Reviews written by Paige Cee, Staff Reviewer

82 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5 6
Ordering
July 28, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
a satisfying, entertaining read

WHAT I LOVED: I genuinely can't imagine four different events happening simultaneously in the same complex, but it happens all the time at the novel's presumed location: the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Without ever stepping foot outside the hotel and convention center, the authors paint...

July 15, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
An intellectual Halloween staple

WHAT I LOVED: The two stories that tie for the best of the anthology are Tess Sharpe’s “The Heart in Her Hands” and Elizabeth May’s “Why They Watch Us Burn” because WOW. Both stories are f/f as well. Sharpe’s story, in which a young witch meets her soulmate...

July 15, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
a breezy summer read

It can be difficult to retell a tale as well-known as Pride and Prejudice, but Zoboi's retelling modernizes the story without compromising events. The Afro-Latinx Benitez family is full of remarkable characters, they live and practice their cultural traditions with pride, and it's unapologetically, delightfully Black. ...

June 23, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
Minimalist novel relevant to our times

The fallout and protests following police choking George Floyd to death in Minnesota has consumed social media for the last week, but it had only just started when I read Tyler Johnson Was Here. But let’s be real, police brutality against Black people is so common that if I’d read...

June 04, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
made me rethink my perspective

WHAT I LOVED: There have been countless school shootings in the United States and hundreds if not thousands of lives have been lost in those massacres, but the base for That’s Not What Happened comes from the most infamous of them all: the Columbine High School massacre of...

June 04, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
a delight and an example

WHAT I LOVED: One of my biggest complaints about Of Fire and Stars was its lacking characterization, but that’s been turned around and now the characterization is what makes this novel such an enthralling, fulfilling read. Denna and Mare spend the beginning of the novel together, but once Denna...

April 30, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
a vast improvement on its predecessor

WHAT I LOVED: People do inadvisable things for love. Some of us publicly embarrass ourselves, but Asra uses her life-draining magic to help her girlfriend Ina find the animal she’ll shapeshift into and inadvertently kills Ina’s entire village. To stop Ina from killing the king and destroying the...

April 30, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
entertaining, complicated novel; plenty of fun

WHAT I LOVED: The wealth of queer and POC representation is by far one of the best things about the book, but there’s far more to it than just that. The worldbuilding and the conflicts created by the king’s refusal to pass the crown to one of his...

February 03, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Fun

Clara Shin is the class clown and definitely qualifies as a troll too. (Big difference between the two, I'm not gonna get into it.) Thanks to re-enacting Carrie's bucket dump when she wins prom queen, she's stuck working her her dad's food truck with her worst enemy Rose Carver. All...

February 03, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Pet
Young Adult Fiction
Remember what the monsters look like

Recently recognized as a National Book Award finalist and a Stonewall Honor book, Pet is also Akwaeke Emezi’s YA debut and the first title from Random House’s Make Me a World imprint. This short novel has been a bit of a Big Book with a good reputation that precedes it...

December 31, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
solid anthology with plenty to love for Poe fans

WHAT I LOVED: I read various poems and short stories written by Edgar Allen Poe as early as seventh grade, when my teachers started assigning them–and they were almost always assigned around Halloween. Listening to “The Telltale Heart” and reading “The Cask of Amontillado” out...

October 24, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
surpassed all my expectations

WHAT I LOVED: Excuse me, who gave Anna Priemaza permission to bug my house and use my brother and I as character inspirations? All jokes aside, it’s eerie how similar Lainey and her brother Cody are to me and my own older brother. I plan to...

October 24, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
vibrant, current

Los Angeles, Ferguson, and Baltimore. Three cities where years of racism, injustice, unchecked police brutality, and rampant anti-Black racism came together and riots ensued after a failure of accountability let cops get away with brutal assaults on black men. Less than two weeks before he was assassinated, MLK Jr. himself...

October 18, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
fun and sweet and close enough to the reality of working in a hospital

I started out reading an ARC of Symptoms of a Heartbreak, but then I switched to reading a hardcover in part because my mom used my ARC to kill a bug and because the book was just so good I wanted a finished copy to keep reading and then put...

July 03, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
awesome activism

WHAT I LOVED: Readers get a dual POV novel narrated by Jasmine, a fat Black girl, and Chelsea, a white girl who presumably wears straight sizes but at the very least is nowhere near Jasmine’s size. I bring their body sizes up because it’s relevant; Jasmine and...

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