Tag Archives: Young Adult

Review: Hour of the Bees

Hour of the Bees

Hour of the Bees
By Lindsay Eagar
Candlewick Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780763679224, March 2016, 368pp.

The Short of It:

A debut novel with a sweet story to tell.

The Rest of It:

I suppose this novel is considered Young Adult but the story really speaks to any age, young, old and anywhere in-between.

Carolina is like most teen girls, once summer hits, all she can think about is spending time with friends. This summer is a little bit different. She heads to New Mexico with her family to help her ailing grandfather transition into an assisted living facility.

The ranch has always been a part of the family, but the drought has caused the land to go to ruin, the animals to waste away and what was once a vibrant landscape, is now just a shriveled-up dust bowl. Grandpa Serge does not agree. Although battling dementia, he’s hanging onto the stories of his past, which include his deceased wife Rosa and the bees that literally took the rain away with them.

Carolina’s time at the ranch is short but from the stories Grandpa Serge tells and the curious bees that continue to circle her head, Carolina realizes the importance of family.

What a sweet story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. There is a little magical realism going on, which I tend to have a very low tolerance for, but here, it’s done well and with a very light hand. The author’s description of a land ravaged by drought is spot-on. This is the second book I’ve read dealing with drought and my poor Southern California self is really hoping this is not a trend but honestly, I didn’t mind too much.

If you like stories about family or ones where kids respect and even admire their elders, check this one out. Carolina is a sweet kid and her grandpa is quite the story teller. You’ll breeze through this one in a heartbeat.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up
By Tommy Wallach
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9781481418775, March 2015, 384pp.)

The Short of It:

The end of the world is upon you. What do you do?

The Rest of It:

An asteroid with a 66.6% chance of destroying the Earth is due to hit in just a couple of months.  This story focuses on a Seattle neighborhood, specifically a group of high school seniors and how they react to the news.

Imagine if you will, The Breakfast Club, without the cuteness and humor and there just happens to be an asteroid about to wipe out life as we know it. This story is kind of like that. There are stereotypes which include the slutty girl, the athlete, the smarty pants and the slacker. They all have turns at telling their story but I didn’t find them all that interesting.

I am conflicted over this one. On the one hand, I feel that Wallach captured the age of these teens perfectly, but at the same time, the characters were too stereotypical. Since these teens were in fact, truly scared for their futures, I expected a little more depth. Maybe a tad more growth? I don’t know.  Instead, these teens plan an “end of the world” party.


This is geared towards young adults but keep in mind that there is some language, not really an issue but there is also some sex. I didn’t care for how the one female character slept around with everyone. Truthfully, she was the most interesting character so I wanted to see her do something more than just sleep around but that is my opinion.

If you pick this up for the “end of the year” aspect of the story, you won’t find too much of that within the story itself. It’s a threat that looms in the background constantly but it’s not front and center like other novels dealing with the same subject.

I think there was an opportunity here to tell a good story but the shallowness of the some of the characters was too obvious to ignore.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.