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Teens Review Teen Lit

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Reviewed By: A.T.
Meet Ezra Faulkner. Senior tennis player extraordinaire, and future homecoming king. That is, until he catches his girlfriend cheating on him at a party and he leaves only to get into a car crash that ends his tennis career. Back in school his senior year Ezra rediscovers old friends, meets new friends, and and trades in old interests for new ones as he navigates his way through senior year and first loves. Who better to help him do all this than his best friend growing up and the new girl who is so different from everyone he has ever known. Will Ezra figure out what life has in store for him, or does anyone ever really know when tragedy is the beginning of everything instead of the end.
Why I Picked it Up: This book was highly recommend to me by several people, and I'm not going to lie, I was intrigued by the bright cover and the blurb on the back of the book. Plus, it is on the 2015 Abraham Lincoln Nominee list!
Why I Finished It: As I was reading this book, the only thing I could think of was, "OMG, this is just like a John Green book!!!!!!!!!!!" I could NOT put this book down, and I loved the ending. It was not what I was expecting at all, but it's nice to be surprised. It also kinda made me wish my school had a debate team!
I’d Give this Book To: Anyone who likes John Green. I have made this recommendation several times since I have read it, and everyone has come back to me agreeing that it's the next best thing to a new John Green book.

**Librarian Side Note** Seriously, I know I recommend audio books all the time, but if you like audio books, the narrator of this is excellent, and he really brings Ezra, Cassidy and Toby. Also, I don't know if I can stress this enough, but if you are desperate for a John Green-like book, this is the title for you!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Reviewed By: J.C.
The book I read was, "13 Reasons Why" by Jay Asher. This story's background comes from a girl named Hanna Baker who committed suicide. The story revolves around a boy named Clay Jensen, who is listening to the audio taped suicide note. While reading, you get Clay's opinion and thoughts about the people Hannah is referring to. The content of this book is a little more mature, but I thought it was a great read. This book really showed me what little things can hurt people and how a small comment can turn into something more.
Why I Picked it Up: I picked this book up because so many people recommended it to me. Also, I read so many book reviews, and all of them complemented the book.
Why I Finished It: I finished it because I wanted to find out why Hannah did what she did and why she ended up making the tapes.
I’d Give this Book To: I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 13 because, like I said, the content is very mature. Anyone who wants to get inside a mind of someone who committed suicide, this book is for them. Anyone who is wondering why anyone who do that, this book is for them. And anyone who is who wants to know what kind of things lead people into committing suicide, this book is for them. Jay Asher is an amazing author and he did an outstanding job with this book. :)

**Librarian Side Note**  This book is fantastic!  It was the 2013 Abraham Lincoln Award winner, and it definitely deserves any award that it receives.  I was glad to see that even though this book might be a few years old now, there are still people talking about it and reading it for the first time!  If you are an audio book person, I highly recommend checking out the book on CD.  We have the downloadable ebook, downloadable audio book, the book on CD, and the actual book here at the library, so whatever format you prefer, we've got you covered!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

Reviewed By: M.S.
Laurel Daneau lost her grandmother and her mother to Hurricane Katrina and in turn lost herself to the moon (meth). This tragic story follows Laurel as she struggles on the streets constantly craving and wasting away day after day due to the moon she lives off of. The story is filled with flashbacks and present day accounts of Laurel's life before and during her moon days and it all ties into a touching and saddening story of teen addiction and the need for someone to help you out but for you to help yourself as well.
Why I Picked it Up: It was on my school's summer reading list.
Why I Finished It: It was pretty interesting and wanted to see if there was some hope for her.
I’d Give this Book To: I half recommend this book, only because it's somewhat good but there isn't much substance to the plot line. Definitely high school teens should read this since it focuses on a more mature topic but be prepared for a more wide range of emotions to be felt as you live along with Laurel's struggles and just keep hoping she'll make it through the book.

**Librarian Side Note** I recognized the title to this book, but I didn't know much about it.  After reading this review, I really want to check this out.  It reminds me of other books I have read on teen addiction like Crank by Ellen Hopkins, Zoo Station by Christian F., and Tweak by Nic Sheff.  All mature, but well written books about the struggles of teens faced with drug addictions..

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Friday, August 8, 2014

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Reviewed By: L.D.
Em, imprisoned in a secret military base, in a war-ravaged future, escapes and travels back in time to track down and kill the person responsible for tearing the world apart. Marina and her best friend James, a gorgeous, introverted science prodigy, live a privileged life in Washington, DC, where James' research into the possibility of time travel has attracted the attention of important government people. The only way to prevent the horror that Em's world has become, is for her to prevent a time machine from ever being built. Marina's and Em's worlds intersect - only one of them can survive.
Why I Picked it Up: This book has everything I love in a good story - time travel, a love story, deep friendship, mystery and suspense!
Why I Finished It: I had to know how it ended. Who survived; who didn't - and how it all happened.
I’d Give this Book To: Anyone who loves time travel and suspense stories.

**Librarian Side Note** First in a series alert! I have seen rumors on the internet that this book will be continued in a series... However, it appears as if it wraps up nicely in the end, so there isn't a major cliffhanger that you have to wait forever for. If you are a fan of time-travel (and I really am!) then I highly recommend you check this book out. I know I am!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Reviewed By: M.S..
Olivia Tithe is a beautiful artist and loves everything and anything about painting. She loves how it takes her to her own little world and loves the way the pain brushes feel and the paints smell. She paints above the room where her schizophrenic mother plays the piano beautifully. Olivia also loves another thing, her piano-prodigy friend Stern, who is a student of her mother. But flash forward and Stern is murdered...by Olivia's mother. Olivia has gone colored blind, a sign she might be schizophrenic like her mother, and has lost all motivation to paint or do anything...except talk to the ghost of Stern who is helping Olivia prove to the world that her mother didn't do the crime. Ellison, author of The Butterfly Clues, does it again with her second mystery novel. Combining the mystery factor of finding out the truth about what happened that night Olivia's mother was found with Stern, dead and bloody in her lap, and also the emotional story line of Olivia's life changing before her eyes, literally. Will Olivia find the truth...or is she turning just as crazy as her mother?
Why I Picked it Up: I fell in love with Ellison's very first book. I never read a mystery novel and The Butterfly Clues was my first and couldn't wait to read another by this amazing author. (There's actually a review for it somewhere in here as well and I highly suggest you read it!)
Why I Finished It: There's no way you can't not finish it. It's kind of slow in the beginning so you need patience but one you hit that first shocker of "what?!" you wont be able to put it down.
I’d Give this Book To: Everyone!! Especially mystery book lovers or someone who's never read mystery before. I again suggest both her mystery novels since they combine both a mystery plot line and some sort of interesting character story line that coincides with it and merges together perfectly.

**Librarian Side Note** I too am a big fan of Ellison's first book, Butterfly Clues, and I could not wait for this book to come out! I am glad to hear that it's just as good a mystery as the first book! Get into the Library to check out either book today.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Reviewed By: A.C.
I do not read vampire novels. I do not like them. This series is probably the only vampire novel I will read, and boy is it good. If you have read the Birthmarked trilogy (which I also recommend)think of it as the city walls and hierarchy of Birthmarked but with vampires being the rich ones and the babies given to the inner city as blood instead. So similar, just so different and new and wonderful, because this time instead of finding a new town to fit into, instead try finding a human group when your a vampire. Allie is the main human, at least until she dies and comes back as part of the undead! Her vampire teacher also happens to be the most hated vampire of them all, no pressure right?  She must fight her way to freedom and try not to kill her new friends who have no idea that she's a vampire.
Why I Picked it Up: I was bored and it looked interesting.
Why I Finished It: the characters are so likable and trusting, plus I liked that it was a different perspective from going from a human to a vampire midway through and not being all human or all vampire. Plus theirs is this really great love story that is twilight-ish but reversed so it is wayyyy better.
I’d Give this Book To: Anyone and everyone!

**Librarian Side Note** This author has also written another EXCELLENT series, only it's all about the Fae Folk (aka, faries!).  The first book in the Iron Fey series is called The Iron King, and yes, the Library owns all the books in the series, and yes, all the books are out!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Reviewed By: L.S.
This book is part of a series written by Ellen Hopkins and these books are written as free-verse poems so they are interesting to read and different than other books. This book is about four teenagers named Cara, Kendra, Sean, and Andre. Each of these teens have different ambitions and come from different families. They all want to achieve their idea of "perfection" but go through different struggles to do so. The struggles they go through are also a little bit extreme and they make mistakes along the way. Often, their families do not agree with their goals in life. Also, each of their stories end up being connected in one way or another and it is interesting to see how this happens.
Why I Picked it Up: I picked up this book because I have previously read most of the other books written by Ellen Hopkins and I really enjoyed reading them. They are about serious topics and teach the reader lessons based off of the mistakes that the characters make.
Why I Finished It: I finished this book because it was written as a collection of poems so it was different than reading a book written in a normal format. Also, the individual stories of the four teenagers make you not want to put the book down because they are so unique and sometimes even tragic.
I’d Give this Book To: I would recommend this book to teenagers who would not mind a sad ending or reading about mature, serious topics.

**Librarian Side Note** Love, love, love this author! While she is mostly known for her first series that starts with Crank, Ellen Hopkins is a master of the novel in verse. I highly recommend ALL of her books, which of course, we have here in the Library.

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