As a parent and reviewer, I’ve read stacks of fabulous books over the last several years, but there are a few that stick with me, ones I find myself returning to like old friends. Here is a short list of my favorites:
Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl – When she finds herself betrothed to a prince who’s not exactly handsome, Princess Una refuses him, falling instead for the handsome jester. In this series debut, Stengl introduces a fun and often unexpected cast of characters, from the cat who isn’t really a cat to a fierce and dangerous dragon.
The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill – Ellie Sweet is tired of being left out by her friends. Her revenge? She crafts a story in which she is the heroine and the catty ladies-in-waiting get just what they deserve. It’s great, until Ellie’s book is published and her friends discover their roles in the story. Hilarious and heart-wrenching at once.
Glass Girl by Laura Anderson Kurk – After her brother is murdered in a school shooting, Meg and her family move across the country to rural Wyoming. The force of Meg’s grief threatens to shatter her until she meets Henry, a rancher’s son whose gentle affection might be a healing balm to Meg’s soul… if the rumors about his girlfriend turn out to be untrue.
Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen – Fifteen year-old Luca knows one day he will take his father’s place and journey to the depths to barter with the water rats for another year’s supply of water for his people. When the nation’s protectors turn on Luca’s father, he is forced to flee. To survive, he must embrace a faith that doesn’t make sense and step beyond the strict rules and regulations placed on his people by the mysterious Council of Nine. Aquifer is an intense dystopian novel with a hint of romance.
There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones – Eighteen year-old Finley Sinclair follows her brother’s journal entries on a journey through Ireland, looking for the God he so powerfully encountered in the people and places there. What she finds instead is a Hollywood hunk and a grouchy would-be grandmother. Can she protect her heart, finish her music composition and find God in time for her audition at the New York Conservatory? Fans of Nancy Rue and Stephanie Morrill will love the fun and romance of Jones’s latest novel.
Kasey Giard is an aspiring writer and avid blogger at http://thestorysanctuary.com where she reviews young adult and middle grade novels and includes notes on content. She lives in Florida with her family and two very silly cats. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing video games, daydreaming, and going to the movies.