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Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison is a cute, fast-paced story about a witty girl who tries to assassinate her best friend, the princess, and ends up missing. Now as a fugitive, she’ll have to figure out how to save the kingdom – while getting in a lot of trouble along the way.

Title: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn
Publish Date:  March 12, 2013
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

Publisher’s Description:  Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Kat Mandu says…

Poison is a cute, fast-paced story about a witty girl who tries to assassinate her best friend, the princess, and ends up missing. Now as a fugitive, she’ll have to figure out how to save the kingdom – while getting in a lot of trouble along the way.

Kira is a potioner, which is basically an alchemist. She’s trained under the best and has an entire arsenal of knowledge, explosives, and poisons at her disposal. Plus, she’s slightly a witch, blessed with the power of sight. When she sees her best friend and princess of the kingdom in a vision, standing over a shattered city of ash, Kira knows she’s got to stop the vision from happening, even if it means killing her best friend.

But she missed her target and now she’s on the run from the law. She knows that if she just finds the real princess, and kills her, the horrible vision she saw won’t come to pass. So she buys a pig that can track down the real princess. But along the way she discovers a handsome, witty guy with a hound dog, and albeit she’s determined not to care, she begins to have feelings for.

To sum things up without spoiling too much, she manages to best the fake princess, put the real bad guy in jail, and live happily ever after.

For me, this was a fun, quick read. Interesting world building, fun characters. Something that had drama, but not tragedy. I picked this up because it looked interesting and quirky. It was, and it’s shame the author is no longer around to enjoy the spoils of accomplishment and adoring fans.

However, as much as it pains me to say it, it just didn’t hold my attention. I found myself starting and stopping too much…. and even worse, I found myself missing that edge of danger and drama that I tend to stray to. This had a lot of adventure, a lot of intrigue. But didn’t have the suspense I was hoping for. I just couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted to.

That being said, this is a wonderfully crafted story. Just perhaps not for me, or perhaps it’s something I’ll read again when I’m looking for something whimsical and fun.


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Boy2Girl by Terence Blacker

Fans of contemporary cuteness and coming-of-age books will love Boy 2 Girl.

Title:  Boy2Girl
Author: Terence Blacker
Publish Date:  March 9, 2005
Genre: Young Adult/LGBT

Publisher’s Description:  Is he a girl? Is she a boy?

Matthew’s American cousin, Sam, has come to London to live with the family. Sam is a charismatic, funny kid, but can he be trusted to be a reliable friend? Matthew and his “mates” decide that Sam must undertake a challenge in order to prove himself: he must start off his new year at their school posing as a girl. It turns out that Sam makes a great girl. He fools everyone and has an electrifying effect at Bradbury Hill School. And the longer the prank goes on, the more hilarious — and serious — the repercussions.

This brilliant novel shines a laser-sharp beam into the perilous territory of early-teen life, in an unforgettable story of chaos, confusion, and cross-dressing.

Kat Mandu says…


Fans of contemporary cuteness and coming-of-age books will love Boy 2 Girl. I can’t believe it took me so long to review this. Sometimes it’s nice to step out of the fantasy scene and read something fresh and not so typical of what I usually read because I tend to find books I really, truly enjoy.

Matthew and Sam lead completely different lives. Matthew, whose parents might be overbearing and oversharing, still love and take care of him. Sam has had a rough childhood because he lived with his single-mother and her criminal boyfriend, who is actually Sam’s father, though he never acts like it.

So when Sam is sent to live with his cousin, things get very strange, very quickly. Sam, still reeling over his mother’s death, is emotional and somewhat crazy. When Matthew and his friends, who feel like Sam doesn’t fit in with their social group, dare Sam to dress up and act like a girl, Sam strives to prove himself in their eyes by doing so.

This isn’t necessarily a story about transgender, but it is about finding your identity. Sam discovers he’s not entirely sure who he is in the strange new world where Matthew lives, but pretending to be a girl gives his confidence, energy, and happiness.

It’s a truly good story-line, with a lot of laughs along the way. It’s hard to explain a proper age group for this one because the identity crisis suggests a middle-grade tone but the language and innuendo make me think it’s great for older teens as well. Either way, young adult contemporary. I really enjoyed the flow of writing and the characters, especially since there’s quite a few scenes where you hear from other side characters, like Matthew’s dad and his teachers and friends. Overall, a wonderfully told story.  


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Book Spotlight: Apprentice Needed, Wizard for Hire #2 by Obert Skye

One Book Two proudly presents a spotlight on Apprentice Needed by Obert Skye published April 2, 2019.

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Title: Wizard for Hire #2, Apprentice Needed
Author:  Obert Skye
Genre: Young Adult
Released: April 2, 2019
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain Publishing
Book Description: Ozzy Toffy’s adventure, which began in Wizard for Hire, continues when one dark and windy night, he gets out of bed, jumps out his window, and walks straight into the ocean.

More than ever, Ozzy could really use the services of Rin, the wizard he hired to help find his parents — but Rin is missing, despite Ozzy’s continual attempts to contact him. And Clark, the mechanical bird his father left him, is as peculiar and vain as ever.

When a mysterious package arrives, Ozzy and his good friend Sigi are sure that the plane ticket and thumb drive they find inside are from Rin. Trying to get Clark through security at the airport proves complicated — as most things are with Clark. But when they arrive in New York, they discover there’s even more adventure in store for them.

Will Rin return and save the day? Will Ozzy figure out why he keeps walking into the ocean? Can Sigi find a way to trust her delinquent father? Will someone please appreciate Clark the way he’d like to be appreciated? For once?

Wizard for Hire: Apprentice Needed is a story filled with humor and excitement that shows us the magic in everyday things.

Book Spotlight: Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore

One Book Two proudly presents a spotlight on Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore published March 5, 2019.

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Title: A Monster Like Me
Author:  Wendy S. Swore
Genre: Young Adult
Released: March 5, 2019
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain Publishing
Book DescriptionThere are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?

Sophie is a monster expert. Thanks to her Big Book of Monsters and her vivid imagination, Sophie can identify the monsters in her school and neighborhood. Clearly, the bullies are trolls and goblins. Her nice neighbor must be a good witch, and Sophie’s new best friend is obviously a fairy. But what about Sophie? She’s convinced she is definitely a monster because of the “monster mark” on her face. At least that’s what she calls it. The doctors call it a blood tumor. Sophie tries to hide it but it covers almost half her face. And if she’s a monster on the outside, then she must be a monster on the inside, too.

Being the new kid at school is hard. Being called a monster is even harder. Sophie knows that it’s only a matter of time before the other kids, the doctors, and even her mom figure it out. And then her mom will probably leave — just like her dad did.

Because who would want to live with a real monster?

Inspired by real events in the author’s life, A Monster Like Me teaches the importance of believing in oneself, accepting change, and the power of friendship.


Sophie’s story is dear to my heart because I know how it feels to be bullied because I looked different from everyone else. When I was a child, I
had a hemangioma on my forehead that stuck out so far my bangs couldn’t
cover it, no matter how hard my mother tried. Because the tumor was
made up of blood vessels, I could feel my heart beating inside it when I was
playing hard or really upset.
The incident at the grocery store where the hydra lady says,
“Hey, look kids! That girl doesn’t need a Halloween costume. She’s already got one!” is an exact quote of what a woman once said to my mother and me. Another woman told a classroom full of kids that I had the mark of the devil. Kids asked if it was a goose bump, or hamburger, or if my brains had leaked out. My dad had to chase away some bullies who had followed me home, called me names, and pushed me into the street. Sometimes, after a bad day of bullying, I wished I could just rip the mark off my face and be like everyone else—but it was a part of me, and wishing didn’t change that.

My parents decided to take an active role in educating the people around me so they would know what a hemangioma was and understand that it wasn’t icky, or gross, or contagious. Whenever we moved to a new place, my dad would go with me to the elementary school and talk to the kids about my mark and let them ask questions. After those talks, kids befriended me and noticed when bullies came around. Like Autumn, my school friends would speak up when they saw someone being mean to me, and sometimes they would stand between me and the bullies until they left me alone. I didn’t let the bullies stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I climbed trees, went swimming, wrote poetry, brought my tarantula and snakes to show-and-tell, and played in the tide pools.

This is my message to anyone who experiences bullying: Don’t let the bullies define you! I’ve been there, I know it hurts to be teased, but don’t let it stop you from doing what you want. Find something you enjoy—a hobby, talent, or challenge—and practice that skill. Know that someone out there, maybe even someone in your same school, needs a friend as much as you do. Be that friend. Stand up for each other. And know that you are not alone.

You can always find me at, and I would love to hear your stories and what you thought of the book.

Book Spotlight: Waiting for Fitz by Spencer Hyde

One Book Two proudly presents a spotlight on Waiting for Fitz by Spencer Hyde to be published March 5, 2019.

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Title: Waiting for Fitz
Author:  Spencer Hyde
Genre: Young Adult
Released: March 5, 2019
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain Publishing
Book DescriptionAddie loves nothing more than curling up on the couch with her dog, Duck, and watching The Great British Baking Show with her mom. It’s one of the few things that can help her relax when her OCD kicks into overdrive. She counts everything. All the time. She can’t stop. Rituals and rhythms. It’s exhausting.

When Fitz was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he named the voices in his head after famous country singers. The adolescent psychiatric ward at Seattle Regional Hospital isn’t exactly the ideal place to meet your soul mate, but when Addie meets Fitz, they immediately connect over their shared love of words, appreciate each other’s quick wit, and wish they could both make more sense of their lives.

Fitz is haunted by the voices in his head and often doesn’t know what is real. But he feels if he can convince Addie to help him escape the psych ward and everything will be okay. If not, he risks falling into a downward spiral that may keep him in the hospital indefinitely.

Waiting for Fitz is a story about life and love, forgiveness and courage, and what’s necessary to let go and learning what is truly worth waiting for.


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