Goodbye Stranger

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee My daughter Rowan, who was 10 when I started doing guest reviews and is now 15, tends to like books filled with melancholia. Those usually aren’t my thing, but because she reads them I’m trying to expand my reading habits. Goodbye Stranger is one of those books, and it’s such […]

Drink, Slay, Love

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee In Drink, Slay, Love, Pearl is a sixteen year old vampire, doing traditionally vampire things. Learning how to navigate a strict and totalitarian vampire society. How to fight, and how to hunt. She was born to be important, because her family is important, but she was never meant to be […]

Hour of the Bees

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee How do you measure time? Hour of the Bees measures time in teardrops that fall as you read the book. Carol, nee Carolina, has discovered that she is going to spend her summer at her grandfather’s ranch. He has late stage dementia and they are getting things ready so they […]


Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. The Sensationalist is unhappy with his lot in life. Born Andrew Macon Bean, he was recruited into H.E.R.O., a superhero sidekick training program, because of his incredibly heightened senses. H.E.R.O aims to take young people with extraordinary talents and pair them with superheroes willing to take on apprentices who have […]


Lumberjanes is a comic book series about a summer camp for “hardcore lady-types.” Volume 1: Beware the Kitten Holy is a collection of the first 4 issues, which introduces the characters and gets them started on their adventures—it certainly doesn’t bring a story arc to a close, so expect your young reader to start asking for […]

Don’t Look Back

Review written by Jennifer Lewis.  Don’t Look Back begins with Samantha not knowing where she is, how she got there, or why she is in such a disheveled state. This confusion is due to a traumatic event that resulted in the loss of all of Samantha’s personal memories. To make matters worse, her best friend […]

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

The graphic novel of A Wrinkle in Time hews so closely to the original novel that this review will in many ways serve for both. But first a quick story. I was one of those kids (mostly girls) who discovered A Wrinkle in Time on her own and fell madly in love with it. I […]

Akata Witch

Akata Witch is the story of Sunny, an albino Igbo girl who recently moved to Nigeria from the United States. As if she doesn’t already feel enough like she doesn’t fit in, she learns that she’s a Leopard person, which means she is capable of juju and other magical type things. She becomes friends with […]

Black Widow Forever Red

Black Widow Forever Red is a young adult novel about, among other characters, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff. It takes place in a post-Avengers world, where Black Widow, Iron Man, and the rest of the team are celebrities (but Coulson is alive and working with Black Widow? It doesn’t fit the Marvel Cinematic/TV Universe perfectly). It’s […]

The Martian

Review written by Clark Valentine. I hear you. It’s a valid question. “Clark,” you say, “why in the world are you reviewing The Martian for a book review site focusing on 8-13 year old readers?” Yes, The Martian was absolutely written with adults in mind, no question about it. But with the film being released […]