Reviews : Young Adult

'Just Girls' by Rachel Gold

Let me start with a quick summary of Just Girls published by Bella Books and written by the award-winning author, Rachel Gold: brilliant, brilliant and all kinds of brilliant…. read more

'Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before' by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Filled with tender moments and a remarkable family, Karelia Stetz-Waters’ YA novel Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before (Ooligan Press) is a queer coming of age story set against the political landscape of rural Oregon in 1992. What’s timeless about this novel is the familiar teenage struggle to find love, acceptance, and oneself…. read more

'Beau, Lee, The Bomb, and Me' by Mary McKinley

Mary McKinley’s debut novel offers a unique point of view that most young adult authors shy away from, while at the same time employing a lot of comfortable clichés. Beau, Lee, The Bomb, and Me follows Rusty Winters, an obese teenager who is not only sorely unpopular but a self-proclaimed smart girl who spends much… read more

'Everything Leads to You' by Nina LaCour

“Though full of juicy Hollywood-style plot, Everything Leads to You is less about building relationships and falling in love, than it is about how to set the stage for something amazing to happen.”… read more

How Everett Maroon Turned Me Into an Unintentional YA Fan

I imagine it is bad form to start off talking about a book by bad-mouthing its genre, but I felt the need to disclose, if only to emphasize how damn good Everett Maroon’s new young adult novel is: I don’t much care for YA. Well, at least I thought I didn’t. Let me explain…. read more

'Two Boys Kissing' by David Levithan

When you start reading this book, you may feel disoriented and confused. The “voice” may seem unclear and almost too intimate. There are no chapters; just spacing delineations. The title characters do not appear for ten pages. You might think of ditching it, yet wonder about what you have read…. read more

'Haffling' by Caleb James

Sixteen-year-old Alex Nevus lives in the East Village with his family, attends Stuyvesant High School, and generally tries to keep his world from falling apart. Admirably, he has succeeded in doing so—until the morning his schizophrenic mother goes AWOL and misses her annual redetermination review with the Department of Social Services; unless he can find… read more

'Playing by the Book' by S. Chris Shirley

Seventeen-year-old high school student Jake Powell is spending the summer at the prestigious Columbia School of Journalism. He’s the son of a preacher from Alabama and rather green around the edges—and he’s gay. Luckily, he’s smart and funny, and when he dodges preaching another failed sermon (a task at which he is apparently not good)… read more