Submitted by YAatBooksInc on Tue, 03/26/2019 - 12:00am
Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews Strange Grace
Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
Tessa Gratton’s dark and mysterious novel, Strange Grace, tells the story of a small village that made a deal with a devil long ago. Every seven years, the people sacrifice a young man to the forest and, in return, are protected from harm or disease. When her friend Rhun is at risk of being chosen, Mairwen, the daughter of a witch begins to suspect something not being quite right about the old story and is intent on making sure that no other boy’s lives are taken in vain.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the characters and their interactions with each other. They were all wildly different, with curious Mairwen, noble Rhun, and hot-headed Arthur. All of them developed as the story continued, completing the book as different people than those in the beginning. Additionally, the book has a long exposition, but the moment that it reaches the climax, it becomes fast-paced and exciting, leaving the reader guessing about what comes next. Gratton throws in twists and turns before finally reaching an impossible to predict ending.
Ideal for fans of horror and fantasy, Strange Grace is a well-written, intriguing journey through the forest, with plenty of plot twists and secrets along the way.
How far would you go to get into the right college?... Fans of Becky Albertalli will appreciate this sharp-witted, timely novel about an overachiever who stumbles into the middle of a college admissions scandal when she's rejected by every school she applied to.
Submitted by YAatBooksInc on Tue, 03/19/2019 - 1:40pm
Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews King of Scars
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
King of Scars is a triumphant return to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, complete with plenty of engaging characters, danger, and excitement. The beginning of novel finds the beloved Nikolai Lantsov, King of Ravka, grappling with the events that occured in Siege and Storm, the conclusion to the author’s other trilogy. Stuck with a dangerous secret to hide, he relies on Zoya, a lovely but abrasive Grisha (people with special powers, many of whom serve in the Ravkan army), to help him save Ravka and banish his inner demons. Further away, in Fjerda, Nina, a familiar face from Six of Crows, is struggling to overcome her grief and return to her old self. Undercover and in danger of being captured by Druskelle, ruthless witch hunters, she comes across a convent hiding a disturbing truth, a threat from her past, and a young woman desperately trying to hide her abilities as Grisha.
All of the intertwined plots were interesting, with the point of view alternating between Nikolai, Zoya, Nina, and Isaak, Nikolai’s guard. This emphasis on various different characters showed the scenes from different angles and gave insight into the minds of all of the main characters.
As always, Bardugo’s stunning world-building and vivid characters made this a delightfully immersive read. The politics and geography of this fantasy universe are well-defined and clear, making it feel more real. This world that Leigh Bardugo has created, with magic and mischief, is full of twists and turns and the characters that you cannot help but fall in love with.
From the fast-paced, surprise-filled beginning to the unexpected ending, prepare for an exciting journey through the palaces and countryside of Ravka and the frigid forests and fishing towns of Fjerda. With brilliant world-building and wonderful writing, King of Scars is certainly a must-read for fans of Bardugo’s Grishaverse.
King of Scars is available in stores now. Haven't read the Grishaverse or Six of Crows series? You can find them on our shelves as well!
Submitted by YAatBooksInc on Tue, 03/12/2019 - 1:11pm
- Written by By Ava and Amanda
Ah, the sweet nostalgia of Disney Princesses and the hope for more diverse characters. While we pine for the live-action remakes, here are five YA books to read that the diverse Disney Princesses would definitely endorse!
1. Jasmine endorses LOVE, HATE, AND OTHER FILTERS
Modern Jasmine would totally relate to Maya Aziz, an Indian-American Muslim whose parents want her to marry an eligible bachelor (ahem, Jafar). But Maya is secretly in love with another boy—a boy she knows her parents would never approve of. But when the terrorist attack of 9/11 kills hundreds, Maya and her parents are subject to prejudice for being Muslim.
2. Pocahontas endorses MARCH TOWARDS THE THUNDER
As Pocahontas tries to find peace between her family and the Englishmen, Louis Nolette, a fifteen-year-old Abenaki Indian from Canada, fights for the rights of African Americans from an outside perspective. After he is recruited to the northern Irish brigade, despite not being Irish, American, or of age, he begins to see the true meaning of war, and how much needs to be fought to bring peace. Louis starts to realize what he’s truly fighting for - and it’s not for wages.
3. Mulan endorses THE KINGDOM OF THE BLAZING PHOENIX
Although this book is a retelling of Snow White’s fairytale, the kickass but sweet heroine, Princess Jade, reminds us of Mulan’s many adventures and great feats! The evil Empress Xifeng cares more about the shade of her lips than her subjects, causing the kingdom to fall into poverty and starvation. Join Jade as she ventures into the unknown to summon the Dragon God, who could defeat the Serpent Lord—and in turn, Empress Xifeng.
**note--TKOtBP is a sequel to FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS, but the sequel can be read without the first book (though we wholeheartedly recommend FoaTL!)
4. Tiana endorses AKATA WITCH
Tiana is hardworking and independent, and nothing will stop her from achieving her goal, to open her restaurant. Although Sunny is twelve, she experiences struggles living in Aba, Nigeria after being born in New York. Her skin is sensitive to the sun with being albino, and she wishes to do things other kids could do. After making friends with Orlu and ChiChi, she goes to the world of the Leopard people, where your greatest asset. Her story of overcoming and hard work is a must read for all.
5. Moana endorses WILDEFIRE
Moana’s spirited nature and the ability to be self-sufficient mirrors the strong personality of Ashline Wilde. Looking to start over after unspeakable violence, Blackwood Academy seems like a fresh place to start over. However, after finding out that she is secretly a Polynesian goddess, she must find herself to stop the perilous danger arriving at the school.
Submitted by YAatBooksInc on Mon, 03/04/2019 - 8:56am
Teen Advisory Board Member Alannah Reviews The Goose Girl
The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, was born with the word of another language on her tongue, though she didn’t know it. Her aunt helped her to taste it, teaching her the speech of songbirds and the graceful swans in the palace pond, until one day she left for the mountains, never to return. And though she misses her aunt, Ani is contented with her life, in spite of others’ whispers of the strange, quiet princess who speaks to the birds.
But everything turns upside-down the day that she learns that her brother Caleb is to inherit the throne instead of her, and that she is to wed the unknown prince of Kildenree’s enormous neighboring kingdom, Bayern. Ani sets out with her lady in waiting, Selia, a company of Kildenree’s guards, and her beloved horse, Falada, with whom she can communicate.
However, halfway through the journey, treacherous Selia convinces the guards to turn on Ani and present Selia as the bride-to-be instead. Forced to flee for her life, Ani takes on the name Isi and tends the palace geese in the guise of a peasant girl. But the awkward, fractious geese are nothing like the swans that Ani is accustomed to, the danger of discovery lurks around every corner, and Ani’s newfound relationship with the handsome guard Geric threatens to bring her secrets to the tip of her tongue. How can Ani prove herself the true princess?
Shannon Hale reimagines the classic Grimm’s tale in a beautiful, enchanting story of courage and love. Ani is the sort of heroin that readers simply cannot help falling in love with, and any reader will be able to relate to the trials faced by the shy young princess. This is an unforgettable read necessary for fans of fantasy, first love, and exquisitely retold fairytales. But reader be warned: Once you read this book, you may never see the original tale of The Goose Girl the same way ever again.
-Review written by Alannah, Age 14
Find Goose Girl and the companion novels in stores or online.
Submitted by YAatBooksInc on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 4:56pm
- Written by By Ava, Amanda, and Emily
Bless Queen Ariana Grande for her thank u next album! Here are twelve YA books to read while gracing your ears with her new b o p s.
*by the way, MSL=Most Suitable Lyric*
1. WHAT IF IT’S US, couldn’t you just imagine?
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Or maybe everything. After all, they get reunited. But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But just imagine, what if it is?
MSL: Love how my face fits so good in your neck/Why can’t you imagine a world like that?
Authors: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
2.MONDAY’S NOT COMING, and I’m so needy
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Monday wouldn’t just leave her, especially now, when Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday and that she must be the person to find her.
MSL: Lately, I've been on a roller coaster/Tryna get a hold of my emotions/But all that I know is I need you close
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
3. u must DARE MIGHTY THINGS to fly to space like NASA
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.
MSL: Keep me in your orbit and you know you’ll drag me under
Author: Heather Kaczynski
4. FOUR DEAD QUEENS: It’s the fault of our bloodline
For in the nation of Quadara, each of the four quarters are strictly divided from each other. Four queens rule together, one from each region. When Keralie steals a disk with a video of the four queens being killed, she knows she has to do something. Keralie teams up with Varin Bollt, the Eonist messenger she stole from, to complete Varin’s original job and see where it takes them.
MSL: Don't want you in my bloodline, yeah/Just wanna have a good time, yeah
Author: Astrid Scholte
5. Wearing a fake smile, the GIRL IN PIECES falls apart
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
MSL: If I'm being honest, I done been through way too much/I can't fake another smile/I can't fake like I'm alright
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
6. Mateo and Rufus have a bad idea, but it’s fine because THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
MSL: Runnin' outta time/Wishin' you would come and save me
Author: Adam Silvera
7. THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL makes me wanna make up with u
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. And what if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
MSL: My energy and attitude don’t coincide/I’m stayin’ mad all day so we can let it out tonight
Author: Maurene Goo
8. Griffin should be ghostin him, especially since HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME
When Griffin's first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he's been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin's downward spiral continues. He's losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he's been keeping are tearing him apart.
MSL: He just comes to visit me/When I’m dreaming every now and then
Author: Adam Silvera
9. Henry swears the aliens who keep abducting him aren’t in his head, but who knows because WE ARE THE ANTS.
Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.
Only he isn’t sure he wants to.
After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him. But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.
MSL: Caught in the moment, tangled up in your sheets/When you broke my heart, I said you only wanted half of me
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
10.Vanessa spends too much time UNDER THE LIGHTS to buy anyone 7 rings, but she might want to after meeting Brianna
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls ... opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved ... and the person she never imagined she could.
MSL: Ain’t no budget when I’m on the set/If I like it, then that’s what I get
Author: Dahlia Adler
11. AIRPORTS, EXES, AND OTHER THINGS I’M OVER, so thank u, next
A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart... what could go wrong? After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari's. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev! What will she do next?
MSL: And one taught me pain/Now, I'm so amazing
Author: Shani Petroff
12.You have the wrong LOVE INTEREST, so break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored
Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to their organization, and each boy will pursue her, as whoever the girl doesn't choose will die. What the boys don't expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
MSL: You got me some type of way (Hmm)/Ain't used to feelin' this way (Mmm-mmm)