YA

Quick(ish) Thoughts on Four Recent(ish) YA Novels

Quick(ish) Thoughts on Four Recent(ish) YA Novels

I've been disinclined to write extensively about young adult titles lately, despite that I've been reading quite a few recent releases. I do have a few I want to be sure to write about more extensively (particularly the final novel in Gabrielle Zevin's spectacular Birthright series), but I wanted to share my thoughts on a few I've read recently.

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill

Admittedly, I was nervous about reading Lauren Morrill's new novel, Being Sloane Jacobs. Lauren is one of the few authors I follow on my personal Twitter account and I enjoy her thoughts on publishing and tweets about being an extra on The Originals but I haven't read her debut, Meant to Be, and was worried that I wouldn't like her book. (I've had this happen before, enjoyed someone's online persona and their book didn't work for me--and I always fell badly about it.) 

Fortunately, my worries were completely needless, as I enjoyed Being Sloane Jacobs a bunch. The premise is essentially The Cutting Edge meets The Parent Trap, except without twins. Instead, we have two points-of-view, both girls named Sloane Jacobs. One is a stressed former competitive figure skater from a high-powered Washington, DC political family. The other Sloane Jacobs is a tough hockey player from Philadelphia with a bit of an anger problem.

 

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The YA Crime Thriller I've Hoped For: Fake ID by Lamar Giles

The YA Crime Thriller I've Hoped For: Fake ID by Lamar Giles
You don’t have to know someone your whole life to know them. Not really. Lonely is the same everywhere.”

I've read a lot--and I mean a lot--of crime fiction, and until I picked up Lamar Giles' Fake ID, I'm certain I haven't encountered a young adult novel that really hit the notes of adult crime fiction. 

Lamar Giles' Fake ID is told from the first-person point-of-view of of Nick Pearson--and yes, that is a fake name. He's been in the federal Witness Protection Program with his parents since his father agreed to testify against the crime boss he worked for. Nick's father is terrible at being in Witness Protection and they're on their last placement--the family has to make this work or else they're out of the program, on their own and in serious danger.

Nick's starting at a new high school in Stepton, Virginia, with yet another new identity, studying his personal "legend" (the fake backstory developed by the U.S. Marshall Service for each family) and trying to stay under the radar. He's quickly befriended by Eli, rabble-rousing editor of the school paper, who's eager to recruit the new kid to his one-man journalism operation. 

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Storify: My Under the Radar YA Recommendations

Storify: My Under the Radar YA Recommendations

A couple nights ago Dahlia of The Daily Dahlia tweeted asking for recommendations for good "under the radar" young adult novels. Being one who cannot ever resist the opportunity to book push, I jumped in with some of my favorite recommendations (Racquel beat me to the punch with one, Burning by Elana Arnold). 

Be sure to visit Dahlia's post on her blog with a roundup of the the most commonly recommended books and also visit the hashtag on Twitter--you know, in case your to-read pile isn't enormous enough. 

Here are my picks in Storify form, including links to blog posts on CEFS (or an Amazon page for more information). Thanks to Dahlia for prompting this fantastic whirl of enthusiasm for lesser-known novels.

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Podcast 18: Author Elizabeth Scott on Heartbeat, Writing Angry Girls, Reader Response & the Awesomeness of Courtney Summers

Podcast 18: Author Elizabeth Scott on Heartbeat, Writing Angry Girls, Reader Response & the Awesomeness of Courtney Summers

I could not be more excited to have one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Scott, as a guest on our latest podcast episode!

Elizabeth's most recent novel is Heartbeat, which all three of us at CEFS have read and loved. It's a unique, emotionally intense, authentic examination of grief and anger that's unlike anything I've read. It's out tomorrow from Harlequin Teen and I really hope you'll check it out because it's one of my favorites of the year already. (While you're at it, you should read Miracle, which came out in 2012 and didn't get nearly the love and attention it deserved--here's my review.)

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