Best Young Adult Books with Mild LGBT Themes

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Dear readers, I was reading an M/M romance erotica that was really disappointing me (off with Insta-Lust’s head!) when I decided to make a list of the best Young Adult books with mild LGBT themes I’ve read in my life. (Click on the covers to buy.)

Here it goes. Continue reading

Review: Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

Jackaby by William Ritter

My rating:2 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Female
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical , Mystery, Paranormal

BLURB:

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. Continue reading

Review: The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: 1993 first published
Publisher: Ember
Point of View: 3rd Person & Male
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Life, Family, Friendship

BLURB:

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

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Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Dark, Magic, Romance, Friendship, Family, Betrayal

BLURB:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

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Review: The Aftermath (Aftermath #1) by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: gifted
Publication Date: August 26th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
POV: 1st person & female
Pacing: fast
Genres & Themes: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance.

BLURB:

Sometimes, I dream that I’m someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn’t worry about hunger

or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don’t exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other’s best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia’s ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath. Continue reading

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Recieved: bought
Publication Date: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
POV: 1st person & female
Pacing: inbetween fast and slow
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Adventure, Friendship.

BLURB:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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Review: Breathe (Sea Breeze #1) by Abbi Glines

Breathe by Abbi Glines

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: May 16th 2011
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
POV: 1st person & female
Pacing: fast
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Friendship, Family, Music, Celebrity.

BLURB:

Sadie White’s summer job isn’t going to be on the beach life-guarding or working at rental booths like most kids her age. With her single mother’s increasing pregnancy and refusal to work, Sadie has to take over her mother’s job as a domestic servant for one of the wealthy summer families on a nearby island.

When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie hadn’t spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house she might have been normal enough to be excited about working for a rock star.

Even though Sadie isn’t impressed by Jax’s fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax but he fights his attraction. Relationships never work in his world and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. By the end of the summer, Jax discovers he can’t breathe without Sadie.

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