The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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TITLE: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)

AUTHOR: Richelle Mead

PUBLISHER: Penguin Group

NO. OF PAGES: 418

GENRE: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

DATE READ: July 12-22 (reread)

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California – tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formorly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and her sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi – the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that – special, magical, powerful – that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Braydon, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else – someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists – or her heart?

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

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TITLE: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3)

AUTHOR: Rick Rirodan

PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion

NO. OF PAGES: 320

GENRE: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

DATE READ: July 12-16 (reread)

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

IT’S NOT EVERYDAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you’re the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive…

REXY’S RATING: 3 stars

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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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