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Category Archives: Young Adult

She Loves You, She Loves You Not… by Julie Anne Peters

Alyssa has always been pretty confident in who she is, even if she hid that from her family. What mattered most was that she had Sarah and nothing could come between them. So when Alyssa’s father discovers she’s a lesbian  in the worst possible way (in flagrante delicto) she is stunned to find herself disowned and living across the country with a mother she barely knows. Oh, and Sarah refuses to talk to her.

This is a strong coming of age story that doesn’t stick with the typical teen plot line. Instead it dives into the real and often conflicting and sometimes just crazy feelings of being a teen. Alyssa is obsessed with Sarah and is just starting to recognize that behavior in herself. The plot is moderate and her growth is steady throughout the book. In a young adult market full of angst and dark topics, Peters seems to have a knack for ferreting out the topics others don’t touch. 2011, 288 pages

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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Huntress by Malinda Lo

Kaede and Taisin are nearing the end of their time at the Academy of Sages. Kaede has struggled with the academy and has only remained because her father is the King’s Advisor. Her strengths lie closer to the earth, no magic. Taisin is one of the most gifted sages the academy has seen. When the sun stops shining, crops fail and the people of the kingdom start to rebel out of frustration and hunger, Oracle Stones are cast and Kaede and Taisin are thrust together on a journey to see the Xi, a fay kingdom that most no longer believes even exist.  Brought together with a single purpose, the two must fight many obstacles to reach their destination and perhaps each other.

While this novel is billed as a prequel to Ash, it easily stands on its own. The coming of age is almost standard in young adult fantasy. The lush details intertwined seamlessly with the character development and a lesbian twist is not. The reader walks away with a strong picture of the world and the creatures that inhabit it. In spite of this, the pace is never slow and the direction the story is going is quickly revealed. What will grab you though is the characters. Not just Kaede and Taisin who are complicated and intense characters but also the side characters that you grow to care about just as much. Ash took my breath away. Huntress has much the fantasy reader will enjoy and GLBTQs will be refreshed by a world where no one cares who you love. 2011, 371 pages

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Fantasy, GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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Where She Went by Gayle Forman

“Love makes you immortal.”

After a devastating accident that took Mia’s family, she moves to New York City to attend Julliard and fast becomes a rising star in the classical music world.  Adam has also had a meteoric rise in the music industry as one of the #1 emo rock bands in the country. Only thing is, he can’t get Mia out of his head after she walked away three years earlier. Coincidence brings Adam to NYC and to one of Mia’s concerts. After the concert the two walk the streets and in the process understand better where the each of them went and where they might be headed.

After finishing the first book (If I Stay), I didn’t see that another book was necessary. I was wrong. What pushed me about the book was my gaining awareness of how two people in the same situation really do look at things so completely different-no matter what the emotional connection. The character of Adam is only seen in the first book through Mia’s eyes and here he has a chance to show the reader who he really is and how he perceived their relationship. The characters make the book. The frame of New York City nicely compliments the flashbacks to Oregon and the language is simple, musical and fraught with emotion. 2011, 264 pages.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Young Adult

 

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Thomas wakes up in an elevator unable to remember anything about him other than his name. When the elevator comes to a stop he finds himself in a new world inhabited by Gladers, a group of teen boys that, like Thomas, have no memory of where they come from. The group has strict rules and wants Thomas step in line and earn his keep instead of asking questions and breaking the rules. But even they cannot answer the most pressing questions. Who are they? Why are they there? Who is the girl that just arrived and what does she mean to the group?

I watched the trailer for this book and was immediately hooked into the raw emotional situation facing these kids. How are they going to manage this new terrifying life? For me, I didn’t get that raw feeling while reading the book. The dystopian premise is a good one, I just got lost somewhere along the way. I would have loved to see more character development of Thomas and the girl that shows up right after him though I can understand that without any memory you aren’t supposed to have any character development. This is the first of a trilogy and naturally, Dashner pulled me back in with the last chapter and I’ll be reading number two…although a bit grudgingly.  2009, 375 pages.

 
 

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How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

So, I realized I was in a reading rut and starting picking up random green books to meet our library challenge for March. One of the ARC’s that came through the department caught my attention (really, who can resist Johnny Depp?) and I started reading…

David’s father is a renowned psychiatrist who has just acquired a new patient, Zelda. Zelda claims to be from the planet Vahalal where there are only women. Any men that show up on the planet are immediately destroyed. Zelda is on earth to claim her one true soul mate who just happens to be Johnny Depp. David immediately falls in teenage angsty love with bikini clad Zelda despite her clear disdain for him. Is David about to become an unlikely hero of an alien race or the latest sucker to believe a crazy girl just because she’s hot?

I started the book with curiosity and then just stuck around for the wild ride of teenage coming of age meets a hero’s heart of gold meets old school science fiction adventure. The story completely revolves around the plot and is so outrageous sometimes you just have to laugh and go with it. The characters are enjoyable and the French setting adds a little splash of different to the teen market. Save for one of those days when you need something quirky and fun. 2011, 208 pages.

 
 

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If I stay by Gayle Forman

I was crying or in tears from page thirteen. Really. 

Mia, seventeen, is facing a lot of choices she isn’t sure she is ready to make. A gifted cellist, she has been invited to attend the Julliard School of Music in New York.  She just isn’t sure she can leave her exuberant, rock star family back in Oregon or Adam, the boyfriend she still can’t quite believe really loves her. When all the choices evaporate in an instant Mia has only one choice left to make. Should she stay or should she go?

This is not your typical Lurlene McDaniel sappy teen dealing with death book. It is complicated and solidly emotional. Through flashbacks into different times in Mia’s life we get a surprisingly detailed character study for such a slim tome. Readers who connect with empathetic characters and are ok with a high level of intensity, will find much here to make you reflect and appreciate. 2009, 201 pages.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2011 in Young Adult

 

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Demongalss: A Hex Hall Novel by Rachel Hawkins

I love it when I get to read a book I really want to read before it’s release date. Neener, neener! I’m such a professional…

Demonglass picks up where Hex Hall left off. Sophie has just learned that she is a demon. A demon? A creature so vile and prone to destruction that there is only one other demon in the world-her long absent father. Concern that her epic powers will cause harm to those she loves Sophie travels to London to go through the removal-the procedure that will destroy her powers but may also very well destroy her.  As she spends time getting to know her father and more about the magical community she knows little about, Sophie starts to question is her choice is the right one. Oh, and Archer-the crush/assassin from book one? Surely, she still doesn’t have any feelings for him anymore…right? 

The second book in the series sets a darker tone than the first but the snark is still there and readers’ will continue to be amused at Sophie’s gangling through her new magical world and powers.  2011, 359 pages.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Young Adult

 

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