Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza has a bright, fun cover that entices readers. Kat has just started at a new school. Meg attends this school and the two of them become partners for their class Science Project. Neither one of them has any truly good friends and, little by little they grow a friendship beginning with their mutual love of a certain video game. Through the ups and downs of growing up and building relationships, Kat and Meg discover how to cope and enjoy their lives and accept themselves just as they are. You never know when you’re going to find a friend! The maturity level of the two main characters didn’t always feel consistent, but otherwise, this book is a fun read that young teens will be able to relate to. 3.5 stars for this realistic fiction written for teens.
House of furies by Madeleine Roux tells the story of Louisa, a fortune teller, who is given a gold coin by an older woman and offered a job at Coldthistle House. There’s more to the old woman than Louisa realizes and she’s not sure what to think of her. On their way to Coldthistle House, the wagon wheel breaks and a passing wagon stops to help them. These travelers are on their way to Coldthistle House too. Once Louisa finally reaches their destination, she finds out more than she bargained for and discovers that she will supposedly never leave. The art on the cover and introductions of the chapters are beautifully spooky and appropriate for the story. With interesting relationships and creepiness, I read this book nonstop. 4 Stars!
Eight Days on Planet Earth by Cat Jordan opens with Matthew relaxed and enjoying the summer break. Matthew is a normal, laid back teenager with a crush on his best friend’s older sister and a broken relationship with his own father. He sees a girl alone in the field by his house and wonders why she’s alone. He talks to her and she claims to be an alien from another planet, waiting for her ride home. They become friends and a large part of each other’s lives in a short amount of time. The twist in the story surprised me but brought great depth to this book and brought the realization of true faith to the forefront. 4 stars for this young adult book!
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau is an intense fantasy adventure. Carys and Andreus are royal twin siblings hiding a secret from the kingdom. When the power outage overwhelms Garden City, chaos follows. Andreus helps fix the outage problem right before their brother Micah and their father, the king, are brought home from the warfront by the King’s guards. Both Micah and the king have been killed and the only witnesses to their deaths are soon killed also. The secret the twins are hiding is the sickness Andreus suffers from; it causes him weakness and is supposedly the curse that the seer prophesied after the birth of the twins. The Elders have set up a tournament for Andreus and Carys to compete against each other for the throne, since both the king and his heir are dead. The winner will be the new ruler of their kingdom. They compete unwillingly and try to make the tournament go in favor of Andreus. The danger builds and the suspicion grows stronger as Andreus and Carys struggle to learn who they can trust. It saddened me how quickly Andreus believed that his worth was above everyone else’s. I love the ingenious, clever way the story is told with the alternating points of view of Carys and Andreus and how they overlap at times. This way of telling the story makes the reader’s emotions take a roller coaster ride. I would love to see a map in the sequel and I give this book 5 stars for the adventure and intrigue!
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight is an intense mystery that doesn’t completely unravel. Wylie has lost her mother in an accident and she can’t seem to overcome her loss. On top of this stress, her best friend Cassie is missing. Cassie’s boyfriend, Jasper, comes to Wylie’s house and shows her the texts he’s received from Cassie begging him to help her. Wylie and Jasper go on a treasure hunt of sorts looking for Cassie as they receive small clues a little at a time. They finally reach Cassie and the three of them find themselves in a situation comparable to a horror movie setting. Every time I thought I had the mystery figured out, something would change proving me wrong. The suspense and underlying mystery kept me reading to the end where, once again everything changed. I’m anxious to read the sequel, The Scattering. I give The Outliers 4 stars for a story that dropped the floor out from under me!