Review: Attitude by Robin Stevenson

Attitude
Robin Stevenson
Orca Book Publishing
Published October 1, 2013

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Fourteen-year-old Cassandra travels from her home in Australia to a highly competitive summer ballet program. At first Cassie tries to befriend girls who’ve been in the program for years, but it soon becomes clear that Melissa and her pals don’t stop at dancing your best in order to win. When Cassie gets blamed for a prank she didn’t commit, it becomes clear the girls mean to get her disqualified from an important audition. Cassie refuses to back down, though, and soon learns bigger lessons than dance technique.

Cassandra battles homesickness and bullying, making her an extremely relatable character. As a talented young ballerina, she … Continue reading

Review: Cut the Lights by Karen Krossing

Cut the Lights
Karen Krossing
Orca Book Publishing
Published October 1, 2013

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Young first-time director Briar can’t wait to put her ideas onto a real stage. When she is chosen for a real chance to direct a student-written one act play, she soars. But working with real live actors proves to be more difficult than Briar imagined, and she’s forced to navigate everything her crew throws at her, from absence to bold-faced narcissism to outright boredom. With the date of the performances just a few days away, Briar is desperate to pull her disaster of a show together. Just as she begins to turn things around, disaster strikes, fragmenting the cast and leaving her without a lead. What now? Faced with … Continue reading

Review: Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard

Merlin’s Blade
Robert Treskillard
Blink YA
Published April 16, 2013

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Scars from a wolf attack leave young Merlin’s eyesight damaged almost to the point of blindness, making it difficult for him to assist his father the blacksmith or find his way around the small village alone and leaves him an easy victim to trickery. When two druid leaders bring a glowing stone into the village, Merlin’s blindness saves him from falling into the stone’s enchantment. As the druids whisper sweet lies to the townsfolk, further bewitching them, Merlin must find his courage and stand up to the powerful men, even if he is forced to stand alone.

The druids’ plans are far more nefarious … Continue reading

Review: Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen

Aquifer
Jonathan Friesen
Blink YA
Published August 6, 2013

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Fifteen year-old Luca has grown up with a heavy burden of responsibility on his shoulders. In a world plagued by drought, only his father has the knowledge and ability to journey deep underground and negotiate with the fearsome people known as water rats for another year’s supply of water to be pumped up to earth’s surface. Luca painstakingly memorizes his father’s instructions to navigate the caves below, for one day it will fall to him to make that lonely, life-preserving journey as the Deliverer.

Life on the earth’s surface is carefully monitored and controlled by the Council of Nine and their representatives, called Amongus, who … Continue reading

Review: It’s Over by Laura L. Smith

It’s Over
Laura L. Smith
Playlist Fiction
Published April 14, 2013

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Tragedy greets Kat when she arrives home from college for fall break. Though her three roomies band together in support, Kat can barely find the strength to move through the motions of her life. Claire, still reeling from her own injuries of heart, seems to be the only one who can reach Kat. As Thanksgiving draws closer, each girl faces a shift in an important relationship, and as Claire suggested, each attempts to discover something to be thankful for amidst the rubble that remains. Palmer fields not-so-subtle comments on her waistline from her mother and expertly blocks her boyfriend’s attempts for sex. But … Continue reading

Review: Haunters by Thomas Taylor

Haunters
Thomas Taylor
Chicken House Publishers
Published May 28, 2013

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After his father’s death, David began to dream of strange things. He visits a boy in 1940s London, and though David knows they are just dreams, his friendship with Eddie feels as real as his waking life. When a forceful team attempt to abduct David from school, he learns there’s more to his dreams than simple sleep. David is one of the gifted Dreamwalkers who can travel to other times and locations during sleep. He appears to others as a ghost, and in fact, that’s how his mysterious dream friend has come to identify him. David teams up with other Dreamwalkers to stop a vicious group … Continue reading

Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Canary
Rachele Alpine
Medallion Press
Published

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Sixteen year-old Kate still reels from the recent loss of her mother. Now she and her brother Brett communicate with their emotionally-absent father through a series of post-it notes. When Dad lands a new job as basketball coach at a ritzy private school, he opts to transfer both kids to the new school.

Kate, determined to adjust and desperate to reconnect with her father, begins attending basketball practices and cheering from the stands. That’s when she meets Jack, a gorgeous and popular star player and boyfriend of any girl’s dreams. But the thrill of being Jack’s girlfriend soon loses its shine when she discovers several unsavory habits of … Continue reading

Review: The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby

The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby
Angela Castillo
CreateSpace Independent
Published October 17, 2013

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When an unknown Voice beckons to Toby to leave his home in the caves and seek others on the earth’s surface, Toby can’t help but obey. His caretakers, scientists who’ve created him from a melding of human and cat DNA, pack supplies for Toby and allow him to leave their care. Though the scientists have had no word from earth’s surface for a long time, they prepare him as best they can and respect his desire to choose his own path in life.

On his journey Toby meets many human survivors, many of whom are cruel or mentally damaged … Continue reading

Review: Perfect Glass by Laura Anderson Kurk

Perfect Glass
Laura Anderson Kurk
Playlist Fiction
Published June 1, 2013

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Henry begins his year-long trip to Nicaragua, leaving Meg behind in Chapin to finish her senior year. Henry faces the challenges of assembling a new building for his sister and brother-in-law’s orphan home in a country with limited supplies and deep distrust toward Americans. Meg meanwhile finds herself the center of affection for the new and fascinating Quinn O’Neill and the unlikely companion to a feisty elderly woman wielding a shotgun.

Meg wants desperately to secure admission to the University of Wyoming, so she and Henry can stay together through college and she can pursue a degree through the writing program there. Quinn … Continue reading

Review: False Covenant by Ari Marmell

False Covenant
Ari Marmell
Pyr
Published June 5, 2012

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Widdershins, a young thief and sole follower of her god Olgun, struggles to keep her tavern and its crew afloat through mostly legal means. Rumors about her involvement in the recent murder of the Archbishop strain relationships with other members of her guild, despite the fact that its leadership declared her innocent. When a new evil emerges on the streets of Davillon,

Widdershins is charged with the task of locating its source. What she discovers nearly undoes her. As the nightmarish creature begins to target her, Widdershins must team up with unlikely allies and join physical with spiritual forces. Gods help … Continue reading

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