Library Blog

YA Book Reviews by Amy: My Top TBR List


Do you have a long list books that you want to read, but you haven’t gotten a chance to read them yet? Not surprisingly, I have an exceptionally long list of books that I want to read. A TBR list is also known as a To Be Read list, and while I have probably over a hundred books on my TBR list, I wanted to share 8 titles that I own and plan on reading soon.  

I will give a brief synopsis of the book and then give the reasoning of why I am interested in these particular 7 titles: whether it was the book cover that attracted me, the summary, the author, genre, or something else.  

Maybe you have read these books and will give me inspiration to read them sooner. Or maybe I will inspire you to add one or more of these books to your own personal TBR.  


Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys 

Set in Spain in 1957, American photographer, Daniel, travels there to connect with his family’s past and in the process meets Ana. During the reign of Fascist Dictator, General Francisco Franco, Spain and its people are hiding a secret and this could become dangerous for Daniel and Ana.  

I absolutely love historical fiction and Ruta Sepetys is one of my favorite authors; I have read every single one of her other books and enjoyed all of them. Sepetys writes emotional stories that are full of character growth with powerful plots. She does so much research into her stories which makes me want to do my own research on the same subject. I also enjoy that Fountains of Silence is about a time and country that I have little knowledge about and I want to learn more. I cannot wait until I read it! 

Available through Overdrive 


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal 

In Ancient Arabia, a war is starting when the Arz is engulfing different lands. Disguising herself a man is how Zafira  acquires her food for her people. Her path collides with the Prince of Death, Nasir, who should kill Zafira if she was ever to exposed as female. They both are after the same magical artifact. Will Zafira’s gender be discovered? Will Nasir bend to his father’s will even if it goes against his heart?  

I’ve stayed away from high fantasy for the last year or so and I am ready to read some more, starting with this one. Just from reading the description, it seems to harken the tropes and plots of some of my favorite fantasies. Plus, this series is currently a duology (a 2 book series) which I prefer over trilogies; the second book We Free the Stars will come out early next year.  

Available through Overdrive and Hoopla 


Descendant of the Crane by Joan He 

Princess Hesina becomes queen when her father is found dead. Hesina is convinced that there is foul play and that he was murdered. To find a definite answer to her suspicions, she enlists a magic user called a soothsayer; the magic is illegal and if her advisors find out, Hesina’s life may be in danger.   

This standalone story sounded right up my alley: fantastical world-building, political intrigue, and strong characters. I remember that I wanted to read this book as soon as it came out; while I have not gotten there yet, I will read it soon. I also think this cover is absolutely beautiful 

Available through Overdrive and Hoopla 


Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson 

A decade ago, an act called the Calamity gifted ordinary people with superpowers. These superpowered individuals, called, Epics, thirsted for power and used their abilities to oppress others. A rebel group called the Reckoners are the only ones fighting against them. Daniel wants to avenge his father’s death after the Epic- Steelheart killed him. This is the first book in a trilogy followed by Firefight and Calamity. 

Brandon Sanderson is a name that I have heard throughout the years from countless of Booktubers (youtubers that review books) and was praised for his extensive world building and writing. I have read one of his fantasy series Mistborn. I think I will enjoy this particular story because I like stories about people with extraordinary superpowers. I still believe the first season of Heroes is fabulous.  

Available through Overdrive 


Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd 

Anouk is a Beastie, an animal turned into a human girl through enchantments. She is not destined for the life of luxuries that humans have and will remain a servant to her enchanter. That is until her enchanter is murdered and Anouk is the one that appears guilty of the crime. She and her friends must solve the murder and find the killer before the enchantment ends. 

I got to meet Megan Shepherd last year while promoting this series; she was handing out fanart of her characters. They were stunning, and I absolutely was intrigued how these characters would fit in with each other. I tend to enjoy stories with an eccentric cast of characters and learning about the different relationships cultivated between them.   

Available through Hoopla 


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson 

Elizabeth grew up in one of the greatest libraries that had a lot of sorcery surrounding the space; she learned that all magic was evil. Elizabeth is framed for a crime she did not commit, and her only ally may be a sorcerer. Is Nathaniel evil like all sorcerer were claimed to be? Or can he help clear Elizabeth’s name? 

Any book that takes place in a library instantly becomes something that I must read. I have also read Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, which is a great read for anyone that enjoys fae or fairy fantasy stories.  

Available through Overdrive 


Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak 

A story told through the eyes of a family of 5 brothers; Clay decides he will build a bridge hoping for some closure after the disappearance of his father. Throughout the years, the brothers will learn about life and grow from their mistakes.  

Markus Zusak is the author of one of my favorite books, The Book Thief. While this book is completely different from Zuzak’s last endeavor, it appears that this Bridge of Clay will be very character based which I enjoy. I’ve been meaning to read this book as soon as it came out.   

Available on Overdrive  







Hello everyone! I’m Amy and I am a Youth Services Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. When I’m not trying to reach my reading goal for the year, I like to talk about what I’m reading to my family, friends, and coworkers. You could say I am a little obsessed with reading Young Adult books. I enjoy most genres, but my favorites include: Westerns, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, and Mystery. I am always looking for the next great book that makes me connect to its characters and hits me in the feels.