Category: Young Adult

Apr 17 2019

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

I finished this book in two compulsive sittings, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I think I would have liked it better if I hadn’t had to break concentration a little past the halfway mark to go do life stuff. Because The Weight Of Our Sky is the kind of book that grabs you by …

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Apr 14 2019

The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhonielle Clayton

So on the one hand, I didn’t get anywhere near as mad at this second (final?) book as I did at its predecessor, The Belles. There were still a few moments of “oh, come on” but they faded into insignificance next to the real problem with this book: it feels entirely rushed. It’s not even …

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Mar 02 2019

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

There are lots of really great things about this book. The world-building is A++, with an excellent, well-described magic system and a very rich fantasy setting that is gloriously and unapologetically Afrocentric. The plot skips along briskly, and the depictions of rage and righteous anger are both compelling and wholly convincing. I liked that there …

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Feb 14 2019

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) by Maureen Johnson

In book two of the Truly Devious series, Stevie’s return to Ellingham Academy comes at a price. Her benefactor, the abhorrent politician Edward King whom her parents idolize, wants her back at the school in order to keep an eye on his wayward son, noting that her relationship with his kid seems to calm the …

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Feb 09 2019

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf

Why We Took the Car seems to have established a fixed place in the German YA firmament since its initial publication as Tschick in 2010. Young people read it on their own, they read it for class, and it’s part of the general culture. There was a movie in 2016. It has also done well …

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Jan 29 2019

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

The sordid tale of King Henry VIII and his six wives is probably the one most well-known to those with even only a passing interest in English history. As an Anglophile myself, I grew up reading Antonia Fraser’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII alongside other titles more obscure on the topic, and heartily enjoyed …

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Jan 24 2019

The Dark Descent Of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

It’s interesting how quickly one’s sympathy for a young girl raised to cosset a psychopath plummets as she goes from teaching him social skills to actively enabling his monstrous tendencies. And in this political climate, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for a woman who knows that her man is a shit but feels she …

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Jan 19 2019

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands #3) by Alwyn Hamilton

If you’d told me after I read Rebel Of The Sands that this series would go on to be one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever enjoyed, I would probably have laughed in your face. The first book was pretty rough in terms of storytelling but had so much promise. The second book made …

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Jan 16 2019

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2) by Julie C. Dao

Wow, that was fucking terrible. I mean, I’d been warned that this book would not be as brilliant as its predecessor Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns, a book so good that I put it in my Top 10 of 2018, but a lot of the (valid) criticism is that the main character, Jade, is extremely …

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Jan 08 2019

White Stag (Permafrost #1) by Kara Barbieri

There are a few things that would have turned this book from passably entertaining YA fantasy to a really terrific read, and I’m hoping that the fact that there are only a few things bodes well for the future career of Kara Barbieri. First and foremost is the lack of rigor, whether it be in …

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