The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

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TITLE: The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 4)

AUTHOR: Rick Riordan

PUBLISHER: Disney Hyperion

NO. OF PAGES: 361

GENRE: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

DATE READ: July 18 (reread)

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

REXY’S RATING: 5 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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4 Photos of Me with Books

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I’m not Rexanne Becnel… but I do share her name. 😉  I must warn you, this post was created solely for the preservation of four  rare and precious ‘bookworm’ photos. Rare because although I take lots of pictures, I rarely take photos of myself. Precious because although I’ve had a bookstagram account for a year now, there’s very few photos of me with books. What better place to store them than at my own book blog? 😉

Click ‘Read More’ at your own risk. Haha!

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Red Queen by Jeb Kinnison

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TITLE: Red Queen (The Substrate Wars Book 1)

AUTHOR: Jeb Kinnison

PUBLISHER: Jeb Kinnison Publishing

NO. OF PAGES: 320

GENRE: Science Fiction, Fiction, Futuristic

DATE READ: February 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

Set on a California college campus just a decade or two from now, the world of Red Queen is post-terrorist disaster, repressive and censored — governed like China today, but with a stagnant economy and no jobs for young people. In that sense it is a dystopia, though not so far from our own day and time; only a few steps beyond where we are now. The students are cowed but not unaware, and they seize the opportunity to make a difference when their smarts and courage allow it. And so they change the world.

This is Book 1 of Substrate Wars, the series: A growing band of campus freedom-fighters discover a new technology that could either destroy the world, or save it. They take on the responsibility of using it for good. Homeland Security is one step behind them. Spies and traitors lurk. Shall it be repressive bureaucratic stagnation, or expansion to the stars?

Red Queen is a story about the yearning for freedom and agency in a world dominated by bureaucrats and propagandists, and it would not have been published by a major house. The world of Red Queen is just a decade or two away, and looks very much like the world we live in, just a few steps worse. In the tradition of Heinlein’s If This Goes On–, I have extrapolated from current trends and imagined the politics that result. The authoritarian tendencies we see in modern western states will probably be reversed at some point–but what if they just keep getting worse? This is especially true of the US, with its 9/11-justified surveillance and interception of every citizen’s email and message metadata, and a penal-industrial complex that imprisons about one in three black men at some point in their lives, often for victimless crimes like drug possession. A more serious terrorist incident might lead to even more restrictions on freedom and privacy. And that’s where Red Queen begins.

REXY’S RATING: 2 stars

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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TITLE: Ugly Love

AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover

PUBLISHER: Atria Books

NO. OF PAGES: 337

GENRE: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

DATE READ: January 12-13, 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars

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A Lot Like Love by Julie James

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TITLE: A Lot Like Love

AUTHOR: Julie James

PUBLISHER: Berkeley Sensation

NO. OF PAGES: 274

GENRE: Romance, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Chiclit

DATE READ: June 14, 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

The FBI wants her cooperation…

As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her…

As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.

REXY’S RATING: 4 stars
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Romancing Mister Bridgerton

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TITLE:  Romancing Mr. Bridgerton

AUTHOR: Julia Quinn

PUBLISHER: Piatkus Books

NO. OF PAGES: 370

GENRE: Romance, Historical Romance

DATE READ: May 17-19, 2015

SYNOPSIS: *from Goodreads*

Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all.

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph.

But when Colin returns to London from a trip aboard, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same, especially Penelope Featherington, the girl haunting his dreams!

And when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat, or his promise of a happy ending?

REXY’S RATING: 5 stars
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