Category Archives: Young Adult

Gertrude Friedberg, The Revolving Boy [A,YA]

The hook:

The first time Mrs. Nagy ever noticed anything was at the beach when Derv was three. Had she known what to look for, she might have seen that he was that way from the start. But what mother ever measured an infant’s random moves and reverses around a crib or even a playpen?

Links to Gertrude Friedberg and her book:



Cassie Mae, How To Date A Nerd [YA]

Rules of keeping your popular rep:

. . . And number five, never ever reveal you collect Star Wars memorabilia, you know every line to Lord of the Rings, and you actually know the birthdates of all the Harry Potter cast members.

Yeah. I’m a total closeted nerd.

I’m not cool with pity glares in the hallways, painful jabs, and social scars. No thanks. It’s much easier to keep my true nature hidden beneath layers of eyeliner, skimpy outfits, and even I must admit to myself, a rockin’ body.

Pretty obvious, the voice of our character. The nerdish long sentences punctuated with short phrases, as if she’s speaking right to the reader. Clusters of hurtful reasoning—the logic behind her angst at not fitting in as herself.

Cassie Mae’s Website:

Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth [YA]

In the beginning:

My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away. She once showed me a picture that she said was my great-great-great-grandmother standing in the ocean as a child. It has been years since, and the picture was lost to fire long ago, but I remember it, faded and worn. A little girl surrounded by nothingness.

At the end of Chapter Four:

I think about how we are so focused on the peril presented by the Forest that we forget that the rest of life can be just as dangerous. I think about how fragile we are here–like fish in a glass bowl with darkness pressing in on every side.

You guessed it. Ryan’s description of the main character’s dystopic world. With the first excerpt she perfectly describes what an ocean might look like to someone who has only known forest. The second, foreshadows events to come. The fish out of water.

Carrie Ryan’s website: