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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

The Ghosts of Rose Hill
by R. M. Romero
Peachtree Teen

Caught in throw between her music, and the dreams of success her parents held, Illana is exiled to Prague for the summer. However, despite her constrains, she manages to break away and find herself in a dilapidated cemetery. Haunted by pain, passion, and, of course, ghosts and bogey monsters alike. The Ghosts of Rose Hill by RM Romero is a stunning story in verse depicting the contradictions we face in coming home to ourselves. I found myself comfortable and enthralled by each line just as you may. The touching characters, vibrant scenery, and historical accents will surely ensnare you as the ghosts of Rose Hill did Illana. ~Abby S. age 17                                                                                 
Sofi and the Bone Song
by Adrienne Tooley
Margaret K. McElderry Books

Sofi and the Bone Song is the perfect book to read in a cozy chair by the fire with a warm cup of tea. This is a refreshing take on fantasy, centered around music rather than war, with decently creative world building and plenty of LGBTQ+ representation (including main characters)! It is wholesome and comforting without shying away from discussing abuse and suffering. Overall, a beautiful, well-written story for anyone who loves music and fantasy.
~Louisa M. age 19

Sofi and the Bone Song
by Adrienne Tooley
Margaret K. McElderry Books

Told from the perspective of a young lutenist, this novel beautifully explores what follows when you suffer for your art. Sofi has been training her whole life to be her father’s successor when suddenly her dreams, and her life’s work, are taken away from her. Even if you have never picked up a musical instrument, Sofi’s story will break your heart and put it back together in a manner only the most skilled of authors can achieve in their writing. ~Claire V. age 18

We Light Up the Sky
by Lilliam Rivera
Bloomsbury YA

Technically, this is a book about an alien invasion. At its heart, though, this is a book about three incredibly different Latinx teens in LA who refuse to give up on humanity. Rivera’s unique writing style makes this book feel like it belongs in the mouth of a campfire storyteller; their portrayal of grief and visceral strangeness combine to emphasize this feeling. 
~Isabel F. age 17

What's Coming to Me
by Francesca Padilla
Soho Teen

Minerva wants out of her seemingly-deadend life…she has the plans, she just needs the cash. What better moment to seize than when the ice cream stand she works at experiences an armed robbery that suggests a hidden horde of money on the property? Told with hints of suspense, get ready to feel for this young woman's honest effort to make a future for herself  while working through her struggles from the past...just as I immensely did! ~Kaatri G. age 16

The Race of the Century: The Battle to Break the Four-Minute Mile
by Neal Bascomb
Scholastic Focus

The Race of the Century is a delightful YA non-fiction read. Following the story of a Brit, an American, and an Australian each trying to break the four minute mile, runners and non-runners alike will be captivated. Though the events are now 70 years old, the drive and passion of these 3 men is inspiring today. ~Kamden C. age 18


I Am Margaret Moore
by Hannah Capin
Wednesday Books

I am Margaret Moore is painted in equal parts warm golden sunlight and buried haunting darkness. As we watch through the dreamy lens of its poetic prose, it weaves its way through the hazy, twisting story of Margaret Moore and her beautiful, tragic time at Marshall Naval Summer School. You can almost taste the cold lake water and feel the brush of mayfly wings against your skin. Thrilling and heartfelt and tangled, this book is absolutely stellar. 
~Ella T. age 17

Rise of the Snake Goddess
by Jenny Moke

Rise Of the Snake Goddess by Jenny Moke really brought out the Greek mythology fangirl in me. The classic Greek stories and the fiery adventures of Sam, a girl hell-bent on proving herself. Picking up everything to go on a last ditch adventure with friends just brought me back to my Percy Jackson days. Plus a pissed-off god, the Minotaur, and a labyrinth! A tango with the impossible and the mysterious Greek gods is always a story I can never resist! ~Riley J. age 17

A Little Bit Country
by Brian D. Kennedy
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

Emmett is a natural born performer, an openly gay Chicago native trying to make it big in the country music industry. Luke is from a small town, a hard worker supporting his family… and also closeted. A Little Bit Country explores valuable topics, such as sexuality, homophobia, feeling out of place in your own home. I really recommend this story for all teenagers, it’s so easily relatable. Whether you’re into romance or not, love or despise country music, Emmett and Luke’s story will have you completely obsessed. ~Suhani K. age 17

My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding
by Sajni Patel
Amulet Books

This book is great for anyone who loved the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Zuri is a budding violinist hoping to get into Julliard. What she did not plan for is that her sister’s wedding is set for the same week as auditions! Zuri is known for causing a ruckus at weddings, so everyone is keeping an eye on her. Zuri’s plans begin to go downhill when she meets Naveen, a talented singing sensation who seems bent on stealing her spotlight. ~Brynn R.