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By Carol Ribeiro
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender ★★★★★
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, written by Leslye Walton, is magical realism that will rip your heart out while still making you believe in love. The story follows three generations of women, Emilienne Roux, Viviane Lavander and Ava Lavender and their romances are narrated by the youngest of the three. The characters are so vividly described and feel so real, that the reader can’t help but get deeply involved in their lives.
The Kiss of Deception ★★★★☆
The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E Pearson, has a title that might get you thinking that this book is romance filled, but it is actually a political fantasy. It follows the story of a princess named Lia, a strong and sassy girl, that runs away on the day of her marriage. Only to find herself being followed by an unknown assassin and the prince, and throughout the story neither the reader nor Lia knows which character is the assassin or which is the prince. The world building is slow burning but fantastic, and the mystery element makes this book a page turner and the series one that has to be read back to back.
Salt to the Sea ★★★★★
If you are looking for a heartbreaking, cry-worthy historical fiction, I would highly recommend Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys. This is an unique WWII story that is told from four points of view, where all characters have a different nationality, but essentially they all want the same thing: get aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, the last hope of escaping the war. This book is a perfect mix between fact and fiction, that will leave any reader with a huge book hangover.
Red Queen ★★★☆☆
Victoria’s Aveyard’s debut novel, Red Queen, is an enjoyable read, that unfortunately is too similar to other YA fantasy books. This story follows Mare Barrow, a Red in a world where Reds are common but Silvers have powers. Although the world is very interesting, the world building is unfortunately very weak and the love triangle trope is exactly like other YA books, such as The Hunger Games, Twilight, and The Selection. It would be a great book as an introduction to dystopian literature, but as an older YA reader, it is unmemorable.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda ★★★★☆
Becky Albertalli’s debut novel, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, is a light hearted romantic comedy, that deals with teenage topics, such as sexuality. The story follows Simon, who is messaging an anonymous guy in his school, because they both share a secret of being gay. Simon, the main character, is one of my favorite points of view because he is a character that is easy to relate to, and he is also hilarious. This is the type of book to read on a rainy day or when you need a heartwarming story.