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: I Am J, by Cris Beam (Mar. 2011)

J was born Jessica, but it never felt right. Inside, he knows he’s a boy. No one in his life gets it: his mother, his father, his somewhat self-absorbed best friend Melissa. He runs away from home to live as a man, but of course he can’t hide his secret … Continue reading

Review: The Shattering, Karen Healey (Sept. 2011)

I wrote this review when I read the book back in the spring, but as I talk about some spoilers below, I wanted to wait until it comes out. Which is tomorrow! I think Karen Healey is one of the best current YA authors, period — up there with Melina … Continue reading

Review: Princess Ben (2008) and Wisdom’s Kiss (Sept. 2011), Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Ben (short for Benevolence), the only child of the King of Montagne’s younger brother, is an indulged wild child, raised well clear of palace life — until she becomes heir when her beloved parents and the King are all killed. Princess training and responsibility do not suit her, but with … Continue reading

Review: Ash, Malinda Lo (2009)

A lesbian retelling of Cinderella. The Cinderella components are all pretty straightforward at first: dead mother, wicked stepmother and stepsisters, dead father, drastic change in circumstances. The fairies, in this case, are British-style — otherworldly long-lived beings who trap humans when they wander to the wrong part of the forest … Continue reading

Review: A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend, Emily Horner (2010)

After her best friend Julia’s accidental death, Cass is at loose ends. She hangs out on the edges of the Julia’s theater crowd but feels like she doesn’t belong. Cass only reluctantly agrees to participate when they throw themselves into producing Julia’s final effort, a half-finished musical called Totally Sweet … Continue reading

Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan

The lives of two guys named Will Grayson intersect as they look for love, friendship, and fabulousity in the greater Chicago area. The alternating chapters were so in the style of the two authors that I didn’t even have to check who had written which. Green’s Will is wordy, self-consciously … Continue reading