Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, Ages 14+, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

The amazing novel that introduced Nick and Charlie from HEARTSTOPPER — and the unforgettable Tori Spring.
Tori Spring isn’t sure how to be happy again. Then she meets Michael Holden, and they try to unmask the mysterious Solitaire (and survive high school) in Alice Oseman’s stunning, unflinching honest debut novel, which first introduced her fan-favorite Heartstopper characters Nick and Charlie.

Teens and tragedy, but it’s so good.

I have to start this by mentioning this story will have triggers. There is a mention of suicide, thoughts of suicide, eating disorders, mental health and LGBTQ issues. These all make this book so good. They do. This is how life is seen through the eyes of teens, many who are struggling and just can’t make sense of their lives. It’s relatable and real.

Tori Spring is the sister of Charlie Spring (from the Heartbreaker books) and she’s lost. Not physically, but she feels lost in the ocean of high school. This book is set in England, but applies to students all across the world in that age range (14+). She feels lost and she’s not entirely sure why. Reading as she sorted out parts of her life was interesting, tender, sweet and so tragic at times. She’s trying so hard, but yet not trying at all.

I loved the reality of the story and how the characters popped from the page. They love themselves, but secretly hate themselves. They’re simple, yet complicated. They’re human.

If you’re looking for a complex YA book that will leave you with lots of thoughts, then this is the book for you. Check it out.

Squishy Crushy Something by Kieran Frank

Squishy Crushy Something by Kieran Frank
Publisher: Deep Hearts YA
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), LGBTQ, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Jayden never expected he’d be the type to develop a squish on a boy, never mind a full-blown crush.

It started with Kail, a boy with looks and popularity and all-around awesomeness. Developing a squish on Kail might’ve been natural for Jayden, of course, as anyone could fall for that boy. But it’s now three years later, the summer before senior year, and Jayden’s squish on Kail has grown into a crush that he can no longer ignore. And this crush is leading Jayden to make decisions he knows he’ll regret later.

But Kail isn’t the only one Jayden is having squishy crushy troubles with.

He used to be friends with Ollie, but when Ollie got too deep into religion, it drove Jayden away. Now, Ollie is back and he seems much more open-minded—not to mention much more attractive—and Jayden can’t help but develop a squish. But could it turn into a crush?

Jayden is caught between two squishy crushes—the crush on the boy that he knows is toxic, and the potential crush that could make or break a friendship—and he doesn’t know what to do. The right choice could bring him happiness, but if he makes the wrong choice he could lose everything.

This was the first asexual and gay romance novel I’ve read, and it won’t be the last!

Small towns can be lonely and sometimes even dangerous places to grow up for kids who are LGBTQ, non-Caucasian, or a member of other minority groups. I enjoyed seeing how Jayden figured out who was safe to talk to and who would accept him unconditionally as not everyone who lives in a small town will be prejudiced against folks who are different from them by any means. There are wonderful people to be found in every corner of the globe, and I smiled with joy as the main character discovered who could be counted on in his community.

The ending suited the characters nicely, especially Jayden. People change quite a bit when they’re in high school, so it made a lot of sense to leave everything as open to interpretation as the author did. He left plenty of room for his characters to learn and grow as they finished high school and went off to college. That was exactly what this storyline needed, and it made me excited to read the sequel that was hinted to be in the works.

Some of the most memorable scenes were ones that showed members of the LGBTQ community loving and supporting each other. Some shared the same label while others did not, but what really mattered were their friendships and the common ground they found as members of various romantic and sexual minority groups. I never had stories like this when I was in high school, so it was heartwarming to see such a thing written for today’s teens. Solidarity makes for great storytelling and sends a powerful message of hope to readers who are still looking for a place to belong.

Squishy Crushy Something made me sigh with happiness.

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, YA, 14+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical. It’s everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child stars, cut-throat understudies, and a director who can’t even remember Nate’s name.

Now, as the countdown to opening night is starting to feel more like a time bomb, Nate is going to need more than his lucky rabbit’s foot if he ever wants to see his name in lights. He may even need a showbiz miracle.

Cute, sweet and a little unbelievable but fun!

Five, Six, Seven, Nate! follows the book Better Nate Than Ever is a cute, sweet read about a young man, Nate, who wants to become a star on the stage. He’s got big dreams and even bigger pressure to produce.

I liked this book because it showed a young man, Nate, who is trying to come to terms with what he wants–fame–and who he is. He’s coming out and finding he rather likes being true to himself. It’s a sweet thing to read about.

There are also a lot of nearly impossible things happening in this book. He’s a small town kid about to make it big, he’s already on the stage, he’s in an improbable situation…but it’s fun. It’s cute and quirky.

If you’re looking for a story that’s a little about coming out, a lot about the stage and a lot about life, then give it a try. It’s funny and worth the read.

McKenna’s Path by Kasey Riley

McKenna’s Path by Kasey Riley
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Length: Full length (176 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Chamomile

Suzie McKenna has a desperate need to get away from her mom—and most importantly her mom’s creepy boyfriend. She comes up with the perfect way to escape, taking her beloved mustang mare, Gypsy, with her. She’ll ride to her father’s ranch. She has the knowledge, the maps, and the need; but does she have the ability?

Children and adults affected with autism usually have issues in getting penile election once in a day unless prescribed by the doctor.sildenafil 10mg is not a hormone. So in order to be prevented and protected from this health ailment allow this solution to control your viagra samples no prescription sickness. Symptoms can vary between the genders and the complications are little more cialis discount canada difficult to diagnose in women. Men looking for the natural ways get viagra cheap check for info to overcome masturbation effects naturally and enjoy intimate moments with your beautiful female. Join Suzie and Gypsy as they make their way from Victor, Idaho to Dubois, Wyoming. Only the Bridger-Teton National Forest stands between them and the safety of her father.

When Gypsy is found loose and injured, can searchers find Suzie before it’s too late?

Suzie’s divorced parents, Mike and Sherry McKenna, share a burning need to locate their wayward daughter. Can they stand each other’s company long enough to get the job done? Ride with them as they answer this question and maybe even discover what tore their marriage apart.

What if your only path to safety was to undertake a perilous journey alone? From early on, this story makes it clear that Suzie is a teenager who no longer feels her mother is listening, and those emotions come through so clearly in author Kasey Riley’s writing!

She really gets into Suzie’s head, showing the reader a look at the struggles and reasoning as she undertakes her journey, fleeing from her mom, to her father’s in fear of her mother’s boyfriend. I easily felt like I knew Suzie, like I was right there, cheering her on! I felt the author’s use of perspective, with the mother oblivious, Suzie a frightened teen, and the other characters falling somewhere in the side-lines, paired with the vast knowledge the author shows of equine behaviors, or horsemanship, this was both an highly entertaining and even educational read.

This story can likely be enjoyed by all ages, though it’s written for the YA group.  It’s both well written and easy to follow, making it easy to read quickly, and much harder to put down!

Amy the Astronaut and the Secret Soldiers by Steven Donahue

Amy the Astronaut and the Secret Soldiers by Steven Donahue
Publisher: Twin Sisters Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (260 pgs)
Age: 14+
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Dryas

Amy Sutter returns with a new space adventure as she travels to a distant planet filled with secrets and danger.

The second entry in the Amy the Astronaut series finds the teen rocketeer joining Yale and Madison aboard the Liberty Bell on a mission of mercy to a planet devastated by a natural disaster. The relief mission takes a turn for the worse when the crew discovers a plot that could destroy the Union, and they face off against new enemies that threaten their survival.

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Amy is in interesting and complex character with strengths and faults. She is courageous, well-meaning, and has an ability to take charge when a situation calls for it. She does have trouble with listening to orders and putting herself (and sometimes in others) in danger. She also has trouble like any other teenager, especially in the love department. She has a crush on two boys; Ethan and Cole. She is confused on how to handle those feelings. She also has to deal with the competition between the two.

This is a second book in a series for young adults. It is fast paced and interesting with a heroine that many can relate to. It shows how much friendship and a little crush can affect decision making skills. I did think that the story was a little too long and some of the details could have been left out.

The rest of the characters were incredibly well done and relatable. Yale is a strong character who is a perfect role model for Amy. She shows the girl bravery, comradeship, discipline, and the strength to not give up in any situation. Madison, even being a robot, was unable to understand why the other robots were so devoted to their creator. He was the one that found out Dr. Greenland was going to sell them to the enemy. He had the experience of being free and the friendship of Amy which allowed him to experience feelings the others have not.

Ethan, although not a main character, still plays an important role in the story. Besides being a love interest for Amy, he also is a contrast to her personality; he is more cautious, able to follow orders and is not as strong or experienced in battle as Amy. He does help with fixing up Madison after Yale shot him. He is another great support for her along the journey.

An interesting book for young adults and adults to read. It’ll keep your interest because it is full of action and suspense, but also has parts to teach young adults to handle difficult situations. Although it was the second book in the series you don’t need to read the first to make sense of it. It is rather complex so some may have trouble following along but it is well worth it.

Gracie’s Time by Christine Potter

Gracie’s Time by Christine Potter
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction, YA, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short story (59 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

October, 1962
It’s almost Halloween, but something a lot scarier than ghosts is on everyone’s mind: nuclear war. After President Kennedy’s speech to the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, Grace Ingraham overhears her parents’ plans to keep her safe. She’ll be sent off to live with a wealthy uncle—in the nineteenth century.

Gracie’s from a family of Travelers, people who can escape into time. Too bad her mom and dad haven’t Traveled since their honeymoon trip to the Lincoln Inauguration. So Grace will have to go alone—even though taking a wrong turn can have serious consequences: like heading for 1890, and ending up …in 2018.

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Luckily, a fellow traveler finds her in the city and helps her. It’s great seeing her reactions to the future technology—quite realistic. She pops into other times and finds out some surprising things. Sometimes she’s pulled there, and dangerous stuff happens. Are there forces that have their own designs on her? Gracie will have to be very careful. Gracie’s strength comes into play many times.

Sometimes there is a lot of information given at once or some confusion. There is plenty of political commentary mixed in with the story.

When Gracie discovers she has a brother, and he’s a bit…unusual, the mystery is amped up. Supernatural elements add a twist to the story.

Gracie’s interaction with the secondary characters is charming. They help us to see and understand our protagonist better.

Period details are well-written, so readers can easily picture the era.

This is a good tale of young love and adventure. Gracie’s Time is fourth in a series, but the author fills in the necessary blanks with helpful information. The ending leaves some questions unanswered, leaving room for a continuation of the story.

Stand-In by J.S. Frankel

Stand-In by J.S. Frankel
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (230 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Bill Grissom, seventeen, doesn’t have long to live, and when he’s given a second chance as a substitute for his counterpart in a parallel universe, he jumps at the chance to become the Golden Guardsman.

Things go well at first. Along with Veil—Charlene Thompson, Matter-Man—Anders Nixon, and Monolith—Martin Bollock, the other members of the group, they dispense justice wherever it’s needed.
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However, Matter-Man’s insistence on getting paid for a job well done doesn’t sit well with Bill, and he becomes jaded and cynical about working for the Collective. To Matter-Man, and to the other members of the group, it’s all about the coin.

As well, more and more super-criminals start to appear, and when Bill discovers who’s coming and more importantly, why, he learns that being a hero involves more than simply dispensing justice. It’s all about living up to the ideals of being one—something that could cost him his life.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

The world building made me smile. There was a great deal of effort put into showing how superheroes in this universe were different from the ones that some readers might be expecting. For example, they weren’t universally liked for reasons I’ll leave up to other readers to discover for themselves. Explaining and exploring details like these brought this world to life for me. No sooner would one of my questions about how everything worked would be answered than a couple more would spring into place. It was a great deal of fun to figure all of this out.

I found the pacing of the beginning of this book to be slow. The main character had plenty of explaining to do about the world he lived in and the alternate universe he was about to discover. As intrigued as I am by superheroes, I found it hard to get into Bill’s story because of how slowly everything happened in the first several chapters.

The fight scenes were nicely written. I’ve been reading Mr. Frankel’s stories for years now, and his approach to writing about this sort of conflict has evolved in all sorts of interesting ways since I was first introduced to his stuff. It’s been a great deal of fun to see the different techniques he uses to describe what is happening in them and how he approaches a conflict that has multiple folks jumping into the fray all at once. I look forward to hopefully reading more of these scenes in his future work!

Stand-In should be read by anyone who likes superheroes.

The Rumrunner’s Boy by E.R. Yatscoff

The Rumrunner’s Boy by E.R. Yatscoff
Publisher: BWL Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (190 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Canadians are only too happy to supply liquor to thirsty Americans during U.S. Prohibition. Jarrod Hooker, 17, steps in for his injured father on a rum running crew smuggling liquor across Lake Erie. It’s a lucrative job they cannot afford to lose.

We are constantly levitra free sample talking about Americans debt and our unemployment rate. There are varieties of dosages and compositions patterns available for Kamagra medicine, buy viagra wholesale for safety and betterment it is advised to take the medicine with one. You will get almost every type of medications online cialis on the online stores that are usually sold at a reasonable rate. In fact, to avoid any kind of complication, it is advisable to see a doctor and get a thorough consultation before you choose to buy Kamagra generic levitra online discover that drugstore online. Jarrod’s young age is resented by the rumrunners and they set out to sabotage him and confiscate his father’s boat. Carving out respect for himself among rough men will take a mighty effort. But Ill winds begin to blow across the lake when money from liquor shipments goes missing and the U.S. Coast Guard steps up smuggling patrols. Worse yet, an American gangster, a rogue from the notorious Purple Gang, tries to seize control of the operation.

Whatever happens on the next run will change everything for everyone. Amid sabotage and bullets flying, Jarrod must put his trust in a very dangerous man. Although Canada is only a few miles offshore, it may as well be a world away.

Smuggling is a dangerous job even at the best of times.

The character development was well done. This was true not only for Jarrod but also for many of the other people he spent time with at home and while smuggling alcohol across the border. I had a crystal clear picture in my mind of what everyone looked and sounded like. That’s always something I appreciate in a story, especially when it involves as many different folks as this one did. It made me want to keep reading until I learned what everyone’s fate was!

I would have liked to see a little more attention paid to wrapping up the ending, especially when it came to the health of Jarrod’s dad. Earlier scenes spent so much time exploring this topic and showing how Jarrod’s duties to his family were preventing him from reaching other goals. Many of the other subplots were resolved nicely. I would have given this book a five-star rating if this portion of the storyline was given as much attention.

There were times I felt like I’d actually travelled back in time to the 1920s due to how strong the world building was. The author clearly put a lot of effort into researching how farming families lived in this era. Everything from what people ate to how they kept themselves clean in a world where every warm bath required some prep work were described in exactly the right amount of detail.

Anyone who likes history or adventure should check out The Rumrunner’s Boy.

Women in Space by Karen Bush Gibson

Women in Space by Karen Bush Gibson
23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Genre: Contemporary, Non-Fiction, YA
Length: Full Length (240 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

What does sildenafil generic uk it do? Sexual intercourse and the ability to tolerate it. There are two tubes of spongy tissue run along the bottom are viagra pills wholesale called the Corpora Spongiosus, which make up the underside of the penis and the glands. Ireland had made their debut on cheap sildenafil the World Stage. After absorption, it is metabolized by the liver with the help of buy generic cialis . cialis is a drug which is suggested to have when a person is facing erectile dysfunction. When Valentina Tereshkova blasted off aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963, she became the first woman to rocket into space. It would be 19 years before another woman got a chance—cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982—followed by American astronaut Sally Ride a year later. By breaking the stratospheric ceiling, these women forged a path for many female astronauts, cosmonauts, and mission specialists to follow.

Women in Space profiles 23 pioneers, including Eileen Collins, the first woman to command the space shuttle; Peggy Whitson, who logged more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station; and Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space; as well as astronauts from Japan, Canada, Italy, South Korea, France, and more. Readers will also learn about the Mercury 13, American women selected by NASA in the late 1950s to train for spaceflight. Though they matched and sometimes surpassed their male counterparts in performance, they were ultimately denied the opportunity to head out to the launching pad. Their story, and the stories of the pilots, physicists, and doctors who followed them, demonstrate the vital role women have played in the quest for scientific understanding.

Everything I thought I knew about the space program went out the window when I read this book.

This is a YA book, but it’s easily enjoyable by readers of all ages. The writing flows well and hooked me right away. I learned a lot about the women who’ve been to space. Not just that the US sent women, but the first women in Russia and across the globe. Sure, there is a large portion on US astronauts, but it’s balanced by plenty of stories about other female astronauts.

Each chapter is easily understood and well-written. I liked how the author made the women interesting and understandable. It’s not just a story where there is information and it’s presented blandly. Instead, it’s told in a bouncy way that drew me in.

I’m glad I read this book. I’ve wanted to know more about female astronauts and the space program, so this was a perfect piece to add to that puzzle. If you’re interested in the full story of space, this is one book you won’t want to miss.

The Killing Spell by Shane Ulrrein

The Killing Spell by Shane Ulrrein
Publisher: Deep Desires Press
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (234 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Edward Peach is a fourteen-year-old wizard who receives a letter that he has been accepted into the prestigious Prymoutekhny Wizards Academy for Boys, in the faraway land of Aradia. His parents are overjoyed, but he feels reluctant to leave his family, friends, and his comfy cottage in the English coastal village of Manley.

As term begins, Edward adjusts to life in his new school, dealing with bullies, strict teachers, and challenging wizardry classes. He is almost ready to give up when he falls in love with a charismatic, privileged boy—and talented wizard—named Mr. Andreas. Prymoutekhny is a school that has still not opened up to same-sex attraction, so he must keep his feelings secret.
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Soon, Edward and the impressive boy realize their deep attraction for each other. This causes immediate controversy in the school, as they are the first two boys from feuding houses to come together—especially in a school where house rivalry can end in murder.

He is then put to the ultimate test as he must risk being with the boy he loves even at the cost of his own life!

Every boarding school has its own set of rules. This school might have some of the most unique rules of them all!

Not all of Edward’s experiences at his new school were positive ones. Some of the best passages were the ones that talked about the bullying he went through and the different techniques he tried to deal with that. I appreciated the fact that this wasn’t something that he solved in the first chapter. It was an ongoing problem that the author took seriously and obviously worked hard to explore in a very realistic fashion.

This book spent a great deal of time telling the audience what was happening instead of showing it to us. Everything from the personalities of the characters to the descriptions of life at the Prymoutekhny Wizards Academy for Boys was affected by this issue. I adored the premise, but I had a lot of trouble getting into the storyline because of how hard it was to imagine what it would be like to experience that world for myself.

The romantic subplot was nicely written. I liked both of the characters who were involved in it, and thought they’d make great boyfriends for each other. It was also nice to see them get to know each other for a while before any hint of flirtation happened. Based on what the narrator told me about their personalities, this seemed like it would be the most logical thing for them to do.

I’d recommend The Killing Spell to anyone who likes the idea of attending a magical boarding school.