Book Review: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

All-American Muslim Girl is a 2019 YA novel by Nadine Jolie Courtney. This book was one of my random Barnes & Noble finds while perusing the shelves in the store the other day. (Don't worry; I didn't stay long and I had my Scholastic "I ❤ Reading!" mask on.) One fleeting glance at the blurb … Continue reading Book Review: All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney

Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Title: The Dead Girls of Hysteria HallAuthor: Katie AlenderGenre: YA Horror/SuspensePage Count: 336 pagesPublisher: Scholastic PointRelease Date: August 30, 2016 Publisher’s Summary: Delia's new house isn't just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females -- an insane asylum nicknamed "Hysteria Hall." However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant … Continue reading Book Review: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Title: Where the Crawdads SingAuthor: Delia OwensGenre: Adult Fiction, Women's FictionPage Count: 379 pagesPublisher: G.P. Putnam's SonsRelease Date: August 14, 2018 Publisher’s Summary: For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals … Continue reading Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Book Review: Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

I was sick throughout a lot of last winter (2019), and it was the most I could do to lie in bed and listen to audio books. I discovered Mary Anderson’s free reading Pollyanna through LibriVox, and was hooked from Chapter 1. Pollyanna Whittier is an optimistic little girl who has endured great trials in … Continue reading Book Review: Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Book Review: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Title: Song for a WhaleAuthor: Lynne KellyPage Count: 224 pagesGenre: MG FictionPublisher: Delacorte Books for Young ReadersRelease Date: February 5, 2019 Publisher’s Summary: From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she's the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she's not … Continue reading Book Review: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Editor’s Review: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia

*I was the editor of this novel for The Parliament House Press. Nocturnal Meetings of the Mispalced (The Parliament House Press, 2018) by R.J. Garcia is my favorite book I've edited to date - and one of my all-time favorite novels ever. This unputdownable debut blends my favorite elements of YA, horror/mystery, small towns, a … Continue reading Editor’s Review: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia

Book Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

"The internship was all kids my age who were here to sharpen their talents. They wanted to create the next wave of fashion. And I’d lied to them. I was lying to all of them." - 23% Alterations (2016) is a YA novel by debut author Stephanie Scott, and I'm going to jump right in … Continue reading Book Review: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

Book Review: Luna by Julie Anne Peters

I found this book while browsing the Barnes & Noble teen bestsellers online. I had never seen or heard of it, but was drawn by the mysterious cover and the National Book Award Finalist badge. I've never read a book about a transgender person before, and the minute I sampled the first page, I was sold. … Continue reading Book Review: Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This YA book was not what I was expecting! At least not when it started. I'd seen it on shelves for years, but I think I was expecting a haunted orphanage, third-person sort of fairy tale. When I began reading, I wasn't prepared for as lovably flawed of a narrator as Jacob Portman, a wealthy … Continue reading Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Book Review: Ingo by Helen Dunmore

It's been a long time since I've sat and read a children's book cover-to-cover in a single day, but my pre-schooler and I were sick in bed today, and while he snoozed at my side, there was little else for me to do but stare at my Kindle. I'm not even sure how this book … Continue reading Book Review: Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Book Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Moonglass (2011) is a beautiful coming-of-age novel for teens by Jessi Kirby. Sixteen-year-old Anna Ryan leaves behind the beach where she grew up... where her mother deliberately drowned herself... to a new California beach, full of old family history. Now living in her mother's childhood vacation spot, on the very shore where her parents had … Continue reading Book Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Book Review: Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

Pretty Face (2008) by Mary Hogan is a short teen fiction about Hayley, a teen who's self-conscious about her weight. Although people say she has a pretty face, being overweight in the vain land of Southern California isn't easy. Hayley’s family is also a little dysfunctional, with her overbearing mother constantly pressing Hayley to lose weight. … Continue reading Book Review: Pretty Face by Mary Hogan

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars (2012) is a teen novel written by bestselling author John Green. Our narrator, Hazel, is a seventeen-year-old young woman coping with terminal thyroid cancer. At heart, Hazel is a reader, philosopher, and introspective person, wise beyond her limited years. But not unrealistically so (in her parents’ words, she can also … Continue reading Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Book Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

My favorite book by Sarah Dessen is Keeping the Moon (1999). Nicole Sparks used to be friendless and overweight. But even after her weight loss, mostly brought about by her mother’s recent success as a famous fitness instructor, Colie's still friendless, and bullied at school by false, vicious rumors. When her mother leaves to promote … Continue reading Book Review: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Book Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen is a teen novel published in 2008. The main character is the redheaded Ruby. Keeping up with what seems to be the theme with Dessen’s main characters, Ruby's not interested in making friends or being dependent on anyone else. The proverbial lock in the title refers to Ruby’s heart. After … Continue reading Book Review: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Book Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen is the charming story of high school senior, Mclean. Mclean’s life was her family, her family’s restaurant, and basketball… until their restaurant went under. Then, her mother cheated on her father with his favorite basketball team’s coach, and got pregnant. With twins. Needless to say, her parents suffered a bitter … Continue reading Book Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Book Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Sea by Heidi R. Kling is another of my favorite novels. Fifteen-year-old Sienna “Sea” Jones has not been herself since her mother died in a plane crash over the Indian Ocean. Suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and being treated by her father, a psychologist, Sienna no longer body-boards in the ocean or engages … Continue reading Book Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Book Review: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Leo is a sophomore trying to blend in at his Arizona high school when a strange new girl, who calls herself “Stargirl,” arrives. Slowly, she begins to change Leo in all her peculiarities. We follow the poignant coming-of-age tale through Leo’s eyes, as Stargirl is first perceived as being merely odd, then loved by all, … Continue reading Book Review: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Book Review: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Beth Hoffman is the author of this lighthearted coming-of-age novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. After tragedy strikes her mentally ill mother, twelve-year-old CeeCee is whisked away from small-town Ohio to the home of her wealthy, larger-than-life Great Aunt Tootie in sunny Savannah, Georgia. Between Aunt Tootie’s bold housekeeper Oletta, and their eccentric southern belle neighbors, CeeCee … Continue reading Book Review: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Book Review: Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

Spirited little Rachel Kalama’s life changes for the worst when, in 1890s Hawai’i, she is discovered to have leprosy. The disease breaks up the Kalama family as it makes them anathema, which no one in their community wants to touch. Young Rachel is deported to the secluded island of Moloka’i, never to be permitted to touch … Continue reading Book Review: Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

Book Review: 3 Graphic Biographies

Maus: My Father Bleeds History and Maus: …And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman are a two-part graphic biography of Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor. These books tell the very sad and detailed accounts of Vladek’s experiences as a Polish Jew during World War II. As graphic novels, they depict the Jews as mice, Nazis as … Continue reading Book Review: 3 Graphic Biographies

Book Review: The Secret Garden by F.H. Burnett

The Secret Garden (1911) by F. H. Burnett is one of the sweetest, most touching little novels I have ever read. We meet young Mary, sullen and cross, a friendless and unfriendly little girl. She is loathe to be moving to a mysterious home in the English moors. But the fresh, open air of the … Continue reading Book Review: The Secret Garden by F.H. Burnett

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

In this beautiful and exceptionally-written coming-of-age novel, The Secret Life of Bees, author Sue Monk Kidd transports us to a 1960s South Carolina summer. Young Lily and her black housekeeper, Rosaleen, are on the run from Lily’s abusive father. Meanwhile, a group of racist white men are after Rosaleen for insulting them. Following the lead … Continue reading Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Book Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens is the classic, delightful story of Pip, a young English boy who inherits a mysterious fortune. I read this book in high school and really enjoyed it. Despite being long-winded in places, it’s a great story that I’ve always remembered, with a few shocking and somewhat disturbing twists as … Continue reading Book Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J. D. Salinger is one of my all-time favorite novels for more reasons than one. First, it’s impossible to put down. The eccentric narration by Holden Caulfield is conversational and comical, despite the more serious undertones to the novel. Second, the character development, symbolism, and approach to deeper, … Continue reading Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger