Deep in the midst of winter, which in California feels more metaphorical than actual, we are offering up some romance (it is the month of Valentine's Day after all) and some uprising. The whole world seems interested in freedom, and the barriers to freedom -- whether that's threats of tyranny, loss of civil rights, structural inequalities, or historical injustices.
The predatory state capitalism of the kingdom of Sempera; the challenges to freely expressed love in Mormon Utah; and the cultural hate-mongering in the Bonelands -- all of these have direct parallels throughout the world just now.
The romantic storylines running through these fictional worlds bring the characters alive and highlight the human costs of these distortions of power. Fantasy and romance in YA novels are excellent ways to clarify and experience these real-world dangers and begin to imagine ways to counteract them. Here are just three examples from our YA section, reviewed by our passionate and able Bookoholic reviewers!