My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham
Imprint: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: March 29, 2022
Finch receives a scholarship to the school of her dreams after almost dying in the car accident that killed her parents. But soon after arriving at the elite prep school she takes a trip down to the tunnels under the campus where a chance encounter with Selena St. Clair, resident popular girl, leads to her accidentally summoning something ancient from beneath the school. Soon Finch, Selena, and their friends are promised everything they want in exchange for small favors that become increasingly gruesome. Together they must solve the mystery of the creature’s existence to escape its control.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham
Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release date: June 28, 2022
Magic, mystery and witchcraft combine explosively in this dark fantasy. Ivy’s summer vacation plans go awry when she’s involved in a car accident with a stranger who appears naked in the middle of the road. From there, things get creepy and weird quickly. As Ivy struggles to make sense of secrets she didn’t know her mother had, she is drawn into a world of witchcraft and sinister supernatural powers. Gripping and fast paced, this is an enticing blend of mystery, magic and terror.
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Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Imprint: Salaam Reads
Release date: April 19, 2022
One year ago, Najwa Bakri’s best friend, Trina Lowe, collapsed during a Scrabble Tournament. Fast forward one year. Najwa returns to compete, determined to win Trina’s title and heal herself. With Trina aka “Queen of the Tiles gone, the title is up for grabs. All bets are off when Trina’s Inactive Instagram account begins posting cryptic messages. The messages suggest that Trina’s death was not accidental and someone at the tournament may be responsible.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf￼
The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Imprint: Delacorte Press
Release date: May 3, 2022
Popular, wealthy Alice disappeared last summer for five days after her boyfriend Steve dumped her and started dating her ex-best friend Brooke. Quiet, smart Iris envy’s Alice’s ability to disappear and escape her problems and wishes she could run away from her troubled past too. When Alice returns to school, Iris takes a job tutoring her. Even though the two girls don’t get along, they quickly bond when Brooke is found dead after getting in a fight with Steve at a party. Now Alice and Iris are determined to find out what really happened to Brooke that night. Using Alice’s obsession with Agatha Christie’s as their guide they begin to investigate the town, their classmates and the cops. But soon the girls find themselves in danger when they uncover corruption and dark secrets in every corner of their town.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson
Button Pusher by Tyler Page
Publisher: First Second
Imprint: Roaring Brook Press
Release date: 2022
This is Tyler’s graphic memoir detailing his childhood experiences with ADHD. He discusses situations where he was often told to sit down, return to his seat and pay attention, as well as the isolation he felt as a result of his socially awkward impulsiveness.
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by Estelle Laure
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Release date: 2022-05-01
Wrestling manager, Jo, is devastated to discover that the boys on the wrestling team consider her a “practice girl”–good enough to build their sexual prowess, but not the girl they want for a relationship. Gutted to discover this, she finds herself confronting the state of all of her relationships.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Practice Girl by Estelle Laure
by Kate McLaughlin
Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group
Imprint: Wednesday Books
Release date: March 8, 2022
Scarlet has no idea why her professional single mother is so strict and paranoid. Nothing ever happens in their small town. All that changes with the arrival of an odd SUV that seems to be following and watching her. Her life is irrevocably changed when she discovers she is Baby Brittany–daughter of the infamous serial killer, Jeff Lake–and he is willing to reveal where the undiscovered bodies are hidden, but only to her.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Daughter by Kate McLaughlin
At the End of Everything
by Marieke Nijkamp
Imprint: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: January 25, 2022
Teens at the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center are trying to survive within the secured, heavily guarded walls of Hope, but when the guards do not return, inmates take the opportunity to escape. When met by armed soldiers, they learn a highly contagious disease has the nation on lockdown and they must return to Hope. Survival is no longer about time to serve, but without supplies and a virus now within Hope, this group of incarcerated strangers must decide who to trust if they are going to survive.
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by Rex Ogle
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Imprint: Norton Young Readers
Release date: October 5, 2021
In this autobiographical follow up to his first book Free Lunch, we follow Rex as he struggles through his teen years in a home full of domestic violence. On a daily basis Rex witnesses or endures beatings and arguing between his family members. To survive Rex does everything he can to protect his younger brother and imagines his deceased sister as a guardian angel guiding him through the darkest moments. As things begin to spin more and more out of control in his home, Rex must find a way to survive and stay safe, not only physically but also mentally.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Punching Bag by Rex Ogle
by Johnnie Christmas
Release date: May 17, 2022
Bree’s move to Florida from New York comes with all sorts of changes. Her father is working a full time job and is in a program at night to advance his career. Fortunately, Bree immediately meets a new friend in her apartment complex along with Ms. Etta, an older woman who is happy to look out for Bree. Unfortunately, the Math Puzzles class is full, leaving only swimming. With the help of Ms. Etta and Clara, Bree overcomes her self-doubt and becomes a leader on the Enith Brigitha Middle School swim team.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas