I decided to do a round-up of mini reviews for some of my latest 4 & 5 star reads for your reading pleasure.
Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the best hands down. In YA and just in general. The Impossible Knife of Memory is the story Hayley -- a girl who has grown up on the road with her veteran dad who drives a rig for work and as a way to never settle down to try to keep his demons at bay. When her dad randomly decides to settle down and makes Hayley go to a traditional high school, she is nervous about the prospect of going to high school but also nervous for her dad as his PTSD seems to get worse. This book was kind of heavy but honestly was balanced because Hayley is such a firecracker and a guy she meets in school, Finnegan, is the sweetest. Their banter is hilarious and it really lightens the story as her dad's PTSD gets really bad. This story has a lot of depth to it, the writing is perfection for me and I got a wee bit emotional. (read my full review of The Impossible Knife of Memory)
Love & Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
4 to 4.5 stars
4 to 4.5 stars
I totally thought Love & Other Perishable Items was going to be a cutesy romance based on the cover but it totally wasn't and I actually REALLY enjoyed it. Add Laura Buzo to the list of Aussie authors I really love! This book was smart and so realistic and I loved it. 15 year old Amelia gets her first job at a supermarket and quickly falls in love with the 21 year old guy that trains her on the register. They become fast friends and can talk about anything and Amelia knows if he could just get over the 6 year age different they'd be perfect together. It's heartbreakingly honest as it explores relationships but it also is a great coming of age novel that definitely felt DIFFERENT than things I've read before. (Read my full review of Love & Other Perishable Items -- this book was also published as Good Oil in Australia)
Pivot Point by Kasie West
I don't typically read a ton of paranormal but I LOVED this...probably because it felt mostly contemporary YA but I digress. Addie lives in The Compound which is a place where people with special skills (things like clairvoyance and mind erasing) live and it's a huge secret to the normal world. Addie's skill is that she can search two different paths when faced with a decision. So when her parents tell her they are getting a divorce and her dad is leaving The Compound she's forced to search the two lives she'd have if she stays or leave. Most of the book is alternating chapters of her playing out these two lives (something that only takes her a few minutes) and then she eventually snaps out of her Search to realize what she has to do as both situations are complicated and she knows she has to make the right situation. It got INTENSE and I just really couldn't put this one down. It ends perfectly enough to leave you satisfied but dying for book 2. (Read my full review of Pivot Point by Kasie West)