With deft wit and no shortage of self-reflective charm, Scott Westerfield has woven a masterpiece in Afterworlds. Seamlessly blending two narratives is no easy feat, but one handily achieved in this twofer of a novel that follows a young debut author through her literary coming of age as well as her supernaturally gifted protagonist. You won’t be able to put it down. -- Briah from Books Inc. Opera Plaza
I have to say, Freakboy is one of the most touching and thought-provoking books about LGBT issues I’ve ever read. Brendan Chase is a star wrestler, part of the popular crowd, has a beautiful girlfriend, and loves playing video games. But Brendan has a secret: Brendan aches to have pouty lips, luxuriously long hair, slender fingers, and a tiny waist. Brendan wishes he were a girl. But he doesn’t understand these feelings, because he also loves his girlfriend. Freakboy discusses the idea of gender fluidity – always feeling like a mix of male and female, moving in and out of the two, some days feeling more male, and feeling more female on others. Written from the perspectives of Brendan, Brendan’s girlfriend, and Angel – a transgender girl who becomes Brendan’s confidante and support system – Freakboy is startlingly honest and brilliantly written. This is the perfect novel for fans of John Green, Ellen Hopkins, and David Levithan. -- Reviewed by Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto
Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, 16-year-old Dovey is no stranger to storms. She knows how to survive and how to prepare the house when one comes. But Hurricane Josephine is no ordinary storm. After the storm kills her best friend, Carly, Dovey has a psychotic break and ends up on pills that are supposed to help her, but instead leave her confused, groggy, and out of touch with reality. She's struggling to get by when one day she sees her supposedly dead best friend in a cafe. After ditching her meds, Dovey goes on a quest to find out just what happened to Carly, but what she uncovers is a dark and sinister web closing tightly over the city she loves - and Josephine was only the beginning. Something wicked this way comes indeed...
Dark, engaging, and spooky as all get out, Servants of the Storm is a perfect book to read during a storm or right before Halloween! Great for the older teen who was hooked on R.L. Stine and wants something more. Dovey, being bi-racial and her best friend being African American, adds another dimension (albeit briefly discussed) of racial tension that runs through the heart of Savannah. -- Reviewed by Katherine from Books Inc. Laurel Village
Having read Elizabeth Wein's other novel, Code Name Verity some time ago, I decided to pick up Rose Under Fire and it does not disappoint. Wein is a masterful storyteller and researcher and she uses her skills to tell stories of a different war front: that of the women in World War II. Rose Justice from Pennsylvania is chosen by the RAF (Royal Air Force) to ferry planes across enemy lies to support the Allies' war efforts. Rose's plane is eventually intercepted and shot down--resulting in her becoming a prisoner of the Nazis. She is sent to Ravensbrück, the women's concentration camp. There she meets young women that are under the scrutiny of the Nazi Doctors who conduct expiriments on them. These "Rabbits" are strong women with little to no hope left in them. Together the ladies form a strong bond and trust in one another and foresee an inevitability of their release by Allied forces. This novel is amazing, intellectual and inspiring. Perfect for young historians! -- Reviewed by Books Inc. SFO