“Most people, it seemed, dreamt and fantasized about being able to fly like a bird” (86). For Quinn Cutler, her dreams have always been about the ocean. Since she was a child, she’s had a deep connection to the sea, specifically the water by her family’s summer home. They haven’t been there in years, though, not after Quinn almost drowned because she couldn’t stay away from the waves. Years later and Quinn has adjusted to living a normal life in the city. Well, as normal as it can be when your dad is running for Congress. While in the limelight, her family tries to remainRead More →

As Jing turns eleven, she realizes that the age is “like an age of breakthroughs – tea-drying for the first time, my first offering to the guardian, visiting a new city, getting a new hanfu…new adventure, new experiences” (30). What seems like an exciting new period of her life quickly turns into her greatest fear, though. Jing’s widowed Aunt Mei has led the family since the death of Jing’s mother, and because of low resources, she convinces Jing’s father that it is time for Jing to get married. Jing is spirited enough to fight back against the plan to sell her to a big cityRead More →

A magical realism tale, Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson is set in Taper, Florida, “where the sea of sugarcane stops and swamps begin” (1). The thick, mucky place intrigues twelve-year-old Charlie Reynolds who is attending the funeral of his stepfather’s father. While the family is in Florida, Charlie notices a look on his mother’s face, the old look of fear, placed there by an abusive father. He knows his mother does not like this place, so when the townspeople ask Prester Mack to coach the football team, a position vacated by the death of Willie Wisdom, Charlie worries that the place will dredge upRead More →

Whoa – I was knocked back by David Massey‘s debut, Torn. Based on simply the slightly cheesy tease on the cover (“An American Soldier. A British Medic. Afghanistan. Can their love survive a War?”), I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book, but within the first few pages I was so captivated, horrified, and walloped by this powerful story that I stayed glued in my chair until I finished the book.  At a swiftly-paced 274 pages, the time flew and before I knew it I was breathlessly coming up for air and looking at war in a whole new way. And then the very nextRead More →