New YA: February 1-8.
The Girls of No Return, by Erin Saldin:
The Girls of No Return is absolutely, completely gripping—once I’d started reading, I didn’t put it down, not even while I was giving blood—and despite its subject matter, it’s never exploitative. It never compromises its emotional core, and never feels like anything but The Truth. It left me feeling wrought-out and wrecked, but in a good, subtly supercathartic way.
Catch & Release, by Blythe Woolston:
So, on one hand, reading this book was a little like repeatedly punching myself in the face for two hours. I found it that painful. Polly is angry and hurting and angry some more and hurting some more. But, on the other hand, the last few pages—in which you finally get to hear what Odd thinks—made all of that pain worthwhile, and then going back and reading the first few pages and seeing all of the little details that show how much the roadtrip has changed her... well. Lovely, that.
Clarity, by Kim Harrington:
My main issue with the book—and this is very blunt—was the writing. Much of it is stilted and bland, with a lot of telling rather than showing, and the dialogue is rarely believable. A couple of examples (there were others I'd liked to have used, but they were spoiler-y):
He bent to pick up a candy wrapper. "Like this litter on the boardwalk," he said. "And most shocking of all, a tourist getting killed! Tourists have never been killed before in this town." He poked my shoulder as he asked, "What is your beloved Mayor Spellman going to do about this disgrace?" (pg 53: This, by the way, is a teenager speaking.)
Choker, by Elizabeth Woods:
The dialogue occasionally gets a bit stilted, there are some lines ("The words stabbed Cara like a knife") that we've all heard before, most of the secondary characters are two-dimensional and towards the end, the ultimate arc of the story gets a bit LIKE WHOA OVERBOARD, but it's a decent read.