Review: Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney TaylorThe Definition of Indefinable Things
Whitney Taylor
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published April 4, 2017

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About The Definition of Indefinable Things
This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for … Continue reading

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: The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan

friendship-experimentThe Friendship Experiment
Erin Teagan
HMH Books for Young Readers
Available November 1, 2016

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Middle school isn’t at all what Maddie hoped it would be. Not when her best friend has changed schools. Not without the calm, sure presence of her grandfather. If only friendships were as simple, as reliable as science. Though she finds herself surrounded by new potential friends, Maddie can’t help but think about all the reasons those students are wrong or annoying. To cope with her losses, she writes Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in her journal. When Maddie’s new would-be friends read some of the SOPs that features how to escape them, they feel hurt and betrayed. Maddie realizes that pushing people … Continue reading

Review: The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng

year of the bookThe Year of the Book
Andrea Cheng
HMH Books for Young Readers

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When a social shift at school leaves Anna without her best friend, she turns to books for companionship. When she feels pressure in Chinese class because she doesn’t know as much as the other kids, books are her refuge. But as the people in Anna’s life begin to experience troubles of their own, she learns that sometimes, just like the heroes in her stories, she must step out into the unknown and offer help. Sometimes, Anna learns, this is precisely what makes for the best friendships.

Anna charmed me from the first page. I loved the descriptions of the stories she read, and though … Continue reading

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
HMH Books for Young Readers

A strange birthmark spares Ismae from an arranged marriage with a cruel man, but thrusts her into the power of the sisters at the convent of St. Mortain. There, Ismae discovers she’s been gifted with great power. To understand her potential, she must embrace the training offered by the mysterious sisters. If Ismae agrees, they will teach her the arts of murder and seduction, so that she can be sent out into the world to bring the justice of an old god: Mortain, the god of death. When an opportunity arrives for Ismae to serve the young duchess of Brittany who faces an arranged marriage of her own, Ismae can’t help but accept, remembering her own past.

Determined to … Continue reading

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

gracelingGraceling
Kristin Cashore
HMH Books for Young Readers

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Katsa’s gift makes her beloved of a cruel king and feared by his people. She is Graced with the ability to fight beyond ordinary human strength and skill. Forced to serve her ruthless king, Katsa spends her days dealing punishment on behalf of the Middluns king. Unbeknownst to the king, she forms the Council, a neutral organization without loyalty to any one crown. The Council deals swift justice to those who would prey upon the weak. As part of a Council mission, Katsa rescues a kidnapped prince and stumbles upon a … Continue reading

Review: Twice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Twice Upon a MarigoldTwice Upon a Marigold
Jean Ferris
HMH Books for Young Readers
Published May 1, 2008

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Months after the evil Queen Olympia disappeared downriver in the kingdom of Beaurivage, a bad energy seems to be stirring up trouble. King Christian and Queen Marigold, still newlyweds, suddenly have their first quarrel. Their five family dogs constantly squabble over one blue squeaky toy.

And far away in a tiny town, a woman who spent her last several months as the helpful and compassionate Angie, suddenly remembers her true identity. No longer the peaceful friendly lady the town has fallen in love with, Queen Olympia demands to be taken home to Beaurivage castle. Once there, her demands only escalate.

Continue reading

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