Publisher: Scholastic

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The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall: review

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall: review

INSANE ASYLUM FOR GIRLS. That’s enough to get anyone’s attention, but unlike many slick, cheap-thrills books that quickly bore me, The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is one of the most well-crafted YA horror books I’ve read in ages. It’s a short but surprisingly thoughtful book, with good creepiness and suspense and sadness, as well as the right balance of teenage snark and feeling. It’s hard to juggle humor and darkness, but the author does a great job of that here. I also very much appreciated the writing–I loved the way the passage of time was described, which places the reader in an unsettled frame of mind, as well as the sensory experiences of being in Delia’s mind and body as she adjusts to living in the house. There are good plot twists, a well-written back story that doesn’t slow down the pace, and logical progression in character and plot… Read more »

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The Game of Love and Death: Review

The Game of Love and Death: Review

The Game of Love and Death is perilous indeed. This is one where I shouldn’t reveal too much of how the book unfolds as it is best left to the reader to discover all of the mysteries and intricacies on their own. At its core this novel is a reflection on love, and loving, and life. On what it means to love, and what it means to love in the face of overwhelming obstacles. “Someday, everyone you love will die. Everything you love will crumble to ruin. This is the price of life. This is the price of love. It is the only ending for every true story.” This is the story of Flora Saudade and Henry Bishop. Two people who are kept apart by the standards of their time, but also by the very forces of Love and Death themselves. It is a heart achingly beautiful story and one… Read more »

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Love Is the Drug: Review

Love Is the Drug: Review

I’ve had my eye on Love Is the Drug since I first heard of it. I haven’t read Alaya Dawn Johnson’s first young adult novel, The Summer Prince – a post-apocalyptic novel set in Brazil that features queer relationships – but it’s been on my to-read list for awhile. (Peyton, however, has a great review of The Summer Prince here on GoodReads. Check it out!) Anyway, I figured Love Is the Drug would be catnip for me. I love post-(or almost-but-not-quite) apocalyptic fiction. I love fiction about bioterrorism. And I love YA fiction that features diverse characters. Also also, I will happily read anything that is sold as “such and such meets Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.” Thank you, I will take two of those. And on that front, Love Is the Drug did not disappoint. Refer to the blurb once again; it is absolutely all of these things. It is def fiction about… Read more »

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The Iron Trial: Review

The Iron Trial: Review

This book. This book! I don’t even know what to say. That I loved it? That I can’t believe I have to wait a year to read the next one? All of the above. The Iron Trial is a perfect blend of fantasy, humor, and a great cast of characters. You’ll think you know the twist at the end, but you will be wrong. Oh, so wrong. This is a collaboration between Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, longtime friends and authors that I love. Holly Black has a penchant for the darker side of fantasy and writes the most interesting flawed characters. Cassandra Clare’s series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices is set in an immersive, original fantasy world and is filled with snarky humor. The Iron Trial is the product of the best parts of both their writing styles, that when put together creates something wholly original and… Read more »

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Neverwas: review

Neverwas: review

Neverwas is the highly anticipated second installment in the Amber House trilogy. This book starts off on quite a spin. At the end of Amber House, Sarah rescues both her little brother Sam and her aunt Maggie from the dream world which changes the course of the future. Neverwas is consequently based on an alternate present — a time when the Nazis won WWII; when the world continents are divided under the oppressive commands of the German and Japanese empires; and when racial segregation is still routine. In comparison, Neverwas is a departure from its predecessor. It is bigger and more ambitious in scale, moving away from domestic drama into an all-out, no holds barred, twilight zone-esque fight to save the “real” world. It is still frightening, still mysterious and still gripping — only that the source of these fears and mysteries have slightly changed along with history. In other… Read more »

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Unfed: review

Unfed: review

In Undead, fifteen-year-old Bobby Brook and her mother moved back to Scotland from the US, where they’d lived for six years, following the death of Bobby’s father. Before the school year started, Bobby’s mother insisted that she go on a class trip to a ski lodge.  While Bobby was out in the wilds of Scotland with her classmates, there was a zombie outbreak, and all but a handful of the students fell victim to it.  The survivors—Smitty (the bad boy), Pete (the nerd), and Alice (the mean girl)—fought their way through a countryside teeming with zombies, forming a sort of weird, dysfunctional family, the center of which was Bobby and Smitty’s friendship/fledgling romance When last we saw Bobby and her friends, they were in a school bus, fleeing the disgusting zombie hordes, and that’s where we pick up at the beginning of Unfed: We’re in a school bus.  Which is… Read more »

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