I’m old enough for that to be romantic and adorable before reading Kelly Anne Blount’s and Lynn Rush’s In The Penalty Box.
After a horrendous injury, Willow Covington is home nursing her wounds. She’s doing what she can to work her way back to the Olympic Figure Skating Team she was on before getting hurt. It just isn’t going well. Going to open ice time at the local ice rinks is giving her practice and keeping her sane.
Title: House of Bastiion (The Haidren Legacy #1) Author: K.L. Kolarich Genre: YA/NA High Fantasy/ Adventure Release Date: 19 January 2021
BEHIND THE MASK OF DUTY AND POWER, NO ONE IS WHO THEY SEEM…
Centuries after the Forgotten Wars ravaged the world and turned it to ash, the Houses of Pilar, Darakai, Boreal, and Bastiion forged an accord with the royal line of Thoarne, founding a Quadren of advisory to the throne of Orynthia. Every generation, a single Haidren from each of the four Houses is appointed to this coveted chair.
Upon her Ascension to adulthood, Luscia Tiergan takes her seat at court as al’Haidren to the House of Boreal and is quickly drawn into a maze of political traps and dark secrets. As she adjusts to her new life, Luscia uncovers a pattern of forgotten children, slain in the streets of Bastiion.
Raised on superstitious rumors about Boreal’s penchant for sorcery, Zaethan Kasim, al’Haidren to the House of Darakai, inevitably clashes with Lusica when she arrives in Bastiion. But when his position is threatened by an old rival, Zaethan is forced to set aside his hatred and form an uneasy alliance with the Boreali al’Haidren to secure his claim.
Following a disturbing stream of innocent bloodshed across Orynthia, Luscia and Zaethan discover their ideals are far more aligned than they might have imagined. But in a land of war and deceit, the path to peace should never be trusted.
Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans by SamiJo McQuiston
Title: Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans Author: SamiJo McQuiston Genre: YA Fantasy Release Date: 09 October 2020
Abney Kelly seems like your typical thirteen-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She’s shy, awkward, has no friends, and is bullied constantly. However things are not always as they appear, after being pushed into a clover patch, a creature who says he’s her assigned guardian whisks her off to a school in Tìr na nÓg, called Yule.
Turns out she’s a Changeling, and it’s time she learns what that means. Between making new friends, discovering that all the monsters in her nightmares are real, and starting at a new school, Abney didn’t think life could get any harder as she splits her time between the human and Fae realms.
That is until her house matron warns them about Nicholas Kringle. He is stalking his prey throughout realms and collecting the hearts of those on his so-called nice list. At a New Year’s Eve party, Abney and her new gang use an Ouija board and discover that one of their friends is on Kringle’s list.
Determined to stop their friend’s death, Abney and company set off on a chilly adventure, to try to change fate, but only one thing is for certain… This year they’ll end up on the naughty list or die trying.
Title: Our Friendship Matters Author: Kimberley B. Jones Genre: YA Coming of Age, Social Justice My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Our Friendship Matters is one of those coming of age books that should be in every school library.
Sasha is a black girl from a middle-class St Louis suburb. Her dad is a lawyer, her mom is a doctor, and they send her to the hoighty-toighty Chester Christian Academy. Sasha’s best friend is filthy rich, Leah is a stuck-up white girl with a mean streak a mile wide, but Sasha adores her and puts up with her because that’s what you do until the shark turns on you.
Some of the sly statements in this book: Money is opportunity. Money is resources. Money gives you the ability to look the other way. Money allows you the option to remain ignorant. Money means you can celebrate frivolity during a revolution. Money means you can drive away from a nightmare–but it might follow you in your dreams.
The Hunt for the Legendary Mr. Morris by Sasha Boileau
Title: The Hunt for the Legendary Mr. Morris Author: Sasha Boileau Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Action & Adventure Release Date: 14 September 2020
It may not be the end of the world, but if they fail it will definitely be the end of them.
What’s left of the human race live a life of ignorant luxury thousands of years after the war. That is until Kade, Brodin, and Sylas set off a chain of events they never thought possible. What do all three have in common? They are all skinny, they don’t believe a single thing they are told, and they love to delve into forbidden waters. They find themselves trapped in the world they dreamed of, left with a task where failure is not an option, and time is ticking down.
Kade and his friends must find the only man able to fix the mess they caused, but how will they survive a world where they are nothing but a delicacy of the food chain? The weight of humanity is resting on their tired shoulders with only each other to rely on.
There’s a slightly creepy and definitely weird piece of art on my wall. The print caught my eye at a local festival a few years back, and I bought it because it intrigued me.
My kids hated it when I hung it on the wall, but my tastes haven’t gotten less eclectic since. (Sorry, not sorry, nerdlings.)
I obsessed over the details. I wondered why the angel woman was headless and whose much larger hand was on her stomach? Was he human? Another angel? Why was he touching her at all? Was the owner of that hand a good guy? Why would she be a statue? And why would she be a headless statue after that?I don’t know the real story. But my brain wouldn’t let go of the image and decided to start making up its own story that began with an angel statue. And Where Angels Can’t Follow was born
Title: Someone’s Story Author: B.A. Bellec Genre: YA Coming of Age Release Date: April 2020
In his debut endearing coming-of-age book, B.A. Bellec writes about a group of weirdos that find and save each other from the dark depths of their minds. Someone’s Story is literally Someone’s story, as in a first-person narrative of a teenager that calls himself Someone. As he struggles to ﬁnd a new footing in a new space, we encounter the many ups and downs of modern teenage life, the diﬃculties that adjusting to adult feelings bring, and a few tear-jerking surprises along the way.
Littered with music, mental health, friendship, loss, meditation, advice, pop culture, and even inspiring an EP, there is so much nostalgia, inspiration, and depth here it is hard to absorb it all. Cozy up somewhere warm and enjoy!
Title: On the Eighteenth of May Author: Jordan R. Samuel Genre: Adult/YA crossover – Romance/Mystery Release Date:March 2020
On the evening of the eighteenth of May, a young woman named Cass walks alone into a small village with the intent to stay for exactly one year. Cass soon meets two precocious children, a caring and generous business owner, and the Chief of Police from the neighboring town. Family and loss are parts of many of their stories, and while these people, as well as others, attempt to know and help her, the history and troubled memories of what led Cass to this place begin to gradually unfold. As the potential for love and the pathway for healing become clearer, the date of departure approaches. Cass and those around her will be forced to decide how forcefully they are willing to hold on: to the past, to the pain, and to the person.
On the Eighteenth of May is the story of the people and events that are interwoven throughout Cass’ journey and her life. It is a story that examines the true test of strength in the deepest depths of sorrow, as felt by the human heart. It is a story that explores the perceived helplessness of those within the support structure, and the extent to which those we love can hinder or accelerate the healing process. Finally, it is a story that reminds us of the overwhelming power of comforting influences in all of our lives, as our human souls struggle, against all odds, to survive.
Title: The Wysman Author: Dorothy A. Winsor Genre: YA Fantasy Release Date:27 June 2020
“The Grabber is just a fright tale.”
Former street kid Jarka was born with a crooked foot and uses a crutch, but that no longer matters now that he’s an apprentice Wysman, training to advise the king. When poor kids start to go missing from the city’s streets, though, Jarka suspects that whatever’s causing the disappearances comes from the castle.
Now he needs to watch his step or risk losing the position he fought so hard to win… but when someone close to him becomes the latest victim, Jarka knows he’s running out of time.
His search takes him from diving into ancient history to standing up to those who want to beat or bleed the magic out of him. Will Jarka succeed in uncovering an evil long-hidden, or will he see friends and family vanish into the darkness? And whose side is the King on, in his determination to bind his nobles to him no matter what black arts they’ve dabbled in? If Jarka fails in his search, his own future won’t be the worst thing lost.
The Wysman follows Jarka after the events in The Wind Reader, but this YA Fantasy can be read independently.
Pixieland Diaries is so adorably cute. In my reading notes, I wrote: imagine if in the old movie Clueless Cher were a Pixie.
That is Calla. She is kind-hearted, if not a bit selfish. But she is just a fifteen–almost sixteen-year-old, five-foot-tall, pink hair, violet-eyed prankster, who isn’t good at being as evil as she is supposed to be. Her heart is a little too troubled by unfairness and iniquity of the old council buggers, determining so much of her life for her when she is so young and wise.
Written in the unique format of diary format entries for chapters, it changes the reader/narrator relationship, and a more intimate exchange occurs as the reader becomes a party to the secrets Calla is penning into her diaries.