Young Adult

A
A Countess Below Stairs

Countess Below Stairs was the first Eva Ibbotson romance I ever read, and I've been an avid fan ever since. Why? Because her stories are so vivid. In Countess Below Stairs, Anna, a White Russian in exile goes to work as a housemaid in a beautiful mansion called Meersham. The owner is titled, a young ...

D-
Miranda and the Warrior

It's evident from the opening page of Miranda and the Warrior that we are dealing with a TSTL heroine. Annoyed because her father is "overprotective," Miranda Thurston escapes from the fort her daddy commands as a U.S. Cavalry officer in order to visit a friend. Daddy is worried about Cheyenne raid ...

A
The Phantom Tollbooth

I couldn't have been more thrilled when my daughter's fifth grade English class was assigned Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. This wonderfully clever fantasy, illustrated by Jules Feiffer, was written in 1961 and I believe it's never been out of print. I first read the book in junior high sc ...

B
I Am Not Esther

I find the topic of religion to be fascinating, so I’m always up for a book that includes religion as part of the plot. I Am Not Esther is a rather chilling book about a cult that allows no individual thought. Kirby Greenland has always had a chaotic life with her flaky mom. Sh ...

B+
When I Was Older

I skimmed When I Was Older a few years ago when it first came out in hardcover, and even though I didn't read all of it, it stayed with me. I kept going back to it and re-reading certain scenes. So when it came out in paperback, I bought it and this time read it cover to cover. It was then that I re ...

B
Catherine and the Pirate

Catherine and the Pirate is the first book I've read in Avon's new True Romance line, a series of smaller historical romances aimed at teens. Since it's been quite a few years (okay, I admit it, closing rapidly on two decades) since I was a teenager, I rather expected the novel to be too simple to s ...

B-
A Rose for Melinda

The young adult section of my library has scads of books by Lurlene McDaniel, and they go out all the time. So when I was given a chance to review her newest, A Rose for Melinda, I jumped at it. I was long overdue to read McDaniel, but I'd hesitated because her books always seem to be about illness ...

B
Nicola and the Viscount

There were times when Nicola Sparks, the heroine of Nicola and the Viscount, reminded me of Jane Austen's Emma. There were times she resembled Cher from Clueless, and toward the end she was rather like Nancy Drew. I think Nicola would approve of all these comparisons, since she is a lover of poetry ...

D
Gwyneth and the Thief

I am not a stickler for historical accuracy by any stretch of the imagination and I might have let the questionable plot points of this book slide by had the story been good enough. Alas, the plot was so reminiscent of an animated Disney movie that I kept waiting for little woodland animals to burst ...

A-
All American Girl

Books are keepers for many reasons. Some are intricately plotted. Some have fascinating, one-of-a-kind characters. Some are beautifully written with lush prose and thoughtful symbolism. And some just make you smile over and over until you sigh in happiness at the end. All-American Girl fits into the ...