Genre: Young Adult


Dec 06
Thunderhead and The Toll: More Proof that Neal Shusterman is Genius

Thunderhead and The Toll: More Proof that Neal Shusterman is Genius

Reviews 11 ★★★★★

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know that the Unwind Series is my absolute favorite series of all time. Neal Shusterman always manages to write books that are both exciting and philosophical—a difficult feat. Well, this latest series is no exception. I’ve already reviewed Scythe, so click the link to read what I had to say about the book (spoiler alert—I thought it was incredible with a small reservation about the way that the Scythes go about the business of killing). But, strangely I hadn’t read Thunderhead yet, despite my deep love for Scythe, so I’m going to start with a quick review of that one… Thunderhead was even better than Scythe (in my opinion) because it was less about the ways that the Scythes gleaned (though there were still some really interesting gleaning discussions—especially when it came to the way that Anastasia chose to do it)… Read more »


Nov 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Sick Kids in Love, Slay, Look Both Ways, Parker Looks Up, & Missions to Mars

Bite-Sized Reviews of Sick Kids in Love, Slay, Look Both Ways, Parker Looks Up, & Missions to Mars

Reviews 6 ★★★★½

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG book of contemporary short stories, a picture book and a non-fiction kids’ book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book shines a (glaring) spotlight on ableism. The main characters, Isabel and Sasha both have chronic illnesses that aren’t life-threatening (at least not directly) but are serious. Isabel has rheumatoid arthritis and lives in near-constant pain. She decided long ago that she didn’t want to be in a relationship—her life is just too complicated, and she knows darn well that she’s not always the most cheerful companion. But when she meets Sasha, her feelings start to change. Sasha has Gaucher Disease, an illness that puts him in the hospital often. Isabel relates to Sasha in a way she hasn’t with anyone else—he understands her, and he understands the challenges of… Read more »


Oct 18
Bite-Sized Reviews of Pet; Scars Like Wings; Paul, Big, and Small; and Serious Moonlight

Bite-Sized Reviews of Pet; Scars Like Wings; Paul, Big, and Small; and Serious Moonlight

Reviews 14 ★★★★½

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy and three YA contemps. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is wild and strange and sort of brilliant. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started reading, and I’ll confess that at first I was confused about the worldbuilding. The book is set in a utopian society where all of the evil people in the world (or “monsters”) were eliminated by a group that’s referred to as angels. Everyone knows that monsters no longer exist, so when Jam accidentally releases a creature from her mother’s painting that says it’s there to hunt them, her parents say she needs to send it back before it causes unnecessary pain and suffering. The book holds a lens to the world and how easy it is to pretend that problems (even very serious… Read more »


Oct 17
The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy: Spotlight and Giveaway

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy: Spotlight and Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 3

Today I’m shining the spotlight on The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy, a YA fantasy with some truly unique worldbuilding. Imagine a world in which memories are used as a commodity … they can be stolen, traded, sold, even used as torture! Etta has basically sworn off her gift of being able to steal memories—until she needs it to save her mother from a horrific death. About the Author Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. Author Links:         1 finished copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA only) a… Read more »


Oct 01
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart: Review & Giveaway

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 16 ★★★★★

This book is so engrossing and emotionally compelling that I read it in one evening! I was immediately drawn in by the concept: Ava is the sole survivor of a house fire that claimed the lives of her parents and her cousin—she’s now recovering from burns that covered over 60% of her body and living with her aunt and uncle, who are also trying to hold it together after the loss of their daughter in the very fire that almost claimed Ava’s life. Right there, you can see why the emotional stakes of the story are so incredibly high. Not only is Ava struggling to adapt to her “new normal” after being disfigured in the fire, but she’s dealing with the loss of her parents and the guilt of surviving when her cousin didn’t. The cast of characters is wonderful. Asad is a hilariously geeky guy (in a theater-geek sort of… Read more »


Sep 26
Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Just the pitch for this book told me there was a whole lot to love: an illustrated YA King Arthur retelling from the perspective of Nimue (the Lady in the Lake). First of all, why aren’t more books for older readers illustrated? I didn’t stop loving artwork when I was a little kid, and I think many other people feel similarly, so I would love to see more illustrated books for older readers. But I digress… I’ll confess that I don’t remember much about the tale of King Arthur beyond the basics: the sword in the stone, King Arthur’s court, Guenivere and Lancelot’s shenanigans. None of that is in this book. This all takes place before you would get to the point of the knights of the round table, so if you go into this book looking for that story you might be disappointed. In fact, I have no idea if any of… Read more »


Sep 09
Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Reviews 20

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy a YA contemp, and two MG graphic novels. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! First off, I didn’t realize when I started reading this that the series is a duology. So I was expecting perhaps a bit of middle-book syndrome and was surprised when the book didn’t feel sluggish in the least. In fact, I found myself eager to read this book every chance I got. The book starts out with Kazi very hurt and in captivity and then moves back a couple of weeks to show us how she got there. So, of course, I was eagerly reading to find out what happened and how she was separated from Jase. Surprisingly, it wasn’t one of those cases where it took us half the book to get back to where we’d started, though. No,… Read more »


Sep 05
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 26 ★★★★

When I heard that Annie Sullivan had written a retelling of “The Lady or the Tiger” I was incredibly excited! I’d loved her unique retelling of “The Midas Touch,” and I had no doubt she’d do one of my favorite short stories justice. I distinctly remember reading this story when I was a teenager and being left with that agonizing open ending. I read the story again with my own students when I taught at my homeschool co-op, and one of our exercises was to write their own ending (and, yes, a few of my students did have the princess sick the tiger on her lost love). I was curious to see if Sullivan would leave us with an open ending as well or give us her own version of closure. Of course, I can’t tell you the answer to that. You’ll have to read to find out! Sullivan has created… Read more »


Aug 23
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lady Rogue, The Silence Between Us, The Kingdom, and Sorry for Your Loss

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lady Rogue, The Silence Between Us, The Kingdom, and Sorry for Your Loss

Reviews 20 ★★★½

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA historical fantasy, a YA sci fi, and two YA  contemps. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a gothic feel and a paranormal twist, this book will make your heart happy. The story follows Theodora as she travels across 1930’s Romania with her ex (who she has no closure with) in order to save her father from a mysterious group of people who want to get their hands on Vlad the Impaler’s evil magical ring. Theodora is plucky and intelligent—a woman who holds her own in a man’s world. The romantic tension between her and Huck is palpable, which I loved. I did wish the magical elements had been a bit more pronounced throughout the book, but that’s just my personal preference. Things took a definitively supernatural turn… Read more »


Jul 25
Bite-Sized Reviews of Birthday, Soul of the Sword, My Fate According to the Butterfly and Teen Titans: Raven

Bite-Sized Reviews of Birthday, Soul of the Sword, My Fate According to the Butterfly and Teen Titans: Raven

Reviews 20 ★★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemp, a YA fantasy, a MG contemp and a YA graphic novel. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book!! This book made my heart hurt and also made it incredibly happy. I have to warn you, there were tears shed. If you’ve ever wanted to understand how someone could feel a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth, you need to read this book. (Obviously this book can’t represent every transgender person’s experience, but it does a great job of portraying one person’s experience.) Being inside Morgan’s head makes it so clear—the struggle to fit in when you just feel wrong somehow, the fears of how others will react, the painful process of coming to terms with a reality you might not want to face at first. The book chronicles four… Read more »