Books shelved under “Young Adult”

253 reviews found

  1. Book cover for Nyxia Unleashed

    Nyxia Unleashed

    by Scott Reintgen

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I guess it’s the summer of Kara reading sequels to books she read 3 or more years ago! I just barely remember Nyxia, but the good news is that most of that memory is of how excited I felt after reading the book. It was good young adult science fiction. Scott Reintgen balanced an anti-corporation message with adventure, teamwork, the bonds of friendship and family. There was a lot to recommend about it, and…

  2. Book cover for After the Fall

    After the Fall

    by Kate Hart

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Major spoilers in this review, because it’s more of an autopsy. I think After the Fall was dead on arrival for me.

    The cover copy promises a kind of love triangle in which Raychel is sleeping with 2 brothers, Matt and Andrew. Now, I know that authors usually don’t write the cover copy, so I won’t blame Kate Hart for this. But I feel misled. Raychel is sleeping with Matt in the sense that sometimes…

  3. Book cover for Off the Record

    Off the Record

    by Camryn Garrett

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I pre-ordered this based on how much I enjoyed Camryn Garrett’s first novel, Full Disclosure, and Off the Record didn’t disappoint. From beginning to end, Garrett catapults us into an adventure of racism, sexism, and the price of fame, all from the point of view of a teenager with social anxiety and a way with words.

    Josie is a journalist. She’s still in high school, but she has published articles for actual magazines, and…

  4. Book cover for The Yearbook

    The Yearbook

    by Holly Bourne

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Every novel by Holly Bourne breaks me, yet each breaks me in its own unique way. And I never see the devastation coming. I expected The Yearbook to be more about, well, the creation of a school yearbook than anything else. But really this is a book about abuse. Whether it’s under the guise of high school bullying or parental or marital relationships, abuse is a pernicious monster, difficult to name and more difficult still…

  5. Book cover for Six of Crows

    Six of Crows

    by Leigh Bardugo

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    All of you should know by now that heist novels are my jam, and a fantasy heist novel? Bring me the fainting couch and smelling salts, for surely, I swoon! Suffice it to say that when I discovered this hidden gem, the highly underrated Six of Crows by unknown author Leigh Bardugo, I was anticipating a good time.

    Kaz Brekker runs with the Dregs, a group of street criminals in the slums of Ketterdam. Kaz…

  6. Book cover for The Rest of Us Just Live Here

    The Rest of Us Just Live Here

    by Patrick Ness

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This book was recommended to me by Esmè, who wrote into my Buffy rewatch podcast, Prophecy Girls. Some of our comments on the show about how strange life at Sunnydale High must be for students who aren’t in the know about Buffy’s life reminded Esmè of The Rest of Us Just Live Here. Indeed, it sounds like a great choice for me: I love “meta” books that deconstruct literary tropes like this…

  7. Book cover for Bookishly Ever After

    Bookishly Ever After

    by Lucy Powrie

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This is my 1700th review per my website’s official count (counts on other places, like Goodreads and The StoryGraph, might be slightly off because of import issues/what gets counted as a “review”)!! I didn’t choose Bookishly Ever After for my 1700th review on purpose, but I couldn’t think of a more deserving book for this arbitrary milestone. Lucy Powrie concludes the trilogy began in The Paper & Hearts Society and furthered in Read with Pride

  8. Book cover for Kill the Boy Band

    Kill the Boy Band

    by Goldy Moldavsky

    Unrated

    Reviewed

    I put this book down at the start of Chapter 6, where one of the supposed protagonists (a 15-year-old girl) is sexually assaulting a kidnapped 15-year-old boy she idolizes. I don’t care why it’s happening or what justification there is—Kill the Boy Band had already tried my patience with some other red flags as well as Goldy Moldavsky’s style; I was already mulling over DNFing it despite being less than 50 pages in. As…

  9. Book cover for Wilder Girls

    Wilder Girls

    by Rory Power

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Could we teach this book in schools instead of Lord of the Flies? Pretty please? I say this even though I didn’t particularly like Wilder Girls, which just goes to show how unenthusiastic I remain about the idea that, 67 years and how many gender revolutions later, we’re still claiming there are no better books out there to teach to children. Wilder Girls hits me in the same place, but I think in…

  10. Book cover for The Accident Season

    The Accident Season

    by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I don’t really know what I just read. The Accident Season is a supernatural YA thriller that purports to have a mystery at the heart of it. Yet the deeper we go into the story, the more that mystery unravels into almost a bait-and-switch. Populated by the barest hints of ghosts, fairies, changelings, and other such spirits, this book tugs at your brain in a pleasing way, but I’m not sure, in the end, it…

  11. Book cover for Victories Greater Than Death

    Victories Greater Than Death

    by Charlie Jane Anders

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So excited to read this new YA novel from Charlie Jane Anders. Previously I read her debut, All the Birds in the Sky, which I thought was full of fun, quirky writing and good ideas but whose ending didn’t quite gel. Victories Greater Than Death, I was hoping, would deliver the same kind of quirky entertainment but with an overall plot that was more focused and more satisfying. In this sense, it succeeds.…

  12. Book cover for Concrete Rose

    Concrete Rose

    by Angie Thomas

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    A few years ago, I read The Hate U Give and liked it enough that I have multiple copies of it (various special editions). Angie Thomas then followed it up with On The Come Up, a spin-off set in the same neighbourhood but with a different cast and a focus on hip-hop, something Thomas cares about deeply on a personal level. Now we have a third novel that is clearly the result of a…

  13. Book cover for Pet

    Pet

    by Akwaeke Emezi

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Although Pet crossed my book radar a few times, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it hadn’t been recommended to me by my friend Emeline. The descriptions of the book, despite its promise of a trans main character, didn’t leave me with the impression that it would be my jam. Indeed, for the first third or so, that was my initial conclusion: that I could understand Pet’s appeal for other readers, but…

  14. Book cover for Felix Ever After

    Felix Ever After

    by Kacen Callender

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ll give this book credit for getting me out of my reading slump that I fell into at the beginning of the year. I read Felix Ever After in a day! Kacen Callender made me feel very invested in Felix’s story. Though I wouldn’t call this a “light” YA read by any stretch of the imagination, there is a lot in here that is humourous to balance out the more serious parts. In particular, Callender…

  15. Book cover for Elatsoe

    Elatsoe

    by Darcie Little Badger

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    There were many reasons I added Elatsoe to my to-read list when it started making the rounds on Twitter: supernatural mystery, asexual protagonist (which I forgot until I started reading it), Indigenous author and protagonist, etc. It’s great when a novel has so many draws, isn’t just a single thing. Darcie Little Badger’s debut is one part ghost story, one part educational piece about stolen land and colonial ambitions—and all about a main character who…

  16. Book cover for Earth Girl

    Earth Girl

    by Janet Edwards

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was not expecting to fall for this book quite as hard as I did. If you asked me how Earth Girl ended up on my to-read list, I could not tell you. But my library had a copy (I love my library!). The description is lacklustre and didn’t make me too excited, but within a few pages I was on Jarra’s side, and within about 3 chapters I was loving this book. It made

  17. Book cover for Cemetery Boys

    Cemetery Boys

    by Aiden Thomas

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This was one of those books where I was afraid it would not live up to the hype, because people I follow on Twitter have not been able to stop talking about it. Fortunately, Cemetery Boys lived up to the hype—perhaps even exceeded it in some ways—and I went from being apprehensive about possibly not liking such a popular book to being really happy I took this chance. It’s great as a trans story, great…

  18. Book cover for Summer Bird Blue

    Summer Bird Blue

    by Akemi Dawn Bowman

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’m having a hard time with books about grief lately. I tried reading another YA novel similar to this one in terms of dealing with a recent death, and I ended up abandoning it—not because it was bad, but because there was something about the rawness of the emotion that made it a difficult read. Maybe it’s because I haven’t yet experienced that type of grief in my life. I don’t know. But the raw…

  19. Book cover for Every Little Piece of My Heart

    Every Little Piece of My Heart

    by Non Pratt

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Every writer with each novel hones their craft. One of my joys in writing reviews of each of an author’s novels, in the order they’ve been written, is getting to see that development over time. (Meanwhile, my own review-writing skills have developed and changed over the years.) In Non Pratt’s case, Every Little Piece of My Heart showcases how her talents at characterization and particularly perspective have evolved over the years. With each novel, Pratt…

  20. Book cover for Read with Pride

    Read with Pride

    by Lucy Powrie

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was so excited to read the sequel to The Paper & Hearts Society, and Lucy Powrie does not disappoint. Read with Pride is another perfect blend of young adult drama, social awareness, and of course, a shameless love of books.

    Olivia Santos (confirmed demisexual, woo!) learns at the start of Year Eleven that her school now requires parental permission to borrow books from the library—all because one parent complained about her son having…

  21. Book cover for Foul is Fair

    Foul is Fair

    by Hannah Capin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I haven’t been doing a great job keeping up on writing book reviews for a few weeks, so this one is very overdue! But I received an eARC of Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin from Wednesday Books and NetGalley. Why am I not surprised that the publishers of Courtney Summers have given us another kickass girl-centred revenge plot? This time it’s loosely based on Macbeth, but even if you aren’t aware of or…

  22. Book cover for The Sound of Stars

    The Sound of Stars

    by Alechia Dow

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Yet again I feel like I steered myself wrong on NetGalley!! The Sound of Stars, courteously provided to me by Inkyard Press, didn’t win me over. What should have been a tale of survival and starcrossed love set in the aftermath of an alien invasion of Earth proved to be a somewhat boring adventure across open country full of exposition and underwhelming action. It’s not all bad—Alechia Dow does her best to give us…

  23. Book cover for Lizard Radio

    Lizard Radio

    by Pat Schmatz

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Lizard Radio is a lovely, messy, very queer book with queer characters. I enjoyed it and also didn’t, if you know what I mean—I’m glad I read it, but reading it was a bit of a chore, because Pat Schmatz’s style is quite distinctive. This feels more like a novella than a novel to me, despite its length, because it doesn’t quite have the narrative completeness I desire, personally, in my novels. Nevertheless, Kivali’s journey…

  24. Book cover for The Pearl Thief

    The Pearl Thief

    by Elizabeth Wein

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Code Name Verity was some of the best WWII fiction I’ve ever read. So I’ve had this prequel on my to-read list for a while. Elizabeth Wein in general seems like an author I should watch, and I finally tackled The Pearl Thief with no small amount of trepidation: how could this possibly measure up to Code Name Verity? Indeed, if that’s your metric, you will necessarily be disappointed. Obviously this book is…

  25. Book cover for None of the Above

    None of the Above

    by I.W. Gregorio

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Oh, you American YA novels and your obsession with Homecoming … sigh. At least in this case, I.W. Gregorio puts it right at the beginning of the novel and gets it over with. It is one of the many stock elements of None of the Above, a novel featuring an intersex protagonist coming to terms with her identity while navigating her final year of high school. I was very nervous to read this book,…

  26. Book cover for Killer of Enemies

    Killer of Enemies

    by Joseph Bruchac

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was excited to read a YA novel with an Indigenous protagonist, because there aren’t enough of those. Killer of Enemies is an action-packed dystopian thriller from Joseph Bruchac. Yet what it gains from tense action sequences it loses in sloppy writing elsewhere.

    Lozen is the eponymous Killer of Enemies, a post-apocalyptic job position that involves being sent on hazardous missions away from the haven of Haven to kill dangerous beasties that might otherwise threaten…

  27. Book cover for Enter Title Here

    Enter Title Here

    by Rahul Kanakia

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Not sure what motivated me to add this to my to-read list at some point, but I did, and my library had a copy, so here we are. Enter Title Here is a metafictional novel about an extremely ambitious, driven, single-minded young woman who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Rahul Kanakia asks us to consider the current ways in which we rank, judge, and evaluate students in the American education system, and…

  28. Book cover for Not Otherwise Specified

    Not Otherwise Specified

    by Hannah Moskowitz

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Longtime Twitter follower of Hannah Moskowitz, first time reader. Why did I pick Not Otherwise Specified? No idea! This was the one that came up and got added to my to-read list. No regrets.

    Trigger warning, obviously, for discussions of eating disorder and weight loss. Also for use of potential queer slurs, bullying, and depictions of controlling/manipulative behaviour from friends.

    Etta Sinclair is a Black, bisexual girl at an all-girls school. Her decision to…

  29. Book cover for Full Disclosure

    Full Disclosure

    by Camryn Garrett

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Um, wow. Full Disclosure caught me by surprise. I was doing a library run, and after hearing this book hyped on Twitter I checked on a lark to see if my library had a copy—not expecting one, because it was so freshly published. Yet my library did have a copy, and I borrowed it, and I read it, and this book is quality. I was expecting to like the book, but honestly, I loved…

  30. Book cover for The Places I've Cried in Public

    The Places I've Cried in Public

    by Holly Bourne

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Every time I start another Holly Bourne book, I’m scared. I think, “Is this the time? Is this the book where Bourne lets me down, and I have to be disappointed??” And the answer is always no, as it is with The Places I’ve Cried in Public. I read this mostly in private, but otherwise there would have been some public tears, let me tell you.

    Trigger warnings in this book for discussion and…

  31. Book cover for Slay

    Slay

    by Brittney Morris

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    SLAY in the story is a MMORPG where players duel using in-game cards that derive their names and powers from elements of various Black cultures. Kiera Johnson is 17 years old and should be worrying more about whether or not she’s getting into her first choice college. But she’s also the secret creator and developer for SLAY. She wanted a gaming world that embraced players’ Blackness rather than punishing it. She wanted a space where…

  32. Book cover for Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?

    Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?

    by Holly Bourne

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Welcome one and all to another instalment of Fangirling About Holly Bourne. I read Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? mostly on a flight to Montreal to visit my friend Rebecca, on whom I foist all the Holly Bourne books after I read them, finishing the book at her place while I waited for her to come home from work. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the spartan description on the back—but having read…

  33. Book cover for Speak

    Speak

    by Laurie Halse Anderson

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Reading this book was a surreal experience in a few ways. I read a lot of contemporary YA, so I’m used to feeling a lot older than the characters. Speak was originally published in 1999, when I was ten years old. So I was younger than Melinda when this book first came out, and the high school setting actually predates my own high school experience. Yet I’m older than her now, when I read it.…

  34. Book cover for Little & Lion

    Little & Lion

    by Brandy Colbert

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was 22 when I first moved away from home for a significant period of time. Even at that age it was hard to be away from everyone and everything I knew for so long. So I can understand Suzette’s apprehension, returning home to LA following a school year in New England. On top of the distance, she has to renegotiate her relationships, particularly with her brother. Little & Lion is a moving story about…

  35. Book cover for Shatter the Sky

    Shatter the Sky

    by Rebecca Kim Wells

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the eARC!

    Maren is seventeen years old and ready to strike out on her own. Well, not exactly on her own. She has a girlfriend, aka a heartmate, Kaia, who is the more adventurous of the pair. They are head-over-heels in love for one another—but when an elite group of Aurati, women who do dirty work for the repressive Emperor, show up and abduct Kaia for purposes…

  36. Book cover for Our Own Private Universe

    Our Own Private Universe

    by Robin Talley

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So I had to read Our Own Private Universe in the space of a single morning. It was due that same day at the library, no renewal permitted because someone had it on hold (good for them!), and because I've broken my elbow, I can't drive, so I had to have it done in time for my mom to drop it off at the library when we went shopping that afternoon. Challenge accepted, but oh…

  37. Book cover for The Paper & Hearts Society

    The Paper & Hearts Society

    by Lucy Powrie

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Let’s start with this: The Paper & Hearts Society is the kind of book I would have definitely loved as a teenager. Lucy Powrie combines her love of contemporary young adult fiction and classics with a captivating story of moving on from fractured friendships and bullying to create a great story brimming with allusions.

    Tabby Brown is a fifteen-year-old book nerd moving to a new town over the summer. Somewhat introverted and anxious, Tabby isn't…

  38. Book cover for Children of Blood and Bone

    Children of Blood and Bone

    by Tomi Adeyemi

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This review will be shorter than usual because I broke my elbow and have one hand in a cast. For my future self looking back to see what I thought of this book: Janani's review is very detailed and concurs with much of my opinion. And, as ever, Julie's review eloquently explains my dissatisfaction with the romance.

    Children of Blood and Bone is a Nigerian-inspired fantasy novel about two pairs of siblings wrapped up in…

  39. Book cover for The Walls Around Us

    The Walls Around Us

    by Nova Ren Suma

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Life is unfair. It’s even more unfair when you get tangled up with the justice system. One of the things that I’ve had to unlearn over my 29 years as a privileged white dude is my faith in the fairness and equity of the justice system. The Walls Around Us explores the cracks of the justice system from the perspective of youth, particularly young girls of colour. I was nearly tempted to give up on…

  40. Book cover for ...And a Happy New Year?

    ...And a Happy New Year?

    by Holly Bourne

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Just over a year ago I read What’s a Girl Gotta Do?, the last novel in the Spinster Club trilogy featuring teenagers Evie, Amber, and Lottie figuring out life, feminism, mental health, and the tricky transition into adulthood. Each of those three books examines slightly different facets of these motifs. Holly Bourne has proved herself, time and again, to be a sensitive, witty author whose writing finds the right tone to be edifying and…

  41. Book cover for On the Come Up

    On the Come Up

    by Angie Thomas

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’m hardline New Historicist when it comes to critiquing hip hop. Hip hop is neither revolutionary nor corporate. Hip hop is a tool, and like any tool it can be wielded for ends fair or foul. One can appreciate hip hop without context, but to truly understand hip hop one needs to delve behind the lyrics into the context of the rapper’s life. Jay-Z’s Decoded is a great example of this: reading through his lyrics…

  42. Book cover for Cracked

    Cracked

    by Eliza Crewe

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    The light versus the darkness. Heaven versus Hell. Good vs evil. It’s a timeless story, yet one with so many variations. Cracked is yet another take on this idea. Eliza Crewe tells an intense and urgent story of a hybrid caught between two worlds. Perhaps the most intriguing idea that Crewe brings to the table is the way the main character has to consume souls. Beyond that, there isn’t much here that I haven’t really…

  43. Book cover for Trickster Drift

    Trickster Drift

    by Eden Robinson

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Eden Robinson has done it again. Trickster Drift picks up about a year after Son of a Trickster, and it’s everything I wanted in a sequel and then some. In particular, the book shifts more concretely into urban fantasy territory. Whereas Son of a Trickster was a slow burn towards pulling the veil back on the magical elements of the story, Trickster Drift is fairly upfront about it all. I love it. This kind…

  44. Book cover for Fierce Fragile Hearts

    Fierce Fragile Hearts

    by Sara Barnard

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Last year, Sara Barnard dazzled me with Beautiful Broken Things. Now, thanks to NetGalley and Pan MacMillan, I got my digital hands on an eARC for the sequel: Fierce Fragile Hearts is narrated by Suzanne and tells the story of what happens to her months after the conclusion of Beautiful Broken Things. This book is just as good, if not better than, the first one. Every time I didn’t think it could get…

  45. Book cover for Under Nameless Stars

    Under Nameless Stars

    by Christian Schoon

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    It has been almost exactly two years since I gave Zenn Scarlett a rather mediocre review. In fact, I almost didn’t bother reading Under Nameless Stars. I’m glad I gave it a chance though! Although I don’t remember much about the first book, this sequel feels punchier, faster-paced, and more interesting than that one.

    This book picks up where the first left off, so spoilers for the first book but no spoilers for Under

  46. Book cover for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

    by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Some books don’t work for me even as they leave me stunned, impressed, or moved. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one such book. Benjamin Alire Sáenz makes me cry at points with his writing, which is definitely beautiful. Yet neither the story itself nor the characters end up doing much for me.

    Aristotle (Ari, he calls himself) is a Mexican–American teenager growing up in the 1980s. One summer he meets…

  47. Book cover for The Beginning

    The Beginning

    by K.A. Applegate

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Well, here we are. Almost four years ago I started re-reading Animorphs. I had been wanting to do this for a while, and then my Goodreads friend and occasional Twitter DM enthusiast Julie started her own, finally galvanizing me to just do it, as Shia Le Nike says. (You should also read Julie’s review of #54: The Beginning as well!) It has taken me considerably longer than Julie to finish re-reading this series, but…

  48. Book cover for The Answer

    The Answer

    by K.A. Applegate

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I read #53: The Answer and #54: The Beginning back-to-back because this book ends on a cliffhanger. Like the rest of my reviews of Animorphs, I’m not really flagging this as having spoilers despite discussing the plot, because I figure that if you’re reading this review of the end of a 50-book series 20 years later, then you probably don’t care that much about spoilers.

    ALSO, weirdly enough, very specific spoiler for Buffy season

  49. Book cover for You're Welcome, Universe

    You're Welcome, Universe

    by Whitney Gardner

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This was a birthday book from my friend Rebecca, who smartly picked it off my mammoth to-read list. Unfortunately, it turns out that this is not a book for me. It’s awesome to see Deaf and queer characters represented in fiction and particularly YA, and for what it’s worth as a “hearie” commenting on this, I really enjoyed the way that the Deaf characters’ communication was portrayed here. Nevertheless, Julia never clicks for me as…

  50. Book cover for Erinsmore

    Erinsmore

    by Julia Blake

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This really hit the spot. I’ve been craving some good, old-fashioned fantasy—the kind of stuff I mainlined as a kid, you know, the high fantasy stuff with dragons and wizards. But I find that when I go back and try to revisit the fantasy from my youth, when I read it with the more critical eyes of a modern feminist adult, there’s just too much problematic stuff in there for me to enjoy it as…