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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: , , , , , |4 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.

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;

20 05, 2016

Review: Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu & Anne Greenwood Brown

By | May 20th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Friendships, Mysteries, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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girl last seen book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

Girl Last Seen is one of those books you just want to speed read to know the ending. I had to stop myself from reading the book in one sitting so I could fully enjoy the writing, but I could have easily devoured the novel in one sleepless night.

Kadence Mulligan and Lauren DeSanto are, or were, high school BFFs who became Internet celebrities. After one of their homemade music videos went viral, Kady and Lauren spent the next year trying to keep the fame alive and turn themselves into the real deal. Unfortunately, when Lauren lost her voice due to an illness, their friendship turned toxic. Now, the two not only have a mixture of animosity and jealously against them, but after one of Kady’s solo concerts, the teenager goes missing. Soon, all

24 12, 2015

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

By | December 24th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, For Teens, Friendships, Gift Ideas, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

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every last word book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

What does it mean to be normal? At what point can we stop hiding our true selves to allow others to know our idiosyncrasies? Can we keep our friends once they know we are not perfect? Tamara Ireland Stone addresses these and many more teen angst (or ‘life angst’) questions in her lovely novel Every Last Word.

Samantha (Sam) McCallister is your standard sixteen year old, on the surface. To the casual observer in the school hallway or cafeteria, Samantha is popular, pulled together, appropriately funny, a member of the elite Crazy-8s, and is someone to envy. Sam knows different. The Samantha she presents to the world is like a costume worn throughout the school year. In the summertime, away from the Crazy-8s, Sam is relaxed, in control, and self-assured. Amongst her

29 10, 2015

Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston

By | October 29th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |6 Comments

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paperweight book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

Stevie is a 16-year-old who feels trapped at an eating disorder treatment center–she has been there ever since she was involuntary admitted by her father. The treatment is supposed to last 60 days but Stevie has plans of her own. On the 27th day, – the anniversary of her brother Joshua’s death – she plans to escape and end her life so that she can join him. It’s the only way she feels her brother will forgive her, and the only way she can forgive herself.

The premise of Paperweight is fantastic, the title is interesting, and the cover is beautiful. The presentation itself is appealing but the book didn’t completely live up to my expectations.

The book overall is quite dense, told mainly in monologue and with no real sense of action. The constant flashbacks often abruptly take readers from present to past and

17 09, 2015

Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

By | September 17th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Family, Friendships, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

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solitaire book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

It took me a few weeks, almost a month after finishing the novel to decide how I felt about Solitaire by Alice Oseman. I normally read young adult literature, but this book was different. Oseman wrote Solitaire when she was just 17 years old. Therefore, the novel had a very distinct writing style and voice–an immature writing style and voice in my opinion. After a month of trying to figure out if I actually thought Solitaire was a well-written novel, I can say this: Solitaire breaks some stereotypes when it comes to young adult fiction, but in the end, I feel the novel fell short of whatever goal Oseman was trying to reach.

Basically, the novel is about a high school student name Tori who hates her life, her school, and most people, but pretends she just doesn’t