Tag Archive | YA

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe 

Aristotle is a loner whose content to keep to himself until one day Dante arrives on the scene. Aristotle who prefers to go by Ari is at his local neighborhood swimming pool. He doesn’t know how to swim, but at least he can stick his feet in the water. Dante notices him and offers to teach him to swim. This starts a new friendship for both teens. Dante is well liked, but doesn’t have any friends. Ari is the quiet, brooding type. Both teens learn to let their guards down and trust each other. Both of them are struggling with who they are in the world.

I can relate with Ari. His relationship with his dad is one of occasional conversation, but nothing too, deep. Ari’s dad is a veteran who won’t talk about the war, is very reserved and quiet. My dad isn’t a vet, but he can be quiet and reserved around me. I think the relationship between these two characters is a great picture of how through life’s challenges the wall between a parent and child can be torn down.

Mr. Saenz provides yet again a beautifully written book about friendship, love, figuring out who you are wether you like girls, boys, or possibly both. Ari’s story grabs you from chapter one. The cast of characters from Ari, Dante, their parents, Ari’s brother whose not mentioned at home and his extended family have all unique personalities. Ari and Dante’s friendship shows what true friends will go through for a best friend they truly care about. If you are looking for a story with funny, contemplative moments this is the book for you.

The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life

Some books wreck you for life in a good way. This book by Mr. Saenz does just that. I don’t even remember if I read the inside flap of the book jacket. All I know is I was hooked from page one. This book is, too beautiful not urge everyone to read it. This story talks about family, friendship, love, and how to survive life when it just plain sucks.

Sal is raised by his adoptive gay father Vicente. They live a simple, quiet life with their golden retriever named Maggie. Sal’s life is fairly standard with going to school and hanging out with his best friend Sam. Sal is a calm mannered teen until a classmate utters an anti gay slur at him. Sal ends up in the principal’s office after hitting him.  He’s not sure why all of a sudden he’s angry. Sal doesn’t remember his mom who died when he was three and has no clue who his birth father is, but wonders if his reflex to punch comes from his birth dad’s side of the family. Thankfully Sal has Sam in his life. She’s got a potty month like a trucker, but she sticks by Sal. The other best friend Sal has in his life is his grandmother he calls Mima. He gets to visit her on holidays and occasionally since she lives in a different state. She loves to make homemade tortillas which he loves to eat the first fresh one with butter. Sal’s life turns upside down when Sam needs his help. This book talks about the depth of family ties, friends new and old, and dealing with the topic of death. 

The characterization is excellent. Each character is distinguished and unique with their own quirky personalities. They come alive off the page and feel like flesh and blood. I laughed, I cried, and now I feel emotionally like I got grazed by a car it was that an intense of a read. There is so much life and poetry in this one book. Please go buy a copy. Buy two because you will want to give one to a friend.

The Upside Of Unrequited 


I got this book for last month’s OwlCrate. The cover is a gorgeous blue and the title is uniquely displayed. I wasn’t quite sure what this book was about till I watched one of my favorite booktubers give a synopsis of the storyline. 

This book was a fast read aka 2 days. It’s about Molly whose a bigger girl with a sweet, creative personality. She has a twin Cassie who is her opposite. Cassie is gay and determined for Molly to get a boyfriend. Molly has never had a boyfriend or a first kis. Ever. Being 17 and never been kissed is embarrassing. Cassie tries to set Molly up with her girlfriend’s best friend, but Molly possibly has her eye on a different guy.

This novel is about sisterhood, family, being different and not allowing it to stop you from living your life and most of all about love. I read Becky’s first novel Simon VS The Homo Sapien’s Agenda.  This second novel is even better.

I would recommend this book highly. I giggled from the first sentence and snorted through out. When a book makes you laugh right away you know it’s going to be a great book. The only thing that turned me off is the amount of swearing the characters did. I don’t think it enhanced the storyline or dialogue, otherwise I would have given it 5/5. This book would make a sweet romantic movie for teens. I think even adults would love it.

Goodbye Days

I got The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner with one of my Owlcrate boxes. I enjoyed it a lot, so when I saw Jeff had a new book out I just had to grab a copy. I am so glad I bought this book.

Goodbye Days talks about a prevelent issue in today’s society. Texting and driving. What happens when Carver sends a text asking his friends where they are? A basic text we all send every day without another thought. Sometimes we send this kind of text multiple times in one day. The only problem is that his friend Mars who is driving goes to reply to the text and ends up crashing. In one foul swoop Carver’s three best friends: Mars, Blake and Eli are dead.

To help with the grief of loosing his best friends Carver’s older sister, Georgia suggests he go see a therapist to have someone to talk to. Carver isn’t, too thrilled at the idea, but maybe have someone else to talk to will be helpful. Not only does Carver have the therapist to talk to, but his best friend Eli’s girlfriend, Jesmyn is an unlikely aly. She is on person who understands his grief, unlike Eli’s twin sister who hates his guts.

Blake’s grandmother suggests to Carver one time when he goes over to help weed her yard that she’s going to have a goodbye day of sorts in honor of Blake and do the activities her and Blake liked to do. She invites Carver to participate. Will his other best friend’s families want to give a goodbye day to their sons? Will Carver be included?

This novel explores the deep pain that a sudden loss provides, how loss can possibly tear a family a part and how new friendships can grow out of loss. This book made me laugh, cry and feel warm fuzzies. This book needs to be made into a movie. It’s got humor, tension, sadness, thought provoking sentences you want to highlight and more. I have a few favorites I’d read this year, but Goodbye Days takes the cake. Go grab a slice.

13 Reasons Why: A Must See

1. It’s a powerful book, but Netflix’s rendition captures the story perfectly.

2. Hollywood needs to portray teen struggles in a nonsugarcoated fashion and Netflix does this well.

3. Suicide is a topic that needs to stop being taboo.  A lot of teens struggle with this and it’s helpful to have an open dialogue. 13 Reasons Why opens this important discussion.

4. Books adapted into movies don’t always do the book justice. This movie is powerful, addictive (binge watch warning) and beautifully cast.

5. Teen alcoholism is topic that needs to be addressed.

6. Bullying at school whether in person or online is a big issue and needs to be stopped.

7. No matter how little a comment might seem it will have a ripple effect beyond the person it’s addressed to.

8. If you enjoy teen dramas this movie won’t disappoint.

9. Katherine Langford is gorgeous.

10. We don’t know the backstory behind every person’s facade. Don’t assume anything about someone.

11. No means no.

12. Rumors are someone’s cry for attention.

13. 13 Reasons Why could revolutionize today’s high schools climate. Let’s get the conversation started.

Die For You

This cover has been taunting me every time I go into the YA section of Changing Hands. The girl on the cover is flawless, her eyes are a greenish blue color, her hair is a pretty brown and the title on pieces of notebook paper catch your attention. Die For You is one novel you aren’t going to be able forget.

This short YA novel is about Emma who starts her life over when her mom chooses to have an affair, divorce Emma’s dad and kick him out. Being furious with her mom for breaking up their family Emma decides to move in with her dad for her senior year of high school. One day while out jogging she meets two guys Jace and Dillon. After hanging out a few times Emma and Dillon become the perfect couple. 

Dillon is on the high school baseball team, saves Emma from being injured on her first day of work and is always reassuring her of his love. Emma and Dillon start always tell each other they will save each other, but when does loving someone become obsessive?

Emma loves archeology and has a great internship opportunity. She’s thrilled she might get picked to go to Rome. Emma hopes Dillon will be thrilled for her and excited, but instead he is angry. Dillon feels like Emma is abandoning him, breaking up just so she can go off to Rome. He doesn’t seem to get she’s not breaking up with him. Dillon starts to try and pressure Emma to hold off on the internship. They have plans for the future and she’s ruining it with Rome. Emma hopes he’ll calm down, but after one angry incident where Dillon hits his elbow into the side of his truck in anger Emma realizes it might be more than just a case of jealousy.

This novel explores the tough topics of teen relationships, love, what is protective and what is posessive, how to tell when a relationship is becoming abusive and more. I highly recommend this very fast paced read.

The Women In The Walls

Amy’s second YA horror novel is a step up from Daughters Unto Devils.   Similar horror themes, but a smoother read for me. The cover keeps in true creepy fashion with lettering looking like dripping blood. The fog in the background adds a nice mysterious element.

Lucy Acosta is the daughter of a man who can’t be bothered because he’s, too busy planning estate parties for the country club. Lucy’s cousin Margaret and her mom Penelope live with them in their mansion. Both girls are homeschooled by tutors. Margaret and Lucy are best friends until Margaret’s mom Penelope walks into the woods behind their house and never comes back. Lucy finds it strange her dad stops searching for her after only two weeks.  Margaret starts to act weird. Emotional one moment and bitchy the next. Margaret tells Lucy she didn’t really know Penelope. Lucy is closer to Penelope than Margaret is. She thought Margaret was merely jealous, till Lucy uncovers something deep in the back of Margaret’s closet. Lucy has secrets of her own. She’s a self harmer. Will Penelope ever return? Will Margaret’s strange behavior ever be explained? What secrets does the old mansion hold? What is the scratching noises Margaret shows Lucy?

If you are a fan of horror this one won’t disappoint. It’s an improvement from Amy’s debut novel. I think I will definitely steer clear of horror. I’m just, too spiritually sensitive to read it.