Teen Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL ADVISORY BOARD MEETINGS WILL BE VIRTUAL VIA ZOOM. EMAIL CHLOE AT CHLOEPBKSCO@GMAIL.COM IF YOU ARE INTERESTED. 

These are reviews written by members of the Teen Advisory Board.

 

Click here for more information about the Advisory Boards. 

 

 

 

Pre-Order Now Badge
If This Gets Out: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250805805
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Wednesday Books - December 7th, 2021

If This Gets Out is a romance novel that shines a light on the downside of fame, and the flaws in our society’s view of ‘perfect’, but also the true meaning of being yourself. This book is a wonderful piece of literature that weaves romance, imperfections, and struggles that many teens across this country are facing, into a story that is not short of imperfect perfection. The authors of this book have not only given us the opportunity to read a book that will change your views forever, but have also provided us a sweet story of two boys who have such simple wants in a time of complexity.

-Review by Krin, age 13


Pre-Order Now Badge
Once Upon a Broken Heart Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250268396
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Flatiron Books - September 28th, 2021

Stephanie Garber is one of my favorite authors of all time, and I practically squealed when I saw her newest release after the Caraval trilogy (another treasured series of mine). I eagerly devoured all 400 pages in two days, and I was so set on finishing it that I brought it on the plane with me...even though I had less than 20 pages left and had to carry it for the rest of my trip. The extra weight in my backpack was well worth it!

To my great delight, Once Upon a Broken Heart is set in the same world as the Caraval series, and there's even the surprise return of some fan favorite characters (Not to worry, though! Even if you haven't read Caraval, this novel is steel a STELLAR read). Our protagonist, Evangeline Fox, is a fierce female lead (her rose gold hair not to be forgotten), who makes a deal with the Prince of Hearts to stop her true love from marrying another. But making a deal with a Fate always leads to a slippery slope of consequences and Evangeline must choose how far she's willing to go for a happy ending. This high-stakes adventure is set in a lush, magical world where love and death go hand in hand, the pacing perfection and characters so enchanting you'll never want to leave the pages. Once Upon a Broken Heart is easily one of my favorite reads of 2021, and I highly recommend it to the dreamers, romantics, and fantasy lovers! 

-Review by Hailey, age 16


Pre-Order Now Badge
All These Bodies Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062977168
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 21st, 2021

When a string of serial murders finds its way to the small Minnesota town of Black Deer Falls, a young aspiring journalist wants to take the story. These murders have finally put Black Deer Falls on the map but Michael Jensen wants something simple, the truth. This last killing was different, the murderer left behind his accomplice. And she will only talk to Michael. As Michael takes her story she offers an inexplicable account of what happened. She gives reasoning behind the “Bloodless” murders, if you want to believe it. The two teenagers get closer as the book comes to the only end it could. There were many things I didn’t see coming while reading this. It put a very interesting supernatural spin on serial murders.

-Review by Isabelle, Age 14


Pre-Order Now Badge
The City Beautiful Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781335402509
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Inkyard Press - September 7th, 2021

This book was amazing, with a unique plot, believable characters and a lot of great details. Honestly, it was also educational, providing a window onto areas of Jewish culture I had no idea existed. It's set back at the turn of the previous century at the Chicago World's Fair. The main character, Alter, is an immigrant from Romania trying to earn enough money to bring his family over to America. He's struggling to keep his religion in a world that's not friendly to Jewish people. Another strike against him is that he's gay, which is not exactly welcomed in this time period. There have been a lot of murders of Jewish boys in Chicago, and Alter gets drawn in because one of them was a friend of his. That friend's ghost possesses Alter with the goal of tracking down and killing the person who's responsible for the murders. The story is rather dark, even grim, but it's really good, and it encompasses a lot of issues that modern readers care about. The storytelling is both entertaining and emotional and it brings to light a lot of marginalized perspectives that have not previously gotten a lot of attention. Both teens and adults will get something out of this complex, yet relatable story.

-Review by Rowan, age 16


Pre-Order Now Badge
Like Other Girls Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368039925
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - August 3rd, 2021

Where do you draw the line between being yourself and fitting in? Britta Lundin explores this question through the eyes of a high school girl trying to find herself. Like Other Girls is a story filled with passion, confusion, betrayal, and loyalty. It is inspiring, and the author captures this story in the perfect light.

-Review by Krin, age 13


They'll Never Catch Us Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593114322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - July 27th, 2021

They'll Never Catch Us, by Jessica Goodman, is a fun summer read. It's relatable not only for cross country runners or people in competitive sports, but for anyone- whether you are competitive in academics, or a sibling rivalry, or anything- we all have a bit of that "competitive fire" inside of us. Being a mystery fan, I thought I had the storyline all figured out... but then came a giant plot twist that had me second guessing all of my initial assumptions!

 

- Review by Eden, age 12 


Red Wolf Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062411624
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - July 27th, 2021

Red Wolf was an absolute joy to read; as a lover of fairytale retellings, I was curious to see what Rachel Vincent's spin on Little Red Riding Hood may look like. The plot follows sixteen-year-old Adele, who wants nothing more than to settle down with her lover and begin life as an adult in the village of Oakvale. Yet once Adele discovers a covert family history--and with it secrets that could get her killed--the life she imagined so clearly begins to crumble. I was initially worried that this book may be tacky--especially if there was a play on "werewolves''. However, the family history seamlessly and creatively ties this aspect into the plot, as Adele is from a lineage of female shapeshifters, who protect the villages from dark creatures in the woods. This added an intriguing and mystical element while maintaining a perfectly paced plot. All of the characters were lovable and developed with care, Adele being my personal favorite though the side characters proved to be equally worthy of their time on the pages. This is no doubt a new fantasy, fairy-tale-esque story that needs to be shared...and I can't wait for the sequel! 

-Review by Hailey, age 16


Red Wolf Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062411624
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - July 27th, 2021

Red Wolf was an absolute joy to read; as a lover of fairytale retellings, I was curious to see what Rachel Vincent's spin on Little Red Riding Hood may look like. The plot follows sixteen-year-old Adele, who wants nothing more than to settle down with her lover and begin life as an adult in the village of Oakvale. Yet once Adele discovers a covert family history--and with it secrets that could get her killed--the life she imagined so clearly begins to crumble. I was initially worried that this book may be tacky--especially if there was a play on "werewolves''. However, the family history seamlessly and creatively ties this aspect into the plot, as Adele is from a lineage of female shapeshifters, who protect the villages from dark creatures in the woods. This added an intriguing and mystical element while maintaining a perfectly paced plot. All of the characters were lovable and developed with care, Adele being my personal favorite though the side characters proved to be equally worthy of their time on the pages. This is no doubt a new fantasy, fairy-tale-esque story that needs to be shared...and I can't wait for the sequel! 

-Review by Hailey, age 16


The Right Side of Reckless Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335402486
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Inkyard Press - July 13th, 2021

The points of view in this story create a unique plot that shows how what we think of as ‘right’ can be wrong. The characters in this book are unique, honest, and most importantly, they reflect the real world. The Right Side of Reckless is a critical read for all teens. Whitney D. Grandison devoted so much emotion and real-life struggles to this raw story about the true meaning of ‘right’. 

--Review by Krin, age 13


Sisters of the Snake Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062985590
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - June 15th, 2021

This story, based on the trope of twins who were separated at birth and raised in greatly differing circumstances, could have been done so badly. Instead, the author builds on the classic theme in an original and arresting way. In a fantasy version of India, Rani, one of the twin daughters of the ruler, has been raised to the privilege of her rank, but her twin Ria was stashed away in an orphanage, all memory of her existence wiped. A street urchin, she steals to survive. Rani, as the acknowledged princess, has always been able to access her magical birthright, an affinity with snakes. A few others have use of ancient memory magic and fire magic, and there's rumor of death magic, the secret of which has been lost. Rani is engaged to be married to a longtime friend and though she likes him, she's growing disenchanted with the prospect of marriage and her constricted life. She just wants freedom. Ria would be perfectly happy to continue on her carefree - and threadbare - existence with her street thief friend and mentor, until she finds her name on a list of conscripts into the army as the country faces imminent war. Seeking a big enough heist to allow her to escape this fate, Ria embarks on a bold mission to steal jewels at the palace and is caught by her twin. The two girls, who look just alike, switch places. Ria finds she can access the snake magic as well, and she uses it to survive and spy at the palace, while Rani sets off on a quest to find a mysterious jewel to restore her country and avert war. The twins find themselves working on different aspects of the same problem as it becomes apparent there's rot at the center of the kingdom that must be rooted out before it's too late.

Review by Rowan, age 16


We Can't Keep Meeting Like This Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534440272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 8th, 2021

We Can't Keep Meeting Like This is a heartwarming story perfect for all romance novel-loving teens (and grown-up teens). This story is written from the viewpoint of a teenage girl, Quinn, and follows her through a summer of loss, hope, and love. Rachel Lynn Solomon does an amazing job capturing the real troubles and triumphs faced by many teenagers today. I strongly recommend this to anyone who needs an escape from reality, and a way to rely on something bigger than themselves. This is for you.

-Review by Krin


Love & Other Natural Disasters Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062991232
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - June 8th, 2021

Have you ever been so focused on what you think you want to happen, that it seems impossible when the happy ending turns a corner and ends another way? Especially when the happy ending with the turn of the corner is even better than the simple one? I have done that many times, and one of them was when I read this book. Though this book follows the same plot that many romance novels follow, and it is most of the time very predictable, it has a twist at the end, and is a great read for lazy days on the weekend. 

-Review by Krin


Jay's Gay Agenda Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063015159
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - June 1st, 2021

The book Jay's Gay Agenda is about 17 year old Jay Collier, who is the new love-desperate gay teen in town! This book is packed with the complexities of boy troubles, friend drama, and finding your true self.

-Review By: Soleil, Age 13


Better Together: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250760067
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - June 1st, 2021

Two sisters. Two opposite sides of the U.S. One camp. Better Together is the teenage version of 'The Parent Trap', with a twist. Two long-lost sisters meet at a summer camp, and who knows what comes of it, especially when one doesn't know the other exists. Christine Riccio weaves in emotion, romance, and so much more into this one-of-a-kind 'rom-com-dram' as she calls it. It's so full of hijinks that it maybe just works.

 

-Review by Krin


Where the Rhythm Takes You Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063018525
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 11th, 2021

This is one of the best novels that I have read. It has a light storyline and is a perfect read to get your mind off these stressful times. The integration of many different perspectives, lifestyles, and points of view are just a few of the many reasons this book is impossible to put down. If you are looking for a romance that will tilt your world, this book is for you.

 

-Review by Krin


Meet Cute Diary Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063038837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 4th, 2021

Meet Cute Diary is a contemporary love story that transports you into a world of twists, turns, leaps, and bounds. A world where challenges can be transformed into steps to accomplishment, and where love can turn your world upside down. It sounds familiar, doesn't it? This book shines a light on reality, the good and bad. Emery Lee with make you fall hard for the main character of this book, and not let that feeling leave, even after you have closed the book.

-Review by Krin


All Kinds of Other Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062962492
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 4th, 2021

This book was great - super relatable and funny. It's set in 2015 on purpose because it's not completely up to date in terms of technology or pop culture. The story is told from the perspective of two boys, Jules and Jack. Jules is cis and gay. He has to deal with a super-controlling mom, an activist who always wants to be on the right side of issues but who doesn't fully grasp what her son is going through. Jack, who is trans, has just moved to L.A. temporarily while his dad tries to build a career in Hollywood. Jack, who is of East Indian background, came with his dad because he wanted to live life as a guy without being questioned. Then someone at his new school outs Jacks past without his permission. Jules has to figure out a lot of stuff too, like how to deal with his mom when, well-meaning but completely obtusely, she says he doesn't have to feel he has to go out with a "girl," (referring to Jack.) The story really speaks to the gay and trans experience, but it still could be enjoyed by a wide audience. It also addresses intersectional discrimation.

=Review by Rowan, age 16


All Kinds of Other Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062962492
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 4th, 2021

This book was great - super relatable and funny. It's set in 2015 on purpose because it's not completely up to date in terms of technology or pop culture. The story is told from the perspective of two boys, Jules and Jack. Jules is cis and gay. He has to deal with a super-controlling mom, an activist who always wants to be on the right side of issues but who doesn't fully grasp what her son is going through. Jack, who is trans, has just moved to L.A. temporarily while his dad tries to build a career in Hollywood. Jack, who is of East Indian background, came with his dad because he wanted to live life as a guy without being questioned. Then someone at his new school outs Jacks past without his permission. Jules has to figure out a lot of stuff too, like how to deal with his mom when, well-meaning but completely obtusely, she says he doesn't have to feel he has to go out with a "girl," (referring to Jack.) The story really speaks to the gay and trans experience, but it still could be enjoyed by a wide audience. It also addresses intersectional discrimation.

=Review by Rowan, age 16


The Block (The Second Book of The Loop Trilogy) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338589337
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - May 4th, 2021

This compact book was really well written and compelling. Gritty and hard-hitting. it rides the line between science fiction and psychological horror. It's an incredibly fast read. I looked up and I was already halfway done with the book.  I thought, "I could do homework ... or I could finish the rest of the book." This is the second in a planned trilogy set in a futuristic, super stratified dystopia where the rich essentially make themselves into cyborgs, leaving the poor to suffer with no status, dignity or resources. Luka, the main character, was imprisoned in the first book (The Loop) for a crime his sister actually committed. He's slated for execution unless he agrees to be a test subject for experiments set up by the AI which runs the prison. The AI has decided to take over the world and destroy the non-cyborg humans through a zombie plague. The prisoners, however, having been subjects of this research, have immunity to the plague. They escape and try to save humanity, but are caught. That's where the second book opens, with Luka in another, even more brutal prison. This book centers on figuring out why the AI is doing this and what it plans. Making the story trickier to sort out, you never know if what you are reading is what's actually happening or if the character has been tricked into virtual reality. The plot might be far-fetched, but the story is more than just what happens, bringing up underlying issues which resonate in the real world.

Review by Rowan, age 16


In Deeper Waters Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534480506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - April 20th, 2021

This book was the ideal carefree, heartwarming pandemic read.

It's got everything I could want in a book: princes, pirates, mermen, magic. It plays off all of the fun, relaxing tropes in fantasy and romance. The story was full of high action, suspense, with fun, believable characters that the author doesn't torture too much. I also loved the cover design. The main character, Tal, is a prince, but not the heir, as he's the fourth child in his family. He has been hidden away for most of his life ever since his fire magic emerged - the same magic his great-grandpa used to kill and dominate. Finally, Tal is allowed to emerge from his seclusion to go on the obligatory coming-of-age sea voyage. He ends up running into a pirate ship that has been totally abandoned except for a prisoner chained in the told. Tal sets the prisoner free with his magic. Though thankful for his release, the prisoner, Athlen, remains mum about his history and the circumstances that led to his being imprisoned. Tal, who feels an immediate bond with the prisoner, gives in to Athlen's pleas to "Just let me see the sky," only to watch the mysterious youth jump overboard. Tal is torn up over his part in Athlen's apparent sucide - but on his next shore leave, he discovers Athlen, safe and well. The story only gets better from there. I would recommend this to fans of A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. It's in the same vein,but a little more rose-tinted, with significantly fewer gritty relationship problems.

-Review by Rowan, age 16


The Prison Healer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780358434559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - April 13th, 2021

   I liked how this book had so many different elements. There were a lot of different things going on, but that wasn’t a bad thing in this book. The author did a great job explaining everything so it didn’t become confusing. I liked the concept of the elemental trials! There was one heck of a great plot twist at the end! (But it was a little disturbing when I realized that Javen and Kiva are - although distantly- related.) Can’t wait for book two!

 

~ Review by Elliana, age 13


Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250317315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - April 13th, 2021

This science fiction novel answers the question that has plagued readers for decades: why are sci-fi aliens always humanoid? The background to this story is that an ancient race, the Shapers, traveled the galaxy and beyond assisting all of the life forms that looked like them, providing advice and technology boosts, while putting obstacles, like acid volcanoes, in the way of races with different appearances. Centuries and millennia later, it's still hard for those races to get ahead. The main character in this book, Tina, is a fairly ordinary teen who learns that she's actually a clone of an alien space captain and her true appearance has been hidden to allow her to grow up. Now that she's mature, she inherits the former space captain's skills, if not her actual memories, and she's expected to step into the captain's shoes to step into an ongoing intergalactic war. She and her best friend assemble a diverse crew of young people with different backgrounds and skills as they try to figure out what's going on. This book was really great, with a fast-moving, compelling plot and featuring a diverse cast of characters that didn't just exist to fit a certain type but were full individuals in their own right. Their race/gender/sexuality was not their only character trait, but just a portion of what defined them. I'd recommend this book for sci fi and speculative fiction fans and queer readers of all kinds.

- Review by Rowan, age 16


The Key to You and Me Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062824585
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - April 20th, 2021

Piper. Kat. Two characters that are so different, yet so alike. This funny and heartwarming story about two girls who are set up to be friends by a grandmother (Does that ever work), somehow are perfect for each other. Jaye Robin Brown will keep you on your toes until the plot turns a corner, and then you will be bouncing up and down with apprehension. This story is one that will remind you that sometimes you just have to be patient.

-Review by Krin


The Theft of Sunlight (Dauntless Path #2) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062835741
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now--Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - March 23rd, 2021

This Indian/Middle Eastern-inspired fantasy novel, with a compelling story that gets better the further you read, breaks the mold in several ways. It's refreshing to see the main character treated as a whole person apart separate from her abilities and disabilties. She doesn't fall into the usual fantasy tropes. She isn't beautiful, isn't royal, isn't the one with magic. Rather, she has a physical disability and comes from a humble background. She relies on her intelligence to navigate a world that's mysterious, dangerous and often hostile. The main character, Rae, starts out on her family horse farm. Her sister has "forbidden magic" which the family has had to hide. Then Rae's other sister disappears, assumed to be stolen away by the "Snatchers" who seem to operate with impunity. Given the opportunity to travel to the palace to become a handmaiden to the princess, Rae seizes on the chance to use whatever influence she may gain to find out about the Snatchers and rescue her sister. She knows she won't fit in due to her country background and her club foot, which makes dress shoes painful and causes her to limp even in accommodating footwear. There are certainly some who discriminate against the unsophisticated newcomer, but the princess, who spent a year as a goose girl herself, proves a true friend. The author gets the balance just right - acknowledging Rae's disability and people's reaction to it, but not making it central to the plot. Instead, it's Rae's boldness and wits that take center stage as she tries to uncover the plot behind the Snatchers and finds it goes way deeper than expected - right into the halls of government. Rae is joined in her efforts by several original, complex characters, including a street thief and a young pharmacist.

-Review by Rowan, age 16