The Cruel Prince

Black H. (2018). The Cruel Prince. NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Jude has always been bitter about being a mortal. Perhaps it’s because she lives in the High Court of Faerie where everybody else around her has magic and power. Even one26032825.jpg of Jude’s sisters, Vivi is a faerie and the reason they were kidnapped at a young age along with Jude’s twin sister, Taryn. Jude has always wanted more, always wanted power and magic, and growing up in a world where everybody else has it only adds more fuel to her ambition. So when somebody offers Jude an opportunity to gain power and immunity from any magic used against her, she dives head first into a forest of trouble. There is one catch however, Continue reading

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Allegedly

Jackson, T. (2017). Allegedly. NY: Katherine Tegen Books.

“Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official.

Step back, because you may have an idea of how this story could unfold, but there is a lot waiting under the surface. In a heart-wrenching, emotional break out novel, Tiffany Jackson allegedlydelivers true grit on the page. Mary has been in Baby Jail and group “homes” ever since being convicted at age 9 for the death of a baby her momma was babysitting. Mary hasn’t believed it mattered much if she covered for her Continue reading

Genuine Fraud

Lockhart, E. (2017). Genuine Fraud. NY: Delacorte Press.

It is very rare that you read a book and are shocked by the ending. We Were Liars by the same author was one of those books. Although Genuine Fraud is completely different, genuinefraudthere are parts of this book that surprised.

It begins at the end of the book, where one of the main characters, Jules, is running from the FBI, but you don’t know why. The setting starts off in a swanky resort in a warm climate. From there you begin to read backwards and you slowly discover why she is running from the police. What you discover is a young woman who has been trained to be a spy since her spy parents were murdered when she was little. She has become a polarizing villain, who Continue reading

The Librarian of Auschwitz

Iturbe, A. (2017). The Librarian of Auschwitz. NY: Henry Holt.

A Spanish author goes on a hunt for a good story , and through some serious detective work unravels the story of the littlest library in the world. Antonio Iturbe met up with 31145052Dita Kraus, who took him all over Prague to the house she grew up in before the Nazis sent her family to the ghetto in Teresin, and then on to the concentration camps.

What follows is a remarkable story of a young girl given the responsibility of protecting the few rare and precious books left in their concentration camp, and her year of horror and dehumanization that follows.

Older teens and young adults will be swept up in Dita’s journey. There is some raw language and violence.

Little Monsters

Thomas, K. (2017). Little Monsters. NY: Delacorte Press.

Little Monsters is a guilty pleasure thriller from Kara Thomas that reveals how teenage girls are capable of taking their emotions and actions to an extreme level. Set during a 32320750Minnesota winter, Kacey Young has recently moved out of her unstable mother’s house to her father’s house with a warm welcome from her step mother, step brother, and half sister. They truly want what is best for Kacey, who has lived a tough life and has some dark secrets. Along with all of these changes, Kacey is also adjusting to a new school and making friends.

Very quickly, Bailey and Jade become her besties, showing up at her window one night to sneak her out to a haunted, abandoned barn for a seance, with Kacey’s younger half sister unexpectedly tagging along. The town’s legend of the Red Woman adds a slice of horror to the plot, and when Bailey goes missing following a party the next night, a convoluted psychological mystery Continue reading

Agatha Christie Graphic Novels Series (24 books)

Hughot. (2007). The Man in the Brown Suit. (Agatha Christie Graphic Novels #10). NY: HarperTorch.

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What?! No one told you there were Agatha Christie graphic novels? Well it’s true, and they are delightful, especially for the Christie connoisseur. Let’s take a look at The Man in the 2489221-1.jpgBrown Suit. When a man is killed by a tube train, a young woman initiates an investigation to solve the mystery. This adaptation holds more charm than it can handle but reader beware, if you haven’t familiarized yourself with Christie’s writing, you’ll be missing out on the fullness of the characters and the rich, detailed story, both of which can not possibly be done justice in a comic strip of this length. However, if you are a Poirot or Marple or Tommy and Tuppence fan, go ahead and partake with abandon. Luxuriate in the art deco-esque illustrations and ignore the thinner plot.

The Hate U Give

Thomas, A. (2017). The Hate U Give. New York: HarperCollins Publisher.

Inspired by the movement #BlackLivesMatter, The Hate U Give is an incredibly relevant and heartbreaking account of a sixteen year old girl who witnesses the killing of her 32075671childhood best friend at the hands of the police. Everyday Starr leaves her own neighbourhood where her family owns the corner store, to attend private school in an affluent neighbourhood. Up until this point, Starr had done fairly good job of keeping her two worlds separate –dating someone at school who is white, while still being very much a part of her own community, until now. Even though Khalid was unarmed and innocent at the time of his murder, the press makes him out to be a thug.

The Hate U Give (or THUG) will inevitably spark discussion on race. It reminded me a lot of All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely because both books deal with witnessing a police killing of an innocent young black man and grappling with the decision to come forward as a witness, or not speaking up out of fear. Continue reading