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 Minnesota 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
Thomas, L. (2015). Because You’ll Never Meet Me. New York: Bloomsbury Children’s Books.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me evolves through a series of letters between two teenage boys, Ollie and Moritz. Each letter progresses the story and illuminates their quirky, brilliant personalities.
It reminded me a bit of Everything Everything because both stories revolve around embellished medical conditions. Ollie is allergic to electricity; any small amount will cause seizures so he and his mom live a remote life in the woods. Mortiz has a pacemaker and was born without eyes yet has the skill of echolocation, being able to locate objects by reflected sound waves (as bats and dolphins do). Apart from the fact that Moritz lives in Germany and Ollie in the US, their health keeps them apart from one another.
Unpredictable from start to finish, this breathtaking story beautifully portrays friendship and humour.
Benwell, F. (2015). The Last Leaves Falling. UK: Definitions Young Adult.
I can’t even. This is a beautiful story of a teenage boy in Japan who enjoys playing baseball and dreaming of becoming a professor until one day when his legs simply fail him on the field and he collapses. Sora
and his mother sit in the doctor’s office and hear a dreaded prognosis of ALS, a degenerate disease that will cause Sora to progressively lose control of his body to the point where he will be in a hospital bed with machines to help him breath and eat.
To be a young man facing death is terrifying, but what concerns Sora most is his mother. His lovely mother who has given everything to Sora already, will need to stop working and stay home to care for her only child. He is truly wracked with guilt at the thought of the people he will leave behind, including the dearest grandparents in the history of grandparents.
A quiet, thoughtful soul, Sora doesn’t have a network of friendship already in place in his life, and as a sort of social outlet, he turns to a teenage chat forum. Mai, Kaito, and Sora turn out to form an incredible support system for each other. Continue reading
Quick, M. (2016). Every Exquisite Thing. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Nanette O’Hare is your typical teenager experiencing angst and hurt, and Every Exquisite Thing effortlessly succeeds in pulling the reader along with Nanette as she searches for answers. It all begins at Christmastime when her English teacher, Mr. Graves, gives her an out-of-print copy of the cult classic, The Bubblegum Reaper – complete with highlights, underlined passages, and dog-eared corners. The story speaks to some more than others. For Nanette, her obsession with the book causes her to reconsider past choices, drastically altering her relationships. She quits the soccer team Continue reading