May 6, 2015

An epileptic boy named Finn is stuck and lonely in his dreary world. His only friend is a slacker named Cade who drinks and smokes. When Julia moves to town, he feels like she is his escape from the rest of the world. She also provides him an escape from his father's book, whom he thinks he is the main character of. 

I really enjoyed it. I didn't like how the summary described it because it said Julia moves away when in actuality she doesn't leave until the last 50 or so pages. It was kind of a slow read because the author used lots of description and memory flashbacks to fill the space

100 Sideways Miles

By Andrew Smith
Rated by Kate M.
Oct 7, 2014

Finn Easton is like any other epileptic teenage boy with a famous author for a father who had a horse fall on him, break his back and kill his mother. Which is to say that Finn Easton is like no one you have ever met. The eerie resemblance between himself and the main character of his father’s best-selling book, has left Finn wondering if he is even real. Measuring time by the miles traveled by earth’s rotation, Finn has a different way of looking at things than anyone around him. Finn’s senior year brings opportunities to visit broken dams, see the world outside of California, kiss a girl, go

Jul 23, 2009

Ok. I admit it. I am addicted. I was pretty skeptical when ABC Family announced that they were going to make a TV show out of one of my favorite 90's movies. I was ready to hate it. I almost didn't watch the premier. But somehow I ended sitting in front of my TV at 7pm on July 7th tuning into ABC Family. And even more unbelievable is that I liked it!I was ready to hate all the characters. Who could play Kat better than Julia Stiles, who could be Patrick Verona except the talented Heath Ledger? Lindsey Shaw does a great job playing a Kat who is both strong and lovingly stupid at times, Ethan

13 Reasons Why

By Jay Asher
Rated by Kate M.
May 6, 2011

So yesterday I was reading at the gym, and I am just about to the end of my book and something horrible happens. It starts with a little catch in my throat, then I can feel my eyes starting to fill up...and I realize that I am about to cry over a book in public. And not just anywhere, at the gym, in front of all the ladies going to zumba and the body builders lifting weights. I avoided the full out break down (thank goodness a character didn't die or I would have had to leave immediately and go cry in my car) and I hope that anyone who saw just thought I was sweating from my eyeballs from my

16 Things I Thought Were True

By Janet Gurtler
Rated by Peggy H.
Nov 10, 2014

Morgan measures her likeability by how many Twitter followers she has. Her goal is to reach 5000 and she is getting very close. If she has 5000 followers, she has to be likeable, right? Even if she doesn't have any real life friends, even if the father she's never known didn't like her enough to stick around and help raise her. She is currently tweeting about things she thought were true. For example, that working in an amusement park would be amusing (it's not), that heart disease happens to other people (how could HER mother be in the hospital with heart problems???), that rocking out to

33 Snowfish

By Adam Rapp
Rated by Becky C.
Oct 15, 2015

What a sad, sick, powerful story. Three runaways desperately attempt to flee from the ugliness they've always known. These kids are both awful and sympathetic. Custis, a homeless boy, narrates most of the story. When strangers ask how old he is, his reply is always just, "old enough". Custis never mentions his parents or any permanent caregivers. He has recently fled a pedophile who, in exchange for “owning” Custis, had been letting him sleep on the floor in a room that smells like dog. During his escape, Custis befriends two other runaways—Boobie, a 17-year-old who has just murdered his

5 to 1

By Holly Bodger
Rated by Peggy H.
Oct 28, 2015

The year is 2054 and India has a ratio of 5 boys to 1 girl. Girls have now become valuable assets. To combat the selling of daughters to the highest bidder, a group of women have founded a closed country they named Koyanagar. In Koyanagar, young men are chosen to compete for a chance to marry a girl. It is now Sudasa's turn to witness the testing of five young men and then choose one to become her future husband. Sudasa does not want a husband, she does not want to marry and bear children. She wants the opportunity to decide her own future, but that's not an option for her at this time. 

A Classic Tale Retold

By FUNimation Entertainment
Rated by Kate M.
Jul 28, 2009

For those of you who love ol' Billy Shakespeare but never could really get into the language check out the new anime Romeo X Juliet. A futuristic cross gender tale of undying love! Scene: Neo-Verona, sometime in the future Characters:

  • Romeo: son of Capulet leader who has succeeded in wiping out his Montague rivals.
  • Juliet: little did Capulet know that Juliet, daughter of Montague family survived and is raised by surrogate parents, unaware of her heritage. Also, for some reason they make her pretend to be a boy.

Plot: Juliet discovers her family legacy and decides to dress up as a caped

May 4, 2016

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a historical fiction set mainly in 1996 and 2004. The novel opens with Dokka, a villager in the town of Eldar in Chechnya is kidnapped by the Feds, leaving behind his daughter Havaa. A kind neighbor, Akhmed takes it upon himself to care for her and brings her to a local hospital where he hopes she can find refuge. This novel is beautifully written with gorgeous intertwining storylines.

The cover is beautiful and the novel is wonderfully and lyrically written. Everything is described in detail and in the end it was well worth the read. I'm glad I stuck

A Face Like Glass

By Frances Hardinge
Rated by Chris K.
Jul 14, 2017

What a wonderfully original and twisty concoction this is.

Consider, for instance, the ruler of the strange, intentionally insular realm in which the story takes place. Kept alive by magic for centuries, his life is fueled by justifiable paranoia about assassination attempts, so much so that he has decided sleep is too great a risk. Instead, he has learned to let the two hemispheres of his brain alternate shifts slumbering, so that only one half of his body is ever active at a time. One eye is coldly rational and verbal; one eye is abstract and intuitive. Remember that if the Grand Steward

Jun 29, 2018

When Charlotte was eleven, she was kidnapped from a football game. For the past four years, she has been held in her kidnapper’s attic, and raped every night (just warning you, this book is hard core, don’t let that beautiful fantasy cover fool you), sustained only by dreams of her loving family. But now, she has finally escaped. But losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents are divorced, her dad is obsessed with fame, her mother drinks too much, and her sister is a druggie. Her father wants her to write a book and be the figurehead of a new charity and her mother  wants her to stay

Alanna: the first adventure

By Tamora Pierce
Rated by Kate M.
May 27, 2011

Some authors are like home, you know that they are always going to be there for you. When you are sad, or happy, or nostalgic, you can always pick them up and enjoy them. I am pretty picky about what books get space on my bookshelves. To get on the shelf they have to meet one of two criteria: 1. I know I will reread them. 2. I want to be able to loan them out to friends. So you know if it is on my shelf, it has got to be good. I have a few authors who's entire compendium is on there, and I want to share them with you today.

Tamora Pierce: I started reading the Alanna series when I was

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 1, 2016

All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other. The story takes place during the week Rashad recuperates in the hospital. Quinn comes to terms with the fact that he saw the beating that put Rashad there--and that the police officer is his


By Gennifer Albin
Rated by Jennifer R.
Oct 21, 2013

Altered picks up immediately where Crewel left off. Adelice, Jost and Erik are on Earth and searching for a way to get back to Arras to save the ones they left behind and overthrow the Guild. They find themselves in the middle of a rebellion they never knew existed nor truly wanted to join. All three characters have their own motivations and secrets that they are hiding from each other, and very quickly the reader realizes that this will not be a smooth or safe journey. Adelice grows immensely in this novel, and Albin really excels in giving this character a voice and personality that shifts

Aug 10, 2018

Life is hard enough being a teenager. But when you and your family are secretly illegal immigrants from Iran, things can get even more complicated. Sara's parents fled Iran when she was only two years old, and she didn't learn her undocumented status until her sister tried to apply for an after-school job, but couldn't because she didn't have a social security number. This memoir follows her teenage experiences with her family and at school as well as her progress toward getting her green card. This story follows her constant fear of being deported as well as her wishes of getting a green card

A Monster Calls

By Patrick Ness
Rated by Peggy H.
Feb 24, 2015

When his mother began cancer treatments, Connor started experiencing nightmares: screaming, darkness, howling winds, slipping hands and a monster. But tonight is a little different because when Connor wakes from his nightmare, he hears something calling his name. It really is a monster, in the shape of a yew tree, slowly approaching his window. It wants something from him, something Connor is not ready to give.

A Monster Calls is illustrated in black and white images that beautifully complement the text. This book is extremely intense, I was completely engulfed by the story. How do you

May 16, 2017

Amy and her best friend Dee were kidnapped six years ago, but one day she returns home alone, unwilling to share anything about her experience, and she is desperate to protect her secrets no matter what. Nothing she does feels right when she tries to adjust back at home, she is a stranger in her own family. She feels guilty that she was the one to return. She soon realizes that keeping her secrets may just hurt the people she loves most. She has to go back so she can move forward, but she is risking everything.

Whoa. This book. What a powerful story. The beautiful writing does justice to

Sep 2, 2011

I know that you are supposed to start your road trip at the beginning of summer, but sometimes things don't always work out according to plans. As I get ready for my road trip I thought I would share some of my favorite road trip books with you!

John Green is the king of road trip books. An Abundance of Katherines was one of my favorite road trip books. After Colin is dumped by his 19th girlfriend named Katherine (not a bad name to be obsessed with, but Kate is better), he sets out with his best friend Hassan in an attempt to create a mathematical formula that will predict his future

Analee, in Real Life

Rated by Julia B.
Feb 8, 2019

Analee in Real Life is about a teenage girl who recently lost her mother. Soon after, she loses her best friend as well. About the only friend she has is in an online game. His name is Harris, and she has a crush on him. So when the most popular boy in the school, Sebastian Matias asks her to pose as his girlfriend to make his ex jealous, she agrees.

This book is very relate able, for teens everywhere. Many kids have the same problems Analee does, and seeing someone else go through it helps. The reality of the book was refreshing because, although I was disappointed when Seb and Analee

An Ember in the Ashes

By Sabaa Tahir
Rated by Chris K.
Nov 6, 2015

Alternating chapters tell the intertwined stories of Laia and Elias, who find their paths converging through Keris Veturius, Commandant of the Martial Empire's elite military academy.  The Commandant loathes Elias, her accidental son whom she tried to abandon as a newborn, only to see him rescued by others and become the top student of her current graduating class.  Elias wants nothing more than to escape his future as an enforcer of tyranny, but to cross the Commandant and the Empire is sure death.  Laia's parents found that fate by leading the resistance movement of her conquered Scholar

An Ember in the Ashes

By Sabaa Tahir
Rated by Kate M.
Jun 15, 2015

In a world inspired by ancient Rome, Laia is a Scholar, a member of a conquered people who were once the greatest minds on earth. Laia ekes out a living making jams with her grandmother, while her brother and grandfather provide health care to the needy. Until one night when her brother is accused of spying on the Martial Empire for a rebel group. Laia’s grandparents are murdered in front of her face and her brother is thrown in prison. Laia only escapes this fate buy running away. Ashamed of how she has behaved she tries to barter with the rebel group for her brother’s freedom. But they ask

Feb 23, 2016

Mattie Gokey has big dreams of one day going to college, but little chance of realizing them. She has to stay behind and protect her sisters and entire family from financial ruin. Desperate for money, she takes at the Glenmore, a hotel for high class people vacationing nearby. There, hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with a packet of letters to burn for her. But when Grace’s drowned body is discovered in the lake, Mattie realizes the letters could reveal the dark truth behind a murder.

This book was confusing. It switched between the backstory to the present which made it hard to figure

Aug 8, 2017

Aristotle is angry. And wondering. And confused. Dante is laid back. And smart. And confused. These two boys, opposites, with nothing in common, begin to spend more time together, becoming fast friends. The friendship that they discover is the kind that has the power to morph and change lives - and lasts a lifetime. And Aristotle becomes sad - then happy. And realizes things. And Dante gets angry - then hurt. And realizes things. This is a remarkable coming-of-age novel about two Mexican-American boys as they battle through the uncertain, calamitous front of life.

Aristotle and Dante

A Sequel That Won't Disappoint

By Neal Shusterman
Rated by Kate M.
Sep 21, 2012

One of my favorite books of all time is Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The epic story takes place after a second civil war, fought over the morality and legality of abortion leads to peace through the Unwind Accords. This agreement outlaws abortion...however, from the ages of 13 to 18 any child may be unwound by their parents. Perhaps your 16 year-old son gets caught cheating at school, your 17 year-old daughter totals the car, or it just costs too much to feed your voracious 13 year-old son...You can have your child unwound for any reason. Just fill out an easy form and the Juvenile Authority

A Thousand Nights

By E.K. Johnston
Rated by Jennifer R.
Oct 9, 2015

There are monsters in the desert. They came from the sea and fought with man, but now they wait, picking off their victims one at a time until they see fit to rage against the world of man once more. 

As Lo-Melkhiin rides the storm into Her (there are no names in the book except for Lo-Melkhiin) village, She knows that he is coming to claim a new bride and her beautiful sister will most likely be his pick. Lo-Melkhiin has had three hundred brides already, and each one has met a swift death.

Without a second thought, She makes it so there is no other choice but to pick Her as his bride

A Thousand Nights

By E. K. Johnston
Rated by Dawna O.
Nov 30, 2015

Johnston weaves a beautiful tale of sisterhood and love, while re-creating the story A Thousand and One Nights. Similar to the original story, this is a desert setting and the king has taken 300 wives, one from each village, before coming to the village of our unnamed heroine. She asks her sister’s mother to help ready her for the king. She wants to take the focus off of her sister and offer herself to the king instead, in order to save her sister. She is swept away with the king, as he has chosen her, and taken to his palace. Each night the king comes to her to listen to her tell stories of

A Time to Dance

By Padma Venkatraman
Rated by Peggy H.
Mar 5, 2015

Veda lives in India and is a classical (Bharatanatyam) dancer. She lives and breathes dance, has for as long as she can remember. She plans to make dancing her career, despite her mother continually pushing her toward engineering. She is amazingly talented and has just won first place in a major competition. After the competition, the bus taking the competitors back home crashes. She wakes in the hospital with her right leg missing below the knee. Talk about a strong female protagonist! This girl simply will not give up! She is determined to dance again with her artificial leg, even when her

Jul 27, 2018

Having Bipolar disorder can make life unpredictable for Mel. Especially because none of her friends know the truth. She tries to keep everyone at arm’s length so she won’t be able to hurt them. But that has become increasingly difficult as she battles her growing feelings in a new relationship. And when someone from the past shows up with no warning, her deeply buried secrets now threaten to come loose.

This was a great read for bipolar disorder representation. It was my first read regarding a teenage main character with bipolar disorder. This book was heartbreaking and beautiful. The

A Trick of the Light

By Lois Metzger
Rated by Peggy H.
Oct 11, 2013

This was a very engaging, interesting read. I especially appreciated the unusual point of view; this story was narrated by the disease itself. At first, the narrator was mildly suggestive: eat this, not that; run just a little further. As the anorexia began taking over, it became more and more demanding and controlling until it directed every aspect of 15 year old Mike's life. When he tried to make a decision that did not further the purposes of the disease, the anorexia talked to him, tricked him into believing that another choice was better. Mike actually heard the voice in his head and as

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

By Joe Schreiber
Rated by Bethany T.
Feb 24, 2014

Perry Stormaire has a major problem: all he wants to do is go play a gig with his band in New York City, but instead, his parents are making him take the weird Lithuanian exchange student to prom.  Perry is chronically unable to say no to his overbearing father, so he reluctantly but politely takes Gobi to the dance.  At her request, they end up in New York City anyway, and then in a moment that floors Perry, she tears away her bulky outfit to reveal a slinky dress and an amazing body; no less amazing, she kills a man.  What follows is a whirlwind chase through New York City as Gobi plans to