Grasshopper Jungle

Review written by Jonathan Lavallee. This highly acclaimed and award winning YA novel might grab the interest of your tween, but Jonathan offers some insight into why you’ll want to make an informed decision about letting your young reader put this on their “to read” pile, and why it should end up on your “to […]

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence is the first book in the new series by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, and Andie Tong. The premise is that during the convergence, the power of the Chinese Zodiac was brought back into the world, but Maxwell—our villain who wants to control all the Zodiac power—lost control when some people tried […]

Fairest

Fairest, a prequel to Cinder, will have to tide us over until Winter, the last of the Lunar Chronicles, comes out in fall 2015. Fairest tells the story of Levana, the awful Lunar queen we first meet in Cinder, and her rise to power. Like all really good villains, hers is a complicated story and it’s impossible not to […]

The Giver

My daughter is reading The Giver in her 8th grade English class, so I used that as my excuse to finally reread this pioneer of middle grade dystopian literature. It holds up pretty well. There are some things that may seem a bit clichéd or predictable, but it reminded me of when I finally watched […]

Fever Crumb

Review written by Jocelyn Koehler. Fever Crumb takes place in the grim darkness of the future (about the year 3030), where the city of London endures by scavenging the relics of long ago ages: plastic chunks and computer motherboards. Some old knowledge is preserved, but in a warped form. The main character, Fever Crumb, is a […]

Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate

Full disclosure: I’m the editor of this book. Since the point of these reviews is to provide information rather than opinions of quality, I feel any conflict of interest is minimal. Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate is part of the Spirit of the Century universe that includes Dinocalypse Now, Beyond Dinocalypse, Khan of Mars, […]

Cress

I was very eager to read Cress, the sequel to Cinder and Scarlet, and it didn’t disappoint. You definitely need to read the series in order or you won’t have any idea who anyone is. Like the others, a new fairy tale is wound into the story in innovative ways. In this book, it’s the […]

Curtsies & Conspiracies

Curtsies & Conspiracies is the second book in the Finishing School series. The novel assumes you’ve already read Etiquette & Espionage, and I will also assume you’ve read my review of that book. If you enjoyed the first book, there’s no reason you won’t enjoy this one. Sophronia’s adventures continue, although it’s becoming clearer that […]

Star Wars: Jedi Academy

Joining the quickly growing genre of “books that are part journal, part graphic novel, and aimed primarily at middle school boys” is Star Wars: Jedi Academy. It’s a cute quick read, but not my favorite entry in this competitive field. Aside from a veneer of Star Wars, it’s pretty much par for the course. Roan […]

Hope Defined

Hope Defined follows the intertwined stories of girls from two different worlds. In this case, really really different worlds. The two girls have to learn to come to terms with themselves and figure out what they value, and somehow the fate of the world rests in the balance.