Many young adult novels these days are heavy on plot and light on character development. This is not the case in The Darkest Minds, the first in a series by Alexandra Bracken. This series takes place in a futuristic Virginia where, out of nowhere, kids between the ages of eight and fourteen begin to die suddenly from a mysterious illness. The kids who miraculously survive this illness are not loved, but feared. This is because their survival identifies them as having dangerous mental abilities ranging from photographic memories, to telekinesis, to being able to read and control the minds of others.Read More
A sure sign of a great book is the feeling of emptiness that comes over you when it ends. This is how I felt turning the final page of David Arnold’s debut novel, Mosquitoland. I was turned on to this novel after reading a book review that made the claim that this story would be the next big thing in young adult literature. I’m sure that a wide range of audiences will enjoy this book, but it will also go right over the heads of many-a young person looking for more predictable teen drama.Read More
If you haven’t played bookstore roulette, I highly recommend it! The rules are simple: walk around the bookstore until you find a book that catches your eye. Don’t read the back of the book, grab it off the shelf and see what you get. This is exactly how I found this gem of a book titled I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. The plain green cover sat on the shelf right next to my favorite author, Betty Smith, of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.