I need to catch up on reviews, but don’t want to bother with individual posts. So this is a round up of lots of titles I’ve been reading recently. These are the young adult fiction titles, and I’ll do similar round ups for graphic novels and adult fiction I’ve been reading soonish.
There is a lot to unpack and contemplate in this novel. It forces the reader to think about love, and beauty, and what people choose to believe. It’s about Roza, an immigrant who finds a home in a small town, only to be taken away by a man, much like a kidnapped princess out of a fairy tale. The best read-alikes I can offer are Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, which is also about lost people and dual, intertwined stories. And Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, in which what people see and believe is called into question and also the bonds of siblings. This is for people who like thoughtful, contemplative fiction and gorgeous writing.
I read this because it was Tumblr’s #reblogbookclub selection earlier this year, and I wasn’t completely in love with it, but it was enjoyable. There have been several rapture and cult books, but this was at once realistic, but also portrayed a sort of dystopian future America, and might be best for readers who straddle straddle that line and read both contemporary YA and dystopian YA.
I wanted the novel to more fully develop Viv’s friendship with Harp, and wished this would have sparked more with me. Ultimately, it was readable but not compelling.
I read this novel one snowy afternoon several weeks ago, but it has stuck with me even on these warm spring days.
Skylar has grown up poor, but her artistic ability and hard work have won her a scholarship to art school in San Francisco, if she can just survive the summer in her small town. But when her single mom loses her job and falls apart, and Josh, a former co-worker and crush comes back from Afghanistan missing a leg, she struggles with leaving everyone behind.
The portrayal of rural poverty was so accurate and compelling, without ever being patronizing. Skylar’s friendships were so true, in that they were complicated. The romance was slow, and skeptical, and full of fits and starts, as any relationship between two people with as much baggage as these two characters have. Josh was prickly, and cocky, and made mistakes, and that made him a very compelling character. The sex-positive, realistic romance really made this novel outstanding.
Demetrios has written a stunning, gripping coming-of-age story that is as much about family and friendship as first love. Fans of Trish Doller and Huntley Fitzpatrick will love I’ll Meet You There.
I finally got around to reading Midwinterblood for my Critically Evaluating YA class I took through YALSA, and I was glad I had the chance to read that when I was really focused on the literary merit and breaking down the elements of this book, because it is amazing.
Midwinterblood is a series of interconnected short stories set on an isolated island that blends elements of historical fiction with fantasy and paranormal elements. With a somber tone, Sedgwick explores sacrifice, tragic love, the cost of immortality, and the imprecise nature of memory, leaving the reader wondering if time is cyclical, if fate is immutable, or if redemption is possible. Readers looking for a thought-provoking read laced with equal parts horror and beauty should not miss this Printz award winning novel.
What YA books have you read recently that you’d recommend?