It’s summer time again, and here in FL, kids are already out of school. (We’ll be crying the second week of August when we have to go back and all you northerners have weeks left of summer fun.) We’ve got lots of things planned, including the obligatory beach days, and hopefully a bit of butterfly gardening. Plus, of course, lots of reading time.
Here’s a list of books you can expect to see reviewed on The Story Sanctuary over the next several weeks. Some of these have been on my list for quite some time, and I’m excited to have a chance to finally read them. I’ve been trying to work in more of the Christian young adult authors out there, so you’ll see a few listed here along with some big names flying off bookshelves in the general market. See one you’re excited about? Leave a comment!
When seventeen year-old Ella is accepted to a prestigious school, she’d prepared for the attention that comes of being the new girl. What she’s not prepared for is the relentless torment that comes at the hands of The Crowd. What will it take to make them stop? I think what I’m hoping for here is a cleaner version of Some Girls Are, in which the message that revenge is the solution to teen bullying left me unsatisfied. The description on Goodreads promises a journey of faith, so I’m also curious to see how that’s integrated into the story.
Apparently I’m going through a Depression-era literature binge. Fourteen year-old Amelia suddenly finds herself responsible for her siblings and the family gas station after her mother dies. Amelia will do whatever it takes to keep her family out of foster care, even if she has to convince a hobo to pose as her father.
Imagine a dystopian world in which the Library is the evil, oppressive force. Fascinating, right? History can only be accessed through the organization called The Great Library. Owning books is a crime. I’m stoked.
This one has actually been on my list for a long time. I love historical fiction, so I’m excited about the Depression-era setting. Millie journeys to break the cycle of abuse in her family, find love and reconcile her broken faith. Super keen to read this novel.
This is actually the sequel to Into the Free and the continuation of Millie’s story as she explores her new marriage and wrestles with some unresolved secrets from her past. Again, I’m looking forward to the historical setting and the strong spiritual themes of this novel.
Grayling and a team of magical misfits embark on a quest to save her mother from a spell which turns her into a tree. As Grayling earns her independence, she soon finds her former life at home too confining and sets out on another journey of her own. I love the oddness of the group who helps Grayling.
Maddie and her family set sail on a “death with dignity” cruise to honor her terminally ill Gram’s wishes. Losing my grandmothers was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through, so I knew as soon as I saw the blurb that I wanted to read this book.
I think this book had me at Ophelia Montague. As I read the description, the names really jumped out at me. If the story is as intriguing as its characters’ names, it’ll be one of my favorites this year.
I get chills when I read the description of this book. I remember watching the footage of the Twin Towers falling on September 11, 2001. As my daughter grows up, I imagine her experience to be a little bit like the characters in these books, exploring what this event means to our country without having been alive to witness the towers falling herself. I think we need strong narratives that explore these issues of who we are as a country and how that fits into our culture today.
I reviewed the first book in this series, which, at the time was called Bird Face (it’s now called 8 Notes to a Nobody) and really enjoyed the story about a girl who struggles to love how she looks and learn what it is to be a real friend. In this second book, Wendy uncovers a secret in the old photo album of a family friend with Alzheimer’s.
When I asked author Jeff Wheeler what inspired him to write The Queen’s Poisoner, he named this question: if a parent had to choose one of their children to die, whom would they pick? I was pretty intrigued by the story already, but that really got me. I loved The Scorpion Rules, another novel that explores a world in which children are kept as political prisoners. I’m definitely anticipating a great read here.