YA Fiction Guest Reviews
Whether from a librarian, teacher, or a good friend, word of mouth is a book's best hope for finding new readers. Please welcome guest reviewer Sarah, an ardent teen reader with good books to recommend. Copies of these books are available through the library's collection.
Out of the Easy
Over Christmas break, I read Out of the Easy. I have been meaning to read this book since I read Between Shades of Gray by the same author, Ruta Sepetys. I cannot explain my love and mixed feelings for this book! It is a historical fiction novel about 1950's New Orleans, the Big Easy. Josie wants nothing more than to escape her estranged mother who is, unfortunately, a prostitute. Warning: this book is very sad, but there is hope in the end. I read this book in one day and never put it down. I got so emotionally attached to all of the characters that I almost felt Josie's pain with her. I recommend it to anyone, both boys and girls! I would say ages 13+ because of the tough subjects addressed in the book. I think adults would also enjoy this book. It would be a great book club selection because it encourages a lot of discussion. Out of the Easy is impossible to put down or forget. Five out of five stars.
The Darkest Minds
As most avid readers will notice, there is a plethora of dystopian novels present for young adults today. For those who don't know, dystopian novels are those like The Hunger Games or Divergent that have an imagined, primarily unpleasant, future. I have run into many awful dystopian novels and I honestly expected The Darkest Minds to be one of those. It definitely was not. The Darkest Minds is a dystopian novel about a future where all teenagers either die from a mysterious disease or survive and develop dangerous powers. Ruby survives and pays the price. The Darkest Minds follows Ruby as she escapes a government "rehabilitation camp" and struggles to find safety. This book was filled with action and just enough romance to not overpower the plot. The end of this book left me sprinting to the bookstore for the second book, Never Fade. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Alexandra Bracken, last November at YallFest. YallFest is an annual book festival in downtown Charleston. I met Veronica Roth, Ransom Riggs, Lauren Oliver, Rainbow Rowell, Marie Lu, and many other authors. There were over 5,000 readers there! Alexandra was incredibly kind and funny, which made me love her book even more. If you are dying to read a great dystopian novel, The Darkest Minds is the way to go! Four out of five stars.
Amazon Amazon Says:
It's 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the more...
It's 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test. With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something t more...
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government a more...
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children's League call Ruby "Leader", but she knows what she really is: a monster. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children's League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America's children-and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts-has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future-and who now wouldn't recognize her. As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam-and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart-she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself? less...
Annual YA fiction festival in Charleston