Since becoming a Reading Specialist, I feel a lot of pressure to keep on the up-and-up with the vast and quickly-growing array of books for children and young adults. Fortunately, I enjoy reading YA and Junior fiction novels. Because of my job, my two children, and the general invasiveness of life's commitments, most of my reading occurs in the car during my commutes. The selection of audiobooks (MP3s, books on CD, playways, etc.) is constantly growing, and if something isn't available at my school library or public library, it's usually just a download or a click away.
While finding general information on books online or in a catalog can be helpful, I have found that personal reviews by teachers, librarians, or other reputable readers is essential to finding out what a book is really about before delving into it. Often a label may be misleading, and books that I may have thought were appropriate for students have much more mature themes or language than I had anticipated. In contrast, some books that I thought would be more advanced based on generic descriptions or reviews were bland and lacking.
Here are some very insightful blogs with reviews on an immense variety of books for tweens, teens, and young adults. While everyone's opinions and interests differ, these recommendations may help in your decisions to peruse or pass up. I know from experience how very disappointing it is to give up on a book without finishing.
Check out these blogs!
Queen of Teen Fiction
Teen Librarian Toolbox