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: The Roar, by Emma Clayton (2009)

The pitch: Mika has never gotten over the disappearance of his twin sister Ellie; everyone says she’s dead, but he can’t believe it. When the Northern Government introduces a contest — fly simulated pod fighters and win fabulous prizes! — Mika just knows winning is his ticket to finding Ellie. … 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: 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

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: 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: The Girls, Amy Goldman Koss (2000)

A classic middle-school clique situation: five friends, including one queen bee, one follower, and three quieter hangers-on… And then there were four. The queen bee, Candace, decides she doesn’t want to hang out with Maya anymore. Who knows why? But the rest have to go along with it, lest they … Continue reading