Young Adult

C-
Pawn

Have you ever ordered a fancy desert that looked rich, decadent and delicious, only to take the first bite and find it oddly tasteless? Pawn had such a great premise with a decent setup in its first chapters, only to fall flat as the story progressed. I was left feeling like I’d consumed a whole l ...

A-
These Broken Stars

I love books that capture the imagination and send it soaring. This gem of a young adult novel combines science fiction, romance and the questions of right and might to create a unique and intriguing story. Tarver Merendsen is anxious to escape the party on board the luxury spaceliner Icarus but ...

C+
Blythewood

Why did I read Blythewood? Because my name is Blythe, of course. And judging from the fellow readers who added it on Goodreads, that makes...two of us. Perhaps Carol Goodman should have called it Ashleywood. Blythewood is kind of all over the place at first. No sooner has it start ...

A-
Steelheart

When I saw this book in the store I was leery of picking it up. I didn’t want another series. Yes, they can be great, containing recurring characters that we fall a little bit farther in love with after every book. The epic story line that requires several books to tell in full can be quite deligh ...

A-
Rose Under Fire

Teenagers fight in our wars. It’s easy to forget that since we call anyone over eighteen an adult but the fact is that we do send eighteen- and nineteen-year-old kids – teenagers- to fight in battles. Elizabeth Wein is doing a wonderful job of bringing the WWII young adult/teen battle front to l ...

B-
Dare You To

I read Katie McGarry’s Dare You To right on the heels of the book that preceded it, Pushing the Limits, because I couldn’t figure out how in the world McGarry could turn such a bitchy character as Beth Fisk into someone that I could root for. While I did eventually warm to the girl, I have to sa ...

B+
Pushing the Limits

Katie McGarry’s Young Adult title Pushing the Limits has gotten so much positive buzz in the YA reviewer community; I held little hope that it would live up to my expectations. Thankfully, I was wrong, and it did. Very much so. High school senior Echo Emerson hates her life. Her father, a contr ...

C-
A Missing Peace

Arranged is a 2007 movie which focuses on the friendship between two first year teachers, one an Orthodox Jewish woman, the other Muslim. What I loved about this film is that it focused not on the politics of their situation or the religion of it, but on the fact that friendship can transcend cultur ...

C+
Tarnish

Writing a fictional account of an actual historical figure is a tricky business, especially when your heroine is the most famous queen ever to be beheaded – Anne Boleyn. While Katherine Longshore’s Tarnish does a decent job supposing the events of a gap in the real Anne Boleyn’s history, her i ...

B
Spies & Prejudice

Girl detectives have always been a big thing in the reading world. From Nancy Drew to the more recent Flavia de Luce, we can’t seem to get enough of youthful sleuths. This novel channels Veronica Mars a bit, combining that character very gently with Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to deliver a fun, ...