I wanted to work at BookTowne since I was in the eighth grade. While my lifelong dream of working at BookTowne has been realized, my other dream of reading every book on its shelves has not. But in all seriousness, I really do love BookTowne and I love to read. My specialty is in Young Adult fiction, romance novels, children and middle reader's books. I love a wide range of books, but I especially adore strong female leads and dystopian societies. If there are impossible odds and the clock is ticking, I'm in! It is also very important to me that there is diversity in the books that I read.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein
Darcy is a girl surrounded by rumors and secrets. In her seventeenth year, she is spending the summer raking blueberries alongside migrant workers as mystery and treachery run deep in the veins of her tiny town. She is cruelly nominated for her town's pageant as a joke, and as the summer progresses, all the walls Darcy has built threaten to come tumbling down.
This books was compelling - not just because of the fully developed characters, but because of the sense of danger that had me turning page after page. The plot had twists and turns that left me breathless. The blend between coming-of-age story and pure pulse-pounding mystery was seamless. After all is said and done, Darcy is a human character, one we relate to and see - either in others or in ourselves. She is the champion of her own story.
Set on the backdrop of Fire Island in 1976, this romantic drama ripped out my heart in the best way possible. Super-rich Jean pines after Gil Burke, a newcomer to her flashy way of life. But when Fritz, a girl from 'the other side of the tracks' who defeated Jean in a tennis championship the year before, also falls hard for Gil, the two girls are pitted against each other. The stakes get higher and higher as the plot weaves through both girls' points of view until they reach a tipping point. They are fighting for much more than a tennis championship this summer. The language is light and easy to read, but the ending is emotionally devastating - I was enthralled. I definitely recommend this book, which comes out in June!
The Haters by Jesse Andrews tells the tale of three teenage jazz-camp runaways who hit the road looking for the perfect gig. Without telling their parents and without cell phones, Ash, Corey and Wes traipse across the US, instruments in tow. Chaos and hilarity ensue. I was laughing out loud! Andrews has a flair for unique storytelling, and it comes across in all the best stylistic choices. Friendships are put to the test as the quest comes to one disaster after another. Music lovers and musicians will definitely appreciate all the references, and they will feel all the feels for main character Wes! I recommend this book for older YA readers.
This book has the political suspense of Game of Thrones paired with beautiful world building and a powerful, resourceful, clever, Hunger Games-esque heroine, to start. It has a love triangle that goes from oh-so-typical to "WHAT?! THAT'S WILD!" in five seconds flat. Mare Barrow is a heroine that is equal parts fierce and lovable. Betrayal and loyalties run parallel in this fantastic novel. You won't be able to put it down!
- 9th grade +
- Fans of The Hunger Games
NOT SO GOOD FOR:
- Younger readers (fair amount of violence throughout)
My favorite book from one of my favorite children's writers/illustrators Scott Campbell! This story is perfect for little boys. Next-level cuteness abounds! The little boy in this book loves to hug. Everyone of all shapes and sizes gets a hug. It's acclaimed by Kirkus reviews, Booklist and Publisher's weekly, but really I care most about the warm fuzzies it gives me. What a wonderful book!
Main characters Gigi, Bette, and June compete fiercely with each other in this novel that explores the brutal underbelly of competitive ballet. While they dance through heartbreak and their own struggles, they fight to tear each other down from the lead roles they all so desperately want. But there are also threads of a heart in this book. Which side will win out in the end? Will the desire for glory and fame outweigh age-old friendships? Or will love find a way?
This book has diverse characters and lush storytelling that had me ignoring my responsibilities in favor of reading and reading and reading into the night! I can't wait to read the sequel!
PERFECT FOR FANS OF:
- GOSSIP GIRL
- THE IT GIRL SERIES
- PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
- BLACK SWAN
One of my favorite books to recommend for young boys, Dragon Rider stands out as one of Funke's best (alongside The Thief Lord, of course). Eccentric whimsy and the "real world" collide for young Ben and his dragon Firedrake as they set out on wild adventures that include, but are not limited to, fantastic beasts, harrowing danger, and evil villains. When I listened to it on tape as a child I remember screaming out loud whenever there was a twist in the plot. I'm sure it drove my parents crazy but it just goes to show how great this book is. I highly recommend to kids 9+!
If New York City is the city that never sleeps, Ember is the city that never wakes up. Partly because the city's inhabitants never question anything, and partly because the city is in semi-permanent darkness. The city's generator, which provides light during the "day" is failing, and Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow are determined to figure out why - and fix it! Young readers will love this adventure. They will be rooting for the main characters down to the very last page. PLUS: there's more! This is the first in a series!
Recommended for Ages 10-14