Review: The Islands of Chaldea, by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones (2014)

This is Diana Wynne Jones’ last book, finished by her sister Ursula after Diana’s death. It was a light, pleasant, fairly generic fantasy: four islands, different from each other and always at war; children with mysterious destinies; magical beasts in the form of pets; a main character who has to … Continue reading

Cover reveal (oooh): Drift, by M. K. Hutchins (May 2014)

I’ve posted here several times about Tu Books, a Lee & Low imprint devoted to excellent children’s fantasy, sci-fi, and mysteries about characters of color. Other publishers will sometimes pick up an Akata Witch or Summer Prince, but an entire imprint committed to diversifying YA/MG  genre fiction is a huge … Continue reading

Review: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (2011)

The pitch: The Cirque des Reves, designed at the turn of the last century as the stage for a magical competition. The competitors, irrevocably bound to their fathers’ deadly game. The rest of the circus company and its patrons, caught up in a gorgeous creation they barely understand. The review: … Continue reading

Review: The Center of Everything, by Linda Urban

The pitch: Ever since her grandma died, Ruby has felt like everything’s wrong. She’s hoping her birthday wish will set things right at her town’s founding day parade. The review: Let me say up front that I loooove Urban’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect. One of my favorite MG books ever. My … Continue reading

Review: All the Truth That’s in Me, by Julie Berry

The pitch: After enduring two years of abuse, Judith escapes her kidnapper and returns home. Damaged and shunned by her community, including the man she’s always loved, she must find a way to start to heal. The review: Outstanding. The spare prose carries along this creepy tale of a town … Continue reading

Review: Doll Bones, by Holly Black

The pitch: In a last-ditch attempt to save their friendship, Zach, Poppy, and Alice go on a road trip led by a ghost. A relatable friendship story with a lot of adventure and just a little bit of creepiness. The review: I loved this! Like When You Reach Me, it can be … Continue reading

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black (2013)

Tana wakes up in a bathtub after a party to find that all her friends have been slaughtered by vampires. Except her ex, Aidan, who is infected with the vampire virus but not changed yet, and Gavriel, the mysterious vampire chained up with him. Tana springs them both and heads … Continue reading

Review: The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Every five years the futuristic enclosed city of Palmares Tres, in what was Brazil, elects a summer king. He is beautiful and beloved — and at the end of his year, he is sacrificed to choose a new Queen. Best friends June and Gil have never questioned this custom until … Continue reading