Reviews written by Lauren Thoman, Listings Manager

81 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5 6
Ordering
October 03, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A beautiful story of grief and healing, friendship and found family

It’s always a little risky, both as a writer and a reader, taking on a book told from multiple points of view. It’s hard enough to find a book with one narrator I love, let alone two or more. Throw on top of that a non-linear structure — KIDS OF...

July 05, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A dark, gorgeous tale of monsters

For the past couple years, Victoria (V.E.) Schwab has been focusing on her adult books, with Vicious and her Darker Shade series. However, This Savage Song takes her back to her start in YA, with an urban fantasy that explores the question of what it means to be monstrous. For...

July 03, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Beautiful, poignant story of family, grief, healing, and first love

It's well-known that parents are scarce in YA literature. Either they're dead, or they're absent, or they're around but strangely invisible. It's understandable; YA is about teens, and it's hard to put teens front and center if their parents are continually barging in and trying to take charge. So many...

February 23, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Magic, murder, intrigue, and fabulous coats

As with most high fantasy, A Darker Shade of Magic starts slow and quiet, building a world that is like ours, and not like ours, brick by brick. We meet Kell, a mysterious wanderer in a fabulous coat, who travels between worlds as easily as stepping from one room to...

February 23, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Lush, confident, and wholly immersive

A Gathering of Shadows is a different beast from its predecessor, A Darker Shade of Magic. While the first book in V.E. Schwab's excellent fantasy series devoted itself largely to establishing the rules of its multiple (and occasionally magical) Londons, introducing its characters, and then throwing them all into tumultuous...

February 08, 2016 (Updated: February 08, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Hopeful, moving, inspiring, and immensely satisfying

Ruta Sepetys has a unique gift. She finds the tragic stories that history forgot and brings them to life through her books, educating her readers on these lost pieces of the past while simultaneously taking them on a heartfelt and emotional journey alongside her characters. Salt to the Sea is...

September 22, 2015
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
A beautiful, vivid, and compulsively readable portrayal of life in Gold Rush-era America

Before I dig into my thoughts on the first book in Rae Carson’s new Gold Seer Trilogy, let’s discuss genre for a minute. While WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER is being marketed as a fantasy, and while the opening chapter firmly establishes Leah Westfall’s ability to magically sense the presence...

June 07, 2015
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A beautifully crafted tale full of honest emotion and raw truth

From its very first page, ?EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU utterly captivated me with its poetic, sparse prose and keen emotional insight. Each word feels carefully chosen to immerse the reader in the Lee family's household, which seems ordinary at first -- in spite of the dead girl no one...

March 18, 2015 (Updated: April 02, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Full of sharp wit, abundant strangeness, and endless quotability

The first thing a reader notices when they pick up MOSQUITOLAND is the voice. Self-proclaimed strange protagonist Mary Iris Malone (“Mim”) leaps off the page, a precocious, declarative and impulsive girl with a view of life and people that is, even at its most stable, a little askew. She is...

February 10, 2015
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
A thoughtful, honest story of loneliness, heartache, and hope

Suicide isn’t a topic most people like to discuss. It’s upsetting and sad, and I doubt the majority of folks want to believe that it’s a subject they’ll ever have to deal with personally. Of course, they think, if they ever need to talk about it, they will. They will...

January 31, 2015
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Raw, tragic, and ultimately hopeful

After reading Forman’s debut novel, If I Stay, and its sequel, Where She Went, I knew Forman was not afraid of tackling difficult subjects and handling them with care, which is why I was interested to see her approach to one of the most upsetting and relevant topics in our...

December 29, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
As compulsively enjoyable as reality TV is watchable

Man, this book was fun. Everything about the premise of this book appealed to me. Sisters. Revenge. Reality TV. International travel. Romantic shenanigans. It sounded like exactly the sort of breezy, light read that would leave me with happy butterflies in my tummy and a goofy smile...

August 25, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
A worthy send-off for this fantastical, post-apocalyptic world

A word of warning before you start: if you haven’t read the first two books in the DEFIANCE series, or if it’s been a while and you really don’t remember them, you’re going to want to catch up before cracking open DELIVERANCE. The final book in the trilogy hits the...

July 18, 2014
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Infuriating, brilliant, and important

From the opening pages of TEASE, I knew I wasn’t going to like Sara — and that it was okay. It’s a rare YA book that has such a purposely unlikable narrator (the only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE...

July 15, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Fascinating historical tale

I’m no historian by any means, but I have a deep appreciation for a well researched piece of historical fiction. Even when I know very little about a time period, I think that when an author does her homework, it shows. This is especially essential when the subject matter is...

81 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5 6
Powered by JReviews

Latest Book Listings Added

The Last Fallen Star (Gifted Clans, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Riley Oh can't wait to see her sister get initiated...
Take Me Home: Forests of the World
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Bite-sized facts about forests from around the globe, pointing out...
Hurricane Summer
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the...
All Kinds of Other
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who...
Reign of Secrets
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
At the Midnight Ball, leave your inhibitions at the...
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani's family has never been the...
Go the Distance
 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
What if Meg had to become a god? After...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates...
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about bodies of water from around the globe,...
This Is My America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching...
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magnificent, hand-painted illustrations by a rising star of Czech watercolor...
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Arizona! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
It's Mouse's first day of school. It's Dinosaur's first day...
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact...
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi...

Latest Member Reviews

Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
"ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is a fun YA contemporary about embracing what you love and finding your people...."
Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America
 
5.0
"Rural life and those that live in rural areas have often been painted with a broad, and not very flattering,..."
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA is a lush, beautiful, and romantic fantasy that follows Flora, now living as..."
Everything I Thought I Knew
 
4.3
"What worked: Intriguing plot of Chloe, a seventeen-year-old super-achiever, who ends up collapsing during her senior year in high school..."
Smooth
 
5.0
"Kevin is starting tenth grade, and has been battling horrible cystic acne. At his doctor's appointment right before the school..."
Spindle and Dagger
 
3.7
"Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats is a beautiful, yet brutal, literary novel set in Medieval Wales. It is..."
Spindle and Dagger
 
3.7
"Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats is a unique, dark tale set in Medieval Wales. The author did their..."
We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman
 
3.0
"WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T...."
Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland
 
3.0
"BETWEEN WORLDS: FOLKTALES OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND is a collection of short stories that have been passed down over centuries..."
What Makes Us
 
5.0
"WHAT MAKES US is an intriguing story that follows a teenaged boy, his mother (in the past), and his friend..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
 
4.7
"Sam Jones and Zoe Miller are seniors in high school, but they've never had a reason to communicate during their..."
A Monster Calls
 
4.7
"4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience..."
The Iliad
 
3.7
"Long ago in Ancient Greece, a prince of Troy, Paris, steals the most beautiful woman in the world from another..."
The Lost Coast
 
5.0
"THE LOST COAST is lyrical, ethereal, and deliciously haunting. Danny has moved to Northern California with her mother, to a..."
Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution
 
4.3
"Angie is about to start sophomore year, and she's miserable. She made it through 9th grade on her second go,..."
The Summer of '69
 
5.0
"Lucas' summer is ruined when his girlfriend Robin decides to be a camp counselor some distance from their Long Island..."
Mother Tongue
 
5.0
"As MOTHER TONGUE by Julie Mayhew begins, eighteen-year-old Darya envisions the bits of freedom she'll enjoy once her little sister,..."
Hearts Unbroken
 
N/A
"There are a lot of entry-points to the storylines in Cynthia Leitich Smith's Hearts Unbroken. I recommend this book especially..."
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
 
5.0
"Brangwain Spurge is an elfin historian on a mission: he's tasked with delivering a gift to the king of the..."