Category: Book Review

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Recommend this for readers of speculative fiction set in current or nearly current time. Compelling characters that crossover adult readers will enjoy.

Diverse content: Reese Holloway is the main character and a white girl. The dreamy heartthrob is Asian American David Li rendered in sizzling detail. That goes mostly unrequited (SPOILER ALERT, er, sorry kinda belated there) but meanwhile another dreamy heartthrob rolls in on a skateboard and her name is Amber Gray.

Study this for tight pacing, intriguing SF speculation, and believable romantic relationships, particularly the romance between Reese and Amber.

Good Enough

Good Enough by Paula Yoo is the story of Patti Yoon, a senior in high school juggling parents with (extremely) high expectations, a crush on a boy who’s sending (very) mixed signals, and a new awareness of how much her music–long thought to be a means to the Ivy League–truly means to her.

Recommend to readers who love gentle reads, who will enjoy the lively church setting of some of the plot. The novel is a quick read for any kid who knows all about parental pressure. The author’s note at the end indicates the novel is semi-autobiographical, and the warm tone that wraps you up in this story feels like home. Recommended for 6th grade and up.

Diverse content: The main character is Korean American. She’s is active in her church youth group, which doesn’t seem to be as common in kidlit as it is in actual life. She calls it “Korean church” to indicate the entwining of heritage and religion.

Study this for gentle humor and sly use of various literary devices — lists and recipes, schedules and test questions.