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

Review: Starting From Here, by Lisa Jenn Bigelow (Sept. 2012)

The pitch: Funny, touching lesbian coming-of-age story. Plus there’s a dog! The review: There are precious few good lesbian YA novels. Thanks for writing an awesome one, Lisa Jenn! Let me count the things I love: I love that Colby’s orientation is only part of her story. The book is … Continue reading

Review: The Diary of B. B. Bright, Possible Princess, by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (2012)

The pitch: Girl-power middle grade fantasy about a black girl! That was enough to get me to read it, honestly; it’s so rare. BeeBee is the orphaned daughter of the king and queen of Raven World. To keep her safe, she lives on a magical island with only three Godmommies … Continue reading

Review: The Whisper, by Emma Clayton (2012)

The pitch: This sequel to The Roar picks up right where the first book leaves off. The “chosen” children have discovered the Secret and know they need to take over the Northern Government before their parents also discover the Secret and start a war. Wow, I did that all without … Continue reading

Hunger Games Part II: “Why isn’t her boyfriend more upset that she’s kissing that guy on TV?”

Way back in April, I promised a review of the Hunger Games movie from a smart critic of media who hadn’t read the book and knew almost nothing about it going in. My guinea pig friend (we’ll call him The Mad Neuroscientist, or TMN for short) missed the movie while … Continue reading

Review: Revolution pilot

I’m reviewing the new TV show Revolution because it’s basically a YA dystopian. Improbable apocalypse? Check: all “electricity” goes out, which apparently means all cars instantly stop in their tracks, among other things. 15 years later, we have our YA protagonist: Katniss Charlie, chafing in her village and crack shot … Continue reading

Review: Skinny, by Donna Cooner (Oct. 2012)

The pitch: Fat girl Ever is miserable with the weight she’s gained since her mother’s death. She feels “trapped in a fat shell.” After losing weight with gastric bypass surgery, she gains enough confidence to let her gorgeous voice shine in the school musical. The review: First of all, I … Continue reading