and developed his distinctively direct narrative style.

Sionil José is best known for his epic work, the Rosales saga—five novels which encompass a hundred years of Philippine history, from 1872 when the three Filipino priests—Gomez, Burgos and Zamora—were martyred, to 1972 when Marcos declared Martial Law

REXY’S RATING: 5 stars

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The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

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TITLE: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #2)

AUTHOR: Rick Riordan

PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion

NO. OF PAGES: 288

GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

DATE READ: June 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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I, A Living Arrow: Young South African Writing

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TITLE: I, A Living Arrow: Young South African Writing

AUTHOR: Linda Rode, Hans Bodenstein, Maren Bodenstein, Iolanda Oosthuizen, et al

PUBLISHER: NB Publishing

NO. OF PAGES: 120

GENRE: Poetry, Non-fiction, Fiction, Short Story

DATE READ: April 2015

SYNOPSIS:

This anthology is written by children from diverse race, class, and language backgrounds in secondary schools. It offers a snapshot of children”s concerns through short stories, poetry and musings, dreams, disappointments, fears and joys.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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TITLE: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #1)

AUTHOR: Rick Riordan

PUBLISHER: Hyperion Books

NO. OF PAGES: 400

GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

DATE READ: June 2015 (reread)

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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Pity the Beautiful by Dana Gioia

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TITLE: Pity the Beautiful : Poems

AUTHOR: Dana Gioia

PUBLISHER: Graywolf Press

NO. OF PAGES: 73

GENRE: Poetry

DATE READ: June 10, 2015

SYNOPSIS: Pity the Beautiful is Dana Gioia’s first new poetry book in over a decade. Its emotional revelations and careful construction are hard won, inventive, and resilient. These new poems show Gioia’s craftsmanship at its finest, its most mature, as they make music, crack wise, remember the dead, and in a long, central poem even tell ghost stories.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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