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

Much better, thanks!

20130104-182845.jpgEach of these is attractive, and stands out from its genre crowd (at least a little bit) while still giving a clear sense of that genre. Points to Have a Nice Day for ironic title-image juxtaposition, and to Summer of the Mariposas for riffing on the backlit-ladies cover in a way that nevertheless tells me something specific about both the plot and tone.

Eve & Adam is way too much like Cinder to be truly original, but Cinder was totally original and this is the first copycat I’ve seen, so I’ll take it.

As for Supergirl Mixtapes, I adore the cover and the title, but since my students have never encountered a “mixtape” in their lives, I have to suspect that I am the target audience — ie., women in their mid-thirties who read YA. I guess that’s a burgeoning audience in its own right!

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