Aftermath – Kelley Armstrong

35294262Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, High School, Friendship, Shooting


BLURB:

Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim; he was a shooter. Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don’t heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend–Skye. Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can’t resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer. Continue reading

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Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield

34007508Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: October 1st, 2017
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Abuse, Racism, Bullying, Romance, Family, Friendship


BLURB: 

June’s stepmother physically abuses her, but June can’t find the words to tell anyone. Her only hope is her friendship with Blister, a boy who helps her believe she can escape. Then a shocking tragedy occurs and June finds herself trapped, potentially forever. Continue reading

My So-Called Bollywood Life – Nisha Sharma

22524101My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 15th, 2018
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Culture, High School, Film Industry


BLURB: 

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted. Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star. Continue reading

Heretics Anonymous – Katie Henry

34659293Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: August 7th, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, High School, Religion, Friendship, Family Relationships, Romance


BLURB:

Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest. But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself. Continue reading

Leah on the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

31180248Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Published: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal/Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Humor, LGBT, High School, Senior Year, Romance, Friendship


BLURB:

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. Continue reading

From Twinkle, with Love – Sandhya Menon

See the source imageFrom Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, High School, Romance, Filmmaking, Humor, Friendship Drama, Summer Reads


BLURB:

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2. When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil. Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough? Continue reading

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

693208The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: September 2007
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, High School, Coming of Age, Humor, Loss, Social Issues


BLURB:

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. Continue reading