Young Adult Book Reviews

Have you ever come across a really good book and wanted to run around and tell all your friends about it? Well, it sure happens to me on occasion! That is why I created this page, a small section to share my gotta-have-it selections and recommendations.

13 Little Blue Envelopes
by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson is a story about seventeen year old Ginny and the adventure she goes on because of a series of letters her deceased Aunt Peg leaves for her. These letters are filled with humorous stories and special directions. Each one holds a clue to a new task. Traveling alone throughout Europe, Ginny meets unique people, learns more about her aunts mysterious and chaotic life and sees the things that most people only read about.

In this exciting and poignant story, Ginny grows into herself and uses her smarts to get through challenging situations. 13 Little Blue Envelopes was one of the best books I’ve read this year, it kept me interested all the way through and I highly recommend it to readers age 12 and up.

My rating: 5 out of 5 smooches!

Bittersweet Sixteen
by Carrie Karasyov & Jill Kargman

Bittersweet Sixteen is a book about rich girls living in fabulous, NYC. And Laura Finnegan is the It Girl’s best friend. Only when a new girl comes to their ultra chic, ultra private all girls school tensions rise. Not to mention its the year of Sweet Sixteen’s, where everyone tries to out-do each other with lavish parties. Bittersweet Sixteen was a fun read. I thought the authors captured the subtle everyday cat fights teenagers experience. Each chapter had me turning the pages looking for more. I’d recommend the book to teen females who enjoy series like The Clique. Fine for teens 14 and up.

My rating: 5 out of 5 smooches!

Twilight
by Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer’s debut novel Twilight is an amazingly mysterious and romantic. Told in a delightful first person point of view Bella details her experience moving to a small town called Forks. She meets the intriguing, hypnotic Edwards and gets drawn into his immortal world. Ms. Meyer’s writing is beautifully descriptive and absolutely gripping. Bella and Edward linger in your mind long after the book is closed. One of my favorite reads of the year, Twilight will have teen girls under its spell.

My rating: 5 out of 5 smooches!
Recommended for ages 12+

The Queen of Everything
by Deb Caletti

The Queen of Everything is a novel written in first person from a teen girls perspective. Jordan looks back to explain how her father’s choices impacted her life. In the beginning Jordan alludes to an act but we don’t exactly know what he has done — only that he seemed so normal, yet both their lives are changed because of what has happened. The story taps into a rocky mother-daughter relationship as well as the topic of divorce.

The voice and observations of our protagonist are sharp and very accurate making Jordan feel like a real teen. Deb Caletti’s writing is amazing, capturing the reader through wit and great setting descriptions. You feel right there with Jordan, through the good times and the bad times.

It is definitely one of my favorite books. I highly recommend it … the thrill, anticipation, build up of questions and a satisfying conclusion. If your looking for something less bubbly and more substance, check out The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti.

My rating: 5 out of 5 smooches!
* Sparingly sprinkled with curses, dash of violence and a pinch of intimacy.
Recommended for ages 15 and up.

If We Kiss
by Rachel Vail

Rachel Vail’s latest book, If We Kiss is hip and original. The book is narrated through sassy Charlie’s first person point of view. In this suspense filled story our heroine is discovering love for the first time all the while going through a mix of emotions and awkward hysterical events. Unfortunately, the guy she has her sights on is way off limits, which makes her infatuation spin out of control.

Although, I would have liked the setting and background information to be introduced in more detail, I enjoyed If We Kiss with each chapter I read. I was most impressed by the authors ability to capture the essence of teen speak. One of my favorite lines is on page 61 when Charlie says, "I get distracted even inside my own head." You gotta love that Charlie!

My rating: 4 out of 5 smooches!
Recommended for ages 14+
*Advanced review copy from HarperTeens