Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat (HarperTeen)
She brilliantly captures Ivy’s shock and understandable teenaged embarrassment at losing her home and having to move to the so-called wrong side of the tracks, but also Ivy’s gradual realization that her socioeconomic perceptions of the world around her, only reveals a surface truth.
Ivy’s emotional awareness is aided by her family, her love of music, and two potential love interests. Anyone can understand the passion that Ivy feels for music, and how it helps her adapt to her new environment. Her relationship with her young, seizure-prone brother is also a gentle and loving one, and it’s his candid honesty that helps connect Ivy with her new life.
Russ also introduces love interests from different ends of the spectrum, and uses them to nicely undersize the overarching point, that there are truths about perception, which Ivy is gradually beginning to understand.
All in all, a very candid, honest look at how one family’s financial struggles, help a young protagonist a better, more candid understanding of the world around her.
About the author:
Charmed by Michelle Krys (The Witch Hunter #2)
But I also had a gut feeling that she would only get better and better, and I was right. Krys absolutely brings her A-game to Charmed, pulling Indigo even deeper into the supernatural realm as she continues her hunt for the missing Paige.
Having built the foundation Indigo’s world in Hexed, Krys continues to expand on the world in detail, with the occasional quippy humor that wouldn’t be out of place from the heyday of Buffy. We’re introduced to Los Demonios, a demon prison in an alter-Los Angeles idimension that’s both absolutely terrifying, and also equally fascinating in its scope.
(Seriously, I was actually disappointed we didn’t get to spend more time in Los Demonios. Krys has clearly taken a lot of time to think about how this prison world would work. I would love for Krys to write a novella, or even just draw a map.)
Indigo comes up against a number of fascinating obstacles as she battles the elements of Los Demonios, both human and supernatural. While the subtle love triangle between Indigo, Bishop and Cruz doesn’t always work, Krys does nice job of emphasizing just why both men are willing to fight and compromise for her.
Ultimately, this is a kick-ass adventure story full of fantastic dialogue, brilliant world-building, and characters that any brave soul - pun intended - will want to be friends with. I can only hope that Krys returns to this world, and also can’t wait to see what she delivers next.
About the author:
MICHELLE KRYS is the author of Hexed. She lives with her husband and son in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. She works part-time as a NICU nurse and spends her free time writing books for teens. Michelle is probably not a witch, though she did belong to a witchcraft club in the fifth grade and “levitated” people in her bedroom, so that may be up for debate.