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Children's specialist Faith is super duper happy to help you find great picture books, and is always looking for the next big thing in middle grade and teen fiction. Known around town as "the book babe," she's friendly with dozens of local YA authors like Stephenie Meyer, Lisa McMann, and Aprilynne Pike and even organized get-togethers for new local authors. Be sure to check out the Changing Hands Kids' Blog for even more of her recommendations!
I had such a great time reading this book! It's creative and engaging, filled with interesting characters, family intrigue and just enough revenge magic to make anyone happy. If you like Night Circus or Neil Gaiman, this is the book for you.
Another winner from the author of Roller Girl! A sweet and sometimes charming story about a girl trying to navigate the daunting part of life known as Middle School. Imogene is such a great character and the Renaissance Faire setting serves as an interesting backdrop for what could very easily have been a generic and lackluster story. .
I have been a fan of Shannon Hale since her very first book but this might just be my favorite. Her frank and sometimes heartbreaking accounting of her childhood caught me to the quick on more than one occasion. I empathized with her, and cheered with her and loved every moment I spent reading this wonderful book. It is definitely a must-read for everyone.
The Black Witch is, basically, a political treatise couched as a dark fantasy novel. It's all about Powers That Be creating a climate of fear and hatred of others, denying creatures basic human rights, closing borders, pushing religious agenda... there's even slavery and hints at denying the poor healthcare. Even with all that, it's not heavy handed. Instead the story handles these subjects in a fresh and interesting way while still being engrossing and page-turning.
Flame in the Mist is a wonderful fantasy story with all the elements that make a great one. I fell in love with Mariko from the first chapter and was happy to follow her long, and mostly arduous, journey to discover herself and come to terms with the harsh reality of the life she chose. I look forward to (by that I mean I am impatiently awaiting) the next book and the continuation of this captivating story.
I didn't simply read this book so much as I let the story wash over me and through me until every pore, every molecule of my being was infused with utter beauty of the words and the writing.
When I was done, I was left with a sense of loss that it was over but also a sense of euphoria that I was allowed to be a part of the story of lives of Lazlo, Sarai and Weep, even for the briefest of moments.
Rin Chupeco became an instant favorite of mine with her 2014 debut book Girl in the Well. I could write paragraphs about how much I love her but for now I will just say this; she only has a few books out but her distinct writing style and storytelling abilities put her among the best in her field and make her an author to watch. With her newest title, Bone Witch, she has once again proven this. It is a beautifully written dark fantasy that will take your breath away and leave you wanting.
What do a one-eyed queen, a Russian sniper and a child paleontologist have in common? They are just a tiny sampling of the incredible women you will meet in this book. Basically, it's a book about a bunch of bad-ass women you've never heard of. Who wouldn't want that?
A noteworthy debut. Well developed characters and a refreshingly authentic narrator combine to make an endearing and compellingly honest look at family dysfunction.
A fantastic picture book that proves that every girl is amazing. Whether they are dressing up like pirates, climbing trees, or playing sports, they are always BEAUTIFUL!
A must have for every parent and child.
I make it a point to read as many debuts as possible, with If I Fix You I am reminded why I do so. It is a wonderfully written debut filled with heart and humor and quite possibly one of the best lines in YA lit. No, I won't tell you what it is I don't want to spoil it for you; trust me you will cry all the tears.
I urge you not to start reading this before bed. Unless you are the type of person who enjoys staying up all night reading, because you will not be able to put this book down. It is that good! Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, bam, plot twist. It had my heart pounding, my pulse racing, I was on the edge of my seat (and other such cliches), and I enjoyed every single moment.
Do yourself a favor and read this book, it will not disappoint.
With Die for You, Amy Dominy has entered a small but necessary world, that of authors who write about subjects some consider taboo. She manages to take on abusive relationships and mental illness with a level of grace and aplomb that is sometimes lacking in other literature.
This is the type of book that will change lives. Maybe not thousands or even hundreds but one day someone in a situation similar to Emma will read it and make a connection; and it will change them for the better. And I think that makes everything worth it.
I love everything by Suzanne Young but I was a bit hesitant since this book is a bit of a departure from her dystopian series. But I was not disappointed. All in Pieces took my breath away. It's poignant and well crafted with characters that are equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. As much as I love a good stand alone novel, part of me wants a sequel so I don't have to let go of any of the characters. If you only read one book by Suzanne Young, let it be this one.
I am a total sucker for re-told fairy tales, my favorites being fairy tales that are not as well known. When I came across Vassa in the Night I was ecstatic. Sarah Porter has done a wonderful job retelling the Russian fairy tale Vasilisa the Beautiful and I confess I had to re-read the original as I had completely forgotten the story.
I love that Porter chose not to shy away from the darker elements of the original fairy tale and I truly enjoyed every moment I spent getting to know her characters.
Cute. A word that has never been applied to a travel guide. Until now. I love these so much I can't stand it. Whether or not you ever plan to travel with kids, you need these books. Why? Because pop-ups!
This book was such a wonderful read. It has all the elements that make for a great story. The subject matter, the writing style, and the characters all combined to make a book that was hard to put down. I look forward to recommending this for years to come. Julie Berry is a treasure and I eagerly await more wonderful stories from her.
I love this book so much. Stories like Wrong Side of Magic are exactly why I work with children's books. It is a charming blend of Phantom Tollbooth and Neverending Story and like them, it's completely delightful. Everything from the snarky unicorns to the troll curses helps make this a hilarious story that is sure to capture the hearts of all readers. Who is it for? Everyone!
The Crown's Game is a wonderfully captivating story of beauty, magic, sacrifice, and love. It's the The Night Circus meets Russian fairy tale and it's completely addicting. I eagerly await all future books by Evelyn Skye.
This is a spectacular debut. From the lyrical writing to the unforgettable characters to the harsh realities of war, every moment spent reading is a gift. An instant classic.
A brilliant and redemptive look at the world of four teenagers as they deal with long buried grief, past trauma, loss and all the guilt that comes with being a survivor. With I Crawl Through It, King has once again proven herself to be among the greats in the world of literature. YA or otherwise. I loved every word, every sentence and every second spent reading this gorgeous novel. And I think you will too.
Jennifer Donnelly has once again proven to be a master of historical fiction. These Shallow Graves is wonderfully written and filled with history, thrills and a whole ton of fun.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has hostile ghosts, revenge, dead bodies (in a cornfield), magic and just a touch of romance. In short, this story has all the elements that I look for in a creepy and irresistible read.
Gracekeepers is an amazing book. The writing is lyrical, the characters are lovingly crafted, and the story is intensely captivating. I didn't just love it this book, I reveled in the experience of reading it. It's a gorgeous read and I recommend it to everyone.
Damage Done is equal parts weird, creepy and disturbing. It's also a completely enjoyable read that I could not put down. I highly recommend to anyone who likes to read thrillers.