Review of The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. ★★★1/2 This YA dystopia is pretty different from the rest of its subgenre, in a good way. Frenchie is on the run. His parents and brother have already been taken, grabbed by government agents, shoved in a white van, and driven off to the schools. After years of ecological devastation, a…

Throwback Thursday: The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. ★★★1/2 When I was growing up, everyone told me that I had to read Harry Potter. Being a stubborn child, I naturally resisted, until my sister’s copy was the only thing left to read on a family vacation. Turns out there was a reason everyone was telling me to read…

Review of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. ★★★★ TW: physical abuse In short, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is the origin story of the evil Queen from “Snow White,” set in an East Asian inspired fantasy world. So if a YA fantasy with a complex anti-heroine at it’s center sounds like you’re sort of thing, then you…

Throwback Thursday: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. ★★★ Before anything else, I’ve got to talk about the context in which I read The Golden Compass. I’m course tutoring a first year seminar on gender and leadership in YA fantasy, and I completed all the assigned readings so I’d best be able to help the students with their papers….

Review of Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron

Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron. ★★★ Sea of Strangers is the sequel to Erica Cameron’s YA, survival oriented fantasy Island of Exiles. This is a series you definitely need to read in order, so head on over to my review of Island of Exiles if you’re not familiar with it. While  Sea of Strangers had a bit of middle-of-the-trilogy slump, this is…

Review of The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. ★★★★ The Language of Thorns is a collection of six, gorgeously illustrated short stories. While all these stories are set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s novels, you absolutely don’t have to have read them to enjoy this collection. In fact, The Language of Thorns might be a good place to start…

Throwback Thursday: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. ★★★ I first read The Hunger Games sometime in middle school. I remember liking it, but I never felt the need to go back and reread. Eventually I got rid of my copy. Flash forward to this year, when I become a course tutor for a first year seminar on gender and leadership…

Review of The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. ★★★1/2 Trigger warning: sexual harassment, physical and emotional abuse The Last Namsara is a well written YA fantasy debut. Although I found the romance subplot problematic, I would guess that this book will be a big hit. Asha is the Iskari, the feared weapon and dragon slayer of her father the king….

Review of Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee

Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee. ★★★1/2 Not Your Villain is the sequel to Not Your Sidekick, an adorable queer superhero story that couldn’t help but warm my heart. While there’s efforts made to make Not Your Villain work as a stand alone, I think you’re better off reading the series in order. Not Your Villain follows a new protagonist, Bells, who’s got…

Review of An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. ★★★1/2 An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson is a well written YA fantasy debut, even if it does follow some familiar patterns. Additionally, I predict that this story will appeal to fans of Holly Black. The fae cannot create themselves, so they love mortals’ crafts. The rising star of mortal…

Review of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen. ★★1/2 This debut YA science fiction novel felt like a bunch of other YA science fiction novels all shoved in a blender. Particularly The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game. Emmett Atwater is one of ten teenagers recruited by the Babel Corporation to sent aboard a spaceship to an alien planet, where he will mine a new…

Review of Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett.  ★★★1/2 Even the Darkest Star is a debut fantasy YA novel that takes place in a setting inspired by the Himalayan mountains with a mountain climbing heroine. While it suffers from some predictable YA tropes (think love triangles), I think there’s a lot of people who would enjoy it. Kamzin’s mother…