FRI-YA | #CYBILS2023 Reviews 02.09.2024

Is it us or is there an uptick in the number of book descriptions and reviews that include references to other media [usually books or movies]?

We bring you Exhibit A. Two of these statements came from the Goodreads description about the book, two-and-a-half came from our judges.

  • Perfect for fans of All Out and Cemetery Boys
  • Reminds Me Of: Ghosts, Be Prepared, Seance Tea Party, Cryptid Club, Barb the Last Berzerker
  • Very Adventure Time-esque
  • It’s The Inheritance Games meets Ocean’s Eleven

Which came from where? Only one way to find out. Happy Fri-YAY!

Book cover and summary excerpt from Goodreads. Click to see more details and reviews.


Deborah @ GoodreadsOcean’s 11 but it’s kids. From the beginning of the book until the final page, the reader is taken on a roller coaster of a ride…one that ends with a twist (I kind of figured it out!) one that leaves here with no choice. This was an amazing debut novel. Now to WAIT a year to see what happens to Ross and her “friends”.

Laura @ Goodreads – This will make for a fabulous movie, due to the nonstop action and constant twists and turns…up to the shocking ending!


Rachael @ Goodreads – One Sentence Summary: Cute and cozy witches and magic. Reminds Me Of: Ghosts, Be Prepared, Seance Tea Party, Cryptid Club, Barb the Last Berzerker. Three Reasons You Should Read This: 1) It’s absolutely adorable. 2) Real emotions behind the funny story. 3) It’s so cozy!!!

NextGen Librarian @ Goodreads – This was such a cute and cozy YA graphic novel perfect for fall and witchy vibes. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger so I’m excited to read more when/if the series continues. CW: murder, missing children, death, abusive family, death of a child, self-esteem issues

Tamara @ Bookish Things – This is a quick read of cute characters who easily become friends. I really liked the art style that reminds me a bit of the animated series Adventure Time. There is a plot, but things do seem to bounce around from scene to scene, introducing a few characters before they’re gone on the next page. However, the flow is simple and it wasn’t too distracting. Again, very Adventure Time-esque. I’ll definitely pick up volume 2 to see how this unfolds, but I’m not sure it has a deep message to it.


Genevieve @ Twitter/X – Finished savoring the Young Readers edition of Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Life in Native America by David Treuer. Now I certainly need to go buy the adult version as well. This is a book that should be in every library and should be in classrooms everywhere.

Hilary @ Writers’ Rumpus – Treuer’s personal mission for his book—to capture the vitality and spirit of Native American peoples, past and present, is eloquently expressed in his prologue and epilogue. His author’s voice is amazing, and there is not enough room here to capture all the prolific statements he makes [see quote in review]. Treuer is a masterful storyteller, bringing the different historical eras to life with his vivid and at times, first-hand accounts and observations. Read this book and buy it for the teens in your life. They will be better off for having read it!


Cindy on behalf of Kiss the Book, review by Catherine Crosby – Cole’s novel in verse uses extended metaphors of wolves vs sheep/rabbits and Medusa vs The Gods/Men to tell Alicia’s story. The story is filled with rage, and it is done well. As a survivor of child sexual assault, the rage is one thing that many accounts of it forget. Oftentimes because the victim can’t hurt the attacker, their rage is turned inward leading to self-destructive behavior. We see this in Alicia as she gives up the things important to her to try to feel safe. The main character, Alicia, is bisexual. Her friend, Deja, is asexual. Her love interest, Geneva, is lesbian. There are slurs used toward Alicia; however, the portrayals are positive. I think girls will recommend this book to other girls.


NextGen Librarian @ Goodreads – I wish more people were talking about this story collection because there were some pretty great short stories featured in this collection. Highly recommend for our trans teens who don’t see themselves in books often enough and enjoy magic & the supernatural. CW: gender confusion, transphobia, suicide (mentioned), violence and body horror