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: 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 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

Review: Guardian of the Dead, by Karen Healey

5 out of 5! Deposited at boarding school while her parents travel the world, 17-year-old Ellie is grumpy and lonely, but safe. But then New Zealand is rocked by a series of murders in which the victims’ eyes are taken, and the trail is leading closer to Ellie’s school. Her … Continue reading

Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi

5 out of 5! Nailer is a ship breaker — he works for a salvage operation on a Gulf beach, taking apart rusty oil tankers from the Accelerated Age (ahem, that would be us). Nailer lives day to day, barely making quota and avoiding his dad’s drug-addled rages — until … Continue reading

Climbing the Stairs, by Padma Venkatraman

In 1942 India, Vidya is primarily concerned with convincing her parents not to marry her off until she can go to college. Those hopes die when her father is seriously injured at an independence march and Vidya, her parents, and her brother move to Madras to live with her father’s … Continue reading

The Hunger Games & Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Oof. Just when you think this story has gotten as fucked up as it can possibly get… it gets worse. Over and over. And I do mean that in the best possible way: The Hunger Games is one of the most intense, intelligent books I’ve read in a long time, … Continue reading