Friday Reads: YA Buccaneers Summer Reading Challenge (plus two ARC reviews!)

Happy Fourth of July weekend! Hope you're all off from work today and gearing up for fireworks, BBQ, etc. After a busy work-week, I'm definitely planning to enjoy a little relaxation time. And reading time, obviously. Gotta keep adding to and subtracting from that stack of books...

This summer, the YA Buccaneers are once again doing their Summer Reading Challenge, and although I got off to a late start in June (um, giant book revision, anyone?), I have now hit my stride. Here's my progress as of today: 

Want to get in on the oh-so-awesome reading action? The introductory Summer Reading Challenge post, complete with the empty bingo board for you to download, is HERE. We'll all be posting our progress each week, and if you join us there's a chance to win some great bookish prizes along the way!

As for my usual Friday Reads content, I have to give a quick shout-out to the two Fearless Fifteener ARCs I read this past week. MADE YOU UP by Francesca Zappia is about Alex, who was diagnosed at a very young age with schizophrenia and faces a daily battle to keep track of what's real and what isn't. As a reader, one of the best things about this book is doing the same thing—thanks to Alex's first-person narration, it's often hard to tell what's real and what's a symptom of Alex's illness, bringing a hint of mystery to even seemingly innocuous details. Plus, Zappia writes about schizophrenia with compassion and care, creating a wonderful portrayal of something I haven't seen in YA before. 

AFTER HOURS by Claire Kennedy offers mysteries of a different kind. Each of the four narrators—teens who work at the upscale Waterside Cafe and participate in the restaurant's long-running high-stakes game of Tips—is hiding something from the others. Part of the fun of Kennedy's book is seeing how the dares the characters create and participate in reveal more about them. AFTER HOURS is a quick read filled with drama, and I ate it up. 

That's all for now—see you next week!