Review: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (2011)

The pitch: The Cirque des Reves, designed at the turn of the last century as the stage for a magical competition. The competitors, irrevocably bound to their fathers’ deadly game. The rest of the circus company and its patrons, caught up in a gorgeous creation they barely understand. The review: … Continue reading

Review: All the Truth That’s in Me, by Julie Berry

The pitch: After enduring two years of abuse, Judith escapes her kidnapper and returns home. Damaged and shunned by her community, including the man she’s always loved, she must find a way to start to heal. The review: Outstanding. The spare prose carries along this creepy tale of a town … 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: Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman (July 2012)

The pitch: In Goredd, dragons and humans have kept an uneasy peace for forty years. Dragons fold into human shapes to serve as ambassadors and professors, but they are far from trusted. When young musician Seraphina takes a position at court, she is drawn into  the investigation of a murder and … Continue reading

Review: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

The pitch: Despite getting a few unexpected years out of a drug trial, 16-year-old Hazel is dying of cancer. That is a fact. She’s been out of the regular rhythm of teenagehood for years; her life is her parents, a few community college classes, treatments, and cancer kid support group. … Continue reading

Review: Chime, by Franny Billingsley (Mar. 2011)

Briony Larkin is a witch. Her stepmother told her so before she died, a death for which Briony feels responsible. Briony’s youthful temper and magic also caused her twin sister Rose to be developmentally disabled. Briony avoids the swamp and the Old Ones that call to her, sullenly cares for … Continue reading

Review: Tankborn, Karen Sandler (Sept. 2011)

Best friends Kayla and Mishalla are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans. In other words, slaves. Built in tanks from human and animal DNA, designed with special “skets” (skill sets), they are at the bottom of the strictly hierarchical society humans have built on their colony planet Loka. They have no say … Continue reading

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor (Oct. 2011)

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” So begins this lushly imagined tale of “forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade.” The real story opens with Karou, blue-haired and tattooed Prague art student. She … Continue reading