Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The Disappearances by Emily Bain MurphyThe Disappearances
Emily Bain Murphy
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published July 4, 2017

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About The Disappearances
Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what … Continue reading

Review: Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen

Unfolding
Jonathan Friesen
Blink
Available January 31, 2017

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Jonah’s been in love with Stormi pretty much since the day the twister plucked her up from her home and set her down unhurt in his neighbor’s yard. Mysterious, beautiful, and a gifted mechanic, Stormi often senses things before they come to pass. When one of her premonitions results in a girl’s death, the town rallies against her. Jonah follows her, determined to clear Stormi’s name. In the process, he uncovers a dark secret the town has kept for most of his life.

Friesen has this ability in his writing to craft guys you can’t help but root for. His heroes have all the odds stacked against them, … Continue reading

Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

bonegapBone Gap
Laura Ruby
Balzer + Bray
Available March 3, 2015

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A young woman named Roza disappears from the small town of Bone Gap, and Finn, the only witness struggles to identify her captor. How do you describe someone who looks like everyone else? Everyone seems to believe Roza just up and left Finn and his brother Sean, the same way their mother did. But Finn knows Roza would never just leave on her own. Finn can’t give up. He’s as determined to find her as he is to win over the prickly bee girl with the strange eyes.

This is one of those books that I picked up expecting great writing, but having no idea … Continue reading

Review: I Crawl Through It by A. S. King

I Crawl Through It by A. S. KingI Crawl Through It
by A. S. King
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Four teens battle inner traumas from grief to anxiety to neglect. Stanzi’s parents compulsively visit sites of school shootings. China has eaten herself. Lansdale tells outlandish lies that make her hair grow. Gustav is busy assembling an invisible helicopter from a kit the bush man gave him. The bush man has all the answers. He knows the place Gustav and Stanzi can go, a place that has answers for them, too. Escape seems like the perfect solution, until it isn’t.

Honestly, I so didn’t get this book. I wanted to like it. I liked pieces of it. I think each character individually had a really fascinating story. I just didn’t really … Continue reading

Guilt and Innocence in The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren SumaThe Walls Around Us
Nova Ren Suma
Algonquin Books

Violet’s best friend Ori would have done anything for her. That’s what best friends do. At least, that’s what Violet tells herself happened that night behind the theater, the night those two girls died. After that, Ori gets sent upstate to a girls’ prison.

Amber waits for her new prison roommate. She’s known the girl will come since the night the doors opened, the night she saw the girl who didn’t belong. She also knows the new roommate starts the beginning of the end. That they will all die in a few weeks’ time.

In poetic narrative, Suma delivers a story of three girls and the guilt or innocence that binds them to one another. It’s … Continue reading

Review: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord by Cornelia FunkeThe Thief Lord
Cornelia Funke
Scholastic, Inc.
Published January 1, 2000

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The adventure begins when an apparently grief-stricken couple hire detective Victor Getz to track down their missing nephews: Prosper, age twelve and Bo, age five. Instead of languishing in the chill of the Venice streets as their aunt fears, Prosper and Bo have allied themselves with a band of urchins led by a boy who calls himself the Thief Lord.

When a shop owner whispers to the group of a special task for the Thief Lord worth an enormous amount of money, the kids are quick to relay the information to … Continue reading

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye J. Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Leslye J. Walton
Candlewick Press
Published January 1, 2014

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Ava Lavender comes from a long line of peculiarly gifted women who’ve been unlucky in love. She relates her family history beginning with her great-grandparents and their journey from France to the United States in the early 1900s. Ava’s grandmother is the surviving member of her small family by the time she marries. Desperate to escape the bitter memories of her lost loved ones, Emiliene and her husband head west, finally settling in a small Washington town. Emiliene bears one child, Ava’s mother, before her husband dies. Each member of Emiliene’s family bears some peculiarity, and it seems Viviane, … Continue reading

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