Category Archives: Young Adult

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

I really enjoyed Hotel Magnifique. There came a point where I hated to put it down. I had to know what was going on and how everything would be wrapped up (answer: amazingly well). The only problem I had with the book was like half the book being all “I’ll tell you what you need to know soon, I just don’t have time right now” over and over. I just wanted to scream at Bel to just tell her already. The descriptions of the hotel and the magic were really vivid and exciting. I recommend this book to teens and up who enjoy magic and fantasy.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 54
Pages Read in 2022: 19,563
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Owlcrate, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

The beginning of Cut Off seemed pretty straightforward. A survival reality show with a bunch of kids competing for the top prize. And then it all went insane and went every which way. It was sort of sci-fi and sort of horror (though not terribly scary horror). There are parallel dimensions and creating a timeline out of your mind and being able to choose the one where you end up. My 13 and 15 year old sons (who both liked the book more than I did) thought it explained the multiverse much better than anything else they have encountered. The best chapter in the entire book jumps between snapshots of what’s happening in various parallel universes as they are trying to find the right one. I recommend this book to teens and up, particularly those who like sci-fi and especially parallel dimensions.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 48
Pages Read in 2022: 17,554
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: Literati, Science Fiction, Young Adult

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

I’m not exactly sure where I was expecting this book to go, but it wasn’t where it went. It was so enjoyable and who the “bad guy” really was only hit me a couple pages before it was revealed, though I had a few ideas before then (all wrong). After about the first hundred pages I had so much trouble putting it down and kept thinking about it until I could get back to reading. One character has social anxiety and it was written so well, especially how he evolved to accept himself the way he is. The writing was very descriptive. It’s extremely rare for me to be able to visualize what is happening beyond occasional hazy glimpses (I generally just see words in my head) so I appreciate books with enough words for me to get the idea even though I can’t “see” it. The end was very satisfying and pretty decently wrapped it all up. The epilogue, however, sets up a sequel which I would definitely read if there ends up being one. I highly recommend A Forgery of Roses to teens and up who enjoy urban fantasy.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 47
Pages Read in 2022: 17,184
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Owlcrate, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

While overall enjoyable, sometimes A Study in Charlotte seemed to try too hard to copy the original Holmes and Watson. It often dragged. Solving who did it was very interesting and I had actually eliminated that person as a suspect a while before it became clear that was likely who it was. I liked that the epilogue was written from Charlotte’s point of view. I recommend it to teens and up who like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

3 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 46
Pages Read in 2022: 16,806
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

I spent pretty much all of Five Total Strangers totally stressed. It’s clear something is not right in that car and someone might be actively trying to prevent them from getting home. Everyone is suspicious in some way. And the letters scattered throughout the book are so incredibly creepy (as is the man in the yellow cap). They are such an example of someone getting in their head that a simple interaction meant something more and different than it actually did, leading to stalking and finally an “if I can’t have you nobody will” mentality. And as the reader you know that person has been in the car the whole time. I was pretty sure who wrote those letters relatively early on, but I second guessed my theory so many times. The way the author wrote the tension, increasing it as the group got more tired and suspicious of each other was incredibly well done. I very highly recommend this book to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 45
Pages Read in 2022: 16,485
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

The first about 50 pages of Let Me Hear a Rhyme were very slow, introducing characters and explaining background. Once it got past that point, it picked up quite a bit. The chapters are told from three alternating viewpoints plus some inserted chapters that explain some things that happened before. Two of the main characters are hiding things, including from the reader, that are necessary to understand completely what happened to their friend and brother. There is quite a bit of slang, some defined at the end, some not, and also some language some may find offensive. The book has a really nice rhythm. I recommend it to teens and up, especially those who enjoy hip hop and rap.

4 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 44
Pages Read in 2022: 16,184
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Right from the first page One of Us is Lying sucked me in. I think I ended up suspecting every single character, including the police and the science teacher, at some point. I did guess correctly who the culprit was at one point and occasionally circled back to that theory, but then when you think it was everyone at some point of course you’ll be right at least once. I was so absorbed in the story that I had a doctor’s appointment and was reading it in the waiting room and was at a tense point near where everything was revealed when I was called back and for the first time in my life my blood pressure was high (the doctor took it again a few minutes later and it was back to normal). The narrator rotates between the four main characters and I never knew if they were being honest or not or whether I could trust them. The character development, particularly of Addy, was extremely well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adults books.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 43
Pages Read in 2022: 15,804
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Literati, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller, Young Adult

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached by Ally Condie

Reached is the final book in the Matched trilogy and completes the story very nicely. There’s no specific end, nothing wrapped up in a perfect bow. Life continues and it might be a happy ending and it might not, and you are never quite sure if the Rising is good or not or if it’s just an alternative to the Society while being pretty much the Society repackaged, but it still is such a satisfying conclusion. This one is told from three alternating points of view, Cassia, Ky, and Xander, which is very effective. It spurred several very interesting conversations with my 13 and 15 year olds. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoyed the first two in the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 41
Pages Read in 2022: 15,145
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Young Adult

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I was not surprised that I really enjoyed The Sun is Also a Star. I’ve never been disappointed by anything by the author. I was surprised, however, at just how much I enjoyed it. I could barely put it down wanting to know what happened next. I cared so much about the characters. It’s definitely a heart in a blender sort of book. So incredibly emotional. Things are not wrapped up all pretty with a nice bow. Instead, things end up much more like they do in real life. Most of the story is told from the alternating points of view of the two main characters, but every so often there’s a narrative interjected to give explanation or a side character’s story or explain why things are or aren’t the way the main characters think they are. I absolutely loved that writing choice. Those added narratives really added to the story as a whole. I very highly recommend The Sun is Also a Star to teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 35
Pages Read in 2022: 12,518
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Instructions for Dancing is one of those books that just stays with you for a long time after you finish it. On the surface it’s a relatively lighthearted young adult novel with lots of sweet romance. But it’s so much deeper than that. It’s about how the end, no matter how things end, isn’t what’s important. It’s the journey that’s important and to enjoy it. The writing is beautiful as is typical with this author. Some chapters are just silly while others are heartbreaking, striking a perfect balance. I could barely put this book down. I very highly recommend Instructions for Dancing to everyone teens and up!

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 32
Pages Read in 2022: 11,522
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Reason: Book of the Month, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult