THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS took me by surprise. To be honest, YA contemporary isn’t usually my thing and I can’t remember who recommend this book to me — but if it was you, THANK YOU! It’s been on my TBR shelf for a while and I picked it up this week because I needed a diversion from the chaos of life. It more than worked. It sucked me in and wrapped me up like a warm, cozy blanket as I became more and more attached to Darcy, Marisol, and Asher.
There’s so much I loved about this book:
–chapter titles and cool quotations –Peter Pan –tons of literary references –amazing best friendship (teen me would totally want to be their friend) –MC works in a book store –slow burn –layers of emotion and just the right amount of highs and lows for me –the uncertainty of the future at 18, but with the promise of adventure, love, and hope
Do I recommend THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS? Absolutely! And it’s definitely going into my reread rotation because I know I want to revisit Darcy, Marisol, and Asher. Go now and check out this book and the others by Laura Taylor Namey.
AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS by B. B. Alston officially ranks as one of my fav middlegrade books. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it and when I finished, I wanted more—so glad it’s the first book in a series. Its title is listed by HarperCollins as Amari and the Night Brothers: Supernatural Investigations: Volume Number 1.
There was much to like about the book, so here’s a bit of the what’s-what:
Amari Peters isn’t from a posh neighborhood and is on scholarship to her private school, a place where she’s bullied. Her older brother Quinton has gone missing, and now she’s in trouble at school for standing up to the bullies. Things are a mess. But when she receives a strange briefcase from her missing brother and a nomination for a place in the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, Amari goes on the hunt for Quinton.
At the Bureau, she’s enrolled in the summer tryouts for Junior Agent and learning all about the supernatural and magical world that’s filled with magicians, dragons, fairies, sasquatches, and even talking elevators with their own distinct personalities. She’ll compete for a spot in the program against kids who’ve grown up in this fantastical world, while dodging enemies, and learning who she can and can’t trust. Not everything or everyone is as they seem.
Amari worries she won’t have what it takes to make it through the Junior Agent trials, stand up to the bullies in her training class, learn how to use her own magic, and find her missing brother.
So why did I like the book so much?
As I’ve said in my social media posts, I think AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS is immersive, imaginative, and thoroughly engaging to read. I was drawn in from the opening pages and had to read more. Amari is a kid I would have loved to have had as a friend when I was a kid. She’s smart, brave, compassionate, and fun.
The magical elements in the book were fun and unique. I particularly fell in love with the elevators and I love Amari’s roommate’s inventions, especially the sneakandle.
I most definitely recommend reading AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS by B.B. Alston. You can read more about the book here.
“The truth was so much more X-Files than Lucy could have imagined.” (pg. 177)
Readers looking for a young adult, sci-fi thriller with mystery and even a bit of romance can find it all and more in The Tesla Legacy by K. K. Pérez. The story follows Lucy Phelps, an intelligent 18 year old in the last few weeks of her senior year of high school and the “shocking” information she uncovers about herself, her family, and the legendary Nikola Tesla.
Lucy has epilepsy, or so she’s been told her entire life. Because of that, she’s been sheltered by her parents shunned other kids, especially when she was younger. A budding and brilliant scientist, Lucy just wants to venture out on her own terms and that means getting away to college. She does have the love and support of her best friend Claudia, but things are a bit rocky with her boyfriend Cole. When Lucy accidentally discovers a hidden message in a photograph of her younger self, it leads her into New York City and an experience that will change her life.
After discovering the hidden Tesla room in New York, Lucy has her hands full. She’s promised Claudia she’d help with the lighting design for prom, there’s issues with her boyfriend, she needs to keep working on her science experiment, and there’s also this little (not!) issue of her newfound abilities that involve her ability to manipulate and control electricity. And let’s not forget the handsome new teaching assistant that’s taken an interest in her as well as the two rival, ancient, alchemical societies that each want Lucy for their own agendas.
I enjoyed The Tesla Legacy immensely. It kept me entertained and engaged, even during its science-y moments. For me, there was a nice balance between sci-fi and action as well as between the sci-fi and romantic elements. Lucy is a likable character and I found myself cheering her on as she takes a stand.
Author K. K. Pérez provides enough twists to keep a reader guessing, but not too many where it becomes tedious. I do like that we’re set up for a sequel and when it’s released, I’ll definitely be adding it to my TBR list.
Front Lines by Michael Grant is a powerful, immersive read that presents an alternate version of history and asks as well as answers the question: what if women served on the front lines during World War II? Girl soldiers — teenagers barely out of high school (and some not even) fighting at the front, working as medics, and even training as intelligence operatives. These are the girls, the woman of Front Lines.
Rio, Frangie, and Rainy. I can’t get these girls out of my mind. Each fighting for their own reasons and each facing such deep prejudice, not only for their gender but for their age, skin color, and heritage. While each is from a different area of the country with diverse backgrounds, these young women have something in common — a dream of a better life.
I’ve watched a lot of war movies and have visited different museums with war exhibits (if you’re ever in the Chicago suburbs be sure to visit the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park). Author Michael Grant did an excellent job of re-imagining history while weaving actual events and historical details into his fictional work. Front Lines made me feel as if I had dropped into the foxhole with Rio. I was there with her. But more than that, I knew where she came from because Grant takes his reader on the full journey, from enlistment to basic training and passage across the ocean on the Queen Mary.
Tip: When you’re done reading the book, be sure to check out the Author’s Notes at the end. Interesting and good stuff there.
I admit I started this book a few weeks ago but set it aside to finish an ARC of another book and was sidetracked with work stuff. However, when I resumed reading it this weekend, I couldn’t put it down. What a book to read on Memorial Day weekend! At times it made me laugh and at times it made me angry. It also brought a few tears to my eyes. Most of all, Front Lines made me think and that’s why I really loved this book.
You don’t have to be a World War II or war story lover to enjoy Front Lines. While there’s plenty of action, some of it violent (it is war), Front Lines is a story with strong characters. Unforgettable characters. I can’t wait to read the next book and see what happens with Rio, Frangie, and Rainy and how not only the war will change them, but how they will change the war.
If you’ve not read Michael Grant’s “Gone” series, I highly recommend it as well. It’s one of my all-time favorites. You can check it out here along with his other work.