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: The Whisper, by Emma Clayton (2012)

The pitch: This sequel to The Roar picks up right where the first book leaves off. The “chosen” children have discovered the Secret and know they need to take over the Northern Government before their parents also discover the Secret and start a war. Wow, I did that all without … Continue reading

Review: Revolution pilot

I’m reviewing the new TV show Revolution because it’s basically a YA dystopian. Improbable apocalypse? Check: all “electricity” goes out, which apparently means all cars instantly stop in their tracks, among other things. 15 years later, we have our YA protagonist: Katniss Charlie, chafing in her village and crack shot … 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: Starters, by Lissa Price (Mar. 2012, Delacorte)

The pitch: A couple of years ago, biological warfare wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. The vulnerable young and elderly were vaccinated, but they didn’t have enough for younger adults. Sixteen-year-old Callie and her little brother live like all Starters, kids without grandparents to claim them: squatting … Continue reading

Review: The Only Ones, by Aaron Starmer

Martin Maple and his dad live alone on an island. Mr. Maple spends all his time building a mysterious machine that he says will bring hope. When the machine is almost done, he rows off to the mainland to bring back the final piece. He never returns, nor do the … 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: All These Things I’ve Done, Gabrielle Zevin (Sept. 2011)

Anya Balanchine has a lot of responsibilities. As the orphaned oldest daughter of a mafiya boss, with only her bedridden grandmother for a guardian, she is surrogate mother for her brain-damaged older brother Leo and younger sister Natty. She tries to keep all of them out of the family business, … Continue reading