Award/Honor Books, LGBTQ+, Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Grades 9-12david

Chances are, if you were born in 1994 or later, you remember the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I know I do. I was 12 years old and in 7th grade- ugh, middle school. Possibly the worst time in my life. I mean, how many people have fond memories of middle school? Even so, I won’t ever forget that day. There was a message on the loudspeaker for teachers to check their emails. Then the entire 7th grade was ushered into the cafeteria and they explained to us what had happened. It was a blur after that. No one I knew worked in the city, but my classmates had parents and relatives that worked there.

David Levithan’s book, which was published in 2009, follows three teens, Claire, Jasper and Peter, as they experience the same thing I did back in 2001 on the nation’s second day of infamy. Claire and Peter are classmates; both high school juniors. Jasper is a college sophomore. Yet each teen is drawn to the other as a result of the catastrophic event. They become good friends as they lean on each other and try to wrap their heads around what happened on that fateful day.

ARC Reviews, YA Fiction

All the Feels by Danika Stone

Grades 9-12book

Fanatics of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell will love this book! The main character, Liv, is in her freshman year of college and her grades are slipping because she is such a dedicated fangirl. Her favorite movies are the Starveil series. When her favorite character is killed off, she launches an online campaign to bring him back to life. Fanfiction in which Captain Spartan is still alive is great, but it’s just not the same thing. Join Liv and her friends in the quest to bring Spartan back to life!

Thanks to for a review copy of this book.

Humor, Memoirs

Funny In Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

farsiAges 18+

From author Firoozeh Dumas comes a heartfelt, hilarious memoir of her life as an Iranian immigrant in America. The year is 1972, and seven-year-old Dumas has no knowledge of America other than what her father tells her from his graduate school years in the U.S. The book describes each of her quirky family members: her fashionable mother who never cared to master the English language, her uncle who curses the fast food industry of America, and  her father who became rich in Vegas only to lose his job afterward. Each story seems to be funnier than the last. I recommend this to anyone who loves learning about other cultures and appreciates a good laugh while doing so.

Adult Fiction, Romance, Series

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Ages 18+rosie

Don Tillman is getting married…just as soon as he picks a bride. He is a genetics professor, who came up with The Wife Project, which is the 16-page survey required of every woman he goes on a date with. He is sure the results will yield him the perfect woman to marry. Then he meets Rosie Jarman. He is drawn to her because of her mission to find her biological father, but disqualifies her as wife material. The two become friends, and Tillman has to decide whether or not he will ditch The Wife Project and pursue Rosie after all.

Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Grades 9-12

This has become one of my favorite books! Jam, Griffin, Marc, Casey and Sierra are five friends who meet in a boarding school called the Wooden Barn for “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teenagers.” They each have a story to tell, and they express themselves in journals given to them by their Special Topics in English teacher known as Mrs. Q. The friends in this tight knit group lean on each other to come to terms with and learn to let go of their pasts.

Animals, Poetry

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot

Ages 10+EliotCatscover

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot is the book on which the Broadway musical “Cats” is based. Having not seen “Cats” since I was a little girl, I hadn’t realized this until I read the jacket cover. Even so, the poems are a lot of fun to read and to read while listening to the “Cats” soundtrack, although the words aren’t exactly the same. It was quite entertaining to read the stories of the cats that Eliot supposedly based on lives of those he knew. I would recommend this book of poems for readers of all ages!


Award/Honor Books, Mystery, YA Fiction

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Grades 9-12

maddy clare

A winner of the RITA Award, The Haunting of Maddy Clare is a novel about a young woman, Sarah Piper, who is placed by her temp agency to work along side a ghost hunter, Alistair Gellis. The ghost? A nineteen-year-old young maid who was thought to have committed suicide. Read this intriguing novel to find out what became of Maddy Clare.

Adult Fiction, Mystery, Series

In A Small Town by Marc A. Di Giacomo

Ages 18+small town

The main character of this intense novel is a detective named Matt Longo who works in a small town, responding to various calls in his jurisdiction. Matt has recently been shot on the job, and is home recuperating. He has many vivid dreams of what his life was like when he first became a police officer, his days in the academy, and his new partner, Donny Mello, who quickly becomes his best friend. This book is packed with action and drama from beginning to end. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Back In Town!