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YA Book Reviews by Amy

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YA Book Reviews By Amy: My Library Book Haul 

If you are aware of BookTube (the side of YouTube that discusses books, reading reviews and vlogs, and updates on what is being read), then you have probably heard of book hauls.  

What is book haul?  

It is usually a blog or video in which an individual shows off newly purchased books or a collection of books that they hope to read. The person will give a brief synopsis of the book, and then discuss the reason why they were drawn to a particular title. Sounds familiar right? That is what I tend to do with my book reviews!  

This list will be similar to my TBR (To Be Read) list because I have not read any of these titles, but there are reasons why I checked these books out of the library; whether it is an interesting title, a beloved author, a stunning cover, I have heard a lot of hype behind the book, or the summary sounds like it will be just right up my alley. One thing these titles have in common is that most of them are new releases and you can pick them up at the library by placing a hold 

Here is my current library haul! 


Thorn by Intisar Khanani   

Alyrra always wanted to escape her duties as princess, especially when she becomes engaged to the prince of a neighboring country, Kestrin. On the way to her new fate as a wife, a sorceress steals the princess’ identity and Alyraa is left with nothing in this new land. Alyraa takes this chance to become the person she always wanted, even though she turns into a lowly goose girl. When she starts to become connected to the people of Kestrin and their sufferings, Alyraa feels that it is her duty to expose the corrupt sorceress posing as her and help the land and its people. 

Since this is a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales of all time—the Goose Girl, I am excited to see how Intisar Khanani takes inspiration from this famous tale and makes it her own. I really enjoy reading this genre (fantasy/fairy tale) and it is a book that’s high on my list of new reads.   

Available as an eAudiobook on Hoopla  

If you like this fairy tale, I would also suggest The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. It has been one of my favorite retellings.  

Available as an eAudiobook on Hoopla   


The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert 

Marva has been waiting for November 3rd almost her entire life; she would like to make a difference in her future and she believes voting is where to start. Duke feels obligated to vote since his family believes it is important and will honor the memory of his brother, but Duke just wants to hurry through the line and get to school. During a chance meeting, Marva overhears Duke rejected at the polls and decides to devote her day to helping Duke cast his first ballot.   

This is one of the books we are presenting for Teen Reads Live and I am excited to see where this story will take us. This novel seems very revalent in the upcoming months for the election in November and presents the excitement of voting for the first time. This also seems like a short read, but with powerful ideas.   

Available as both an eBook and eAudiobook on Overdrive and Hoopla.    


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin 

Louise le Blanc has not practiced or shown her magical abilities in the two years she left her witch’s coven. Fearing for her life, she must not be identified as a witch. Reid Diggory, a pious young man, has set his entire life to rid the world of witches. Lou and Reid’s paths meet and they are forced into an uncomfortable situation—they must marry. Will they fall for each other? Or will their strong beliefs set them apart?  

This sounds like an interesting “hate to love” romance with our main characters. I have heard good things about Serpent & Dove and the reviews have made me decide to give it a chance even though I tend not to like stories about witches. It sounds like a fun–not serious– read, and I think that it is important to read something that is light. 

Available as both an eBook and eAudiobook on Overdrive and eAudiobook on Hoopla 


Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power 

Margot’s family has always just consisted of her and her mother. Not knowing any other family, and her mother is unwilling to talk about her past, Margot wants to dive into the history. What has her mother been trying to hide and why? Margot finds a photograph of a place called Phalene and believes this will lead her to her answers.   

The premise sounded so intriguing that I just had to pick it up. I like a mystery that is unveiled throughout the narrative and I am sure I will have my own theories about the past of this family and the world it may (or may not) be set in. I’m looking forward to reading this standalone.   

Available as both an eBook and eAudiobook on Overdrive 


All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban 

Six teenagers receive invitations to a scholarship dinner, only to find out that it was all a ruse to get them to do something dastardly; they must pick someone to murder or a bomb will detonate. These six people all have interconnecting lives that inhabit friendship and love, but also deceit and lies. These dishonest actions have shattered some of these relationships beyond repair and some might be a reason to volunteer someone else to be the martyr. Will we find out who has organized this evil plan and why? Will Amber, the musician, find a way to save everyone and thwart the malevolent plot?   

I have been reading a lot of mysteries recently trying to find the perfect YA mystery; I have read quite a few good mysteries and I am hoping this one will be just as thrilling. It was described as a combination of One of Us is Lying and Agatha Christie which I like both! Place this book in your library haul if it sounds like you will like it.  

Available as an eBook on Overdrive and eAudiobook on Hoopla 


Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron 

It has been two centuries since Cinderella has died and the kingdom has used her life as a model to find matrimony: young ladies must attend the annual ball and be picked as a suitable wife to strangers. The girls not picked for superficial reasons are never seen again. Sophia does not want to marry, but she also does not know the fates of the girls not chosen. If it was up to her, Sophia would be in a relationship with her best friend, Erin. After leaving one evening to escape the system, Sophia finds an unlikely ally in a descendant of Cinderella herself, to liberate the girls of the kingdom. 

This reimagining of Cinderella sounds dark and dystopian and that peaks my interest. As stated in an earlier book recommendation, I absolutely love fairy tale retellings and this one sounds completely different from any plot I have heard. Plus, there is LGBTQ+ representation which I think is very important.  

Available as an eBook on Overdrive 


There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool 

Seven prophets vanished one hundred years ago, and the world as been thrown into chaos. It is said that there is a new prophet that can either have the world continue into chaos or save them. A group of people meet and decide that their fates may intertwined with one another and one of them may be the savior or can send the land into darkness forever.   

A band of characters that are vastly different in status and personality that must work together? Sign me up! I love reading books with a cast of characters that will work together, form friendships, and do some life changing quest or challenge. This book has been on my radar for almost a year and I finally want to read it just in time for its sequel: As the Shadow Rises 

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.