Published May 14, 2013
When Dusty’s father sends her off to a fancy finishing school instead of the geology program at Miller College, the only consolation for Dusty is the fact that her fun-loving cousin will also be joining her. Paisley was raised on the road by her unmarried mother who still chases dreams of stardom. She’s not exactly any town’s debutante. Though fitting in won’t be easy, Paisley is determined to stick it out for her cousin’s sake.
As the year progresses, Paisley finds making friends easier than she imagined. Things seem to be going well until her mother returns for a surprise visit with a new get-famous-quick scheme she … Continue reading
Laurie Halse Anderson
Published May 10, 2011 (Orig. published 1999)
At a high school with an ever-changing mascot, Melinda begins her year friendless and alone. She’s the pariah who called police at a summer party. The one where the awful thing happened. Through a caring teacher and a challenging art project, Melinda struggles to piece herself back together. But when the familiar face of that boy materializes out of the halls of her new school, she spirals into silence and isolation. As the boy, Andy, draws closer to Melinda’s former best friend Rachel, Melinda tries to reach out, to warn her. Rumors swirl that he’s hurt other girls, the same way he hurt … Continue reading
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Published January 28, 2014
“She Will Take Your Own Two Hands
To Save Your Ancient, Sorrowing Lands.”
By her father’s wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. Unable to bear the future she sees as her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory.
But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal fey parasite . . .
A world that is hauntingly familiar.
Quintana of Charyn
Published September 26, 2012
Hidden in a valley north of her homeland, Charynite princess Quintana waits for the birth of her son. Only in her dreams does she sense Froi, her love and the father of the child she carries. Even there, she is not certain if he survived the attack she barely escaped. Another person haunts her dreams as well, one she can’t place at first. She fights the woman’s presence, certain she is an enemy.
Queen Isaboe of Lumatere wakes with Froi’s name on her lips, an occurrence she can’t explain to her husband satisfactorily. Frustrated and feeling betrayed, Finnikin leaves her and their unborn child behind to … Continue reading
In honor of summer’s approach, I wanted to do something a little different today. (A new review will be posted on Wednesday.)
When I was in school, I looked forward to the summer for all the usual reasons. One of my fond memories is taking family vacations with my family. We’d visit my grandparents in rural North Carolina and tube the creek, shop the flea market, hike in the woods and play Nintendo until deep into the night. But one of my most cherished evening activities during those lazy summer trips was reading. I’d often stumble upon an unexpected gem in one of the rundown flea market used book shops. Some of those books I read and reread until my copies came apart. Here are a few of the finds that never left me.
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Starflower (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Published November 1, 2012
The entire court of immortal faeries is distraught when beloved and beautiful Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a fearsome dragon-witch. Two of her most devoted admirers race to her rescue, and the Bard Eanrin is determined to be first to reach his ladylove. On his journey he encounters a human girl locked in a spell of sleep and finds he cannot simply leave the unlucky mortal to her fate.
Eanrin wakes Starflower from her sleep, intent upon sending her on her way, but the maiden knows little of the treacherous Wood. As she accompanies Eanrin on his quest, a deep connection … Continue reading
The Book Thief
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published March 14, 2006 (Orig. published 2005)
A mysterious narrator gives an account of a young girl who has an unusual vice: she steals books. Death comes for the girl’s brother as she and her mother wait for a train to take them to a foster home where the children will be safe. It is he, the collector of souls, who is the only witness to the girl’s first thievery, and he begins to follow her story.
Life in Liesel’s new home is a difficult adjustment, plagued with nightmares, but through them, she and her foster father … Continue reading
Me, Just Different
Published July 1, 2009
Senior year should be everything beautiful Skylar Hoyt can hope for. She has popular friends, a hot boyfriend. But a terrible experience gives her a late summer wake-up call, and for Skylar, it’s time to make some changes. No to parties, and yes to youth group top her list.
Until her family begins crumbling beneath her. Her parents seem to be moving opposite directions, with Skylar and her sister caught in the middle. Then Skylar discovers her sister’s secret. Should she tell? Can her parents’ fragile marriage handle a blow like this one?
With Skylar’s best friend acting weird and her boyfriend’s jealousy skyrocketing, she doesn’t … Continue reading
By Darkness Hid
Marcher Lord Press
Published April 1, 2009
Achan has known nothing but the life of a stray, lower even than that of a slave. When a mysterious knight, rumored to have once been a stray himself, makes an offer to Achan to train him as his squire, despite laws that should prevent it, Achan finds himself trapped between two lives. In this midst of this, a strange gift seems to wake inside him. But isn’t bloodvoicing just a myth?
When an evil prince seeks her hand in marriage, Vrell hides behind the orange tunic of a stray and masquerades as a boy to conceal her identity. At the same time, her … Continue reading
Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You
Published April 1, 2006 (Orig. published 2003)
Jeanne’s family and home are destroyed when the radical Hutu group, the Interahamwe, begin a nationwide massacre of the Rwandan Tutsi population. As Jeanne and others struggle to flee the Interahamwe soldiers and simply survive each day, a black hole yawns inside of her, a grief and rage that threaten to swallow her whole. But something else changes. She finds within herself an unyielding strength and will to survive.
It is a before-and-after story, told by Jeanne’s German adopted mother. Each chapter opens with a behind-the-scenes look at the events and the healing that unfolded even as … Continue reading