Historical Fiction · Review · Young Adult

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi | Book Review

A Very Large Expanse of Sea, by Tahereh Mafi, takes us back to 2002, a year after 9/11. The turbulent times make life harder for Shirin, the new sixteen-year-old Muslim girl at school where she is regularly stereotyped. She’s built an armor around herself in the turbulence and from having to deal with her parents’ constantly moving to new places. She’s aloof to the world and keeps to herself. Then she meets a boy, named Ocean, who wants to get to know her. The….

Graphic Novel · Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

Piper by Jay Asher & Jessica Freeburg | Graphic Novel Review

Authors Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg collaborated with illustrator Jeff Stokely to rewrite “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” with a romance between the Piper and a deaf girl and with an answer to how he performed his magic. Admittedly, I was more interested in Jay Asher, who authored Thirteen Reasons Why, contributing to the story line than I was in a retelling of “The Pied Piper of Hamelin.” I didn’t have high hopes for Piper, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I should have went with my gut.

Book Tags

Harry Potter Honoring the Dead Book Tag

Happy (early) Death Day to Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, James Potter, and Lily Potter née Evans! We should also remember Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Hedwig, Dobby, Fred Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Cedric Diggory, and Remus Lupin. Instead of throwing a Death Day party, I’m doing the Harry Potter Honoring the Dead Book Tag. Jessica from a… Continue reading Harry Potter Honoring the Dead Book Tag

Young Adult

Books Where Characters Confront Their Fears

We’re in the month of Halloween, and the major theme of the month is scary. Those things that cause fear in people, like clowns, monsters, Slender Man, and Psycho Slasher Chainsaw Guy from Hell. To fit the theme of the month, I’m listing four books where characters confront their fears. Confronting fears can take many… Continue reading Books Where Characters Confront Their Fears

Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Audiobook Review

Jude Duarte is trying to find a place for herself in the High Court of Faerie, where she grew up after her parents were murdered. She wishes she was like the fey so that she can belong, but she lacks immortality, unlike her oldest sister. She tries different paths so that she can belong, and that often means defying the nobility, especially Prince Cardan. This brings fey cruelty down on her head. As she gets involved in the political….

Young Adult

5 YA Books Where Letters Are Important to the Plot

*This post contains links to book reviews on this blog. Letters tend to be personal messages to oneself or to someone important to them. In the case of literature, they can make up the entire story, drive the plot, show character development, and many other things. Today I am listing five young adult books where letters… Continue reading 5 YA Books Where Letters Are Important to the Plot

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | Audiobook Review

In February I saw several glowing reviews for the audiobook version of The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, and I decided to put myself on the waitlist. It was worth the wait to read this powerful book. One night Starr Carter finds herself the only witness to the fatal shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. As the story….

Young Adult

Reviewing Recommended YA Short Stories in Literary Magazines

As a reader and reviewer of young adult books, I’ve mostly focused on novels, but there are also young adult stories. They haven’t typically been my forte, but I’ve learned to appreciate short stories from a creative writing class and from being an undergraduate reader for Blue Mesa Review. This has gotten me thinking about… Continue reading Reviewing Recommended YA Short Stories in Literary Magazines

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

School shootings are appearing more in the national news. Told from four perspectives, Marieke Nijkamp’s This Is Where It Ends is about a school shooting in Opportunity, Alabama. A school assembly has just ended, but over the next few minutes, everyone finds themselves locked in the auditorium. Then shots start firing. Over the next hour, one student terrorizes the school to exact revenge.

Contemporary Realistic Fiction · Review · Young Adult

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, and her radio evangelist father has been supportive. All of that changes when he remarries and they move to conservative Rome, Georgia. He asks her to do the impossible: to lie low for her senior year. After she reluctantly agrees, she falls for Mary Carlson, the sister of her new friend. She doesn’t want to break the promise to her dad, even if Mary might return her feelings. Maybe. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, by Jaye Robin Brown, shows characters openly being themselves and ties faith into loving everyone.