The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (by Karina Van Glaser)

Young Readers / Young Adult

The Vanderbeekers live in an old three storey brownstone in Harlem, NY. Two weeks before Christmas they learn that their curmudgeonly landlord, The Beiderman (Mr Beiderman) won’t be renewing their lease and they will have to leave their beloved home.

Not only will they have to move, they might have to leave New York. The five Vanderbeeker children have just 11 days to convince him to let them stay.


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is completely charming. It’s obviously written for young readers (10~13 years old) but I loved it and I’m not too far away from 50. Kids will love it, parents will love that their kids love it and it’s a great book for reluctant readers.  There isn’t really anything bad I can say about the book.  I’ll be buying a few copies for stocking stuffers.

5 Stars.

Bend (by Nancy J. Hedin)

Young Adult / LGBT

As a young gay woman living in a deeply conservative and religious community, Lorraine’s main goal in life is to graduate from school and go to college. And the further from Bend, Minnesota the better. Then Charity arrives in town. She’s the daughter of Bend’s most conservative preacher and like Lorraine, gay.

But along with Charity comes family upheaval. A long hidden secret and a family crisis threaten to destroy more than just Lorraine’s dreams of college.


I love this book. It’s whimsical, innocent, perhaps even a fairy tale but it also tackles some very dark issues. It’s the very best that Young Adult fiction can be.

Yellow, Orange, Red, what it means. YOR-Guide

Many thanks to Anglerfish Press for providing me with this Review Copy.

The Sun Is Also A Star (by Nicola Yoon)

28763485Young Adult / Contemporary Romance

In the last desperate hours before she and her family is deported, Natasha goes to the INS office in the hope her appeals have been heard and she can stay in the US. As her day progresses she touches the lives of many different people some in small ways and some in life-changing ways.

Daniel is supposed to be attending an interview to discuss his application to study at Yale, but when he sees Natasha, eyes closed and headphones on dancing to some unknown song and oblivious to the world around her, he is immediately captivated.

They spend their day, her last day together, and as the day progresses grow closer.


The Sun Is Also A Star is one of those very rare books that is perfect in every way.  It is achingly beautiful, poetic, heart breaking…and life affirming.  There isn’t a single bad thing I can say about this book, and it’s Young Adult, normally I would have lists. 5 Stars

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 10.26.54 PMYellow, Orange, Red. What it means.  YOR-Guide

The Hunt (by Chuck Wendig)

Young Adult

A friend from before. A friend who abandoned her when she was at her lowest comes to Atlanta for help. She’s pregnant and it quickly becomes apparent she was drugged and raped. Atlanta agrees to help and finds herself battling an organised prostitution ring run by killers.

Facing one dead end after another, Atlanta does what she does best. Burn it all down and see who crawls out.


 

 

atlantaI’m so addicted to Atlanta Burns. She’s a pill popping, shotgun wielding anti-hero who delivers her very own brand of justice. If Dirty Harry was a High School senior and female, he’d be Atlanta Burns.

There is a fair bit of violence and drug use and I guess I should, reluctantly give that warning, but honestly I’d recommend this book to any young adult and most definitely to reluctant readers.  5 Stars.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 6.44.49 PM

Orange, Red, Yellow. What it means:  YOR-Guide

 

Cold Burn of Magic (by Jennifer Estep)

Young Adult / Urban Fantasy

Lila lives in a town ruled by magical mobsters. After her mother was murdered by the most violent of the mobsters she went into hiding living in a tiny room in the basement of a library and making money by robbing cashed up tourists.

When she steps in to rescue Devon, the son of one of the crime bosses she suddenly finds herself reluctantly pulled into the world. Forced to work as his bodyguard. If she can survive a year she will earn her freedom, but with one attack after another, Devon is proving to be a dangerous person to be around.


 

Really great book. Loved every single moment. That is all.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmOrange, Red, Yellow. What it means: red-orange-yellow-guide

Uprooted (by Naomi Novik)

Fantasy

Agnieszka lives in a small village in a valley at the very edge of the kingdom. Just beyond her home is the Wood, a malevolent and magical forest full of evil and magic. All that stands between the wood sweeping through her village is a cold and driven wizard known as the Dragon. For his services in battling the wood, every 10 years the village must offer up one girl who will act as his servant for the next 10 years and live with him in his tower.

Everyone knows that the next girl he will choose will be Kasia. She is both beautiful and a good cook. She has been preparing for the day the dragon will come and take her since she could talk. So when the dragon arrives and chooses Agnieszka –– clumsy, dirty, tree climbing Agnieszka, everyone is stunned, but before anyone can say a word she is whisked away to the tower to begin her new life.

The Dragon went to the village to find a servant. He wasn’t expecting to find a witch. But Agnieszka is no ordinary witch. She can read and cast spells that have been lost for many thousands of years. In her is both the power to destroy the kingdom and the power to save it.


 

I’m completely speechless. Uprooted is perfect. In every way. It finished perfectly but I still wanted (want) more. As soon as I read the last lines, I wanted to read the whole thing again. It’s that good.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmOrange, Red, Yellow. What it means: red-orange-yellow-guide

Bruja (by Aileen Erin)

Young Adult (Vampires / Werewolves / Witches)

Despite escaping from her coven, Claudia remains blood-bound to Luciana, the coven’s leader. She, along with a small group of witches who left with her, has found sanctuary with the werewolves but Luciana can still invade her dreams and the blood-binding makes it possible for her to take Claudia’s power.

Desperate to break the binding, Claudia travels to Peru in search of a mysterious and possibly extinct group of white mages but she finds herself facing witches even more evil than Luciana.


I loved this book. The characters are wonderful and the story is great. It’s like Claudia reaches out of the book, grabs you by the scruff of the neck and drags you through the pages. Honestly, I don’t give up sleep for very many books but I just couldn’t put this one down.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 3.09.42 pm

Many thanks to Ink Monster & Netgalley for providing me with this ARC Yellow,

Orange, Red. What it means:  red-orange-yellow-guide