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Y.A.R.C. - Young Adult Review Committee

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Y.A.R.C. (yark), n. 1. Young Adult Review Committee. 2. A select group of local teens and young adults reading and writing reviews of brand-spanking-new books. 3. Awesome.

Established in September of 2014, this program offers teens and young adults ages 13 and up the opportunity to read yet-to-be-published books, also known as ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies).  In exchange for this privilege, they write reviews for Village Books to use in print and social media, as well as for recommendations to our customers.  What better way to find out what teens are reading than to go straight to the source?  If you are a teen, or know a teen who might be interested in participating in the Y.A.R.C., please send inquiries to Claire McElroy-Chesson, our Events Coordinator, at

Recent Y.A.R.C. Recommendations

Vanishing Deep 
by Astrid Scholte
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

In a flooded world people survive off of the drowned relics of the past, grasping at anything to survive. Alone with mysterious circumstances shrouding her sister’s death Tempe will do the unthinkable to get answers: bring her back to life. The Vanishing Deep is a complex story layered with conflict and engaging characters that add humor to the story. It is a mystery begging to be uncovered. ~Abby S. age 15

I'll Be the One
by Greta Jung
Katherine Tegen Books

When Korean-American teen Skye Shin enters a K-Pop competition, she knows that she will receive negative attention due to her size. What she doesn't expect to gain is the attention of Henry Cho, famous model and fellow competitor. As the competition goes on, Skye has to face the brunt of the stigma against fat bodies in Korean culture as she sets her sights on becoming K-Pop's first plus-size star. I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee is a refreshing and empowering novel with an adorable romance to boot.
~Aria S. age 19

I Killed Zoe Spanos
Kit Frick 
Margaret K. McElderry Books

When she takes a nanny job in the Hamptons, all Anna is looking for is a new start, not to look exactly like the missing Zoe Spanos. As her curiosity in the case grows, Anna finds herself pulled deeper and deeper into a mystery where she can’t even trust her own memory. Did she kill Zoe Spanos? This brilliant thriller by Kit Frick should be at the top of every true crime lover’s to read list. I Killed Zoe Spanos is full of twists that will leave you guessing until the end. ~Emma W. age 24

Today Tonight Tomorrow 
by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Simon Pulse

Today Tonight Tomorrow is the most Seattle book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Set over the course of 24 hours, it follows two rival classmates as they team for a last hurrah senior class game that is part scavenger hunt around Seattle, part Assassin. A phenomenal author, Rachel Lynn Solomon is from the area and it absolutely shows. This book is adorable, romantic, and all around perfection. I cannot recommend it enough. ~Gretal M. age 21

by Patrick Ness
Quill Tree Books

I’ll be honest, I’ve always liked stories about dragons, and Burn is no exception. This book doesn’t fall into traps that predictable fantasy novels often do, and I think it has something to do with it being set in America during the Cold War. This setting fits really well with the character design and plot which are both so well written. The world that Ness creates is just so immersive and this is definitely a book I’d recommend for people that don’t usually read fantasy. ~Claire V. age 16

Most Likely 
by Sarah Watson
Little Brown for Young Readers

I couldn’t put this book down. Best friends Ava, CJ, Jaden, and Martha are in their senior year of high school. One of them, as the reader discovers in the prologue, will one day become the President of the United States—but Watson keeps the identity of the future president secret. I loved the concept and the characters in this book. It was fun to guess the future President’s identity, and the reveal is surprising but fitting. Though each girl fights different battles, they don’t let their struggles break their friendship.
~Isabel F. age 16

by Danielle Svetcov
Dial Books

Jeanne Anne and Cal live on opposite sides of the street, only, Cal lives in a nice house and Jeanne Anne lives in the new van on the block. JA and her mother are struggling to find a foothold in San Francisco life and, despite Jeanne Anne's resistance, Cal is determined to help. This book examines Jeanne Anne's struggle of being homeless and retaining pride, and Cal's desperate bid to be himself and make friends. ~Stephanie K. age 20

The Betrothed
by Kiera Cass

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass, is the newest book by the author of the Selection series. Hollis Brite has spent her whole life at court, and has recently caught the attention of King Jameson. At first Hollis believes that Jameson will move on quickly, and their romance will be short-lived. However, it becomes clear that Jameson intends for Hollis to be his queen. Hollis is overjoyed, until she meets Silas, a refugee from a neighboring kingdom, who she falls for. Fans of The Selection will enjoy another of Kiera Cass’ royal romances.  ~Sarah K. age 18

The Boy in the Red Dress
by Kristin Lambert
Viking Books for Young Readers

The Boy in the Red Dress is a fun "whodunit" novel set in a speakeasy in New Orleans during the prohibition. The club, called Cloak and Dagger, is a queer-friendly space in a not-so-queer-friendly era. When a rich girl gets killed at the club, Millie, the protagonist, realizes that the cops will blame the singer, Marion, just because he dresses in drag and likes boys. So Millie sets out as a guerrilla detective to prove his innocence. An entertaining, feel-good read. ~Kamden I. age 16

They Went Left
by Monica Hesse
Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Monica Hesse’s They Went Left tells the story of a young Polish girl and her journey to find her lost brother amidst the chaos of Europe just after the end of the second world war. The author brilliantly blends the child's memories from her time in concentration camps with scenery from the present to create a surreal and gripping experience. This is a must read! ~Noah G. age 18

A Song Below Water
by Bethany C. Morrow
Tor Teen

A Song Below Water is a fresh and modern fantasy that’s incredibly relevant to the world today. It tells the story of two black teens- Tavia, a siren who hides her magic from a distrustful world, and her best friend Effie, a Rennaisance faire actor trying to move on from a traumatic magical experience. Their lives are buffeted by the public's prejudices around both magical beings and race, but held together by their friendship, determination, and courage. This book is a masterful fairy tale for the here and now.  
~Ella T. age 15