Rachel L. Smith

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Review of Super Fake Love Song

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon High School    Putnam    368 pp.    g 11/20    978-1-98481-223-0    $18.99 Sunny Dae and his friends are the “nerd caste” (and also “42.85714286 percent of the entire nonwhite population”) at their suburban Los Angeles high school. They are, after all, the hosts of a web...

Review of Starfish

Starfish by Lisa Fipps Intermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    256 pp.    g 3/21    978-1-9848-1450-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1451-7    $10.99 Since she was five, Ellie (now eleven) has lived by a list of Fat Girl Rules: “Make yourself small”; “Move slowly so / your fat doesn’t jiggle”; “When you hear laughter, /...

Review of The Passover Guest

The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel; illus. by Sean Rubin Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.    g 1/21    978-0-8234-4562-2    $18.99 This reimagining of I. L. Peretz’s 1904 Yiddish story “Der Kunzen-Macher” (“The Magician”) follows Muriel, a young girl living in Washington, D.C., during the Great Depression. On the first night of Passover,...

Review of Love Is for Losers

Love Is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann High School    Farrar    352 pp.    g 2/21    978-0-374-31397-5    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-31398-2    $9.99 “I hate people,” declares fifteen-year-old Phoebe, and perhaps with good reason: her mother abruptly left her (again) to care for sick people in Syria (“Mum’s a doctor first and a...

The Fault in Our Stars movie review

Last year, we teamed up to write “What Makes a Good YA Love Story?”, and much of our answer to that question was based on the epically beloved, critically acclaimed 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. What we both loved so much about this damn-near perfect...

What Makes a Good YA Love Story?

It’s a simple formula. Boy meets girl (or, more often, girl meets boy. Or, less frequently, boy meets boy or girl meets girl). Boy and girl fall in love. One loses the other, or some other conflict arises. Then comes the happy ending. This plot, or some variation of it,...

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