Readers of Patricia Wrede, Rainbow Rowell, and Maggie Stiefvater will likely enjoy The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos.  For his debut young adult novel, Eliopulos writes a story about friendship, first love, feeling out of place, and delayed dreams.  Through his characters, Sam Fisher and James Dawson, Eliopulos illustrates how waiting for life to begin often gives way to forgetting how to live.  It is also a story about the volatility of life and our magical thinking: that life will start when __.  All readers will be able to fill in the blank with their own wishful thought.  From this book’s characters, readers learn that livingRead More →

Whether readers celebrate National Space Day in May, World Space Week in October, or simply dream of someday being an astronaut, We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly is an inspiring book. It will also appeal to those who enjoy arcade games or who have ever wondered about family, friendship, tragedy, science, and exploration. Kelly’s book follows three plot threads as it accompanies the experiences of Henry Nelson Thomas (aka Fitch), Bernadette Nelson Thomas (aka Bird), and Cash Nelson Thomas.  The perspectives of these three siblings add unique insights to being twelve and thirteen while living in Delaware in the 1980s. Fitch received hisRead More →

Leighton Barnes is a reader, an aspiring journalist, and an intense individual who has her dreams set on attending journalism school at New York University.  That dream will enable her to escape Auburn, Pennsylvania, and her home, where she lives amidst tension-induced anger and domestic violence.  If she leaves to attend college, however, Leighton wonders who will keep her sisters—Campbell, age 13 and Juniper, age 9—safe from their abusive father?  Although Jesse Barnes always apologizes and is nice otherwise; that behavior doesn’t excuse his terrible side.  However, since he’s not evil, just broken, he’s harder to hate. Because of her father’s mercurial nature, Leighton isRead More →

Set in upstate New York, All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban is part psychological thriller, part mystery, and part realistic fiction, and the sum of those parts is somewhat terrifying. Primarily telling her story from the perspectives of six Brewster High School students, Urban explores human psychology: What we’re capable of when we’re desperate, how words can be deployed as weapons, the consequences of prioritizing one’s dreams over people, and the tragic effects of bullying, lying, and manipulation. Under the pretense that they have each won a scholarship, six young adults are lured to the Winona Room of the Chesterfield. When they discover thatRead More →