Reviews of soon-to-be published YA reads
by Galley Group*
Brian from Patchogue-Medford
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
This is a good old fashion ghost story. It is really creepy - there's a haunted house, possessions and scary noises. I wanted it to be a standalone, but it is a series. There haven't been many scary titles recently, but this one is definitely creepy. Good ghost story.
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Suzy's best friend drowns and it affects her profoundly. She just cannot understand how her friend could drown since she was such a strong swimmer. Suzy comes to think that her friend must have been stung by a jellyfish and decides to look for the world's best jellyfish expert. This book has some sad moments and is well written with a strong main character.
Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott
This book is about an elicit teacher/student relationship. The story was pretty well done, but the writing was was odd at times. Ultimately it was enjoyable.
Don't Call Me Kit Kat by K.J. Farnham
Fourteen-year-old Katie suffers from an eating disorder after being made fun of for being overweight. The author creates a great cast of characters.
Paper Weight by Meg Haston
Stevie finds herself at a treatment center for teenagers with eating disorders. While there, she decides she wants to die the same day her brother died. The brother she feels she has killed. Slowly through the story you get clues as to why she is responsible for his death. The book focuses more on suspenseful parts where you are trying to figure out if she really caused her brother's death rather than focusing on the eating disorder.
Kristen from Brentwood
Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
This title goes back and forth between two different times: before freshman year and senior year. Kelsey and David were best friends, but then he starts having feelings for other girls at the start of freshman year and they grow apart. Now in senior year she has moved away and is super popular. She has a hot boyfriend and great friends. David soon moves to her new town and disrupts her life.
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
Joy, Luce, Tali, and Zoe are four different girls who were best friends growing up - they did everything together. Out of nowhere one of the girls cuts the other three off. In the process the other three girls' bond falls apart. Later on they attend a reunion and step into a photo booth which zaps out and brings them back in time. They are reliving the summer before they went their separate ways, and start uncovering secrets they never knew about each other.
The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Right before super storm Sandy Jersey Shore native Lucy finally hooks up with the boy who spent his summers down at the beach. After the storm they don't talk for an entire year and Lucy is hurt. Things fall apart even further when her brother turns all her friends against her after finding out about her quick summer relationship.
Lisa from SCLS
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel - see her review here!
Jan from Longwood
Valiant by Sarah McGuire
This is a rewrite of the fairy tale "The Brave Little Tailor". I took this book several places trying to read it and fell asleep twice. It is boring. The main character is a girl whose father, a tailor, passes away. She has to disguise herself as a boy and tailor because a female can not measure the king. It would be indelicate! There are occasional snatches of good writing and clever ideas, but they don't quite make it. The book could have been edited. There are only so many descriptions of cloth than I wanted to read!
The Magician's Dream by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
This is the third mystery in the series. The book made me want to go back and read the first installment. Oona is a magician's apprentice and lives in a magical land. Her parents have been murdered and she wants to find out who did it. The B story on the novel is about women's rights! It had a lot of charm and can stand alone.
Becca from Longwood
Illusionarium by Heather Dixon
Steampunk, dystopia, fantasy, and a hint of King Arthur all meet in this book. Jonathan lives in London, now a floating city, where a disease is killing all of the female members of their population. When the woman contracts the disease she dies six days later. The king comes to London to meet with Jonathan's father, a scientist, in hopes of discovering a cure for the disease. When they meet a fellow scientist, Lady Florel, they discover that there is an herb that once inhaled can make illusions come to life. With this power they discover an alternate universe where there is more of this herb and the only way to get it is by making illusions. Lady Floral says she will help him get the cure if he helps her make more illusions for more herbs, but she is a bad person and a lying liar who lies! I liked this book. There is a lot going on but it all fits together.
Khan from Port Jefferson
Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods by Hal Johnson
This is definitely for the younger set, but feels almost like nonfiction because of how real he makes the creatures seem. There are short chapters about all the different creatures and tales of how people who come into contact with them never make it out alive. Good pictures. Very inventive. These are whimsical tales of nightmares and adventure.
Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
The book is very in the moment and doesn't offer much description of the world. Everyone is a superhero in her except Kenna. She works with her chemist mom to help heal superheroes from the effects of villain powers. When villains break into the lab and uncover secrets Kenna finds herself not knowing what is really going on or who is good and who is evil. This book reminds me of Disney movie Sky High with a female protagonist.
*Galley Group is a group of young adult librarians that meet about every 6-8 weeks to discuss ARCs, or galleys, they have read in the interim. They discuss plot, age group, writing, audience, opinion, etc. The group was made to help with collection development and reader's advisory for our teen patrons. If you would like more information about Galley Group contact Derek! The reviews contained in this post were written from notes I took during the group's meeting.