Review: Remember to Forget by Ashley Royer

Remember to Forget by Ashley RoyerRemember to Forget
Ashley Royer
Zonderkidz

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After Delia’s unexpected death, seventeen year-old Levi spirals into depression, unable to speak to anyone. When several attempts at therapy fail, Levi’s mom sends him from their home in Australia to Maine to live with his estranged father. Bitter, angry, and hopeless, Levi’s determined not to let anyone into his life, especially the girl who reminds him so much of Delia. For her part, Delilah’s content to let Levi to himself. He’s rude and erratic, definitely not the kind of guy she needs in her life. But beyond his angry exterior, she senses his deep hurt and finds herself powerfully drawn to the aching … Continue reading

Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar by Meg WolitzerBelzhar
Meg Wolitzer
Dutton Books for Young Readers

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When Jam can’t recover from her boyfriend’s death, her desperate family sends her to The Wooden Barn, a boarding school for distraught teens. There Jam finds herself enrolled in Special Topics in English, an elite, invitation-only course. This year, Jam and her classmates will study the works of Sylvia Plath, and will write about their own experiences in special journals given to them by their fascinating instructor, Mrs. Quenell.

As Jam begins to write in her journal, she’s transported to a place where Reeve still lives, and they can be together. A place she calls Belzhar. As the semester winds down, and the pages of Jam’s … Continue reading

Review: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

You Were Here by Cori McCarthyYou Were Here
Cori McCarthy
Sourcebooks Fire

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Jaycee intends to spend the anniversary of her brother Jake’s death the same way she spent the last one: exploring an abandoned building with her brother’s best friend. Jake’s death fractured Jaycee’s entire community, and even though it’s been five years since his death, her relationships remain in the same ruined condition as the broken mental institution she visits.

Her friends are determined to reach her, though. Even Mik, with whom Jaycee feels a powerful if wordless connection. As grief pushes Jaycee closer and closer to the edge, her friends realize the only way to save her is to join her and look … Continue reading

Review and Author Interview: Jacqueline by Jackie Minniti

Anaiah Press Blog Tour for Jacqueline by Jackie Minniti

 Jacqueline by Jackie MinnitiJacqueline
Jackie Minniti
Anaiah Press

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When Jacqueline and her mother receive news that her father, a French soldier in World War II has been shot down, she refuses to give up hope that he’ll return home. She studies hard, prays to the saint in the book her father gave her, and visits the train yard where wounded prisoners arrive. As the Nazis who occupy her small French town begin to remove local Jews from the neighborhood, Jacqueline and her mother hide a boy in their home. Soon the Americans come to liberate France from German control, and Jacqueline befriends an American … Continue reading

Review: The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey

sister-pact

The Sister Pact
Stacie Ramey
Sourcebooks FIRE

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They were supposed to do it together. Allie and Leah had made a pact that if their parents’ failing marriage destroys their home life, they’ll escape into death together. Only, Leah makes the jump without Allie. And Allie is left behind to pick up the pieces.

So many things happen to this poor girl. Her best friend Max, who she’s in love with, totally doesn’t deserve her. But she can’t seem to get into the sweet boy who treats her well. Her painting massively suffers in the wake of her sister’s death. It’s like the colors have gone out of her world. No pressure. Just that whole art school … Continue reading

Review: The Hopper-Hill Family by Erika Castiglione

The Hopper-Hill Family by Erika CastiglioniThe Hopper-Hill Family
Erika Castiglione

Amazon | Goodreads

Twelve year-old Piper has always dreamed of having a sibling. She never imagined gaining three siblings in one weekend. But that’s exactly what happens when a tragic car accident brings her three orphaned cousins to live under her roof. Between their grief and the shock of the cross-country move, the cousins’ first days are rough. Piper tries to be her best self, to comfort them, but it’s hard to know what to say and do. She and her parents wrestle with the desire to welcome the three into their family without making them feel they have to forget their parents.

I think telling this story from Piper’s perspective was an interesting choice. She functions primarily as … Continue reading

Review: The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali BenjaminThe Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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When Suzy’s best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy’s mother says sometimes things just happen. The loss and senselessness of it leave Suzy unmoored. Then she learns about a rare, deadly jellyfish that may have been spotted in waters near where her friend swam. If Suzy can prove why her friend died, maybe the awful ache inside her will go away. Maybe she’ll be able to explain it to everyone. Her effort to prove her case will lead her halfway around the world. But her tenacity and wit will bring her friendship much closer to home.

This is one of … 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 to confront … Continue reading

Review: Between Shadows by Kathleen Cook Waldron

Between ShadowsBetween Shadows
Kathleen Cook Waldron
Coteau Books

When his grandfather dies unexpectedly, Ari and his remaining family gather at the cabin deep in the woods. At the reading of the will, another surprise greets Ari, his dad and his aunt: Grandpa left the cabin and all his land to Ari. Uninterested in the remote property that conjures painful memories, Ari’s dad and aunt make plans to sell everything. Ari is determined to change their minds.

Author Kathleen Cook Waldron brings to the story her own experience living in the bush. The details of the cabin and surrounding land and community are told in vivid detail so that even the most urban readers can perfectly picture the serene woods, playful stream and peaceful lake.

Through Waldron’s clean storytelling, we follow a grieving … Continue reading

Review: Nest by Esther Ehrlich

Nest by Esther EhrlichNest
Esther Ehrlich
Random House Children’s
Published September 9, 2014

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Chirp begins fifth grade looking forward to another year of beloved family traditions: dancing with her mother, bird-watching hikes, and impromptu performances with her older sister Rachel. But something is different in the Orenstein house. Rachel hushes Chirp when she asks questions or wants to show her mother some new dance steps. Chirp can’t understand how these things could make her mother sad like Rachel says.

Then comes her mother’s devastating diagnosis. There will be no more dancing. As her mother’s health deteriorates, Chirp’s family unravels. Even her father’s ever-positive, talk-about-it outlook can make this okay. Nothing will … Continue reading

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