How it Ends by Catherine Lo

A brutally honest YA novel depicting the messiness of friendship and family and how we tend to see only one perspective: our own. HOW IT ENDS is told in alternating points of view allowing the reader full access to every scene. Lo perfectly captures the emotions of each character, both major and minor, and flawlessly transports the reader into their world. Lo creates a heartbreaking story that ends on a hopeful note. Readers may even shed a few tears during some of the […]

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The Classy Crooks Club by Alison Cherry

The moral of this story is loyalty to friends trump social ethics. Kids are already highly impressionable and for a middle-grade book to impart this kind of message, well that doesn’t sit right with me. To make matters worse, the main character’s morals digress toward the end of the novel. For instance, in the middle of the book, AJ stands up to the ladies and her Grandma Jo letting them know that their actions are considered stealing. However, by the end of the […]

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The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is not your typical post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. In fact, I tend to shy away from the sci-fi genre, but ever since I joined a book club (well, several actually), I’ve been pushed to read books outside my comfort zone. Surprisingly, this book had me hooked after the first sentence. Carey exquisitely shapes a crumbling world through the lens of a unique child, a child that the world despises. The story is written from a perspective […]

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Future Perfect by Jen Larsen

FUTURE PERFECT is a coming of age YA novel about a young girl struggling with happiness and her body. Like many people, the main character worries more about the happiness of others that she loses sight of her own. Larsen unravels the reality that many young men and women go through when struggling with weight, peeling away the superficial layers and revealing the raw vulnerability they so desperately try to hide. Larsen creates real characters with real emotions. The only character that […]

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Deep Water by Lu Hersey

DEEP WATER is a beautifully written mystery novel that draws inspiration from old wives tales and folklore. Set in a small seaside town, the story focuses on a girl searching for answers about her mom’s past and subsequently her own. Not to go on a tangent here, but don’t we tend to seek answers from the history written before us? Going back to the story, while it is more mystery driven, fret not as Lu sprinkles in a dash of forbidden […]

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Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

A blend between the GOSSIP GIRL series and a YA version of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, ANNE & HENRY is filled with lust, desire, and teenage hormones. This modern retelling of the tragic love story between Anne Boleyn and Henry Tudor while no doubt has several hot and heavy scenes that leave little to the imagination, the novel also leaves very little room for character development. Anne is not a sympathetic character. Her background story about her sister Mary is […]

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Court of Fives (Book #1) by Kate Elliot

COURT OF FIVES is an epic adventure similar to THE HUNGER GAMES series and SALVAGE. The novel is both plot and character driven involving complex themes of loyalty, family, and sacrifice. Elliot creates a rich, detailed world with just the right amount of tension that will leave the readers begging for the next installment. Dive into the book: Jessamy and her sisters find themselves caught in the middle of a world divided by the royal and privileged Patrons and by the lower […]

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My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

MY FAVOURITE MANSON GIRL reads like a darker themed Sarah Dessen novel. Umminger draws the reader in with a fresh take on Charles Manson and the girls he molded into monsters. Often drawing parallels from THE GREAT GATSBY and the main character’s life, Umminger manages to humanize the world’s arguably most despicable man and women on earth.  A fascinating read that both teens and adults will find enlightening. Dive into the book: Fourteen year old Anna runs away from her small town life to her […]

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Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel

FACELESS is a poignant novel about Maisie, a girl coping with the loss of her face. Like the beloved DAWN ROCHELLE series, FACELESS is quite the emotional roller-coaster. Readers will cringe at the graphic description of Maisie’s face transplant, tear-up when Maisie hits rock bottom, and laugh out loud over the jokes she makes about her situation. Sheinmel digs deep into the human core and teaches us that no matter our trials, life is what we make of it. Dive into the book: Maisie’s […]

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A Little Bit of Spectacular by Gin Phillips

A sweet, coming-of-age story about the strength of friendship and the magic of love. Phillips writes a heartfelt, easy-to-read novel about an eleven-year-old and her newfound friend unraveling a mystery, helping them understand that sometimes spectacular things come from the most ordinary stories. Phillips avoids the clichés and creates a believable eleven-year-old with depth and heart. A LITTLE BIT OF SPECTACULAR is a wonderful, albeit cheesy, read that cleverly young readers and adults will appreciate. Dive into the book: After Olivia’s mom gets […]

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