Meloy M. (2011). The Apothecary. NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Moving to new cities can be tough, as fourteen year old girl, Janie, knows all too well. It’s 1952 and she’s just moved to London from America with her family. She soon meets a boy name Benjamin, whose father is the local Apothecary. There is something strange about Benjamin, who talks a lot about spies and such stuff. But when Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie finds herself getting wrapped up in a mission to save him. Benjamin and Janie must search through London, following the clues left behind. This leads the two on a magical adventure from birds, to plants, Janie must let go of everything she thinks is real and embrace the magic that keeps her and Benjamin alive. But the two must hurry, Continue reading
Menon, S. (2018). From Twinkle, With Love. NY: Simon Pulse.
Twinkle Mehra is a filmaker in high-school. She wants to tell her stories, and show to the world what she can do. Twinkle is in is love with the idea of becoming a well-known female director for movies, and follows all of the female directors in Hollywood. Twinkle isn’t exactly the most popular person in her school so when her best friend leaves her to hang out with the ‘cool kids’ Twinkle feels the lost all the more painfully. But when Sahil Roy, a fellow classmate approaches Twinkle with an idea of making a play based around the movie Dracula, Twinkle is dragged into a project that will truly test her directing skills. Twinkle is initially very excited for this project, not only is it a chance for the whole school to see her skills, but it’s a chance to get closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy, Sahil’s Continue reading
Saènz B. (2012). Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Ari doesn’t have many friends, he’s kept to himself, angry and unfriendly to most of his classmates at school; however, when he runs into Dante at the local swimming pool, a unique friendship forms there. Ari and Dante find out that they have a lot in common, and over a long summer, spending time together, their friendship grows stronger. Over the years through high-school, Ari and Dante must stick together to work through this tough time in their life. They have intellectual ponderings about the world, throw their tennis shows down the road and walk home in a downpour instead of running. Their friendship keeps them moving forward. This is a novel that encapsulates a small period of time in two boy’s life and tells a tale from it. Ari and Dante grow as the story progresses and mature as the plot develops.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a beautiful book with well written dialogue. It is simply a must read.
De Rosnay T. (2007). Sarah’s Key. NY: St. Martins Press.
This story takes place in France, Connecticut, New York, and a bit in Italy, switching from contemporary times (2002 – 2005) to World War II. One of the major themes revolves around love, notably the deep love between Sarah and her brother, who are separated.
The story starts in Paris in 1942 when people who were Jewish were being arrested in the middle of the night. Sarah needs to make sure her brother does not get caught so she makes an agonizing but necessary decision to hide him in their secret hiding spot, not knowing that it would be a while until she returns. On the flip side of the story in 2002, Julia is married and has lived in Paris for twenty-two years as a journalist. Currently, she is writing a story about Jewish families during War World II and she discovers a huge secret her father-in-law and his family have harboured, after which she is driven to find Sarah. Continue reading
Poston A. (2018) Heart of Iron. Balzer + Bray
Ana doesn’t know where she comes from. She was found as a child drifting through space with a metal sentient robot named D09, and was brought in and raised by a group of space pirates. Now years later, seventeen year old Ana is on the hunt for equipment that will fix D09’s terminal glitching, and she will do anything to get it. Ana has a lead, and it’s coordinates to a lost ship that could have the equipment needed. But Ana isn’t the only person looking for these coordinates. An Ironblood royalty, Robb, beats her to it and runs off with the coordinates. In a last ditch effort to save D09, Ana chases him, right into the heart of trouble. As the situation escalates, Ana and her family of space pirates are thrust into an swirling adventure that forces Ironblood and space pirate to Continue reading
Green J. (2017) Turtles all the Way Down. Dutton Books.
“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And eventually you die.”
Turtles all the way Down is the newest John Green young adult book. His story follows a girl in high school named Aza Holmes. Aza struggles from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The most enjoyable part of this novel was watching how Aza and her friend, Daisy’s relationship changes, varying from so bad they crashed a car, to great and hanging out with each other all the time. Eventually, Aza needs to decide between doing the right thing and keeping a friend. I have read many books about teens suffering from OCD, but every time I read another, I learn something new. This time could see how every different person has their own personal way of dealing with their troubles. My expectations were Continue reading
Toten T. (2013). The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B. Doubleday Canada.
“I sweat terror, Robyn! I’m scared every single second about every single goddamned thing. I worry obsessively about being buried under an avalanche of fear. Jesus, Robyn, I’m scared like only the truly crazy can be.”
“But that, is the definition of courage: you go on despite the fear.”
Stress! Not only young adults who manage Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as Adam, our protagonist, does are affected by it but also those who need to live through anything from a parent’s divorce, broken hearts, to blended families, as we see in the rest of the characters. Toten’s The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, winner of the Canadian Children’s Literature Award, is about an almost fifteen year-old boy who falls in love with a girl. Naturally, a few problems arise. Robyn is older and taller, and has OCD herself. Adam’s parents are divorced and have given him an annoying step-brother. Even though Adam struggles with a lot everyday, he still cares and worries about everyone else in his life. And even though Continue reading
Foody, A. (2018). Ace of Shades. Toronto: Harlequin Teen.
Enne’s mother, Lourdes, told her that if she wasn’t home in two months, then to count her as dead. So naturally, after four months of waiting, Enne leaves her peaceful town of Bellamy and travels to New Reynes, the so called City of Sin, in search of her mother. Her mother told her to visit Mr. Levi Glaisyer if she was ever in New Reynes, so Enne’s first mission is to find Levi. But when she does find Levi, she figures out that he’s an Iron Lord, the leader of a gang in New Reynes, and a con man. Confused as to why her mother told her to see him, but being dragged deeper and further into the trouble surrounding her mother and Levi, Enne is forced to work with Levi to figure out where her mother is. Levi has his own bucket of problems as well, as he has to find 10,000 volts (the currency of New Reynes) in ten days in order to stay alive, and the promise of volts from Enne if they find Lourdes is a last ditch attempt to Continue reading
Zevin G. (2007). Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux.
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.
But Naomi picked heads.
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin is a young adult book for ages twelve to eighteen and has been awarded the Best Children’s Book of the Year. This book is about a teenage girl who hits her head when she falls down the stairs, throughout the book you find out more of how she finds who she is again. She does this through breakups and losing friends. I really enjoyed how real-life this book was. The main character made good and bad decisions, unlike some novels where the main characters are the “best” version of a human being. She went through one relationship to another, just like real life. I think I would definitely want to explore amnesia more because in the book Naomi only forgot Continue reading
Crowley, C. (2017). Words in Deep Blue. NY: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers .
Heartbreaking but beautiful, . Two best friends, Henry and Rachel were inseparable childhood friends. Now as teens, Rachel is in love with Henry even when Henry becomes obsessed with Amy, the pretty, new girl at their school. Rachel’s life is in an up swirl because her family is moving away, and she decides to confess her love to Henry, so she writes Henry a love letter and leaves it in his favourite book. The letter asks Henry to meet her, only Henry never shows up. Wrecked, Rachel decides to push it all behind her. Three years later, Rachel returns to her home town after her younger brother whom she Continue reading