Tag Archive | love

P for Penny & Sam, linked as Emergency Contact & maybe more, by Mary H.K. Choi (book review)

book cover of Emergency Contact, by Mary H.K. Choi, published by Simon Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comCollege will be better than high school, of course.
Learning fiction writing from an amazing author!
Connecting with Sam is…um …just text, okay?

Her mom still acts and dresses like a teen, her new roommate Jude is vibrantly alive, so Penny is grateful for the quiet text life she has with Sam (who is 21, but somehow Jude’s former step-uncle).

But can the Korean-American teen become brave enough to write like she should, go out with Jude and Mallory, actually visit Sam in person at the coffeehouse?

And P is also for “plans busted to smithereens” as this debut novel told in alternating chapters by Penny and Sam (lots of texts) moved onto the New York Times Bestsellers list last week before our A-to-Z got to P!!

Yes, Mary will be at the North Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday, 20 April 2018, and you should be there, too!

Real life or by text?
**kmm

Book info: Emergency Contact / Mary H.K. Choi. Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

N is Name of the Blade calling Mio to danger & love, by Zoe Marriott (book review)

US book cover of Name of the Blade, by Zoe Marriott, published by Candlewick Press | recommended on BooksYALove.comGrandfather said she would become guardian of this katana at age 16, as Yamatos have done for over 500 years.

Surely it’s okay if Mio takes the ancient sword from its hiding place a little early, while Mom and Dad are away…

Monsters and gods, worlds of humans and spirits, from Japan to London to the depths of despair to first love – the katana connects them all to Mio as she struggles to master herself and the legendary blade’s powers.

Glide into Mio’s no longer boring life by reading the first chapter here free (courtesy of the publisher). Yes, all 3 books of the trilogy are available in the US!

Family secrets – what to share?
**kmm

Book info: Name of the Blade (Name of the Blade trilogy, book 1) / Zoe Marriott. Candlewick Press, 2014. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

M is Messenger with psychic gift she doesn’t want! by Carol Lynch Williams (book review)

book cover of Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comHer Gift arrives at age 15!
For cookery or fixing any hair, like her aunts?
Oh no! Not talking to ghosts?!

Maybe Evie will be the one Messenger in her family line who doesn’t have a psychic gift…nope! The Florida teen can see and hear and communicate with dead people!

How can that girl Tommie get into their house without Evie’s momma and stepdad hearing her?

Should Evie really kiss cute Buddy from across the street?

Wild thunderstorms, seeing dead people, and going to a new high school – what a birthday week!

Yes or no for seeing dead people yourself?
**kmm

Book info: Messenger / Carol Lynch Williams. Paula Wiseman Books (Simon Schuster), 2016 (hardcover), 2017 (paperback). [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

L = The Leaving Season and love and loss, after graduation, by Cat Jordan (book review)

book cover of The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan, published by Harper Teen | recommended on BooksYALove.comSo many leave for college at this time,
but leaving for another country?
What if something goes wrong?

When Middie’s perfect (really, he is the best ever!) boyfriend is kidnapped while on a humanitarian gap year project abroad, she is utterly devastated – and only Nate’s best friend understands how she feels.

If only she and Lee had anything in common besides Nate – or do they?

Read the first chapter here for free, courtesy of the publisher, to meet Middie and Nate as he leaves for Honduras and she tries to start navigating her life without him by her side daily.

How do you cope with folks leaving?
**kmm

Book info: The Leaving Season / Cat Jordan. Harper Teen, 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

K = Kim, with another Changers body-switch! Book 3 by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper (book review)

book cover of Changers Book 3: Kim, by T Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper, published by Akashic Books | recommended on BooksYALove.comWoke up as a girl for grade 9,
as an African-American guy for grade 10,
what’s in store for Drew on the first morning of grade 11?

In the third Changers book (my notes on Book 1 here and Book 2 here), our hero/ine is now an Asian-American girl who has to deal with fat-shaming by peers and adults, body image, former friends not being able to know who s/he is now, and the long-standing conflict between Changers and Abiders boiling over.

Thankful for her drama pal Kris (so very, very dramatic), especially when her grandmother falls ill – oh, this third transformation is not the best one!

The authors say that Book 4 – where our teen must choose which body and identity to keep for life – is due for 2018 publication!

What lessons learned by fictional characters have you taken to heart?
**kmm

Book info: Changers: Book 3 – Kim / T Cooper & Allison Glock Cooper. Black Sheep/Akashic Books, 2016. [T Cooper author site] [Allison Glock author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

H for hoarder mom + hateful mom= no more home in Behind Closed Doors, by Miriam Halahmy (book review)

UK book cover of Behind Closed Doors, by Miriam Halahmy, published by Firefly Press | recommended on BooksYALove.com

UK cover

US book cover of Behind Closed Doors by Miriam Halahmy, published by Holiday House Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com

US cover

One mom chooses stuff, stuff, stuff over her own daughter (and goes to jail for tax evasion).

One mom chooses her boyfriend over her own daughter (and he tries to have them both).

Then Mum’s so-called friends arrive to find valuables among the masses of stuff at Josie’s house (and won’t leave!)

How can almost-friends Josie and Tasha stay safe when neither home is a safe place to be?

Read the first chapters here free, courtesy of the US publisher, to meet Josie and Tasha as their home lives fall apart and the British teens have to fend for themselves together.

Publishing in the UK this summer – which cover speaks to you?
**kmm

Book info: Behind Closed Doors / Miriam Halahmy. Holiday House, 2017 (US); Firefly Books, 2018 (UK). [author site] [US publisher site] [UK publisher site] Review copy and US cover image courtesy of Holiday House; UK cover image courtesy of Firefly Press.

D for faked death list in Lucky Few, by Kathryn Ormsbee (book review)

book cover of Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee, published by Simon Schuster BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comFaking death without dying?
Oddest hobby ever…

Yeah, Stevie is homeschooled (don’t hold it against her), but new guy Max next door has all her co-op pals beat for weird (more than the usual “Keep Austin Weird” bumper sticker kind of weird).

Should she and best friend Sanger spend their Austin summer helping Max live out his “23 ways to fake my death without dying” list so that he can get over his near-death experience?

And is she seriously falling for Max?

Austin. Summer. Weird. Love. Funny = definitely!
**kmm

Book info: Lucky Few / Kathryn Ormsbee. Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016 hardback, 2017 paperback. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Is ARROW OF LIGHTNING power enough? by Joseph Bruchac (book review)

book cover of Arrow of Lightning by Joseph Bruchac published by Lee and Low  | recommended on BooksYALove.comBecome the hunters, not the hunted.
Avoid the monsters, human and otherwise.
Survive without killing the human ones?

So many genetically-modified creatures are out to get Lozen, Hussein, and the others who’ve escaped from the Ones who torture for fun. Perhaps she can protect her family and friends without taking a human life…

As Killer of Enemies (my review here) in the tech-blasted future, Lozen had to obey the Ones, or her family would be killed.

Along the Trail of the Dead, Lozen’s family is larger and the dangers are immense.

Arrow of Lightning is a super wrap-up of this #ownvoices trilogy – Lozen is on my heroes list.

To save your family, what lengths would you go to?
**kmm

Book info: Arrow of Lightning (Killer of Enemies, book 3) / Joseph Bruchac. Lee and Low Books, 2017. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Her parents’ dreams or hers? American Panda, by Gloria Chao (book review)

book cover of American Panda by Gloria Chao, published by Simon Pulse | recommended on BooksYALove.comGraduate from best college for prestigious career,
Marry the right person, have many sons…
why is everything already set in stone?

Mei’s parents don’t understand that she wants some traditions of Taiwan and some of America, that she will survive if she doesn’t follow their exacting standards. But what if they disown her, as they cut off all contact with her brother?

Read the first chapter here for free (thank you, Bustle!) to get into Mei’s world, the world of her demanding parents that will stifle her own dreams.

When to break free of the “correct” path?
**kmm

Book info: American Panda / Gloria Chao. Simon Pulse, 2018. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The path meticulously mapped-out by her Taiwanese-American parents has led Mei to MIT, but the 17 year old now must decide how far from their dreams she can venture in search of what she truly wants.

She uses hand sanitizer constantly, the mere idea of cadavers makes her squeamish, and biology class bores her – why do her parents insist that she must become a doctor?

When older brother Xing announced his engagement, Baba and Mama disowned him because Esther might not be able to give them grandsons, completely erased him from their lives – how can Mei tell them she’s dating a Japanese-American guy from California?

Dancing set her apart from other Asian students applying to MIT, so her parents allowed it just until her acceptance letter arrived – why can’t she tell them what joy it brings her and that she’s teaching dance classes on weekends?

Fast-tracked to college by her parents’ demands, Mei never dated in high school, never chose her own path – maybe with Darren’s support and affection, she can break away from their rigidly traditional expectations without breaking herself.

On their Lion Island, young people of Cuba dream and rebel, by Margarita Engle (book review)

book cover of Lion Island, by Margarita Engle, published by Atheneum BFYR | recommended on BooksYALove.comSongs for freedom,
words as power –
freedom from Spain, from slavery?

Did you know about Chinese immigrants who fled to Cuba, escaping racist attacks in America? They struggled for freedom from unfair indenture alongside enslaved Africans during the days when Cuba sought its independence from Spain – so many stories forgotten, lost, found, retold.

Look for this historical novel-in-verse at your local library or independent bookstore in hardcover or paperback.

Could you leave your homeland for safety, then leave again?
**kmm

Book info: Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words / Margarita Engle. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, hardcover 2016, paperback 2017.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: At the confluence of Cuban, Chinese, and African cultures, poetic voices of three young people tell the stories of arrival and broken promises, despair and hope, love and the future during their island home’s early years as a nation.

To learn the proper Spanish that his Chinese mother never knew, Antonio’s African father sends him to school in La Habana city.

As he runs errands within the Chinese community for wealthy men displaced from California by anti-Asian prejudice in the post-Gold Rush years, the 12 year old meets twin sister and brother Fan and Wing.

Antonio hears stories of unfairness and change, falls in love with words, wonders if they have true power.

Fan runs away from the sugarcane fields, from forced marriage – to sing and write songs and sing true.

Wing remembers being forced from their California home, wants to help the rebels in Cuba’s mountains.

Months roll into years as the three young people help hide escaped slaves, read letters of protest sent to China and Madrid, long for power over their own lives.

Lyrically, poetically, alternating voices relate the struggles of indentured Chinese workers and enslaved African people fighting for their freedom in the 1870s as Cuba strives for independence from Spain.