Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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Genre: Fantasy

Young Adult Library Services Association 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults pick

A 2013 ALA Notable Book for Children

A 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

This was an excellent read – I had trouble putting it down at times!

Seraphina takes place in an imaginary land (medieval in nature) in which dragons take on human form and intermingle with humans. However, the treaty they have made with the citizens of this land to co-exist peacefully is in jeopardy. It is up to the heroine, Seraphina, and her friends to save the day when the peace of the land is threatened. However, Seraphina has secrets of her own to keep, which threatens her friendships and hinders her mission. Continue reading »


The Diviners by Libba Bray

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Genre: Historical/Fantasy

A Young Adult Library Services Association 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults pick

I didn’t realize who the author of this book was until I was a little ways into it, and when I did my initial reaction was, “Ugh….Libba Bray.” If you’re not familiar with her, Bray is the author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy which starts with A Great and Terrible Beauty. Needless to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of those books. Her writing is terribly unsubtle and unsophisticated and lacks a certain purpose to it. Continue reading »



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For the past year or so, I’ve been an avid listener of the NPR program This American Life, available as a podcast through iTunes. A new episode is released each Sunday. If you’re not familiar with the program, it is hosted by Ira Glass and basically presents stories, both fiction and non-fiction, based around a theme. This week’s theme was “Tribes,” and when I plugged my iPhone in to make the 45-minute drive to meet Klara’s friends for story-hour, I expected to be entertained and fascinated as usual; what I didn’t expect that I would find my “tribe” represented.

The second story of this week’s program (#491) is titled “A Tribe Called Rest” and is told by a woman named Andrea Seigel. In recapping, I’m working from the transcript found here.

Andrea began by describing a phenomenon she’d first noticed as a child, a sensation she’d get she describes as “…this tingling throughout my skull…Starbursts that open on the crown and then sparkle down at the nape like this warm, glittering water rushing under your scalp.” I was pretty sure I knew what she was talking about, especially when she said she’d find this feeling listening to whispering friends, pages being turned in a quiet library, the soft voice of a librarian. This was definitely familiar territory. Continue reading »


Pure by Julianna Baggott

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Check out my review for Fuse, the sequel to Pure.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Dystopian

Winner 2013 Alex Award, the ALA’s award for “books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults.”

We’ve all read some version of this story. It’s yet another take on a dystopian/post-apocalyptic future, joining the countless others riding the coattails of The Hunger Games but never quite living up to it. It’s pretty similar in many ways to Hunger Games, Matched and Under the Never Sky, to name just a few. However…these books are totally my guilty pleasure, and this one didn’t disappoint. Continue reading »