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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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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

Rating:

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.

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

Rating:

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.

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

Rating:

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.

9 03, 2016

Review: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

By | March 9th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Depression & Mental Illness, Family, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

we are the ants book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I feel like I’ve been reading the same kinds of young adult literature for the past couple of years: romances, fantasies, and sci-fis. While We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson can be considered a YA lit sci-fi novel, I didn’t see it as such. I saw Hutchinson’s writing style as a breath of fresh air, adding humor and sarcasm to the genre.

Henry Denton doesn’t live the most enchanted life. Having a chain-smoking single mother, loud and slightly stupid older brother, old and dementia-ridden grandma, mixed with the general anxiety of being a gay teenage boy in the rich part of town doesn’t leave a good taste in Henry’s mouth. When the “sluggers,” aliens who’ve abducted Henry before, give him the opportunity to either end the world or save the world,

5 02, 2016

Review: Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

By | February 5th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Family, For Teens, Gift Ideas, Mysteries, New Experiences, Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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diary of a haunting book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

Young Paige Blanton, a junior in high school, seems to have the perfect life. She is popular, well liked, and has a decent family life. Until reality hits. Her father leaves them for a younger woman. Her parents fight through a bitter high profile Los Angeles divorce. If that wasn’t enough, Paige’s mother uproots Paige and her younger brother and relocates to a small college town in western Idaho.

Suddenly, Paige is living a broken life. Diary of a Haunting is Paige’s record of her life in the aftermath of her parent’s divorce. Despite the drafty old house, no furniture (the moving van is delayed), cold weather, and new school, Paige is trying to make the best of her situation. Or is she? Her mother is willingly going back to college

16 01, 2016

Review: Future Perfect by Jen Larsen

By | January 16th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

future perfect book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

Future Perfect revolves around a teenager name Ashley Perkins. Every year on her birthday, Ashley receives a card from her grandmother. The card always promises a reward for losing weight. However, Ashley does not believe there is anything wrong with her looks or her weight. She is perfectly happy with her life and her body. The grandmother believes ‘fat’ is just another word for ‘ugly’. Ashley’s mindset begins to waiver when her grandmother offers her one thing she’s always dreamed about: tuition to attend Harvard University in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery. Soon, Ashley feels pressured to go ahead with the surgery by her family, friends, and even administrators at school.

The premise for this book was fantastic, however, the plot wasn’t executed as well. The novel is rather dense and in fact, quite boring. It

5 12, 2015

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

By | December 5th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Coming of Age, Emotions & Feelings, Family, For Teens, Gift Ideas, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |6 Comments

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emmy & oliver book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

Emmy & Oliver is a coming of age novel about first love, family, and true friendships. The simple cover draws the reader in and shows that a fancy and artistic cover is not required–sometimes a simple font is enough.

Emmy’s best friend Oliver reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to renew her friendship with Oliver, however, things aren’t as easy as they seem. Emmy is a bit of a rebellious heroine except on the sly. She has a love for surfing but her parents seem unwilling to let her grow up after Oliver’s kidnapping. Naturally, kidnapping incidents create a sense of chaos in the community and they live in fear that something might happen to Emmy as well. Readers get clear glimpses into Emmy’s sheltered life and those with smothering parents are

10 11, 2015

Review: One by Sarah Crossan

By | November 10th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Family, For Teens, Gift Ideas, Love & Romance, Siblings, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

Rating:

one by sarah crossan book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

I might have passed One by Sarah Crossan by if I had known beforehand that it was written in verse; I’m glad I somehow missed that fact because I wouldn’t have been able to experience this eye opening story.

Tippi and Grace are sisters, twins, and more than that–conjoined twins. At 17-years-old they have lived well past the life expectancy doctors gave them at birth. And now, they are getting ready to take on a challenge they never thought they would: high school.

The novel is told in verse through Grace’s voice. She is the more passive, quiet twin, while Tippi is quick to let people know exactly what she’s thinking. So while Grace is not quite ready to leave her cozy homeschooled life, Tippi is ready to get out in the world and make friends–and

7 11, 2015

Review: Mirrored by Alex Flinn

By | November 7th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Family, For Teens, Gift Ideas, Series, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

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mirrored book coverReviewed by Amanda Farmer

Everyone knows the story of Snow White and Mirrored by Alex Flinn is a fairy tale retelling of this classic. Mirrored is the story of Violet, an unpopular teenager who endures constant taunts from her classmates. She believes that if only she can be beautiful then everyone will love her. She meets Kendra (those who have read Flinn’s other stories will remember her character), who teaches her that she is in fact a witch and can change her appearance on a whim. Violet does this but even as she becomes beautiful, no one befriends her. In turn, she becomes obsessed with her friend Greg and believes herself to be in love with him. No matter what Kendra tries to tell her, nothing can change Violet’s mind.

The story is divided into two sections told from different point of

12 10, 2015

Review: Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

By | October 12th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Love & Romance, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments

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not after everything book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

First things first, this review will come with a TRIGGER WARNING because of the themes of suicide, child and animal abuse, and other sensitive topics. Not After Everything is not light reading, and it’s not something that will put you in a great mood.

Tyler Blackwell’s perfect-from-the-outside life came crashing down the summer before his senior year, when his mother committed suicide. No one knew that Tyler’s alcoholic father had been abusing both Tyler and his mother for as long as he could remember, and that the beatings had gotten so bad that his mom saw no other way out but to kill herself. Tyler, who had been a football star, girl magnet, and amazing student, saw all that go away when he found his mother in the bathtub bleeding out.

As Tyler starts his senior year,