YA fiction

Review by Alanna

June 1, 2021

Historically Inaccurate

4 stars of 5

Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo

In Historically Inaccurate, Shay Bravo weaves a dramatic story around a present day, culturally relevant theme. Following her mother’s deportation, everything in Soledad “Sol” Gutierrez’s life changes in an instant. The novel follows Sol, a new student at Westray Community College as she tries to fit in. Forced to navigate through a new set of family dynamics and a drastically different home environment, Sol shares with the reader a heartfelt story as she faces many struggles and learns the importance of being herself. 

Review by Hayden

March 19, 2021

American Royals McGee

4 and a half stars of 5

American Royals by Katharine McGee

The New York Times bestseller, American Royals, by Katharine McGee, is an amazing romance, fiction, and alternate history novel. The first in its duology, it is a third-person limited point of view, focused on the lives of the American Royal family. In this Royal family, George Washington became the King of America after the Revolutionary war. Now, in the present time, the Washington family still rules, and they have a lot of conflict. The complex plot and character relationships makes it a book you can’t put down!

Review by Hiba

April 15, 2021

Elatsoe

5 stars of 5

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger is an amazing mix of fantasy, mystery, and paranormal fiction.  This magical novel focuses on Elatsoe who is a young teen girl with origins from the Apache tribe.  Elatsoe’s world is filled with monsters, ghosts, magic, legends of heroes, and a multitude of abilities.  It is quite similar to our world except for these magical entities and capabilities.  

PRE-PUBLICATION Review of Advanced Reader Copy by Samantha

Review Date: April 27, 2021 - Publish Date: May 04, 2021

Counting Down with You

5 stars of 5

Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan

A story of hope, bravery, and perseverance, Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan is a spectacular novel starring Karina Ahmed. When Karina’s parents travel to Bangladesh for a month to visit extended family, Karina finally feels free from their strict rules and pressure about her future as the doctor they want her to be. Convinced by her favorite teacher to tutor Alistair “Ace” Clyde, her school’s resident bad boy, Karina dreads their first study session. However, as they study together more, and get to know one another better, both Ace and Karina realize there is more to each other than meets the eye. An honest story of a teenage girl dealing with relationships, family drama, and mental health, this book is a page-turner that will leave you wanting a sequel as soon as you are done!

Review by Samantha 

March 9, 2021

Ill Be the One

4 and a half stars of 5

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee is full of love, empowerment, and complexity. This novel features Skye, who is a confident and bold teenage girl, even though she doesn’t fit the mold of the thin K-pop star she sees on television shows and social media. Although she is plus-sized and isn’t quite the status quo of K-pop stardom, Skye loves K-pop and has been singing and dancing for years. Defying her mom’s wishes for her to just lose weight and stay out of the public light, Skye decides to audition for a K-pop competition show that is being cast in California where she lives. If she makes the show, Skye will be seen on television in America and Korea. However, that’s not even the most stressful part of auditioning for the show. On the day of her audition, Skye sees famous celebrity model Henry Cho is there to audition too. Dealing with Skye’s fears and insecurities is a big part of this book, but the story isn’t limited to just that. This book also explores Skye’s experience trying to be the first plus-size K-pop star, while also dealing with teenage relationships, friendships, drama, and more. 

Review by Samyukta
 
February 22, 2021

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera CR: Bloomsbury

4 stars of 5
 

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera is a beautiful story about dealing with damage from the past, friendship, culture, love, and magic. This book was so captivating that readers won't put it down. This story is an adaptation of the Greek myth; Orpheus and Eurydice. The book is about Eury, who moves to the Bronx to stay with family through some difficult times. She is followed by a dark force of evil bent on taking her with it. She expects the worst from it, until she meets Pheus. Pheus is a kind, talented person with a soft spot for Eury. The two of them deal with family, evil, and  drama together. This book makes the readers ask, "Will love prevail in the hardest of times?"

PRE-PUBLICATION Review of Advanced Reader Copy by Sweksha

Review date: January 12, 2021 - Publish date: February 2, 2021

Review by Sweksha

Love is a Revolution ARC

4 stars of 5

Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson

Love is a Revolution written by Renee Watson is centered around Nala Robertson, a young woman exploring her identity. On an open mic night at her cousin’s birthday party, Nala meets the perfect boy, Tye Brown. As the two grow closer together, Nala begins to lie about her passions and her identity. The novel follows Nala’s life and relationships with her friends, family, and Tye. One of my favorite components of this novel is the character development.In the beginning of the book Watson describes a standard family living a relatively normal life. However, as the novel progresses, you can see the underlying issues and the tension increasing between the family members. This novel evokes several emotions, making it the perfect combination of romance and reality.

PRE-PUBLICATION Review of Advanced Reader Copy by Sweksha

Review Date: February 12, 2021 - Publish Date: May 11, 2021

Where the Rhythm Takes You

4 stars of 5

Review by Sweksha

Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Where the Rhythm Takes You, written by Sarah Dass, is a captivating story about two estranged childhood best friends. The story starts off with context about the main character, Reyna, her best friend, Aiden, and their relationship. Throughout the story, you see the events that transpired in the past between these two characters and how it changed them in the future. One thing I really liked about this book is that the main character, Reyna, was really relatable. She was focused on making her parents happy andshe prioritized their happiness over her own, which I think is something most people can relate to. I also liked how the author incorporated snippets from the past because it evoked a lot of emotion and also strengthened the plot of the overall story.

PREPUBLICATION REVIEW of Advanced Reader Copy by Sweksha

Review Date: June 23, 2021 - Publish Date: July 6, 2021

Summer in the City of Roses

4 stars of 5

Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil

Summer in the City of Roses is a young adult fiction novel written by Michelle Ruiz Keil. This story is inspired by a famous greek myth about Iphigenia and a grimm fairytale about her younger brother, Orestes. This novel follows the events after the two siblings are torn apart, plus their struggle to find each other again in early 1990’s Portland. 

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