THIRTEEN REASONS WHY – JAY ASHER

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Razorbill
Genres: Contemporary, YA fiction
For Fans of: Terribly written, irresponsible books about mental illness and suicide
My rating: 1 star out of 5

You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.


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A DISOBEDEINT GIRL – RU FREEMAN

A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman6350150
Published by the Penguin Group
Genres: Fiction, Asian Cultural, Contemporary, Family
Rating: 4.1/5 (I am partially biased because it was a Sri Lankan author)
Post Book Thoughts: Well don’t I live in a bubble!

A desperate young mother, a country in turmoil, a friendship betrayed.

Since her days in the orphanage, Latha has been a companion and servant to Thara, a more fortunate girl her own age. But since her trip to the hill-country, Latha has known she was destined for a better life. For now, she must watch silently as Thara receives all the luxuries Latha is denied, consoled only by the rose-scented soap stolen from the bathroom of her master’s house.

Years and miles away, Biso, a desperate young mother, flees from her murderous husband, taking her children with her to the remote hills. As Biso and Latha journey towards their separate fates, struggling to hold on to their independence, each will betray the people they love, changing the course of their life for ever.


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YOU’RE WELCOME UNIVERSE – WHITNEY GARDNER

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You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner
Published by Knopf’s Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary, YA
For Fans of:  Art, graffiti, wonderfully diverse books, friendcentric stories
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.


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MISSING – KELLEY ARMSTRONG

25487124Missing by Kelley Armstrong
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary
For Fans of: Kelley Armstrong, the Taken movies, predictable quick-read mystery novels
My rating: 2 stars out of 5

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?


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DIRT – DAVID VANN

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetDirt by David Vann
Published by Windmill Books
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Contemporary
Rating: 2/5
Post book thoughts:  I need a shower, and alcohol and an antidepressant and some form of brain bleach thank you. Yes I would like fries with that too.

Twenty-two-year-old Galen is a New Age believer on a warpath towards transcendence. He lives with his emotionally dependent mother in a secluded house, surviving on old family money that his Aunt Helen and cousin Jennifer are determined to get their hands on. Galen doesn’t know who his father is, his abusive grandfather is dead, and his grandmother is losing her memory. When the family takes a trip to an old cabin in the Sierras, tensions crescendo. Caught in a compromising position, Galen will discover the shocking truth of just how far he will go to attain what it is he craves.


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INSTRUCTIONS FOR A SECOND-HAND HEART – TAMSYN MURRAY

31760965Instructions For A Second-Hand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance
For fans of: The Fault in Our Stars, If I Was Your Girl, stories that deal with illness, disability and depression
My rating: 3 stars out of 5

Jonny isn’t like “normal” teenagers. Every day he wakes up in hospital, kept alive by a machine. Every day he wonders if this is the day they’ll find a donor match for his heart. Every day he wonders if this is the day he’ll die.

Every day, Niamh fights with her “perfect” brother Leo. Every single day, Leo wins. Every day, Niamh dreams of a life without Leo. But all that changes on the day of the accident: the day EVERYTHING falls apart.

This is a story about facing the future no matter how frightening. This is a story about healing your heart, no matter how much it hurts.


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WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT – APRIL GENEVIEVE TUCHOLKE

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Published by Dial Books
Genre: YA, Magic Realism, Contemporary
For Fans of: Messed up tales about messed up people
My rating: 2 stars out of 5

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying


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IF I WAS YOUR GIRL – MEREDITH RUSSO

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Published by Usborne Publishing
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
For Fans of: books that make you think
My Rating:  3 stars out of 5.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl at school.

Like everyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is holding back. Even from Grant, the guy she’s falling in love with.

Amanda has a secret.

At her old school, she used to be called Andrew. And secrets always have a way of getting out.

A book about loving yourself and being loved for who you really are.


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EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR – E. K. JONHSTON

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K Johnston
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Realistic Fiction
For Fans of: Veronica Mars, Strong heroines, well-written friendships and supporting characters, beautiful prose
My rating: 5 teary-eyed stars

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.


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THE DOG WHO DARED TO DREAM – SUN-MI HWANG

The Dog Who Dared to Dream by Sun-mi Hwang
Published by Abacus
Genres: Contemporary
For fans of: Dogs! Short, enjoyable reads
My rating: 3 stars out of 5.

This is the story of a dog named Scraggly. Born an outsider because of her distinctive appearance, she spends most of her days in the sun-filled yard of her owner’s house. Scraggly has dreams and aspirations just like the rest of us. But each winter, dark clouds descend and Scraggly is faced with challenges that she must overcome. Through the clouds and even beyond the gates of her owner’s yard lies the possibility of friendship, motherhood and happiness – they are for the taking if Scraggly can just hold on to them, bring them home and build the life she so desperately desires.


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