What’s New In YA? July 2, 2024

July 2nd, 2024 by



July 2, 2024



  • Publisher: ‎Albatros Media
  • Reading age: ‎10 – 14 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎IG1210L
  • Grade level: ‎4 – 6

Explore the fascinating world of architecture, from ancient monuments to modern structures, and decode architectural styles and history in this engaging non-fiction book.

This non-fiction compendium takes readers on a global tour of architectural wonders, from ancient monuments that have withstood the test of time to the new streamlined modern structures that define our contemporary landscape. Explore iconic buildings by uncovering the intricate secrets of architectural styles and the rich histories they represent. From the timeworn exterior of the Great Pyramid of Giza to the smooth sleek lines of the White House, this book offers an immersive exploration of architectural diversity, offering readers a lens through which to decipher the architectural language of the structures that surround us.

Aimed at adolescents ages 10–14, this book transcends age barriers, offering a window into the world of architecture for all. Through vivid content and imagery, it offers an exciting journey through history and design. Young readers seeking a deeper understanding of architecture will gain deep insights into the world’s architectural legacy. It’s not just a book; it’s a key to unlocking architectural secrets, an educational resource, and a visual delight. Whether for personal enrichment or education, this invaluable guide will deepen your appreciation for our shared global architectural heritage.




  • Publisher: ‎Scholastic Press
  • Reading age: ‎13 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎8 – 9

The Honeys meets The Secret History in a work of dark academia like no other — a boarding school thriller about a queer teen from Mississippi who finds himself swept into a world of old money, privilege, and the secret society at the heart of it all.


When Cal Ware wins a scholarship to an elite New England boarding school, he’s thrilled to leave his past behind. Back home in Mississippi, he was the poor, queer kid who never fit in. But at Essex Academy, he’ll be able to reinvent himself. Or so he hopes…

But at Essex, Cal’s classmates only see his cheap clothes and old iPhone. They mock his accent, and can’t believe he’s never left the country, or heard of The Hamptons. Cal, at his breaking point, is about to give up and return to Mississippi when he learns about a secret society on campus — the key to becoming Essex royalty.

Cal knows he’s not exactly secret society material, but to his surprise, he finds an unlikely champion in the handsome, charismatic, and slightly dangerous Luke Kim. As they get swept up in the mystery and glamour of the Rush process, Cal finds himself falling in love for the first time.

But as the initiation rituals grow riskier — and increasingly nefarious — Cal must decide how far he’s willing to go, and how much of himself he’s willing to sacrifice, to save everything and everyone he cherishes most. Because nothing at Essex — not even Cal’s first love — is quite what it seems.




  • Publisher: ‎G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎HL730L
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

Ellie’s Deaf boarding school just shut down, forcing her to leave the place she considered home and return to her hearing family. But being mainstreamed into public school isn’t exactly easy. So her guidance counselor pairs her with Jackson, a student who’s supposed to help her adjust. Can the boy who tries to say the right things, and gets it all wrong, be the lifeline Ellie needs?

Jackson has been avoiding his teammates ever since some numbness in his legs cost them an important soccer match. With his senior year off to a lonely start, he’s intrigued when he’s asked to help the new girl, initially thinking it will be a commendable move on his part. Little does he know Ellie will soon be the person he wants most by his side when the strange symptoms he’s experiencing amount to a life-changing diagnosis.

Exploring what it means to build community, Anna Sortino pens a story about the fear of the unknown and the beauty of the unexpected, all wrapped up in a poignant romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.




  • Publisher: ‎Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

Paedyn and Kai battle with duty and desire in this highly anticipated second installment in the sizzling and epic romantic fantasy trilogy that’s packed with spicy tension and edge-of-your-seat betrayal.

The kingdom of Ilya is in turmoil…

After surviving the Purging Trials, Ordinary-born Paedyn Gray has killed the King and kickstarted a Resistance throughout the land. Now she’s running from the one person she had wanted to run to.

Kai Azer is now Ilya’s Enforcer, loyal to his brother Kitt, the new King. He has vowed to find Paedyn and bring her to justice.

Across the deadly Scorches, and deep into the hostile city of Dor, Kai pursues the one person he wishes he didn’t have to. But in a city without Elites, the balance between the hunter and hunted shifts—and the battle between duty and desire is deadly.



  • Publisher: ‎Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

An anxious teen hopes that a summer of adventure and offbeat dares will keep her friend group together after graduation in this luminous coming-of-age graphic novel with the feel-good vibes of Booksmart and Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

With senior year finally behind them, Cassie and her three best friends are on their way to what’s next. Like their parents, the crew has always been inseparable: there’s Marcy, the artist, for whom style is self-expression and sarcasm is a love language; Aaron, the future lawyer, whose good humor balances out his competitive streak; Nico, the musician, whose flirtatiousness, obliviousness, and recent interest in a rising senior are becoming increasingly unbearable to Cassie; and of course, Cassie herself, the only one who doesn’t have her future all figured out.

This summer is their last chance to make memories together in New York City before everyone but Cassie scatters across the globe for college—and she’s determined to make the most of it. Her plan? They’ll spend August playing the game of dares and risks they invented as kids! From adventurous to outrageous, these dares will definitely make for an unforgettable summer. Even better, Cassie is hopeful they’ll help the group stay friends no matter what…because she is not ready for a future without them.




  • Publisher: ‎Shadow Mountain
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 12

In this friends-to-lovers romance, high school senior Nellie has her future all planned out—except for a disastrous first kiss, a hurtful prank, and the unexpected twist of falling in love with her childhood friend.

Fun fact: Nellie Samsin has ten days left of high school, and she’s never been kissed—which is fine with her. She’s been more focused on editing the yearbook and being named valedictorian than worrying about a boyfriend. But when she has a chance to kiss her longtime crush, she hopes it will be a magical experience. Until she learns it was all a lie, a hurtful prank orchestrated by her so-called best friend, leaving Nellie heartbroken and angry with everyone involved.

Jensen Nichols has spent his senior year keeping three massive secrets: first, he’s been writing a best-selling romance fantasy series under the pseudonym “Jen Dimes”; second, he’s been harboring a secret crush on Nellie, to the point where he’s based his fictional romantic heroine on her; and third, Nellie’s dad has been his writing mentor and coach. Jensen has promised himself that he’ll reveal his secrets—but only when the time is right. Then he sees Nellie kissing his best friend, and his unexpected rush of jealousy means that the time for keeping secrets is running out.

When a family tragedy rocks Nellie’s world, the future she meticulously planned for is threatened. And when she learns the people she thought were her friends have lied to her, she feels lost and betrayed. At least she has Jensen, who is the one person she knows for a fact she can trust. But the more time the two of them spend together, the more Nellie suspects Jensen is hiding something from her. (Fun fact: Keeping secrets is the worst.)

It seems Nellie and Jensen are perfect for each other, but they will need to separate fact from fiction in order to see if their unplanned romance can last beyond graduation day.




  • Publisher: ‎Melissa de la Cruz Studio
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

The action and adventure of Percy Jackson meets the complex heroines of The Cruel Prince as a family of valkyries fight to stop Ragnarök.

For seventeen-year-old Bryn, being the youngest, messiest, most rebellious sister in a family of valkyries isn’t easy. Especially considering home is a Renaissance faire in Chicago full of costumed workers who see her as nothing more than a nuisance. When her mother disappears on a mission for Odin, Bryn begins having strange visions about the impending Ragnarök. Bryn senses their mother is in great danger, but her annoyingly perfect older sisters refuse to take her seriously. Their mother is, after all, captain of the valkyries.

Things only take a turn for the worse when a half human, half giant named Juniper crashes the party with a violent zombie in tow, confirming Bryn’s worst fears—her visions of Ragnarök are real. If that wasn’t enough, the faire’s mysterious new addition, Wyatt the Black Knight, just so happens to have a ferocious secret that threatens everyone around him. Determined to survive Ragnarök, Bryn, Juniper, and Wyatt team up to combat the horde of monsters that keeps appearing throughout the faire. But after Bryn ignores the call to deliver Wyatt to Odin’s eternal warriors in Valhalla, choosing to save his life instead, she starts to wonder if she’ll ever get this valkyrie thing right.

Whispers of divine interference—including sightings of the mischievous Loki—reach Bryn’s ears. Soon everyone at the faire becomes a suspect, leaving Bryn, her sisters, and their newfound friends the only ones who can stop the war to end all realms. Whether she’s ready or not, Bryn is about to learn how the ties between fate and choice are as interwoven and unbreakable as the bonds between sisters.




  • Publisher: ‎Holiday House
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

When baking-obsessed Ivy meets a boy who shares her rare diagnosis, sparks fly outside of the kitchen for the first time in her life!

Chronically ill seventeen-year-old Ivy has stayed inside baking all summer—pies are better than people, and they don’t trigger her social anxiety. So when her (also) chronically ill mom and sister cook up a plan to get Ivy out of the house and into a support group, Ivy doesn’t expect to say more than a few words.

And she certainly doesn’t expect Grant. Grant is CUTE: class-clown cute, perfectly-messy-hair cute, will-always-text-you-back cute. There’s an instant connection between them. He has the same illness as her—juvenille rheumatoid arthritis—and he actually understands Ivy’s world. But just because he understands her pain doesn’t mean he can take it away, and she wishes he could… because it’s getting worse. Ivy has always tried her best to seem “normal,” but between symptom management, new treatment plans, and struggling with medical self-advocacy, being sick feels more and more difficult. With her energy plummeting, even her bestie starts drifting away! What if Grant does, too? Will Ivy’s sugar-sweet romance pan out? Can she maintain her façade, for him and for the world… or should she be brave and let it drop?

Marissa Eller serves up a sweet, satisfying romcom that tackles the realities of chronic illness—and coming-of-age milestones from friend breakups to first kisses—with wry humor, tons of heart, and a huge helping of honesty. Nuanced, funny, and deeply enjoyable, readers will fall for Eller’s voice in this compelling debut that offers all the right ingredients.




  • Publisher: ‎Sungrazer Publishing
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎8 and up

From bestselling author Josephine Angelini comes a whimsical cozy fantasy read with loads of adventure and none of the triggers. Perfect for fans of Olivia Atwater and Travis Baldree.

Ever wish you could travel inside your favorite book and become the main character? Of course you have. Everyone has. But if you ever manage to pull it off, here’s a tip. Timing is everything…

Take Holly for example, who after saying a spell is transported inside a fairytale called The Chronicles of Lucitopia, a magical world infested with grifter grandmas, halitosis-riddled bandits, and devoid of any functioning toilets.

Holly becomes Princess Pleasant exactly as she wished, but she gets there too late, right after an evil sorcerer turns Lucitopia into a tetanus-ridden hellhole. And now, it’s up to Holly to make things right.

With the help of a freakishly handsome, yet frustratingly virtuous knight, Holly sets out to fix her story, but she only has fifteen days left to do so or she risks being stuck in Lucitopia for the rest of her life, which may prove to be a short one considering she’s overdue for her shots.



Kid Review: The Little Magician by Susanna Isern

June 14th, 2024 by


About This Book:

Abracadabra!” says Sophia, the little magician, and a jug of water is filled with frogs! Ordinary things are transformed when she casts her magic spells.

Sophia, the little magician, waves her magic wand and hilarious things happen. But one day, when her little brother rips some pages out of her spellbook, she gets angry and waves her wand…  “Abracadabra!”. What has she transformed little Hugo into?

A fun story that captures the best and not-so-best moments of being brother and sister!

*Review Contributed By Sara Perrera, Staff Reviewer*

Entertaining and funny

It’s hard to have a little brother or sister, someone who is always messing up your things, but the book The Little Magician teaches us a lesson about appreciating your siblings.

Sophia looks like an ordinary girl but she is an amazing magician who can change the color of her mom’s plants or make a random ostrich egg appear. When her little brother Hugo rips pages out of her spellbook Sophia changes him into a donkey. Hugo as a donkey is hysterical. He makes a big mess including pooping on one of Sophia’s stuffed animals. Before Sophia can turn Hugo back into a human he snatches the wand and breaks it in half. Sophie gets scared when her mom calls the fire department to remove a random donkey from their house. After reflecting on all the sweet moments she spent with Hugo, Sophia realizes that he is a good brother. Before the rescuers can take Hugo away, Sophia changes him back to human. Hugo ends the book by saying his first word “Abracadabra” and performing a bit of magic.

What I Liked: I think the brother-sister relationship that Sophia and Hugo have is very relatable. I’m sure some readers have wished that their sibling would disappear. The illustrations of Hugo as the donkey were silly and I found myself laughing at them.

What Left Me Wanting More: I want to see baby Hugo as a magician causing all sorts of havoc! I think the ending leaves it open that there could be additional books about the sibling magicians.

The Little Magician is a humorous story with a lesson.


*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

What’s New In YA? May 28, 2024

May 28th, 2024 by



May 28, 2024



  • Publisher: ‎Page Street YA
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years

Two rival drag kings competing for a crown might just win each other’s hearts.

When eighteen-year-old Briar Vincent’s mental health takes a turn for the worst, her parents send her to spend the summer in New York City with her older brother, Beau, also known as the drag queen Bow Regard.

Backstage at the gay bar where Beau performs, Briar just wants to be a fly on the wall, but she can’t stand by when the cute but conceited drag king Spencer Read tries to put down another up-and-coming performer. To prove to him that even a brand-new performer could knock him off his pedestal, Briar signs up for the annual drag king competition.

There’s just one flaw in her plan: Briar has never done drag before.

With the help of her brother and a few new friends, Briar becomes Edgar Allan Foe, a drag king hellbent on taking Spencer down. But unless she can learn how to shake her anxiety and perform, she doesn’t stand a chance of winning Drag King of the Year, overcoming her depression and inner demons, or avoiding falling for her enemy, who might not be so bad after all.


What If It’s Us meets They Both Die at the End in this sequel to the beloved postapocalyptic queer YA adventure romance All That’s Left in the World by USA Today bestselling author Erik J. Brown.

After a long and treacherous journey south, Andrew and Jamie have finally found safety in the Florida Keys. But they soon learn that safety doesn’t always mean happily ever after.

Settling into life in the Islamorada colony with other survivors of the bug, Andrew believes they’ve finally found themselves a home, even a family. But anxious Jamie is less comfortable in their new community and is eager to return north to keep the promise they made to their friend Henri—to bring her to the colony and reunite her with her daughter. Besides, would it really be so bad to find someplace just for the two of them?

When a hurricane and a shocking betrayal force them to leave the colony in search of new shelter, it brings their tensions to a head—and puts them in the path of some old enemies. Andrew and Jamie must set aside their differences to survive once more and find a new home. But what if “home” means different things to each of them?




  • Publisher: ‎Wednesday Books
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

Most Anticipated by HipLatina * Latinx In Publishing * Book Riot* Goodreads, and more!

Castillo Torres, Student Body Association event chair and serial planner, could use a fairy godmother. After a disastrous mishap at her sister’s quinceañera and her mother’s unexpected passing, all of Cas’s plans are crumbling. So when a local lifestyle-guru-slash-party-planner opens up applications for the internship of her dreams, Cas sees it as the perfect opportunity to learn every trick in the book so that things never go wrong again.

The only catch is that she needs more party planning experience before she can apply. When she books a quinceañera for a teen Disneyland vlogger, Cas thinks her plan is taking off… until she discovers that the party is just a publicity stunt―and she begins catching feelings for the chambelán.

As her agenda starts to go way off-script Cas finds that real life may be more complicated than a fairy tale. But maybe Happily Ever Afters aren’t just for the movies. Can Cas go from planner to participant in her own life? Or will this would-be princess turn into a pumpkin at the end of the ball?




  • Publisher: ‎Christy Ottaviano Books
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 12

New York Times bestselling author April Henry delivers a thrilling murder mystery featuring a teen with an assassin on her trail fighting to uncover the truth behind a government cover up, perfect for fans of Karen McManus.

Sometimes, the only way to live is to make sure the world thinks you’re dead . . . 

In the aftermath of a car accident that claimed the life of her senator father, sixteen-year-old Milan finds herself adrift, expelled from her third boarding school. Milan’s mother, who has assumed the senate seat, diverts her private plane to pick up her daughter. But on their way home, a bomb rips off a wing and the plane crashes in the mountains. In her final moments, Milan’s mother entrusts her with a key. She reveals it will unlock the evidence that so many people have already died for—including Milan’s father. The only way Milan can survive, her mom tells her, is to let everyone believe she died with the other passengers.

​Milan is forced to navigate a perilous descent in freezing conditions while outwitting everything from a drone to wild animals. With relentless assassins on her trail, she must untangle the web of deceit and save herself and countless others. Will she piece together the truth in time?



  • Publisher: ‎Feiwel & Friends
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

The Soler sisters are infamous in polite society―brazen, rebellious, and raised by their fashionable grandmother who couldn’t care less about which fork goes where. But their grandmother also knows the standards that two Latina young ladies will be held to, so she secures them two coveted places at the Alarie House, a prominent finishing school that turns out first ladies, princesses, and socialites.

Younger sister Isla is back home within a day. She refuses to become one of the eerily sweet Alarie girls in their prim white dresses. Older sister Renata stays. When she returns months later, she’s unfailingly pleasant, unnervingly polite, and, Isla discovers, possibly murderous. And the same night she returns home, she vanishes.

As their grandmother uses every connection she has to find Renata, Isla re-enrolls, intent on finding out what happened to her sister. But the Alarie House is as exacting as it is opulent. It won’t give up its secrets easily, and neither will a mysterious, conniving girl who’s either controlling the house, or carrying out its deadly orders.

Tautly written, tense, and evocative, this is a stunning YA novel by award-winning and critically acclaimed author Anna-Marie McLemore.




  • Publisher: ‎HarperTeen
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎8 – 9

We Are Okay meets The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School in this heartfelt, queer coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a small town’s evangelical megachurch culture.

The end of Daya Keane’s junior year in Escondido, Arizona, is anything but expected.

And it starts when her longtime swoon-worthy crush, Beckett Wild, actually talks to her at a party neither of them should’ve been at.

But as Daya’s best friends, Stella and B’Rad, are quick to point out, smart, cute, artistic Beckett is also the poster girl for the wildly popular youth group at Grace Redeemer, the megachurch Daya’s mom prays at and pushes her daughter to attend.

Amid the concert-worthy light shows, high-energy live band, and pastor preaching to love thy neighbor so long as thy neighbor “gets right with God” first, Daya struggles to find her place in a house of worship that doesn’t seem to create space for someone like her. Then again, she never planned to fall this hard for a girl like Beckett Wild.

Now Daya has to decide how far she’s willing to surrender to Beckett’s world of Grace Redeemer, and who she’s willing to become to be with her.

A fearless and profound tale ideal for readers of Jeff Zentner and Jennifer Dugan, The Redemption of Daya Keane gives an intimate and unforgettable look into a world that demands to be seen. 




  • Publisher: ‎Tor Teen 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

Viola Reyes is annoyed.

Her painstakingly crafted tabletop game campaign was shot down, her best friend is suggesting she try being more “likable,” and her school’s star running back Jack Orsino is the most lackadaisical Student Body President she’s ever seen, which makes her job as VP that much harder. Vi’s favorite escape from the world is the MMORPG Twelfth Knight, but online spaces aren’t exactly kind to girls like her―girls who are extremely competent and have the swagger to prove it. So Vi creates a masculine alter ego, choosing to play as a knight named Cesario to create a safe haven for herself.

But when a football injury leads Jack Orsino to the world of Twelfth Knight, Vi is alarmed to discover their online alter egos―Cesario and Duke Orsino―are surprisingly well-matched.

As the long nights of game-play turn into discussions about life and love, Vi and Jack soon realize they’ve become more than just weapon-wielding characters in an online game. But Vi has been concealing her true identity from Jack, and Jack might just be falling for her offline…

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (May 28, 2024)
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ HL690L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 – 12

What you don’t know can hurt you….

It’s been months since the accident that killed Ella’s best friend, Hayley, and Ella can’t stop blaming herself. Now Ella is back at school, and everywhere she looks are reminders of her best friend—including Sawyer, Hayley’s boyfriend. Little by little, they grow closer, until Ella realizes something horrifying . . .

She’s in love with her dead best friend’s boyfriend.

Racked with guilt, Ella turns to Hayley’s journal, hoping she’ll find something in the pages that will make her feel better about what’s happening. Instead, she discovers that Sawyer has secrets of his own and that his relationship with Hayley wasn’t as picture-perfect as it seemed.

Ella knows she should stay away but finds herself inextricably drawn to him—and scared of everything she never knew about him. Perhaps it’s his grief. Or maybe his desires, cut short by tragedy. Or could it be something twisted only Hayley knew about?

A dark, romantic thriller perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover and Laura Nowlin, Everything We Never Said explores the secrets in even the best of friendships and asks how well you ever know the ones you love.



Kid Review: My Cat Does Ballet by Robert Heidbreder

May 25th, 2024 by


About This Book:

A boy shares his love of ballet with his cat in this adorable picture book that leaps and glides through ballet terms, famous dancers, and the special bond between a young dancer and his pet.


Some cats pounce, snooze, or climb up the curtains. But one boy has a pet cat that does ballet, jumping after flies in perfect grands jetés and gliding across floors with smooth glissades. Perhaps they can teach you and your cat to do ballet too! This joyful and hilariously illustrated story is a charming pas de deux for felines and their friends.


*Review Contributed By Connie Reid, Staff Reviewer*

Positive Representation and Humorous

My Cat Does Ballet is perfect for the dancer and cat lover in your life. A young boy tells his friends about all the antics his cat gets into and the different ballet moves that the cat unknowingly performs. His friends tell him about the misadventures they have with their cats such as the cat who steals stuffies or the one who chews toilet paper. All his friends come over so he can teach their cats ballet and things get a bit out of hand. The humorous illustrations will keep you turning pages. The back matter provides mini-biographies of famous dancers that the author used as the boy’s friends throughout the book. There are also ballet terms to help build vocabulary knowledge about dance. Overall, this book positively represents boys who like ballet and is humorous with the shenanigans that all cat lovers can relate.


*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*

What’s New In YA? May 7, 2024

May 7th, 2024 by



May 7, 2024




  • Publisher: ‎Balzer + Bray
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

The final book in the swoony and high-stakes fantasy rom-com trilogy that began with Twin Crowns, about twin princesses separated at birth—from bestselling authors Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber.

Twin queens Rose & Wren survived the Battle for Anadawn and brought back magic to their kingdom. But danger lurks in Eana’s shadows.

Wren is troubled. Ever since she performed the blood spell on Prince Ansel, her magic has become unruly. Worse, the spell created a link between Wren and the very man she’s trying to forget: Icy King Alarik of Gevra. A curse is eating away at both of them. To fix it they must journey to the northern mountains—under the watchful guard of Captain Tor Iversen—to consult with the Healer on High.

Rose is haunted. Waking one night to find her undead ancestor Oonagh Starcrest by her bed, she receives a warning: Surrender the throne—or face a war that will destroy Eana. With nowhere to turnand desperate to find a weapon to defeat Oonagh, Rose seeks help from Shen-Lo in the Sunkissed Kingdom, but what she finds there may break her heart.

As Oonagh threatens all Rose and Wren hold dear, it will take everything they have to save Eana—including a sacrifice they may not be prepared to make.




  • Publisher: ‎Amulet Books
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 12

Ray Stoeve’s Summer Love Strategy is a sweet and swoony YA rom-com about two friends making a pact to find summer romance like they’ve seen in the movies—and finding love where they least expect it along the way!

Hayley always has a crush. The problem is, her crushes never like her back. After her latest unrequited love—a girl from her basketball team—gets a boyfriend, she decides she’s done falling for girls who are unavailable. Her best friend, Talia, wants romance too, but rarely gets crushes on anyone, and she’s tired of watching Hayley get her heart stomped on over and over. So the two girls make a pact: they’ll help each other find summer love by putting themselves in situations that always lead to romance in movies.

To help carry out their summer love strategy, they make a list of all the places they could find their real-life rom-com: the beach, the Pride parade, the pool, a MUNA concert, and a party. But as they go to each place and try to find the one, it seems like they just can’t catch a break—they don’t know how to talk to cute strangers, someone mistakes Hayley as straight, and Hayley does a truly unfortunate DIY haircut (that she cannot be held responsible for––it was a crisis!). But when Talia and Hayley finally manage to score dates, will they be able to get out of their own way and really dive into the romances they deserve? Or is summer love not as far off as Hayley thought?




  • Publisher: ‎Scholastic Press
  • Reading age: ‎12 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

What makes a girl “beastly?” Is it having too much ambition? Being too proud? Taking up too much space? Or is it just wanting something, anything, too badly?

That’s the problem Arabella faces when she makes her debut in society. Her parents want her to be sweet and compliant so she can marry well, but try as she might, Arabella can’t extinguish the fire burning inside her — the source of her deepest wishes, her wildest dreams.

When an attempt to suppress her emotions tragically backfires, a mysterious figure punishes Arabella with a curse, dooming her and everyone she cares about, trapping them in the castle. As the years pass, Arabella abandons hope. The curse is her fault — after all, there’s nothing more “beastly” than a girl who expresses her anger — and the only way to break it is to find a boy who loves her for her true self: a cruel task for a girl who’s been told she’s impossible to love.

When a handsome thief named Beau makes his way into the castle, the captive servants are thrilled, convinced he is the one to break the curse. But Beau — spooked by the castle’s strange and forbidding ladies-in-waiting, and by the malevolent presence that stalks its corridors at night — only wants to escape. He learned long ago that love is only an illusion. If Beau and Arabella have any hope of breaking the curse, they must learn to trust their wounded hearts, and realize that the cruelest prisons of all are the ones we build for ourselves.




  • Publisher: ‎Melissa de la Cruz Studio
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder meets Knives Out in this haunting YA thriller. To redeem herself, true crime TikToker Amanda Pruitt spends the summer in Colorado investigating a murder that seems open and shut. But when two crimes—one past, one present—intertwine, Amanda becomes the main suspect.

Amanda Pruitt needs redemption. She is the one, after all, who turned her sister in for murder and anonymously broadcasted her trial to millions on TikTok. And she was wrong. Her sister is innocent, making Amanda the villain—not the hero—all along.

So when her childhood best friend’s mom is arrested for murdering an eccentric billionaire and refuses to give a statement, Amanda decides to help solve the crime. This could be her second chance. If she can use her TikTok to get the public on her friend’s side, the police will have to reopen the investigation.

The plan? Stay the summer with her aunt who is the concierge at the Summit, a historic (read: haunted) hotel in the mountains that also happens to be the scene of the crime. Investigate the billionaire’s murder. Win back her estranged bestie Vince.

Not the plan? See a ghost. Fall for Vince. Black out and lose 15 minutes of her life. Wake up to find the dead body of a frenemy.

Amanda and Vince must work together to find the killer, or Amanda risks going down for a murder she isn’t quite sure she didn’t commit. Set in a possibly haunted hotel and including TikTok interstitials, this is the perfect follow up to Live Your Best Lie.




  • Publisher: ‎Labyrinth Road
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎HL670L
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

A teenager on the run from his past finds the family he never knew existed and the community he never knew he needed at an HBCU for the young, Black, and magical. Enroll in this fresh fantasy debut unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Ten years ago, Malik’s life changed forever the night his mother mysteriously vanished and he discovered he had uncontrollable powers. Since then, he has kept his abilities hidden, looking out for himself and his younger foster brother, Taye. Now, at 17, Malik is finally ready to start a new life for both of them, far from the trauma of his past. However, a daring act to rescue Taye reveals an unexpected connection with his long-lost grandmother: a legendary conjurer with ties to a hidden magical university that Malik’s mother attended.

At Caiman University, Malik’s eyes are opened to a future he never could have envisioned for himself— one that includes the reappearance of his first love, Alexis. His search for answers about his heritage, his powers, and what really happened to his mother exposes the cracks in their magical community as it faces a reawakened evil dating back to the Haitian Revolution. Together with Alexis, Malik discovers a lot beneath the surface at Caiman: feuding covens and magical politics, forbidden knowledge and buried mysteries.

In a wholly unique saga of family, history and community, Malik must embrace his legacy to save what’s left of his old family as well as his new one. Exploring the roots and secrets that connect us in an unforgettable contemporary setting, this heart-pounding fantasy series opener is a rich tapestry of atmosphere, intrigue, and emotion.




  • Publisher: ‎Disney Hyperion
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

Acclaimed author of Last Tang Standing and Lucie Yi is Not a Romantic in her YA debut: a sharp yet sweet rivals-to-romance romp through Kuala Lumpur—perfect for fans of Emiko Jean, Abigail Hing Wen, and Kat Cho.

Agnes Chan never expected to be the punchline of her own life . . .

But how else do you explain getting accidentally run over and seeing a lifetime of careful preparation, endless training, and all your hopes of a track scholarship to college destroyed in a split second? Not to mention the only witness to your humiliation being your #1 archnemesis, Royce Taslim.

So, when Agnes finds a new answer to her scholarship predicament in the form of an international stand-up comedy contest for teens, the last person she expects to be up against is also the last person she wants to see: Royce. Because for years Royce has represented everything Agnes loathes: extreme privilege, popularity, and physical perfection (ok maybe she doesn’t hate that part so much).

Behind the scenes, though, Royce’s flawless façade fades away, revealing someone Agnes never expected—someone who shows her that perhaps the best parts of life are the ones you aren’t prepared for—and as the competition heats up, so do things between these two rivals. But will the pressure to win be too much for them to handle—or will Agnes (and Royce) get the last laugh?




  • Publisher: ‎MTV Books
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

Four gay teens in Texas have the summer of their lives while discovering important truths about realness, belonging, and friendship in this joyful young adult contemporary novel for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli.

Mac has never really felt like he belonged. Definitely not at home—his dad’s politics and toxic masculinity make a real connection impossible. He thought he fit in on the baseball team, but that’s only because he was pretending to be someone he wasn’t. Finding his first gay friend, Cammy, was momentous; finally, he could be his authentic self around someone else. But as it turned out, not really. Cammy could be cruel, and his “advice” often came off way harsh.

And then, Mac meets Flor, who shows him that you can be both fierce and kind, and Mikey, who is superhot and might maybe think the same about him. Over the course of one hot, life-changing summer, Mac will stand face-to-face with desire, betrayal, and letting go of shame, which will lead to some huge discoveries about the realness of truly belonging.

Told in Mac’s infectious, joyful, gay AF voice, Hot Boy Summer serves a tale as important as hope itself: four gay teens doing what they can to connect and have the fiercest summer of their lives. New friendships will be forged, hot boys will be kissed…and girl, the toxic will be detoxed.




  • Publisher: ‎G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎780L
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

Aina’s world is governed by Toranic Law, a force that segregates people into upper and lower realms. It’s said that if the sinful lowers commit themselves to kindness and charity, their souls will lighten, allowing them into the peaceful upper realms.

But Aina, one of the few lowers to ever ascend, just wants to go back home.

Aina is desperate to reunite with her mother, hoping she’s survived the beasts and wars of her homeland alone. After failing to weigh down her soul with petty crimes, Aina joins a rebel group defying the authorities and bringing aid to those condemned to a life of suffering in the lower realms. Alongside Aina are two new recruits: Meizan, a ruthless fighter trying to save his clan from extinction, and Aranel, a spoiled noble spying for the powers that be.

Before long, the rebels find themselves in the middle of a brewing war. On one side, a violent king of a lower realm is bent on destroying Toranic Law; on the other, the authorities of the upper realms will do anything to stay on top. Now the young rebels must face both sides head-on if they want to stop a conflict that could break not only Toranic Law—but the universe itself.

Fans of epic, propulsive fantasies like Six of Crows and innovative world-building like Avatar: The Last Airbender will delight in A. A. Vora’s ambitious, unmissable debut.




  • Publisher: ‎Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 and up

Darcy believes in love at first sight.

Even though it’s never happened to her, she’s spent her whole life waiting for that perfect, magical moment. But right now, her life is anything but perfect. In the aftermath of a music festival, she’s stranded at a bus station until morning—the day before she leaves for college. Her phone is dead, she has no cash, and she’s convinced nothing good can come of this night…but then she meets Russell.

Russell. Cute and nice, funny, and kind. She knows this is the moment—and the guy—she’s been waiting for. And they have until sunrise to walk and talk and connect.

Over the course of this one fateful night—filled with football field picnics, night swimming, and escape-artist dogs—Darcy and Russell’s lives will change forever. They’ll discover things they never imagined about each other…and about themselves.

But can you really know someone after only a handful of hours? Is it possible to fall in love in just one day?

And is it worth saying hello…when you know you’re destined for a goodbye?




  • Publisher: ‎Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎12 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎7 and up

From the New York Times bestselling author of Internment comes a timely and gripping social-suspense novel about book banning, activism, and standing up for what you believe. 

After her dad abruptly abandons her family and her mom moves them a million miles from their Chicago home, Noor Khan is forced to start the last quarter of her senior year at a new school, away from everything and everyone she knows and loves.

Reeling from being uprooted and deserted, Noor is certain the key to survival is to keep her head down and make it to graduation.

But things aren’t so simple. At school, Noor discovers hundreds of books have been labeled “obscene” or “pornographic” and are being removed from the library in accordance with a new school board policy. Even worse, virtually all the banned books are by queer and BIPOC authors.

Noor can’t sit back and do nothing, because that goes against everything she believes in, but challenging the status quo just might put a target on her back. Can she effect change by speaking up? Or will small-town politics—and small-town love—be her downfall?



YA Review: Teenage Dirtbags (James Acker)

April 25th, 2024 by


About This Book:

From the author of The Long Run comes another unflinchingly raw and boldly hilarious novel about an unlikely group of teens coming together to exact revenge on the person who wronged them.

All’s fair in love and revenge…

Phil Reyno is a “troublemaker.” With a punk aesthetic and a quick temper, Phil knows that it’s surprising to see him dating universally beloved Cameron Ellis, whose viral coming out video made him an internet darling.

Jackson Pasternak is a “good guy.” Junior class president, star rower, and Ivy bound, Jackson is burnt out and misses the only person who ever truly knew him—his ex-best friend, Phil.

When Cameron dumps Phil and torpedoes his already-iffy reputation in the process, Phil hatches a plot to expose Cameron as the two-faced liar he truly is. And he finds the perfect weapon in his old pal Jackson, who agrees to infiltrate Cameron’s circle and uncover dirt.

But as Phil and Jackson rediscover their friendship—and more—they start to wonder… Will knocking Cameron off his pedestal really solve their problems?

*Review Contributed by Connie Reid, Site Manager*

Teenage Dirtbags is such an eye-catching name and the premise of the book was instantly intriguing. At first, the plot followed the summary of the book so much that I didn’t become invested until it delved more deeply into the characters and how they executed their revenge plot. There were lessons learned, friendships made and mended, and harmful and healing truths revealed along the way.
I love Phil Reyno’s character. He has the reputation of a rebel and he’s surrounded by people ready to wash their hands of him. He’s mean and has had a rough upbringing. There is no sympathy from others and no margin of error for him to seek redemption. Except, Jackson Pasternak knows Phil and sees all his reasons and understands.
Jackson’s ability to make himself a dependable, upstanding student and all-around good guy hides a lot of uncertainty. It takes him a while to realize that he has room for error and everyone wants to forgive and forget any foibles he has. How the world treats these two boys is vastly different allowing for great conversations about money, privilege, and compassion.
Phil was forcibly outed on social media as being gay. Yet, everyone finds it immensely charming and side with the one who did it. Jackson can’t put into words the fact that he is not indifferent to boys and loves Phil. Phil handles the matter so supportively and gently that their emerging relationship makes for a compelling read.
Overall, the revenge plot was fun to read. I liked the new friends and relationships made when Phil became public enemy number one when his social media boyfriend, Cameron, dumped him for likes. I love the realness of Jackson and Phil’s struggles with identity and their relationship. The explored themes would make for a great book club pick and elevate the book beyond a  story of two teens rediscovering their childhood friendships.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Middle-Grade Review: The World-Famous Nine by Ben Guterson

March 28th, 2024 by


About This Book:


Imaginative and entertaining … Readers will breathlessly turn the pages as they wonder: Can the duo solve the mysteries of The Nine in time to save it from those who wish it—and them—ill?” —Bookpage


“The department store offers a rich setting for adventure …. Mystery in a wondrous environment melds with family history and a tinge of magic in this tale for detail-oriented young readers.” —Shelf Awareness

In this thrilling mystery from an award-winning author, Zander is determined to do whatever it takes to save his grandmother’s nineteen-story out-of-this-world department store—perfect for fans of The Swifts and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Zander Olinga’s grandmother is the owner of the fabled Number Nine Plaza, the spectacular nineteen-story skyscraper. The Nine, as it’s called, has everything imaginable, including a massive Ferris wheel on its rooftop, monorail tracks suspended from its ceiling, and twenty-five glass elevators. But there’s something evil looming in the shadows, and strange accidents start befalling the guests. When Zander and his friend Natasha come across a series of inscriptions hidden throughout the walls of The Nine, they discover that the clues will lead them to a magical object which protects the store’s very existence. With the future of The Nine on the line, the pair are determined to recover the mysterious object before the luxury plaza and its many guests are destroyed.

Featuring an unforgettable setting and a larger-than-life cast of characters, here’s a spellbinding mystery involving puzzles, art, and high-stakes adventure.


*Review Contributed By Connie Reid, Staff Reviewer*

Enticing Mystery


The World Famous Nine establishes an enticing mystery in an intriguing setting of the Number Nine Plaza store in Novatrosk. Zander’s grandmother owns the store and it has been in operation for over a hundred years. He goes to stay a few weeks with her and learns of a family mystery and possible doom unless he figures out what happened to a mystical mandala plate said to fortify the plaza.
He befriends Natasha who swings high above the patrons in several stores. Together they explore the wonders of the Number Nine Plaza and look for the clues left behind by Vladimir Winibee. There is enough intrigue and mystery to keep you turning the pages to find out what will happen.
The atmosphere and setting make for an enchanting read. There is danger but for most of the book, it is hard to figure out if there is magic at work or delusional people set on destruction. Zander makes personal growth when he works to overcome his fear of heights, which helps him during the showdown.
Overall, this was an engaging read with superb world-building and a great sense of mystery throughout. I think Middle-Grade readers especially on the younger end of the range will enjoy the puzzles and mysteries to solve.


*Find More Info & Buy This Book Here*


YA Review: The Stolen Heir (Holly Black)

March 22nd, 2024 by

About This Book:

An Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller!

An Instant #1 Indie Bestseller!

Return to the opulent world of Elfhame, filled with intrigue, betrayal, and dangerous desires, with this first book of a captivating new duology from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black.

A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.

Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There, she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.

Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world. There, she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag, Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.

Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful, and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she left behind.

*Review Contributed by Connie Reid, Site Manager*

Holly Black has returned to the beloved world of Elfhame, with a fantastic companion duology, with Prince Oak now the central character. It has been a minute since I read the original series and while I am sure rereading would have been a pleasure it wasn’t strictly necessary to enjoy this new story. It is told from Wren’s perspective.
Wren’s character is completely enthralling throughout. She has endured so much tragedy and abuse at the hands of her parents once they pulled her from the mortal world as a child. We find her living a small ghostlike existence in the wild. She is swept up in Oak’s latest quest to travel to her home and save his father, Madoc from imprisonment. She is so love-starved and Oak is so charming that it is hard for her to trust their budding friendship and possible romance as being a true event and not a trick.
Oak and Wren both are coming to terms with their pasts and there is growth in both their characters during their journey. I am all for their relationship so the ending was a complete surprise in how she reacted to discovering the truth about her power.
Overall, I could not put this book down. I read it in under 24 hours and lost so much sleep because I was completely immersed in the world Holly Black had created and rooting so much for these characters. I loved returning to the world of Elfhame and am so glad there are new engaging stories to read. I am thankful the wait is over for the next book.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

Kids Review: I’m a Black Hole (Meet the Universe) (Dr. Eve M. Vavagiakis)

March 19th, 2024 by

About This Book:

Journey to the event horizon in this playful, mind-bending introduction to one of our universe’s most mysterious marvels—narrated by a black hole itself.

Lurking at the center of our galaxy and in the farthest reaches of space are black holes. Once unseeable and unknowable, these cosmic devourers—sometimes born from the death of stars—swallow even light itself. What exactly is a black hole? And how do we even know they exist? In a kid-friendly, rhyming narration, the elusive astronomical object introduces itself as both a behemoth star-eater and a shy, rarely-spotted phenomena. Physicist Eve M. Vavagiakis’s approachable text is paired with Jessica Lanan’s imaginative depictions of a young astronaut venturing where no human has gone before, along with stunning renderings of our fascinating narrator and the final frontier. Endnotes expand, spread by spread, on the fascinating science behind black holes and the cutting-edge experiments used to study them. This second entry in the Meet the Universe series will light readers’ curiosity and have them racing to discover more secrets hidden among the stars.


*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

I’M A BLACK HOLE is a clever and engaging picture book that teaches children about black holes through rhyme. The book is told from the perspective of a black hole, giving information through a poem. Backmatter includes more detailed information about black holes for readers who want to learn more.

What I loved: This is such a great way to introduce black holes to young readers. The rhythmic and rhyming text is fun to read aloud and manages to provide a good deal of information. The backmatter supplements this with more details for readers who are curious to learn more. Even as an adult, I felt like there was a lot to learn about black holes and found it quite engaging.

Stunning, lush images are found on each page, related to the text. They really capture the imagination and add to the story quite a bit. Each page spread only includes a few lines of text, so the book can move very quickly. With the detailed illustrations, there is a lot to explore and enjoy throughout. Due to the length of the book, this could work well for preschoolers and up, with options to expand their learning through the backmatter and/or additional material. This would be a great pick in a classroom or group setting as well.

Final verdict: Educational and entertaining, I’M A BLACK HOLE is an informative and rhyming picture book that will inspire learning and curiosity in young readers.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

YA Review: The Other Lola (Ripley Jones)

March 13th, 2024 by

About This Book:

The sequel to Ripley Jones’s unforgettable YA thriller Missing ClarissaThe Other Lola is about what happens when the people you love the most are the people you can trust the least.

In the months after Cam and Blair broke their small hometown’s legendary missing-girl story and catapulted to accidental fame, they vowed never to do it again. No more mysteries, no more podcasts, and no more sticking their heads where they don’t belong.

Until Mattie Brosillard, a freshman at their high school, shows up on their doorstep, begging Cam and Blair for help. Mattie’s sister Lola disappeared mysteriously five years ago. No trace of her was ever found. Now, she’s back–but Mattie is convinced the girl who returned is an impostor. Nobody believes Mattie’s wild story–not Mattie’s brother, not Mattie’s mother, and not even Cam and Blair. But something is definitely wrong in the Brosillard family. And Blair has her own reasons for wanting to know what really happened to Lola while she was gone.

With Cam and Blair still struggling with the aftermath of their first mystery—and with new secrets swirling between them—the stakes are higher than ever in this can’t-miss sequel to Missing Clarissa.

*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

THE OTHER LOLA is a consuming YA mystery/thriller. This is a continuation of the characters from MISSING CLARISSA, though it can be read as a stand-alone with key facts summarized in this sequel and a new case to follow. Cam and Blair are still reeling from everything that happened in their podcast and sleuthing to figure out what had happened to Clarissa in their cold case investigation. When they are approached by a teen, Mattie, who wants their help with a new investigation, Cam and Blair have very different reactions.

Blair has always dreamed of being a writer, and an agent wants to help her publish a book – she just needs the right story. So when Mattie comes to them for help, Blair feels like she has found it. Cam is still suffering from the way everything went down when she investigated previously, but she is not as into therapy as her mother wishes she was. She is not at all eager to leap into a new case, but she does not want to let Blair down. Luckily, they both agree – no podcast this time.

Mattie’s sister Lola went missing at 15, 5 years ago. A woman claiming to be Lola has resurfaced with a story of being kidnapped, and Mattie’s family has welcomed her into the family easily. However, Mattie knows that she is not Lola. If Mattie is right, who is this other Lola and what happened to the real Lola?

What I loved: This was a captivating story that pulls the reader into the mystery of what happened to Lola five years ago – and whether this person claiming to be Lola is actually her or not. There are some hints that Mattie may be right, but there is plenty of room for questioning. Regardless, there are five missing years that the kidnapping does not really explain. This is where the case lies.

As Cam and Blair get into the investigation, they are back asking questions of people who might have known Lola in the past and might have information about what happened to her. This includes the best friend, the boyfriend, the twin brother, police, and teachers. Cam and Blair really have a knack for this, and just like in the first book, they seem to know the right paths to go with a dogged method of investigation that serves them well. Lola’s case is quite different than the first, but their methods work them well for this case too. The case builds slowly, but enough information is gleaned each step of the way to really keep the reader hooked too.

Aside from the case, the reader also gets to see into Cam and Blair’s lives. Cam and Blair are each really compelling characters and going through their own things. The story provides both of their perspectives. Cam is dealing with nightmares and panic attacks as well as fear of her relationship with her girlfriend, who is now on the other side of the country for school, ending. Blair is trying to decide what she’ll do after high school. She wants to be a writer, but she is not sure if college is for her. She gets particularly pulled into the case when she goes on a date with someone they need to question – and finds herself attracted to him.

There were some strong themes of found family, fears for relationships and the future, the weight of lies (small and big), and mental health. There were also some background points about prejudice in the justice system/missing girls, systemic injustice, and the weight of being a public figure. The pacing of the story was just right. This is a mystery series that I would love to see continued with Cam and Blair leading the way!

Final verdict: THE OTHER LOLA is a consuming and thrilling YA mystery that I highly recommend for people who enjoy amateur sleuths, intriguing secrets, and compelling characters.

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

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