I knew I wanted 2016 to be more about reading than writing reviews, so I’ll be posting my thoughts on each month’s YA releases throughout the year in one big post. Today I’m looking at the books released in March and April so keep reading to see what I thought of ten of the March – April 2016 YA releases.
Let’s kick things off with the March 1st release of The Girl Who Fell by debut author, Shannon M. Parker, which is the dark story of a twisted relationship that means life or death for one character. I was so disappointed by this one and I’m still sad about it. I was ridiculously excited for The Girl Who Fell, it sounded amazing, but it just wasn’t happening. I trudged the whole way to the end but, unfortunately, it didn’t get any better.
When I first heard about The Island by Olivia Levez I was promised shades of Lost within a YA story – and, happily, that’s what I got. With a gorgeous cover, high stakes storyline and a compelling protagonist in Frances, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to others who are looking for an exciting adventure story.
March 8th saw the release of Yvonne Cassidy’s How Many Letters Are In Goodbye? This should have been a powerful read and I was fully prepared to shed a few years as I discovered Rhea’s story but I really didn’t feel the emotion I was hoping to. I felt like there was a disconnect between Rhea and the reader that stopped me immersing myself in the story. A shame, because this could have been great.
As someone who’s currently working on a book about the Seven Deadly Sins, I knew I had to read Seven Ways We Lie as soon as it was released. A super fun high school YA novel that uses one of the smartest manifestations of the Seven Deadly Sins that I’ve seen, this gets a huge thumbs up from me.
So technically Monica Wood’s The One-in-a-Million Boy isn’t a YA novel but it is an April release and features a young main character so I’m sneaking it in. Hell to the rules! This is such a heart-warming, sweet book that I had to include it. If you love the unexpected tenderness of John Boyne’s novels then you’ll adore this. Prepare the Kleenex, you’ll need them.
I’m a longtime Sophia Bennett fan, you all know that, so I was super excited to get a surprise copy of Love Song through the door. Released on April 7th, this is another fantastic addition to her catalogue of fun, thought-provoking, timeless YA novels. When I read Love Song I felt just as engrossed and drawn in as I did when I first started devouring books as a teenager. Packed full of funny one liners and pop culture references, this is the perfect book to enjoy when the sun is shining and you want to read a few chapters with a big smile on your face.
So. Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend. Let’s do this. WTF seems to be the most common expression bandied about by pretty much everybody who’s read the first few pages and, well, they’re not wrong. I feel like the plot was conceived during a drunken game of Cards Against Humanity – but I’m not 100% mad at it. I don’t know. It’s bad. It’s so bad. But if it’s satirising instalove in YA then…is it genius?
Another April 7th release (I swear this was the busiest day in publishing) was Huntley Fitzpatrick’s What I Thought Was True. If you thought this came out ages ago that’s because it did…in the US. Her books are now being released in the UK, yay. I really enjoyed this one – it’s classic contemporary YA with all the heart, romance and humour that you’d expect. Fans of Sarah Dessen will adore it.
ANOTHER APRIL 7TH RELEASE. Eugene Lambert’s The Sign of One was a total departure from the other books I’d read by this point in the year. An intense sci-fi thriller that sees Kyle running for his life, this reminded me a little of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind – in the best possible way.
Ooh, Othello in space! The premise of Malorie Blackman’s sci-fi YA, Chasing the Stars, is utterly compelling, as is the gorgeous cover. The story itself? I didn’t love it. I liked it and definitely enjoyed it but something stopped me adoring it like I adore her other books that I’ve read.
For May – June’s reviews tune in next Thursday!