Tag Archives: Young Adult

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Synopsis: Aspiring ballerina Theo’s best friend was kidnapped four years ago, and his miraculous return and the arrest of his abductor triggers Theo’s eating disorder because of a secret she’s keeping that may have been responsible for what happened. Review: Pointe is really, really powerful, not so much because of the issues it deals with (eating disorders, sex crimes against children), but because it has a plot independent of Theo’s inner journey. We’re not just watching Theo suffer, we’re caught up in the suspense over…

Read More »

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: A girl whose mom is an abusive alcoholic joins a dangerous game in order to win the money to escape with her younger sister, only to find herself caught in an even tighter prison of fear that may be deadly. Review: Panic has an irresistible hook–every year small town teens play a dangerous Survivor-style game that left one girl paralyzed–and breathless execution. Her intricate characterizations and willingness to linger on small moments between people, combined with her inventive plotting (tigers!) make this book yet…

Read More »

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist

Synopsis: Veronika and the three other girls who live with her on an isolated island are mostly the same except for their hair color, but when plane crash victim May washes up on shore, Veronika begins to think in ways she’s never thought before, even as May pushes her to wake up to a truth she’s not equipped to face. Review: Gordon Dahlquist’s background as a playwright is evident throughout The Different Girl. He’s not afraid to come at things sideways, and trusts the reader…

Read More »

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Synopsis: Two teens travel back in time to stop their best friend from building a time machine, in the hopes that they can save the world before it is too late. Review: Breathless, I tell you, I was breathless as I sped through All Our Yesterdays. I loved it. What I most appreciated was that the love triangle wasn’t a matter of Team This vs. Team That. There was real depth to the romantic dilemma faced by Em, because the way that time travel is…

Read More »

Kalifornia Blu by Kendell Shaffer

Synopsis: When dreadlocked and delinquent skater girl Kal’s rock star mom fails to come back to LA for a hearing, Kal finds herself living with the father she never knew, under a strict curfew–and enrolled in a magnet school for teens who aspire to careers in law enforcement. Review: Set in the meticulously and passionately described LA town of Venice Beach, Kalifornia Blu has attitude and the plot to back it up. Kal has always been a wild child, the daughter of an aging rock…

Read More »

The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

Synopsis: After a car accident, Jenna’s stoner older brother starts acting really weird, like all perfect and helpful and otherworldly–and then announces that someone is trying to poison her. Review: The plot mechanism behind The Sweet Dead Life was a little clunky in parts, but the voice that Joy Preble came up with for Jenna absolutely won me over. I also loved that the story was set in Houston, not just because my mother-in-law lives there but more because it gave the book a great…

Read More »

Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Synopsis: When a new coach kicks head cheerleader Beth out of her spot, her sidekick and quasi-faithful lieutenant braces herself for the impact, even as she becomes enthralled with the coach herself. Review: I heard about Dare Me from a friend and got really excited over the premise–cheerleader noir–but a day later she said, “Don’t bother, I loved the first half and then it fell apart.” I started reading and it was SO AWESOME that I was like, “What is she talking about? How could…

Read More »

Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Synopsis: After the apparent suicide of a popular senior, boarding school peer counselor Devon starts wondering if there was something more going on and decides to find out the truth about the boy she loved from afar. Review: Escape Theory is smart and well-written, with varied characters and an interesting setting. Devon is haunted by an encounter she had with Hutch, the suicide whose friends and girlfriend she’s now counseling, and because that one night stands out in her mind as a defining moment, she…

Read More »

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Synopsis: Three girls plot revenge on three popular seniors in an idyllic resort town. Review: Yes, I loved Siobhan Vivian The List and Not That Kind of Girl, and my love affair continues in Burn for Burn. My only problem is that it’s the first in a trilogy and I’m going to have to wait to find out what happens next! Share on Facebook

Read More »