Review: Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated by Melissa Landers

I loved the premise of Alienated: an exchange program for teens between Earth and a newly discovered planet, L’eihr. Cara has been selected to host one of three L’eihr students coming to Earth. And then next year she’ll take her turn on L’eihr. Of course Aelyx is gorgeous and feelings develop. Many humans aren’t happy with the presence of aliens on Earth. The next level of racism and discrimination abound in this book, from threatening notes to outward protests. I really disliked that part of the plot. Cara loses her boyfriend and her best friend over housing Aelyx. It was pretty realistic, but it was too painful to read. This […]

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Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

I am a sucker for camp stories, so of course I loved The Name They Gave Us. Lucy is a pastor’s kid. She’s always been good. She’s dating the perfect gentleman, and they’ve done nothing more than kiss. But when Lucy’s mom’s cancer comes back, she gets angry. Everyone’s platitudes aren’t cutting it anymore. It’s just not fair. She starts swearing, and her boyfriend can’t handle it. It’s seems a little crazy, right? Unless you grew up in a conservative church, this part of the story might be ridiculous. I completely got it. Lucy’s mom persuades her to take a last-minute job at a camp for […]

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Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Before reading this book I listened to an episode of 88 Cups of Tea where Yin Chang interviewed Angie Thomas about The Hate U Give. Angie made some comments about writing diverse books that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I read this book anyway because it was a book club pick. I am so glad I did. And now I completely understand what Angie was trying to say. Writing diverse books is about so much more than just making a character have brown skin. It’s about telling real stories about what happens to people who live lives very different from the one I […]

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Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited was the perfect YA contemporary novel. It has two adorable love stories, twin drama, and absolutely wonderful parents. Molly and Cassie are fraternal twins with lesbian moms and a little brother. All three kids have the same donor father, but the girls were carried by one mom, and their brother was carried by the other. Both girls are falling in love for the first time, but it isn’t going exactly as planned. Molly, the narrator of the story, has had a bunch of unrequited crushes, but she’s never had an actual relationship. When Cassie starts dating a new girl (whose name […]

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Review: Starfall by Melissa Landers

Starfall by Melissa Landers

Starfall is the second book in a series. I loved Starflight, so I was eager to read this book when it released a couple of months ago. Unlike the first book, Starfall isn’t focused on Solara and Doran. It picks up the story of Cassia and Kane, who were both minor characters in the first book. Cassia, a princess who’s been on the run with her best friend, is kidnapped and taken back to her home world of Eturia. Kane of course wants to go and rescue her. This book was fairly predictable. And while I loved Cassia and Kane’s banter in the first book, since they’re […]

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Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte is the first in the Charlotte Holmes series. Brittany Cavallaro puts an interesting twist on the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson characters by imagining what their descendants would be like. Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson meet at boarding school in Connecticut. Holmes has been solving crimes since she was a young child, and Watson is a typical teenage boy. When a fellow student turns up dead, the pair strike up a fated friendship and set to solving the case. I’ve never read Sherlock Holmes, but I have watched the BBC show Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr. movies, so I am familiar with the characters. […]

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Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility did not live up to my expectations. I had heard so many great things about this book, but surprisingly I had no recollection of what it was about before I started listening to it. Nastya is new in town. She’s come to live with her aunt after some sort of horrific attack on her life. She was a concert pianist, but she can no longer play because her attacker crushed her hand. Josh Bennett keeps to himself. He lives alone because his parents are dead, and his grandfather is dying. They’re both damaged, so they develop a unique relationship. This book was […]

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Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Wanderlost is a really fun read. Aubree has just graduated from high school, but she’s never been anywhere. She’s set to start college in the fall in her hometown. Her sister, Elizabeth, the perfect one, gets arrested for hosting underage drinkers at Aubree’s graduation party. When she concocts a crazy plan to have Aubree to fill in for her as a tour guide in Europe for the summer, Aubree is less than thrilled. But feeling responsible for her sister’s situation, she reluctantly agrees. Aubree is soon in Europe with a Spanish-speaking bus driver and a small group of senior citizens who are expecting her to […]

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Review: The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet by Natasha Farrant

The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennett by Natasha Farrant

The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet is such a fun read. You know I love Jane Austen, and of course Pride and Prejudice is her best known work. Lydia Bennet is the youngest and most annoying sister in that story. Natasha Farrant has taken that character and filled in the gaps in her story. Austen never told us how Lydia ends up running off with Wickham. Farrant has imagined a very interesting twist. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Because I knew how things ended up for Lydia, I wasn’t expecting some much suspense. Farrant made me feel for Lydia and even […]

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Review: Tumbling by Caela Carter

Tumbling by Caela Carter

Tumbling is such an intense read. I have always loved watching gymnastics – whether it was live Olympics or just TV shows or movies about gymnastics. This book was only my second experience reading about gymnasts. Wow. The whole book takes places over only two days, the US Olympic Trials. Twelve girls are competing, but the book only focuses on 5 of them. You know that part in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Hermione tries to explain Cho Chang’s feelings to Ron and Harry (because she was crying while kissing Harry)? That’s what this book is like. Each chapter takes you into […]

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