Review: Begin Again by Emma Lord

Begin Again by Emma Lord

Begin Again
Emma Lord
Wednesday Books
Published January 24, 2023

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About Begin Again

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge … Continue reading

Review: Seven Percent of Ro Devereux

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O'Clover

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
Ellen O’Clover
HarperTeen
Published January 17, 2023

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About Seven Percent of Ro Devereux

A clever, charming, and poignant debut novel about a girl who must decide whether to pursue her dreams or preserve her relationships, including a budding romance with her ex-best friend, when an app she created goes viral.

Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.

Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The … Continue reading

The Minus One Club by Kekla Magoon

Minus One Club by Kekla Magoon

The Minus One Club
Kekla Magoon
MacMillan
Published January 17, 2023

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About The Minus One Club

From the Coretta Scott King and Printz Honor-winning author of HOW IT WENT DOWN, LIGHT IT UP, and REVOLUTION IN OUR TIME comes a moving contemporary YA novel about the bonds between a group of teens whose lives have been upended by tragedy.

Fifteen-year-old Kermit Sanders knows grief and its all-encompassing shadows. After losing his beloved older sister in a tragic car accident, nothing quite punctures through the feelings of loss. Everywhere Kermit goes, he is reminded of her.

But then Kermit finds a mysterious invitation in his locker, signed anonymously with “-1.” He has no idea … Continue reading

Review: The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield

The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz

The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz: A True Story Retold for Young Readers
Jeremy Dronfield
Quill Tree Books
Published January 17, 2023

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About The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz: A True Story Retold for Young Readers

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholster from Vienna, and his sixteen-year-old son Fritz are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Germany. Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survive the Nazis’ murderous brutality.

Then Gustav learns he is being sent to Auschwitz–and certain death.

For Fritz, letting his father go is unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz makes an incredible choice: he insists he must go too. … Continue reading

Review: Brighter Than the Moon by David Valdes

Brighter Than the Moon by David Valdes

Brighter Than the Moon
David Valdes
Bloomsbury YA
Published January 10, 2023

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About Brighter Than the Moon

Shy foster kid Jonas and self-assured vlogger Shani met online, and so far, that’s where their relationship has stayed, sharing memes and baring their souls from behind their screens. Shani is eager to finally meet up, but Jonas isn’t so sure–he’s not confident Shani will like the real him . . . if he’s even sure who that is.

Jonas knows he’s trapped himself in a lie with Shani–and wants to dig himself out. But Shani, who’s been burned before, may not give him a chance: she talks her best friend Ash into playing spy and … Continue reading

Review: Dark Testament: Blackout Poems by Crystal Simone Smith

Dark Testament by Crystal Simone Smith

Dark Testament: Blackout Poems
Crystal Simone Smith
Henry Holt & Co/MacMillan
Published January 3, 2023

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About Dark Testament: Blackout Poems

In this extraordinary collection, the award-winning poet Crystal Simone Smith gives voice to the mournful dead, their lives unjustly lost to violence, and to the grieving chorus of protestors in today’s Black Lives Matter movement, in search of resilience and hope.

With poems found within the text of George Saunders’s LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, Crystal Simone Smith embarks on an uncompromising exploration of collective mourning and crafts a masterwork that resonates far beyond the page. These poems are visually stark, a gathering of gripping verses that unmasks a dialogue … Continue reading