‘My High School Royal Boyfriend’ by Kylie Key Book Review

‘My High School Royal Boyfriend’ by Kylie Key follows new River Valley High students Blaire and Alex, as they try to escape the troubles that plague them by starting anew. While Blaire comes from an extremely wealthy family who owns the town’s well-to-do ice cream shops, she has been accused of something that she knows she didn’t do at her ritzy prep school. Alex, who comes from out of town, has a secret all his own. The son of royalty, a tragedy has taken him into hiding from the press, bringing him to River Valley.

The two new students try to reinvent themselves, and while Blaire has always been pretty and popular, she tries to stifle that image by changing it entirely, which brings about truths that she had never considered. She learns that it’s not as easy when looks and wealth aren’t taken into account, but she finds she likes how her new friends seem to like her for herself. Alex agrees with this feeling, as he enjoys the solace of not being in the spotlight, and getting to know Blaire, as they work together in their acting class on a school play. The activity provides them ample opportunity to get to know more about each other, all while they worry about how they will ever be able to reveal themselves as liars, even though both of their secrets aren’t really all that bad. However, it’s all about perception, and a secret can often seem terribly worse to the person keeping it than those who they are afraid to tell.

Both students discover that changing their names and hiding their pasts will only catch up with them in the long run. Though, despite the predictability of them learning of each other’s pasts, the story is engaging and sweet, showcasing how perception and image aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Just because someone thinks one way doesn’t mean that’s the be all and end all of what the answer truly is, and that is a point that must always be remembered. High school is a hard enough time without all of the judgment thrown into the mix. The story works well, in a nice, relaxed way, to prove that seeing people for who they really are, and giving them a chance, are worth so much.

You can find ‘My High School Royal Boyfriend’ by Kylie Key here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA’ by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X.R. Pan Book Review

‘Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,’ edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, includes a generous compilation of stories and essays, alongside writing advice and story prompts that any young adult reader or writer will appreciate. There are thirteen options to choose from within the book. Romance and fantasy are but two of the choices for what kinds of reading can be found, and story prompts and discussion focus on everything from conflict to building suspense to fear and story growth.

There are author notes at the beginning of passages, providing a glimpse into the world of the author and how each came to write the piece just read. Each work also has a brief introduction by a handful of well-known authors, including Laurie Halse Anderson, Gayle Forman, and many others.

The editors of this book have placed a great deal of time and effort into selecting worthwhile pieces and details that will enhance any reader’s appreciation of the general art of writing and the more specific importance of young adult literature. A compilation worth checking out!

You can find ‘Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA’ here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘Amazing Islands’ by Sabrina Weiss and Kerry Hyndman Book Review

‘Amazing Islands’ by Sabrina Weiss and Kerry Hyndman is a beautifully illustrated book, chock full of valuable information about islands around the world. From discussion of what an island is to how islands are made, on to people who live on islands, and a world map that shows a smattering of all of the islands in the world, there is so much more to islands than initially meets the eye (or thought process).

The back of the book contains a glossary and pronunciation guide that engage readers further, making it so that they will have the necessary knowledge to read about and discuss the topics in the book in a more focused manner.

For those who travel or just love the idea of it, there is so much to learn and so much to enjoy in this book. There is tons of trivia to read about and so many connections to be made to history, nature, daily life, and so much more. The information on each page is presented in easily digestible paragraphs scattered throughout the pages to cover a variety of different topics. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book that will keep readers turning the pages.

You can find ‘Amazing Islands’ by Sabrina Weiss and Kerry Hyndman here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘The Walrus and the Caribou’ by Maika Harper Book Review

‘The Walrus and the Caribou’ by Maika Harper, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, is an endearing tale of creation, based on a traditional Inuit story passed along through the generations through oral retellings in communities across the Arctic. Both the walrus and the caribou are shown how they were “originally” created, and then it is made clear how the decision was made to give them different parts to make them the creatures they are in the present day. It’s always interesting to consider how ideas can change over time. The way that something starts out might be very different than where it ends up, and so goes the tale of the walrus and the caribou.

A little woman named Guk is the one responsible for breathing life into the world in this story. Her breath is the key to the animals’ creation, and she takes her job seriously, noting how the different parts of the animals might be better served on the opposite creature.

For those who enjoy tales of creation and innovation, ‘The Walrus and the Caribou’ is the book for you.

You can find ‘The Walrus and the Caribou’ by Maika Harper here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘About Seabirds: A Guide for Children’ by Cathryn Sill Book Review

‘About Seabirds: A Guide for Children’ by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill, lends credibility to the power of nature and how it can be an appealing topic for kids. The writing is simple and clear, focusing on the main ideas of what seabirds are, including what they do, what they look like, what they eat, and more. The story includes a glossary and an afterword, the latter of which explains in further detail each and every image in the book (eighteen in all). There are penguins, terns, albatrosses, pelicans, and other seabirds depicted throughout the writing and images, all coming together to make for an informative, colorful read.

For readers who love learning new ideas and connecting words and images, ‘About Seabirds’ will check those boxes and allow for a simple, yet detailed overview of the beauty surrounding nature and birds.

You can find ‘About Seabirds: A Guide for Children’ by Cathryn Sill here.

*Review originally posted at YABookCentral.com*

‘My High School Rebel Boyfriend’ by Kylie Key Book Review

‘My High School Rebel Boyfriend’ by Kylie Key follows main characters Harper and Mitchell as they have to find a way to work together. While Harper is on the volleyball team, Mitchell is a basketball player. Besides sports, they don’t seem to have much in common, and Mitchell doesn’t try to be friendly when Harper’s around. Harper’s diabetes adds to the issues between them, since Mitchell doesn’t know about it and she has no reason to want to explain it to him due to his unkind nature toward her.

Yet, she’s also bombarded by too much caring about her diabetes, as her mother is fiercely protective of her, worried that she may be pushing herself too hard. When Harper unknowingly sets up her fate of bringing Mitchell and his friend on as student trainers for her volleyball team, she starts to have her work cut out for her. Mitchell pushes her hard, and when she responds well to his direction, she surprises not only herself, but him. He realizes that there may be more to Harper than meets the eye, and at the same time, Harper finds herself having trouble getting Mitchell out of her thoughts.

Besides learning about Harper’s home life, including her diabetes and her mother’s protective nature, we learn that Mitchell’s home life is not all sunshine and roses. He is dealing with troubles that no adult, let alone child, should have to conquer, especially when one is so young. His mother is sick and his step-father takes out his frustration on Mitchell. Readers learn that even though someone might seem strong on the outside, what’s inside matters, too. Mitchell is just a little boy inside, trying to protect his mother and save her from any more struggle or worry.

Kylie Key has done a nice job setting the stage for two characters who are determined to make their mark, but have troubles keeping them from shining as much as they’d like. The story is one of determination, strength, and learning to cope with troubles one may never have seen coming.

You can find ‘My High School Rebel Boyfriend’ by Kylie Key here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘Meanwhile’ by Jason Shiga Book Review

‘Meanwhile’ by Jason Shiga is a graphic novel adventure that will remind readers of the types of books in which you can choose your own adventure. The book has 3,856 story possibilities. The way it is laid out is quite unique, in that you have to follow a thin tube from page to page as you engage with the story. There are times when, even though you have already chosen a path, you get to choose again, when the tube splits off in different directions.

The book starts out by asking a simple question: chocolate or vanilla? This seemingly trivial question leads to overly complicated scenarios, as the character in the story is led by the reader through tasks that will hopefully keep humankind from being destroyed. There is the opportunity to test a time machine, worry about a doomsday device, investigate a lab, meet a mad scientist, and more.

While the tubes make the story interesting, they also make it seemingly harder for readers to make sure they are on the correct page. It is best to use one’s finger to follow the tubes to ensure that the wrong path is not taken.

For readers interested in something different, unique, and marching to its own drummer (in a good way), ‘Meanwhile’ is the right book to check out. It will certainly keep readers on their toes.

You can find ‘Meanwhile’ by Jason Shiga here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘Chasing the Sun’ by Melanie Hooyenga Book Review

‘Chasing the Sun’ by Melanie Hooyenga captures the raw emotions felt after a breakup, as well as the ones that can throw anyone for a loop as they enter into something new. When Sage and Pax break up, she doesn’t know if her heart and her mind will ever be in sync again. Having lost the ability to trust guys after getting out of an emotionally abusive relationship, she internally questions herself and the guys around her. When she meets Neb, even though it’s just over text, she feels something happening between them, but the fact that they haven’t met in person makes it easier for her to let loose and enjoy their conversations. Since he has just moved to town and doesn’t know her past, she is able to be herself with him without worrying that his judgment is clouded since he knows what she’s been through. When she finds she is going to meet him on a school trip to see the eclipse, she is excited, yet worry clouds how eager she is. It doesn’t help that Pax seems to show up wherever she is, causing her to succumb to the anger, tension, and guilt she feels after dealing with him for so long.

Along with her best friend, Naomi, Sage and their friends travel to see the eclipse. Once there, she meets Neb in person, and the way they click makes her thrilled, yet very wary all at the same time. She remembers how Pax swept her off her feet too, and how he seemed so nice at first. Her questioning nature could threaten to ruin their relationship as it just starts, but Neb takes it in stride, as he tries to show her that he is nothing like her ex. Moving on from Pax for both Sage and Neb is made all that much more difficult, though, when Pax’s sister, Ariana, and Ariana’s friend, Tara, also go on the trip. Sage can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched, as though Pax sent them to spy on her, and Neb can’t get Tara to realize he’s not interested in her.

The way that Sage and Neb’s relationship develops is endearing. It shows that love can seemingly exist at first sight; however, it doesn’t hurt when you’ve been talking with someone via text for weeks prior to meeting them, and you know that person’s sense of humor and how you get along to at least some degree already.

Sage, Neb, and their friends throw around lots of fun “sun puns” and jokes about the eclipse. They show that even when people know things about you that aren’t so pleasant, it doesn’t mean that they can’t still enjoy your company and have your back when someone threatens to stand in your way or make your life harder.

‘Chasing the Sun’ isn’t just about a group of friends going to see the eclipse happen. It’s about chasing dreams, chasing truth, chasing love, and chasing self-worth. Melanie Hooyenga has done a wonderful job penning all of this emotion in her latest novel.

You can find ‘Chasing the Sun’ by Melanie Hooyenga here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘BRB: I’m Going to Disneyland’ by Courtney Carbone Book Review

‘BRB: I’m Going to Disneyland’ by Courtney Carbone is a cute, quick read. As a novel written in texts, emails, and posts on social media, it does a nice job capturing the essence of teenage life nowadays. The six friends who make up the chain of texts are all on their eighth-grade trip to Disneyland, and there is plenty of fun to be had, coupled with a good helping of drama. From crushes to misunderstandings, friendships (both new and old), and the excitement of trying new things, some of them find that they have more in common than they think, while others deliberate about everything that has changed between them and how to cope with it.

It is really quite interesting how texts can be as informative as they are shown to be in this book. Even people who don’t text all of the time will be able to see how much can be focused on in a short text. For the eighth graders in this book, it is almost like they have learned another language, and it does show how it is easier than it might seem to be concise with one’s words when written in text format.

The fact that it took place at Disneyland only added to the fun of the story as readers were taken on a “tour” of sorts through the park. A fun read for anyone who enjoys texting or feeling as though they are at one of the happiest places on Earth.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

‘Feast of Peas’ by Kashmira Sheth Book Review

‘Feast of Peas’ by Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, is a cute story that captures how something might be just under your nose, yet you don’t realize it. At the same time, when you find out, there are always work-arounds to be able to get through the situation without losing a friendship.

While Jiva works in his vegetable patch, the item he loves most are his peas. Yet, each time he goes to pick them, they’re gone. His friend, Ruvji, always visits, trying to help Jiva through the predicament, giving reasons as to why they may have disappeared. While Jiva takes Ruvji’s suggestions at face value, he soon learns that there is more to the missing peas than meets the eye, and Ruvji may have more knowledge of their whereabouts than he lets on. When Jiva takes it into his own hands to learn the truth about the disappearing peas, he finds out a truth about his friend that he seems to have suspected, but was hoping wasn’t true.

Without giving away the ending, know that the story presents a nice moral in that it shows happiness and friendship can withstand even the most unsettling situations. One must look on the positive side of things to make everything work out as best it can.

While the story was a nice one, it was a little lengthy, but the illustrations were endearing and colorful. Vegetable lovers will enjoy this sweet story about friends, understanding, and most certainly, peas!

You can find ‘Feast of Peas’ by Kashmira Sheth here.

*Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*