Book Review: “A Tangle of Gold” by Jaclyn Moriarty
Book Reviews / April 6, 2016

“A Tangle of Gold” is the final installment in Jaclyn Moriarty’s “Colors of Madeleine” trilogy, and picks up right where “The Cracks in the Kingdom” left off: Elliot has crossed over from the Kingdom of Cello to Earth, and discovered his missing father there. But as delighted as Madeleine is to have Elliot here in person, he has to leave almost immediately or risk forgetting his true identity. Before she knows it, he’s been whisked away back to Cello – where the world is still in turmoil and he’s a fugitive – and she’s left feeling like her part in the story might be over.

Book Review: “Even in Paradise” by Elizabeth Nunez
Book Reviews / April 5, 2016

“Even in Paradise” by Elizabeth Nunez is a love story, a “King Lear” retelling, and a Caribbean epic all rolled into one. Peter Ducksworth may be Trinidadian to the bone, but he and his beloved three daughters are white, and the legacy of their skin color is impossible to ignore. Like Shakespeare’s famous king, Ducksworth hopes to avoid familial strife after his death by announcing how his assets will be divided among his children while he still lives – but he cannot predict the chaos that unfolds from that decision. Émile, an aspiring writer and teacher, finds himself drawn into the drama when his best friend, Albert, falls for Ducksworth’s oldest daughter, Glynis, and he finds himself drawn to the youngest daughter, Corinne.

Book Review: “Daughters of Ruin” by K.D. Castner
Book Reviews / April 2, 2016

Four princesses – Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren – live together under one roof, but this is no fairy tale – their countries are enemies, their co-habitation the means of an uneasy truce. Rhea’s father, King Declan, emerged victorious from the last war, and the treaty that calls for the heirs to three other kingdoms to live under his roof is of his own devising. Cadis, Suki, and Iren, ripped away from their families as small children, have never felt entirely at ease with Rhea or their “home” with her. All four are burdened with the knowledge that their countries are enemies even as they are raised as sisters, and when mysterious forces break the treaty, all four girls will have to question where their loyalties lie.

Book Review: “The Great American Whatever” by Tim Federle
Book Reviews / March 29, 2016

Quinn Roberts’s life is thrown completely off course when his older sister Annabeth is killed in a car accident. As in – he doesn’t turn on his phone or go to school or even leave his house for six months. His mother isn’t faring any better, and his father left a long time ago. But this summer, his best friend Geoff is determined to pull Quinn out of his funk (as much as possible, anyway), and it all starts with a college party and a cute guy. Maybe this is what he needs to get him out of the house. Maybe it’s what he needs to start writing scripts again – except that’s what he and Annabeth always used to do together.

Book Review: “Half Lost” by Sally Green
Book Reviews / March 28, 2016

When we last left our hero Nathan at the end of “Half Wild”, things weren’t going ideally – his girlfriend had just fatally wounded his father, Marcus, meaning that if the Alliance was going to stand any chance of winning this war, Nathan had to eat Marcus’s heart to gain his father’s magical abilities. If you for some reason are reading this review and haven’t read “Half Wild” or the first book in the trilogy, “Half Bad”…we really aren’t kidding when we say these books are *dark.*

Book Review: “The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle” by Janet Fox
Book Reviews / March 22, 2016

Twelve-year-old Kat Bateson and her younger siblings Rob and Amelie aren’t happy about leaving their home in London to attend Rookskill Castle Children’s Academy, but with the blitz, they really have little other choice. Almost as soon as they arrive, the children realize that something is amiss in the castle, and while logical Kat is almost certain that Lady Eleanor – who oversees the academy – is hiding a German spy, her siblings and the other children insist there is something otherworldly about the castle’s creepiness. Kat thought her great-aunt was crazy when she gifted her with a family heirloom she claimed could do magic…but now she’s not so sure.

Book Review: “Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend” by Alan Cumyn
Book Reviews / March 22, 2016

Let me warn you: the description of this book is going to sound bizarre. This book IS bizarre. Very. Seriously. Really weird. BUT I also really, really liked it. So hang in there: Shiels’s ultra-organized world is thrown out of control when, no joke, a pterodactyl flies out of the sky with a transfer slip. Apparently, his enrollment is a school board initiative, even though no one quite seems to know how it’s possible that a freakin’ pterodactyl even exists, let alone why he wants to enroll in high school. What’s even more weird is that he’s almost instantly popular, boys and girls alike are all drawn to him without really being able to say why. I mean, Shiels could say why…but she definitely doesn’t want to.

Book Review: “Brothers of the Buffalo” by Joseph Bruchac
Book Reviews / March 21, 2016

Washington “Wash” Vance was born a slave in Virgina, and now, in 1872, a free man, he’s joined the United States Army as a member of the 10th Cavalry, an all African-American regiment stationed in the Wild West. Wolf is a young Cheyenne warrior whose way of life is endangered by the US Government’s encroaching expansion and the greed of the white hunters who are killing off the buffalo that Wolf and other members of his tribe need to survive. Both Wash and Wolf are caught up in dynamic forces of change for the United States in the time after the Civil War, and author Joseph Bruchac has compellingly depicted their coming-of-age tales.

Book Review: “Shades of Darkness” by A.R. Kahler
Book Reviews / March 9, 2016

Kaira Winters came to Islington Arts Academy to get away from her past. What better way to get away from the haunting memories of her past boyfriend and what he did to her (and what she did in return…)? For almost two years, it’s worked. At the isolated private high school, she’s managed to make a few close friends and pour herself into making her painting the best that it can be. But when students start dying her senior year, Kaira knows that she has to confront her past or risk losing those closest to her.

Book Review: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
Book Reviews / March 8, 2016

Although almost all of the stories in Ken Liu’s new collection “The Paper Menagerie” have been published before, readers (like me!) who came to his work after reading or hearing of his Nebula-nominated debut novel “The Grace of Kings” will be thrilled to have so much of his shorter work easily available in one place.