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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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5 04, 2017

Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

By | April 5th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Humor, Love & Romance, New Experiences, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

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alex approximately book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

It was several lifetimes ago that I was a teenager, and a mostly unsuccessful one, at that. My interests were not necessarily those of others of my age. My high school was really, really BIG on diversity in all things, so we all managed to fit in there, somewhere, somehow.

I wasn’t exactly sure I’d be able to successfully climb into Bailey’s head for the length of the book, but I found it surprisingly easy, as a matter of fact.

Bailey’s home life has been truly unusual, especially since her parents were divorced. Mom, a high-powered lawyer, stayed in the Washington DC area, where she joined a new firm, and sort of half-heartedly made a home for Bailey.

19 03, 2017

Review: We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen

By | March 19th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Family, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |2 Comments

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we are still tornadoes book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

We Are Still Tornadoes is written entirely in letters. It is classified as a Young Adult read, but hits on the older end of the spectrum, as the characters have just begun their first year of college after high school, on the edge of turning 19 years old. The novel is set in the early 1980s, making the letter style normal, as the characters do not have much access to technology.

The book is just short of 300 pages, but there is plenty of white space due to the letter format. There is plenty packed into the letters filling out the story nicely. The story is entirely told with letters to and from two characters: Cath and Scott.

16 03, 2017

Review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

By | March 16th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

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girl in pieces book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

Charlotte Davis was a homeless addict who dealt with her pain by cutting herself, until that no longer sufficed and she tried to commit suicide. Committed to a psychiatric facility to heal and to try and learn to deal with some of her issues, Charlie seems to be recovering slowly, but the facility is expensive and what little family she has left in the world can’t support it anymore, so she’s sent away. A friend in Arizona takes her in, but that’s only the start of her journey, as the wounds of her past are never far from the surface. She has to try and hold down a job, find a place to live, navigate romantic drama, and most importantly–not cut herself. But the stress of not having enough money and of bad relationships with damaged people push her to the edge. Can she survive, or is Charlie too wounded to allow herself to heal?

10 03, 2017

Review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

By | March 10th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Friendships, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

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a list of cages book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Adam Blake is having the best senior year. He’s surrounded by good friends, does well in all his classes despite his ADHD, and even landed an elective period as the school counselor’s assistant, which basically means texting his friends and roaming the halls. He’s got this whole thing figured out, and everyone believes him; he’s irrepressibly effervescent (partly due to the ADHD and partly due to his positive demeanor) and never lets anything discourage him. But one month into the school year, Dr. Whitlock tells him to go find a student who’s been avoiding her, a freshman named Julian. The same Julian that Adam and his mother had fostered five years earlier, before his uncle Russell took custody of him and cut off all contact.

19 02, 2017

Review: I’m Not your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

By | February 19th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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manic pixie dream girl book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Beatrice Giovanni and her best friends, Spencer and Gabe, have been the targets of bullies all throughout high school. Starting their senior year, Bea decides that enough is enough and decides to find a way to reverse the bullying trend. Armed with newly discovered confidence thanks to her new boyfriend Jesse and fresh with the promise of a new start at her dream school MIT, Bea devises a plan that she feels is foolproof. Known not so affectionately throughout campus as “Math Girl”, Bea calculates the ultimate formula, one that will cultivate popularity for her and her friends.

13 01, 2017

Review: Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger

By | January 13th, 2017|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Mysteries, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

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three truths and a lie book coverReviewed by Meredith Kelly

When I started Three Truths and a Lie, one of my first thoughts was, “this is too young for me.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was reading a young adult book–something I hadn’t done in many years. Nevertheless, the characters were well-defined and seemed to be very trendy. The book focuses on two couples heading away to a rural mountain cabin for the weekend. One couple is made up of two gay men in the throes of their first real relationship, and the other is a heterosexual teen couple.

This psychological thriller really starts to simmer when on the first night at the cabin the two bored couples decide to play a game of “three truths and a lie.”

15 08, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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girl against the universe book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

I had no idea what I was in for, going into Girl Against the Universe. Paula Stokes hits on the tough issues—OCD, PTSD, teen stress and anxiety—all with poise and tasteful humor. Girl Against the Universe had me laughing, tearing up (because I cannot remember the last time I cried over a book—shame!), and quickly turning pages all through this year’s summer vacation.

Maguire is cursed. Or at least has horrible case of bad luck. From being the only living survivor in a terrible car wreck to house fires and crashing roller coasters, the universe clearly has it out for her. To keep those she loves—and innocent strangers around her – safe, Maguire decides the best thing is for her to hide her life away in her room.

8 08, 2016

Review: The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen

By | August 8th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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last time we were us book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

When I read the description for The Last Time We Were Us, I thought it would be right up my alley. I love friendship stories–throw in one of the friends having juvie in their past and I am sold.

This is the story of Liz who wants nothing more than to be popular, have the perfect boyfriend, Innis, and rebuild her friendship with Jason, who has just gotten out of juvie for hurting Innis’ brother, Skip. This book is described as a southern story but there wasn’t a whole lot of southern charm in it. And even though there were a lot of typical teenage issues covered, I didn’t feel that the author handled any of them in the right way.

I struggled with reading this book and had to put it down many times.

24 07, 2016

Review: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

By | July 24th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Friendships, Pregnancy, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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ask me how i got here book coverReviewed by Alexander Morrison

Adrienne was living the good life of a suburban teenager. She had a nice, funny boyfriend. She was a track star for her Catholic high school. She was friendly with her mom and engaged in class. But when she gets pregnant accidentally, all that changes. She wants an abortion, but as a minor, there are roadblocks in her way. As she deals with the emotional fallout from her decision, she finds her relationships with her family, friends, and boyfriend changing, often in ways she never could have predicted.

The plot is familiar, but author Christine Heppermann comes at it from some intriguing, fascinating directions.

19 07, 2016

Review: You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour

By | July 19th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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you know me well book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

I may have a different sexual orientation and be almost twenty years older than the narrators of David Levithan and Nina LaCour’s You Know Me Well, but they are the most relatable fictional characters I’ve come across in a long time. High school and its drama may be well behind me, but even in adulthood there are still struggles with love, loss, fear, becoming, and moving forward—all things that Mark and Katie face both together and alone.

In an effort to impress his best friend Ryan, the object of his affections, Mark takes a chance and puts himself in the spotlight at a Pride party. But his decision has some unexpected results;