Numbed! David Lubar. 2013. 148 pages. Lerner Publishing Group. [ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] A field trip to a math museum can’t possibly be exciting. It certainly won’t be life-changing, right? Numbed proves you absolutely wrong! When Logan and Benedict sneak away from their group in the Mobius Mathematics Museum, they get zapped by a robot and *poof*! All their math skills are gone.
Switched. Cassie Mae. 2013. 262 pages. Flirt. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Kayla only has eyes for Talon. Too bad he’s in love with her best friend Reagan. Poor Wesley, he wants to be with Reagan. Unrequited love hurts, but it’s also messy with these four. Instead of watching from afar, Kayla and Wesley team up to make their dreams come true … the question is will it actually work. Switched is a fun, messy, and cute love story all wrapped in one.
Yours to Keep. Serena Bell. 2013. 324 pages. Loveswept. [Source: ARC Provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Yours to Keep intrigued me because it had an undocumented woman as its protagonist. This is definitely off the beaten path of what I typically read, so I was excited to see how Ana’s story played out. It is your typical romance in that “boy and girl meet but things can’t work out but they have to because love happens.” However, it does venture into more than that by factoring in Ana’s precarious residency in the United States. At times I felt the plot was predictable, but it didn’t always play out in the timeline nor pacing I expected. That was refreshing because it wasn’t a simple “happily ever after.” It was a bit messy at times, and had peripheral stories that were just as engaging to me as the courtship of Ana and Ethan. To the author’s credit, she did highlight some of the nuances of life for undocumented families. The concerns about identification to do something that so many take for granted was humanizing.
The Ugly Bug Ball. Anissa Freeman, Michelle Burns. 2012. 30 pages. BQB Publishing. [ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] The Ugly Bug Ball is more than just a picture book. It’s an important lesson about inclusion and bullying. Told through the view of an insect community, this story is easy for kids to connect to their own experiences or those of others. I appreciate that this book has a substantial amount of text. It’s great practice for emerging readers, at 30 pages.
Twisted. Hannah Jayne. 2016. 320 pages. Sourcebooks Fire. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Life’s a bit challenging when you’re the daughter of an alleged serial killer. Bex Andrews, neé Beth Anne Reimer, knows this all to well. When she was 7, her father was dubbed the “the Wife Collector,” after a series of mysterious kidnappings and murders in North Carolina. Now 17, Bex has an opportunity to escape her traumatizing past, with a fresh start 200 miles away. She’s made new friends, has doting foster parents, and even has a caring boyfriend. The best part is that none of them know her troubled lineage. So why does it feel like she’s still in her father’s shadow? Twisted pulled me in from the start, so much so that I neglected all of my responsibilities to finish it.