Teen Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Click here for more information about the Advisory Boards. 

 

 

 

Angel Mage Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062683229
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 2019

All of Garth Nix's books are really original and creative, and so is this, but in an entirely different way. Literature is rich with tales of people summoning demons to perform magic on their  behalf, but in this book, people call on angels instead. The angels have no choice in the matter, even when their magic is called on for a negative purpose. In the world where this story is set, something went wrong seven generations back, destroying the angel Palleniel and turning the people of his realm into "Beastlings," essentially mindless monsters in various hideous forms. Those who escaped, the "Deserters" have become an underclass of servants and scavengers, unable to benefit from angelic magic lest it turn them to Beastlings as well. Enter four heroes. Agnez, a dedicated musketeer; Dorotea, a scholar and virtuoso icon maker; Henri, son of an indebted family; and Simeon, a talented young doctor. Meeting seemingly by chance, they feel an immediate kinship that somehow ties into the magic of the realm. Meanwhile, Liliath, the prodigy-gone-bad who created the Beastling disaster to begin with, has been "reborn." Disguising herself as a noblewoman, she plots to reunite the blasted land and the land still using angelic magic in order to bring back the angel Palleniel for some nefarious purpose of her own. I'd recommend this for fans of Garth Nix and anyone who wants a really original fantasy.

 

Review by Colleen, age 14


White Bird: A Wonder Story Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780525645535
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 2019

By the author of the bestseller Wonder, This was an amazing graphic novel, beautifully illustrated with a truly luminous color palette and an incredibly touching story. Set in "the free zone" of France during World War II, which didn't wind up being all that free under the thumb of the Nazis, it's told from the point-of-view of a young Jewish girl who survives hidden in a neighbor's barn, thanks to the generosity of the "crippled" classmate she and her schoolmates had always ignored. This classmate, Julian, helped her escape the school through the sewers and his family hides her from the Nazis.Then one day, the world catches up with her... It's a real tearjerker. This whole story is told by the survivor, now an aged grandmother, but it's framed through the eyes of a boy from today who ties in to the Wonder story, and it brings up some really important points from today, underlining the need for (to quote the Harry Potter books) "constant vigilance" to maintain our ideals of freedom and human rights. Though the story is fictional, it seemed very realistic and completely fits what I have been learning about the Holocaust. I would recommend it to fans of Wonder, to those interested in the Holocaust, and to pretty much a general audience of all ages. It's that good.

 

-Review by Colleen, age 14


King Shaka: Zulu Legend (African Graphic Novel) Cover Image
By Luke W. Molver (Various Artists (VMI)), Sibongiseni Mkhize (Foreword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781946498939
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Story Press Africa - October 2019

This book has beautiful art, just gorgeously drawn people and African landscapes. It tells the story of  King Shaka of the Zulu people in Africa. He is a legendary king - an actual historical figure who is still talked about today - but the story is actually kind of sad. King Shaka has united the area tribes into one clan, but he has to deal with political intrigue among his own people, rebelling factions, warring clans, drought, and the insurgence of white settlers who threaten to change the whole way of life in the area. We all know how this story comes out. I would recommend this for Black Panther fans.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


Orpheus Girl Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781641290746
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Soho Teen - October 8th, 2019

This fast-paced and riveting book brought to light a kind of discrimination that a lot of people don't know is still occurring in places throughout the U.S. I read it all in one sitting. The main character, Raya, lives in a small, conservative town in Texas. Her mom had Raya when the mom was just a teenager and took off when Raya was two. So Raya is being raised by her old-fashioned, religious grandma. Then Raya is "outed" as a lesbian when she and her girlfriend are caught together. The grandma's response: "Not in my Christian household!" Raya and her girlfriend, Sarah, are both sent to "conversion therapy", a real thing which aims to "convert" a person from gay to straight using some really questionable methods, among them electrical shock therapy which basically amounts to torture. The conditions really suck for Sarah, Raya and the others, with physical, mental and emotional torture as the coordinators attempt to squash their identities and fit them all into matching skirt ensembles with T-shirts that say, "Jesus fixed me. He can fix you too," all but the transgender boy, who is forced into a pink frilly dress. I can't believe this kind of stuff is still going on. I also can't believe the author of this book is only 19. It is really well put together. The Orpheus reference in the title refers to a myth about a dude going into and coming up from the underworld to save his wife, but I hadn't read it and it isn't necessary to understand the book, because it's explained throughout. I also really like the new take on an old story. I would recommend the book for teens, especially people who are interested in LGBTQ issues or who need some education on the topic.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


Obviously: Stories from My Timeline Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101998908
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Razorbill - September 24th, 2019

This was a collection of essays on Hughes' real life. I found many of the stories of her early life interesting and relateable, especially the ones about being the only black girl in her school and the truly atrocious treatment she received from her fifth-grade teacher; camping and mud and 3 a.m. asthma attacks, and her rules for families of white guys meeting their son's black girlfriend for the first time.  She has a unique voice that deserves to be heard.

 

-Review by Colleen, age 14


Stage Dreams Cover Image
By Melanie Gillman, Melanie Gillman (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781541572843
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - September 3rd, 2019

For fans of The Prince and the Dressmaker and other similar books, this swift-paced graphic novel is set in the Civil War era in New Mexico. A transgender girl, Grace, is running away from being conscripted into the Confederate Army in Georgia. She runs into an outlaw highway robber, who is female (very unusual at the time). Dressed as elite East Coast women, they infiltrate a ball to steal Confederate plans. Their ultimate dream is to get to California, where Grace hopes of being an actress in San Francisco and the highway robber dreams of having a goat farm... with a healthy stash of gold, of course. I really pulled for these characters and wanted to see them achieve their dreams, and even though it was a short book, all of the plot was very well done, with the mini romance too. I'd recommend it for upper middle readers and teens, especially those in the LGBTQ community who are eager to see people like themselves reflected in the stories they read, that are not just contemporary fiction. The book also includes lots of historical notes of actual transgender people back in the civil war era and it was both entertaining and educational. In short, it was great.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 14


Rated Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338283570
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scholastic Press - September 3rd, 2019

This was a really terrific book, honestly. I read it almost in one sitting. It's swift-paced, easy to follow, and yet its cast of characters is incredibly diverse and complex, coming from a wide range of backgrounds and points of view. And even though they were coming at things from incredibly different perspectives, you could sympathize with all of them, even the "mean girl." The setting is world is just like ours except that everyone's "ratings," (think standardized tests, but covering all aspects of one's life, even popularity, and extending into adulthood) dictate everything a person can do - even the hospital they go to if they're ill.  The characters seem to have nothing in common at the start of the book, other than they attend an elite prep school dedicated to turning out 100-percent successful people. There's the goth girl who runs an illicit fortunetelling business out of the vacant music building; the gamer who supports his extended family on the proceeds from his endorsements; the nerdy photographer who has carefully cultivated his "invisible" personality; the baseball star who seems to be riding high but whose dyslexia and chaotic home life are threatening his ability to continue; and the presumed valedictorian whose life is ruled by a color-coded schedule broken down hour by hour into academic opportunities, service projects, club meetings and so forth. When anti-ratings graffiti spray-painted on the school grounds questions their way of life, this handful is pulled into the mystery of who is responsible, following hand-delivered clues that seem to have been addressed specifically to them. As they come together to figure out the mystery, they find they more in common that they initially thought.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


A Dress for the Wicked Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062857330
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperTeen - August 6th, 2019

Though born and raised in a minimal, countryside town, Emmaline (Emmy) Watkins has always had her heart set on becoming a fashion designer, one of the only self-sustainable futures for girls during this time period. So when Emmy is officially accepted to participate in a competition at the most prestigious fashion institute, she knows she'll have to get city-folk to look past her country roots and focus on the impeccable designs she creates in order for her to win an apprenticeship. However, as soon as she arrives, realization hits her vigorously; the competition this year will be the fiercest yet, as sabotage and trickery are only the beginning of edging your way to the top of the scoreboards... As time is slipping through her fingers, Emmy must make the most difficult choice of all. Should she mold and change her true self to fit the expectations of this twisted industry- or stay true to her unique personality and style, turning away the opportunity of a lifetime to have a secured future? This novel was a refreshing read, and I actually loved some of the simplicity incorporated into the text. I binge read this in a span of two days, not wanting to set it down as plot twists kept me intrigued and on the tips of my toes. A flawless "Project Runway" take on the Selection SeriesA Dress for the Wicked is sure to impress readers with its irresistible storyline- prepared to be drawn in and never want to leave this glorious fashion empire. I would recommend this book for grades 7+ (ages 12+ as well), and those who have a deep passion for fashion and style, hidden secrets within the least likely suspects, and tales of feminine empowerment (with a tad of entrepreneurship).

-Review by Hailey, age 14


House of Salt and Sorrows Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984831927
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Delacorte Press - August 6th, 2019

House of Salt and Sorrows is a dark and beautiful retelling of the classic tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It is full of dancing, deadly magic, and romance. The story follows Annaleigh, the sixth of 12 sisters. Though they are all rich and beautiful, they are said to be cursed, cursed with death. Annaleigh is now second in line to inheriting all their family possessions after the horrible deaths of her older sisters. Visions are haunting her day and night and she starts to believe that the deaths were no accident. She searches for clues as her sisters sneak out every night to dance at glittering balls, but who are they really dancing with? This book was absolutely breathtaking and every page made me anxious with wonder. If you like books full of magic, mystery, and dance; then get ready to be swept away in the book House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig.

-Review by Ava, age 13


The Demon World (The Smoke Thieves #2) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425290248
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 6th, 2019

This is the eagerly awaited sequel to The Smoke Thieves, and it didn't take long for me to pick up the plot again. The story starts as all five of the diverse main characters from the last book have finally gotten together and are running away from brigantines. This unity doesn't last long, however. The group decides to go down into the demon world to confuse their pursuers, but something goes wrong and Edyon and March don't make it before the tunnel closes. So the group is split up, and everyone is still running for their lives. Lots of drama ensues as the author tortures what I've come to think of as "my" characters throughout the book, in a compelling and suspenseful story.

Review by Colleen, age 14


Let’s Call It a Doomsday Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062698902
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - August 6th, 2019

I loved this author's last book, Heretics Anonymous, so I picked this up. There were things to like about this book, such as its really diverse characters. The main character, Ellis, is a Mormon girl who is really not coming to terms with her own bisexuality. She's assailed by self-doubts and obsessively prepares for some sort of apocalyse, trying to be ready for all the ways the world might end. She meets Hannah, who seems to have visions of the actual world ending. They join forces to prepare. The process helps draw Ellis out of her shell and gets her to meet other people, while revealing some mysteries about Hannah. But what will happen when the apocalypse comes - or doesn't?

- Review by Colleen, age 14


Brave the Page Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780451480293
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 27th, 2019

This was a really cool book with a lot of great advice. It makes me want to write a novel RIGHT NOW! It was put out in conjunction with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) which is in itself a pretty cool promotion. I would recommend it for young writers who have lots of ideas but don't know where to start - and aren't sure they'll ever get it done.

Review by Colleen, age 14.


The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow Series #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250191922
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - July 30th, 2019

It's not enough to be a member of the despised Crow clan, living on the road and tasked with disposing with plague victims wherever they're found before the plague spreads. No, Fie and her clan wind up picking up two bodies which turn out not to be dead at all. They're the prince and his bodyguard, sneaking out of the palace disguised as corpses in order to escape the ambitious and merciless witch-queen. And that's when things really start fouling up. Soon, Fie is on the run in earnest, trailing two uninitiated royals. Then she's forced to take on the responsibility as clan chief when others in her band fall afoul of the queen and her Vultures. The book was compelling if a little confusing at first as the reader sorted out all the rules of this world. I'm eager to read the sequel. Also: beautiful and arresting cover art!

-Review by Colleen, age 14 


The Storm Crow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492672937
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - July 9th, 2019

Anthia is part of the ruling family of Rhodaire, which is famous for its giant elemental crows which protect the realm. Then the enemy burns down all the rookeries. To survive, Anthia agrees to a marriage pact with invading Illucia's prince. Over time, she learns to tolerate him as she finds he too is a pawn in his family's imperial manipulations. At the same time, she finds a single lost crow egg, which only the royal family can hatch. Anthia tries to "resist from within" the enemy's stronghold, ruled by a brutal queen who even seems to hate her son. The plot keeps the reader on their toes, not always going where it might be expected to. There will be a second book, of course, and I want to read it RIGHT NOW.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525646990
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - July 9th, 2019

Maia Tamarin has always aspired to be the best tailor in the land- however her dream can never come true because she's a girl, living in a time period where she has little possibility for a future because of her gender. However, when her aging father is requested at the palace to participate in a competition to become the next imperial tailor, Maia disguises herself as a male and heads to the palace in his place. But upon arrival, she realizes that the challenges ahead of her will be no easy task, as sabotage and trickery are only the beginning of the seemingly impossible garments she'll have to create in order to rise above her competitors. To make matters more difficult, the palace enchanter, Edan, discovers Maia's secret about being a girl in disguise, pushing her into an uncomfortable position to make an alliance with him. Though once the competition concludes, she's in for an even bigger surprise as the emperor sends her on a quest to make his future bride three dresses of legends, and Edan accompanies her throughout the peregrination. On this journey, Maia pushes herself to limits she didn't know she had, including developing a tentative friendship which turns into a blossoming romance. However, with a powerful army and a set of demons and ghosts on their trail, a plot-twist ending results in Maia having to make a difficult choice- will she give up a part of herself to save the person she truly loves? This was a simple, enjoyable book to read, and I loved the different elements of the story- I feel like so much was accomplished in a few hundred pages! I am so excited to see what author Elizabeth Lim brings in the next addition, Unravel the Dusk, and I want to find out what happens next right now! I would also recommend this book for ages 12+, and for those who love a great, progressive adventure story, and a little bit of fashion and romantic elements.


Teen Titans: Raven Cover Image
By Kami Garcia, Gabriel Picolo (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401286231
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: DC Ink - July 2nd, 2019

This graphic novel was well-drawn and diverse, very relatable. You don't have to know anything about Teen Titans to follow the story. I am eager to see if there's a follow-up, to see what happens next. Raven has lost her adoptive mom in a fatal car crash. She has also lost her memory following the accident and doesn't even know what kind of candy bar she likes. She goes to live with her mom's estranged sister and becomes friends with her daughter. Meanwhile, she's trying to adapt to a new high school. Raven doesn't know why she's getting headaches and gets overwhelmed by noise. She also seems to be able to hear others' thoughts, and she starts seeing a big shadow of wings. Now there's this guy at school who's really interested in her. He seems nice, but how can she commit when she doesn't even know who she is? I would recommend this to readers who liked Mera Tidebreaker and the new Catwoman origin story, Under the Moon.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


The Virtue of Sin Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525516545
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Philomel Books - June 25th, 2019

This book started off kind of weird but it got better as it went on, as the characters' lives expanded a lot. Miriam, the main character, is part of a religious cult that's all she has known. It is run by a dude who says he's the Biblical David reborn. The Bible is the only book they even know exists. In this "community," girls and boys are separated at the age of 7, and then at 16 they are expected to marry. Boys come up to say a girl's name and then that girl has to marry them. Females are relegated to cooking and cleaning, and they are not even to speak unless they're spoken to. The story starts as the new batch of 16-year-olds is slated to get married. Miriam and Caleb have a crush on each-other and she expects they'll marry, but then some other guy says Miriam's name. Caleb then refuses to marry, and this division sets off a bunch of dilemmas that eventually reveal the truth behind the cult. I would recommend this book to teen readers.

- Review by Colleen, age 14.


Queen of the Sea Cover Image
By Dylan Meconis, Dylan Meconis (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781536204988
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Walker Books US - June 25th, 2019

I thought this was really good. The story is told from the perspective of a young girl who has grown up in a convent on an island in the middle of nowhere. She came there as a baby and was raised by the nuns, but she has no idea why. Then others start coming to the island, and the main character tries to figure out what's really going on. What she learns surprises her and kind of turns her whole perspective around. Meanwhile, she has made friends with an exiled prince who came to the island, and she has discovered a cave full of cool prehistoric drawings. It's kind of an alternate take on history, although you don't have to be a history fan to enjoy reading it. The art is really good, and I'm eager to see it when it comes out in full color. I would recommend this book to readers age 10 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 14


The Evil Queen Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781335542243
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Inkyard Press - June 25th, 2019

First, I'd like to mention something that I think many readers would be grateful to hear before they invest time and money into reading this novel. This addition is a very mature young adult fiction piece; if you're sensitive to certain adult content, be aware of this before you start flipping through the pages. Being a somewhat delicate reader to things like this as well, I skipped the first few chapters, as the storyline and summary on the back kept me intrigued and hopeful for a better turn out. After I got past some of the uncomfortable material in the beginning and some near the end, the story turned out to be absolutely perfect, and I felt myself get lost in the pages of a fantastic new taste on the story of Snow White..

Everly Morrow is a teenager growing up in the world of mortals, but after her mother's unexpected passage and she and her twin sister, Hartley, uncover hidden magical abilities (that seem to pin them as the Evil Queen and Snow White from the fairytale), everything spirals out of control. Everly is separated from her sister, and is transported into the realm of Enchantia, where she learns that fairytales aren't just stories, but rather prophecies of the future. She faces inexpressible hurt as after her identity as a sorcerian (sorcerer) is revealed, and even more pain as a man named Roth Charmaine (the "Prince Charming" of the story) breaks her heart after they both develop a seemingly indestructible attraction for one another. But as the prophecy seems to be clicking into place, Everly only has a matter of time to try and discover who she truly is- should she embrace her evil destiny, or fight to break free of it? Other than the mature content which went a little overboard in some places, I absolutely loved the plot and characters that made up this novel! Something that really stood out to me was how different characters keep placing themselves as different characters in the prophecy- something Everly struggles with as she tries to discover her identity. I was so excited when I discovered this was a series, though a little hesitant about reading more, I can't wait to see where the storyline heads next (pssst- there's a great turn of events in the end!).

-Review by Hailey, age 14


Storm and Fury (Harbinger #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335218797
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Inkyard Press - June 11th, 2019

STORM AND FURY IS A MUST-READ STAPLE ON ANY BOOK LIST. Seriously, I'm head over heals for this novel, and I was extremely excited to hear that this is the first in the Harbinger Series!
 
Trinity Marrow is going blind due to rare condition known as "retinitis pigmentosa", but that's currently the least of her worries. She has a special gift where she can communicate with ghosts and spirits, and has an unstoppable power known as her grace just waiting to be released from inside of her. Her father is an angel, while her mother was a human, which leads to her development of these unique powers, and evidently the endangerment of herself as well. Trinity is protected in a community of Wardens, who are human beings who can transform into gargoyles, and defend her from demons of the outside world, who would kill to consume the daughter of a powerful angel. But after Trinity's best friend and protector, Misha, is stolen by a substantially powerful demon, she must turn to a Warden named Zayne to assist her in winning back the stability in her life. But as Trinity begins to develop feelings for Zayne, they both uncover startling secrets from their pasts, which could bring them closer together or subsequently tear them apart. But as a war between demons and Wardens surfaces, Trinity must learn to put trust in only those who are worthy, as everything she believed about the past is revealed to be a lie. Author Jennifer L. Armentrout created an intense, action-packed worthy novel that included romance topped to the nines! This was an incredible story to read, and I'm now anticipating reading The Dark Elements Series, because it takes place in the same world with some of the same characters. I would recommend this book for grades 9+ because there is a little bit of intense romance.
-Review by Hailey age 14


VIRAL: The Fight Against AIDS in America Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780425287200
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 4th, 2019

This is the nonfiction story of the HIV/AIDS outbreak in America. It recounts the tragic stories of those that suffered from the "mysterious disease without a cure." Bausum provides a perfect blend of statistics and the personal stories of the victims. The story of AIDS is told chronologically through news reports, stories from hospitals, advertisements, journals, and more. This book is as educational as it is moving. All of the people mentioned were so admirably strong, I found it very inspiring to read their stories. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning a lot from what they read. VIRAL grants its readers understanding of the hardship that the outbreak of AIDS brought with it, as well as the amount of perseverance it took for society to overcome the barriers that were keeping them from discovering more about the disease. A great nonfiction read by a great author!

-Review by Jewell


Sorcery of Thorns Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481497619
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 4th, 2019

Elisabeth was born in raised in one of the Great Libraries, home to dozens of magical and enchanted books called "grimoires", which hold the secrets to some of the darkest and most sacred information in the realm. However, everything changes after one of the strongest grimoires is released, it is provoked into its aggravated and monstrous side, murdering the Director of the library. Unfortunately, Elisabeth is directly accused of committing the crime, and is sent to the nation's capital to allow her fate to be determined. After her life has been turned upside down, inside out, and back again, Elisabeth must learn to trust a sorcerer named Nathaniel, going completely against everything she's ever been taught to believe, as he may be the only ally she has. Together they set out on a path to save Elisabeth from the dire consequences of her past, and they uncover a dark conspiracy which could evidently cause the entire world to be destroyed. Forming an uneasy alliance, Elisabeth and Nathaniel must both set aside everything they've ever been told is right, and let their own experiences define what's right and wrong, while doing anything in their power to save those they love. All the characters in this novel are brilliantly defined, and once you fall into the clutches of their diverse personalities, you'll never want the story to end! Margaret Rogerson uses such thoughtful description which leads to an innovative style of imagery that I'll never forget. My absolute favorite part of this whole book was watching friendships blossom into a tentative romance, while reading a storyline which perfectly combined action, adventure, fantasy, and mystery all into one. Thank you, Margaret Rogerson, for creating an epic novel which will find a special place in all teen fiction lovers alike!

Review by Hailey age 14


Like a Love Story Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062839367
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 4th, 2019

I knew nothing about the AIDS crisis before reading this book other than what I learned in health class, and they kind of glossed over it. I picked up this book because of the really arresting, colorful cover. I had no clue I'd like it so much. It had me bawling, then beaming, then sobbing again. It was an intense experience. It's set in New York City in 1989 when the AIDS crisis was in full swing. Reza, the main character is from Iran and just came to the U.S. from Canada. He's gay, but super-scared and doesn't want to tell him folks. His dad died in Iran and his stepdad is rich. He has a sister in college back in Canada and a jerk of a stepbrother. Art is the only "out" gay kid in their entire school. His parents are super-conservative and pretend he doesn't exist. Then there's Judy, Art's best friend. She has a much more accepting family and she and Art are best friends. The problem comes in when both Judy and Art get massive crushes on Reza. He starts going out with Judy because he's not comfortable being gay, but he's really interested in Art. All kinds of emotional turmoil ensues. I thought the book was tremendous, with believable characters and plot while delivering a real dose of '80s culture and history. I basically read the whole story in one sitting.

- Review by Colleen, age 14


Zenobia July Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780451479402
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 21st, 2019

This book was great. I could not put it down and whipped through it in two hours straight. No bathroom stops, nothing. The main character is a trans girl who has to move to a new place. Her mom died when she was 5 and her dad died shortly before this story opens in a hunting accident. They were very religious and Zenobia didn't feel she could be herself around them. Now she's living with her Aunt Phil and Aunt Lucy. She has to try to fit in at a new school and to try not to let the secret out that she was born a guy. Then a hacker posts some really inappropriate, derogatory memes on the school website and she tries to find out who it is. I would recommend this book to anyone who liked the author's last book, Felix Yz. It will particularly appeal to geeks, outcasts and anime fans.

 

Review by Colleen, age 14.


Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781433830495
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Magination Press - May 21st, 2019

I read this in a day and already tried out some of the great writing prompts! The idea is to exercise your creativity while using writing to "be more present in your life." There were also a lot of paper crafts in which to put your writing, which weren't very useful to me personally, but some people would like them. The book is aimed at middle readers but seriously, anyone older than 8 could understand this and get something out of it.
 

-Review by Colleen, age 14.

 


The Candle and the Flame Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338306040
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - May 14th, 2019

This was a very multicultural book. It really gave you a feeling of being immersed in a foreign society, heavily based on Indian culture, Muslim and otherwise, but infused with djinn majic. Once upon a time, a little girl was the sole survivor of an attack by evil "chaos" djinn. A grieving mother djinn (from a different group of djinn associated with learning and order) came upon the girl and, close to dying herself, chose to gift the girl with her djinn fire. That girl, Fatima, is later found by a passer-by and raised as his own, alongside his own daughter. Now both girls are older teens, of marriageable age. Fatima works as a messenger while hanging out at a djinn-owned bookstore. Her "sister" is a whiz at making cosmetics, but she's considering getting married, which would leave Fatima without a place to live. Meanwhile, a war is brewing between the humans, the djinn of order  who oversee the area, and the chaos djinn who are threatening to invade. Thrown into one emergency after another, Fatima reclaims the previously hidden djinn fire she carries, and along with it some of her benefactor's memories and traits. Now calling herself Fatima Ghazala, she's taken under the protection of djinn emir Zulfikar, but though she likes him, she values her independence and developing power. This should appeal to readers who liked The Desert Spear and other similar fantasies.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 14.


I Wish You All the Best Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338306125
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Push - May 14th, 2019

I loved this book, especially all of the random nods it gives to various fandoms. The story was super-great. Ben is non-binary (does not identify as either male or female) and their parents aren't really okay with it. Kicked out of their home, Ben has to go live with their older sister, who is married and hasn't talked to their parents in years. It's pretty overwhelming adjusting to a different family and a different school while negotiating depression and anxiety. Then Ben develops a total crush on Nathan. The story follows Ben as they sort out their life and relationship and become their own person.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 14

 


On a Scale of One to Ten Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338323764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - May 14th, 2019

Tamar struggles with self harm among other mental illnesses. Her condition has only worsened since the death of her friend, Iris. Eventually, she is sent to Lime Grove, a psychiatric hospital. There she meets other patients and becomes close with a few of them. She embarks on her journey of recovery accompanied by her new found friends, but something is holding her back. Tamar continues to blame herself for Iris's death. This book follows her and her friends' time at Lime Grove and Tamar's road to fully understanding what happened to Iris. I found this book very moving. Scott does a terrific job of making her readers fall in love with her characters and root for their recovery. I would recommend this book to older kids who can understand the severity of mental illnesses and people who are interested in reading about the recovery of characters. 

-Review by Jewell 


Stepsister Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338268461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - May 14th, 2019

Everyone knows the tale of Cinderella... however does anyone truly know the story of the stepsisters? Yes, almost anybody can tell you that these two were wretched, horrible individuals to Ella, but does nobody care about the fact that these sisters were neglected, ignored, and told they would get nowhere in life based only on their ugly looks? This is the story of Isabelle, the step-sister that just doesn't fit in the box of being a young noblewoman of perfection, like everyone has tried to transform her into her whole life. But when Isabelle has the chance to make herself beautiful by finding the three lost pieces of her heart, she sets out on a journey that leads to her re-discovering her inner-beauty- the identity of a brave, fearless young woman she lost so many years ago. This book was an incredible read, and I kept thinking, "Oh my gosh! How come I've never thought of this story from this viewpoint?" It was a fabulous, refreshing new take on a classic, and I loved how Isabelle identified the person she wanted to be while making amends with those she's hurt in the past. This will not be a disappointment to fairy tale lovers alike, and goes to prove that no one needs to be the "perfect figure" that society claims everyone has to be, but rather encourages to differentiate yourself and show the world who you truly are.

-Review by Hailey, age 14


Finale: A Caraval Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250157669
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - May 7th, 2019

 

CARAVAL LOVERS REJOICE! Oh my goodness, I pretty much freaked out and did a little happy dance in the bookstore when I heard the last book in the Caraval Trilogy was available! This ultimate closer of a novel was absolutely a dream to read, as sisters Scarlett and Donatella are now faced with the cold hard reality of the real world. Although here, nothing is a game anymore and there are no second chances and exceptions for anyone. Tella doesn't know what her heart is telling her, as she so badly wants Legend to love her, but doing so will make him loose a part of himself he's never willing to give up. She struggles as she determines who she can trust, and needs to ensure her vision of what's she's fighting for isn't clouded by the irresistible promises of an enemy. And Scarlett must turn to being selfless and face newly discovered truths of who she is head on- even if it means loosing Julian, Tella, and those she loves in order to save the world. Stephanie Garber went out with a miraculous bang in this final addition, with an ending so emotional tears came to my eyes and I practically swooned aloud. As sisterly passion and un-conditional love conquers all, as the book truthfully quotes, this is "an ending worth waiting for". So please, Stephanie Garber, I need a fourth book ASAP! 

-Review by Hailey, age 14


Again, but Better: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250299253
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - May 7th, 2019

Again, But Better is the debut novel of one of the most followed booktubers of today, Christine Riccio. This book revolves around a college student named Shane who is studying abroad for a semester in London. Again, but Better is a story of finding yourself and being brave enough to take a chance. It is full of adventure, travel, and love with hints of magic mixed in. I love Christine Riccio’s writing style and I fell in love with the story.

-Review by Ava, age 13


Last Things Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062875068
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 7th, 2019

Last Things is the most popular band in their town. With prodigy lead singer and guitarist Anders Thorson, the band's future seems promising. However, the chaotic crowds don't satisfy Anders. He feels as though he doesn't deserve it, that they aren't seeing the real him, only the rockstar mask he puts on for shows.Soon enough, he feels as though he can't even take credit for the songs he writes. He feels darkness and pain while he is writing. Thea, an obsessive fan of Last Things, knows this darkness. She spends all of her time watching the woods, making sure that it doesn't reach out and take Anders. But she can't protect him forever, and soon the dark things will try to take everything. This book is such a page turner! From beginning to end it is mysterious and thoughtfully written. Highly recommend!

-Review by Jewell


Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781524720964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 7th, 2019

This was a terrific book and I want to know what happens next IMMEDIATELY! It brings together a diverse cast of characters from the far future, all from different backgrounds and cultures. There was a lot of humor interspersed, like the galactic tips sprinkled in between chapters like pages from the "Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy" and Scarlett's musings on the pros and cons of her 392 ex-boyfriends. One of the main characters of the book is Aurora, who was headed to a colony on another planet in the not-so-distant future. She's placed in a stasis pod for the long journey and enters the Fold, a space warp kind of like a "Wrinkle in Time." However, her ship gets lost in the Fold and 200 years later it's still floating around, with Aurora, the sole survivor, (completely unaware of all of this) still in stasis. Enter Tyler, an up-and-coming member of the Aurora Legion, a neutral aid organization a little like the Peace Corp, which helps people in interplanetary conflicts. He's headed into the draft as the highest-rated team captain and takes a ship into the Fold just to burn off some energy the night before the draft. There, he finds Aurora and rescues her, arriving back late and with only the dregs of the recruits to choose from. He winds up with a ragtag team made up of Scarlett, his twin sister; Cat, with whom he has a romantic history; Finian, a techie who has a crippling disease and wears an exosuit to help him handle the effects of gravity; Kal, a member of the warrior class of the Sildrathi race (they look a lot like elves and I truly appreciate the Lord of the Rings humor), and Zila, a dispassionate science expert with a penchant for attacking her fellow crew members. This mismatched crew, all of whom have big assets as well as liabilities, find themselves embroiled in a big space conspiracy spanning the galaxy, with tendrils trailing back into prior civilizations. They're not sure which side is right but must act to save the whole universe. I'd recommend it to fans of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 14


How It Feels to Float Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525554295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - May 7th, 2019

Biz has grown accustomed to barely staying afloat. She stays teetering at the edge of a depression-filled abyss, using her relationship with her tight knit friend group as well as her chats with her dead dad as a way of staying in touch with the real world. However, Biz begins to slip when her best friend and possible love interest moves away and her friend group isolates her. Soon enough, Biz finds herself unable to complete her daily routine. Instead of floating, she sinks deeper and deeper into a tired, hopeless reality that she can't seem to find a way out of. Her mother attempts to bring her out of her misery by signing her up for a photography class. There she meets new friends as well as discovers new ways to communicate with her deceased father. Will the photography class snap Biz out of her dismal trance? Or will Biz's past prove itself to be too overwhelming? I would recommend this book to those who are interested in reading a first person perspective of mental illness. The characters' roles in the plot and the elusiveness of this story kept me interested and I had a hard time putting this book down.

 

-Review by Jewell


The Tiger at Midnight Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062869210
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - April 23rd, 2019

Esha's secret identity is "The Viper" a rebel whose chosen weapon is a pair of whips. Kunal is the soldier send to find and capture The Viper. Esha breaks into the palace stronghold to kill Kunal's uncle, the General, only to find someone else has already done so and tried to frame her, leaving a good replica of one of her whips behind. She lets the attempted framing play out, while investigating who would bother to set her up for a crime she had intended to commit anyway. Meanwhile, she and Kunal, playing a cat and mouse game, find out they have more in common than they thought. The book has a kind of Indian flavor, but not India of this world. It's set in a world where magic from the combined blood of two races nurtures this world, but a rift between the families threatens this stability.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


The First True Thing Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062360526
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - April 23rd, 2019

Marcelle is a recovering alcoholic at sixteen years old. She attends group every day, but is struggling to commit to getting clean. She finds it hard to cut ties with all of her junkie friends and their lifestyles, especially when it comes to her best friend Hannah. But when Hannah goes missing, Marcelle has to decide where she truly stands. She has to expose her and her friends' criminal pasts before someone gets hurt. The whodunnit storyline in a relatable high school setting kept me interested in this story. I would recommend this book to other high school students that are faced with the same hard decisions as the characters in this book.

-Review by Jewell


Starworld Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763697563
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - April 16th, 2019

This was a really good book overall but had a sad ending. The two main characters, both girls, are polar opposites. There's Sam, a nerd with no friends who paints all the time, and Zoe, a popular girl with a boyfriend and lots of friends, who gets good grades and is really involved. After a chance encounter, they exchange phone numbers and become unlikely friends, making up a fantasy world together in their spare time. When Sam develops a crush on Zoe, she doesn't want it to ruin their friendship. Then there's the little problem that Zoe is completely straight. I'd recommend this to realistic fiction fans age 13 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 14


The Meaning of Birds Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062824448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - April 16th, 2019

Everything has gone downhill since Jess's girlfriend, Vivi, died tragically. Jess's drive to get into college and better her art skills has vanished. When her anger issues start acting up again, she gets into a fight and is sent to the school for troubled kids. She struggles to regain her footing after Vivi. It is up to her friends and family to help pull her out of the dark hole that the tragedy left her in. Will Jess be able to move on from Vivi and channel her feelings? This book is a very sweet story about someone coping with losing a soul mate. I thought it was very well written and had a good plot with well developed characters. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about a troubled girl's recovery after a tragedy.

-Review by Jewell


The Meaning of Birds Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062824448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - April 16th, 2019

This book was super-sad, but compelling. I couldn't stop reading it. And even though I don't usually read realistic fiction, I really liked it. The main character Jess, just lost her girlfriend who died from a combination of the flu and asthma. The story is told half before she died and half after, and it basically explores how Jess deals with the grief and anger issues while at the same time finishing up her senior year of high school and applying for colleges. I'd recommend this book to readers age 14 and up.

- Review by Colleen, 14.


The Raven's Tale Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781419733628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - April 16th, 2019

This book was really, really, really good. It had me hooked from page 1. Coincidentally, I happen to be studying Edgar Allan Poe in English right now, but this was a whole different take on what I already knew, with the main character being the writer as a teenager. It's nice to already know something about Poe, but you don't have to have read his works to enjoy the book. I can see someone saying "I want to read more of this guy's stuff" after picking up this book. The story is totally relatable, and at the same time quite original. In this book, everything follows history except for the fantastical invention that writers have muses who are actually physical beings. These muses are considered a disgrace by normal society. Edgar Allan Poe as a teen develops a creepy weird, disturbing muse called Lenore. Poe's foster father wants to shoot the muse for fear Lenore will lead Poe on a path of "debt and destruction." Poe, meanwhile, is trying to raise money to go to college and to marry his younger cousin. The family does not consider it a suitable match. Unable to get financial support from his family, Poe turns to gambling to try to raise college funds, with predictable results. Poe also gets another muse who inspires his comedy and satire work. The two muses keep fighting over him. He tries to hide them from public view. The story has a great, original voice. I loved it.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250195661
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - April 2nd, 2019

 
Nadya's country is in a state of war with heretics. After her best friend is killed in action, Nadya knows she has to do something. As she is fighting, she discovers that she is the last living cleric (person with magic) in her country as far as she knows. She joins a team of rebels and embarks on a secret mission to infiltrate the heretics' government. Along the way, she meets a Black Vulture traitor, Malachaiz. She develops a friendship with him but it soon becomes more. Nadya must shoulder the weight of saving her country, developing her magic without guidance, as well as battling her feelings for the heretic boy. I loved this book! It's the perfect fiction novel with its blend of magic, drama, and war and has me hoping for a sequel. Would recommend!

 

Review by Jewell


Mera: Tidebreaker Cover Image
By Danielle Paige, Stephen Byrne (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401283391
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DC Ink - April 2nd, 2019

I was initially reluctant to read this graphic novel because I realized it tied in to some DC character I knew nothing about, but I gave it a chance and found the story completely stands on its on. In fact, I really enjoyed it, especially the art, which was really well done. The story and characters were really fresh and diverse and the artist's choice to render everything in black, white, green and orange gave the art an intriguing look. Mera, one of the heirs to a sea kingdom now unwillingly ruled by Atlantis, is being set up to marry this guy to secure relations with Atlantis. Mera actually likes the guy - they played together as kids - but she doesn't want to be a princess. She wants to be a warrior, and she wants to make her own choices. To prove her skills, she sets out to kill the long-lost prince of Atlantis, who, it turns out, is living life as a "regular dude" on the East Coast. She fakes "drowning" to get him to "save" her, but is considerably weakened by the transition from water to air and spends three days recovering, in his room. As she gets to know him, she realizes that not only does he have no clue about his heritage, but also he's seriously good-hearted. So she keeps procrastinating the "killing" part.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


Internment Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316522694
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 19th, 2019

Set in the imminently near future, Internment asks what would happen if the U.S. government repeated its actions from World War II, when it took Japanese Americans from their homes and placed them in internment camps. Except this time, those imprisoned are Muslims, based on their self-identification on the U.S. Census. When the book opens, the main character, Layla, is unsettled by the political climate. A "Muslim ban" is in full swing; her dad has lost his job and she's had to switch to home-schooling. But her main concern is sneaking out after curfew to spend more time with her boyfriend. Then in the middle of the night, everything changes. Her family and other Muslims are taken from their homes with one bag of "essentials" each, then imprisoned out in the desert, almost within view of the original Manzanar Japanese internment camp. The FEMA trailers they've given as homes are better than wooden barracks, but their whole lives are controlled. Should Layla follow her parents' advice and keep her head down to survive, or should she fight for her rights as an American citizen? With help from some unlikely sources, Layla is determined to make a stand for democracy - though at the first sign of protest, the violence begins to escalate. I'd recommend this to fans of American Heart.
 
Review by Colleen, age 14.


Sherwood Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062422316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - March 19th, 2019

After Robin of Locksley has perished in battle, Maid Marian doesn’t know if she can cope with the death of her soon-to-be husband. But living on through Robin’s legacy allows her to overcome the sorrow of her past, and she begins to fight back against what she believes is wrong and saves lives of innocents (as Robin would have wanted her to do). But after rumors begin to spread that Robin is back from the dead,  and a murderous sheriff is after him, Marian is forced to smoothly act as two people- Marian, an established noblewoman, and Robin Hood, a character that is given respect by his band of outlaws, and has the pleasure of escaping the discriminatory confinements Marian faces as a woman. This book was absolutely fabulous! I really enjoyed being able to witness Marian acting as two different figures, which brought out different sides of her. I would recommend this book to ages 13+ and those who love a spin on classic fairy tales, action, and of course, lots of adventure.

-Review by Hailey, Age 14


Girls with Sharp Sticks Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534426139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - March 19th, 2019

 

Mena is one of the lucky girls that have been accepted to the Innovations Academy, where she learns to be beautiful, compliant, and well behaved- the qualities of a true woman, according to the academy. But after a close friend disappears without a trace, it seems like only the beginning as shocking secrets about the true desires of the institution surface- and Mena and the girls know only one thing- they must fight back to escape the horrors of the academy before another girl is lost, destroyed, or manipulated. This feministic book reveals mystery after mystery, and inspires all girls to fight for what’s right, rise up, and stand together once and for all. This book was incredible- I binge read it for 5 days and I couldn’t put it down (the characters are so loveable, and the suspense glues your eyes to the pages)! Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy this book, you won’t be disappointed!

-Review by Hailey age 14


The Waking Forest Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525581161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - March 12th, 2019

The critical suspense of how these two capitavting stories intertwine. One of a girl suffering from severe anxiety by having realistic, haunting  dreams and visions named Rhea. The other of a witch who lives deep within the branches of the woods, granting wishes to young children and listening to the fantastical stories of a mysterious ma.  The book will make you want to pull out all of your hair… in the best way possible! This tale is written with such a poetic, alluring tone, and the bewilderment that overcomes you at every shocking change of events is one of a kind. I would recommend this book for those who don’t get discouraged by not all the events seeming to line up at first, but love the “Aha!” moment and pay out when the plot twists and some events fall perfectly into place.

-Review by Hailey, age14


We Set the Dark on Fire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062691316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - February 26th, 2019

This was a real page-turner and I am really motivated to read the second book AS SOON AS POSSSIBLE! The story is set on an island, whose culture has a kind of Hispanic feel. All of the rich people live in the middle of the island and the rest are shunted into the outskirts, where the ground is so salty they can hardly grow food. Between the two, a big wall has been erected and the people outside it are barely surviving. Every rich guy qualifies to have two wives: the primera or "smart" wife who runs the household, and the segunda or "pretty" wife who bears the children. All of the rich girls go to finishing schools to learn to be the perfect wife, competing to be sold to the highest bidder. The ultimate goal is to wind up with the richest husband possible. The main character, Dani, is smuggled into her finishing school from outside the wall, and her family has spent all of their money trying to obtain forged papers that will let her compete for a better life. At the end of her training, Dani is chosen as the "primera" of the richest guy. But he chooses Dani's rival, Carmen, as his "segunda." They were friends when they were 12, but Carmen allegedly betrayed Dani and has become all snobby.

Now as members of the same household, they have to learn to work together, as the husband turns out to be not at all nice. I would recommend this book for readers 14 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 14.


Mike Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338285369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: David Fickling Books - February 26th, 2019

Floyd, with the support of his parents, has become one of the best tennis players of his age group. Floyd could be found out on the courts at 5:00am, practicing until his fingers were blistered from the grip on his racket. Floyd makes it into an important tournament, but is interrupted mid-match by a strange man with dark curly hair. Floyd learns that this man's name is Mike, and that Mike can only be seen by him. Mike disappears and reappears during turning events in Floyd's life. Mike teaches Floyd many life lessons and helps him make essential decisions. I would recommend this book as a light read to those who enjoy a story about overcoming obstacles and making tough decisions. 

-Review by Jewell


Comics Will Break Your Heart: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781626723641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - February 12th, 2019

Mir feels stuck in her small hometown. She wants to escape and attend college, but is afraid she can't afford it. Not to mention nobody in her town ends up going to college. Years ago, her grandfather lost a legal battle over ownership of a comic that he helped create. Ever since then, it seems that her family is always short on money. Mir is trapped in the same routine of school and work. She soon loses friends due to her ambitions. She begins to lose hope for the present and the future, until Weldon, the cute new boy in town, changes her perspective. He encourages her and makes her feel less like an outcast. But as things about Weldon's past are uncovered, and she begins to wonder if they will be able to stay together. I would recommend this book to people who would be interested in reading a classic small-town love story with a twist. 

-Review by Jewell


Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness duology) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780544991194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - February 5th, 2019

Even though it's the start of a new series, readers of this book who haven't read any of the author's prior books will face a steep learning curve as they start reading and try to figure out the alternate world in which it's set. Still, parts of the intertwined stories were compelling enough for me to keep reading even when I didn't quite know what was going on. There are two main characters, whose paths don't cross until the end of the book. They're both members of a secret sisterhood, but they don't know each-other. Sybella is trying to protect her younger sisters while searching out the hidden member of their order who has been undercover for years. The other main character, Genevieve, has been undercover since she was a girl and doesn't know if she'll ever be contacted by the Order of St. Mortain. Meanwhile, she finds a forgotten prisoner near death in a oubliette. She brings him food and lets him out to serve as a sparring partner as she keeps her secret skills sharp. Meanwhile, a knot of political intrigue and outside plots threaten their world. Will the two young women find each-other in time? And what will happen with the prisoner? I'd recommend this to readers of LaFevers' previous novels, which are set in the same world, with some of the same characters.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 14.


Stolen Time Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062679949
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - February 5th, 2019

 

This was an amazing, compelling book. I couldn't stop reading it and finished it in a day and a half. The story alternated between a professor's log and the experiences of the characters, who have to piece everything together in this time-traveling adventure.
The book starts with Dorothy, who is a thief in 1913, trained by her mom to pick pockets and manipulate men. Now her mom's got a new con, which involves marrying Dorothy off and pocketing the money. Dorothy runs away from her wedding and stows away on what she later learns is a time-traveling airplane. She wakes up in 2077, in a dystopian world in which the entire city of Seattle has been flooded and destroyed by earthquakes. In 2077, Dorothy becomes part of a time-traveling band who seek to change the past in order to save their future. I'd recommend the book to readers age 14 and up.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 14


The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338227017
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - January 29th, 2019

I really liked this book and could not stop reading it. It was very tense - it seemed like every time things started going right for the main character, Rukhsana, something worse would happen. Rukhsana, a senior in high school, is the daughter of immigrants from Bangladesh, and they're really old-fashioned. They're constantly pushing her into meeting "husband candidates" from the same background and she's not into it because she has a girlfriend, Ariana. Then they catch her kissing Ariana. They slap Ariana, slap Rukhsana, lock her in her room and pack her off to Bangladesh. Rukhsana had a full scholarship going to CalTech, but that won't happen now because she can't take her finals in Bangladesh. They even try to "exorcise" the gay out of her. Does not work. Meanwhile, Rukhsana forms a plan to get out of Bangladesh and her impending arranged marriage. I would recommend this to readers age 14 and up. It's really eye-opening.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 13. 


The Cerulean Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062489982
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - January 29th, 2019

I really liked this book. It was really original and complex, compelling and hard to put down. This is the first book in a duology, and I really want to know what happens next. The Cerulean are an alien species. They look like people but are blue and silver and they're all women, reproducing asexually. They live in a city in space that's tethered by magic to the planet they get all of their resources from. The main character, Sera, who's 18, is curious and eager to see a new planet, which is unusual for her people. She's excited when the high priestess announces that she's been chosen. She's supposed to be a sacrifice, to cut the tether, and she's expected to die in the process. But somehow she doesn't die - she falls to the planet and survives. On the planet, she faces danger - they want to put her in a zoo and harvest her blood, which has healing powers. She teams up with a brother and sister in hopes of saving both the city and the planet. I'd recommend this for readers 13 and up, especially girls.

 - Review by Colleen, age 14.


The Gilded Wolves Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250144546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - January 15th, 2019

This was an original story, very complex, with a fully developed alternative world. It's set in Paris in the late 1800s, but it's a very different Paris than ours. This world has been run for eons by a powerful group of magic users who hoard magical resources and influence. The main characters are a very diverse group of thieves who steal magical artifacts. Each has a crazy talent, from mathematical genius to the ability to transform things by magic. They're all on the outs with society and they've carved out an underworld where they can thrive - until powerful interests come to them and force them to seek out the most dangerous artifact yet. There was a lot to take in, so it came together slowly for me, but I really loved it - until the last couple chapters where the author did really mean things to all of the characters I had come to love. I don't know if I want to read the second book...
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


The Field Guide to the North American Teenager Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062824110
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 8th, 2019

Norris Kaplan is a teenager trying to escape his past and start fresh at a new school.  The only problem, he is a rather pessimistic black French Canadian who moved to Austin, Texas, and he is not very lucky. From the moment he gets in Austin, he begins categorizing everything that he comes into contact with including a group of rather angry cheerleaders, a kid looking for a new beginning ,and the girl of his dreams, Aarti Puri.  But his bad decisions have caught up with him, and now some careful planning to get out of Austin might just come in handy.

 

-Reveiw by Anderson