Tag Archives: young adult

Book Title:
A Death-Struck Year
Book Author:
Makiia Lucier
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
January 5th, 2016
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
September 2nd, 2019
Format:
Paperback
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country—that's how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode—and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can't ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can't help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?

An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

A Spring 2014 Indies Introduce New Voices selection.

My Review

A Death Struck Year was one of those books that I bought ages ago, but kind of just sat on my shelf and never got read until recently. I’m not always big on historical fiction, and I really have to … Continue reading

3.5 stars
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Book Title:
The Darkest Part of the Forest
Book Author:
Holly Black
Page Count:
337
Publishing Date:
January 13th, 2015
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
October 15th, 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

My Review

I bought this book for my Kindle years ago when it first came out, and I kept putting off reading it (no idea why, honestly). I guess I was never really in the mood for a story of this sort … Continue reading

4 stars
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Book Title:
Recovery Road
Book Author:
Blake Nelson
Publishing Date:
March 1st, 2011
Publisher:
Scholastic
Date Read:
July 7th, 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows rehab for drinking and rage. At the weekly movie night in town, she meets Stewart, from another rehab nearby. They fall for each other despite the crazy time. Madeline gets out and starts to regain her feet. But when Stewart joins her, both still are severely troubled, and he is getting worse.

My Review

I purchased this book over three years ago, and for some reason or another, I never got around to reading it until now. I was browsing through my Kindle library (which is pretty huge), and on a whim I decided … Continue reading

4 stars
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Hi guys!   As you guys know, my debut novel, Finding Me, is set to be published by Swoon Romance on July 30th, 2019! In order to celebrate, I want to do a preorder bonus/giveaway! Here is the information, and … Continue reading

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Book Title:
Wintergirls
Book Author:
Laurie Halse Anderson
Page Count:
278
Publishing Date:
March 19th, 2009
Publisher:
Viking Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
March 3rd, 2019
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.

“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.

I am that girl.

I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.

I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

My Review

It had been a long time since I read Speak – I read it years ago when it was first published. I always enjoyed that book, and this was on my to-read list for a long time, and finally I … Continue reading

5 stars
1 Comment
Book Title:
Speak
Book Author:
Laurie Halse Anderson
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
May 10th, 2011
Publisher:
Square Fish
Date Read:
March 12st, 2019
Format:
Paperback
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

My Review

Speak is one of those books that I read a long time ago, and I recently reread after reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s new book, Shout. I really enjoyed that book, so I really felt that it was time to go … Continue reading

5 stars
1 Comment
Book Tour
Book Title:
In the Neighborhood of True
Book Author:
Susan Kaplan Carlton
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
April 9th, 2019
Publisher:
Algonquin Young Readers
Date Read:
March 24th, 2019
Format:
eARC
Source:
I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

My Review

In the Neighborhood of True has such a pretty pink cover, and I think that might have been one of the things that drew me to it initially. I’m not sure why, but I think the pretty writing, the flowers, … Continue reading

3.5 stars
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Book Title:
The Twisted Tree
Book Author:
Rachel Burge
Page Count:
248
Publishing Date:
January 10th, 2019
Publisher:
Hot Key Books
Date Read:
March 27th, 2019
Format:
Paperback
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Part ghost story, part Nordic thriller - this is a twisty, tense and spooky YA debut, perfect for fans of CORALINE and Michelle Paver.

Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma's cabin and became blind in one eye.

Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor - only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.

Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in . . .

Set in the remote snows of contemporary Norway, THE TWISTED TREE is a ghost story that twists and turns - and never takes you quite where you'd expect.

My Review

The Twisted Tree caught my attention when I was browsing Goodreads. It came across as a recommendation because I loved Coraline, and upon reading the synopsis, I instantly decided that I needed to read it. Because it isn’t available on … Continue reading

4 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
Clean
Book Author:
Amy Reed
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
July 19th, 2011
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Date Read:
March 25th, 2019
Format:
Hardcover
Source:
Trade

Synopsis

You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing.

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They're addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they'll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there's nowhere to go but down, down, down.

My Review

Clean is one of those books that I honestly wasn’t sure that I would love as much as I did! I haven’t read Beautiful by Amy Reed, but I have heard some really good things about it, so I grabbed … Continue reading

4 stars
3 Comments
Book Title:
The Waking Forest
Book Author:
Alyssa Wees
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
March 12th, 2019
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
Date Read:
March 13th, 2019
Format:
eARC
Source:
I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Pan's Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She's desperate to know more--until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea's and the Witch's paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

My Review

The Waking Forest was my most anticipated read for early 2019. I was so excited to read it – from that gorgeous cover to the synopsis that promised frightening visions and a witch that grants wishes, I was all in. … Continue reading

2 stars
3 Comments