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: 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

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: The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta

This is a sequel (companion?) to Saving Francesca, though it can entirely stand alone. This time the story is from Tom’s point of view. After his uncle got blown up in the London Tube, he and his family fell apart. His  dad became an alcoholic and drove his mom away. … Continue reading

Review: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness (Sept. 2011)

Conor has had the same nightmare every night since his mother began her treatments. But one night he wakes up to a different dream: a monster has come calling. The monster wants to tell him three stories, and in exchange Conor must tell the true story of his nightmare. Conor … Continue reading

Nerds Heart YA, 2nd Round 2011: Toads and Diamonds, Heather Tomlinson (2010)

Happy second round of Nerds Heart YA! After much deliberation, Allegra of My Library Card Wore Out and I chose Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson as our winner. It was a tough call, of course, as I loved many things about Tall Story. But ultimately we decided Toads and … Continue reading

Review (Nerds Heart YA, 2nd Round): Tall Story, Candy Gourlay (2010)

This was the other book in our Nerds Heart YA round, against Toads and Diamonds. We ultimately selected that one to go on, but here is my review of Tall Story. Andi adores basketball, and is devastated to learn that her new London school has no girls’ basketball team. Meanwhile, … Continue reading

Review: Quaking, Kathryn Erskine

Orphaned Matt (not Matilda!) has reached the end of a string of distant relatives: a Quaker couple in a small Pennsylvania town who have also adopted a special-needs boy. It doesn’t pay to get attached, Matt has learned, so she keeps every potential family at arm’s length. But Sam and … Continue reading