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

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