Contemporary

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

I don’t know why I requested this on NetGalley. And then, when my request was approved, I don’t know why I chose to read it before the other books I’ve been anticipating for so long. But I did request this book, with the title and synopsis that interested me somewhat, and a cover that left me cold. And I did read it. And I am so glad I did.

This book is narrated by three teenage boys – Ryan (a swimmer), Harley (a rebel), and Miles (a nerd). These boys only have one thing in common: their best friend was Isaac. As far as everyone else knew, they were a quartet. But to them, there was Isaac, and then there was them, the sidekicks. They weren’t friends with each other, and at the beginning of this book, they had no interest in being friends with each other. Continue reading “The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis”

Contemporary

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

To be honest, while the synopsis made the book sound like exactly my kind of thing, I still hesitated on this title because of the cover. It’s just… not pretty, or interesting. But in the end the promise of a capella and genderbending and queer poc characters won over, and I requested a copy. I am so glad I did.

The protagonist of Noteworthy is Jordan Sun, a Chinese-American girl on scholarship at a performing arts boarding school, which would have been perfect except for the fact that she always got shut out from school musicals due to her low voice. Continue reading “Noteworthy by Riley Redgate”

Contemporary

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“Words exist only in theory. And then one ordinary day you run into a word that exists in theory. And you meet it face to face. And then that word becomes someone you know. That word becomes someone you hate. And you take that word with you wherever you go. And you can’t pretend it isn’t there.”
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Continue reading “The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz”

Comics · Contemporary

Sometimes, it takes a different kind of courage to level up

When Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward (which I wrote about here) was released in 2015, it renewed my love for comics for middle graders. And when I found about Brave, it went immediately on my mental TBR list. Brave is set in the same school, and we see a lot of the kids that were in Awkward, but it focuses on the Art Club’s Jensen. Continue reading “Sometimes, it takes a different kind of courage to level up”

Contemporary

Instructions to Remember Your Sister

I was mainly attracted to this book because of the cover – the way the girl is scrunching her eyes shut like she’s expecting something other than confetti to be raining down on her. And then there’s the other thing – this is about a girl who is grieving her sister, who died in an accident.  Continue reading “Instructions to Remember Your Sister”

Contemporary · Fantasy

Release by Patrick Ness

This is a Patrick Ness book. It gets an automatic approval from me. Like his other books that I’ve read, this book doesn’t really conform to either the YA contemporary category or the YA fantasy category. Like his other books that I’ve read, this book is completely, utterly stunning. It’s inspired by both Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever – (1) it weirdly fits that particular “X meets Y” description, and (2) it works. Continue reading “Release by Patrick Ness”

Contemporary · Romance

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Korean American teen Desi Lee is student body president and a varsity soccer star, and she’s planning to get into Stanford – because she believes that as long as she has a plan for it, she can achieve anything she wants. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have a plan when it comes to flirting and romance.

Every single one of her attempts end up in disaster, until the day she sits through an episode of K-Drama with her drama-obsessed dad. Noticing the romantic tropes that bring the characters together, Desi creates her own foolproof plan for Continue reading “I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo”