Category: Young Adult

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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Jan 05 2019

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

I absolutely adored Marisha Pessl’s debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, and was one of many fans disappointed and confused by her follow-up, Night Film (tho the multimedia aspect of that novel was really, really nice.) So I put her third novel, Neverworld Wake, on my to-read pile but didn’t feel any burning need …

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Nov 18 2018

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

So I’d been avoiding this book for a while, despite owning another of Kendare Blake’s acclaimed novels (Anna Dressed In Blood, one of many on my To-Read pile) because, while the premise is interesting and the author’s reputation confidence-inspiring, I thought Queen Katharine’s power incredibly lame compared to the other two. She can ingest any …

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Nov 03 2018

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton

I am so glad I decided to read this book! I had a bunch of misgivings after the overall good but uneven first in the series, Rebel Of The Sands, and had prepared myself for more of the same here, but Traitor To The Throne far surpassed my expectations. There were several annoying lapses in …

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