Such riches, yes?
CHASING BROOKLYN, by Lisa Schroeder
SOME GIRLS ARE, by Courtney Summers
BLEEDING VIOLET, by Dia Reeves
PERFECT CHEMISTRY, by Simone Elkeles
THE SECRET YEAR, by Jennifer R. Hubbard
WINTERGIRLS, by Laurie Halse Anderson
HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT, by Natalie Standiford
THE KING OF ATTOLIA, by Megan Whalen Turner
LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW, by David Levithan
These are books I have read recently or plan to read soon. I don’t have Suzanne Young’s THE NAUGHTY LIST on that stack because I’m attending her book signing on the 16th where I will get my own autographed copy! Another book I’m eager to add to the stack is Kristin Walker’s A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL. I read the ARC last year and have been waiting impatiently for the day I could add it to my personal library! It’s one of the funniest YAs I’ve ever read … I’m so happy I finally get to re-read it, and recommend it.
Here are some quick reviews:
I was lucky enough to read a very early draft of CHASING BROOKLYN, so I was excited to see how it had evolved during the revision process. I knew Lisa had worked hard with her editor to keep the alternating voices of Brooklyn and Nico distinct and compelling.
I loved Lisa’s first two novels-in-verse, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and FAR FROM YOU. If forced to choose, I think I would have to pick FAR FROM YOU as my favorite. CHASING BROOKLYN is a perfect third in this trio of delicate gems. I’m not sure how Lisa does it … but she has managed to give me chills at some point with each of her books. And I read a lot, so I’m jaded and don’t chill easily!
With I HEART YOU, my own heart ached as Ava mourned her lost love. With FAR FROM YOU, I turned pages faster and faster as the suspense built to the climactic scene. Now with CHASING BROOKLYN, Lisa scared me! In the first two books, the ghosts are benevolent and comforting. But in CHASING BROOKLYN, the ghost who haunts Brooklyn is dark and menacing. oooOOOOOOooooo!
And yes, at one point I got chills.
(How does she do that?)
If you think you’re not a fan of novels in verse, you’ve never read Lisa’s books. They’re rich and satisfying in the same way as traditional prose novels … full of layers and depth and vivid images. But rather than luxuriating in detailed character development, description, plot, and backstory, Lisa must write with great precision, making each word count … achieving the same emotional resonance with fewer words.
I’m intrigued with the idea of writing a novel in verse someday, but I don’t think I have the necessary restraint. So I hope Lisa keeps writing them … I can just continue to be an impressed reader.
Dia Reeves’s BLEEDING VIOLET is one of the most original books you will ever read. I’ve struggled with how to describe it, and here’s what I came up with:
It’s a colorful gumbo of the unexpected and the disturbing, with a healthy splash of funny. Mix together “Girl, Interrupted,” (about a bipolar girl) and “Supernatural” (in which the main characters hunt scary inhuman monsters). Stir in some Tex-Mex spice and Finnish flavor (really!), the least maternal mother in the history of literature, and shake it all around inside a bag for awhile. Pour it out and savor.
I just started Jennifer Hubbard’s THE SECRET YEAR last night. How's this for an opening paragraph:
“Julia was killed on Labor Day on her way home from a party. I didn’t get to see her that night. I used to meet her on Friday nights, but I was never invited to the parties that she was invited to. We’d meet on the banks of the river, clutch at each other in the backseat of her car, steam up her windows and write messages and jokes to each other in the fog on the glass, and argue about whether to turn on the AC. Sometimes we swam in the river late at night when the water was black and no one could see us. We did all that for a year, and nobody else knew."
There was no putting the book down after that.
And speaking of not being able to put down the book, it feels so … good. The jacket is … velvety. I don’t know what kind of special pettable paper they’ve used, but it’s luscious. And the red font is so dramatic and bright! There’s a special pleasure in admiring a book “in person” that you’ve only seen in online images for so long.
I haven't provided links to Indiebound for these books, but please seek them out!