Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor @lainitaylor

Lazlo Strange is a young librarian who is obsessed with the lost city of Weep. The day the heroic Godslayer shows up from the city of Weep is the day Lazlo always dreamed about. The Godslayer is looking for people to join him to help him solve a problem Weep is facing. With limited details and no useful skills, Lazlo is desperate to join the small group of people headed to Weep, and convinces the Godslayer to bring him along.

What ensues is a journey that Lazlo won’t soon forget. Why did Weep disappear two hundred years ago, what is the problem that needs to be solved, and who is the girl named Sarai that keeps showing up in his dreams…and why is she blue?

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Vicious was a book that was high on my Beat the Backlist challenge list, and it did not disappoint!

College friends, Victor and Eli set off to complete a science research project that will prove or disprove the existence of “EO’s” – ExtraOrdinarys. With the hypothesis that it takes a high-adrenaline near death experience to create someone with special abilities, they attempt to test it themselves. After the experiment works, Victor and Eli both are revived with special abilities, or “powers”, and after a short period of time, their friendship becomes strange. After a conflict that leads to them attempting to try and kill each other, Victor and Eli are separated and haven’t seen each other in ten years. Until now.

Told in alternating timelines and perspectives, we see both what led up to the experiments and subsequent fight between Victor and Eli ten years ago, and we also see both Eli and Victor’s perspectives in the present. Eli has decided that all EO’s are unnatural and is working his way through executing them all. Victor has plans to stop him.

This fast paced, dark, engaging story will not disappoint!

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber

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I had been waiting for MONTHS for Caraval to come out, and I was not disappointed! I loved it! Caraval is a game where the audience plays too. Ever since she was young, Scarlett wanted to see Caraval in person with her sister Tella. When the opportunity presents itself to flee from their abusive father, Scarlett and Tella make their way to the island that hosts Caraval, but end up separated. Scarlett’s main goal is to find her sister and get back home in time for her arranged marriage, which she hops will give her a better life away from her father. Caraval rides the line between magic and reality and Scarlett is told again and again that Caraval is just a game, and warned not to get too swept away. That seems feasible…until Tells is kidnapped as part of the game. In order to win, she must find Tella with the help of handsome Julian, the sailor who brought her to the island in the first place. Who can she trust? What’s real and what’s not? Scarlett will soon find out…

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Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter

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Let me just say – I loved this book! Firstlife is set in a world where “real” life begins after you die. Two warring realms exits, Myriad and Troika, and each are governed by a different set of rules and values. In your “firstlife” you must pick a side. This book followed Tenley “Ten” Lockwood, who refused to do just that. Understanding that committing eternity to one realm is a serious decision, she wants to wait until she is confident in her choice. Her parents send her to an asylum where she’s beaten, tortured, and starved, in hopes that the torture will force her to choose a side – their side. Can I just say, worst parents ever??

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