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Mon, Feb. 6th, 2017, 09:40 am
Dark, Darker, Darkest (6)

THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake
Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katherine are the queen triplets, each bestowed with a power, who must fight each other and prove their worth to rule the island when they turn sixteen, but conflicting feelings and outside forces may influence the outcome more than anyone expected. Told in multiple third-person points-of-view, there are lots of characters to keep track of in this inventive and dark novel. However, the intrigue keeps one reading as does the surprise and inevitable ending that begs for the sequel. This YA is not for those who can't handle violence, but for those who enjoy a unique fantasy, dive in. (HarperTeen, 2016)

Mon, Jan. 30th, 2017, 10:18 am
Moving, Moving (5)

FORGET ME NOT by Ellie Terry
Calliope is starting at her tenth new school since her mom moves them around a lot while chasing after men, but in St. George, Utah, she makes a new friend who accepts her Tourette syndrome and she hopes this time they can stay for real. Jinsong comes across as a little too good to be true for a middle school guy (popular, student body president, doesn't judge Calli at all), though it makes for an uplifting story this way. The dual points-of-view in verse (Calli) and prose (Jinsong) give nice perspective and make this a quick read. This upper MG novel also give a voice to a person with a lesser known condition along with anxiety and OCD. (Feiwel and Friends, 2017)

Mon, Jan. 23rd, 2017, 08:48 pm
Stealing Breath (4)

GHOSTS by Raina Telgemeier
Catrina's little sister has cystic fibrosis, so the family moves to a healthier climate for her lungs, but Cat is lonely and scared by the ghosts that inhabit the seaside town and fears they may come for her sister before she is ready. A sweet, emotional, and poignant story about sisters and what may wait for people in the afterlife. Cat's anxieties are realistic, Maya's spirit is beautiful, and Day of the Dead climax is fitting. Beautiful, colorful illustrations and expressive characters make this book a total win for graphic novel fans. (Graphix, 2016)

Wed, Jan. 18th, 2017, 01:56 pm
One Day in NYC (3)

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
Natasha and her family are about to be deported back to Jamaica after living in NYC illegally; Daniel was born in the USA, but his Korean-born parents want him to appreciate where they came from and what they sacrificed for him; when the two meet randomly one morning, they have an immediate connection, though their circumstances may stop a potential relationship before it starts. Told in alternating POVs with other random facts and characters woven in, this "love at first sight" novel is both sweet and sad and entertaining and interesting. It also shows different aspects of the modern immigrant experience. A solid YA for those who can buy into this kind of romance. (Delacorte, 2016)

Tue, Jan. 10th, 2017, 11:39 am
A Scented Book (2)

THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Ruth, Dora, Alyce, and Hank live in Alaska and the surrounding areas in the mid-1900s, struggling with issues of family, friends, poverty, and social acceptance, when their lives all intersect. The title of this book is odd, but is fitting in the end given all of the uses of scent in the details of the story. It has a literary feel, and while the cast of characters is large and some of the girls were easy to confuse at times, the overall effect of interweaving their journeys works well. The setting is unique and offers a view of an overlooked part of the country and its history. (Wendy Lamb, 2016)

Tue, Jan. 10th, 2017, 11:34 am
A 1920s Twist (1)

SNOW WHITE: A GRAPHIC NOVEL by Matt Phelan
In 1928 NYC, Snow's father is killed and her step-mother wants her inheritance, so Snow must seek help from strangers in the city. This black and white watercolor take on the fairy tale has a film-like quality that will appeal to teen and adult readers of this format. The love story at the end happens rather quickly, but overall this is a nice version and beautiful book. (Candlewick, 2016)

Tue, Jan. 3rd, 2017, 04:08 pm
How You See Yourself (117)

DRAW THE LINE by Laurent Linn
Adrian draws superhero comics starring Graphite, a version of himself, but he keeps that a secret along with the fact that he is gay from his greater high school peers, but after he witnesses the school bully beat another gay kid from his class and sticks up for him, he decides that maybe his time of blending into the background should be over. The interspersed drawings are a great addition, and more would've been nice to see. Some of the scenes are overwritten and the novel could've been shorter with the same effect, but Adrian's voice is great and his friends are cool. A nice contemporary coming out/anti-bully/romance. (Margaret K. McElderry, 2016)

Tue, Jan. 3rd, 2017, 04:04 pm
It's a Job (116)

PAPER GIRLS -- VOL 1 Written by Brian K. Vaughan & Illustrated by Cliff Chiang
Erin delivers the newspaper in 1988, and after running into some thugs on Halloween, she meets up with three other paper girls who all discover some sci-fi craziness going on in their town. Some of the plot was hard to follow, like how much of who the "time travelers" are the reader is supposed to understand, and who the different factions of them are, but the edgy paper girls are cool, which makes the reader want to see the next volume. Though the main characters are twelve, there is lots of swearing in the text, so it is hard to find the true age group for this graphic novel, but may appeal to fans of "Stranger Things" on Netflix. (Image, 2016)

Wed, Dec. 21st, 2016, 11:46 am
Running for a New Reason (115)

GHOST by Jason Reynolds
Seventh grader Castle "Ghost" Cranshaw is a naturally fast sprinter, and after he unwittingly auditions for a local track team, he finds a new reason to run after a traumatic incident with his father when he was a kid. Ghost's narrative voice is conversational and authentic and easy to read. His mom is supportive, and his consequences all have actions, but he learns and grows from them. The track team members are a great supporting crew, and it appears that they will have their own books in the near future. A great upper-MG/lower-YA contemporary novel for fans of sports and realistic fiction. (Atheneum, 2016)

Thu, Dec. 15th, 2016, 01:28 pm
Finding Freedom (114)

UNBOUND by Ann E. Burg
Nine-year-old Grace is being sent to the big house from her cabin where she picks tobacco with her family, but she has a hard time following Mama's orders to keep her eyes down and mouth shut so her family must flee Master's house and find Freedom in the swamp. Written in verse, this middle grade novel has a dialect that takes a few pages to get into, but then flows with a poetic cadence. Grace is spunky and lovable and brave, as is her family. A lovely MG novel about escaping slaves through a lesser known means. (Scholastic, 2016)

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