Nina O'Daniels

nodaniels@fz.k12.mo.us

Shannon Grieshaber

grieshaber.reads@gmail.com

Created in 2017

February 5, 2020

The totes adorbs factor of this cover is OFF THE CHARTS and fits one aspect of this story very well.  However, the cover is tricky in that it gives you the impression you’re about to read a fun and flirty rom-com.  Although there definitely IS some of that, Yes No Maybe So also gives readers lots to think about in regards to politics, religion, and the downside of going viral.  

Jamie Goldberg is a proud Jewish boy with strong convictions and a desire to run for political office someday.  Unfortunately, Jamie is infamous for stumbling over his words and doing embarrassing things....

September 17, 2019

That Night reads like a realistic account of what life must be like for the survivors of mass shootings. While Jess was at the concession stand getting candy for her best friend, Marissa, the gunman entered the theater and shot down 18 people, including Jess' brother (Marissa watched him die).  Jess basically lost her mother and Marissa that day, too. Her mother's grief is so all-encompassing that she no longer works, pays bills, cares for her daughter, or gets out of bed. Marissa's trauma was so complete that she is sent to a private school out of state. Jess is left with her own guilt and gr...

July 1, 2019

Hannah and Emory have been best friends living just 36 steps from each other since forever.  That friendship status changed three months ago when Hannah betrayed Emory’s trust and didn’t defend Emory during the biggest crisis of her life.  This resulted in Emory saying the kinds of things to Hannah that you just can’t take back. In the absence of Emory, Hannah has her faith, her involvement in her church/school’s semi-famous a capella group, and a burgeoning (although inappropriate) love interest.  In the absence of Hannah, Emory has her boyfriend (Luke), her theater friends and passion for th...

March 10, 2019

Lia, now the Queen of Venda, has named Kazi (former street thief) a member of the Rhatan, the queen’s most trusted guard.  The Queen sends Kazi and other members of the Rhatan to the Cam Lanteaux to investigate reports of attacks on Vendans who are trying to settle there.  Although recent treaties have made it legal to establish residence in the Cam Lanteaux, Jase Ballenger and his family (think, Corleone family - mafia) didn’t seem to get the memo.  It might be more accurate to say that they got the memo but the Ballengers submit to no one’s authority but their own. See, the Ballengers have r...

January 24, 2019

Courtney “Coop” Cooper is a super-sweet, great-looking basketball player and cheerleader who is secretly (not-so-secretly if you ask his buddies) in love with his best friend in the world, extremely close family friend, and next-door-neighbor, Jupiter Charity Sanchez.  Why secret? If they and their families are so close, why doesn’t Coop just profess his love so they begin their epic love affair? Because Jupiter is a lesbian. She has yet to be in a relationship with anyone or even kissed a girl but she has always known and been confident in her sexual identity.  When Rae Chin moves to town, sh...

January 22, 2019

Despite the controversy over the portrayal of Cystic Fibrosis, the inclusion of almost every overused trope in YA lit, the archetypal characters, and the manipulation I feel over the way this book was published, I absolutely loved Five Feet Apart!  Do you feel like you’re getting mixed messages from me? I get it. And you will, too, after reading my review.

Stella and Will have one huge thing in common but they are as different as two teens can be.  They both are dying from Cystic Fibrosis and have been in and out of hospitals (more in than out) their entire lives.  Will’s mother has taken him t...

August 27, 2018

Winnie’s Senior year begins in upheaval.  Her long-time boyfriend and seemingly-fated soulmate (like, for real - her family’s astrologer predicted it) started dating her arch-enemy while she was away at film camp.  Raj!! How could you?? Winnie only said she wanted you two to take a break, not break up! Have you never watched Friends? You are clearly not allowed to date someone else while on a break from your longtime girlfriend.  Duh. Anyway, now that she and Raj are estranged, film club is gonna be hella awkward. They are co-presidents. And Film Club means EVERYTHING to Winnie. Organizing the...

March 20, 2018

Why is YA making it a contest to see who the absolute worst parent ever is and why do I keep picking up those books?? Fine, Mr. McCauley, you win for the most despicable dad thus far read. Short of sexual abuse, which quite frankly, wouldn’t have surprised me, he’s got emotional and physical abuse down pat. So why does his 'cocktail at ten in the morning' wife stay with him- he’s loaded, and she likes it that way. Hadley doesn’t like it, but it’s what she’s used to and to make her life and the life of her ten-year-old sister happy, she goes with it. She acquiesces to his 4:30 am runs so she do...

March 13, 2018

One of the fun things about reading so many books is that you will always find a connection between the book you are finishing and the book you are starting.  Usually, it’s just a little thing. But sometimes, it’s a big thing. On the first morning of Spring Break, I awoke to beautiful, fat snowflakes falling outside my window.  The book I had already chosen to read for that day was Kiss Me in New York - a book that takes place in the NYC airport on Christmas Eve during a snowstorm. Fun! Because that book was totes adorbs and I couldn’t put it down, I needed another book to read that day.  I pi...

March 12, 2018

I can see why American Street was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2017. It’s a familiar take on the immigration experience in that it shows the American Dream isn’t as easily achievable as it might seem.  What makes it different is Fabiola and her mother’s journey.

Sixteen years ago, when her mother was eight months pregnant with Fabiola, she traveled from Haiti to Detroit to live with her sister until the baby was born.  Fabiola was born an American citizen and then the two of them returned to Haiti. Flash forward sixteen years. Fabiola’s aunt has been s...

January 25, 2018

Normally, I am a sucker for a 24-hour romance/plot/whathaveyou, but I soon realized, I am equally a sucker for this set-up too. Spencer and Hope’s story begins when she moves next door. Spencer’s thirteen-year-old heart and brain can’t stop staring at this beautiful girl who likes to hang out with him they- ride bikes, hike, she genuinely seems interested when he drops knowledge about insects, and, best of all, she doesn’t mind his Tourettes. She’s equally enamored of him but his older brother, Dean, isn’t too bad either. From the line of girls that she sees climbing in through his window in t...

January 5, 2018

Yes, another ARC! Don't need to wait long for this to be in our library either- its release date is January 16th! Come see me if you can't wait that long. 

Identity is and always will be a HUGE topic of interest for teen readers, heck even some of us much older than that can still relate. It's written in a million different ways, but my favorite YA trend right now is diversity. For the record, it pains me to say that diversity is a trend, but in all honesty, the YA world was sorely lacking good writing and stories in this area. Thanks to writers like Mitali Perkins, Erika L. Sanchez, and S...

October 27, 2017

In Echo After Echo, Zara’s dream is coming true.  She’s only a junior in high school, yet she is cast in her dream role, playing Echo in the Greek Tragedy, Echo & Ariston, on Broadway at the infamous Aurelia theater being directed by the notorious Leopold Henneman.  When she gets to New York, her first stop is the theater.  She’s so excited to get started she doesn’t even go by her new apartment.  It’s weird that the back door to the theater is open but she goes in anyway.  The Aurelia is deserted.  Except for the dead man in the orchestra pit.  It’s the lighting director.  The police rule it...

October 24, 2017

Yep, I knew I was going to like this one before read a single page when I saw a quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s famous “Love is love is love” speech he made the night after the Orlando nightclub shooting, as one of the opening quotes. That made my heart happy, and so did this story of Tanner and Sebastian. Feels. I have lots of them in the afterglow of this book. Having read a handful of Christina Lauren’s ‘new adult’ genre books, I was intrigued to see how they would translate to the young adult audience. Success!

Tanner Scott knows he’s bisexual, it’s not a passing phase but kissing boys is...

September 21, 2017

Can I tell you a secret? I was thinking that Maas was crazy for dedicating an entire book to a character we didn’t even hear a peep from in the last one. And Chaol? Let’s be honest; he’s not the most exciting of her characters. BUT, wholly Swoony McSwoonersen, Batman. If there is anything I love in a book (fantasy or otherwise), it’s a slow burn of a romance and an Alpha male.  Was that my expectation going into this? Absolutely not, but that’s exactly what it was. Truth be told, not a lot happens in this book. The plot moves along at a pretty good clip, but it took awhile for some action to h...

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