A beautiful, sweet coming of age story of friendship, depression, fathers, tea, family, and men. And how it's okay to not be okay. I absolutely adored this book and I loved how infused it was with Lord of the Rings and Star Trek references. Never over the top, the references really helped explore who Darius is and his relationships to other people.
Darius is half Persian and travels to visit family in Iran, and I loved learning about a different culture that I don't know much about. Food, holidays, terminology, is all explained in an easy to read way that doesn't feel condescending or like too much "telling." It fits right into the book perfectly.
The story built beautifully to an emotionally powerful finale that left me in tears. It's an important book. One that should be read and talked about.
When aspiring journalist Penny returns to her hometown, she is there to write her journalistic piece for Northwestern. But then her dad goes missing and the townspeople give eerily similar answers to her questions. Meanwhile, townsfolk are turning up dead and smoked to a crisp. Her friend suggests it was aliens, but Penny is a realist. So it can’t be, right? A great read for those who like intriguing mysteries and a little bit of fright. If you enjoyed Stranger Things, this book is for you!
— ARC REVIEWER David A., age 14
Dario Heyward was a movie star. But that was before he got emancipated from his family and moved into an orphanage. Then he gets invited back to Moldavia Studios for his dad’s funeral, and is tasked with saving the studio. Soon he finds himself back in the world of Moldavia and the horrors he thought he’d left behind.
I’ve been thinking about how to accurately talk about this book without sounding crazy or spoiling it! What an amazing story! It’s a great mix of dark comedy, tragedy and hope. I loved the characters and the story they told.
— ARC REVIEWER Jenna U., age 14
This mystery/adventure had me enthralled up until the very last page! I really enjoyed it—not only because the writing was great, but also because there was a really good story line and it wasn’t at all predictable. The ending surprised me; with most stories you can kind of guess what’s going to happen, but not with this one. I recommend this to fans of detective stories because throughout the book you have to notice all of the clues the characters leave in order to figure out what happens.
— ARC REVIEWER Kaatje W., age 14
With Sarah J. Maas' steady hand on the wheel: hold on for a wild ride! This look into Catwoman's world is fully satisfying with plenty of action and complicated superheroes.
Five best friends, all cheerleaders, are dead. Police say it’s a coincidence, but Monica’s sister was one of them and Monica isn’t buying it. Twists and suspects abound in this thriller that will make you wonder how well you know the people you’re closest to. Thomas’ best book yet!
A well-plotted story from start to finish! Scott Reintgen knows how to hold back just the right amount of information to keep you on the edge of your seat. In fact, he so totally kept me wondering what would happen next that I read this book in three days! And trust me, I don’t go out of my way to read sci-fi, but that’s how good his writing is. Join Emmet and his team on the next leg of their journey in Book 2 of this tension-filled, character-driven sci-fi trilogy. Great for guys & girls!
Quinn’s life was great last summer. But now that winter is upon Winship, her life couldn’t be any worse & she’s to blame. But the new boy in town doesn’t see her as the monster she thinks she is & suddenly Quinn finds herself opening up & learning the truth about the real monster. This was a really good book! It had that perfect kind of world-building that makes you want to just jump into the story. Not only that, but the characters were great too. I enjoyed reading this story, especially with the chapters alternating between the summer & winter months. A definite summer read!
— ARC REVIEWER Jenna U., age 14
I couldn’t put down this story, told perfectly through emails. With the imagined support of a media hero, Brynn asks herself, what would Rachel Maddow do when life gets rough and no one seems willing to step up? A reluctant hero, Brynn finds support in unexpected places, and that sometimes, not giving up IS success.
For fans of realistic fiction.
Sloane Sullivan, a member of the witness protection program, has been 19 different people in six years. But, she is hoping that she will be able to have a normal life after this last identity. It’s hard enough to blend in being a new student in senior year but it gets harder for Sloane when she sees someone from her past. This engaging book will keep you on the edge of the seat until the very end. I loved this story because of all the unexpected twists & turns. This thrilling book is a must-read.
— ARC REVIEWER Ellie C., age 14
Sandhya Menon strikes a fine balance of what it feels like to be a teen in high school & the challenges they have to face—feeling invisible, dating, and the relationships with friends, classmates & parents—all while keeping it light. A fun read that still has depth & a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. Join Twinkle on her journey of self-discovery & film-making.
Absolute fun! Mila just wants to know who killed her best friend. So she does what any teenage Wiccan would do... she brings her best friend back from the dead. How was she to know she was strong enough to bring back two recently deceased popular girls as well? But here's the rub, none of them can remember how they died and if they go more than 100 feet away from Mila they start decaying.
A hilarious, yet dark, look at high school through the eyes of an outsider as she tries to get justice for her deceased (and slowly decaying) friend (and two popular girls she's growing to like). Wonderful characters and relationships, honestly funny, dark at times, I really loved this book.
Jules is tired of filtering her voice. Jamie is tired of filtering his past. Together, they test the boundaries of how far they must go to expose the sickening amount of male privilege on their school’s campus. Tradition shows how having the courage to share your story may help others in the same situation. Such a well written book that discusses the practical responses to the dark emotions surrounding sexual assault. It was interesting to read as it was written from both the POV of the victim as well as the bystander.
— ARC REVIEWER, Samantha E., age 15
The Sequel to Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda! Raised by a single mom, Leah always goes to the beat of her own drum. However, she finds herself afraid to truly express herself to her closest friends. A fantastic book told from a unique perspective in the world of Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.
What a great book! It did start off slow but give it a chance, because there’s a love triangle that had me going back & forth, & such a plot twist I never could’ve imagined at the end!
— ARC REVIEWER Claudia I., age 16
Fans of Hamilton rejoice! Continue the epic tale of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler in this sequel to Alex and Eliza: A Love Story. A terrific book for fans of historical fiction!
The main characters of this book would certainly not describe themselves as charming, but I was completely charmed by them anyway. Their evolving friendship and realistic emotions make for a compelling story amid some very real challenges. A wonderful and heartfelt YA debut, with more edge than you might expect.
Leigh uses colors to describe her feelings and help her cope with not just the death of her mother, but in discovering her mother's estranged family, and her hidden romantic feelings for her best friend Axel. But not just any colors - colors with names like "Viridian Blue" and "Sunglow Yellow". She travels to China, searching for the bird she is sure her mother turned into, hoping to find an understanding that will allow her to move forward and cherish the memories she has.
Struggling with social anxiety is never an easy road. Caroline deals with it by using the characters from the TV show “Felicity” to create a whole new world for herself. Great for fans of Fangirl!
From Tomi Adeyemi comes a diverse fantasy world, where those who have magic are called maji. But one night, many years ago, magic disappeared, leaving the maji defenseless against a terrible king. But now, Zelie has a chance to bring magic back to the world of Orisha & get revenge for what the king did to her mother & every maji like her. With the help of a runaway princess & her beloved brother, Zelie goes on an epic journey to restore the powers of the maji in an unforgettable tale of romance, betrayal friendship & magic. This story was perfect: the writing, the characters, the world, the diversity & the plot!
— ARC REVIEWER, Bridey M., age 17
Chaos, lightswords, flirting, and surprises fill this fun space adventure loosely based on the story of Anastasia! Ana is a space pirate who steals directions to a ship she thinks has a cure for the “Metal” she loves. Robb, the highborn she steals from, has his own problems and his own reason for wanting to find the same ship. Absolute fun in space and a unique ship crew that hopefully gets more time in book two. Because, oh yes, there is a cliffhanger that has me eagerly awaiting book two!
In this fast-paced dystopian thriller, when the world needs saving, an alien species called the Leviathan answer the call. Even after the aliens’ arrival, the world remains divided between the wealthy & the poor. The Leviathan choose specific humans to explore the universe with them. When a poor thief gets chosen, she sees it as a way to escape from her problems. But when she embarks on the adventure, she learns the dangerous secrets of the universe, the true motive of the Leviathan & the power of friendship & trust.
— ARC REVIEWER, Ethan S., age 13
A laugh-out-loud contemporary story of a Taiwanese teen who is on the path predetermined by her parents, but which is derailing by the minute. A crush on the wrong guy, and reconnecting with her estranged brother may be secrets she needs to keep, but can she really be herself? Easily relatable and hilarious!
This book is so good. Dark and disturbing fairy tales abound in this story of a girl and her mother, constantly on the run from "bad luck" that follows them. When strange things start to happen, and seem to be tied to an impossible to find book of fairy tales written by her grandmother, Alice is set on an adventure to find her mother and discover her true history. Completely unique, I never knew what was coming next. I loved this book and the characters. Though it had hints of familiarity, The Hazel Wood is one of the most unique fairy tale based books I've read.