Do you remember the teen girls who created Tampon Run, the game where you run and throw tampons at enemies? If you don’t, you missed out on that awesome news in 2014. Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done follows Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser on their Tampon Run journey, self-discovery, and computer programming.
About two months ago, I said something to my mom about wanting someone to write a YA book with a girl who either is in JROTC or at least wants to join the military. The universe answered, and I found Rites of Passage, by Joy N. Hensley, at the library a week later. Sam McKenna took the last dare that her brother gave her before he died: she joined the first class of girls at Denmark Military Academy. She expected the physical requirements, like push ups and mud crawls, and some hate for being one of the first female students at the school, but she didn’t expect how much some of the boys want her gone.
I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review. In this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, an abused miller’s daughter is sold to the king for her alleged ability to spin straw into gold. She is to be married to the prince if her gold-making skills are proven to be true. In the process, she starts to fall in love with prince and tries to work out how she will accomplish the impossible task of making straw into gold.
Riley Cavanaugh, the child of a conservative congressman, is gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and some days as a girl. Now Riley is starting over at a public school and dealing with the congressman’s campaign. A therapist recommends Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent, and Riley creates one under the name Alix. The blog goes viral. Alix/Riley will have to make a decision: abandon the blog or come out and risk everything. Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin, describes one experience of being gender fluid and shows.
In a world where fairy presence is disappearing and skepticism about fairies sweep the land, the old ways are kept only in villages close to the Wood where fairy tales are reality. In the wake of her parents’ deaths, Ash becomes her cruel stepmother’s maid in the Royal City. Only her mother’s fairy tales and her dreams of fairies stealing her away give her joy. When she meets a fairy, she thinks her dreams will come true. Then she meets the King’s Huntress, Kaisa, and she starts to fall in love with the huntress.
No one knows what happened at River Point. Of the five boys who went hunting, only four came back. Grant Perkins was killed by his Remington, and everyone had handled that gun. Kate Marino, who interns at the DA’s office, wants justice for Grant, despite the DA wanting to sweep it under the rug. Was it an accident or was it murder? That’s what Kate hopes to find out. This Is Our Story, by Ashley Elston, is a mystery, involving love, a photographer’s eye, and careful combing through the evidence.
James Liddell is in the closet in his small Vermont town. Everyone in town knows him to be a star athlete who is dating sweet Theresa. He writes his darkest secrets in letters that he will never send, like Abraham Lincoln. He likes boys. As he figures out who he is, he befriends new people and works through his problems in writing.
Cassie Tate, a high school senior, stumbles upon elves one evening at her dad’s work. An elf hunts her because she saw them in their true forms. Trick, the chasing elf, quickly finds that Cassie is his Chosen, his soulmate. Cassie is baffled by the existence of elves.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell starts with Simon Snow heading to Watford for his last year of mage school. He alone can defeat the Insidious Humdrum, who is draining the world of magic. Baz Pitch, Simon’s evil roommate and resident vampire, is missing from school, which drives Simon crazy. When Baz comes back, he and Simon try to find the mage who killed…
Ehwa, a Korean girl raised by a single mother, overhears conversations that confuse her about the world and her body, and her mother answers her questions with wisdom. She learns what exactly it means to be a girl, a woman, and in love. As Ehwa grows up, she develops new understandings of love and comes to terms with her feelings for the two boys that caught her eye. Kim Dong Hwa’s The Color of Earth is a coming-of-age story about love and the rite of passage into womanhood.