The Authentics – Abdi Nazemian

31371275The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer +Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Culture, Contemporary Romance, LGBT


BLURB:

Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real.

But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery. It seems everyone is keeping secrets. And it’s getting harder to know who she even is any longer. Continue reading

The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

20708816The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Witches, Friendship, Boarding School


BLURB:

Mildred Hubble is starting her first year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches — and making a mess of it! She can’t ride her broomstick without crashing, she’s always getting her spells mixed up, and worst of all, the teacher’s pet, Ethel, has just become her sworn enemy. Continue reading

Almost Home – Joan Bauer

17623982Almost Home by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 29th, 2013
Publisher: Puffin Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade,  Contemporary, Family Issues, Animals


BLURB:

When twelve-year-old Sugar’s grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren’t so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar’s mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can’t control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds. Continue reading

The Inquisitor’s Tale – Adam Gidwitz

29358517The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: September 27th, 2016
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Point of View: 3rd person mostly
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Medieval, Religion, Adventure


BLURB:

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints. Continue reading

The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton

23197837The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: HBG Canada
First Published: February 20th, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy, Beauty, Romance, Sisterhood


BLURB:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. Continue reading

Close to Famous – Joan Bauer

7992862Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: February 1st, 2011
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Food, Family


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When twelve-year-old Foster and her mother land in the tiny town of Culpepper, they don’t know what to expect. But folks quickly warm to the woman with the great voice and the girl who can bake like nobody’s business. Soon Foster – who dreams of having her own cooking show one day – lands herself a gig baking for the local coffee shop, and gets herself some much-needed help in overcoming her biggest challenge – learning to read . . . just as Foster and Mama start to feel at ease, their past catches up to them. Thanks to the folks in Culpepper, though Foster and her mama find the strength to put their troubles behind them for good. Continue reading

Hope Was Here – Joan Bauer

19027140Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: September 11th, 2000
Publisher: Puffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: YA, Family, Romance, Realistic Fiction


BLURB:

When Hope and her aunt move to small-town Wisconsin to take over the local diner, Hope’s not sure what to expect. But what they find is that the owner, G.T., isn’t quite ready to give up yet – in fact, he’s decided to run for mayor against a corrupt candidate. And as Hope starts to make her place at the diner, she also finds herself caught up in G.T.’s campaign – particularly his visions for the future. After all, as G.T. points out, everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times… even Hope herself. Continue reading