Thursday, January 28, 2016

Year in Review: Middle grade and Young Adult

In 2015, I read 35 young adult books. These are my top five seven:
  1. A Little In Love. Susan Fletcher. 2015. Scholastic. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Rook. Sharon Cameron. 2015. Scholastic. 464 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. Seraphina. Rachel Hartman. 2012. Random House. 499 pages. [Source: Library]
  4. The Hired Girl. Laura Amy Schlitz. 2015. Candlewick. 400 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  5. Beyond the Parallel. Robin Brande. 2015. Ryer Publishing. 348 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. Lion Heart (Scarlet #3). A.C. Gaughen. 2015. Bloomsbury. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. An Ember in the Ashes. Sabaa Tahir. 2015. Penguin. 446 pages. [Source: Library]
In 2015, I read 156 middle grade books. These are my top twenty:
  1. The Cottage in the Woods. Katherine Coville. 2015. Random House. 400 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. Gone Crazy in Alabama. Rita Williams-Garcia. 2015. HarperCollins. 304 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. Stella by Starlight. Sharon M. Draper. 2015. Simon & Schuster. 336 pages. [Source: Library]
  4. Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer. Kelly Jones. 2015. Random House. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  5. Chasing Secrets. Gennifer Choldenko. 2015. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. Orbiting Jupiter. Gary D. Schmidt. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  7. The War That Saved My Life. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. 2015. Penguin. 320 pages. [Source: Library]
  8. Handful of Stars. Cynthia Lord. 2015. Scholastic. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  9. Mark of The Thief. Jennifer A. Nielsen. 2015. Scholastic. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  10. A Night Divided. Jennifer A. Nielsen. 2015. Scholastic. 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  11. The Red Pencil. Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illustrated by Shane Evans. 2014. Little, Brown. [Source: Library]
  12. The Case of the Cursed Dodo: A Jungle Noir (Endangered Files #1) Jake G. Panda. 2014. Wooly Family Studios. 180 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  13. Operation Bunny. Sally Gardner. Illustrated by David Roberts. 2014. Henry Holt. 192 pages. [Source: Library]
  14. The Paper Cowboy. Kristin Levine. 2014. Penguin. 352 pages. [Source: Library] 
  15. The Perfect Place. Teresa E. Harris. HMH. 272 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  16. The Castle Behind Thorns. Merrie Haskell. 2014. HarperCollins. 336 pages. [Source: Library]
  17. Debby. Siddie Joe Johnson. Illustrated by Ninon MacKnight. 1940.  Longmans, Green and Co. 214 pages. [Source: Bought]
  18. Snow Treasure. Marie McSwigan. Illustrated by Mary Reardon. 1942. 208 pages. [Source: Bought]
  19. The Cabin Faced West. Jean Fritz. Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. 1958. 124 pages. [Source: Bought]
  20. The Great Turkey Walk. Kathleen Karr. 1998. 208 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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