Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa Harlequin Teen Publication Date: October 2, 2018 ISBN: 978-1335145161
Yumeko has spent her whole life in the Silent Winds temple, isolated from the rest of the world and using her Kitsune (half-human, half-fox) nature to cause mischief. All that time she was unaware of the treasure protected by the monks in the temple. Not gold or riches, but one piece of a scroll that can summon the great Kami Dragon. When the temple is attacked, Yumeko must flee with the scroll in order to keep it safe.
The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones HarperCollins / HarperTEEN Publication Date: September 4, 2018 ISBN: 9780062370316
Fourteen-year-old Lily is in love with a man twice her age.
Content warning: rape, abuse, and pedophilia.
It’s been over two years since Lily’s family friend, Luke, left for Africa. Lily cannot be more thrilled to have Luke back as she has been crushing on him for years. So when Luke begins seeing Lily as a woman and not the child he left, she feels as if her dreams have come true. Now, Lily’s once innocent relationship with Luke has become one full of fear and abuse from a predator.
Are we in the dog days of summer, dear Hubbers? It sure feels like it! One thing I know is I sure missed writing for all of you; I’m glad to be back! So, this was a post I was going to write a couple of months ago when the word “feminist” was all in the news thanks to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. It still kind of is in the news, and I think it’s a very important and relevant topic even though we’re not necessarily talking about it incessantly.
Anyways! Feminist teen literature. I’ve been noticing that a lot of new teen books are being marketed as feminist literature for teens which intrigued me, and I happened upon this article that piqued my interest even more: Book Riot – Feminist Teen Lit. They had so many good recommendations, so I chose a brief few from their list to see what was up.
Now, I know what a feminist is, and I’m proud to call myself one. But, I wondered – what makes a book a feminist book? Are they only stories narrated by girls or women (kind of, but not always)? Are they only powerful and sad stories where the main character goes through a traumatic event and grows through the healing process (sometimes, but not always)? I was so excited to find out the answers to those questions that I decided to dive right in to the books I added to my to-read stack, and I’m happy to share those awesome books with you today.
These books are great reads for anyone who loves stories about strong characters; stories who don’t portray or see women and girls only in relation to or as defined by the men and boys in their lives. These are stories of fully formed people who see the strengths and weaknesses in each other as humans, not in relation to their gender. On a side note, I work with a teen who is a member of the feminist club at her high school (how I wish I’d had one of those!), and she has been thoroughly enjoying these books which range from comedy to dystopian to mystery to a story of pain and redemption. Well, let’s get started, shall we? First up! My favorite book that I’ve read so far this year!
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma: Oh my goodness, you guys. This book is spectacular – really unbelievably wonderful. It’s the story of 3 girls – Violet, Amber, and Orianna – the journeys they will take in their lives, and the paths that have already been established for them. Violet is a ballerina, and Orianna used to be. Orianna was the best ballerina at their school until she was sent to prison for the murder of girls who were tormenting Violet…the same prison where Amber is serving her sentence for killing her abusive stepfather. But, what really happened between Orianna and those other ballerinas, Amber and her stepfather, Violet and Orianna? And, what is happening to Amber as she starts to see the prison in a different light after a very timely and suspicious lightning storm one night. Readers will be glued to their seats to not only see how the story turns out, but also to see how these 3 girls will all become part of each other’s past, present and future. Ugh! I can’t say anymore or it will just totally ruin the whole experience for you. Trust me – you just have to accept that you don’t have to know everything going into this story. However it turns out, these well-developed and realized girls aren’t totally perfect and they aren’t totally flawed, but indicative of real people whose actions, emotions, and lives are highly nuanced. A haunting read that will stay with readers, well, let’s just say, forever. I read it a month ago, and I’m still thinking about it!!
We’re coming up on national waiter/waitress day (May 21!), so I took the opportunity to create a list of books featuring teen waiters/waitress. Add in your favorites in the comments.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers Romy seeks refuge in the diner where she works after no one believes her account of a sexual assault. When her former friend goes missing, Romy must decide if it’s worth speaking up – again.
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler Hudson threw away her dreams when her family fell apart. Now she hides in her mom’s diner baking cupcakes and thinking of the past. When her past comes back around to give her another chance – she isn’t sure which life she will choose.
Crashby Lisa McMann (a 2014 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers) Jules falls for a boy who’s family owns the other pizza joint in town – and she’s not allowed to talk with Sawyer. When a troubled vision shows her the death of Sawyer, she realizes she must do something to save him.
YALSA’s Readers’ Choice Award is one of those rare opportunities where individuals can literally just champion their favorite YA titles of the year. Teens, librarians, teachers … any fans of YA literature can vote. See a book on the current 2013 nomination list you also love? Or think that the best YA title of the year is sadly absent from the list? Use the suggestion form to make sure that the best titles published between Nov. 1, 2011 and Oct. 31, 2012 make the final ballot! The more nominations a title receives, the better.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Readers’ Choice site yet, here are some basic guidelines for you. Titles from just about every genre are allowed: Horror/Thriller; Mystery/Crime; Nonfiction; Realistic Fiction; Romance; Sci-Fi/Fantasy; and the “wild card category” for this year … Dystopia. You want to make sure that any title you suggest is widely available in the United States. Oh, and one of my favorite guidelines: “popularity rules.” No fussing over critic reviews and prestigious review journals — for all intents and purposes, if you love the book, it qualifies. Read the “>full guidelines and policies if you want more details.
So what’s new to the list of nominations? Of the 12 new nominations, books falling into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre rule supreme at a count of 6:
July 1 is Canada Day, which is somewhat like what July 4 is to the United States. It marks the uniting of the country, and festivities include picnics, fireworks, and indulging in poutine (I hope). If you haven’t done so in a while, it might be worth checking out a book either set in Canada or reading a book penned by a Canadian. Here are a few suggestions — and really, is there any better way to celebrate Canada Day than with a book (and poutine)?
[All book descriptions come from or are adapted from WorldCat.]
Many of the books Brooks has written take place in her home country of Canada, including last year’s Queen of Hearts, a 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults title. It follows Marie Clarie shortly after her first kiss but before her sixteenth birthday in December, 1941, when her younger brother and sister are sent to a tuberculosis sanatorium near their Manitoba farm.
I present to you one reader’s best contemporary YA titles for 2010. These are books teens are actually reading by the way. I see these titles check out regularly at my library. I hate to say it, but Will Grayson, Will Grayson? It has barely circulated three times. These titles are a little girl heavy but several of them will work just as well for guy readers. And if anything this list will encourage me to seek out more guy-centric contemporary YA reads.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This is my favorite book of 2010 hands down. It is a road trip story with a little romance, a lot of heartache and a great trip throughout the country. Teens will easily relate to Roger’s girl troubles while they will be pulled into Amy’s story of sadness over her father’s death. Postcards, receipts, and definitely the most amazing road trip play lists ever created grace the pages of this story along with the main narrative. This one is for music fans, teens who love a romance with drama, and who need a grand adventure. I guarantee this is going to be a hit.
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian. This book actually made Kirkus’s 2010 Best Books for Teens and with great reason. This story is intelligent, sad, and above all, plays so well into the drama that encompasses high school life. Natalie has always felt a bit different from her classmates and it shows on the pages. Here is a teen dedicated to her education, to getting ahead. Most librarians know teens like this and they will immediately empathize with her. She may be book smart but has a lot to learn about human emotions. Natalie is an amazing protagonist for female teen readers. She is strong, vulnerable, smart as hell, but yet manages to be the every girl. There is a lot to discuss and appreciate.
A Blue so Dark by Holly Schindler. Mental illness. More teens than I can name deal with this topic with their families, and even themselves, on a daily basis. Holly Schindler delicately balances the harsh realities of schizophrenia with everyday tasks. Aura must go to school. She loves art but yet fears it. She has a crush on a boy but that does not fit into a world of schizophrenia. Her isolation leaps off the pages, as does her care of her mother. Teens today are unfortunately put in that caretaker position too often and this book definitely showcases how difficult that role can be for teenagers. Heart wrenching certainly but this book will do well with teens who need to see themselves in someone else, know they aren’t alone. It is a powerful book, short enough to hold attention and pull you into Aura’s life.