• YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    As Simple as Snow

    As Simple as Snow is a young adult coming of age story about an average teenage boy and his brief and turbulent relationship with his goth girlfriend, Anna. The book is labeled as a mystery but I honestly don’t see it that way. In fact, I think that this book is hideously mismarketed as a mystery novel. Galloway himself ran a website for a while where he interacted with readers and would give them further clues to the “mystery.” It has been over a decade and there hasn’t been any real answer to what happened to Anna. The reason why was that the mystery was never meant to be solved,…

  • YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    The Place Between Breaths

    Grace, in turn, does her part, interning at the lab in the gene sequencing department daring to believe that one day they might make a breakthrough…and one day they do. Grace stumbles upon a string of code that could be the key. But something inside of Grace has started to unravel. Could her discovery just be a cruel side effect of the disease that might be taking hold of her? And can she even tell the difference? I expected this book to be a quick read and while the writing style is engaging I ended up taking my time to absorb this novel to try and understand the events that…

  • YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    The Hate U Give

    WOW. I’ve seen so much talk about this book and I was fearful that it wouldn’t live up to the hype but how wrong I was to worry. The Hate U Give is absolutely astounding and is one of the best debut novels I’ve read in a long time. This is such a great book about the teen experience in America and covers an extremely wide range of topics – the black lives matter movement, police brutality, racism of all kinds, activism, gang violence, drug abuse, interracial dating, consent, infidelity, relationship violence, blended families, the duality between the hood and suburban life, the list goes on and on. The story…

  • YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    Bad Romance

    Bad Romance is a heartbreaking story about relationship abuse and self-loathing, and one of the most accurate portrayals that I’ve ever read. The book is exceptionally well-written, with developed characters that talked and acted like typical teenagers. It shows how a troubled home life can drive a young woman into the arms an abuser, trapped in a relationship because of dependency. Grace’s character changes gradually over course of the novel as her relationship with Gavin steadily spirals downhill. One of the things that worked really well for this novel is that it starts from the beginning, when Grace met Gavin and how they fell in love. Too often with stories…

  • YA Contemporary Book Reviews

    Thirteen Reasons Why

    This is a difficult story to unpack and process. The book tackles suicide and a number of other incredibly heavy themes that are not easy to approach and talk about even though they are topics that do need to be talked about, and badly. I can’t decide if I liked or disliked the way that this book was formatted as a suspense novel. While the pacing and set up for the novel makes the book incredibly readable it has it’s flaws. On one end it’s good, it allows Hannah to talk about the different life events that impacted her and sent her spiraling into depression while simultaneously showing the effect…

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