YA Reviews

YA Review- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: Feb 2017
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The Hate U Give is a timely and necessary novel that follows the story of Starr, a Black teen girl living in a rough neighborhood, but attending a private, and mostly white populated school. She often feels like she is split between two worlds. When her best friend is shot in front of her and killed by a cop, her entire world turns upside down – and the two parts of her collide in a poetic way.

Angie Thomas is a master of emotion. She writes her characters with such depth that you feel as if you know them. You will be immersed in Starr’s world, and gain a deeper understanding about Black Lives Matter is so important, why our culture is so divided, and how frustrating it must be to be Black in America in this day and age. This should be a must read for all high school students.

Recommended ages 14+

Trigger Warnings for violence, police brutality, under age drinking, drug use, gangs, sexual consent

YA Reviews

Book Review : Scythe by Neal Schusterman

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Schusterman
Publisher: Simon Schuster for Young Readers
Publishing Date: November 22, 2016
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
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In a perfect world, people have overcome hunger, disease, accidents and therefore death. Just turn back the clock whenever you want and *poof* you are back in your 20s. There is only one problem, if no one ever dies, then the world will be over populated. Therefore the Scythdom is born completely separate from society. The Scythes are the ones who are chosen to be the killers in this seemingly Utopia version of the world. They are charged with the task of deciding who lives and who dies. In this novel we follow two young Scythe apprentices who have been taken under the wing of a very moral scythe. But when he disappears the 2 apprentices are separated for the remained of the apprenticeship to two very different Scythe mentors. One will become a scythe, and one will be killed by the other.

I LOVED this book. There are so many interesting concepts to discuss around this novel which made me wistful for the days I was an English teacher. I recommended this to our high school English teacher as a companion study to The Hunger Games which she reads with our 9th graders. This novel is an amazing answer to the question: What if we could all live forever? What would happen?

The characters in this novel are all so different and unique and all though Scythe Goddard is the ultimate villain in this story, we can all see in him the terror we feel from those people on the news that cause mass murders. He is someone to fear in total awe. The two apprentices are different yet understand what the meaning of a scythe has to mean sometimes. I really related to Citra throughout the novel who lives mostly in fear of becoming a Scythe, but feels the duty of what she has been chosen to do. I cannot imagine being tasked with an awful and powerful, yet necessary (in this fictional world) job.

I would recommend this to fans of The Hunger Games and other dystopian novels as well as to fans of clean YA books. Would advise against to those sensitive to violence. There is nothing grisly visual in here like in a Stephen King novel, but there are several described mass shootings which I know can be a trigger to those who have experienced one.