Romantic police procedurals are a television staple, and The Naturals series brings this winning dynamic to young adult fiction. The teens making up this crime solving team fairly leap off the page, young and sexy and gifted.
Genre: Young Adult
If you missed Sophronia Temminick’s Finishing School adventures as much as I did, you’ll love Gail Carriger’s latest trip to Madamoiselle Geraldine’s and the lessons in proper spycraft within the pages of WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY. The wider supernatural world closes in on Sophronia and her friends as the werewolf drama that sets the events of Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series into motion happens while the ladies are learning the art of the bladed fan. With her friend Sidheag personally affected by pack dynamics, Sophronia has no choice but to get involved herself. It’s always a delight to go back to school with Carriger, though, like Sophronia’s first outing, WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY feels more like a stepping stone in a larger story than its own novel.
While it didn’t manage to pack quite the emotional punch as THE BROKENHEARTED, THE INVISIBLE has it’s own way of twisting the reader’s heartstrings. A thrilling and action-packed follow-up to THE BROKENHEARTED, THE INVISIBLE will grab readers from the beginning and remind them why they loved book one so much.
Reminiscent of the many threads introduced in THE RAVEN BOYS, BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE once again widens the lens of this world to follow oh so many stories at once. With more of a focus on action than relationships, BLUE LILY covers significant ground, and yet, feels paradoxically shorter than its predecessors.
Don’t be fooled into expecting the usual YA ghostly love story, SUBLIME will entrap those tender expectations and twist them into horror. While the characters are as charismatic as expected from the expert romance duo Christina Lauren, most of the ghostly promise of the plot ultimately fell flat.
A very creative take on the Snow White fairy tale, STITCHING SNOW has a brilliant heroine coupled with a stubborn and honorable hero, taking place in what appears to be a galaxy, far far away. While some of the plot points were a bit predictable, it was a diverting read, and a fun way to spend a few hours.
Though the world of SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch is a bit uninspired in its construction, Raasch more than makes up for kingdoms named after seasons and capital cities named for misspelled calendar months with Meira and the other refugees of the Kingdom of Winter. An aspiring soldier, desperate to be important to her people and her lost homeland, sixteen-year-old Meira struggles with being kept off the battlefield and forced into a world of political machinations. She’s a pawn, she’s a symbol, she’s a hero – much like THE HUNGER GAMES Katniss, all Meira really knows is that she wants to survive. That, and she’s in love with her best friend, the once and future king.
At slightly over 400 overwhelming pages, WHISPER THE DEAD took a few chapters for me to fully immerse myself. Once I did, however, I was rewarded with a mystery that managed to be consequential and yet a story that felt lighthearted, all at once.
CROWN OF ICE offers so much more than just the tale of The Snow Queen with a change of perspective. A solid YA adventure with teenagers who learn so much about themselves, and each other. Even the expected happily ever after offers believable surprises that underscore the maturity and independence they each have gained.
It’s hard to be anything but seduced by the magical beauty of the WINTERSPELL cover. Luckily, the story that Legrand crafts has a magical beauty to match. Clara’s journey through Cane, coming into powers she didn’t know she had, her quest to save her father, and the delicate romance between her and Nicholas are all fascinating parts of this fairy tale.