“The universe is in fact a multiverse. Countless dimensions exist, all layered within one another.  Each dimension represents one set of possibilities. Essentially, everything that can happen does happen.” (6)  I love this idea.  Not only as the premise for Claudia Gray‘s new series, which debuts this Fall with A Thousand Pieces of You, but as a thought experiment and a beacon of wonder.  One tiny choice can change your destiny, right? Imagine who you’d be if you’d chosen another career, a different partner, or even driven to work on a different route.  Of course, all these minor changes probably don’t amount to much inRead More →

How do three twenty first century tweens from the prestigious east coast Fredericksville School in New Jersey end up in a smelly stable standing over the most important guy in United States’ history? After being left behind at Christmastime by parents who are too busy, too famous, or too self-absorbed to care for their children, Beverly, Brandon, and Mel go on a field trip with their chaperone Mr. Hart to view a reenactment of the famous Crossing of the Delaware.  When Brandon fiddles with a Macbook, the trio ends up participating in the historical event instead. Victims of time travel, Beverly, Brandon, and Mel areRead More →

Focused, driven, athletic, and gifted with anything mathematical, Carina Monroe plans to major in mathematics with a focus in cryptography when she graduates from Martindale High.  But her plans get sidetracked when her mother commits suicide, leaving her with a deep chasm of grief, loss, and loneliness that nothing can fill—until she meets Tanner Sloan. Tanner, who loves computers and lives in a loud, boisterous family, makes her realize that life can be more than work and study. Carina’s therapist has tried to help her heal, but Carina’s lies create an obstacle in that arena.  Still, Carina finds some of the therapist’s advice helpful, likeRead More →

Tomorrow’s the Big Day.  Seventeen years and not much to show for it.  The day of the Senior Prom; but for Denton Little, it’s his last day on Earth.  Tomorrow, somehow, he’ll die. Ever since his Death Date was revealed to him at age five, Denton’s just wanted to “live a normal life.”  Not one for taking risks or pushing the envelope, Denton doesn’t really have much of a list of accomplishments or awesome experiences to call his own, just a lot of run of the mill, boring stuff.  Sure, some people in this world where your death date is determined based on genetics, statistics,Read More →

Richly personal and nostalgic, Stories of My Life, is an autobiographical collection of what Katherine Paterson calls “kitchen sink stories.”  Readers of biography and memoir may choose to read this book, released in October, as will readers who crave knowing the origins of Paterson’s stories and characters.  Recalling feelings and remembered events, this award-winning author explains how her life experiences both informed and inspired the stories she has written.  Place and character names, settings and circumstances derive from the childhood of a mischievous girl, who was both shy and a show-off. Although this book is being marketed as young adult non-fiction, It will likely appealRead More →

Those who bristle at the mention of fantasy literature often suggest that believing in magic or miracles is a snare and a crutch, that society will only realize its full potential if we depend on our brains and strong arms instead.  But where would we be without hope, that irrational but powerful force with the ability to magic us back to mental health and give us the strength to carry on against impossible odds?  This is one of the questions posed by Lauren Kate in Water Fall, a novel that explores the power of emotions in the context of an ancient conflict between the SleepingRead More →

It’s been awhile since the last time I fell head over heels in love. And, like all really good loves, I wasn’t looking for it.  Sure, I was anticipating a good story (I loved her first effort) but, “Hi-Yo, Silver”, I was not prepared for my intense reaction to Kristin Levine‘s The Paper Cowboy.  I’ve set aside everything else and have read this book 3 times (and that’s saying a lot) because there is just so much to unpack within these amazingly written 333 pages.  Rumor has it that there’s already buzz for the Newbery list (I hope so!) and I can’t wait until someoneRead More →

In a few decades, the long-standing gender selection of choosing boy children over girls will result in a 5 to 1 ratio of boys to girls across India and violence will erupt as the availability of this scarce resource (eligible, healthy young women) dries up and people realize the mistake they and their government have made for far too long.  A small group of powerful, forward-thinking women promise a respite: a new country within the boundaries of India, sealed off, safe, and a haven for families with daughters, Koyanagar.  People from across the country flock to the emergent nation, hopes buoyed by the promise ofRead More →

I love a good con.  Movie, TV show, book – it doesn’t matter, really – whatever the media, when the wool is pulled over someone’s eyes (especially when we thought we were on the look-out), it’s a genuine thrill.  I’m especially enraptured by the reveal: going back through those moments of deception, misdirection, and nuance when, now that it’s being laid out in plain sight, I wonder at how I (and the mark) could have been so blind.  But that’s all part of the fun, the lure, and the draw to this genre, isn’t it? Returning in Spring 2015 with his sophomore YA effort, JohnRead More →