Review: The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

loose-ends-listThe Loose Ends List
Carrie Firestone
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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With Maddie’s high school graduation behind her, she and her friends make lists of loose ends they want to wrap up before leaving for college in the fall. When Maddie’s Manhattan grandma, Astrid, announces she’s terminally ill and is taking the family on a “death with dignity” cruise, Maddie’s summer plans take a turn. Maddie has never dealt with death well, but now she’s facing the loss of her closest confidante. As the trip unfolds with one exotic destination after another, she rediscovers family connections, falls in love, and braces herself for the most difficult grief she’s ever experienced.

I really can’t decide … Continue reading

Review: Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman

Grayling's SongGrayling’s Song
Karen Cushman
Clarion Books

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When a dark force transforms Grayling’s mother into a tree, she must track the evil and free her mother’s stolen spell book. Grayling has never been far from home, and she has no skills with which to battle a sorcerer, so along her journey, she gathers a team of companions with various magical inclination, including a shapeshifting mouse and a witch who can control the weather. Together they follow the call of Grayling’s mother’s book to the source of the evil that’s taken it, and there, Grayling will have to fight to free the grimoire.

It might be impossible not to enjoy a book with a shapeshifting mouse. … Continue reading

Review: The Progeny by Tosca Lee

progenyThe Progeny
Tosca Lee
Howard Books

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Twenty-one year old Emily Jacobs wakes up to learn she has elected to have her memory erased. In a small town in Maine, she struggles to form a plan for her future. A handsome stranger approaches her in a grocery store, and she reluctantly lets him into her life. Which would be great, but apparently he’s trying to kill her. Emily flees with no clues as to her past, the identity of her allies or her enemies beyond a hidden code recovered in a necklace. The code leads her to a conspiracy spanning generations and linking her genetically to the most famous female serial killer.

Part Davinci … Continue reading

Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily AndersonThe Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Lily Anderson
St. Martin’s Griffin

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Trixie’s rivalry with Ben goes all the way back to first grade. Now in senior year, there’s no undoing those long-standing battle lines. Until Trixie’s best friend starts dating Ben’s and the group forces them to call a truce. But letting go of her dislike is easier said than done, even when it turns out Ben might possibly be hiding surprisingly pleasant qualities beneath his ridiculous mustache. But when a cheating scandal leaves Trixie’s BFF expelled, Trixie’s determined to rally the troops and prove her bestie innocent. The investigation may shatter her … Continue reading

Review: Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout

Genius: The Game by Leopoldo GoutGenius: The Game
Leopoldo Gout
Feiwel & Friends
Available May 3, 2016

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As the clock counts down to Zero Hour, 200 of the best and brightest kids form teams competing to solve a challenge created by a young visionary with world-changing goals. For Rex, Tunde and Painted Wolf, the competition is only part of the challenge. Rex needs a supercomputer housed at the challenge site to locate his brother whose been missing for two years. A war lord threatens to wipe Tunde’s whole village off the map unless Tunde and his friends deliver a powerful weapon to him at the end of the contest. Painted Wolf will do anything … Continue reading

Review: It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh DumasIt Ain’t So Awful, Falafel
Firoozeh Dumas
Clarion Books

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When Zomorod Yousefzadeh and her family move (again), she decides to take the opportunity to start fresh and try to fit in with her new California schoolmates. The first thing to go? Her name. She adopts the classic Brady Bunch Cindy as her identity. After a rough start, she begins to find true friends. But when unrest in Iran turns into an American hostage crisis, Cindy begins to catch glimpses of an uglier side of the Land of the Free. Cruel bumper stickers and slogans send chilling messages to Cindy and her family. Cindy tries to protect … Continue reading

Review: The Star-touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

star-touched-queenThe Star-touched Queen
Roshani Chokshi
St. Martin’s Griffin

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When Maya’s father the Raja promises her in marriage to end a war over his kingdom, her dreams of living a quiet scholarly life are destroyed. Despite the fact that her horoscope promises only death and destruction to her husband, she finds herself wed to Amar, the ruler of a distant kingdom that stands apart from her world. Amar’s home holds many mysteries, but all are forbidden to explain things to her until the new moon. As Maya’s curiosity builds, she begins to unravel her husband’s secrets. What she learns places worlds in danger. To save them all, she’ll have to journey across kingdoms and beg the … Continue reading

Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

tellwindandfireTell the Wind and Fire
Sarah Rees Brennan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s

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In this future New York, the city is divided in two: Light vs Dark. Only Light Magicians can live in and access the wealthy, upper-class life. The Dark Magicians are banished to the Dark, to carve out lives in poverty under harsh rule imposed by the Light leadership.

Lucie and her father escaped the dark at a high price. Now Lucie survives at the mercy of friends and by burying her past as deeply as she can. Only, the people in the Dark don’t want her to forget. They’ve made her name a rallying cry to a revolution that could destroy the new … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

girl-in-the-blue-coatThe Girl in the Blue Coat
Monica Hesse
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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In 1943 Amsterdam, Hanneke is the girl who can help you find things like coffee, meat, kerosene. But when a lonely widow asks Hanneke to find a missing Jewish girl, Hanneke at first refuses to get involved. Locating a Jewish girl and trying to rescue her is far too dangerous.

On the other hand, maybe danger is exactly what Hanneke needs to distract her from the aching grief of her boyfriend’s recent death. Reluctantly, Hanneke agrees to investigate the girl’s disappearance. Her search throws her in the path of a well-organized group of resistance workers who beg Hanneke to … Continue reading

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