Posts Tagged 'New York City'

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Genre:  Realistic  Fiction/Romance

# of Pages: 348

Iowa High School Award Winner 2018-19

Natasha is struggling to accept that her family is about to be deported and won’t stop fighting even though it is her last day.  There is a lawyer who is supposed to be very talented at stopping deportations and she has a meeting with him today, but along the way she meets Daniel.  Daniel is an Asian American who has always tried to be a good son, which is why he’s on his way to a college admissions interview for a school he’s not sure he really wants to go to.  After Natasha and Daniel meet by chance they both find themselves drawn to each other and end up spending the day together talking and sharing their life’s ambitions.  They know that today could possibly be their last and they want to make it count.  Is it meant to be?

Nicola Yoon is quickly becoming a favorite young adult author.  This story focuses on some real issues that many teens deal with everyday, but in a way that feels unique and special to this particular couple.  Readers will connect with Natasha and Daniel and will want to know more about them.  Yoon does a great job of helping to show how other characters fit into the story as well by switching to different perspectives throughout the story.  Fans of romance novels such as The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor and Park will enjoy this title. Recommended.

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Beastly by Alex Flinn

Genre:  Fantasy/Fairy Tale

# of Pages 304

RAC Book:  Yes

2011 Iowa Teen Award Winner

Kyle Kingsbury is attractive, popular, and rich.  He is also a major jerk who loves to hurt other people.  When he decides to play a cruel trick on an outcast at school he is punished by getting transformed into a beast.  He has two years to find true love in order to be changed back into his handsome self and Kyle believes that is an impossible task.  His father does not even want to be around him because he is too horrified by his appearance and Kyle is sent to live by himself with a maid and a blind tutor.  Despite the hopelessness of the situation, Kyle begins to thrive and change.  So much so that when he finally comes in contact with a girl again he feels he might be able to love her…if only she could love him back.

This retelling of Beauty and the Beast is modern and old fashioned at the same time.  The story of Kyle and Lindy is heartwarming and hopeful so that the reader naturally wants them to get together and break the spell.  Readers will notice some symbolism with the roses and some of the character traits.  The characters are well developed and interesting to read about and many readers will enjoy the story, but especially those that enjoy books like Once Upon a Marigold.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  389

RAC Book:  Yes

Anna Godbersen, the author of the Luxe series, has created a new and interesting series with Bright Young Things.  The story follows three young girls trying to make a life for themselves in New York City in the summer of 1929.  Letty and Cordelia run away from Ohio after Cordelia is forced into a marriage she does not believe in.  Letty’s goal is to sing for adoring fans, while Cordelia wants to find her long, lost father.  Meanwhile, Astrid is already rich and fashionable in New York, but desperately wants her boyfriend, Charlie, to show her the commitment she feels she deserves.  As the three girls’ lives intertwine the spirit and innocence of this time comes through in a way that will keep readers eager for more.

Godbersen once again created characters that readers will care about with a backdrop of the Roaring 20s at its best.  Many interesting characters are introduced, some a bit on the unsavory side, which keeps the reader guessing as to the true motives of everyone.  There are some remarkable coincidences in this story, which tends to happen in Godbersen’s stories, but most readers will be so caught up in the story they will be easily overlooked.  This is a fun, fresh, and exciting historical fiction novel for teens.

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  254

RAC Book:  Yes

Jean or “Jinx” as she is called has a habit of finding bad luck wherever she goes.  Due to this bad luck, she moves in with her Aunt’s family in New York City in order to escape from a tough situation back home in Iowa.  When Jinx arrives she is hoping to bond with her cousin, Tory, like they used to when they were younger.  However, the Tory she remembers is gone and has been replaced by a magic obsessed goth girl who believes she is a witch and wants Jinx to join her coven.  Jinx has bad feelings about playing with magic, for reasons which are revealed later, and refuses.  Tory becomes enraged and begins to wage a war against Jinx so that she will be humiliated and will return home.  It does not help matters that Jinx hits it off with Tory’s neighbor, whom Tory also has a crush on.  Can Jinx convince Tory to leave black magic alone before it hurts her or someone she loves?

Jinx’s story of moving to New York City and trying to fit into a new family, school, and atmosphere will interest teen readers.  She tries to do the right thing even when she knows it will bring her bad luck or cause her to get into trouble.  The characters in the story are fun and endearing, but Tory’s plot to control Jinx gets way out of hand and might startle some readers.  All in all, a light fantasy read that Meg Cabot readers will enjoy.

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Romance

# of Pages:  321

RAC Book:  Yes

Emily throws a party when her parents are out of town and is not expected to be caught by her Aunt Jolie.  Jolie is not there to keep an eye on Emily, however.  Instead, she is there to inform Emily that her parents’ plane has crashed and her parents have in fact died.  As Emily tries to cope with the loss of her parents, it is only made worse by the discovery of an airplane tray in the wreckage with the words “Emily Please Forgive Me” written on it in her mother’s favorite shade of lipstick.  As Emily struggles to understand what her mother is apologizing for, she is moved to NYC to live with her aunt where she has to begin a new school and try to make new friends.  As Emily tries to navigate dating, high school, and friendships, she can’t help but keep trying to figure out what her mother’s apology meant and if she will ever find out the truth.

This book starts out very dramatic and really draws readers in.  It then moves into a typical teenage book with a new school, bullying, boyfriends who cheat, etc.  Emily’s life is interesting because her aunt is a famous make-up artist, which seems to give her an edge as she enters this posh lifestyle she is not used to.  As interesting as Emily’s new life is, the real draw for this book is the mysterious apology her mother left for her.  Readers will not be disappointed when the reason behind this apology is revealed.  Overall, this is a fun teenage book with romance and mystery.


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