Reviews written by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer

340 results - showing 1 - 15
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Ordering
January 28, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
interesting premise for a new YA fantasy romance

THE QUEEN'S ASSASSIN is a YA fantasy romance that would appeal to younger YA readers. The book follows Shadow and Caledon in alternating chapters with Shadow's in the first person point-of-view and Caledon's in the third person limited. Shadow lives with her aunts in a small cottage, but her time...

January 26, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
captivating and thrilling YA fantasy

SCAVENGE THE STARS is an engaging YA fantasy that gripped me from the start. Amaya, or Silverfish, is a girl who was sold onto a debt collector's ship, where she must work to pay off her family's debt. Amaya has put her memories into the back of her mind, while...

January 14, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
charming YA contemporary about owning who you are

FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA contemporary. Camryn (Cam) is excited to start her senior year and plan to get in for Columbia. However, it's only the first week of school and things are not going...

January 14, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
fun new take on FREAKY FRIDAY

FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out with her cousin and BFF, Lana, a few years earlier. Without much explanation, Lana seemed to no longer want to hang out with her. It coincided with the time her...

January 12, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
delightful contemporary YA romance

ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED is a charming YA contemporary romance that follows Ollie. Ollie had lived in California, until this year when his parents and he went to North Carolina for the summer to help out his aunt, who has terminal cancer. When she is not getting better, they end up...

January 10, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
darkly enchanting

INK IN THE BLOOD is an engaging and atmospheric YA fantasy. Celia Sand was delighted when she was chosen to serve the Divine at six years old; her mothers were so proud of her. However, Celia soon realizes that this devotion is a curse, and being an Inkling is anything...

January 10, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
charming middle grade fantasy

STARFELL is a charming and magic-filled middle grade fantasy that sweeps young readers away into another world. Willow Moss seemed rather unremarkable- her magic is good at finding things, and when compared to her sisters' brilliance and impressive magic, this seems small. That is, it did until a witch approaches...

January 07, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
engaging YA contemporary with important themes

WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE is an interesting book that discusses homelessness, choices and their intersection with privilege, as well as art. Sabine is a student at CALINVA, a prestigious art school that she always dreamed of attending. The goal seemed unattainable until she received the Zoich scholarship. Now...

January 05, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
magnificent and atmospheric YA fantasy

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH is an imaginative and lush YA fantasy that transports the reader to a fascinating new world. Amora is the princess of Visidia, and heiress to a terrible magic- soul magic. This is a burden she must bear as the ruler, torturing and killing irredeemable prisoners...

January 02, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
well-research historical with Egyptian mythology

WARDENS OF ETERNITY follows Ziva, a young woman who was abandoned as a toddler, became a ward of the state, and is now making her own way by working in a factory. Ziva carries magical powers that she does not fully understand, but she only uses them in self-defense. However,...

January 01, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
approachable voice tackling big issues

THE PEACOCK DETECTIVES is a story told by a young narrator, who is in Grade 6 but reads at a Grade 7 level. Her father is an English and English literature teacher, and Cassie has picked up tips from him about writing that she is employing to write about her...

January 01, 2020
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
thrilling and satisfying conclusion to this mystery trilogy

THE HAND ON THE WALL is a thrilling conclusion to the TRULY DEVIOUS series. Here, the students are at Ellingham, and Stevie is still solving the crimes of the 1930s, as well as the more recent seemingly-accidental deaths at the school. Stevie is watching David spiral downward, and sharing Janelle's...

December 31, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
engaging sequel to an exciting mystery series

THE VANISHING STAIR continues the TRULY DEVIOUS plot as Stevie returns to the enigmatic private school, Ellingham. Stevie becomes more entrenched into the mystery of the crimes that originally took place in the 1930s as she works with a local professor on her research for a book she is writing...

December 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
fun activity book

PAINT BY STICKER KIDS: CHRISTMAS is a fun activity book for elementary-aged children (and maybe older toddlers). The book features a bunch of designs printed on cardstock-style thick paper with perforation at the edge to make them easy to remove from the book. The art is composed of mostly square...

December 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Young Adult Fiction
interesting overall

TRULY DEVIOUS is a YA mystery that takes place at an enigmatic high school. Ellingham was founded by a very wealthy man in the 1930s as a place where gifted students could learn without regard for money. However, not long after opening, his wife and young daughter were kidnapped and...

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