Young Adult

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune was unlike any story I’ve ever read before. Though there is a lot of Magical Realism sweeping through bookstores, this does something the others don’t. For one thing, the magic isn’t heavily focused. And two, the magic they are referring to is the youth who are beings or have powers we the reader are familiar with. Thus it isn’t such a stretch to imagine these magical beings in our world.

But what really works for this book is Linus Baker, a caseworker for the magical youth from the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, or DICOMY for short. DICOMY is a government agency that requires all magical beings to be registered, and any youth cast aside without a home were sent to orphanages. That’s where Linus comes in.

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Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

When I first saw Lindsey Roth Culli’s young adult novel, Say Yes Summer, I figured it was going to be something akin to Shonda Rhimes’ memoir, The Year of Yes, which encourages you to say “yes” to opportunity when it comes knocking. I could tell that Say Yes Summer would be predictable, but in a good way—sometimes you just want to read a feel-good, summer-y novel. And, I’m happy to report that Say Yes Summer is a book you should say “yes” to. It’s an excellent summer read that takes you back to high school without actually having to go back to high school.

Camia Rhodes

Say Yes Summer centers around Rachel Walls, a girl who’s spent her entire life striving to achieve three goals: getting straight A’s, getting into the college of her dream, and getting an academic scholarship. In pursuit of these goals, she’s spent her whole high school existence saying “no” to everything: no dances, no parties, no boys, no anything fun. We meet Rachel on the night of her graduation and follow along as she celebrates this achievement by spending the summer before college, saying “yes” to everything that comes her way…including unexpected romance. 

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