Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyGraffiti Moon
by Cath Crowley
Knopf Books for Young Readers

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On the last night of her senior year, Lucy and her best friend set out on an adventure. The girls plan to track down Shadow and Poet, a secretive duo who pepper the city with brilliant graffiti and gut-wrenching poetry. Ed, Lucy’s sort-of-ex-boyfriend, wishes she’d see past her prejudices and assumptions. Her obsession with Shadow is sure to lead to disappointment, but it’s like a train wreck from which he can’t look away. As the night progresses, Lucy draws nearer to uncovering the identity of the elusive Shadow, but the closer she gets, the less he seems like the hero she’s built him … Continue reading

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah ThomasBecause You’ll Never Meet Me
Leah Thomas
Bloomsbury USA Children’s

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Unusual circumstances lead two remarkably different boys to become pen pals. They’ll never meet, as Ollie is severely allergic to electricity and Moritz relies on his pacemaker to keep his weak heart pumping. Ollie lives in an isolated cabin deep in the woods, longing for people and things he can never have. Moritz lives in a crowded city and longs for nothing more than solitude. As they compose autobiographical letters to one another, each discovers that what he needs most is a true friend.

Don’t be fooled by the mild-mannered premise. This book explodes with sci-fi-esque drama as … Continue reading

Review: Season of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren

Season of Fire by Lisa T. BergrenSeason of Fire
Lisa T. Bergren
Zondervan

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Andriana and her knight, Ronan, join a team of others set on rescuing the emperor’s twin brother from exile. A surprise attack places Andriana in the hands of her enemies: Sethos, a powerful sorcerer and Keallach, the emperor responsible for imprisoning the man Dri intends to rescue. When Dri witnesses Keallach’s powerful gift and his hunger for companionship with others of her kind, she becomes convinced he can be saved. She blames Sethos’ vile influence for Keallach’s treacherous actions and begins using her abilities as an empath to draw him toward the Maker and the Ailith ways. Her attempt risks everything. To … Continue reading

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschSnow Like Ashes
Sara Raasch
Balzer + Bray

Meira has spent her entire life under the shadow of the Spring kingdom’s oppression. Her own kingdom, Winter, has been decimated by Spring armies and most of her people enslaved. Only a handful of refugees live free, protecting the future king, waiting to execute the plan that will restore Winter’s magic. Only then can the other Winterians be set free and the kingdom restored.

All Meira wants is to fight for her people. Yet every time she tries, it seems someone stands in her way. When she finally finds her own way to fight, she learns a truth that shatters everything she thought she knew about her life, her people, and how to free them.

Readers looking … Continue reading

Review: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa GreyThe Girl at Midnight
Melissa Grey
Delacorte Press

For most of her childhood, Echo, a homeless human girl, has lived with the Avicen, a human-like people with feathers instead of hair. When she learns of an ancient prophecy that could stop the war between her adopted people and the dragon-like Drakharin, she sees an opportunity not only to help those she loves but to cement her place among them as a hero.

Caius, the Drakharin Dragon Prince, also knows of the prophecy and seeks its fruition. When his search entangles him with the strange human girl, there’s really only one choice: work together to solve the puzzle and find the firebird. Even if doing so destroys his place among his people.

I … Continue reading

Review: Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

zeroboxerZeroboxer
Fonda Lee
Flux

Seventeen year-old Carr Luka is rocketing his way to the top of a hot new sport. Zeroboxing takes place in an enclosed arena, the Cube. Opponents face off in hand-to-hand combat in zero gravity. Winning fights is the only thing that will save Carr from being sent back to earth to work clubs as a low-rent fighter, scraping through the muck of poverty. When an opportunity to become an elite Zeroboxer, a poster child for the sport complete with endorsements and his own marketing team, Carr seizes the opportunity with both fists. His exotic Martian marketing manager steals his breath and then his heart. Just as his dreams of stardom and a glorious future seem to be within his grasp, a stranger corners Carr with … Continue reading

Review: When You Leave by Monica Ropal

when-you-leaveWhen You Leave
Monica Ropal
Running Press Kids

For Cass, the girl who survived her father’s desertion and best friend’s battle with cancer, love doesn’t come with the possibility of loss but the certainty of it. When the hot boy at her new school seems interested in her, Cass keeps their relationship a secret. At first it’s just flirtation and fun, but Cooper isn’t satisfied with the cool exterior Cass shows everyone else. He wants the real her.

And just when she’s ready to let him into her heart, he’s gone. Dead. Murdered. Worse still, her friend Gavin gets blamed for it. All Cass can do now is try to piece together who Cooper really was and why the real killer wanted him dead. Her search unearths truths she is barely able to face and forces her … Continue reading

Review: On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

on-the-jellicoe-roadOn the Jellicoe Road
Melina Marchetta
Penguin Australia

Taylor Markham has been at the school on the Jellicoe Road since she was six years old. It’s her turn to lead the students in the annual territory wars with the Townies and Cadets from a school in Sydney. But lost memories of her childhood, her mother and a man she hopes is her father distract her from the game. When her caregiver, Hannah, disappears, Taylor studies the stories Hannah left behind, looking for clues to her whereabouts. She forms unlikely alliances with territory rivals, and together they work to solve the mysteries behind many things that happened on the Jellicoe Road.

When I started reading this novel, I felt a bit lost. It seems like two stories are happening simultaneously, and … Continue reading

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish DollerWhere the Stars Still Shine
Trish Doller
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published September 24, 2013

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Callie spent most of her childhood believing her father is after her. She’s never been to school, never had any real friends. Anytime there’s a whiff of suspicion, her mother whisks them away to a new town, new trashy job, new sleazy boyfriend.

Then the truth comes in the form of an arrest warrant for her mom. In a blink, Callie finds herself living with her estranged dad, his new wife and their two small children, right smack in the middle of a large, loud, loving Greek family. For the first time, someone cares whether … Continue reading

Review: Unenchanted, an Unfortunate Fairy Tale by Chanda Hahn

unenchantedUnenchanted
Chanda Hahn
Published by Chanda Hahn

Mina Grime has the worst luck ever. Just about everywhere she goes, bizarre misfortunes follow her: a bakery harpy, a stampede of nursery rhyme animals in the street. Mina soon finds out this isn’t a simple matter of luck, however. Her family has lived under a curse for generations. Now the curse has come after her, and if she doesn’t defeat it, her younger brother will have to face it. Mina sets out to complete all the fairy tales penned by the Grimm brothers.

The best thing about this book is its clever premise. The way Hahn recreates the familiar fairy tales in a contemporary setting is smart and cute. Those made for the best parts of the story, though in this first … Continue reading

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