these books are geared more towards sixth grade through high school and beyond, unless otherwise noted.
Cover image from Goodreads.com
I had to get this one up on the blog right away. I just finished it yesterday! What a powerful book. It is one of those YA books I walk away from dying to share with someone. Finch and Violet are two characters who meet during dark times in their lives. Together they wander the state of Indiana as part of a project for school, and they form a relationship that is so rare in people so young. The issue of teen suicide is a sensitive and tough one to handle, but Niven does that beautifully (if you read her author notes and dedication in the back, you see why). Though the book deals with such a tough topic, and you do see profanity and some sexual content, I feel like they are all handled well. The book just works better for more mature readers, like the upper classmen into college age. This book was Niven's first voyage into YA, but I do hope it will not be her last!
*Book cover image from Goodreads.com
Madeline is allergic to everything. Therefore, Madeline has had very little exposure to real life experiences, including boys. So, the book does set you up for a mild annoyance that she falls for the boy who moves in next door so quickly, but at the same time, there's is a friendship and romance you get sucked into. I was okay with it. In fact, I found myself flying through this book and enjoying the ride. There is a twist I called pretty early that makes this novel a worthy read, and I think a lot of teens will go for the story and characters. Caution-sexual content (handled well but still there) and profanity. I would say the book is best for high school to college/mature readers.
*Book cover picture from Goodreads.com
I got to read an advanced copy of this book that comes out next month. It was an interesting read about Parker, who lost her sight as a child. I liked seeing the world from that perspective, including her love of running (and joining the track team as a blind runner) and her love life dilemmas, teen drama, and friendships. Things would dawn on me as I read-"Hey! She has no idea what her best friend looks like. How weird." I liked that surprise and those moments to think of those things I have never come across in a YA book before. I have to give a note of caution about the hefty profanity, so I would probably only recommend this one to high school students to college age kids. Overall, typical teen book in many ways but with a new perspective that kept it interesting and fresh.
*Book cover picture from Goodreads.com
I was so fortunate to get an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley to read before it was even published. I read When You Reach Me by this author years ago and was fascinated by the story and the writing. I was not disappointed in this new book by her. I felt it was a good way to cover some teen issues while switching focus to more than one character. I will say when it jumps to the unnamed person on Valentine's Day (which is a necessary and good part of the overall story), it can be distracting keeping track of who is who and connecting what is happening once you find out who the mystery person is. Otherwise, I highly recommend this one to students as low as the strong readers in 3rd or 4th grade. Older students in high school may find it a bit too juvenile for them, though the themes are still applicable.
This title is a new book out in October. It is a genre unlike anything I have ever read before, and I loved it! What if Hitler had not been defeated when he actually was? What if Germany was allied to Japan and lasted longer in World War II than the country actually did? What if all the medical experiments Hitler had his staff perform on those imprisoned in concentration camps actually created people with powers, powers to shift and change their appearances? This book looks at those possibilities with interesting characters and conflicts readers could not even imagine. The book switches from the main character's past to her present, building her back story and revealing details that explain how and why she gets involved in this plot to destroy Hitler. It is set during an exciting race across the country on motorcycles with characters who are never who they seem.
*Picture of cover art from Goodreads.com