Reviews written by Penny Olson

13 results - showing 1 - 13
Ordering
February 04, 2021
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Lush fantasy with amazing characters and world-building

I really loved We Hunt the Flame. It is a well-written fantasy inspired by Middle Eastern culture. The world building is skillful, the magic system fascinating, and the characters complex. The land of Arawiya once vibrant and flourishing, has lost its good magic, has become cursed and suffers under a...

January 08, 2021
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Hilariously funny and insightful rom-com

Super Fake Love Song is about Sunny Dae, a Korean American teenager who is a mega-nerd trying to survive at his wealthy, white California high school. He is introduced to Cirrus Soh, a very cool, worldly, beautiful girl. To impress her, he impulsively tells her he is the front man...

November 13, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Claustrophobic, creepy and haunting

Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken in by the family of a lawyer, a former colleague of her dad's who owes her father his life. They live on an enormous, isolated family estate. She is asked...

November 13, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A compelling and original coming out story

Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his secret boyfriend, he absolutely panics and flees to Rome. He is terrified of his parents finding out he is gay. The story unfolds as Amir goes to Rome, but also...

November 13, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Fast paced sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian

I really enjoyed Skyhunter, another winner from Marie Lu. Talin is a refugee and is mute. She is a Striker, a special type of fighter, for the country of Mara. Mara is under threat from the Karensa Federation, which has invaded every other country except for Mara. Talin and her...

November 13, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Fun contemporary YA romance

Evie is a young actress living in L.A. and has a legacy to live up to. Her parents are famous documentary film makers and her grandmother, Gigi, is a legendary actress. She has dreamed of following in Gigi's footsteps her whole life. Evie is about to launch into superstardom in...

September 15, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Brilliant, thought-provoking sci-fi

Andra, a teenager from the 2160s, is put into cryogenic stasis fulling expecting to wake up on another planet one hundred years later with her family and about a million other colonists. She is woken up in a dirty cave in 3102 by Zhade, an exiled prince. Society has devolved...

March 12, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Fantasy/romance for the younger YA reader

The Queen's Assassin is a fantasy romance geared toward the younger YA reader. It is told from the first person perspective of Shadow, who has grown up with her aunts and wants to join the Guild, an association of assassins and spies, and the third person perspective of Cal, the...

January 17, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A beautiful and lush fantasy based on Bolivian culture

Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set in the fictional country of Inkasisa. Ximena is a stand in for the Condesa, the last remaining royal of the Illustrian people. Her people were driven from La Ciudad when...

December 14, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Fun, fast-paced and funny

I have never read the original Artemis Fowl books but now I absolutely intend to. The Fowl Twins is highly enjoyable, even if, like me, you have never read the Artemis books. The action is fast-paced and grabs the reader right away. The personalities of the twins are very different...

December 03, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Everyone should get to know Juliet

Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming of age story about a Latina lesbian from the Bronx who travels to Portland for the summer to intern with a feminist writer who she admires and idolizes. Juliet's exuberant voice engages the reader immediately, and we watch her navigate coming out as...

December 02, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Fireborne, an outstanding YA dragon fantasy

Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor were treated abominably by their "Dragonlords". The main characters are Lee, the son of a Dragonlord killed in the uprising, and Annie, whose family was slaughtered by Lee's father. They...

November 24, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Fireborne, an outstanding YA dragon fantasy

Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor were treated abominably by their "Dragonlords". The main characters are Lee, the son of a Dragonlord killed in the uprising, and Annie, whose family was slaughtered by Lee's father. They...

13 results - showing 1 - 13
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