“Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just that when they do them, they call it justice.”
In a Nutshell: Lazlo Strange aka Strange the Dreamer, was an orphan (foundling) raised by monks. He grew up to be a librarian happily living 24/7 within his books. When opportunity comes knocking, he takes the chance for a real adventure – to come to a place with a forgotten name, and a mysterious past.
Read this if… you are okay with heavy world-building and weird and hard to pronounce (and remember) names, places and terminologies. If you have read something of Laini Taylor’s, this one’s another testament of her excellence. But if you’re a newbie to her writing style, I’d recommend starting with Daughter of Smoke and Bones series. This one’s maybe not the place to start. Also, as a warning, if you feel bored at the beginning, do NOT let that stop you. I promise you, it gets better. Oh and have I mentioned how good Taylor does romance? She slowly pulls you in until you have no idea how invested and sucked in you are.
“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren’t ready.”
In a Nutshell: Marin ran away from home after something tragic happens in her life. She ran and never look back. Until Mabel, her long time friend, catches up to her and spends a few days with her. The entire story revolves around this visit and how they both dance around until they finally acknowledge the elephant in the room.
Read this if… you like an emotion-driven, rather than plot-driven, read. There’s not much going on plot-wise, as the entirety of the book just paints grief, and how it affects a person. If you’re up to that melodrama, then this book’s for you. Though if you’re someone who has undergone depression or knows a loved one who did, maybe think twice so as not to open old wounds?
“If you’re going to be a thief, the first thing you need to know is that you don’t exist.”
In a Nutshell: We follow Tina (aka Tiny Girl), an orphaned girl from Congo, who runs around with a gang of thieves. As one of the heists takes her back to the place where her mother was murdered, we soon find out that theft is not the only thing on her mind. Hell-bent on getting dirt on her mother’s murderer, she soon finds out more than what she asked for.
Read this if… you enjoy reading about a female protagonist, with a talent for theft and a splash of vengeance on the side, a whole lot of fast-paced action and mystery and just a teeny tiny drop of romance. More than the revenge, I think this was a beautiful story of appreciation, love, friendship and inner peace.
“Get used to the gossip, darling. Get used to walking into a room and having everyone in it whisper that you don’t belong. Get used to it, but don’t let those whispers defeat you. Strike back when they strike you. Don’t be weak.”
In a Nutshell: Orphaned girl Ella Harper has to work multiple jobs just to survive – one of which includes stripping in a shady bar. We get the typical rags-to-riches story as she finds out her dead biological father left her in the care of his multi-millionaire best friend, who willingly takes her in. We follow her adventures as she tries to navigate the lives of the elite, and her raging teenage hormones.
Read this if… you are no longer a minor. This has so many trigger warnings (drugs, rape, abuse, etc.) that I strongly feel that this should not be listed as a YA – I don’t care if the lead character is a young adult, the themes and the writing style is not fit for a young adult. So, if you’re looking for a guilty pleasure and don’t mind cliches, then maybe go ahead? But if you’re all for women empowerment, you’re just wasting your time. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.