Young Adult

Young Adult

Something about Alaska by J. A. Cooper

Reviewed by Rod McLary There is something about Young Adult novels which immediately appeals to the discerning reader.  Perhaps the appeal lies in the authenticity of the adolescent voice which hasn’t yet learned to dissemble and obfuscate.  Perhaps it is the lived experience of navigating the no man’s land between childhood and adulthood which we

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Young Adult

The Rider on the Bridge by Scott Pearce

Reviewed by Rod McLary This engaging novel, The Rider on the Bridge, opens with the narrator re-telling a story told to him of a young boy riding his bike – for a fee – blindfolded across a bridge.  The narrator informs the reader that ‘the absence of truth does not diminish the story’ [8]; the

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Young Adult

That Thing I Did by Allayne L. Webster

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Concepts planted in our psyche through music and other media unconsciously inform what we create. p. 278 A master class in presenting serious themes with a feather light touch.   And so very funny! Allayne Webster’s That Thing I Did has all the elements of an intriguing young-adult novel – four young

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Young Adult

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend A female protagonist who is half-English half-Chinese and half-monster half-human, a hoard of full-blood monsters, the protagonist’s human, monster-slaying love interest, and time travel!   Such are the elements of Vanessa Len’s debut Young Adult novel, Only A Monster.  Ambitious, to say the least! Vanessa Len writes that she was interested in

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Young Adult

Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

Reviewed by Rod McLary The ‘golden boys’ are four queer [the term used by the author] sixteen-year-old boys living in a small town in rural Ohio – and who are best friends.  Gabriel, Reese, Sal and Heath are at the end of their penultimate school year and about to begin their spring break.  But instead

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Young Adult

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Reviewed by E. B. Heath Ruta Sepetys is a celebrated writer of historical fiction and a world-class ambassador for human dignity.  Her books are written with the intent of giving voice to populations who suffered through cruel totalitarian regimes but are under-represented in historical records.  She is categorized as a ‘crossover’ novelist, valued by both

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Young Adult

You’d Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The reader of this latest book by Kathleen Glasgow is told that more than twenty million people in the United States struggle with substance abuse each year…that statistic begins with users at age twelve…and that’s only what has been documented (379). The author who, in her first book Girl in Pieces,

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Young Adult

100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze by Clayton Zane Comber

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend 100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze, by Clayton Zane Comber, is written for young adults, but even if readers are decades older, they will enjoy being immersed into the world of Xander Maze and his friends. Xander is clearly ‘on the spectrum’, his father died when he was a toddler so

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Young Adult

It’s Not You, It’s Me by Gabrielle Williams

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Just when you might have thought the time travel, body exchange trope had, through sheer over use, ground itself into the nearest literary grave – it’s back.  And, I loved it!   Why?  Well, to paraphrase William S, it’s all about hope springing eternal in young adult fiction. In It’s Not You,

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Young Adult

Namesake by Adrienne Young

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Following the success of her book Fable, New York Times author Adrienne Young has published Namesake, her second book in the duology. This conclusion to the Young Adult feminist adventure addresses the relationship between a young girl and her father. Fable has had to become tough and resourceful after her mother’s

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Young Adult

The True Colour of a Little White Lie by Gabriel Bergmoser

Reviewed by Rod McLary We were all fourteen-year-old teenagers once, and most of us – even when we don’t particularly want to – can remember what being fourteen was like.  Negotiating the complexities of relationships outside our families, establishing a place in school, let alone addressing the whole new world of sexuality and gender –

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Young Adult

None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Puccini would have had no idea what Ellie Marney planned to do with his great aria from Turandot Nessun Dorma (or None Shall Sleep). Opera lovers across the world would be cringing at her audacity if the book were just not so good. One bump continues to bother (and that will

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Young Adult

The Extraordinaries by T J Klune

Reviewed by Rod McLary Move over Superman, Batman and Spider Man – there is a new superhero on the block.  The new superhero is Shadow Star and, like all superheroes, he has an archnemesis Pyro Man and an alter ego – but giving away the alter ego’s identity would be a major spoiler. In Nova

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Young Adult

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Reviewed by Rod McLary This rather quirky title gives a good idea of what is within the book.  It is a re-imagining of the well-known film Grease but with a LGBT twist. Ollie, when on holidays with his family at a lake in North Carolina, meets and falls in love with Will.  Ollie and Will

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Young Adult

Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans

Reviewed by Rod McLary Towards the end of this book about gender and queerness, two of the characters have the following brief conversation – Do you know about gender euphoria? Is it just like, good feelings?  About gender? It’s like … the opposite of dysphoria. [201] Dysphoria is defined as ‘a state of unease with

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