Hi friends! I have somehow not posted a book review since October. How did that happen on my book review blog? Ugh to all other commitments that take my time away – like teaching and writing and friends, etc. Anyway, here are some books I would recommend to pretty much anyone – especially anyone who likes YA books enough to still be reading this blog. So …
Warcross by Marie Lu is set in a near future where pretty much all of society is dominated by a virtual reality game. Emika Chen would probably be amazing at Warcross, if she wasn’t so busy trying to pay off her dead father’s debts and keep a roof over her head as a hacker and digital bounty hunter. In a desperate situation, she accidentally hacks into the opening night of the official Warcross games. She expects legal trouble, but instead the game’s creator – the teenage and smoldering Hideo Tanaka – offers her a job. He will put her as a wildcard into the Warcross games if she will serve as his spy. I’m not *quite* finished with this book yet, but I feel VERY confident recommending it. The weaving in of Emika’s backstory is done masterfully. In books like this, I sometimes have trouble keeping track of all the different characters and technology in play. But from page one of Warcross, I’ve been riveted.
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz is one of the more quiet young books from 2017 that I wished got a little more attention from the YA community. I interviewed Karcz in July when her book came out, but don’t think I’ve followed up with how much I enjoyed this debut. Filled with magical realism, the story follows Mercedes Monroe, a teenage artist with serious painter’s block. Her mom’s out of town taking care of her abuela, who’s in a coma, and she’s keeping a seriously big secret from her best friend Victoria. The answer to her artistic problems, seems to be a mysterious neighbor with an invitation to an enchanted empty condo building. In the building, Mercedes is able to do her best work – but it has to stay in the building. And eventually she has to decide what’s more important, her life outside the condo or the expression and invigoration she feels inside.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is a book that, by contras, has gotten lots of attention. Deservedly so. I had ridiculously high expectations after The Fault in Our Stars and this book surpassed every one of those expectations. Every. Single. One. This was a stay up way too late to finish this book in one sitting kind of read for me. Part mystery, part chronicle of the difficult internal life of a character struggling with OCD, and part celebration of complicated friendships – I LOVED THIS BOOK. In case you can’t tell. It felt so nuanced and hard and true about knocking down the often used tropes and misunderstandings about mental illness. And it had the tight, exceedingly clever language that I’ve loved in Green’s previous books. It also made me cry all the tears and feel all the feels and remember how powerful and immersive reading a book like this can be.
What are you all reading these days (not that I need to add to my TBR, lol)?