Admission: A Novel

This novel, which was inspired by the college admission scandal that put two famous actresses in jail (not for long, but they did serve time), really captures so much beyond the intrigue of that scandal. Life’s not fair, and the college admissions process is not a perfect one.

Six of Crows

Kaz and his crew (including the brave Inej and charming Jesper) offer some of the most entertaining segments in the Shadow & Bone series, and Six of Crows, although it takes a moment to wade into it, delivers this fascinating trio (and then some) right to its pages. It’s a little grittier than Shadow, but this unpredictable cast will keep you reading for sure.

Dark and Shallow Lies

If you like mystery and intrigue with a side of psychic powers and magic, then this book truly is for you. Being able to twist the story around and around, until the reader feels desperate to get to the final pages, is truly an art, and this story does that and more.

Shadow and Bone

When I selected Shadow and Bone from my Netflix menu, I had no idea I was stepping into the Grishverse. Little did I know that the intriguing show is based on a young adult trilogy that takes the reader deep into the heart of a complex and totally captivating world of magic.

Talon

Talon offered me everything I was seeking in a good dragon-inspired YA novel. Thrilling action, well-designed intrigue, and star-crossed romance kept this plot humming. The main characters, who tell the story in alternating first-person voices, were tough and vulnerable all at once, and I think that takes great skill to write well.

The Cousins

McManus does a fine job here, giving us insight into each character and winning us over so we feel like part of the team. As the past and the present collide, this book will keep you guessing about the final outcome–will the cousins restore the relationship with their grandmother and gain back the family inheritance?

An Abundance of Katherines

Quirky is the only word to describe Green’s An Abundance of Katherines. From the main character-narrator, to the story itself, it’s a quirky good read with moments of emotional depth and poignancy.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

I’d never read anything by Sherman Alexie before. The book was funny, heart-wrenching, and at times, shocking. Only a Native American could write such an honest piece with any authenticity, and I am forever grateful for the recommendation.

Panic

I was fortunate enough to meet Lauren Oliver at yet another great event at our local bookstore, Edmond’s Best of Books. She was joined by Adam Silvera, and they offered a scintillating talk about writing inspirations, techniques, and character-driven plots.

Scythe

I wasn’t sure what to think about a book with an image of a reaper in red on the front cover. Yes, the artwork was glorious, but I tend to shy away from anything too horrific, especially anything graphic, and I didn’t know what to expect (Shusterman always leaves me guessing–an exceptional quality in any author!).

If I Stay

This is one of those books you should read, but it may not be an easy journey.

This story, about a girl in coma who must come to terms with whether she wants to stay or go, will make you think about death, and that’s not always easy for a society who likes to push tragedy away.

Dreamland Burning

I think the topic of race is a very salient one at this moment in history. And, I think this book does an excellent job showing where we have been, and where we should be going.