As a fairly emotional being, Claire is all about books that elicit a strong emotional response. Whether it’s a book that makes her laugh out loud, weep uncontrollably, audibly gasp in shock, or one she has to hurl across the room in frustration. Claire loves it all. She reads just about anything, but her heart will always beat for children’s and young adult novels. At Third Place, you’ll most likely find her happily tucked away in the kids department.
A protagonist with the wit of Junie B Jones and Ramona Quimby who solves mysteries during every waking moment? An absolute must! I laughed out loud while inside Aven Green's self-titled "brain of power" as she formed hypotheses and questioned her suspects. She truly is a sleuthing machine and I can't wait to solve more mysteries right alongside her!
Irreverent and rip-off-the-bandaid honest, this book is the coming-of-age story of the moment. It's uncomfortable, messy and everything a book about two teenagers falling in love for the first time should be. And it's all that while being a beautifully singular reminder of how letting people into your life can heal you, break you, but also reveal you. This book made me frustrated, swoony, nostalgic, reflective—I'll have Gracie Welles in my head for a lifetime.
Aptly named, I finished this book, put it down, then picked it back up again and reread it because I wanted a second first impression. Impossible of course because you can only read something for the first time once, but my second read somehow just made me love these characters even more. Thorne's dialogue is just as sharp as it always is and while Teddy and Ruthie are without a doubt the most instantly-loveable duo, it's the cast of secondary characters in this one that really make this book an utter delight.
This story has all the makings of a classic folktale: fierce friendships, non-stop action, and short, cliff-hanger chapters to keep you right on the edge of your seat! Chaya is a thief with a heart for justice and she's on the run from the king. She's not only trying to avoid capture, but to survive the unknown jungle alongside her two unlikely companions. It's a story that feels timeless and fresh all at once. And whether it's your next read or your next read-aloud, lower elementary readers are in for a treat!
I am a giddy, joyous, absolute mess over this book. Every single character is someone I want to meet and I stayed up well into Nora’s golden hour of 4 am just to stay with them for as long as possible. We've all felt loneliness more acutely over the past year, but like traveling to Stars Hollow or some other world filled with characters that you just know, this book made loneliness the furthest thing from my mind. This transportive story of fate, found family, and all the facets of how we can love, is one I just desperately want everyone to be wrapped up in too.
After moving to Minnesota to live with his biological mother, Collin's life completely changes. He is neurodiverse, counting each letter of every word spoken to him before compulsively repeating the total back to the speaker. Because of this, he’s had a hard time making friends. But this move not only brings his mother into his life, for the first time, it also brings a friend his age. With the life lessons, magical realism, and unbreakable, once-in-a-lifetime friendships reminiscent of Bridge to Terabithia, The Brave beats out a classic tale with a new heart. One of the most gently transformative and beautiful stories I’ve come across in years.
What's most striking about this story is how much you care. From the first page, I was entranced and had no real interest in doing anything else with my life until I got to the last page. The story follows three sisters who are being haunted by their late sister's ghost. And yet, it's also not really about that at all. It's about grief, sisterhood, survival and taking back power. Not to mention that the writing is such that it constantly leaves you in an aftermath of wonder. I'm positive I'll be thinking of the Torres sisters for years to come.
This sweet, spooky tale of two best friends who accidentally release a curse on their town and then team up with a witchy grandma and a slightly magical cat named Chunk to fix it, is a pure delight! With nods to Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, and the Goonies, it's an adventurous tale of unbreakable friendship and the power of found family. Quite simply, it's enchanting.
Rowan and Neil have been academic rivals throughout high school and the annual last-day-of-school scavenger hunt is the final opportunity for Rowan to truly best Neil. But when a conspiracy among their classmates causes the two to join forces, will they be able to reprogram their autopilot response to sabotage one another?
Rachel Lynn Solomon makes an enemies-to-lovers playground out of Seattle in this endearing all-in-one-day love story. I dare you not to fall in love with these characters and this city when you're done.
Two college rivals turned successful novelists who happen to have neighboring Michigan beach houses for the summer as they attempt to get over their debilitating writer's block--absolutely, YES.
This perfect enemies-to-lovers story will make you happily forget the fact that you might not be packing any real beach reads for a while because the book itself is its own coastal-town getaway.
It's staggering to see all this history compiled into one book for the simple fact alone that it makes it impossible not to notice the patterns. Of the behavior, thoughts, ideals, and motivations of white people in positions of power finding ways to undermine black people throughout America's history. I learned more from this single book than any history class I took in school. So, please read this book immediately, but I also say we commission Jason Reynolds to write every history book from now until forever.
I stayed up until 6 am reading this book. This story—about a seventeen year old girl who will age out of the foster care system next year—is hopeful and heartfelt without disregarding the harsh realities of what growing up in foster care can look like. Longo's daughter was born into foster care and lived in three different placements before Longo adopted her. It was Longo's daughter who asked her to write this book, and we should all be oh so grateful that she did.
What The Hate U Give did for opening up a conversation about police brutality and racial profiling, Not So Pure and Simple does for toxic masculinity. Giles is able to paint the normalcy of toxic masculinity in all its minute idiosyncrasies without it feeling like a beat-you-over-the-head-I’m-
trying-to-teach-you-something story. It's hilarious, honest, and more necessary than I know how to put into words. If this book is any indication of what 2020 look like, we have every reason to be excited about the future.
I absolutely lose my mind over an immersive YA fantasy and A Winter's Promise is simply the most breathtaking, cozy, sweeping fantasy novel I've ever come across. Think the Golden Compass meets Pride and Prejudice meets Harry Potter. It's an obvious yes for the whimsical, young adult reader in your life.
The Baby-Sitters Club meets The First Rule Of Punk in this fierce novel about sisterhood, friendship, and standing up for what’s right. When the Red Club—an after-school, student-run club for middle school girls to shamelessly ask their weirdest questions about periods and puberty—gets shut down after anonymous complaints of it being too inappropriate, Riley and her friends must investigate the real reasons why their club was taken away. And they just might start a feminist movement along the way.
I can’t remember the last book I’ve been absolutely glued to like this one. There was a moment where I had to get up and start pacing the room as I was reading because my love for these characters quite literally affected my mind, body, & soul. It’s ultimately a story about survival; one that cuts deep while healing you at the same time. Quite simply, this book is “swoon” incarnate.
Have you ever envisioned yourself curled up with a cup of tea while lazily reading through someone else's old diary? If that's you, then I'll do you one better: you can drink your tea, read an old diary, AND be completely overcome by this beautifully sparse knock-you-off-your-feet reworking of an old diary found at an estate sale. This weaving of plucked out lines and phrases from the original diary is crafted into a beautifully parsed down and essential portrait of a woman's day-to-day life. And yet, there is an urgency to this book that hits you like a truck. I couldn't read it fast enough and I couldn't wait to read it again once I had finished. If I have my life in order, this book is one I'll never part with.
Summer camp counselors, awkward & sweet friendship turned to romance, alternating perspectives, laugh out loud humor, AND unputdownable pacing - um, yes please!
I've never seen a story like Jude's depicted in children's literature. At 12 years old, she and her mom leave Syria to live with her uncle in America. But once in America, they quickly understand they won't be treated like they belong. This America that promised an acceptance of people from different countries, is one that calls Jude a terrorist once she starts wearing a hijab.
But through it all, Jude remains hopeful. From trying to make new friends, to trying out for her school's musical, she starts to learn that making a new home doesn't mean you have to forget the one you came from. This novel in verse is urgently relevant and not to be missed!
If you ever thought to yourself, “Hm. Mean Girls, but an MFA program. And, oh! Make it horror! And yeah, a dash of an unreliable narrator sounds good. And why not? Throw in an outlandish plot so brilliantly over the top you literally have NO IDEA what's going to happen next”—then yes, this is the book for you. I loved every page of the delightfully unnerving story.
I wanted to leap from my chair several times while reading this book because it is so good that it felt disrespectful to read it sitting down.
There is not another book like this on the planet, but there should be. I can promise you that I will be talking about this book until the day I die.
I think I’ve been waiting all my life to find this book. Or, perhaps, I’ve just been waiting for it to find me. With any translated novel there's a kind of unnameable wonder. So, I don’t know if it’s just the beauty of the translation itself from its original French text or something else entirely, but I haven’t read a book this magically alive since Harry Potter. Think of all your expectations of what a fantasy novel can be and know that this novel will surpass every single one. Gah! So this is love.
I have now read this book twice and, with both readings, finished it in one sitting. This hilarious and heartbreaking novel will make you laugh out loud and then cry so much you'll go through an entire box of Kleenex (or, maybe that's just me). Anddddd that's all I'm going to tell you because I promise it's just one of those books that is best approached--like most worthwhile things in life--by taking a chance and letting the story lead you where it will.
So, it’s like this: Mary Robison took a jackhammer to the English language. She cleared it of all the tired and old debris of overused everything in order to thrown down asphalt for a new, beautiful, literary road of her own making. Had I ever read anything before this book? I can’t remember. This book made reading new again and has, quite possibly, ruined me for all other works of fiction. Read it. Read it. Read it. And then, read it again.
You won't want to miss a single sentence, word, not even one comma of this magical adventure. Goddesses, librarians, lost cities, adventures, fantastical dreams--have I convinced you yet? No? Well, then let me just add that this was hands down one of the most beautifully-written and imaginative books I've read in years (and, hold on to your hats folks, because the sequel is even better!). Now, what are you still doing here reading this review? Grab the book and start dreaming--I mean, reading!
The whole concept of “meant to be” is filled with lots of exhausting caveats. Are the stars aligned? Does everything feel effortless? Does it feel right? But really, fate and coincidence are all just little chances that we either take, or we don’t. At least, that’s what Ben and Arthur believe. When their meet-cute at a post office in New York City doesn't immediately lead into a romantic montage of bliss, they aren’t worried. By both believing that do-overs are an essential part of life and that important relationships don’t always come about effortlessly, Ben and Arthur’s romance is meant to be because they want it to be so. Through all the meet-cutes, witty dialogue, and, of course, the do-overs, this story is one of the sweetest I’ve read about all the awkwardness and wonder of falling in love for the first time. And who knows, it could be just the book you need? Maybe your reading of this review was…meant to be?
I've come to expect a certain element of speechlessness every time I finish a Shusterman novel. A few audible gasps, some moments of gripping the pages so tightly in effort not to fall over in terror, etc. – the usual. However, I was not prepared for the thriller/urgent call to environmental action that is Dry. It's terrifyingly relevant to consider the ramifications of living in a world that's out of drinkable water. And the father-son Shusterman duo push this near-future dystopian narrative along around multi-dimensional and complex characters to wrestle with the question of how far desperation can take humans away from their humanity. It's been days since I read it, but I'm still haunted by this book.
Twelve-year-old Milo can't wait for Christmas break at his adoptive parents' inn. But when strange guests start arriving one by one, Milo's plans for a relaxing winter break turn upside down. With rumors of a mystery surrounding the very inn in which Milo has spent his childhood, and with each guest acting stranger than the last, Milo sets out to discover the mystery of Greenglass House. Falling into this cozy mystery is the perfect way to spend any blustery, fall day!