Claire L

The Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Claire L is a reading machine - or there are just an amazing amount of good books coming out this summer. Check out her review below!

Lou has always longed for something more than her life in Penlyn, but she has never known exactly what she was searching for. That is until she becomes entranced with the Cardew House. Every so often, people in elegant attire drive over to the Cardew House for that night’s festivities. Curious as to what the parties are like, Lou sneaks over to the house one evening. Unexpectedly, she ends up making the acquaintance of Robert Cardew who seems to have an air of mystery and intrigue about him. The following day, Lou receives an invitation from his sister Caitlin, inviting her to their next gathering. Suddenly, Lou is thrown into the glamorous lives of the Cardews. As she spends more and more time at the house, she begins to learn more about this opulent world, and in turn, herself.

Complete with glamor, parties, and secrets, as well as a spark of romance, A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood is exciting and compelling to read. Set during 1929 in England, flapper dresses and suits describe the sophisticated appeal of the Cardews’ events. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that the story is told from the perspective of Lou, an outsider to the glitzy world. Her thoughts and observations invite the reader to join in the lavish summer schedule of the Cardews. In addition to Lou, there is a cast of interesting characters that are simultaneously fun and mysterious. The result is of new friendships and romances that guide Lou through an exciting lifestyle so different from her own. A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood is an enjoyable read reminiscent of my favorite elements of The Great Gatsby. 

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780593127223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - June 23rd, 2020

The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

Claire L is reading up a storm! Check out this review:

Alice is in Paris for the summer with her parents to view the apartment her grandmother left her. As she explores the elegant rooms of the apartment, Alice discovers a family never talked about by her grandmother. The biggest mystery is of Adalyn, her grandmother’s sister. When Alice looks through Adalyn’s desk, she finds a diary that begins in 1940—the beginning of Germany’s occupation of France during WWII. Adalyn, a teenager in 1940, is terrified when Germany invades France. Frustrated when it seems no one is fighting for France, Adalyn joins a resistance group to do everything she can for her country. Told through interweaving perspectives, The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor unravels Adalyn’s remarkable story.

Taylor’s effective weaving of Alice and Adalyn’s stories creates an impactful reading experience. The details that Alice uncovers in Adalyn’s diary coincide with the moment Adalyn is living through, making each revelation more meaningful. Together, the reader is able to piece together the truth behind Adalyn’s actions. Taylor’s powerful writing and the way she develops the story of both girls is moving. As well, the poignant remembrance of the bravery of the many Resistance members is a reminder that there are always people who are fighting for what is right even in the most difficult of times. The Paper Girl of Paris is an important story inspired by the courageous Resistance of WWII.

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780062936622
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - May 26th, 2020

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Claire L is hyped for the new Kiera Cass novel - check out her review below.

Ever since catching the attention of King Jameson, Hollis has been waiting for his attention to shift to another girl. To her surprise, the King finally seems to have settled on who will be his queen, Hollis. At first, Hollis is pleased that the King has chosen her. Unlike the girls before her, she has the privilege to join him on outings, wear specially chosen jewels, and even move into the Queen’s apartments. But as her world becomes more glamorous, Hollis realizes that being Queen is not all it is made out to be, especially when she makes the acquaintance of someone who can promise her a life where she can be her whole self.

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass is a fresh take on stories centered around the Crown. Set in the 1500s, the glamour of gowns, jewels, and courting are the backdrop to this intriguing book. More than a story about the elegance of royalty, The Betrothed questions and challenges the role a Queen plays in her marriage. I appreciated the feminist undertones that are especially present in thoughtful Hollis, who dares to change her fate. Furthermore, the unexpected friendships that develop add to the overall appeal of the story and allow the reader to see the opulence of royalty in a new light. Kiera Cass’ return with The Betrothed is triumphant with her care in writing perceptive characters and glamorous settings.

Books: 
The Betrothed Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062291639
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperTeen - May 5th, 2020

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Claire L has caught the Shadowhunter bug and is diving in with The Infernal Devices Series! Check our her review of book #1 in the series below.

When Tessa Gray travels to London to visit her brother, she discovers that he is missing. Suddenly, Tessa is thrown into a world she never knew existed: a world of danger. In this world, Shadowhunters, descendents of the Angel Raziel, battle demons to save the human race. Guiding Tessa through this confusing new world are Shadowhunters Will and Jem. Together, they race to find her brother and unravel the secrets that have entrapped him. As she learns about her new environment, Tessa learns more about herself.

Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, the prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, is set in the late 1800s in London. The fantastical and historical elements of the story work to create a lush world in which the reader is quickly immersed. Although this is not Clare’s first book about the Shadowhunters, her consistent and detailed world-building allows new readers to be able to begin with this new trilogy and still understand the intricacies of the Shadowhunter world. Furthermore, Clare’s technique of incorporating serene moments in between intense fighting helps balance the story. She also begins to develop possible romances that further engage the reader. Cassandra Clare’s expertly crafted Clockwork Angel integrates rich story lines and compelling characters, making it hard for the reader to leave this magical world.

Books: 
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$14.99
ISBN: 9781481456029
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 1st, 2015

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Here's Claire L from our Teen Advisory Corps with some backlist love for Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

Emily was looking forward to spending the summer with her best friend, Sloane, until she realizes that Sloane has completely disappeared and only left behind a list for Emily. Though it is not the first list she has received, this one is different because it contains all the things that Emily had been afraid to do before. Usually not one to complete these lists, Emily convinces herself that the only she will see Sloane again is if she can complete each item. In the process, she meets Frank, Dawn, and Collins, who help her to find her courage and support her endeavors. With her new friends, Emily is able to discover new sides of herself in an unforgettable summer.

 

A story of friendship, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is an enjoyable read that I was unable to put down. I loved the whole premise of Sloane’s list for Emily. Though each item was a challenge, I admire the consideration that Sloane put into the list. Furthermore, I enjoyed seeing Emily become more confident with herself as she checked off items. I also loved the friendship that Frank and Emily have. Frank is such a charismatic and kind character who never failed to warm my heart. Moreover, all of the relationships featured in this story feel genuine and real—I would love to be apart of this friend group—and I appreciate Matson’s focus on friendship. Plus, Matson’s writing is wonderful as she is able to make you smile, laugh, and cry all at the same time (in the best way possible). Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is a heartwarming story about friendship and newly discovered confidence.

Books: 
Since You've Been Gone Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781442435018
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2015

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.

Teen Advisory Corps member Claire L enjoyed Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. 

Jamie and Maya were close in pre-school, but have since found new interests. Aspiring politician, Jamie, has his summer booked: volunteering for a state senator candidate’s campaign. However, though he would love to canvas, his work has mostly been behind the scenes due to his worries about public speaking. Maya on the other hand, was prepared to spend the summer with her best friend, who is going to college. When her friend becomes too busy to spend time with her, Maya’s summer suddenly has an opening. Not wanting her daughter to be moping around all summer, Maya’s mother suggests that she canvas with Jamie. Never having cared that much about politics, Maya is unconvinced. But as Jamie and Maya spend more time together, it turns out that canvassing can be fun when you have the right person to canvas with.

 

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed is an inspiring story about two teens trying to make a difference in their community. First of all, I am so happy to see two young adult authors addressing politics with their story; it is not often that politically active teens are showcased in young adult books. Especially considering that Jamie and Maya are unable to vote, I am glad to see the story focuses on the other ways you can become involved with a campaign. In addition, I loved Jamie and Maya’s unexpected friendship. Though they were friends when they were younger, they have since learned more about themselves and who they want to be. But throughout the book they discover that their ambitions overlap more than they expected. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed is a hopeful story that exudes optimism for the future of the nation.

Pre-Order your copy today, and check out more from our Teen Advisory Corps below!

Books: 
Yes No Maybe So Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062937049
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 4th, 2020

Loveboat Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Having just finished a stressful senior year, Ever Wong is looking forward to the summer months before college. But when her parents announce that she will be going to Taiwan for a Mandarin immersion program, her original plans are ruined. Ever’s parents have always had high standards for her, and she worries this camp will involve similar expectations. However, as soon as she arrives, she learns that while the program is full of successful teens, they too are looking for freedom from their parents’ watchful eye. Nicknamed Loveboat by the students, the immersion program doubles as an opportunity to meet people, and maybe even date them.

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen is a fun read that explores the excitement and thrill of freedom. The adventures of Ever and her fellow campers include intriguing glimpses of Taiwanese sights and experiences. In addition, the adrenaline rush of the characters’ joys and discoveries are shared with you so that you feel as if you are part of the adventure, too. Furthermore, the plot develops in a riveting way that keeps you on the edge of your seat; you never know what the group will get up to next. Another enjoyable aspect of the story was Ever’s growing self-confidence. Her character development encourages you to stick up for what matters most to you. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen is the perfect combination of romance, adventure, and self-discovery.

Books: 
Loveboat, Taipei Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062957276
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperTeen - January 7th, 2020

Speak Easy, Speak Love by Mckelle George

Beatrice is studying to become a doctor, so when she was kicked out of her boarding school, she is unsure of what she will do next. Hearing of her expulsion, Beatrice’s uncle, Leo, invites her to come live with him. Little does she know, Leo runs a speakeasy, Hey Nonny Nonny, in their basement. As Beatrice is introduced to the other residents, she unravels more about Hey Nonny Nonny and the business of running a speakeasy. One resident, Benedick, a writer-hopeful, leaves his boarding school to get away from his father’s ideal future for him. Accepting bootlegging as a better destiny, he resorts to Hey Nonny Nonny, his second home. When they first meet, there is a curiosity sparked between the two, but each of Beatrice and Benedick’s conversations seem to end negatively. Despite this, there is an allure that draws the two towards each other.

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George transports you to the roaring twenties. Following six residents of Hey Nonny Nonny, you see glimpses and exploration of the varying aspects of the 1920’s including prohibition, women’s rights, jazz, and gangs. I adored the dialogue and banter, especially between Beatrice and Benedick. Not only is the dialogue fitting for the time, but it also feels relevant today. In addition, I enjoyed the balance between light-hearted relationships to more serious issues pertaining to operating the speakeasy. Furthermore, the multiple themes contributed to the drama and intrigue of the story. Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George is a fun and delightful story about the glamorous (and not so glamorous) 1920’s.

Books: 
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Email or call for price & availability
ISBN: 9780062560926
Availability: Not Currently Available to Order
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 19th, 2017

Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Claire L from our Teen Advisory Corps is at it again, with another rave review for author duo Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka and their new release Time of Our Lives, due out in April 2020, so preorder your copy today! Claire says:

Fitz has already decided that he is going to stay in New Hampshire, near his mom, for college. Wanting him to explore his options, Fitz’ mom sends him on a tour of college campuses. Juniper, on the other hand, is greatly anticipating the adventure of college. She has been planning and researching her great college tour for quite a while, and is looking forward to being able to find herself away from her large family. It is while attending the 10 A.M. tour of Boston University that Juniper and Fitz see each other for the first time. However, Fitz’ greater interest in his book than for the tour does not match Juniper’s enthusiasm for learning about the campus. But as their tours continue, they find their itineraries overlap and realize it must mean something. 


As expected from my favorite author duo, I absolutely loved Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka. The connection and relationship that develops between Fitz and Juniper is enjoyable to read. I especially appreciated the way they are able to help each other realize important qualities about themselves. In addition, the elements of family that were incorporated into the story helped to round the characters and reveal their true personalities, as well. I also enjoyed the travel-log of the various university campuses and exploration of the cities that house the universities. This inclusion allowed for me to feel as if I was touring the campuses right beside Juniper and Fitz. Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka was a delightful story to read that allowed me to be hopeful for the future of the characters.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Time of Our Lives Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984835833
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith

Teen Advisory Corps member Claire enjoyed Bozeman grown author Tiana Smith's reading of her YA debut Match Me If You Can so much she devoured it in one night! She had this to say:

Homecoming is just around the corner, but Mia is still trying to find a date. Robyn, Mia’s best friend and the high school’s matchmaker, thinks that Logan, who always seems to be flirting with Mia, would be the perfect date. Unconvinced, Mia has her eyes on Vince, a soccer player for the school’s team. As much as Mia tries to convince Robyn that they are perfect for each other, Robyn will not match them together. Determined for Vince to ask her to homecoming, Mia logs on to Robyn’s email and against her wishes, matches them together. All is going well, especially when Vince asks her to homecoming at the soccer game. This is exactly what Mia wanted, but as they spend time together, she realizes how awkward it is. When Mia realizes her mind keeps on thinking of Logan, she is not sure which boy is her perfect match.

 

Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith is an un-put-down-able romance that discusses the struggles of high school and high school relationships. Smith has an honest and genuine voice that truly conveys the thoughts of a high schooler and makes Mia’s situation more relatable. Balancing the love aspect of the story with other concerns such as scholarship opportunities and changing friendships adds to the genuinity of Mia’s life. And though there are times when it seems all hope is lost, Mia works to fix her mistakes, making her a loveable character. Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith is a hopeful and charming story about teen love.

Books: 
Match Me If You Can Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250168719
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Swoon Reads - January 8th, 2019

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