PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Young adult fiction (Page 1 of 58)

Book Review: These Deadly Games

 

These Deadly Games

– Diana Urban –

Wednesday Books

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?

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Book Review: From Dust, A Flame

book cover black with red and gold rose and petals

 

From Dust, A Flame

– Rebecca Podos –

Balzer + Bray

Published 8 February 2022

♥♥♥♥

 

From Dust, A Flame is a Jewish-legend inspired paranormal, historical, mystery YA fiction genre-mash-up that is as entrancing as it is unique.

A slow and confusing beginning had me questioning why I had picked this book up and checking the synopsis to make sure I had the right book. But by a quarter of the way in I was hooked. It’s a great book, strong characters, a strong sense of identity and unique. It’s also rooted in legends and mythology that is not often brought to the page – and it’s about time it was.

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Book Review: No Filter and Other Lies

Girl with dark hair and skin holds a camera with photos of other teens around her

 

No Filter and Other Lies

– Crystal Maldonado –

Holiday House

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.

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Book Review: Only A Monster

only a monster book cover black with red swirls

 

Only A Monster

– Vanessa Len –

Monsters #1

Harper Teen

Published 22 February 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

Only A Monster is AMAZING!!! Seriously. So good. By the first quarter of the book all but two of the characters we have met have been gloriously, brutally murdered. (Not lying!). It’s dark but funny, placed so well within the world that has been created and yet we get to journey across time. It’s unique and delicious.

Here’s what I loved:

Australia author. Debut (holy wow!!). Paranormal. Monsters (not like strange creature monsters, more like scary people monsters who do bad things). Monster slayers. Time travel. Humour. Star-crossed love. History. An almost love triangle that just doesn’t go there. And did I mention monsters?

Joan spends every summer with her mother’s family in London. She knows they’re a little strange but they’re family. She also loves the time she spends volunteering at the historic Holland House. Doesn’t hurt that her co-worker Nick is gorgeous, charming and, maybe, as into her as she is him. But when she accidentally travels herself a day into the future, Joan realises that her family isn’t just a little strange, they are gifted with the ability to steal time from others and use it to time travel. And that makes them, and her, monsters. And, it turns out that Nick, a legendary monster slayer, will do everything in his power to wipe out monsters for good.

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Book Review: Here’s To Us

Here's to us book cover - two boys sitting at a table in front of city skyline

 

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.

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Book Review: Game On

 

Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between

– Laura Silverman (ed.) –

Viking Books for Young Readers 

Published 18 January 2022

♥♥♥/♥

 

Game on is a collection of 15 short stories that span a range of genres that all mention, in some way or form, competition.

I was expecting a sports fiction anthology. This is not a collection of sports fiction short stories. Instead, this is a collection of short stories that span a range of genres, from horror and paranormal to realistic and mystery. Actually, there are only a few stories where sport is mentioned at all and only one where it was the focus (admittedly, that was my favourite story, so maybe that tells you something about my reaction to this collection). The rest use games or competition as a backdrop to the main story of racial discrimination, revenge, disappearing people and houses, or going after the guy you love. There are mentions of some board games, but the game theme is actually pretty loose. The first story is about a game of spin the bottle at a party.

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Book Review: Serendipity

 

Serendipity

– Marissa Meyer (ed.) –

Feiwel Friends

Published 4 January 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Do you have a favourite romantic trope? If you ask most romance fans, they might have one or two tropes in mind. This book is for those readers. It’s such a great idea and such a great collection of romantic YA short stories, each one written by a well known YA author and each one featuring some of our favourite romantic tropes.

From fake dating to one shared bed, matchmaking to the grand romantic gesture, this collection of short stories has many of your favourite tropes but also a few you may not have thought of.

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Book Review: Icebreaker

 

Icebreaker

– A.L. Graziadei –

Henry, Holt and Co.

Published 18 January 2022

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Icebreaker is an addictive sports fiction novel, about LGBT+ identity in sports, mental health, family and romance.

I think I start every sports book review with a statement about how much I love sport fiction. And I stand by that statement. I love sports novels. Icebreaker is a mix of YA and new adult, with our main characters in their first year of college but with less sexually explicit content that what one might expect from a new adult novel.

Mickey James the Third is ice hockey royalty. Ever since he was born, it’s been ordained that he will follow in his father and grandfather’s skates. He just has to survive his first year of college before he is drafted as the top pick and then he will have fulfilled that destiny. But when his draft ranking rival is placed on the same team, Mickey knows he will have to work harder than ever to prove he is worth all the hype. And when he starts to fall for that rival, despite also arguing and fighting non stop with him, Mickey will have to chose – destiny or a chance at a future he might finally, actually care about.

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Book Review: The Helheim Princess

 

The Helheim Princess

– Tiana Warner –

Entangled Teen

Published 4 January 2022

♥♥♥♥

 

Norse mythology, a main character determined to prove herself and fantasy action in a journey to the underworld. The Helheim Princess is sure to please readers who love mythology-driven fantasy.

Sigrid might have been born in the Valkyrie ward but she’s not a Valkyrie. The Junior Valkyries in training and the General make sure she knows her true place in life. A stable hand, with a Midguard horse and no future in the Valkyrie ranks. Sigrid is determined to prove them wrong. She knows her horse is fast and that the secret training they’ve been doing makes them an asset to the army, even if it’s only from the ground. But when an army of Night Elves invade and steal a precious relic, Sigrid takes her chance to fulfil her destiny. Joining with an enemy Valkyrie, Sigrid travels to the Underworld. But more than just destiny awaits her there.

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Book Review: When You Get The Chance

 

When You Get The Chance

– Emma Lord –

Wednesday Books

Published 4 January 2022

♥♥♥♥

 

I really hope the title of this book is in reference to the song I Hope You Dance. “When you get the chance, I hope you dance…”. If so, it is the perfect theme song for this musical theatre-loving celebration of love, found-family and connection.

Emma Lord delivers once again on a delightful YA contemporary novel about growing up and finding your voice.

Millie knows who she is and where she’s going. She just needs to get her dad onboard with the plan. When Millie is accepted into musical theatre pre-college, she is devastated when her dad says she can’t go. Stumbling upon her father’s old LiveJournal from his own college days provides her with the perfect clues to finally find her mother. If she can get her mother on her side, it will make precollege a reality. With the help of her best friend, Millie finds herself in her very own Mamma Mia – three possible women, three possible mothers. As Millie gets to know each one (through a series of hilarious and touching set-ups), it becomes harder to say goodbye to the possibly of the different realities she has found. Millie must also face the hurt she has caused in her search – to her family, friends and herself.

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