My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Raincoast Books Published: September 4th, 2018 Publisher: Wednesday Books Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Slow Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Abuse, Family Drama, Siblings
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Published: May 8th, 2018 Publisher: Simon Pulse Recommended Age: 11+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Siblings, Contemporary, Summer, Traveling
Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind. So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism. And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother. That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way. Continue reading →
My rating: 2 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed Published: October 2017 Publisher: Harper Teen Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Poetry, Siblings, Realistic Fiction, Family Drama, Adoption
Being the middle child has its ups and downs, But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed Published: 2015 Publisher: Greenwillow Books Recommended Age: 13+ Pacing: Normal/Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Poetry, Romance, Family Drama, Siblings, High School
Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body. Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy. But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Not even to Tippi. How long can they hide from the truth—how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives? Continue reading →
My rating: 2 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed First Published: 2009 Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, High School, Ghosts, Siblings, Paranormal, Mystery
When Alexis’s little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks she is just being her usual weird self. Things get weirder, though, when their house starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner blasts cold air. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green, she starts using old-fashioned language, and she forgets chunks of time. Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey’s shoulder. The formerly gentle child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore? Continue reading →
You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed First Published: January 2nd, 2018 Publisher: Simon Pulse Recommended Age: 14+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Siblings, Contemporary Romance, High School, Disease, Music, First Love, Family Drama
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules. When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive. These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving? Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Edelweiss Publication Date: April 4th, 2017 Publisher: Balzer + Bray Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 14+ Pacing: Slow Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Dysfunctional Family
Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table; and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other.
When their dad returns for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie, on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she’s tried so hard to keep. Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Publication Date: May 12th 2015 Publisher: Tundra Books Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative Recommended Age: 11+ Pacing: Normal Genres & Themes: Tween, Contemporary, Siblings, Family, LGBT
Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.
Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.
They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules. Continue reading →
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars Received: Publisher Publication Date: September 13th, 2016 Publisher:Crown Books for Young Readers Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Survival, Thriller, Siblings
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Since then, Faith’s childhood has revolved around her sister’s disappearance—from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention, to dealing with so-called friends who only ever want to talk about her missing sister.
Now, thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the front yard of the Logans’ old house, disoriented and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Can her sister finally be back? Faith always dreamed of her sister coming home; she just never believed it would happen. But soon a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated from her family and paranoid about her sister’s motives. Before long, Faith begins to wonder if it’s the abduction that’s changed her sister, or if it’s something else. . . . Continue reading →
My rating: 4 of 5 stars Received: Borrowed Publication Date: September 30th, 1999 Publisher: Scholastic Inc. Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative Recommended Age: 12+ Pacing: Fast Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Siblings
I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.