It’s never too early to think about Christmas shopping, and the Christmas traditions your family observes. I am a big fan of advent calendars and I have been fixing up my kids’ calendars every November to make sure it’s ready by December 1st. An Advent Carols Countdown is another great way to go about advent calendars this holiday season.
This book comes with 24 carols, some you might already be familiar with, each with a QR code and a history of why, and when the carol is written. The QR code links to a video of a performance of the carol it’s attached to.
The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes is about Coriolanus Snow. Yes, the President Snow on his teenage years. It’s been 10 years since the war ended, and the Hunger Games is in its 10th year. Also, the tributes in this year’s games are mentored by a bunch of high school students (pretty much) one of which is Snow.
Slip by Marika McCoola, Illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Jade is very excited to attend art camp until her best friend attempts to commit suicide. She’s stuck between trying to focus on working on her skills, and understanding what could have caused her best friend, Phoebe, to hurt herself. There’s also this feeling of guilt: does every good feeling — making friends, doing well on her craft, possibly falling in love — means she’s abandoning her best friend?
TITLE: Love Somebody
AUTHOR: Rachel Roasek
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
RELEASE DATE: January 11th, 2022
GENRES: YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Contemporary, Romance
I think I know why I gravitate toward romantic young adult novels: my inner 17-18 year old is living vicariously through their characters. I mentioned the same thing to my husband after watching the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy, and I was told high school as portrayed through media doesn’t happen in real life.
Love Somebody is a love triangle of sorts. I don’t think there is enough comedy in it to be considered a romantic comedy (as the synopsis mentioned) but it has it’s funny moments. In Love Somebody, Sam and Christian are friends. When Christian falls for Ros, he asks Sam to help him get close to her. Sam hesitates at first, then changes her mind when she found out she lost to Ros to speak at their school assembly.
The Winning Ingredient by Kelly Swan Taylor
Published by Link Press
Release date: September 22, 2021
I throughly enjoyed reading The Winning Ingredient. Mostly because I love scenes of Mia in the kitchen constantly experimenting and baking, and then having her friends be her taste testers. I’ve imagined myself on both ends as I too love to bake, and I love receiving home baked goodies.
TITLE: For All Time
AUTHOR: Shanna Miles
PUBLISHER: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
RELEASE DATE: September 28th, 2021
GENRES: YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance
The introductions to multiple Tamars and Fayards was something I easily got used to. They each have characteristics that got carried over through the different time periods, making their relationship evident, and simply inevitable. Also, in every life we get a glimpse of the push and pull between the two of them: one clearly being all in, and the other constantly hesitant. I also appreciated the little moments of recognition, because at some point it was the one thing I was waiting for.
From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.
Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.
What I enjoyed the most about this book are the nods to the fairytales and children’s story we all grew up with: Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin, Hansel and Gretel, The Three Little Pigs to name a few. It’s fun seeing these on the first time Filomena steps into Never After. Even the name of the place, Never After, seems like a reference to Neverland from Peter Pan (or that could be just me, haha!).
TITLE: Life in the Balance
AUTHOR: Jen Petro-Roy
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
RELEASE DATE: February 16th, 2021
GENRE(S): Middle Grade Fiction
Life In The Balance also dealt with more mature things that I would’ve expected. It talked of alcoholism and what it does to a family, and to a person. It talked of friendship and the different ways people could become friends. It also showed what pressure to perform and to fulfill a legacy can do to a kid.