Friday, June 16, 2023

YA round-up

If We Survive (Christian, fiction)... I was so intrigued by the premise of this one, a youth group missions trip in Costa Verde when the country suddenly breaks out in a civil war. I still think it could be a great book but I am so sensitive to the violence (which starts almost immediately) that I just couldn't finish it. I think I read two and a half chapters before I had to give it up.

The Last Days of Jesus (secular, nonfiction)... I really enjoyed this book (after Sabrina recommended the adult version) and loved that it provided such solid arguments.

A Life of Lovely (Christian, nonfiction)... I loved the adult version of this book about loving the little things in your life and then I loved this YA version, too!

Meet the Sky (secular, contemporary fiction)... this hurricane survival story brought a lot of depth and richness to it. There were a few little things I didn't love so I don't plan to add this one to my kids' high school shelves but I think most parents would be fine with it.

The Merchant's Daughter- Hagenheim book 2 (Christian, historical fiction, romance)... This second book of the series was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I again didn't love the damsel-in-distress trope and opted to stop at this book but my cousin and buddy read partner, Sabrina, loved the whole series (which is quite popular) so obviously that's just me.

My name is Chloe (Christian, contemporary fiction)... this diary style story is about an aspiring musician and her journey into Christianity. I liked it okay as a teenager but could not honestly get into it enough to re read it as an adult.

Riley Unlikely (Christian nonfiction)... I have always loved this beautiful memoir by a young lady who Traveled to Kenya and came back to the US and did huge things. She has a very rare and surprising personal story tucked into the middle of all of this and the whole thing was very powerful.

The Silence Between Us (secular, contemporary fiction)... this was a really good and fascinating look at what it is like to be deaf period we see a lot of really interesting relationship dynamics playing out here between death and hearing people and we also see a lot of cystic fibrosis information as the main characters little brother has CF.

Summer Promise- Christy Miller series, book 1 (Christian, contemporary fiction)... I have very mixed feelings about this series opener! I do feel that this first book aged fairly well, or at least was updated, and I do like the direction I can see this series heading in. There was definitely faith talk throughout the book but especially through the final chapters. I was really uncomfortable with all of the negative body image normalization and I have to say that Christie's bad attitude and temper tantrums in this first book do not make her a very good role model, but I also suspect that the author grows and matures this character throughout the series. The party references were pretty hefty and it is hard to imagine my homeschooled kids reading something like that but then I think about my public schooled high school self and think that it is probably a very good thing that content like this is written about from a Christian perspective. I was not a partier or a "bad girl" but I still knew plenty about that scene from my peers' stories. Overall at this point I do not plan to add this book to my kids' shelves, however, I very much enjoyed reading this book and plowed through it so I am willing to at least try the next book and see if my opinion changes as I see some maturing happening in Christy. 

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