Next SFF Author: Rick Yancey
Previous SFF Author: John Wyndham

Series: Young Adult

Fantasy Literature for Young Adults (over the age of 12).



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UnDivided: A thrilling finale

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman

With UnDivided (2014), Neal Shusterman rewards fans of his UNWIND DYSTOLOGY with a thrilling and satisfying finale. Readers will need to read the first three novels, (Unwind, UnWholly, and UnSouled) first.

The story picks up where UnSouled left off. Our heroes, Connor, Risa, Lev, Grace, and Cam are desperately trying to fight a batch of newly proposed legislation which gives the government even more power to unwind troublesome teens,


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UnSouled: Shusterman is a good storyteller

UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

The third book in Neal Shusterman’s YA UNWIND DYSTOLOGY is UnSouled (2013). It follows Unwind and UnWholly, and you’ll need to read those first. I almost gave up on this series because I found the premise to be so unlikely but, while Shusterman has not convinced me that many Americans would choose to have their children “unwound” (scrapped for parts, basically), he’s managed, over three books, to build an alternate history that at least has made me seriously consider the possibility and has challenged me to consider the consequences.


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Daybreak – 2250 A.D. (aka Star Man’s Son): Simple and heartwarming

Daybreak – 2250 A.D. (aka Star Man’s Son) by Andre Norton

It’s 2250 A.D., two hundred years after a nuclear holocaust destroyed most life, knowledge, history, and civilization on Earth. Fors, a young man with a mutation that renders his hair silver and his hearing and sight extra keen, is a descendent of a group of scientists who used to do nuclear research before it all went wrong. Fors desperately wants to become a Star Man like his father who died on a quest ten years ago.


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UnWholly: Another exciting UNWIND story

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman

UnWholly (2012) is the second book in Neal Shusterman’s UNWIND DYSTOLOGY. You’ll need to read the first novel, Unwind, first, so I’ll assume you have. This review will contain minor spoilers for that book.

Connor, Risa, and Lev have each escaped being unwound, are hiding from the juvenile authority, and are determined to stop the evil practice of unwinding that their society has embraced. The plot splits into a few subplots as each teenager has their own dangerous road to travel in this installment.


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Unwind: A gripping story if you can get past the premise

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In the near future, after a long bloody war between pro-life and pro-choice armies, the United States amended the constitution to ban abortion but allow parents to “retroactively abort” a child between 13 and 18 years old as long as the child was “unwound” in a process that allows the child’s parts to be given to others, like organ donations. In this way, the child isn’t actually killed, but lives on, a technicality that appeases both sides.

You’d think that few parents would opt to unwind their child,


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Mooncakes: A magical YA love story

Reposting to include Brad’s new review.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker (writer), Wendy Xu (illustrator), & Joamette Gil (letterer)

Mooncakes (2019) is the story of Nova and Tam, two young people who are exploring their connections to magic. They are both, in their own way, deeply connected to the magical world and must decide what that means to them. Their relationships — with the people around them and each other — fuel the emotional core of this whimsical, down-to-earth, LGBTQ+ narrative.

I was delighted by Mooncakes.


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The Sinister Booksellers of Bath: Entertaining but I wanted more magic

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix

Garth Nix’s The Sinister Booksellers of Bath (2023) is the follow-up to 2020’s fantasy novel, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London. Both books are set in the 1980s, or, as Nix calls it, “a somewhat alternative 1980s.”

We reunite with familiar characters; siblings Merlin and Vivien St. Jacques, both of whom have magic, and Susan, the young art student whose father is an Ancient Sovereign, an old and powerfully magical being.


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Legendborn: There’s much to like in this debut

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn (2020), the first book in her LEGENDBORN CYCLE, wasn’t on my radar until I saw it on the Locus Awards finalists list for Best Young Adult novel. I grabbed the audiobook and one of the YAs that lives in my house (Tali, my 18-year-old daughter) and we listened to Legendborn together as we worked a jigsaw puzzle. We agreed to give Legendborn a rating of 3.5 which is quite a bit lower than the book currently rates at both Amazon and GoodReads,


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Some Faraway Place: Not a success

Some Faraway Place by Lauren Shippen

Rose is a normal girl, and that’s a problem because everyone else in her family – her parents, her brother – are atypical.

I had some hope that returning to the approximate 2016 timeframe and another late-teen protagonist who isn’t an outright villain would be a boon for the BRIGHT SESSIONS series. Unfortunately, I had more issues with Some Faraway Place (2021) than either of its predecessors, The Infinite Noise and A Neon Darkness.


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A Neon Darkness: Lackluster

A Neon Darkness by Lauren Shippen

A Neon Darkness (2020), the second book in Lauren Shippen‘s THE BRIGHT SESSIONS trilogy, is only very tangentially related to the first book, The Infinite Noise. It centers on a group of atypicals (the in-world word for people with powers) a full decade before the first book occurs.

Robert Gorham is 18-going-on-19 when he arrives in L.A. for reasons unclear to the reader until much later. His power makes him able to effortlessly manipulate people into doing what he wants,


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Next SFF Author: Rick Yancey
Previous SFF Author: John Wyndham

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