Mini Book Reviews

Dear Hero (YA)

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by Hope Bolinger and Alyssa Roat

After losing their respective nemeses for various reasons, hero Cortex and villain Vortex are both in the market for a new one. They meet on Mega-Match, the not-dating app that matches heroes and villains (and sidekicks and henchmen). But what happens when they realize that there’s not such a huge difference between them after all?

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. The whole thing is told in private messages and group chats. The dialogue and characters are awesome, and the whole concept was so much fun. It reminded me of the animated movie Megamind, except with 18-year-olds and a much higher body count (and yes, there are deaths, but they’re not gruesome).

Mini Book Reviews

Merci Suarez Changes Gears (MG)

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by Meg Medina

Merci Suarez starts 6th grade with big hopes of joining the soccer team and having a great year. But things don’t go as planned, and she must navigate unsettling family health issues and friends who are suddenly more interested in boys than in sports.

This story felt so real to me, even though I come from a different background. I loved Merci and her family, and by the end, I’d laughed and cried with them. It’s a fantastic book to help with those awkward times when everything is changing and you feel like you’re the only one left.

Mini Book Reviews

Children of Blood and Bone (YA)

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by Tomi Adeyemi

When a strange girl grabs Zelie in the capital city’s market and begs her help to escape, Zelie is pulled against her will into a war to save magic and empower her people, who have been oppressed almost to the point of genocide. Can she learn to harness her own magic in time? Can she save those she loves?

This book is insanely powerful. The writing is incredible; the characters are intense and so, so real. I loved so much about it. Seeing oppression, cruelty, and racism in this context brought so many things home to me in a whole new way—it was a strong kick to my privilege. Downsides: there is a ton of blood, death, and violence, so if you’re squeamish, it may not be your cup of tea. Also, though I loved most of the book, certain events (which I saw coming and wished they wouldn’t) soured the end for me. I don’t think I’ll read the sequel because of that.

Mini Book Reviews

The Crossover (MG)

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by Kwame Alexander

Told entirely in short poems/rap, this is the story of Josh Bell and his family—including his twin brother and their basketball star father.

I’m not big on basketball or poetry, but this was an incredibly cool way to tell a story, and a lot of the poems were really poignant. I loved the characters and their relationships. This book deals with some big issues, and I definitely cried, but it’s well worth the read. (It’s also a really quick read.)

Book Release


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She must destroy the most powerful magical object of the age… or the dragons will destroy her family.

Four hundred years ago, a hero with an enchanted sword defended the kingdoms from increasingly violent dragons. Their numbers decimated, the dragons forged a treaty with the fairies to entrap the Dragon-killer and destroy the sword. But fairies are nothing if not treacherous…

The sword, as powerful and dangerous as ever, has fallen again into the claws of the dragons. In return for their help rescuing her sister, Zia has rashly promised to destroy it. Unfortunately, she has no idea how.

Together with her sister Meri and the all-knowing Talking Dog, Zia must find a way to finish off the sword for good, navigating fairies, wizards, love, magic, and another unwanted prophecy. If she doesn’t, she’ll never see her parents or younger siblings again…

This is the third and final book in the completed Charmwood Chronicles trilogy, which should be read in order. The two previous books are Sabryn and Firstborn.

Undone is available on September 13, 2022, from Amazon and from your favorite bookseller or library!

Mini Book Reviews

Mairelon the Magician (YA)

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by Patricia C. Wrede

Kit, a street thief in London, is hired to sneak into a magician’s wagon and snoop around. When she took the job, she didn’t expect the magician to be an actual, practicing wizard. Soon Kit is involved in a mixed up adventure in search of a magical artifact.

This magical romp in Regency England is so much fun. I read it in high school, and I loved it just as much again on this reread. The sequel, Magician’s Ward, is also fantastic.

Mini Book Reviews

A Deadly Education (YA)

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by Naomi Novik

After Orion Lake saves her life for a second time, Galadriel wishes he’d go off and die himself. Instead he follows her around the Scholomance, saving her life again and again from evil creatures. She wishes he and his groupies would leave her alone, but she soon accepts him as a friend. Can they—and the rest of her small friend-alliance—save the Scholomance and all the students in it?

Not kidding, if book two had been available when I read this, I would have gone straight for the next book. I loved the voice, the magic, the world—Novik proves again that she’s a creative genius. A warning, however: there is some bad language and mature content.

Update: Books two and three have even more bad language and mature content, as well as some rather dark, horrifying elements. I still can’t fault Novik’s writing style or characters, but I personally wouldn’t consider books two or three suitable for YA readers, and even book one isn’t suitable for younger readers. Use caution.

Mini Book Reviews

Holes (MG)

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by Louis Sachar

When Stanley Yelnats is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, he has the choice either to go to prison or to Green Lake correctional camp. In the camp (where there is no actual lake), convicts are forced to dig five-foot holes, one a day, every day. But Stanley soon realizes that the digging is for more than just building character: the Warden is looking for something.

This book was a quick, fun read, blending an ancestor’s gypsy curse, a Wild West outlaw, and a dangerous desert creature seamlessly into the story of one boy’s time in a juvenile correctional facility. I loved the voice, the story, and how perfectly all the loose ends were tied together.

Mini Book Reviews

The Good Hawk (YA)

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by Joseph Elliott

When their clan is betrayed to the Vikings and carried off as slaves, Jaime and Agatha must find a way to rescue them, braving wildwolves and shadow creatures as they venture into the unknown.

This book was pretty good—probably a 4 out of 5. I can’t pinpoint any one thing that bothered me about it, except that it was a little darker/more gruesome than I like. I did love that it was set in Scotland/Skye, and I always like old Gaelic and Viking adventures, but I didn’t connect with it the way I do with other books.

Mini Book Reviews

The Silence Between Us (YA)

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by Alison Gervais

Maya, a Deaf high school senior, has just moved to a new state and a new school. She must navigate the challenges of being Deaf in a school full of hearing kids, while simultaneously dealing with moving, college applications, cute boys, and a brother with a serious health condition.

This was a really sweet high school romance. I enjoyed every minute, and I loved seeing a Deaf person as the main character. It enabled me to see being Deaf or Hard of Hearing from a different perspective and rethink my own preconceived notions and biases.