Teen Book Reviews (page 2)

THE SHADOW'S CURSE by Amy McCulloch
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Though it's a bit of a slog, readers of Book 1 will find it worth the time for its unexpected conclusion. (Fantasy. 13-15)"
A lost prince and his ladylove must defeat the tyrant rampaging over the steppes with an army of enslaved spirits in this sequel to The Oathbreaker's Shadow (2015).Read full book review >
BURNING MIDNIGHT by Will McIntosh
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This fast-paced urban quest wears its agenda on its sleeve, but it's conveyed with verve and an endearing sense of justice. (Science fiction. 12-14)"
A 17-year-old boy and his friends just want enough to survive on in a world where the rich and powerful greedily take everything. Read full book review >

STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The less-imaginative end of outer-space adventure romance. (Science fiction/romance. 12-16)"
A penniless girl and a wealthy boy, enemies, are stuck together on an outer-space journey. Read full book review >
SOUTHERN GOTHIC by Bridgette R. Alexander
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Light, frothy, and entertaining."
A budding art historian becomes embroiled in a mystery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Alexander's debut YA novel. Read full book review >
SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Overall, a welcome mirror for gender-fluid teens and a helpful introduction for others. (Fiction. 12-18)"
Riley Cavanaugh, whose father is a prominent politician in a conservative Southern California county, navigates being gender fluid and experiencing panic attacks. Read full book review >

THE V-WORD by Amber J. Keyser
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Most valuable here is the explicit, intimate, and informative nature of each writer's words. (Collective memoir. 14-18)"
Seventeen women write about losing their virginity in this work of nonfiction. Read full book review >
ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"It's a nifty premise, but the execution doesn't live up to it. (Fantasy. 12-16)"
A betrayed teenage assassin seeks revenge against her family's murderers. Read full book review >
REVENGE AND THE WILD by Michelle Modesto
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This strong debut will delight fans of the genre, especially its Western subdivision, and despite a few passages that make the Donner Party look like vegans, the suspenseful plot should keep even squeamish readers engaged. (Steampunk. 14-18)"
For years, Westie's hunted the cannibal family that killed hers and took her arm; now they've arrived in Rogue City to invest in the machine her adoptive father, Nigel, is building to protect the area's humans from magical creatures, but he's reluctant to believe her. Read full book review >
AWAY WE GO by Emil Ostrovski
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Lovers of self-consciously witty nihilist profundities will be thrilled; alas that the snark is mired in the stale trope of tragic gay romance. (Dystopia. 14-17)"
Intellectual boys' boarding school story meets near-future dystopia in this end-times tale. Read full book review >
SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Heartbreaking, historical, and a little bit hopeful. (author's note, research and sources, maps) (Historical fiction. 12-16)"
January 1945: as Russians advance through East Prussia, four teens' lives converge in hopes of escape. Read full book review >
THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID by Sharon Biggs Waller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Well-researched and filled with adventure, romance, and lots of tension—this work of historical fiction has all the elements of an intriguing read. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
In this coming-of age tale set in 1861, Waller deftly straddles England and China and weaves in historical highlights of plant hunting, the opium trade, and environmental activism. Read full book review >
SPIRIT LEVEL by Sarah N. Harvey
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Plenty of drama and a laundry list of catchy, contemporary issues make this an eventful, intriguing read. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Sperm-donor half siblings, friends with gay parents, and stay-at-home dads who run away with other men or with younger women, or dads who reside in prison for vehicular manslaughter—Harvey weaves far-ranging family and gender strands together. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >