Tag: young adult

We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

We Are All That’s Left…by Carrie Arcos #Blogtour

Zara feels shut off from her Bosnian born mother. She knows that her mother survived some horrible things in the Bosnian war but Zara wants desperately to understand who her mother is. So when Zara, her mother, and her little brother are victims of a tourist attack, Zara begins to understand what emotional and physical trauma can do to a person and a family.   I really love a good historical fiction. Good historical fiction is entertaining while at the same time teaches us about significant events. I have noticed that much of the historical fiction out there covers the really well-known periods of history. For example: the Tutor period, the American Civil War, WWI, and especially WWII. I really love it when I find a  novel that explores world events that are lesser known . When I read the […]

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What I Leave Behind…by Alison McGhee #BlogTour

What I Leave Behind…by Alison McGhee #BlogTour

Will’s dad commits suicide. His childhood friend, Playa, is raped at a party. His mom works long over-night shifts as a nurse. Will then decides to take the negatives in his life and turn them into something completely wonderful.   Will’s father’s death helps him realize that everyone needs positive acknowledgement. He also realizes that sometimes it’s the little things that can make a difference. He gives small gifts and kind words to those around him ( his lonely boss, his friend Playa, a neglected little boy, an abused neighborhood dog).   OMG……This book is powerful, and wonderful, and heart wrenching ! ‘What I Leave Behind’, is a prime example of, “less is more.” There are so many books out there that are just way too long for what they are trying to say (read ‘The Goldfinch’). McGhee delivers a strong […]

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No Sad Songs… by Frank Morelli

No Sad Songs… by Frank Morelli

Gabe is used to helping care for his ailing grandfather. Then tragedy strikes and thrusts eighteen-year-old Gabe into the position of primary care giver for his grandfather with dementia.   They’re so many things to love about, ‘No Sad Songs’. The thing I love most is that the book is set in the 1990’s.  This is a time period I haven’t seen a lot of in YA fiction ( or really fiction in general). The nineties are such a nostalgic time period. It is the last decade were our lives were not totally run by cell phones and computers. The simple things in the life of a teenager was very evident in this story. Gabe’s main worries are eating pizza and attracting girls.   The most important theme in, ‘No Sad Songs,’ is caring for someone with dementia. This novel really highlights […]

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Turtles All the Way Down… by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down… by John Green

Aza is a high school student who struggles with severe OCD (she constantly worries that C.Diff is going to kill her). She must fight against her own mind and help her friend Daisy find a fugitive billionaire and claim her reward. Oh, John Green, how I love to hate you. I told myself there was no way on earth that I would ever read another John Green book.  Then I found out that ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ is about OCD. I’ve had severe OCD since I was a child so here we are.   I’m going to separate this review in two separate areas. First a general review and secondly how well Green paints an accurate picture of OCD.   First the Book In General: John Green is the master of writing a book that’s easy to read. All […]

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Dress Codes for Small Towns…by Courtney Stevens

Dress Codes for Small Towns…by Courtney Stevens

Billie McCaffrey is a gender fluid teen who lives in a small Kentucky town. Even though she is the daughter of the town’s preacher, she is living life by her own terms. This is to chagrin of both her father and the rest of the town of Otters Holt. At the beginning of ‘Dress Codes for Small Towns’ Billie is at a lock-in with her best friends . Billie and her friends ( who she calls them the hexagon) do something that results in major damage to the church. This and the future of the town’s fall festival is the main focus of the characters in DCFST.  I went into ‘Dress Codes for Small Towns’ having heard really great things about it. DCFST does have many original concepts such as a teen who can’t quite pin down her sexuality, the […]

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Corner of Ocean and Bay… by Gina Azzi

Corner of Ocean and Bay… by Gina Azzi

Nessa and Jacie have been friends since kindergarten. When they both have had a terrible year, they decide to take up Jacie’s aunt’s invitation to stay with her at her home on the Jersey Shore. Jacie and Nessa plan to live summer to the fullest before they begin their senior year of high school . On the surface, ‘Corner of Ocean and Bay’ seams like a fun summer beach read. This novel does touch on the fun, carefree, lifestyle of teens on vacation. However, Azzi takes it a step further and explores some of the harsh realities of being young. While Nessa is the ‘good girl’ and Jacie is the wild one, both girls have their own ups and downs. Jacie and Nessa handle their romantic relationships in very different ways. Nessa takes the slow approach with the new boy […]

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My Life as a Bench…Jaq Hazell

My Life as a Bench…Jaq Hazell

Seventeen year old Lauren ‘Ren’ Miller has just died. She finds that her spirit lives on inside her own memorial bench. Although the story is called, ‘My Life as a Bench,’ it is really the story of Lauren contemplating her life after her death.   Ren can’t eat or sleep. She can only observe people as they pass by.  Every night Ren must mentally relive her life over and over. Her only companion is the old bench next to her. Ren learns that the other bench is named Lionel. Lionel was elderly baker before he died. Lionel has his own life story to tell.   The undercurrent of the story is that Ren has unfinished business that must be resolved before she can be at peace. Ren’s boyfriend is in jail on charges of killing her. She knows that he didn’t do it. […]

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The Rules of Magic… by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic… by Alice Hoffman

Franny and Bridget (Jet) along with their brother Vincent are part of the legendary Owen family of witches. Settling in New York city, The Owens kids are far from their Salem roots.  Their mother, Susana, sets up rules to keep her children out of trouble and away from magic. The rules are thrown to the wind when the Owen’s children spend a magical summer with their aunt Isabelle in Salem.   What I Loved         ‘The Rules of Magic’ is the prequel to Hoffman’s popular novel, ‘Practical Magic’. Although I haven’t read ‘Practical Magic’, I was able to understand everything that was going on in ‘The Rules of Magic’. ‘The Rules of Magic’ explains how Franny and Jet became the strange aunts in ‘Practical Magic’. I did love the characters of Franny and Jet as well as […]

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Glow…by Megan E. Bryant

Glow…by Megan E. Bryant

‘There’s a certain kind of light that I should have been afraid of all along.’   Radium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie on December 21, 1898. When radium decays it causes luminescence.  With America’s entry into WWI came a need for self-luminous aircraft switches and instrument dials. Marie and Pierre Curie by André Castaigne  Soldiers involved in trench warfare were especially in need of watches that could be seen in complete darkness. The harmful effects of radium were not yet known.    Factories that produced the luminescent dials were set up Orange, New Jersey, Ottawa, Illinois, and Waterbury, Connecticut. These factories employed young girls and women to paint the numbers and hands with radium. Enter the radium girls. Watch hands painted with radium  The painters were instructed to point their paintbrushes between their lips to create finer details on the numbers […]

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A Penny Lost…by Aspen Bassett

A Penny Lost…by Aspen Bassett

‘A Penny Lost’ is the story of Penelope Grace (Penny) a high school student who can read other’s emotions. Penny feels overshadowed by her identical twin sister, Dinah. She also feels neglected and ignored by her parents. One day Penny sees the sad aura of a home that used to have a  very happy aura. When Penny and Dinah investigate, a machine sucks Penny into a time-traveling universe. Dinah is left behind but Penny is accompanied by the young scientist who invented the machine. What I Loved: I really loved time-travel novels. When they are done correctly, they can be so enthralling. ‘A Penny Lost’ was fast paced and interesting. I also really loved the back story about how they became time travelers. The explanation of the time-traveling universe was simple and easy to follow. One of the issues I […]

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