Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Inside cover blurb:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


I was unsure of this book at first, but this is dystopia done right. A futuristic world that resembles our own just enough to make you feel slightly uncomfortable…in a good way, I promise. And it features some impossibly cool Cloud technology.

Plus: Original concept. Thought-provoking. Broad appeal across readers. Just look at that cover!

Minus: Unnecessary afterthought of a romance. Why must everything be a series?

If you like this book, try:

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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Inside cover blurb:

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.


I love magical realism, but this book probably won’t be for everyone. Nothing really grabbed me in the beginning, it’s not a plot-driven book. The writing and tone are definitely the star of the show here.

Plus: Rich description. An intrepid young Polish girl. Bees!

Minus: Several “what am I even reading right now” moments. Not enough magic.

If you like this book, try:


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Inside cover blurb:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.


The first thing that comes to mind: this book means well. It confronts a variety of difficult topics from grief and depression to physical abuse, and does so in a fairly believable and relatable way.

Overall, the alternating narrative style combined with a high drama plot made this novel extremely readable. I would recommend it to any lover of contemporary YA.

Plus: A positive example of what to do when faced with a loved one’s mental illness. A mean girl redemption.

Minus: Verging on manic pixie dream boy territory. Predictability factor high.

If you like this book, try:

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I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Today I started a blog

This is the excerpt for a placeholder post.

Hello internet friends (if anyone is actually reading this, that is),

After searching the internet for some YA book recommendations, I decided to start a book blog of my own.

Yay, just what we all need, another blog! And I will be the first to admit that this one is really not much different from the multitude of others out there. The only thing I’m aiming to do is post streamlined, consistent, useful reviews of YA (and maybe some other types) of books.*

*This is all just a nice way of saying I’m using this blog as an excuse to avoid doing “real work” at my job 🙂

Hopefully, something you see on here can be useful to you in some way, at some point in time.

Happy reading!