TJ Powar Has Something to Prove
– Jesmeen Kaur Deo –
Viking Books for Young Readers
Published 7 June 2022
Brilliant, just brilliant. This book has the perfect mix of super cute romance, powerful societal issues commentary, friendship, family and self identity discovery that makes it the sort of YA realistic fiction I just adore. Add a touch of sport and I was all in on this fantastic story.
Gideon Green in Black and White
– Katie Henry –
Katherine Tegen Books
Published 17 May 2022
When you laugh at the dedication and then snort laugh and fist pump at the end of the first chapter you know you are going to love the book and laugh a lot. Which is exactly how it went down reading Gideon Green in Black and White. Looking at the author, who is the author of some of my all time favourite and go-to humour novels, it’s no surprise that this book is funny. Like really, unexpectedly, dry-humour funny. But what was surprising was the mystery (very cool), sleuthing, totally platonic male-female best friend relationship (finally, yes!!) and cute but not attention demanding, just perfect romance.
Blaine for the Win
– Robbie Couch –
Published 12 April 2022
I was looking for something fun and uplifting when I picked up Blaine for the Win. And, having just read Heartstopper books 1 to 4, this was the perfect follow up book.
When Blaine is dumped by his boyfriend rather than receiving the expected invite to the family holiday, he is devastated. Worse is being told the reason is because he isn’t serious enough. Sure, maybe most guys aren’t painting murals or eternally running late, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t serious. To prove his point, Blaine decides to run for student body president, as his ex-boyfriend’s replacement and his ex-boyfriend’s new boyfriend’s opponent (it’s complicated). His two best friends make the best campaign team and he finds an unexpected ally in Daniel, the boy he literally crashes into.
Some Mistakes Were Made
– Kristin Dwyer –
Published 26 April 2022
I knew that Some Mistakes Were Made would be gut wrenching. And it was. It was also incredibly hard to put down, tear-jerking and made my heart ache. In a good way. Such a delicious, agonising way.
For all the readers who love books about brothers, this one is for you. For all the readers who love resilient, angry and strong survivors who have to face so much more than is imaginable, this book is for you. And readers who love tortured, broken relationships romance, you need to read this book RIGHT NOW!
– Monica Roe –
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published 15 March 2022
Air is a powerful and impressive middle grade novel about finding your voice and following your dream, while managing the transition to high school, friendship, adults who think they know best and the ways society limits the potential of all.
Air is a book I’m going to force upon a lot of people. Staff and teachers at my school, my principal, students. It’s a book I think everyone should read. The author so perfectly captures Emmie’s voice. That of a young girl who has just started seventh grade. She loves racing and jumping on ramps in her wheelchair. Chair skating. She’s an athlete and entrepreneur. She and her best friend run a small business selling plants and wheelchair bags. Emmie is saving up for a new wheelchair, one that is made for skating. But when she takes a fall at school – totally not her fault! – her new principal demands that she has a full time aide. Emmie is horrified. When the principal announces that the school plans to raise money to buy Emmie her new chair, she’s super excited, but it seems it might come at a cost and she has to decide what she wants and how to speak up for herself.
– Tori Sharp –
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published 18 May 2021
I’m enjoying diving into some new graphic novels and Just Pretend is delightful, with bright panels and a heartwarming story of growing up. It is actually part memoir, as the author shares her own teenage story within the pages.
All That’s Left in the World
– Erik J. Brown –
Balzer + Bray
Published 8 March 2022
I’ve been meaning to write and share this review for a while now but I just haven’t been able to put into words just how incredible and amazing and jaw-dropping and additive this book is. It’s also slightly terrifying. And amazing.
Okay, here goes.
Dystopian, queer romance, illness that is wiping out the population. That completely undersells everything that this book is. It is heart and grief and fight and sacrifice. It is love and family and loss. It’s discovery and it’s a book I just loved. So much.
These Deadly Games
– Diana Urban –
Published 1 February 2022
I’m not entirely sure if I am super impressed with this book, super annoyed or impressed that it both intrigued me and annoyed and horrified me at the same time. Can one be so conflicted about a book? I’m going to lay out the good and the annoying.
These Deadly Games is a thriller that leads its main character Chrystal on a wild game that very quickly turns deadly. No end of twists, puzzles, dares and tasks that might seem innocent but quickly turn deadly. This mystery thriller is high stakes and there are some very serious consequences.
For Chrystal, her focus is completely set on winning a spot in her friends’ esports team. The prize money would ensure her family could stay in their home. But when she receives a text with an image of her younger sister tied up with a message – complete the dares or she dies. Chrystal must decide – her sister or her family’s future? Can she do it all and make sure her friends never learn the truth?
No Filter and Other Lies
– Crystal Maldonado –
Published 8 February 2022
Social media is such a massive part of our young readers’ lives and yet its reach and impact is so often left out of YA fiction. No Filter and Other Lies addresses the addiction of social media, it’s dangers and its benefits head on. It also addresses the inherent racism and sizeism of social media and the challenges teens face in navigating this online world.
Kat is a photographer, friend, granddaughter and dog lover. She’s also pretty good at lying. For years, she’s been lying to everyone but her best friends about where she lives. Most people think she lives with her parents, as evidenced by the perfect family photos her mother shares on Facebook. But Kat actually lives with her grandparents. So, when the opportunity arises to share her work as a photographer on Instagram to a much wider audience, Kat takes it. It’s only a small lie and what’s that in the scheme of her life? Yes, she has to borrow her friend’s (perfectly gorgeous, white, thin) face after she expressly said she didn’t want to go back on social media. But, Kat will also use the account to share about the dogs at the shelter she works at, so there will be some good come from the whole thing. But when Kat starts to fall for a girl she chats with online, things get complicated. Especially when that girl thinks Kat is a 21-year-old college girl called Max.
Here’s To Us
– Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera –
Quill Tree Books
Published 28 December 2021
Here’s To Us is the long awaited (okay, it’s only been a couple of years, but it feels like forever) sequel to What If It’s Us. If you have read What If It’s Us, then you will know that if you wanted a happily ever after ending it desperately needed a sequel. And finally, finally, we have been gifted with a glorious, funny, delightful sequel. And that happily ever after? Oh yeah, there’s definitely a few of them this time around. A couple weddings, a few proposals, best friends forever – this book just seeps romance, love and heartwarming moments.