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Monday, July 17, 2017

YA Books for Summer Reading

Disclosure: I was sent these books free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Last week I joined Penguin Kids with their Meet the Chapter Books July Summer Reading Series. It involved sharing books for kids who are just beginning with chapter books (grades 1-3). I however continued all week sharing chapter books for different age groups: grades 2-5 and grades 3-7, which brings us to today's post--young adults or grade 7+. Today's books cover such a large range of topics so I hope you find one your young adult might enjoy or perhaps you will enjoy!


Our first book is Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman. This book is set in colonial times in England. The main character is a biracial 15-year-old. The only family he has ever known is his father who makes money putting on puppet shows until one day he is mistakenly arrested for stealing. The local bishop puts a plea in on his behalf so he gets sentenced to be transported to the colonies instead of death. Now Caleb has to figure out how to survive on his own and find his aunt who he had never heard of previously. This story has so much in it from a bit of history to racism and classism and of course corruption. It draws you in and once you are in you want to find out the truth behind the mysteries. It is a great story with so many messages and parallels to today's time. 


Our next book is Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan. This story shares the adventure of one teenager living in Louisiana as Hurricane Katrina hits. It is the journey her family takes to escape the storm and of course to try to rebuild. She is missing her life and friends who are now scattered. However she ends up at the same high school as the boy she met right before the storm was announced and their interest grows into a relationship in their new homes. However than his family leaves abruptly and she struggles to find him as well. This book has so much packed into it. The changes a natural disaster can cause as well as some of the teenage issues of growing up. It is such an interesting tale and gives an inside view to the storm and the catastrophe it caused. I also love getting the point of view from a survivor of the storm and so many of the young adults I know went down to New Orleans to help rebuild houses with youth groups. This is a wonderful book full of recent history and a point of view not all know. 


Our next book is Juvie by Steve Watkins. Would you ever do time for a crime you didn't commit? What if it kept your sister out of jail? That is the basis of this story. Sadie is the good daughter who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time with her older sister who happens to be drunk and possibly high and is already on probation. Sadie takes a plea where she is suppose to get probation and community service, but the judge sees it differently and she gets sentenced to six months in juvie. Her life changes and her friends seem to drop her as the news of her arrest gets out. Then of course there is life in juvie. The chapters go back in forth to leading up to her sentence in juvie and life in juvie. The characters are well developed and really makes one think about our actions and the decisions we make. Are we being helpful when we are trying to be? My favorite quote from this book: "You might not be guilty, but that doesn't mean you are innocent." 



Our next book is Romeo and What's Her Name by Shani Petroff.  This is a high school romance filled with a bit of comedy. The shy girl who always is clumsy and makes social mistakes tries out to be Juliet since her crush is going to be Romeo. When she doesn't get the part she becomes Juliet's understudy just to be near by and then the girl with Juliet ends up in the hospital. Now Amanda has to fill her shoes and she wasn't really paying attention or learning her lines. How will she ever win over Wes? This is a fun read about life and the embarrassment of our young adult lives.


Our final book is Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage. This is a dark romantic story. Two of the town's most beautiful girls have just died or perhaps it was suicide. They were sisters with a very over protective father. His rules were no dating for them, but all the boys in town wanted to date them. However the youngest daughter, Mira, had a bit of a relationship with her next door neighbor, Ben.  However their fathers were archenemies. Ben touched Mira in seven places and she left him notes in each of the locations where those special moments happen. Now he has to figure out what happened to Mira and her sister and not let his own history get in the way. He was a victim of sexual assault at a younger age. 

So if you or your young adult are looking for summer reads, I hope you will check these books out. I know I enjoyed them!