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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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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

Rating:

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

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

Rating:

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

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

Rating:

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,

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

Rating:

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

13 09, 2015

Review: Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

By | September 13th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

between us and the moon book coverReviewed by Benish Khan

Sarah lives in the shadows of her beautiful ballerina sister, Scarlett. In her family, Sarah’s nickname is “Bean” while her sister is seen as the adventurous and popular one. Her boyfriend Tucker ends his relationship with Sarah because she doesn’t have any other interests besides science. Apparently, Sarah is now too boring for his “changing” personality. Heartbroken, Sarah is left to wonder about her self worth and confidence. But after some time, she comes up with a plan–she decides to pass herself as someone older, someone like Scarlett. She calls it “The Scarlett Experiment”.

While spending the summer in Cape Cod, Sarah takes it upon herself to dress in Scarlett’s clothes. She also meets a college guy named Andrew. Sarah believes he sees her like Scarlett–fun, outgoing and ready to have fun–and soon a romance

24 08, 2015

Review: Finding Paris by Joy Preble

By | August 24th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Dating & Sex, Family, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

finding paris book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

Joy Preble’s novel, Finding Paris, is a soul-searching, exploratory and intriguing story of two sisters, Paris and Leo Hollings. Paris and Leo are polar opposites. Paris is artistic, ethereal, beautiful and a bit impulsive, where Leo, (short for Leonora), is serious, bookish and dedicated to breaking free from her current life by going to college. The girls live in Las Vegas with their absentee, blackjack dealer mother and their gambling addict stepfather Tommy. Paris and Leo both seem to be fixated on escaping certain aspects of their home and themselves and as the story grows, these ideas of escape and the reasons for the emotions, will become very real for everyone.

Suffering from a breakup, Paris decides in the middle of the night that she needs pie to mend her broken heart and forces Leo to

7 08, 2015

Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

By | August 7th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

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made you up book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

When you are reading a book where the main character is the first person narrator, and this person tells you from the beginning that they are schizophrenic, it follows that you are going to have quite a time trying to discern if what this narrator is telling you is real or not. But that’s exactly what you get upon starting Made You Up; Alex herself tells you she’s crazy, and even her medications aren’t helping. Still, she is determined to finish out her senior year at a new high school.

Alex starts out the year with a single friend, and even he doesn’t know her secret. Though it’s something she struggles with everyday, Alex doesn’t need the entire student body knowing about her mental illness. And from what she’s seen of her conniving classmates, once

23 07, 2015

Review: The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings

By | July 23rd, 2015|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Dystopian, Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

the death code book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

Sometimes you get your hands on a book and it sinks its claws into you and will not let you go until you devour ever word. The Death Code did that to me. No only were the chapters short, but they were so fast paced it was nothing to sit and read one hundred, two hundred pages in one sitting. And talk about ripping your heart out at the end (and then handing it back). Brilliant Lindsay Cummings. Brilliant.

The Death Code is book two in Lindsay Cummings Murder Complex series. It picks up pretty quick after book one ended (so be sure to read book one first. I read it late last year and character were still a little foggy . . . I caught up quick though). Meadow, Zephyr, and the rest of their

6 06, 2015

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

By | June 6th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Emotions & Feelings, Friendships, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

kiss of broken glass book coverPublisher’s Description

In the next 72 hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for 72 hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for a mandatory psychiatric watch. There Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems …for a moment.

Reviewed by Benish Khan

Kiss of Broken Glass is Madeleine Kuderick’s debut novel about sensitive topics like self-harm, cutting and depression. Kuderick does explore some different aspects of cutting

29 05, 2015

Review: Hit by Delilah Dawson

By | May 29th, 2015|Categories: Children's Books, Dystopian, New Experiences, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Social Issues, Violence, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , , |3 Comments

Rating:

hit book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

High schooler Patsy Klein (yes, really) has just been given an unthinkable assignment: she must kill a list of ten people, or her mother will die. It’s a harsh reality that Patsy’s mother is one of the millions of Americans who’s taken on more debt than they can handle…and the nation’s biggest bank, Valor Savings, is erasing that debt in a horrifying manner. The person who’s contracted the debt has the choice to pay it back, be killed, or kill others in their same position. Patsy has decided to take on the killing for her mom.

I’m going to take a minute here to talk about how utterly ridiculous this plot is. So this banking conglomerate, Valor, is going out and KILLING the people who collectively owe them probably billions of dollars. Maybe it’s just me, but this