Tag: young adult

Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Cute Christmas anthology of various genres from my fellow YA Book Central reviewers. I discovered some great new authors and got into the holiday spirit. A few of my favorites were: ‘After Checkmate’ by Amalie Jahn, ‘Young Saint Nick’ by Angela Blount, and ‘Choices’ by Patrick Hodges    

Divider

Holes…by Louis Sachar

Holes…by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is accused of a crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to a boys camp in the middle of a bone dry desert. The camp is ironically named Camp Green Lake. Day in and day out the boys at the camp must dig holes in the scorching heat for the warden. This story has multiple perspectives. Stanley’s present day and the past of  Stanley’s great-great grandfather as well as the past of Camp Green Lake. ‘Holes’ is much more gritty than the average middle school novel. Its is definitely not all fairies and unicorns. There are some somewhat harsh scenes in the story but they are important part of the book . ‘Holes’ is a story about overcoming adversity and a deep message about good triumphing over evil. As for the cast of characters in the novel they are […]

Divider

Dying Wish….by Margaret McHeyzer

Dying Wish….by Margaret McHeyzer

Alice is a ballet prodigy. Her best friend Becky has been like sister to Alice since Becky’s mother died. When Alice begins a relationship with Elijah she thinks her life is perfect then she receives devastating news. This novel will make you so emotional. I haven’t ugly cried over a novel since my first read of a Kristian Hannah.  I had no idea that this novel was going to be so gut wrenching. The author really brought to life the feelings of those who are close to someone who that is going through what Alice is going through. Alice as a character really touched me. I really felt that she  is someone who I would know. Becky and Elijah were still really likable for me but I Alice was a real person to me. That being said. I really love […]

Divider

Underwater….by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Underwater….by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Bailey has recently lost her parents to a violent crime. She and her younger sister Tilly  are desperately trying to get on with their lives. Their grandmother takes them to a family resort to try to relax and forget about their problems. There Bailey meets a new group friends that will bring out the best and the worst in her.   ‘Underwater’ is the second book I have read in recent months that takes place in New Zealand. I really love this as I don’t know much about New Zealand and it’s a really great setting. I also like that the location for ‘Underwater’ is a family resort. The resort kind of gave me a combination of a ‘Dirty Dancing’ and sleep away camp vibe.    All the characters including Adam, Amber, Jenny, Claire, and Freya are interesting and seemed like […]

Divider

Ray vs. The Meaning of Life…by Michael F. Stewart

Ray vs. The Meaning of Life…by Michael F. Stewart

Ray must figure out the meaning of life in order to be the beneficiary of his late grandmother’s will. At stake is the trailer park where he and his whole family live and work. In the process of finding the meaning of life, Ray begins to experience life and change the way he lives it. The concept of this book is wonderful. A teenager must experience the world around him in order to earn a great reward. This concept intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to figure out what would happen with Ray and his family. The story started out both sad and odd. Ray’s grandmother is killed in a freak run-in with a grizzly bear. Then in a turn of events ,that reminds me of a Simpson’s episode, a surgical team arrives in a  helicopter and freezes grandma’s brain. […]

Divider

Confessions of a High School Disaster…by Emma Chastain

Confessions of a High School Disaster…by Emma Chastain

Confessions of a High School Disaster is the first installment of the Chloe Snow series. I read the second installment first and enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back and read ‘Confessions of a High School Disaster’. In this book Chloe is just about to start high school. Her immaturity definitely shows through in this book. This makes sense as she is just at the beginning of both high school and her parents divorce. The combination of these two things definitely would push Chloe to concentrate on more important things than basic teenage stuff ( i.e. being a kissing virgin). I think divorce is an important topic for YA to tackle as its something many teens must work through and I think COAHSD did it well. One of the most eye-opening aspects for me was Chloe was […]

Divider

Sneaking Out…By Chuck Vance

Sneaking Out…By Chuck Vance

‘Sneaking Out’ is the first installment in the ‘Chase’ series. The setting is an élite New England boarding school. Oliver and Luke are roommates at said school. They sneak out one night to meet up with girls. During this meet-up they witness a murder. They can’t confess up to what they know without being expelled for sneaking out (hence the title). The setting of a  boarding school in New England really intrigued me. It is interesting to take a peek inside their rules and routines. I hadn’t realized that boarding schools were so strict. The students have to have quiet time and are expected to do things like dress up for formal dinners. The whole atmosphere of the school seemed really rigid and creepy. The murder mystery storyline is interesting. Although I guessed the identity of the murderer early on, […]

Divider

The Year of Living Awkwardly…by Emma Chasten #blogtour

The Year of Living Awkwardly…by Emma Chasten #blogtour

  “The point of the musical is that Nellie’s racism is disgusting and that you can be a cute, fun girl everyone considers so nice and still have this snake coiled in your heart. “   “It’s like Tris let go of his trapeze and he’s falling through the air, waiting for Roy to catch him, but Roy is outside the circus tent making out with the lion tamer.”   “It was a perfect fall afternoon. Cool air Lavender sky. Leaves the color of cherries. Smell of wood smoke. Sometimes New England is so New Englandly.”      Chloe Snow is a high school sophomore who is struggling with the abandonment of her mother. She also is absorbed in taking her PSA, school, boys and friends. She must keep it all together to make it through her sophomore year.   […]

Divider

Burning Bright…by Chanda Stafford

Burning Bright…by Chanda Stafford

Sam is haunted by her parents death. She is at fault for what happened to them. Her punishment is to live with abusive foster parents that only care about the stipend she brings them. Sam’s life changes when she meets California boy, Ben. Ben is the son of movie star turned animal conservationist parents. What will happen when Sam becomes wrapped up in Ben’s world. To me there is two separate plots to, ‘Burning Bright’. The first is Sam’s gritty struggle to survive. She lives in a tent so as not to have to live in her foster-parents house. She is in constant fear of her foster-father. Sam also has to work in a second-hand store in order to pay for essentials such as clothing and food. She sees this as a penance for what she did to her parents. What […]

Divider

The Unusual Suspects…by Dominic Carillo

The Unusual Suspects…by Dominic Carillo

Fourteen year old Bulgarian, Nia, is attacked while taking a train across Europe (she is going to face her cheating ex-boyfriend in Berlin). She is rescued by Kurt, an unlikely hero.  Kurt is a eighty-nine WWII American war veteran.   The premise of this story fascinated me from the start. I mean how often do you read a story about an eighty-nine year old man and a fourteen year old girl who become international crime suspects. It also is an amazing idea to flip points of view between Kurt and Nia. It is interesting to see the same situations through the eyes of two vastly different people.   I really love the personal and historical background that is sprinkled throughout  ‘The Unusual Suspects’. I really fell in love both Nia and Kurt. The flashback of Kurt’s budding romance with his […]

Divider