AS LONG AS THE LEMON TREES GROW – Zoulfa Katouh

“Every lemon will bring forth a child, and the lemons will never die out.” Zoulfa Katouh’s As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow (Little, Brown & Co 2022) is a love letter to Syria, each page solidifying that the “where” is always so much a part of the “who” when it comes to identity.  TheContinue reading “AS LONG AS THE LEMON TREES GROW – Zoulfa Katouh”

BEASTS OF PREY – Ayana Gray

Ayana Gray’s Beasts of Prey (Putnam 2021) has been hanging out on my TBR since Christmas.  Following Children of Blood and Bone (we won’t discuss the second installment in *that* series), I developed an appreciation for Pan-African young adult fantasy novels, and there are elements of Beasts of Prey that remind me of Children ofContinue reading “BEASTS OF PREY – Ayana Gray”

CAZADORA – Romina Garber

A few months ago, I reviewed Romina Garber’s Lobizona, and I stated that “there’s a comforting familiarity” to the story.  The follow-up, Cazadora: Wolves of No World #2(Wednesday Books, 2021), continues in that familiar pattern but maintains the very unique feel that set Garber’s worldbuilding apart in Lobizona; Garber’s story relies heavily on Argentinian folkloreContinue reading “CAZADORA – Romina Garber”

DEATHLESS DIVIDE – Justina Ireland

“It’s a curious thing, to watch a town fall to the dead.” After being surprisingly pleased with Dread Nation, I couldn’t wait to start Justina Ireland’s   sequel, Deathless Divide (Balzer + Bray, 2020).  It’s got a phenomenal cover, and I was eager to have more Jane and Kate.  I really wish I hadn’t read itContinue reading “DEATHLESS DIVIDE – Justina Ireland”

DREAD NATION – Justina Ireland

“And I suppose I might have grown up better, might have become a proper house girl or even taken Aunt Aggie’s place as House Negro. I might have been a good girl if it had been in the cards.  But all of that was dashed to hell two days after I was born, when theContinue reading “DREAD NATION – Justina Ireland”

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND – Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo’s novel in verse, Clap When You Land (Harper Teen 2020), sings with beauty, love, loss, and family. Told in alternating views, the novel follows two teenagers whose father is killed in plane crash – neither knowing of the other’s existence.  But when the plane goes down and they must accept that their belovedContinue reading “CLAP WHEN YOU LAND – Elizabeth Acevedo”

THE STILLNESS BEFORE THE START – Jennifer Ann Shore

If you’re looking for a well-written YA romance that is sweet with endearing characters, look no further than Jennifer Ann Shore’s The Stillness Before the Start (2020).  Shore is phenomenal at capturing the voices of teenage girls who are strong and confident while still figuring life out.  I don’t read this genre often, but IContinue reading “THE STILLNESS BEFORE THE START – Jennifer Ann Shore”

EVERYWHERE, ALWAYS – Jennifer Ann Shore

Everywhere, Always (2021) is the first non-vampire novel by Jennifer Ann Shore that I’ve read.  Admittedly, romance isn’t my genre of choice as I prefer it to be more of a subplot.  When I do read a novel where the love story is the central plot, I want it to be quick and sweet withContinue reading “EVERYWHERE, ALWAYS – Jennifer Ann Shore”

AMERICAN ROYALS – Katharine McGee

What if America was a monarchy? What would our royal family look like? Katharine McGee’s American Royals (Random House 2019) is a lukewarm, soapy YA novel that reads like a PG-13 Bridgerton without the sizzle.  One blurb referred to it as Crazy Rich Asians meets The Crown, but I didn’t get either.  The short-lived TheContinue reading “AMERICAN ROYALS – Katharine McGee”

YES, YOUR MAJESTY – Jennifer Ann Shore

I read Metallic Red (2020) by Jennifer Ann Shore back in October, and I absolutely adored it.  When the sequel, Yes, Your Majesty, became available for pre-order, I didn’t hesitate; I was eager to get back to Mina’s world.  Mina, a half-human / half-vampire, had just become Queen of Appalachia at the close of MetallicContinue reading “YES, YOUR MAJESTY – Jennifer Ann Shore”