Category Archives: YA Fiction

Queens of Geek (mini-review)

Finished Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. 

This centers around three best friends at a convention (think ComicCon)). Charlie is a Youtube star and her small indie movie has become a surprise hit. Her friends Taylor and Jamie come too, partly for emotional support and mostly for fandom. Over the weekend, they all fall for someone (two for each other; one for someone else). 

If you are into any fandom ever, you will love this book. It’s perfect for fans of pop culture. The characters are great and the love stories are swoonworthy. I love that it’s set around fandom (which is starting to be a thing this year, and I approve of that). 

Recommended. 

The Last Harvest

Finished The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett. 

There is something really weird going on in Midland. Last year, Clay’s dad tried to kill him. His last words: “I plead the blood.” Now Clay is starting to hallucinate and he thinks there’s something really…wrong with his former friends. Is he right or is he losing his mind, too?

This is basically Children of the Corn meets The Omen and I loved it. It’s deliciously creepy and everything about it made me paranoid. (Like in Rosemary’s Baby where you aren’t sure who’s part of the coven because everyone seems suspicious!)

If you enjoy scary stories, this is for you. Highly recommended. 

Dreamland Burning

Finished Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham. 

This is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma in present day (narrated by Rowan) and in 1921 (narrated by William). In 1921, there was a race riot where a large number of black men, women and children were killed. The exact number is unknown; many of the survivors lost their homes, churches and businesses. No white people were charged. 

A body is found on Rowan’s property and it is likely connected to the riot, but no one knows who it is. (Obviously; it’s been there for almost 100 years.)

This book is amazing. This is an event I knew nothing about (not surprising, really; the author note says it’s typically not even taught in Tulsa) and it’s so sad and terrifying to contemplate. 

I loved Rowan’s chapters where she’s playing detective but William’s chapters are even more interesting (and heartbreaking). His father is white and his mom is Native American so he sees his own share of racial prejudice. 

There’s so much I can’t talk about due to spoilers so just read this! Highly recommended. 

You’re Welcome, Universe

Finished You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner. 

There are two things you should know about Julia and the order probably doesn’t matter. The first is that she’s Deaf. The second is that she’s big into graffiti. The second thing gets her kicked out of school after she defaces school property (to cover up a rude comment made about her best friend). Unfortunately, said best friend turned her in and she got expelled. Now she’s at a mainstream school and also somehow embroiled in a graffiti war with some unknown person. 

I know very little about either of those cultures, so this book was super interesting. It is also incredibly fun. I love learning little tidbits about other cultures, especially their specific slang. (We get more graffiti slang but still.)

This is an incredibly fun story that asks and answers the question about art vs. vandalism. Recommended. 

Goodbye Days

Finished Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. 

Until recently, Carver had three best friends. Then, one day, they died. Mars, Blake and Eli were on their way to pick him up. He texted to ask where they were. Mars–who was driving–was in the process of texting him back when he drove into the back of a semi. Carver blames himself (some of the parents do, too) and there’s even talk of legal action. The only thing that helps is when he does a “goodbye day” with Blake’s grandma. They do all the stuff that she and Blake did on normal days together. 

If you read The Serpent King, you’ll believe me when I say that this book ripped my heart out. It might be even harder to read than his first novel. 

And yet, it’s also beautiful. It’s sweet and devastating and wonderful. 

Hopefully you’ve read it by now. If not, you need to. 

Highly recommended. 

The Other F-Word

Finished The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend. 

Hollis has known that her moms used a sperm donor to conceive her for basically her entire life. She also knew that she has a half-brother who was comceived from the same donor. But now Milo has contacted her for the first time in years because he wants to find their father. And we soon learn that they have siblings. All told, there are six of them (though one is adamant about not meeting their donor). 

I am so in love with this book. A lot of it could be my story (though I was adopted, so it’s not exactly the same) and I think I have had at least one conversation in this book almost word for word. 

But the real best part is Hollis. Watching her go from an only child to having brothers and a sister is awesome. Family is a weird and kind of fluid thing sometimes, and this book reflects and honors that. 

I am so glad I found it. Highly recommended. 

The Disenchantments

Finished The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour. 

Colby and his friends Alexa, Meg and his best friend/crush Bev are on tour (the girls are in an all-girl band; Colby is like the plus one). It’s the summer after high school, and after the tour, Colby and Bev are going to Europe for a year. Except Bev has decided to go to college instead. 

This book is perfect. Even without Bev’s college bombshell, it captures the feeling of impending change after you graduate. Yes, you may keep in touch with your high school friends, but it’ll never be the same. 

I love Nina LaCour’s books so much. Each one feels like this amazing gift. I want to re-read Hold Still (her first) but that may never happen. 

At any rate, this is highly recommended. 

Seven Days of You

Finished Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse. I received a copy for review. 

Sophia is moving back to New Jersey in a week. She’s not happy to be leaving Tokyo–she’s lived there for four years and all her friends are there. And then Jamie comes back. There is history there, and it’s complicated (as history tends to be). You can guess what happens. 

I am so in love with this book. It’s compared to Anna and the French Kiss and Before Sunset and I love those things. Best of all, it’s accurate. It’s this sweet, smart story, and it makes me want to go to Tokyo. (I love stories where the location is just as much a character as the people are, and this is such a love letter to Tokyo). 

This is a debut novel and I now have high hopes for Cecilia Vinesse’s writing career. Highly recommended. 

The Ship Beyond Time

Finished The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig. I received a copy from the publisher for review. 

This is the sequel to The Girl From Everywhere. This is just as much about undoing fate as its predecessor was. 

This is so hard to review! I thought the first was hard but now there is almost nothing to say. There are a lot of game-changers and a lot of sweet moments and a lot of sad ones. 

Nix continues to be awesome. 

Basically, just read it. You’ll enjoy yourself. Highly recommended. 

The Girl From Everywhere

Finished The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I received a copy for review. 

Nix has grown up on board her dad’s ship—and her life is even more unorthodox than you think. She and her dad (and the crew) travel through time. It’s complicated but they’re trying to get back to when Nix’s mom died. 

It’s hard to describe without spoilers but it’s got a real Six of Crows vibe but with time traveling. 

I have to admit that I LOVE Nix. She’s such a kickass and brave character. This functions as a standalone but there’s a sequel and YES. 

I love everything about this story. Highly recommended.