BV Book Blog

  • Admission by Julie Buxbaum

    Posted by SUSAN SLOAN on 9/21/2021


    Ripped from the headline story dealing with the college admissions scandal.  Chloe is the daughter of a famous actress and wealthy finance mogel dad.  How much did she know about the "tutor" hired to help her score high on the SAT?  How much did she know about the SAT "proctor" that ended up taking the test for her?  How much did she know about her face showing up on pole vaulter's body?  Does Chloe deserve all the angry texts and posts?  Fine out just what Chloe knew and what she didn't know....or should have known.

    A breezy read.  Not sure how much I sympathize with Chloe.  White priveldge and deliberate ignorance isn't the best defense.

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  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

    Posted by Anna Serena on 9/4/2021

    violent delights

    I LOVED this complete reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. In a diverse, flapper-era version of 1926 Shanghai, the violent feud between the White Flowers and the Scarlets reigns supreme. In addition to this domestic political turmoil, there is foreign political influence threatening the Shanghai way of life. 

    As if that wasn’t enough, a mysterious monster emerges from the river and people on both sides start tearing their throats out with their own bare hands… and the insanity seems to be contagious. 

    10 years after Juliette Cai  was deceived and double-crossed by her first true love Roma Montagov, she still desperately wants to avoid him. But she has been put in charge of solving the problem of the infectious, self-inflicted violence. Deaths are stacking up. Juliette must find a way to join forces with Roma to stop the monster that could destroy her city. Can Juliette save her city while working with her ultimate betrayer?

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  • Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

    Posted by Anna Serena on 9/2/2021

    Each of Us a Desert

    Xochital is a 16 year old cuentista of her village. A cuentista is a storyteller, but instead of telling tales, she must take people's stories of wrongdoings or sins, providing her village spiritual cleansing and healing.  Xochitl takes the tale into herself, then goes out into the desert, and gives the stories back to the earth to go back to Solis. But by taking in these stories, there’s no space for Xochital’s own stories and feelings. 

    One day she hears a story that changes everything and decides  to stop giving the stories back to Solis. Xochital leaves her village. She connects with an unlikely companion and they seek their own identity and peace.

    Written as a prayer to Solis, Each of Us a Desert is beautiful and tragic, full of magic and poetry. An honest and emotional read!

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  • Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

    Posted by Anna Serena on 9/1/2021

    preide and premediation

    This retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice turns this Regency Era story into a murder mystery. Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie! 

    Lizzie feels trapped in London high society’s strict expectations of women. She desires to appear in court working for her father’s firm. When a scandalous murder shocks London, Lizzie finds the perfect opportunity to prove herself. She seeks to solve the mystery and finds herself dealing with the arrogant Mr. Darcy.

    This quick, entertaining, and deceptive tale is a clever spin on a beloved classic. The characters and witty banter are familiar to those who know Austen’s novel and the unfolding mystery of the true killer is filled with marriage proposals, kidnapping, and twists you won’t see coming.

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  • Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by MacKenzie Lee

    Posted by Anna Serena on 8/31/2021


    Henry “Monty” Montague should be living the proper life of a gentleman. Even the best boarding schools in England haven’t been able to tame his roguish nature. He drinks too much, gambles too much, and is too promiscuous. He can’t help but “mess up” at every turn. In one last hurrah of freedom before he must return to London to take over his abusive father’s estate, Monty, his sister, and his best friend (who he is desperately in love with) go on a Grand Tour of Europe.

    Monty hopes to indulge in all his pleasures and vices on the trip, but after one bad decision, the three of them are off on a dangerous and exciting journey around Europe complete with thugs, gypsies, pirates, and near-death escapes. 

    This book is very fun, but also has real, meaningful moments of coping with trauma, health issues, class/race issues, LGBT issues. It does all of that, plus make you laugh, plus make you feel. Unexpected and wonderful.


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  • The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky

    Posted by SUSAN SLOAN on 7/24/2021

    Mary Shelley Club

    This was a really good read.  Opening scene reminds me of the opening scene of the first Scream movie.  So good.  There was not warning or warm up.  Right there in your face.  The whole book, has you wanting to know the answer to so many questions from the opening chapter.  Wow!

    Rachel is now at a new school after a horrifying experience.  Maybe now she can put those awful memories behind her,  Soon, however, Rachel discovers that even the rich have deep, dark and twisted secrets. Rachel gets implicated in a prank gone wrong and gets thrusted into a world of redcklessness and notoriety.  That is until things go too far and people start getting hurt...even dead.

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  • Enduring Freedom by Trent Ready & Jawad Arash

    Posted by SUSAN SLOAN on 7/6/2021

    Enduring freedom

    I started to read this book around  the 4th of July and it made an incredible impact on me.  So timely, so important so powerful.  The last line of author Trent Ready's is everything - "...we hope the Enduring Freedom will help ...  and inspire readers to join this same struggle for freedom of thought and expression against those forces that would seek to limit and control people  Live free and read ...

    On September 11, 2001, the lives of two boys on opposite sides of the world are changed forever.

    Baheer, a studious Afghan teen, sees his family’s life turned upside down when they lose their livelihood as war rocks the country.

    A world away, Joe, a young American army private, has to put aside his dreams of becoming a journalist when he’s shipped out to Afghanistan.

    When Joe’s unit arrives in Baheer’s town, Baheer is wary of the Americans, but sees an opportunity: Not only can he practice his English with the soldiers, his family can make money delivering their supplies. At first, Joe doesn’t trust Baheer, or any of the locals, but Baheer keeps showing up. As Joe and Baheer get to know each other, to see each other as individuals, they realize they have a lot more in common than they ever could have realized. But can they get past the deep differences in their lives and beliefs to become true friends and allies?

    “Enduring Freedom” is a moving and enlightening novel about how ignorance can tear us apart and how education and understanding can bring us back together.

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  • Blackout by D. Clayton, T. Jackson, N. Stone, A, Thomas, A. Woodfolk and N. Yoon

    Posted by SUSAN SLOAN on 7/3/2021


    I honestly did not expect to like this book as much as I did.  There is a lot of buzz about this book and diversity is such a focus in YA lit right now.  Love stories are just not my thing....and I am not such a fan of anthologies.  That said, I absolutely enjoyed reading this book and did so in one sitting.  It was THAT good. 

    6 well known black YA authors collaborated during covid lockdown to create a wonderful book with 6 interconnected stories about black teen love and NYC.  1 of the stories starts the book off and continues to weave in and out of the other stories about different kinds of love during a citywide blackout.  There is a story about first love, queer love, love of self, best friend figuring out if this is now romantic love, love triangle, and love lost and found.  So important to see black teens as the main character taking center stage instead of the "funny or sassy" supporting role.  These characters are real in every way with real problems, real feelings and real hopes and dreams for their future.  Really a wonderful read.

    Meet the authors interview


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  • The Loop by Ben Oliver

    Posted by SUSAN SLOAN on 6/28/2021

    The Loop

    Wow! Wow! Wow!  Read in one sitting because I. Could. Not. Put. I . Down! 

    Luka has been sent to the Loop to serve his sentence and live out his days until his execution.  He has spent 736 days wrongfully imprisoned.  Day in and day out it is the same routine.  The only chance to break up the monotony is to take a Delay - allow yourself to be experiemented on.  If the experiment goes well, the prison sentence is extended.  If the experiment goes poorly, well, there is not need for an extention.  Whispers of an uprising, a war outside the walls circulate and routines are unexpectanty changed. Luka has a choice to make stay and serve out his sentence or break out.  Soon, though, he discovered not all is one side or the other.

    Best part?  The second installment The Block, is release today.  Can't wait to get started!

    Book trailer:  The Loop

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  • Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

    Posted by SUSAN SLOAN on 6/25/2021

    Say Yes Summer

    Perfect summer beach read!  Rachel has just graduated from high school and cannot wait to head off to college in the fall.  She has always been known as the quiet girl, the nerd girl, the smart girl, etc...  At college she can reinvent herself and take some chances.  Rachel stumbles across a self help book A Season of Yes amongst her beloved Nonna's things and decides not to wait to take some risks. She says yes to new experiences, yes to rekindled friendships and yes romance.  Sometimes, though, saying yes to everything can lead to big mistakes and has unintended consequences. Super cute.

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Last Modified on Tuesday at 12:27 PM