Review: Death’s Country by R. M. Romero

Death's Country by R. M. Romero

Death’s Country
R. M. Romero
PeachTree Teen
Published May 7, 2024

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About Death’s Country

Hadestown meets “Orpheus and Eurydice” when two Miami teens travel to the underworld to retrieve their girlfriend’s soul.

Andres Santos of São Paulo was all swinging fists and firecracker fury, a foot soldier in the war between his parents. Until he drowned in the Tietê River… and made a bargain with Death for a new life. A year later, his parents have relocated the family to Miami, but their promises of a fresh start quickly dissolve in the summer heat. 

Instead of fists, Andres … Continue reading

Review: Pillow Talk by Stephanie Cooke and Mel Valentine Vargas

Pillow Talk by Stephanie Cooke and Mel Valentine Vargas

Pillow Talk
Stephanie Cooke
Illustrated by Mel Valentine Vargas
Published April 30, 2024

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About Pillow Talk

Grace Mendes a.k.a. Cinderhella is a fierce competitor in the PFF, a pillow fight federation that’s part roller derby, part professional wrestling. But in this fresh, coming-of-age YA graphic novel, Grace needs to learn to overcome her biggest enemy: herself. For fans of Check, Please and Bloom.

When college freshman Grace Mendes reluctantly attends her first pillow fight match, she falls in love with the surprisingly gritty sport. Despite her usually shy, introverted, and reserved nature, Grace decides to try out for … Continue reading

Review: Deep Is the Fen by Lili Wilkinson

Deep is the Fen by Lili Wilkinson

Deep Is the Fen
Lili Wilkinson
Delacorte Press
Published April 16, 2024

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About Deep Is the Fen

Merry doesn’t need a happily-ever-after. Her life in the charming, idyllic town of Candlecott is fine just as it is. Simple, happy, and with absolutely no magic. Magic only ever leads to trouble.

But Merry’s best friend, Teddy, is joining the Toadmen—a secret society who specialize in backward thinking and suspiciously supernatural traditions—and Merry is determined to stop him. Even if it means teaming up with the person she hates most: her academic archnemesis, Caraway Boswell, an ice-cold snob who hides … Continue reading

Review: Winnie Nash is Not Your Sunshine by Nicole Melleby

Winnie Nash is Not Your Sunshine by Nicole Melleby

Winnie Nash is Not Your Sunshine
Nicole Melleby
Algonquin Young Readers
Published April 2, 2024

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About Winnie Nash is Not Your Sunshine

In this powerful new novel by award-winning author Nicole Melleby, 12-year-old Winnie Nash is forced to live with her grandma for the summer and finds herself torn between her family’s secrets and the joy of celebrating Pride.

Winnifred “Winnie” Nash is not a senior citizen, despite what anyone thinks of her name. And she is definitely not excited to live with her grandma in New Jersey for the summer. Not only are they basically … Continue reading

Review: The No Girlfriend Rule by Christen Randall

The No-Girlfriend Rule by Christen Randall cover shows a plus-sized girl walking down a sidewalk with another short-haired girl.

The No Girlfriend Rule
Christen Randall
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published March 5, 2024

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About The No Girlfriend Rule

Julie Murphy meets Casey McQuiston in this unforgettable queer romance about a teen girl whose foray into fantasy tabletop roleplaying brings her new confidence, true friends, and a shot at real, swoon-worthy love.

Hollis Beckwith isn’t trying to get a girl—she’s just trying to get by. For a fat, broke girl with anxiety, the start of senior year brings enough to worry about. And besides, she … Continue reading

Winter 2024 Backlist Check-in

Winter 2024 Backlist Check-in

Last year, I started doing a seasonal backlist reading check-in so I could share a little bit about some of the backlist titles I’d been reading. I prioritize frontlist reviews since I often get copies of those from publishers, so putting them up is more time-sensitive. But there are always titles I didn’t get to when they came out that I manage to fit in afterward– often as audiobooks.

As you can see, I’ve been busy since my Fall Backlist reading update, so this is going to be a long list. Several of these books are graphic novels that I got for Christmas for somewhat unselfish reasons. (I wanted to read them and also to offer them to … Continue reading