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 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: 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: Cleopatra’s Moon, by Vicky Alvear Shecter (Aug. 2011)

The pitch: Cleopatra Selene, daughter of the late Cleopatra and Marc Antony, has been cast out of Rome by Octavian and is sailing to meet her fate, a new husband she doesn’t know. Her beloved twin brother is dead; she is desperate to bury him in the Egyptian fashion, which … 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: 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: The Lost Conspiracy, by Frances Hardinge

The pitch: On the fictional colonial island of Gullstruck, some people are born with their senses unstuck from their body — the Lost. They’re vital to the isolated island towns for communication, so when a Lost is born for the first time in a village of the maligned native Lace … Continue reading