Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven (2018)

By: Bella Forrest

Nineteen-year-old Harley discovers she’s a witch, or as the coven calls them, a magical. She has telekinetic powers, empathy, and can exert control over all four elements! When she’s brought into the San Diego coven, she unearths more that she bargained for. Is she capable of facing up to her familial history and the monsters gunning for her?

This was the first book I read in quite a few months that I couldn’t put down. I loved Harley’s spunky personality, her strength, and her determination. Plus, this world is similar enough to other sorcery novels to allow you to connect, but different enough to keep the world alive. It’s a great mix of boarding school, magic, and mayhem. I highly recommend these books. I’m reading them as quickly as they come out. They’re beautifully crafted.

Polaris (2015)

By: Mindee Arnett

Following the events of Avalon, Jeth and his crew of teenaged mercenaries are on the run. There’s been some familial revelations along the way, which are making it difficult aboard the ship. When caught between a rock and a hard place, Jeth turns to the last person he’d thought he’d work with: an ITA soldier. However, he soon learns that everything in space comes with a price.

Guys, when I tell you I devoured these novels, I seriously devoured them. I don’t know if I could speak higher of Avalon and Polaris. The twists and turns are truly unique. The characters are brilliant. The world feels alive! Read these books. For real.

The Masked Truth (2015)

By: Kelley Armstrong

Two teens are forced to attend a group therapy session in an abandoned warehouse, as a way to overcome their individual troubles. However, things start to go south when three masked assailants break into the facility and hold them hostage. The exits are sealed, there are no windows, their phones are gone, and their captors are on a killing spree. Will anyone escape?

This novel handles mental illness in a fascinating way. I won’t spoil the big reveal here, but the points of view in the novel were enlightening. Mixed with the elements of a slasher flick, this novel was truly entertaining. If you like that kind of thing, definitely check this book out.

Haters (2016)

By: Jesse Andrews

A young man and his best friend decide to go to a Camp Rock-esque band camp, meet a girl, and then decide to leave to start their own band. The story follows their shenanigans trying to book gigs, find places to stay, and landing themselves in a hippie harem sort of place.

Though it was an interesting story, there was the cliché of both guys liking the same girl, and the subsequent fallout from that. Plus, there were a lot of inappropriate situations, that I’d found unexpected. I also couldn’t get into Andrews’ writing style. I enjoyed the text-like rapid conversations, but other things that shouldn’t have been elaborated on, undoubtedly were.

Don’t give this book to someone unless you think they’re old enough to watch South Park.