Every June, we celebrate the year being half over by checking in with our reviewers and seeing what they've loved, so far.
Today, the awesomely awesome Kady steps up:
5. Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier
Ghosts, gangsters, rough and tumble Australia at the turn of the century, awesome slang that I'm going to start using in my daily life- this book has it all! It's not easy being the only girl around who can see and talk to ghosts, especially during this particularly hot and bloody summer when the body count from a gang war is rising faster than the temperature. That's the only life Kelpie's ever know, however, until one day taking some bad advice from a bad ghost puts her directly in the path of Dymphna Campbell, a key player in the gang war with a few secrets of her own.
Simon's gay, but he's not out to anybody quite yet, the exception being the mysterious stranger (also gay! also at his school! Hopefully cute!?!) that he's been e-mailing with. When another classmate discovers Simon's e-mails and blackmails him it forces Simon to figure out what and who are most important to him and take matters into his own hands.
Hazel and Ben's life has never been ordinary, how can it be when they live in a tourist town famous for the fairies and other mythical creatures who inhabit their woods? But now, in the spring of Hazel's 16th year, things have gotten even weirder. Hazel is loosing time, Ben can't or won't play the music that he loves anymore and, most mysteriously, the beautiful boy who has been asleep in the glass coffin in the woods for generations is missing, and all signs point to either Hazel or Ben being responsible.
2. The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
Ana and Zak couldn't be more different- Ana's a brain, head of her class, struggling with heavy parental expectations and having zero fun as her senior year winds up. Zak's a slacker, sure he's smart, but he'd rather be playing video games or goofing off with his friends than worrying about school or what he'll do after graduation until a teacher forces him to join the academic decathlon team in order to pass his final class. When Ana's little brother goes missing on the eve of their big academic decathlon, the two join forces to hunt him down at WashingCon, a giant ComicCon like convention at a Seattle hotel, dodging overly enthusiastic cosplayers, Zak's ex-girlfriends and maybe even a shady drug dealer or two.
1. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
It's like the Oregon Trail computer game in book form! The year is 1849. The place, Missouri. After a disastrous fire that kills her father, a young Chinese girl named Samantha flees her small Missouri town with an escaped slave named Annamae. Disguising themselves as boys, Sam and Andy are both seeking what's left of their families along the Oregon trail, on route to San Francisco. With lawmen chasing them and a treacherous terrain that can easily kill even the most experienced traveler, Sam and Andy join forces with a trio of cowboys and struggle to keep their numerous secrets as they move towards safety, and hopefully, a new home.