Teens

Oct 28, 2020

Piecing Me Together by Renèe Watson is a realistic fiction novel about the main character Jade and her story of friendship and longings. Jade is interested in art as she makes pieces out of anything she can find, like fabrics, and creates it into a masterpiece. She doesn’t live in the best part of town but is invited to come to a private school through tuition. She looks forward to their Study Abroad program which she hopes to get into. Upon her acceptance to the private school, she has to leave her best friend Lee Lee, who stays a good friend throughout the whole book. She meets a girl named

Oct 26, 2020

Free Lunch is an autobiography by Rex Ogle, following him through the 6th grade being a kid from an under-privileged, abuse home in a wealthy school district. He's living with his half baby brother, his stepdad, and his mother. His mom puts him on the free lunch program at school and he's confused, but above all, embarrassed. While he's facing embarrassment and judgement from his classmates, he's facing abuse from his mom and stepdad and trying to protect his brother rand help his family. 


I really loved this book; it was not only entertaining by very eye-opening to the battles so many

Oct 23, 2020

The House on Mango Street is a realistic fiction novel that sets the plot through a bunch of small memories characters have. The main character, Esperanza, feels alone and like she doesn't belong to the new house she moves to on Mango Street. She becomes friends with her neighbors, Rachel and her little sister, and kids at her school. The book explains growing up, shown through someone's own life, and all the things that come with maturity and responsibility. Though Esperanza talks about growing up all the time with her friends, the time she gets the opportunity to show responsibility, she

Oct 21, 2020

The year is 1957, and Spain has something to hide. Under fascist dictator General Franco’s tyrannical rule the only option is silence, and defiance comes with a hefty price —imprisonment, death, or worse. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Daniel Matheson, the rather spoiled son of a wealthy oil tycoon, journeys to Madrid with his parents, who are brokering a deal with Franco. However, through his photojournalism and the friendship of Ana, a maid at the hotel he is staying at, he realizes that there is a different side of Spain hidden under the image of sunny streets and luxurious accommodations presented

Oct 19, 2020

Rafe Khatchadorian is a 6th grader at Hills Village Prison-I mean Middle School. Rafe loathes school and has enough problems to deal with at home including a stepdad that acts like a bear. Luckily, he has the perfect plan to have the best school year possible. Rafe and Leo, his imaginary friend, devise a plan to break every rule in the book. Can Rafe overcome a school bully, a teacher called the dragon lady, a strict principal, a school bully, a bust soda business, pass his classes, and can Rafe get Jeanne Galleta to like him while trying to have the best school year ever? I guess you’ll have

Oct 7, 2020

After 15-year-old Leigh Chen Sanders finds that her mother has committed suicide, her world is turned upside down. However, after seeing a huge red bird with her mother’s voice, Leigh is positive that her mother’s spirit is still in this world. Grief-stricken, she decides to travel to Taiwan with her father in hopes of solving the puzzle of her mother’s past and finding the elusive bird. While there, Leigh meets her maternal grandparents for the first time and walks down a twisted, complex path of untold stories and unshared memories. She realizes how little she actually knew about her mother

Oct 5, 2020

Rebel​ is the fourth science fiction novel in Marie Lu's Legend series. It takes place a decade after ​Champion​ and illustrates Daniel and Eden Wings’ new lives in the supposed-utopia of Antarctica. Daniel learns to navigate his relationship with his now-grown brother as Eden tries to escape from his older brother's shadow. The two brothers must take on the notorious criminal Dominic Hann while challenging their government's beliefs and facing their pasts. In my opinion, this book was okay, but it wasn't up to my expectations. I liked Eden's prominence and his newly-found character depth, but

Sep 30, 2020

“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.” - Lucy Gray Baird


Suzanne Collins bring us another installment of the Hunger Games.  This time she takes us back in time to the Tenth Annual Hunger Games (64 years prior to The Hunger Games trilogy, before Coriolanus Snow was President). 


Snow, eighteen-years-old, is doing what he can to hold what’s left of his family together and keep up with the status quo in the Capital.  Money is tight in the Snow house, and he is afraid he won’t be able to afford University.  An opportunity presents itself when he is assigned as mentor to the

Sep 25, 2020

Mark Dunn’s realistic fiction novel narrates the life of Ella Minnow Pea through letters as she tries to survive on her dystopian-like island run by a tyrannical council. Ella lives on the fictional island of Nollop, named after Nevin Nollop, the author of the sentence “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” A statue of Nollop with his famous sentence engraved on tiles resides in the town. When tiles, each bearing one letter begin to fall, the heads of the island; the Council, takes it as a sign from Nollop’s ghost to eliminate all use of the fallen letters. Members of the island must

Sep 23, 2020

You Should See Me in a Crown follows our main character, Liz Lighty, through her senior year of high school in a small Midwestern town. In order to afford her dream university, Liz enters into the running for prom queen. At her school, the winners of prom king and queen get $10,000. Which is exactly how much money Liz needs for college.We follow Liz as she faces hardship, a new relationship, making new friends, and as she steps out of her shell. To me, the most compelling part of this book is all it represents.Liz, the main character, is black and only her close friends and family know she is

Aug 27, 2020

Fangirl is a 2013 young adult novel written by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell is also known for Eleanor & Park (2012) and Carry On (2015). Fangirl is her second published work. The book focuses on Cath, a college freshman, as she transitions to living on her own for the first time. Cath, who is very introverted, expects to live in a dorm with her twin sister, Wren. But her plan for college changes when Wren decides not to share a dorm with Cath. Instead, Wren wishes to live an independent life away from her sister. Cath has to navigate college on her own. Fangirl is a great example of how many changes

Aug 27, 2020

A Court of Thorns and Roses​ is the first installment in an ongoing book series by Manhattan author, Sarah J. Maas. It was first published in 2015. The series has four published books, with another, ​A Court of Silver Flames​ , expected to publish in January 2021. ​A Court of Thorns and Roses​ is a retelling of ​Beauty and the Beast ​ with a very dark twist. Nineteen-year-old Feyre’s world is split in two. The immortal faeries to the north are deadly and vicious, while mortals have their own sort of cruelty. The only thing separating the two races is The Wall, an impenetrable force built

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly in Love

4
Rated by Julia B.
Jul 24, 2020

Frank Li lives with his Korean-immigrant parents in California, growing up with American culture and feeling like his parents don't understand. As he starts to fall for Brit Means, a white girl his parents would never approve of him dating, Frank pretends to date Joy Song, a family friend who is in the same situation. But everything Frank knows about his life is much more complicated than it seems, especially high school dating. 


I think the most compelling aspect of the book is that it's not just filled with love and romance, but navigating that romance for the first time. In most novels

Girls Like Us by Randi Pink

Girls Like Us

4
Rated by Julia B.
Jul 24, 2020

As a teen invested in equal rights, I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know much history about this topic and because of that the most compelling aspect of the book is how it provided a new perspective. Lots of other teens like me will find this book informative and inspiring, and that is what makes it awesome. I also love books that have multiple POVs and make each person’s story come together in the end, and this book did a really good job with that. I think publishing novels like this one is really important to the current generation. We need books like this to empower us to do better

The Goose Girl

By Shannon Hale
5
Rated by Anne G
Jul 10, 2020

“... If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it.”
― Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl


The Goose Girl is a nice Grimm fairy-tale inspired piece of fiction. The fantasy fiction is well written, and quite creative in its own way. I stayed up all night reading this leisurely paced book. This is absorbing, exciting, and has a descriptive writing style. It is a slow moving tale at first, and some might be tempted to stop reading in the opening chapters where we are introduced to the excessively timid Princess Ani. Ani is a girl taken from her position as

The Winter Duke

5
Rated by Julia B.
Apr 24, 2020

As the daughter of the duke, Ekata was born into a world of cut-throat politics and tenuous alliances. Unlike her siblings, though, all she wants to do is escape and study the life sciences she finds so fascinating. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances throw her into the thick of the court politics she has tried all her life to avoid. She must learn quickly how to navigate her situation and hold her head high if she wants to retain her position- and her life. I love the political intrigue throughout the book. It's not something that I've found done in a compelling way in many YA books, but

We Speak in Storms

5
Rated by Julia B.
Apr 24, 2020

Fifty years ago in a town barely more than a pinpoint on a map, a deadly tornado swept through the local drive-in and took a whole generation of teenagers with it. In the present, there are too many coincidences: another tornado, the now ruined drive-in, and the same teens roaming as Spirits. 


There were so many beautiful parts of this novel that I hardly know where to begin! Firstly, the plot was absolutely gripping and eerily haunting at the same time. The supernatural aspect was just enough to make your spine tingle. The suspense left me breathless chapter after chapter, as did the

Three Hands for Scorpio

By Andre Norton
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     Three Hands for Scorpio is the last adult book for young adults of Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton, who passed away on March 17, 2005 after a long and extremely fruitful career.  Her magically detailed world-building skills, upright, against-all-odds characters, and fast pace will be sorely missed.  Tor rushed a copy of this book of women-of-steel into print, so that the 93-year-old author could see it before she died.  It is the last manuscript she penned alone, and has an action-packed storyline.  I have read most of Ms. Norton's books, and especially enjoyed her women

The Secret Hour

By Scott Westerfeld
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     The Secret Hour has a very imaginative paranormal premise, and it was enjoyable to read; I finished this book for reluctant readers in two sittings.  I love the idea of a hidden hour after midnight where only a select few can visit, and the continuing threads of mystery and “what’s going on?” kept me reading this urban fantasy.  The characters are not all best buddies, but are unique individuals with their own motivations which are shown in the fast pace.


     The premise is original and interesting with a compelling writing style.  It is definitely written with a young adult audience

Trickster's Choice

By Tamora Pierce
5
Rated by Anne G
Dec 11, 2019

     I previously read Trickster's Choice with courageous teenage girls a little over a decade ago, and I wanted to revisit it.  I had forgotten just how easy it is to get drawn into Aly’s adventures which cause her to become a slave as a girl, and I am so glad to have revisited because it was similar to visiting with an old friend.  This is the story of Alianne Cooper, who wants to be a girl spy, and is the daughter of Spymaster Cooper and the famous Lioness of Tortall and champion of the throne.  Certainly Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite writers in this genre, and Alianne (Aly) stands

Nov 18, 2019

This is top-notch science fiction--it takes today's scientific advancements and speculates how they might play out in the future, considering legal, ethical, and practical ramifications along the way. The book does this over the course of six lightly connected stories, each progressively further in the future. The topic is gene editing and body modification.


The first story starts simply enough with improved organ transplants from one dying twin to another and ends with a distant reality in which the handful or pure, unmodified humans are kept safe on a reservation as a sort of archival

Just Ella

By Margaret Peterson Haddix
4
Rated by Anne G
Oct 21, 2019

                “Why did everyone like that story so much when it wasn’t true?  Why was everyone so eager to believe it?  Was it because, in real life, ever after’s generally stink?”


Just Ella, a book for reluctant readers, is a retelling of Cinderella, and it is about a girl named Ella who has already won her freedom from her stepmother at the ball and moved into the palace.  But training to become a princess is not what Ella thought it would be like in this fairy- tale and folklore-inspired fiction.  While being constantly told to act like a “proper lady” by an evil decorum instructor and

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

By Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe
5
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Oct 14, 2019

It's that time of year where my reading generally turns to the spookier side, and there's no paranormal motif I love more than witchy women. Fiction has definitely seen an uptick in feminist reclamations of witchy tropes and depictions in recent years, and I am here for it.


When I first saw the publication announcement for Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft, I struggled to keep my expectations reasonable, certain it would be yet another teen fiction anthology that sounded amazing and would end up disappointing me with uneven story quality. But I was only so successful in

Supergirl: Being Super

By Mariko Tamaki
5
Rated by Anne G
Oct 9, 2019

In Supergirl: Being Super Canadian author Ms. Tamaki sets us in a "Friday Night Lights" community that reminds me an of apotheosis of Americana; a dream vision of flyover country.  Quite simply illustrator Joelle Jones is the worthiest exclusive find that the publisher DC has netted in a while.  Within comic books and graphic novels, her Supergirl is specific.  While Kara is well-built, the sensuality is not over-sold, which is refreshing for superhero comics.  I would have loved the angst-filled tone to drop off even more, as in the chapter "For All Seasons," in which the story is threadbare

Scarlet

By Marissa Meyer
5
Rated by Megan K.
Oct 8, 2019

The second book in the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet, is a take on the well known tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The main character and namesake of this second installment of The Lunar Chronicles is Scarlet, a farm girl on the outskirts of a small French town. Caution: some unintentional spoilers may be in the full review.

Jul 24, 2019

I think that the cover is beautiful. I like that the illustrations of the plants and things in the background give the cover the feel of the ocean since the book is called Last True Poets of the Sea. The most compelling aspect of this book was that the main character was hunting for a lost shipwreck that one of her ancestors survived. I thought that the plot of the story was really interesting. The only thing I was disappointed with in this book is that it seemed to take a while to get the story going, the beginning was a little slow. Nothing really happened during the first half but the

The Beholder by Anna Bright

The Beholder

4
Rated by Julia B.
Jul 24, 2019

This book details a young girl's journey that every teenager goes on at some point- one of family responsibilities and new friends and loves, all mixed with self discovery and coming out of a childhood persona. Bright writes in a way that completely encapsulates the reader in her world, leaving them surprised and disappointed when it comes to an end. I liked this cover because the imagery of the carved and gilded ship is indicative of the adventure Selah goes on, and the somewhat tarnished appearance shows that her world isn't perfect, and being royalty doesn't mean everything is easy. The

Munmun

By Jesse Andrews
4
Rated by Chris K.
Jul 23, 2019

Whoa! Now here's an exercise in extended metaphor. Andrews has taken an idea that could have been a simple allegory and turned it into a fully developed novel. Imagine, if you will, an alternate reality in which physical size is literally determined by wealth. A standard person is middlescale. The middlerich are those larger than that up two doublescale and the middlepoor extend to halfscale. Smaller than that are the littlepoors: quarterscale, eighthscale, and tenthscale--about the size of a rat. The bigrich just get bigger and bigger to hundreds of feet tall. Buildings, roads, vehicles, and

The Electric War

5
Rated by Julia B.
May 16, 2019

In The Electric War, readers dive into the initial application of electricity in late 19th century America and the substantial struggle that sprung from it. A decade-long conflict is waged on the effectiveness, danger, and control of direct and alternating current. Great minds such as George Westinghouse, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison utilize their knowledge and prowess of electricity to compete in the race of lighting the world. 


The most compelling aspect of The Electric War is the focus on the false portrayal of alternating current by Thomas Edison and the extent that these great minds

May 13, 2019

Nick and June Were Here is about two young lovers that both have very different back stories. Nick has a history of stealing cars and getting arrested, and June is just your normal girl who stays out of trouble. But then these crazy things start happening to June causing her to go to a hospital, and she is diagnosed with schizophrenia: she hears and sees things other people don't.


I love the cover! I think the cover is very aesthetic and eye appealing. I love how each chapter is either June's or Nick's perspective, and you get to hear both of their sides on things. I was not disappointed