Review of The Walls Around Us

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The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma High School   Algonquin   321 pp. 3/15   978-1-61620-372-6   $17.95   g e-book ed. 978-1-61620-486-0   $17.95 Orianna Speerling — the so-called “Bloody Ballerina” — is just fifteen when she is convicted of murdering two rival dancers. A month after her sentence begins, all forty-two girls interned at the Aurora Hills […]

Diverted: A Bostonian dystopia

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It was dawn. It was time for the Waiting. Three hundred thousand were Waiting. Some waited for Buses, some waited for Trains that would become Buses. Some tried different routes, and some gave up hope and called Ubers. But many remained. Most remembered the days before The Big One. The days when roads had lanes […]

Review of Tomboy

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Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   Zest Books   256 pp. 9/14   Paper ed. 978-1-936976-55-3   $15.99 e-book ed. 978-1-936976-56-0   $15.99 “When you don’t look or act like what everyone has been told is the norm, you get proverbially barfed on a lot.” In an often funny, sometimes […]

Reading rainbow? Not quite

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Yo, Marsala, I’m happy for you, I’ma let you finish — but Eggplant is the real Color of the Year. At least according to this entire shelf of purple-jacketed books.

Review of I Was Here

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I Was Here by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    272 pp. 1/15    978-0-451-47147-5    $18.99    g Meg Garcia is brilliant and passionate — a standout in her dead-end Washington State hometown and a constant in best friend Cody’s unstable life. But just months after escaping to college on a prestigious scholarship, Meg checks into a motel […]

Most popular boys’ names 2025?

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I read a lot of supernatural romance YA — for the Mag, for the Guide, and for fun — and I’ve been noticing how many dreamy guys in recent series are named either Jared or Cole. Bonus points for a Jared/Cole in a love triangle with the female protagonist, or if the protagonist and said […]

Bad company

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Conspiracy theory or everyday life? These new YA novels — three thrillers and one dark comedy — star teen protagonists finding their places in worlds manipulated by not-so-scrupulous corporations. Walter Dean Myers‘s posthumously published On a Clear Day takes place in 2035. The Central Eight (C-8) companies rule everything, enriching themselves while the rest of […]

Holistic healing, YA-style?

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Serendipitously, these two audiobooks were next to each other on a cart. I’d take the song.

Review of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

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Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King High School   Little, Brown   309 pp. 10/14   978-0-316-22272-3   $18.00 e-book ed. 978-0-316-22274-7   $9.99 Still haunted by her mother’s suicide years ago, seventeen-year-old Glory is certain she’ll die young, too, and can envision no future for herself. Until, that is, she ingests dessicated bat remains and […]

Fierce females

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Katniss, they feel your pain. The following protagonists have the weight of the world on their shoulders — and, in at least one case, it’s just as the world may be ending. Katie Coyle’s Vivian Apple at the End of the World takes place in a near-future America where the cultish Church of America has […]