Tag Archive | Kentucky

The link between WILD AND CROOKED surprises everyone, #YAlit by Leah Thomas (book review)

book cover of Wild and Crooked, by Leah Thomas. Published by Bloomsbury | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Old scandals have their own life span,
roles of tragic hero and heartless villain already set –
but what if there’s more to the story?

Son of a murdered man, Gus tries to push past cerebral palsy‘s effects on his body and small-town gossip about his moms, but high school is still brutal.

Called back to dad’s hometown after Grandma’s stroke, Kalyn enrolls in school using another name, her dad being a murderer in prison and all that.

Of course, Gus and Kalyn meet and become friendly before they figure out the connection… and that’s just the start of this wild ride of secrets, outright lies, tangled friendships, and squinting at the truth.

Ever befriended someone whose past needs forgetting?

Book info: Wild and Crooked / Leah Thomas. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Also by this author: Because You’ll Never Meet Me – no-spoiler recommendation here

FOUR THREE TWO ONE…survivor’s guilt may explode, by Courtney Stevens (YA book review)

book cover of Four Three Two One, by Courtney Stevens. Published by Harper Teen | recommended on BooksYALove.com

An art installation,
recreating the NYC bus bombing
where they almost died with the others…
Is almost enough or too much?

A year after an angry white boy explodes himself on a sightseeing bus, the four teen survivors are still trying to piece their lives together:

Golden and Chan – young sweethearts from the same Kentucky commune,
Caroline – from New York wine country, unable to escape vicious Simon,
Rudy – former athlete, now wheelchair-bound in Florida.

A medic who helped them away from the burning bus has spent the past year honoring the victims online and will soon unveil the rebuilt bus with their families’ memories – on the very street where it happened.

He asks people who can’t attend to donate scholarship money for the survivors and invites Golden, Chan, Caroline, and Rudy to be there.

Can they really face that bus where 19 others died?
Can they undo their connections to the bomber’s choice to bomb that bus at that moment?
Can they move forward, alone or together, ever?

Golden’s tennis partner Becky arranges the road trip that will get them all to NYC for the ceremony…ready to remember or not.

How have you worked through being a survivor?

Book info: Four Three Two One / Courtney Stevens. Harper Teen, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

I = In Over Their Heads, escaping killer robots? by Margaret Peterson Haddix (book review)

book cover of In Over Their Heads by Margaret Peterson Haddix, published by Simon & Schuster BYFR  | recommended on BooksYALove.comDisconnect from the network.
Head for the hills!
The robots are coming?

Will what’s hidden in Mammoth Cave help or harm them? Only one way for a blended family forced off the grid in future USA to find out – tell their four teens not to go there under any circumstances…

Happy April 11th book birthday to In Over Their Heads!
For maximum enjoyment, read book 1, Under Their Skin first (my no-spoiler recommendation here).

I was really excited to read this one, but writing about a sequel without spoilers for the first book is hard, y’all…

What makes a family, anyway?

Book info: In Over Their Heads (Under Their Skin, book 2) / Margaret Peterson Haddix. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Hidden in Mammoth Cave is a key to their past or maybe hope for their future, but if teen twins Nick and Eryn can’t get their stepsiblings Jackson and Ava to help follow local girl Lida Mae into the cave, their blended family may be doomed in this future America of robotics, peace, and mysterious gaps in their history books.

Follows Under Their Skin (book 1).

Breakfast Served Anytime, by Sara Combs (book review) – geek camp, cryptic clues, big questions

book cover of Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs published by CandlewickSearching for signs,
learning to read people,
trying to read her own heart.

Lots more than advanced academics at UK‘s summer camp for the best and the brightest, Gloria discovers – it’s the people who make the difference.

Read chapter 1 here for free (yay!), then head for your local library or independent bookstore to get this April 2014 title, and find out how GeekCamp and time together at the diner changes Glo and her new-found friends.


Book info: Breakfast Served Anytime, by Sara Combs. Candlewick, 2014. [author’s letter to her teenage-self]    [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Searching for signs to guide her future, Gloria goes to “geek camp” just for the collegiate experience, but comes home with so much more.

Armed with her newly-begun Book of Ephemera and her namesake-grandmother’s copy of To Kill a Mockingbird,  Glo chooses “Secrets of the Written Word” as her camp course, content to leave her phone and computer home all month.

Cryptic messages from their Written Word professor send Glo, Calvin, Chloe, and Mason (such an annoying guy!) all over campus and town, including the college founder’s tomb and the Egg Drop Inn, which becomes their favorite hangout.

Chloe is creative, Calvin is a philosophical polymath, but is there more to big-gestures Mason than mere dramatic flair? Will they ever meet Professor X in person before Geek Camp is over? Hmm… being around Mason is starting to grow on her.

Questions of “Big Coal” versus protecting the environment, dorm drama, the blue Morpho butterflies which fill the summer, and the wacky daily interactions of Professor X’s quartet of Word students fill Glo’s letters home to Carol – but will the full-ride in-state scholarship for campers override the best friends’ plans to escape Kentucky for NYC after graduation?  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)