A Thousand Faces by Janci Patterson Thousand Faces #1 A good YA urban/contemporary sci-fi. Loved the concept of this book—shape-changing characters hiding among the “normal” humans. Lots of suspense, with twists and turns. There’s a romance that gets a little too intimate for me to comfortably recommend it to teens. Not explicit, but something I’d want to talk to my kids about if they read it. 4 stars.
Filter: YA Speculative
Lay Me Down by Tamara Hart Heiner A murder mystery, paranormal characters, ghosts. Overall, I liked this book. But there were parts that were confusing and some graphic violence. I wouldn’t really recommend it to teens. 3 1/2 stars.
Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins Nameless #1 Young Adult Fantasy. This is such an awesome story. It’s brutal and violent at times. Heartbreaking. But in the midst of it all, there’s a courage, strength, and a glimmer of hope. Great characters, plot and pacing. A masterful job. I can’t wait for book two. Recommended for older teens and adults. 4 1/2 stars.
Escape to Eden by Rachel McClellan Escape to Eden #1 A fun, plot-twisty Young Adult dystopian thriller. This is definitely a plot-driven story line and I loved it. The characters were interesting. There was quite a bit of violence, as could be expected, but not near the level of The Hunger Games. Other than that, it was a clean read and I’d feel comfortable letting my teens read it. 4 stars.
Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram Jamie Baker #1 Young Adult Superpower story—with a female protagonist! Fun story, good writing, but a caution to parents. There is a date rape situation that isn’t fully addressed, in my opinion. 4 stars.
Woven by Michael Jensen and David Powers King A wonderful YA read (but also good for Middle Grade readers), with classic fantasy elements, as well as lots of original ideas. I loved the magic system—with sorcerors, witches. The writing was beautiful, with clever dialog. Great characters with believable arcs. One will really surprise you. This kept me reading late into the night. I would love to see a sequel. 4 1/2 stars.
Airships of Camelot: The Rise of Arthur by Robison Wells Airships of Camelot #1. A great YA Steampunk. I loved how the characters from the Camelot story have been converted to post-apocalyptic steampunk. (But don’t try to make the connections in your mind. Just accept this story as it is, and enjoy it.) I especially liked what was done with Excalibur. Some swearing. Some violence. Overall, a good read. 4 stars.
The Undead Road by David Powers King My Zombie Summer #1 A wonderful story of family, courage, friendship and loyalty, set against a backdrop of a post-apocalyptic zombie world. Well written, strong characters, believable plot—if you like speculative YA, you’ll like this—even if you don’t like zombies. Some violence and occasional swearing. 4 1/2 stars.