Category: Reviews

May 21
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Truth About Leaving, City of Ghosts, The Forever Song, & Educated

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Truth About Leaving, City of Ghosts, The Forever Song, & Educated

Reviews 6 ★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a MG contemporary fantasy, a YA fantasy and a memoir. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Lucy has spent her whole life living for other people: when her mom moves for work, she sacrifices her own time and energy to help take care of her little brothers; when it’s time to think about college, she doesn’t consider anywhere but where her parents want her to go; when her boyfriend wants more of her time, she quits dance, her one true outlet. She doesn’t know who she wants to be because she’s never given herself a chance to think about it—she just fills whatever roles are “assigned” to her in life. This book is about Lucy finding herself in a sea of other people’s expectations.  When Lucy meets Dov, her perceptions of the world… Read more »


May 15
Shipwreckers by Scott D. Peterson & Josh Pruett: Review & Giveaway

Shipwreckers by Scott D. Peterson & Josh Pruett: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 3 ★★★★½

This book is a hilarious and perilous adventure, filled with action, goofy puns, and a nice helping of heart. When I read the author’s bios and saw that they write for kids’ TV, it all made so much sense–the book reads like an animated movie. It’s full of larger-than-life characters who make you laugh out loud (Captain Kevin Adventureson is incredibly clueless and yet full of himself, but he still manages to be lovable at the same time) and the kind of hold-your-breath swashbuckling adventures that keep you turning the pages. I promise you will never get bored when you read this book. But it doesn’t feature all that action at the expense of character development–I especially loved Mike’s journey toward understanding that it’s okay to take risks sometimes. He’s always been cautious and overprotective of his little sister Dani, especially since she got hurt when he was supposed to be… Read more »


May 10
Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos: Review & Giveaway

Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 10 ★★★★½

Planet Earth Is Blue is a heartwrenching portrayal of a little girl who can’t tell the world who she truly is. The book is set in the 80s and starts ten days before the fateful launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The story centers around Nova, a non-verbal autistic girl. She struggles to show the world that she is more than they think she is—that though she can’t speak well, she is intelligent and curious. It’s a portrayal of profound autism that we don’t typically see, and one that would help any reader to understand someone who is different. Nova doesn’t think like the average 12-year-old; she can’t always respond the way a typical 12-year-old would respond; she can’t do everything her peers can do, but she is still a vibrant and worthy human being. I think anyone could benefit from seeing the world through her eyes. The author is on the… Read more »


May 07
Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum: Review & Giveaway

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 41 ★★★★★

Buxbaum is a genius at contemporary storytelling, and this book is no exception. She manages to pack so much into 300 pages without ever making it feel overwrought or unrealistic. You would be hard-pressed to read this book and not come out of the experience thinking about 9/11 differently. What Fed My Addiction: Opposing goals. Abbi wants to move on with her life and get past the one thing that has always defined her. She wants to ignore the possible repercussions of that day (which I can’t talk about because it would be a spoiler). Noah wants to understand the day that took his father away–he needs to know what happened to him. I ended up loving both of these characters so much that I was rooting for both of them. But these two opposing goals are impossible to reconcile and they make for a great conflict. 9/11. I’ve only read… Read more »


Apr 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Hurricane Season, Release, Grim Lovelies and Story Genius

Bite-Sized Reviews of Hurricane Season, Release, Grim Lovelies and Story Genius

Reviews 14

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a MG contemporary, a YA contemporary, a YA fantasy and a non-fiction writing craft book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Hurricane Season is a poignant story of the complexities of loving a parent who struggles with mental health issues. Fig is used to having to take care of her dad. She’s used to him embarrassing him in front of her friends. She’s used to needing help (sometimes even from the police). She’s used to the questions and the worry that this time social services might actually take her dad away from her. She’s used to all of these things, but that doesn’t make any of it any easier to handle. The story follows Fig as she struggles to understand her dad and battles her own fears. Her story is heartbreaking and incredibly realistic. For instance,… Read more »


Apr 18
The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews: Review & Giveaway

The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 12 ★★★★★

This book is pure perfection, crafted with Cait’s special brand of lyrical writing, witty banter and heartwrenching circumstances.  Sam’s reality is painful–he’s trying to care for an older brother since all of the adults in his life have failed him. All he wants in life is a home, a place to belong, but for him, that feels like a distant dream. Plus, he’s living with the repercussions of a cycle of abuse passed down from his father (not to mention the neglect and emotional abuse inflicted by his aunt), and he fears that he might not be able ever truly break that cycle. Sam is a kid who has to make very adult choices, and he often fails to hold the threads of his life together. I fell in love with the DeLaineys right along with Sam. They’re everything he yearns for: a strong, vibrant family, full of love and… Read more »


Apr 12
Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton: Review & Giveaway

Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 18 ★★★★

One woman’s choices in life follow her into the afterlife … and she can’t escape the consequences without unraveling the truth of her past. What Fed My Addiction: Creepy and atmospheric. The book takes place Under, which is a creepy afterlife that’s literally under the graveyard. All of the characters show signs of their deaths–often quite gruesome–and the world is made of dirt and devoid of light (aside from light from torches). Sutton does a fantastic job of establishing a memorable setting. Lots of mysteries. Key wakes up in Under with no memory of her life or her death, but it soon becomes apparent that her life held numerous secrets and betrayals. When people in Under start dying (again), Key has reason to believe that it’s somehow because of her. Her memory starts to come back to her in pieces, and we discover the whole sordid history along with her… Read more »


Apr 09
Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!

Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!

Author Top Ten Lists, Reviews 20 ★★★★★

So, lots of us in the book blogging community know Danielle Hammelef. She’s a regular presence in the comments section of so many of our blogs. And I’ve featured her here on FYFA on several occasions when she’s done dual reviews with me (after winning my Make Me Read It Giveaway). We all know that Danielle is a superstar. But did you know that Danielle is also an author? A while back Danielle mentioned to me that she wrote children’s nonfiction, and I was blown away by this revelation! This isn’t a genre that gets a lot of attention in the book blogging community, but ever since I found this out, I knew that I wanted to feature Danielle’s books here on the blog and give her a little bit of the attention she deserves. My first step was to check out all of her books that I could from… Read more »


Apr 05
Bite-Sized Reviews of Slayer, Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, Mera: Tidebreaker, and You’d Be Mine

Bite-Sized Reviews of Slayer, Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, Mera: Tidebreaker, and You’d Be Mine

Reviews 17

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA urban fantasy, a YA historical in verse, a MG graphic novel and a YA contemporary. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I honestly just want to randomly gush about this book because it’s a new installment in the Buffy-verse and it lives up to the brand!! I was both delighted and terrified to read this book. Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out when I was in college, and I was an avid fan. I waited desperately for every episode (I own the whole series on DVD now). Buffy is the only TV show I’ve ever been truly obsessed with. So, the idea of a new series set in that world was exciting, but I was also worried it couldn’t live up to the name (I’ve never read any of the random books based on the… Read more »


Mar 29
Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6

This first book in the Samantha Spinner Series introduces us to Samantha and her wacky family. Her dad is a lightbulb expert, her mom is a lizard veterinarian, her older sister Buffy is a fashion-obsessed shopping machine, and her little brother Nipper is just an annoying little brother–who loses stuff a lot (and knows a lot of random facts). But strangest of all is Uncle Paul, who goes missing at the very beginning of the book. He leaves behind amazing presents for Buffy and Nipper–and a red umbrella for Samantha. As you can imagine, Samantha’s pretty sure she got a raw deal. Until she discovers that the umbrella is actually a map that leads to a super secret transportation system … and a whole lot of adventure. The book is zany in so many over-the-top ways. Sometimes it’s a bit nonsensical, but it’s always fun. Ginns’ creativity knows no bounds, and… Read more »