Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Reading on a Theme: Boarding School Thrillers

Coming at you with more books that would be perfect for any October TBR. I love a good boarding school setting, and there are so many great boarding school books out there. You've got your fantasy-style boarding school books, your historical boarding school books, and, of course, contemporary boarding school books. With so many options to choose from, I wanted to narrow the field a little for this post. Let's face it, a boarding school is a great setting for a thriller, and thrillers are perfect for October.


Academy Absconditi:
When November Adley's former-CIA agent father suddenly ships her off to boarding school, November knows something must be really wrong. She's surprised to find her new school is a secret training ground and even more deadly than the outside world. Killing November by Adriana Mather has a bit of a locked-door mystery element to it, and I enjoyed not knowing who to trust. The classes are pretty extreme with some life-threatening tests, so danger is never far away. The long-established rival families reminded me of The Conspiracy of Us, so, if you enjoyed that series, definitely check out this one. Killing November was out March 29, 2109. Review copy from NetGalley.


Ellingham Academy:
Stevie Bell is off to Ellingham Academy, a private boarding school that only accepts geniuses for self-directed study. Stevie's area of interest is criminology. She's come to Ellingham to solve a decades old mystery that took place on its grounds and involves its founder. The only real clue to the unsolved case is a note signed by Truly Devious. Truly Devious is a fun YA mystery. I love the quirky boarding school setting, with all the students' very specific interests. I also really like the back and forth between the present day and the 1930s mystery. This book is the first in a series, and it ends with a monster of a cliff hanger, but, thankfully the next book in Maureen Johnson's trilogy, The Vanishing Stair, is already out. 
 

Innovations Academy:
Mena is a student at an elite all-girl boarding school, Innovations Academy. There, she and the other girls are trained to be perfect young ladies. But all is not right at this school, where the students receive harsh punishments for stepping out of line and are trained to never think for themselves. Girls With Sharp Sticks is so creepy. Set in a very near future that is a little too close for comfort, this book is a true horror story for any young feminist. As with all thrillers, I don't want to give too much away. Just know that Suzanne Young will lead you through some truly twisted paths. Also, I'm kind of obsessed with this perfect cover. I'm adding the sequel to my TBR. Girls With Sharp Sticks was out March 19, 2019.


Bates Academy:
Kay Donovan and her friends are the queens of their East Coast boarding school. They are also the ones to discover fellow-student Jessica Lane's body floating in the lake. Kay doesn't want to be anywhere near the polices' radar, and, when an anonymous fellow student begins blackmailing her, she'll do anything to keep her secrets safe, including exposing all of her friends' dirty laundry. People Like Us is full of unlikable characters, which is a great set-up for a thriller. As a reader, you have no idea who to trust or if Kay is even a reliable narrator. I'd love to see more drama from Kay and her friends. Dana Mele's debut is a solid YA thriller. 


Blackbrook Academy:
When a storm hits Blackbrook Academy, an elite boarding school on the Maine coast, a small group of students are stranded in one of the school's dorms. The next morning their headmaster is found dead in the conservatory. Stranded, with no idea when help will arrive, the students have to face the fact that they are most likely bunking down with a murderer. In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund is the first in a trilogy inspired by the classic board game, Clue. I really loved all the Clue references, from the character names, to the subtle nods to all the murder weapons, to all the aptly named rooms of Tudor House. In the Hall with the Knife is out October 8, 2019. Review copy from NetGalley.

 



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

13 Spooky Reads for the Halloween Season

Every October I pack in as many spooky reads as I possibly can. It's no secret that I love a good seasonally appropriate read, and the Halloween season just may be my favorite reading season of all. Here are 13 (because 13 is the spookiest number) 2019 releases that I've got on my October TBR. (P.S. More Halloween posts here.)


The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters:
What's more appropriate for Halloween than an Edgar Allen Poe-inspired tale? I've been meaning to read this book for months, but now I'm not sad at all that I pushed it off until October.

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss:
This is the third book in Goss's Athena Club series, a twisted retelling of several famous Gothic novels. I really enjoyed the first two books. (The first book is featured in my Frankenstein Retellings post.) 

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring: 
This book sounds so atmospheric and creepy. The setting is an isolated finishing school on the tip of Patagonia, and the book features a young teacher, a missing pupils, and rumors of Others.

Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake:
This is the fourth and final book in Kendare Blake's dark fantasy series. I'm always game for a dark fantasy, and I've loved this whole series. (Series featured here, here, and here.)

His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler:
More Edgar Allen Poe! This collection of short stories features 13 (what did I say about 13 being the creepiest number) retellings of Poe classics along with the originals.

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby:
I'm in the middle of this book now, and I'm not sure how creepy this book is going to get (my guess is not very), but it is narrated by a ghost. This could be a good pick if you like magical realism or historical fiction (it's set during WWII).

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig:
This retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale is so creepy. It opens with the funeral of main character's sister who died under mysterious circumstances and features gory visions, possible ghosts, and maybe a nervous breakdown or two. 

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin:
A fantasy involving witches, witch-hunters, and romance. I'm always up for a witchy book in October, and this one has been getting all the hype.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett:
Considered dangerous and too tempting in their sixteenth year, the girls in Garner County are released into the wilderness. This dystopian horror story sounds perfect for October.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood:
And, speaking of dystopian horror, there's not much that is more horrifying that Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale. I'm interested to see where she goes with this sequel.

In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund:
This book is inspired by the board game Clue, which is just as fun as it sounds. When a storm hits Blackbrook Academy, an elite boarding school on the Maine coast, a small group of students are stranded in one of the school's dorms. The next morning their headmaster is found dead in the conservatory.

Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis:
Here we have another dark fantasy. I loved the first book in this duology that features necromancy and zombies and government conspiracy. I'm excited to read the sequel. 

Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia:
In a town plagued with ghost stories, Zora is falsely accused of a crime. This mystery involving a ghost-hunting television show and quirky self-proclaimed Addamsville historian sounds like a really fun October read.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Reading on a Theme: Summer Jobs

As a teen, I had summer jobs working at a packaging plant, as a nanny, and at a call center. I have some good stories from those jobs, but I never had a summer job that was half as exciting as these characters' jobs are.

The Wedding Planner:
Louna is the daughter of the popular wedding planner, Natalie Barrett, and every summer she works for her mom during the busy wedding season. This summer her mom decides to also employ Ambrose, an infuriating boy Louna's age. I really enjoyed Once and For All. The wedding planner setting was so much fun, especially coupled with Natalie, William, and Louna's cynicism when it comes to lasting love. Ambrose, on the other hand, is full of optimism, even if he is an unabashed serial dater. It's tough to resist a hate-to-love romance, and Sarah Dessen's characters have just the right amount of chemistry. This book makes for a perfect summer read.


The Hotel Clerk:
During the summer before college, mystery-book lover, Birdie Lindberg, takes her first job at an historic Seattle hotel famous for its mysteries. She's working alongside Daniel, with whom she had a very awkward previous encounter. Daniel ropes her into investigating a mystery involving a famous author who regularly checks into the hotel. Jenn Bennett's contemporaries are the best summer reads. Serious Moonlight has it all. The romance has just enough bumps along the way to really get the reader invested. The mystery kept me on the edge of my seat. And the Seattle setting gets a big A+. I love Daniel and Birdie.


The Food Truck Worker:
The summer is not going the way Clara pictured, not even a little. After getting into some trouble, her dad decided she needed to straighten up by working in his food truck, the KoBra. But it's not just her, she's stuck working with Rose, a classmate she has nothing in common with. Can she make it through the summer with her identity intact? The Way You Make Me Feel was a delightful summer romp. The relationship between Clara and Hamlet was seriously cute, and I loved the way Clara's relationships with her dad and Rose grew over the course of the book. Maurene Goo really captured the feelings of summer and of growing up.


The Ice Cream Scooper:
Amelia has the best summer job. She's been a Meade Creamery girl for the past three summers, and this summer she is head girl. But before the season kicks off, Molly Meade, who has been making and selling ice cream at her stand since 1944 passes away. Amelia is devastated that the stand might close. Enter Grady, Molly's grandnephew and the new owner of Meade Creamery. Together Amelia and Grady learn that running a small business is tough. I loved so many things about Stay Sweet. Siobhan Vivian's book is the perfect summer read and made me want to go to the lake and eat ice cream. I really loved the back story behind Molly's business and how passionate Amelia was about the stand and its legacy.


The Dancing Hot Dog:
Elouise Parker is ready for an epic summer, but then she's cast (again!) as the Hot Dog at the Magic Castle Playland amusement park. Worse yet, Lou's boss tells them on the first day that this will be the last summer of Magic Castle; he's selling the park. Lou just can't stand to see that happen. Enter schemes. Lou is big on schemes, and they all involve her fellow coworkers.There's her scheme to keep the park open and her fake dating relationship with her best friend engineered to get Diving Pirate Nick's attention. Jennifer Dugan's debut novel has a great setting. I love that all the characters were crew members at Magic Castle. With LGBT main characters, Hot Dog Girl is a nice addition to the summer romance genre.


Once and For All, Serious Moonlight, Stay Sweet, and Hot Dog Girl reviewed by JoLee
The Way You Make Me Feel reviewed by Paige.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Reading on a Theme: Memories of 9/11

We are coming up on the anniversary of 9/11. Today I wanted to bring you a collection of stories that grapple with the events and repercussions of that event. For readers who are too young to remember the 9/11 attacks and for those who were not yet born, these books can help convey the emotional impact of that day.


Family Ties:
It's the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and Deja and her 5th-grade classmates don't understand why they have to learn about something that happened before they were born. Deja is more worried about her family's money problems, babysitting her siblings, navigating a new school, and whether or not her new classmates will shun her once they learn that she lives in a homeless shelter. As Deja and her friends Ben and Sabeen learn more about the Twin Towers, they find that they have very personal connections to that day. Towers Falling is a heartfelt book, written a manner than is very accessible for middle grade students. I loved the friendships in Jewell Parker Rhodes's book.


Unwanted Fame:
On her first birthday Abbi Hope Goldstein became the face of 9/11 when she captured in a famous photograph and dubbed Baby Hope. Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is looking for one summer of normal; one summer where she's not Baby Hope; one more summer before her 9/11-related medical issues catch up to her. She's not going to find it, but she will find Noah Stern, who has his own reasons for obsessing over the Baby Hope photo. Hope and Other Punchlines is a beautiful, sad, poignant, funny, and hopeful read. I absolutely loved the relationship between Abbi and Noah. Their banter was so endearing. Julie Buxbaum's books always perfectly balance serious subjects with a bit of lightheartedness and a whole lot of humanity.


Confronting Islamophobia:
A Very Large Expanse of Sea is set in 2002, a year after 9/11, and just existing in America as a hijabi teen is extremely difficult. Shirin wears her indifference like armor. She's all angles and jabs and has no time for anyone. But something about Ocean James--maybe it's the fact that he won't accept a brushoff--chips away at Shirin's barriers. But as Ocean and Shirin come together two worlds collide, bringing out so much prejudice and vitriol. Ah. This is a lovely book. Tahereh Mafi excels at bringing the reader into Shirin's world. She delivers the emotions, but the book also really makes the reader think. The character development is exceptional, and I loved the breakdancing. 


The Past and Present:
All We Have Left by Wendy Mills tells the story of Jesse, a 2016 teenager whose brother died in the 9/11 attacks, and Alia, a Muslim-American teen who is trapped in the north tower on that fateful day. The book alternates between the two timelines, eventually weaving the stories of these two girls together.  Wendy Mills does such an excellent job transporting her readers into the towers and taking them through all the psychological and physical struggles of her characters. In Jesse's timeline, we see how 9/11 has a lasting impact for the families of the victims and the survivors. The book handles issues of religion very respectfully and thoughtfully. This book impacted me deeply. It's a powerful, beautiful, emotional, and ultimately healing read.


The Comfort of Strangers:
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Kyle Donohue has to evacuate his lower Manhattan high school. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot on his way home he finds a girl wearing wings. She doesn't remember her name or how she got there. Kyle's father is a police officer, and Kyle worries about the danger his father is in. Meanwhile, his mother is trapped in California after the United States shuts down its airspace. Though expansive in its appeal, Gae Polisner's book focuses on how the events of 9/11 and its immediate aftermath directly impact two teenagers. The narration alternates between Kyle and the girl and between prose and verse. The Memory of Things is a powerful story that is beautifully written.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

History Books for Young Readers

Here's another great collection of nonfiction history books written for young readers. I love putting these lists together. This time around we have some excellent commemorative choices and we have quite a few books about women making history from the Revolutionary War to the present day. Although aimed at a middle-grade or young adult audience, these books are fascinating for readers of all ages.



American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley
July 20th, 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The young reader's edition of Brinkley's book is just one of many histories that revisit the era. This book focuses almost exclusively on the political aspect of the space race, specifically President Kennedy's contribution. Kennedy famously proclaimed that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. This book explains how and why space exploration became an important aspect of Kennedy's policies. Brinkley also briefly discusses the early years of rocketry with the German's V-2 rockets of World War II. It was interesting to learn about the connections between the war years and the space age. Communism and the Cold War is also a huge factor in Kennedy's embrace of the space program, and this book does a nice job explaining that aspect of the equation. If you decide to read this book, keep in mind that Kennedy does not live to see Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the moon. Out April 2, 2019 from HarperCollins. Review copy from Edelweiss.

1919: The Year that Changed America by Martin W. Sandler
With 1919 we have another commemorative book, and one you will want to be sure to read in 2019. Sandler looks back 100 years to a watershed year in United States history that included fights for suffrage to race riots to strikes for labor rights and more. Sandler lays the groundwork for each big event by discussing the events leading up to the momentous actions of 1919. At the end of each chapter, Sandler includes a timeline of events going forward to today, driving home how the events of 1919 have shaped our present. Extremely well-written and informative and filled with images, 1919 is an engrossing read and a fantastic concept. I love a good commemorative read, and I'm so glad that I didn't miss out on this one.Out January 8, 1919 from Bloomsbury Children's Books. Review copy from NetGalley.

Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America by Teri Kanefield
After my last History Books for Young Readers post, it's abundantly clear how much I love Teri Kanefield's Making of America series. The fourth installment features Susan B. Anthony, and it is every bit as great as the first three. With each book in the series, Kanefield selects a prominent figure from American history who has helped to shape the laws of the United States. With Anthony we learn about a figure who is well known for her fight for women's rights. Kanefield does a great job dealing with some of the trickier aspects of Anthony's life. In recent years, especially, the early suffragists have fallen from grace a little due to their lack of support for African American rights. What struck me as I was reading this, is how intersectional these early suffragists were. Most were abolitionists and suffragists until the causes of women's rights were abandoned by the leaders of the abolitionist movement after the Civil War. At that point, due to lack of funds and support, Anthony and Cady do make some questionable decisions. Kanefield convincingly explains how this came about. In the end, Anthony would not live to see the ratification of the 19th amendment, but it certainly deserves the nickname "The Susan B. Anthony Amendment." Out March 26, 2019 from Abrams Books for Young Readers. Review copy from NetGalley.

The Miracle and Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller
On May 28, 1934, five identical baby girls were born to a French Canadian family in Ontario. Their survival was both miraculous and the result of the tireless work of the doctor, midwives, and nurses who delivered the girls and worked round-the-clock in their infancy. Controversy and celebrity followed the girls, who were separated from their family and raised by the state until the age of nine in a hospital built especially for them across the street from their family home. Everything about this true story is mind-blowing. The title is apt in every way. That Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie all lived was truly amazing. The exploitation, experimentation, and trauma they experienced as a result of their celebrity was horribly tragic. Sarah Miller's narrative is gripping and filled with quotations from primary sources and interviews with the surviving quintuplets. Miller does a fantastic job navigating the nuances of these events. Once so famous, the story of the Dionne Quintuplets has been out of the spotlight for decades, but it's not a story that will easily be forgotten.  Out August 27, 2019 from Random House Children's. Review copy from NetGalley.

Fly Girls' Young Reader's Edition: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien
Between World War I and World War II, aviation was still young, and men and women raced to test the limits of flight. I've been drawn to the early years of aviation history over the past couple of years, and I especially gravitate towards the female fliers of this period. (Posts here, here, and here.) These women were defying the odds in so many ways. Keith O'Brien centers his book on five female aviators of the 1930s: Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Elder, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden. Earhart is the most famous of the bunch today, but I found that I most admired Louise Thaden, who was not only a skilled pilot but also a smart one. This book has a lot of plane crashes and really drives home the sexism of the 1930s; the women were frequently told they couldn't fly, race, or compete with the men. Out March 5, 2019 from HMH Books for Young Readers. Review copy from NetGalley.

Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully
Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the celebrated and notorious poet Lord Byron, was one of the world's first computer programmers. Ada had a very unusual upbringing. Her mother left Lord Byron when Ada was just a baby and took a very strict approach to her daughter's education. Ada's education far exceeded that of most girls of her time. She had a succession of tutors and proved to be very gifted at mathematics. After meeting Charles Babbage at the age of 17, she and the inventor collaborated and exchanged ideas. His knowledge of inventing and machinery married with her knowledge of mathematics far outstripped the technology of the day. I really enjoyed this brief biography of Ada Byron Lovelace. It's a very fast and engaging read. Ada Lovelace is a fascinating person, and her life was so usual and in many ways very tragic. All of that was conveyed very well in Emily Arnold McCully's book. Out March 12, 2019 from Candlewick. Review copy from NetGalley.
 
Anna Strong and the Revolutionary War Culper Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti
This is the third book in the Spy on History series. Each book in the series features a spy in a war from American history. I've read and thoroughly enjoyed them all (featured here and here).  With this third book, we've gone back to the Revolutionary War. Anna Strong and her husband lived on Long Island under the occupation of the British and were part of George Washington's spy ring. When Anna's husband was arrested, Anna took over so the spy network would not be broken. She communicated to her contact with her laundry, hanging certain colors to communicate certain information. She traveled into New York City multiple times to relay information. The Spy on History books are a great way to get young readers interested in history. They come with activities in back and a message to decode. Out April 2, 2019 from Workman Publishing Company. Review copy from NetGalley.

Heroism Begins With Her: Inspiring Stories of Bold, Brave, and Gutsy Women in the U.S. Military by Winifred Conkling
In nearly 70 short biographies, Winifred Conkling features the women of the United States' past and present who have served in the military. In doing so, she also traces the progress made by women who sought to gain more acceptance, greater recognition, and an official status for their service. In the early years, many of the women who served were camp followers, nurses, spies; although, a surprising number of women also disguised themselves as men and officially enlisted. In later years, as women were official instated into the military, Conkling continues to emphasize the diversity of roles played by women. She also features a number of women who are firsts in their fields. This book is not one that needs to be read cover to cover. Read about the women who served in one war or, for instance, thumb through the book to find all the medical professionals. This book would be a good starting point for a research project. Out August 6, 2019 from HarperCollins. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Bad Boys of Fashion: Style Rebels and Renegades Through the Ages by Jennifer Croll
This book is a fantastic choice for any fashion lover. In ten chapters, Jennifer Croll takes her readers through small biographies of big names in fashion from Louis XIV to Oscar Wilde to David Bowie. I really enjoyed how this book was organized with three thematically related fashion icons in each chapter. Not only will readers learn a lot about each individual figure, but they will also learn about how their fashion responded to and influenced events in history. One of the best parts about this book is seeing how fashion and history collide, mingle, and respond to one another. Also, this book has good diversity in terms of race and sexuality. I liked this it so much that I now really want to read the author's related title, Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga. Out April 9, 2019 from Annick Press. Review copy from NetGalley. 
 



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Series Salute: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

The Caraval Series by Stephanie Garber was such a fun ride. I thought the series got better with every book and went out with a bang. (Series featured here and here.)

About the Books


For years sisters Scarlett and Donatella Dragna have dreamed of escaping life with their oppressive father and attending Caraval, a traveling circus-like extravaganza where the visitors are part of the show. When they finally get their chance, the sisters find themselves at the heart of Caraval's high-stake competition. The game is suddenly very real. The first book in the series follows Scarlett as she searches for her sister amidst the magic and mystery of Caraval. With the second book, Donatella gets top billing as Caraval moves to the capital city. The series concludes with both sisters sharing the spotlight as the stakes grow ever higher. 



Why I Love Them

 

1. The Magic of Caraval

The magic of Caraval is what initially drew me to the series. The dreamlike setting has Scarlett questioning what is real and what is not, and the reader is right beside her asking those same questions.

 

2. Scarlett

It's hard to always be the responsible sister! I love how much Scarlett grows in this series and that she learns to stick up for herself. 

3. Tella

I'll admit, Tella is my favorite of the Dragna sisters. A bit impulsive, Tella is such a fun narrator. I love how lively and determined she is.

4. Sisterhood

I love a book about sisters, and the Dragna sisters are there for each other. Except when they're not. It's hard to navigate the world of Caraval, which seems intent on pulling people apart.

5. Legend

We could not have Caraval without the creator. Whether Legend's identity is shrouded in mystery or he's right there in front of the characters, there is nothing straightforward about him.

6. The Fates

The Fates are intriguing and pretty frightening, and they add so much to the series. I loved book two and three when the mythology and reality of the Fates becomes a key element to the mysteries. 

7. The Love Triangles 

Both Scarlett and Tella get wrapped up in a bit of a love triangle. I know a lot of people aren't huge fans of love triangles, but I really enjoyed how Stephanie Garber handled the multiple love interests in her series.

8. Valenda

I love a good atmospheric setting, which is one of the reasons I love the mystery of Caraval. Caraval combined with the capital city's creepy shops, beautiful palaces, and mystical temples ups the intrigue. 

9. The Audiobook narrator

I'm a big fan of audiobooks, and the narrator for the Caraval series, Rebecca Soler, is one of my favorites. She brings so much to the story.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Reading on a Theme: Movie Magic

Let's go to the movies. Or, if you'd rather stay in, here are some books about movies and movie makers.


The Actress:
Lacey Barnes is a debut actress hoping this film will be her big break. But show business isn't all fun and games. The director is worried about her chemistry. Accidents on set seem to happen when she's around. Most embarrassing of all, Lacey's dad keeps reminding everyone that she's the only underage actor on set. He even hired a straight-laced kid named Donovan from the local high school to tutor her. Kasie West did it again with Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss. This book is so delightfully charming. Lacey's spunk makes her so much fun to read about. The zombie movie is entertaining; the mystery is intriguing, and the romance is the sweetest. Out February 5, 2019. Review copy from Edelweiss.


The Hosts:
Best friends Josie and Delia host a creature feature that airs every Friday on a public assess television station. Now that graduation has come and gone, Josie and Delia are facing the big "what comes next" when it comes to the show and their friendship. For Josie, television has always been the goal, for Delia, the bad horror movies are a link to her absent father. It's never easy to say goodbye. Once again Jeff Zentner managed to get me to laugh out loud and cry while reading Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee, and that's why I love his books. This one leans more toward the comedic side than his previous tearjerkers, but there were still plenty of real, hard topics and poignant moments (clearly). Out February 26, 2019. Review copy from NetGalley.


The Manager:
Green Street Cinema is Ethan's home. It's where he went to deal with the pain of his dad's death and where his dad's memory is most alive. Ethan's basically running the place these days, which is why it's up to him to save the cinema when they get an eviction notice. This Book is Not Yet Rated is a poignant and meaningful story about love and loss. I really liked Peter Bognanni's writing style, which conveys angst so well. This book is also populated with a very fun cast of side characters. The employees of Green Street Cinema are super quirky and colorful. There's also Raina, Ethan's best friend who made it big in Hollywood and is now back in town after a breakdown. Out April 9, 2019.


The Studio Owner:
Dario Heyward is the heir to Moldavia Studios, the castle where his father wrote, directed, and filmed the type of B-list horror classics that Rayne and Delilah screen on their show. Dario has six months to turn the studio around, despite the fact that he never wanted this job and he swore he'd never come back after becoming legally emancipated at the age of twelve. Scream All Night was much more serious than I thought it would be. Dario has to confront some real demons from his past (pardon the pun), and he feels a lot of pressure to do right by the residents of Moldavia. The book is also laced with black humor. The scenes with the Ciller Cauliflowers were both hilarious and cringe-worthy. I loved the setting Derek Milman created in his debut novel and the story within a story nature of a book about a film. Out July 2018. Review copy from Edelweiss.


The Filmmaker:
Maya Aziz is a Indian-American Muslim teen growing up in Illinois. Her dream is to become a filmmaker and go to NYU, but her conservative parents don't think this would be a suitable career. In fact, Maya hasn't even told them she applied to NYU. Love, Hate & Other Filters is a coming of age story. Maya is wondering how to best assert her independence. She is navigating what it means to be a Muslim teen in America, what kind of life she wants to lead, and whether or not the expectations of her parents and her religion are right for her. About halfway through this novel, an event occurs that turned the book on its head for me. I was impressed with Samira Ahmed's handling of this serious issue. Out January 2018.




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