If there’s any justice in the world, The Ten Thousand Doors of January will soon be a YA classic. My favorite read of 2019 so far.
Scars Like Wings is a moving, introspective story of healing from immense loss when healing can be a trauma itself. Through the eyes of a teenage burn survivor, Erin Stewart asks what it takes to truly choose life.
It’s a Whole Spiel uses its all-star lineup of Jewish YA authors to maximum impact, painting a nuanced, intersectional picture of the joys and pains of contemporary teenage Jewish identity.
Permanent Record uses the success of Mary H. K. Choi’s bestselling debut as a springboard to reach an even more ambitious story, this time about self-ownership, direction, and love in the time of social media.
A tense, creepy descent into the dark underbelly of a glittering princess theme park.
Five stars for this coming-of-age sci-fi mystery.
Swoon. Emergency Contact was just what I needed this week. Smart, compassionate, and messy–everything a college romance should be.
Decades in the making, this unassuming book represents the central thesis of one of the greatest television critics, Emily Nussbaum. I Like to Watch isn’t just a collection of TV criticism; it’s a defense of TV criticism and television itself, celebrating the medium’s unique power and charting its evolution throughout the post-Sopranos golden age. Five stars.
Evvie Drake Starts Over tells a story of second chances with wit, compassion, and kinetic dialogue. Romantic and moving: an absolute joy to read. Five Stars.
Penned in loving, sharp verse, The Poet X is a beautiful, excruciating love letter to teenagedom, slam poetry, and Afro-Latina girls.
Swoon. Delivering sweet, seaside romance, Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a moving coming-of-age about family, heritage, and what lies beyond the ocean.
Sharp, sweet, and gloriously fun. Five stars for the laugh-out-loud, must-listen audiobook version.
A windswept, youthful YA romance in cowboy boots. Five stars for reminding me how fun contemporary can be. “Holy mother, it’s gonna be a summer, isn’t it?”
A heartrending, character-driven tale that is spectacular in the truest meaning of the world: a show-stopping spectacle. Five stars.
A riveting, gut-punch of a thriller with a must-listen audio production.
An engrossing tale of community and motherhood that devastated and healed my little Clevelander heart. Five stars for this subtle, dangerous little book.
I may be just warming up my MG game, but I know that this book is special. Don’t let the cover fool you–Front Desk is sweet, but it’s also razor-sharp and unflinchingly raw.
Compassionate, brave, beautifully written. Five stars for an engrossing, literary YA tale.
A close, complex character study disguised as a thriller. Swift and devastating. Five stars.
I can’t believe I haven’t seen any love for this on my timeline. You have all let me down and I will never forgive you. The only way to repair this huge failing of my book community is for me to evangelize about the wonders of this book to anyone who will listen. I will accept the burden of this solemn responsibility.
In preparation for recently-released King of Scars, I’m taking a quick tour through the Grishaverse, the five (now six) YA fantasies by Leigh Bardugo. I tore through these books last month and couldn’t wait to get my thoughts down on paper.
“Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds…