Tag Archives: young adult

It Started with Goodbye by Christina June

23 Jan

itstartedwithgoodbyeIt Started with Goodbye
By: Christina June
Publisher: BLINK
Date: 2017

Tatum is a rising high school senior.  She lives with her father who travels the world, her stepmother that she calls by first name and her stepsister that she has never talked to other than courtesy words.  And Tatum is under arrest.

To have her misdemeanor dismissed, Tatum is grounded for the summer except when she does her hours of volunteer work and goes to her babysitting job.  Completely grounded.  Chores in the house and hours in her room.  Then her step-grandmother arrives and things start to change.

Christina June has a talent for taking a beloved fairy tale – in this case, Cinderella, and making it real.  From the very beginning, you can hear Tatum’s voice and it sounds just like a teenager.  The whine, the resentment, the hope, and the love all jump around for attention.  Is Tatum the perfect young lady?  No.  She breaks the rules.  But she’s not mean. After all, she is Cinderella.  I’ll leave it as an exercise for the readers to discover what her glass slipper actually is.

I met Christina June at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference this past weekend.  She was on a panel of Young Adult (YA) writers talking about strong, female protagonists.  This is a wonderful story with a strong female teenager.  Does the story wrap up too neatly?  Well, yes; because it should.

Recommended:  Grades 6 & Up

 

The Testing Series by Joelle Charbonneau

16 Jan

 testing independentstudy graduationday

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Testing (released June 2013)
Independent Study (released January 2014)
Graduation Day (released June 2014)

By Joelle Charbonneau
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

“Failure is not an option.”

In this dystopian trilogy, Cia at 16 years old, travels from her remote home to the city to participate in Testing for the University.  The people who survive to graduate from the University are the hope and future of the society.  The series are fast-paced and a bit confusing.  The first book has violent deaths which are not really explained until the second book.

The second book has Cia as a spy, but always – continuing – to be tested and facing imminent death.  The third book speeds along the path asking if you should kill some in order to save yourself or the larger group.  There are exciting plot twists too.

I liked the second book because it was a “school” setting but with dark, evil intents even while trying to train the student as much as possible.  Scary, exhilirating and I ran them very quickly.  You might too.

Recommended: Grades 7 & up