This Mortal Coil


I’ve got some YA dystopia for you today. The Hydra Virus in this story is hands down the grossest most hardcore method of mass extinction ever. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that people explode and then float around in a giant death cloud, is it? I hope not, cause now you know.

There are so many twists that once you start to figure it out then you are wrong, and you don’t even mind because it is a brilliant twist. It’s fast-paced and somewhat plausible. I read it in a couple of days. It is gory, and usually, that’s not my jam, but I was okay with this as it suited the story.

Perfect for the science-loving teen in your world that likes a bit of gore mixed in with their teen romance drama.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

November 18, 2017- The Sequel, This Cruel Design is also available now! I’m on a long hold list at the library.

Music Boxes


This reminded me of Goosebumps, in a good way.

Lindsey dreams of being a famous ballerina, and she is talented enough that her family moves from Nebraska to New York so she can pursue her dream. Madame Destinee (great name) says she has talent!

What could go wrong? Well, it’s weird the way girls keep disappearing, and at the same time, new music box ballerinas start appearing.

So, it’s scary, but in a fun Goosebumps way. I liked the larger message of being a right sibling and the sacrifices that family makes for each other.

This is a fun, quick read for middle-grade kids.

Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker

February 1, 2018

All the Walls of Belfast


This book won’t be published until March 2019, but I wanted to give you all a chance to use some of your holiday pre-order funds for some worth waiting for delayed gratification.

The easiest, laziest way to describe this story would be to say it’s an Irish West Side Story.

This story is much more history than teen drama and would be an excellent introduction for teens who may not know the history of Northern Ireland.

 Fiona and Danny were born at the same hospital, but Fiona’s Mom takes her to Michigan when she is two years old to save her living in what was then war-torn Belfast. When Fiona returns to stay with her Dad, she is sixteen years old. She slowly uncovers why her Mom took her so far away and had to come to terms with her family’s past.

Danny, on the other hand, has grown up in Belfast with a less than desirable home life. His struggles to forgive and live his life differently resonated with me. He knows why he and Fiona’s family are on different sides and I thought that the characters reactions to things were spot on considering the reality of their lives.

All the Walls of Belfast by Sarah Carlson

City of Ghosts


After Cassidy falls into a river, she starts seeing Jacob (who no one else can see), and it turns out she had a “near death” experience that would have been a sure death experience if (already dead) Jacob hadn’t saved her.

Cassie finds out pretty quickly that she can cross back and forth through the veil. Now, this sounds scary, but it is just the right amount of creepy for a middle-grade story. We listened to it on Audible in like three days. We had to know what would happen next.

In a way, it reminds me of The Graveyard Book. Jason has a lot of rules that he has to obey, and they mystify and intrigue Cassie. Her parents are ghost hunters, and so she already knows a bit after spirits and how to quickly tell if they are real or not.

Because I love everything Victoria Schwab writes, I was thrilled to have a middle-grade book that I could read with my 13yo. Add in that it is spooky to the max and set in Scotland and it was the perfect trifecta for us. Bonus points that Cassie is a photographer and comic book fan. It’s the kind of book that I’ll buy in book form also for re-reading every October or any month for that matter.

Note to friends: Declan gives it 10 million stars. So- high praise. Use your discretion with younger kids, but teens on up will love this one.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab