Slasher Girls & Monster Boys By April Genevieve Tucholke
Published August 18, 2015
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys is a powerhouse anthology featuring horror and thriller YA authors.
The book contains a range of scary stories – revolving around zombies, murderers, or just good old fashioned ghosts. All of the stories are inspired by a classic book, movie, TV series, or even song, which is revealed at the end of each chapter, although some writers took inspiration a little far and put an event from an already well known tale into their plot.
However, most of the stories didn’t do this and are incredibly original and well written.
This book is recommended to eighth graders who like dark stories.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published February 28, 2017
Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood her house is in and the rich school she goes to. One day, her black best friend Khalil gets shot by a white cop while unarmed. The event went on national news, and there were a variety of different opinions about it. Starr has to decide if she should stay quiet and not bring the cop to justice or speak up and put her life in danger.
This book is so powerful. It’s based on the Black Lives Matter movement, and it’s told from a teenager’s point of view. It’s about her fight for equality and justice. Angie Thomas uses a voice that is very real to the situations that Starr is in. She also does a great job of incorporating modern trends into the book such as memes, without making them seem forced.
This book is recommended for seventh and eighth graders.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Published January 31, 2017
All Scarlett has ever wanted was to participate in the magical Caraval – a game full of wonder and secrets. After writing to the Caraval Master, Legend, for seven years, Scarlett finally gets a reply and tickets to the next show. However, Scarlett has never left her little island and is soon to be married. After help from a sailor, Scarlett and her sister, Tella, reach the island on which Caraval takes place. However, it’s not all fun and games. When Tella is kidnapped as part of the show, Scarlett is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Will she get to her sister before it’s too late?
Caraval is full of wonder, magic, and great imagery. It’s perfect for a read that, while not entirely predictable, is quite relaxing. However, the characters lack a certain amount of development that would’ve made the book fuller. There’s a bit of a peak where Scarlett, the main character, does do something that could be considered a development, but then goes right back to how she was at the beginning of the book. If you love lots of metaphors, a rather cliché romance, and long descriptions of setting, then consider reading this book.
More and more young adult novels are being published in this age about romance or dystopian worlds. Caraval was neither. It was centered on the mysterious game of Caraval, though it seemed very real. There was some romance involved, but the main relationship was between the main character, Scarlett, and her sister, Tella, who she’s looking for. It wasn’t that predictable, which made it a very enjoyable read. The ending was a bit confusing, but the book was so enjoyable that it didn’t take much away from the plot as a whole.