Young Adult

Book 38 of 52: Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute by Sayantani Dasgupta

Looking to wrap up your summer with a fun, light romance focusing on some teen theater nerds? I got you, as does Sayantani Dasgupta with Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute.

Our protagonist is Eila Das, a high school student who has been trying to hold her family together after the death of her father. Shakespeare was a big part of the family’s life: every summer, they’d go to see a local Shakespeare in the park, and she’d go to Shakespeare theater camp.

Now, not only is she grieving, but her beloved Shakespeare camp has been rebooted as Regency Camp, where teens spend two weeks living how those in Regency Era England did, with a bonus: if they catch the eye of the show’s producer, they might also get a chance to appear as an extra in Rosewood, described as like “Bridgerton meets Murder, She Wrote.”

Eila doesn’t want to be there, but goes because her sister, Mallika, is obsessed with the show — and knows their mother would never allow her to go alone.

Eila starts out as stubbon, but opens up through the course of those two weeks, and discovers maybe she can embrace change after all, and that doing so wouldn’t be […]

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Book 28 of 52: The Long Run by James Acker

The one bit thing that surprised me about The Long Run by James Acker is that I hadn’t heard about it before. It’s a book about running, set in South Jersey — only about 12 miles from where I live. Given how much I love running, and how much I love South Jersey, I’m annoyed I didn’t buy this as soon as it came out (I found out about it via the Book ‘Em, Zach-O newsletter – thanks pal!)

The Long Run is about Sebastian Villeda and Sandro Miceli, seniors at Moorestown High School. They both do track and field, with Sebastian is captain of track; and Sandro captain of field. This is a YA romance, so of course they fall in love.

It could have just been a boy meets boy (or boy realizes he is in love with boy) story, but it goes deeper than that. Acker does a wonderful job giving us a rounded picture of these two young men. Miceli has always known he’s gay, and has plotted out when he can live his true, authentic self, something he doesn’t think he can do living in a multi-generational, Italian-American household, where he’s often an […]

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Book 56 of 52: Murder, She Wrote: By the Time You Read This I’ll be Gone by Stephanie Kuehn

My exploration of the Murder, She Wrote universe continues! Did you know there’s now a YA branch of the Jessica Fletcher world? I didn’t either By the Time You Read This I’ll be Gone by Stephanie Huehn, the first entry into a series of books about Fletcher’s great great grand niece, dropped last month. It’s an interesting endeavor.

The protagonist here is Beatrice Fletcher, a high school student and anonymous contributor to TrueMaine, a true crime blog. This particular mystery starts when her friend Jackson, who has been struggling with his mental health, disappears. He’s not the only child of Cabot Cove’s upper crust to have gone missing either. Are these disappearances connected? Is the local elite boarding school involved? What about an all powerful homeowner’s association that has advocated for more surveillance to keep their residents “safe”? And is it all possibly tied an old cold case involving a mayor’s daughter, one of the few crimes the town’s world-famous mystery writer/sleuth has not been able to solve?

Unlike the adult Murder, She Wrote novels, this is not a cozy murder mystery. By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Gone addresses issues like child abuse, grief, addiction, economic inequality, the […]

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Book 27 of 52: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio was not chosen by me, per se. It’s on the Vandegrift High School Banned Book Club reading list. The group formed in response to the Leander Independent School District banning a whole bunch of books for ridiculous reasons. These students wanted to read the books and discuss them anyway. 

None of the Above was yanked by the school district because it features “sensitive topics” and “concepts of sex and anatomy,” according to the Washington Post.

Yes, this book does such horrible things as recognizing that 18 year old ADULTS, who in Texas can buy assault rifles, might have sex. It’s also cognizant of the very real fact that gender is not a pink/blue binary. The protagonist here is track star and homecoming queen Kristin Lattimer. After experiencing incredible pain when having sex, she’s diagnosed as intersex. In Kristin’s case, she has Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), which means she looks traditionally feminine, but has male chromosomes. That means no uterus, a short vagina and two very small gonads.

How didn’t she know, you might ask? Her mother died of cervical cancer when Kristin was young, and she was hesitant to talk to her father about why […]

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