YA Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Sarah

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

Amber McBride’s debut young adult novel is a coming of age story full of emotion and vivid imagery. This book will knock you down and lift you up in the same breath. Me (Moth) is a quick read, but an unforgettable one that will leave you in tears.

McBride’s novel-in-verse traces the story of Moth, who lost her family in a car accident and now lives with her still-grieving aunt. Moth is merely going through the motions until she met Sani, a Navajo boy disconnected from his heritage.

Sani has his own baggage, domestic abuse and depression. Together, they embark on a road trip back to Sani’s home and his father. This ride not only draws Sani and Moth closer together, but also draws them closer to the truth about themselves.

What I Carry by Jennifer Longo

Most stories regarding children in the foster care system are highly negative, both about foster parents and foster children themselves. Jennifer Longo not only addresses and debunks the stereotype of the troubled foster child, but also opens the door wide open for audiences to get a genuine glimpse of how the process works and what it’s like for foster kids.

What I Carry follows the trail of Muir, a strong girl with a deep love for the wilderness who has been a foster child her entire life. Muir has lived her entire life trying to be a good child so that when she ages out of the foster system, she’ll have a chance at a safe life with no strings attached. However, her new (and last) foster parent, Francine, has created a warm loving home for Muir. Through Francine, Muir gets an adorable new dog, wonderful friends, and maybe even a sweet romance along the way, leaving her conflicted about her decision to live her life with no one to rely on. 

A sweet, hopeful book with a happy ending, Jennifer Longo’s What I Carry is a truly uplifting read during this difficult time and, most importantly, reminds us all that every child, no matter their history or their actions, deserves to be loved and taken care of. 

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Part historical fiction, part Greek mythology, it would be no stretch to refer to this book as an Epic. It weaves together three different love stories: one involving the Greek Gods and the other two revolving around two couples during World War I.

The story begins with the blacksmith god Hephaestus addressing his wife and the goddess of love, Aphrodite, about her affair with Ares, the god of war. In response to her husband’s accusations, she offers up two of her favorite love stories and how she helped four people allow for their love to thrive in a time of darkness and despair. With special appearances by the other gods of myth, this is certainly one of the most remarkable books to be released this year.