Review: Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Amina's Voice by Hena KhanAmina’s Voice
Hena Khan
Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster
Published March 14, 2017

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Now that Amina is in middle school, it seems everything is changing. Her best friend Soojin wants to hang out with Emily. Amina remembers Emily making fun of her and Soojin in elementary school. Soojin wants to celebrate becoming an American citizen by changing her name, and she wants Amina to help her pick something “American.” Amina struggles to find her own place in the shifting world. Soojin encourages her to sing a solo for a chorus concert, but Amina worries she’ll freeze up and be unable to speak. Then she learns she’ll have to speak at a recitation … Continue reading

Review: The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

The Radius of Us
Marie Marquardt
St. Martin’s Griffin
Available January 17, 2017

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Gretchen lives a small life. It started the night a man forced her to the ground and then told her to run, his own terror taking hold of her. Now she keeps to the small safe neighborhood surrounding her home, places where nothing bad can happen. And then she meets the boy who looks like him. Like the one who attacked her. When she meets Phoenix, though, she isn’t afraid. Something about the way he listens, the way he asks the right questions, the way he carries his own trauma and fear, makes her trust him. Soon she’s tangled up in his life … Continue reading

Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Chelsea Sedoti
Sourcebooks
Available January 3, 2017

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Hawthorn didn’t even like Lizzie Lovett, but when the girl disappears and the whole town turns upside down over it, she can’t resist getting involved. At first it’s just a pastime. But as Hawthorn’s unorthodox theory takes shape, she finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into Lizzie’s life. She gets hired at Lizzie’s old job makes friends with her understandably wrecked boyfriend, the guy half the town thinks might have killed Lizzie. As she delves deeper into the girl she never knew, Hawthorn learns how little she understands herself and her own place in the world, and understanding what happened to Lizzie becomes her … Continue reading

Spotlight: The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey

homecomingThe Homecoming
by Stacie Ramey
Sourcebooks Fire
Available November 1, 2016

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About The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey

It’s been a year since John lost his girlfriend, Leah, to suicide. Living with his uncle keeps his mind from the tragedy and his screwed up family-until he gets into trouble and a judge sends him back home. With a neglectful mother and abusive brother, John’s homecoming is far from happy.

As he tries to navigate and repair the relationships he abandoned years ago, Emily, the girl next door, is the only bright spot. She’s sweet and smart and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. But tragedy isn’t far away, and John must soon face an … Continue reading

Review: For This Life Only by Stacey Kade

For This Life Only by Stacey KadeFor This Life Only
Stacey Kade
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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A bonfire he had to escape. Ice on a roadway. A night that changes everything for Jacob Palmer. The night his twin brother is killed in a car accident. Jace almost shared his brother’s fate, and in that moment when his heart stopped, there was no light welcoming him to something after. There was only nothing. And now that Jace has survived, he can’t help feeling like fate got it wrong. Eli, the good son, the one who loved everyone around him, the one who made people feel loved, should have been the one to live.

As Jace wrestles … Continue reading

Review: Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin

tell-me-something-realTell Me Something Real
Calla Devlin
Simon & Schuster / Atheneum

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Her mother’s cancer dominates Vanessa’s life. Alternative treatments in Mexico are the only hope for her mom, whose cancer is terminal. While Vanessa tries to anticipate her mother’s every need and keep her sisters (foul-mouthed Adrienne and saint-obsessed Marie) together, she also dreams of a day when she can pursue her own dreams. She pours out her grief in her music and counts the days until she’ll hear back from music schools about applications she’s secretly sent out.

Then two new members join Vanessa’s family group—a boy whose cancer is in remission and his overprotective mother. As Vanessa and Caleb begin to fall in love, a terrible … Continue reading

Review: Detached by Christina Kilbourne

detachedDetached
Christina Kilbourne
Dundurn Press
Available August 13, 2016

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After her grandparents’ unexpected deaths, Anna begins to feel untethered from her life. She fantasizes about suicide, the only end to the awful pressure of existing that she can see. On the outside, her best friend Aliya senses something isn’t right with her usually level-headed friend. But as Anna’s behavior becomes more and more erratic, it’s hard for her friends and family members to face the truth that something is deeply wrong.

This is a fairly dark story about a teenage girl suffering from depression. What I liked most was having the inside and outside views of Anna—in her point-of-view and her friend Aliya’s. I found it … Continue reading

Review: Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee

geminiGemini
Sonya Mukherjee
Simon & Schuster
Available July 26, 2016

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A small town home fits just right for Clara, who longs to study the night sky and live in the familiar community where everyone knows her and her sister Hailey. But Hailey wants more. She learns of an art program in San Francisco, and soon it’s all she can think about. Problem is, where Hailey goes, Clara must go, as the two are conjoined twins. While Clara and Hailey can’t imagine life any other way, they each long for things that seem impossible. A boyfriend. World travel. A trip to the stars.

Last year I read One by Sarah Crossan, and I kind of expected this … Continue reading

Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

magic-bitterMagic Bitter, Magic Sweet
Charlie N. Holmberg
47 North

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Maire arrives in Carmine without any memory of how she got there. A kind couple take her in and she spends her days baking sweets infused with love, hope, or strength. That is Maire’s gift: she can impart these things through her cakes. She has a good life, one which she may yet share with Cleric Tuck. But before she can find out what an ordinary life in Carmine might hold for her, she meets a ghostly form from her past, a winged man named Fyel, who desperately wants her to remember who she is.

Before she can pursue her lost memories, marauders tear through her home, capturing … Continue reading

Review: Machinations by Hayley Stone

machinationsMachinations
Hayley Stone
Hydra/Random House

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Rhona remembers dying on the battlefield as Camus held her. When she wakes in a chamber, far from the battlefield, she learns a startling truth: she’s not the original Rhona. She’s a clone.

She races home to a hidden military base where her team of resistance fighters waits for her to lead them against the Machines who’ve chosen to end humanity as a logical solution to establishing world peace. There, she must convince her former allies and the man who first loved Rhona that she’s capable of leading them in a war for humanity’s survival.

I liked that this book paired the elements of a robot/artificial intelligence uprising and the morality/personhood of … Continue reading

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