Tagged YA

Sincerely, Harriet Is the Best Kind of Graphic Novel for Kids

It’s 1996 in Chicago, and Harriet Flores is bored. Not just bored, but bored. It’s summer vacation, but since she and her parents just moved to Chicago, she has no friends from school. Her parents are busy with trying to get situated in their new jobs, so she can’t even explore the city. The only person around is Pearl, their landlady who lives downstairs, and she’s old enough to have grandchildren. It’s not a situation most 13-year-olds would envy....

Five Feet Apart Is a Simply Sweet and Somber Tearjerker

Though it plays within the very familiar territory of teens romancing amid serious health conditions, Five Feet Apart stands apart as a drama that works a little harder for your tears. While the assembly is of a very familiar formula, in which you can nearly set your watch to every tragic beat, there’s an almost standoffish approach to the film’s tale of two unfortunate souls that find love in the hospital. And through its straight and sentimental approach, there’s...

If You’re Out There Gives Readers a Unique Mystery to Solve

Three years ago, I decided to take a chance on a couple of Internet friends and flew to Texas to live with them. It’s a very long, complicated story, but the gist is that things didn’t work out, and I was back in Minnesota five days later. I had hoped that maybe I could fix things with them, but my attempts to reach out were met with a clear message: they were done with me and never wanted to...

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project Is a Fun and Witty Look Into YA Tropes

Film critic Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl in 2007 in a review of the film Elizabethtown. But while the term is relatively young, the type of character it describes is not. In a nutshell, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is (usually) a young woman who is vivacious, quirky, and totally “not like other girls.” She has no depth of character or goals of her own; she exists solely to bring excitement into the life of...

Marissa Meyer’s Archenemies Favors Romance and Secrets Over Action

I was unbelievably excited for Archenemies. I read the first book in the series, Renegades, back in January and fell in love. I was looking forward to another book that would continue the stories of Adrian Everhart and Nova Artino, and I hoped that all of my burning questions would finally be answered after over half a year of waiting. Archenemies, unfortunately, was a bit of a letdown. Maybe I had psyched myself up too much. Maybe, because I was reading...

Minnesota Newbery Medalist Kelly Barnhill Writes Captivating Stories for Adults

Could a writer who once put me in a magical trance with a children’s book deliver an equally stunning book for adults? This question was on my mind when I picked up Minnesota author Kelly Barnhill’s new book, Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories, which is a collection of short stories for an adult audience. I loved Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon, a children’s fantasy that won a Newbery Medal. So, I picked up Dreadful Young Ladies...

24 Romance Novels for Geeks of All Kinds

Summer is more than halfway over, but in no possible way is it winding down. There are many more weekends to spend at the cabin or hiding away inside air conditioning, whatever your preference is, and what’s the traditional kind of book to read by the pool? Romance novels, of course. “But Stephanie,” you might say. “I don’t want to read about a billionaire cattle rancher or whatever and his supermodel girlfriend!” Well, first, lay off my Harlequin Presents,...

Creepy Art Busts through Horror Clichés in The Circle

The problem with horror is the body count. In general, when characters start dropping like flies, it becomes difficult stay invested. Why care when everyone is going to be slaughtered, right? Horror comic books have an extra hurdle since the word count is low. There just aren’t a lot of pages for the characterization a reader needs in order to get the sock-it-in-the-gut punch each death should represent. But Action Lab Entertainment’s The Circle by Damon Clark (writer) and...

Barnes & Noble Is Celebrating Teen Books with a New Three-Day Festival

In May, Minnesota’s Teen Lit Con celebrated its third year of panels, workshops, and exhibitors for lovers of young-adult books. Now, starting in June, they’ll have company: Barnes & Noble just announced its first-ever B-Fest Teen Book Festival, three days of free YA-centric events at B&N stores around the country June 10–12, including all of the locations here in Minnesota. In addition to a set schedule of activities happening at all stores throughout the weekend—like trivia, giveaways, and a...

An Intense Read Perfect for Superhero and Comic-Book Enthusiasts

For some reason or another, I always discover geeky material a while after release. This has been the case for television hits such as Agents of SHIELD, and it was the case for the subject of this review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, the first novel in his The Reckoners series, published in 2013. My immediate reaction to finishing this book was squealing and babbling about how magnificent it was. Any point I had free time in my day, I pulled out...
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