One Sentence Reviews

My reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade novels - in just one sentence! 

Most recently read (January 2012):
The Fault in Our Stars   by John Green
Not one, but two boxes of tissues were necessary to mop up my tears.

Across the Universe   by Beth Revis
Beth Revis makes great use of alternating perspectives and excellent writing to give an almost contemporary feel to this science fiction journey.

Howl's Moving Castle   by Diana Wynne Jones
The word that best describes my mood upon finishing Howl's Moving Castle is blissful- the tone of the story reminds me of the fairytale books I loved most as a child, filled with whimsy, humor, intrigue, and misunderstandings.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns    by Rae Carson
Gorgeous description and a heroine who learns her strength along the way make this beautiful novel unforgettable.

Shatter Me   by Tahereh Mafi
I am insanely jealous of Ms. Mafi's writing- the utter gorgeousness of this book defies description.

All reviews (alphabetical by author's last name):
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian   by Sherman Alexie
Accompanied by wonderful art by Ellen Forney, Alexie's novel reads in some ways like one of the comic books Junior/Arnold loves so much- quick snapshots of scenes and action- but all the while packing the most unbelievable amount of emotion into its pages and it keeping me rapt, laughing and crying, as I sped through each wonderfully written page.

Speak   by Laurie Halse Anderson
You feel a palpable ache for Melinda as you accompany her through ninth grade while she is tormented by her peers and by the secret eating away at her - hauntingly written with a perfect voice, this novel deserved every accolade it received.

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes   by Jonathan Auxier
The Grimm brothers themselves would tell you that Peter Nimble's story is not for the faint of heart as it contains thievery, murder, enslaved children, talking ape monsters, perilous journeys, dangerous battles, a knight/horse/kitten hybrid, and of course, the woeful tale of a blind child forced into a life of lock-picking and burglary; in short- don't miss it.

The Allegra Biscotti Collection   by Olivia Bennett
So much fun- I not only want to be friends with Emma Rose (the precocious 8th grader behind the titular fashion label) but I want her to design my fall wardrobe.

Beauty Queens   by Libba Bray
Hilarious in a way I have only previously experienced with Carl Hiaason's books: complete ridiculous fun.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You   by Ally Carter
I read this novel plus the next two in the Gallagher Girls series in one sitting because they evoked a feeling in me that truthfully I have not had since Harry Potter - a passionate longing to be a part of the world inhabited by the characters; I long to be a Gallagher Girl.

The Hunger Games   by Suzanne Collins
The world Katniss Everdeen inhabits is brutally disturbing and will stay with you long after you've read the final word of Suzanne Collins' beautifully crafted story; I doubt there is a writer out there who does not wish he or she had written this novel.

Matched   by Ally Condie
A frightening future, made all the more horrific for the appealing notion of not having to live life as a struggle, is the backdrop for this story of 17 year-old Cassia's coming of age awakening and romance.

Nightshade   by Andrea Cremer
My worry that this novel would be too far along the paranormal spectrum for me was completely unfounded as Andrea Cremer's fully fleshed-out characters, quick dialogue, and truly wonderful love scenes had me turning pages well into the night.

The Death Cure    by James Dashner
The final book in The Maze Runner trilogy did not answer all my questions and, as most dsytopian books seem too, left me sad about the fate of most of my favorite characters; however, it certainly took the psychological games (and horrific revelations) to a new level and stayed true to the incredible characterization and plot of the first two books.

The Girl Who Could Fly   by Victoria Forester
Piper McCloud may never have gone to school, but she sure did teach me a lot while making me laugh, cry, and cheer- a breathtaking character in a well-told story.

looking for alaska   by John Green
A unique and compelling story of adolescence and friendship written with compelling confidence.

Demonglass   by Rachel Hawkins
This sequel to Hex Hall is another smart, exciting trip into the secret world of Prodigium (witches, shapeshifters, and faeries) that exists alongside us, with the fantastic Sophie (whose voice remains as refreshing and real as any character on the market today) discovering more about herself, her father, and her powers while figuring out her forbidden relationship with Archer.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer    by Michelle Hodkin
This book was chilling, romantic, suspenseful, funny, confusing, slightly supernatural, and W-O-W good.

Hereafter   by Tara Hudson
Part mystery that grabbed me on page one and part sweet love story between the unfortunately ghostly Amelia and the adorable Joshua adds up to a truly enjoyable read that left me wanting more.

Awake at Dawn   by C.C. Hunter
This sequel to the ridiculously wonderful BORN AT MIDNIGHT had me turning pages at blinding speeds trying to keep up with Kylie's search to find out what she is, the mysterious happenings around Shadow Falls Camp, and the two incredibly compelling (and did I mention hot?) boys competing for her affection.

13 Little Blue Envelopes    by Maureen Johnson
I love an adventure and this story is a fun one, and though I did not connect with the secondary characters, especially Keith, I enjoyed following Ginny Blackstone to Europe and then across it as she follows clues left behind by her beloved aunt in a series of 13 letters.

The Iron King    by Julie Kagawa
A nice introduction to a series that will appeal even to those who normally shy away from all things faery.
My Most Excellent Year   by Steve Kluger
LOVE: Steve Kluger's epistolary novel is a sweet coming of age story with three wonderfully appealing protagonists that will have you falling in love with them before you can say "Red Sox".

Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus   by R.L. LaFevers
The third entry in this series is another fun ride (and super quick read) chronicling the exploits of the pint sized detective, historian, and Egyptology expert Theodosia Throckmorton who brings to mind Indiana Jones crossed with Nancy Drew and a dash of Hermione Granger.

The Power of Six   by Pittacus Lore
This second book in the Lorien Legacies series ratchets up the action, the characters, and the number of plotlines, pulling the reader deeper into the fold of Number Four's story and providing a sequel that tops the original.

Twilight   by Stephenie Meyer
I initially read Twilight twice in the same night because I was simply enchanted by the Romeo and Juliet-esque love story between Bella and Edward; the idea that love can be so undeniable and unconditional is intoxicating.

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie   by Jaclyn Moriarty
I am a huge fan of Jaclyn Moriarty's novels and the plot of this one is my favorite- equal parts silly and endearing it is a laugh out loud funny ride that you won't be able to put down until you reach the satisfying conclusion.

The Hound of Rowan   by Henry H. Neff
This debut middle grade novel and first in The Tapestry series is a breathtaking adventure filled with rich characters, folklore, and fantasy attesting to the wondrous imagination of the author; anyone lamenting that boys do not read need only hand them Max McDaniels' introductory tale.

Anna and the French Kiss   by Stephanie Perkins
J'adore; everything a contemporary novel should be.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging   by Louise Rennison
I hurt my throat laughing.

Withering Tights   by Louise Rennison
The hilariosity of Georgia Nicolson lives on in her younger cousin Tallulah Casey who is off to performing arts camp in the small village of Yorkshire Dales where her sweet stumbling humor and her very nobbly knees help her navigate new friends, strange boys, and the drama of a very unique drama program.

Divergent   by Veronica Roth
This is the rare novel that you read in one sitting and then think about for days afterwards; this dystopian debut novel truly excellent.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth   by Carrie Ryan
A completely cool title is not the only amazing thing about this novel, I would not have predicted that such a literary and carefully-crafted work could come from a zombie story but, wow it sure did and the result was that I had to sleep with the light on.

My Very UnFairy Tale Life   by Anna Staniszewski
A fantastic Middle Grade novel that will make readers of all ages long to be an adventurer like Jenny, saving fairy tale characters from themselves.

The Emerald Atlas   by John Stephens
A worthy quest tale that draws from familiar themes and brought to mind A Series of Unfortunate Events (minus the silliness) meets Maiya Williams' The Golden Hour.

Imaginary Girls   by Nova Ren Suma
A disturbingly beautiful portrayal of the complicated relationship between sisters and the ghostly lengths one will go through to keep the other safe.

Variant    by Robison Wells
What started off as a more relateable The Maze Runner- type story, took a turn that I didn't see coming, and left me wanting a sequel ASAP.

The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman   by Ben H. Winters
A giggle or a guffaw awaits on every page as you follow seventh grader Bethesda Fielding on her determined journey to uncover the secret behind her music teacher at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School in this cleverly witty tale.