Teen Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rated Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338283570
Availability: Not Yet Published
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


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.


Let’s Call It a Doomsday Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062698902
Availability: Not Yet Published
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: Not Yet Published
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.


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


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


Zenobia July Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780451479402
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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.


The Candle and the Flame Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338306040
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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

 


Starworld Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763697563
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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


How It Feels to Float Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525554295
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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


The Meaning of Birds Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062824448
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Amulet Books - 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


Mera: Tidebreaker Cover Image
By Danielle Paige, Stephen Byrne (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781401283391
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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

This book starts when Robin Hood (otherwise known as Robin of Locksely, the rightful lord and landowner) dies in the Crusades and Maid Marian becomes "Robin Hood." Robin himself was never an outlaw, but a loyal subject of the king. "Hood" is actually a normal name for an outlaw, and it doesn't refer to wearing a hood to hide your identity - although she does, putting on Robin's cloak). It refers to the hood you wear when hanged - because you're sure to hang. Still, people are suffering in Marian's community, taxed beyond their ability to pay, and she vows to help them. Being very tall and athletic, Marian does not intend to be taken for Robin's ghost, but she takes advantage of the fact and starts acting on his behalf. This book was really good, though it took the story in unexpected directions, above and beyond the switch of the hero's gender. I'd recommend this for fans of the original legend, of historical fiction and fantasy.

-Review by Colleen, age 13. 


Rise of the Dragons Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780545864961
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 26th, 2019

Even though I usually read teen books, I picked this one up because the author, Angie Sage, has written some incredible things. And even though this was a middle grade book, it was seriously great. I whipped through it. The story is that dragons used to live on Earth before they moved to another world. This book is set half in the modern world, half on the dragon world, which has very few humans and they don't have the technology we do. They use the dragons instead, even training some "Raptors" as an elite fighting force. The "Raptors" don't have much free will, serving the humans in their quest for power. Meanwhile, many of the people on the dragon world have little to no power either, living only to serve the rich. On Earth, the main character is Sirin, who believes in dragons because of the stories her mom used to tell her. Now her mom's in the hospital for some ambiguous reason and Sirin is sent to foster care. In the dragon world, the main characters are brother and sister Joss and Allie, who are indentured servants for one of the rich families. Joss finds a dragon egg and it hatches. He "locks" with the dragon, forming a mind-bond. The silver dragon is really valuable and the rich families are looking for it because dragons that color can cross the barrier to the "lost lands," including Earth. I'd recommend this book to fans of Angie Sage books like the Septimus Heap series and to fans of other dragon books like the Wings of Fire series.

-Review by Colleen, age 14


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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


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


Deadfall Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368014267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - December 11th, 2018

This book flashes between the troublesome past of brothers Ty and Cory, and the dangerous adventure they must make.  After finding a crashed car in a ditch, the brothers investigate, only to find that the cargo is not what it may seem, and that their deceased father might have something to do with the sinister plot following the twins.  You won't be able to put this book down until the final shot is fired.

-Review by Anderson


Fire & Heist Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101931004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - December 4th, 2018

This story is set in a modern world that's just a bit different from our own, in which humans live side-by-side with supernatural wyverns (like a kind of dragon in human form, but which can breathe fire.) Wyverns, like fabled dragons, love treasure, but they don't steal from humans. Instead, they play elaborate "heist" games among their own kind, the success of which then determines each family's status in wyvern society. The main character, Sky Hawkins, is a modern high schooler. Her mother recently disappeared following a failed heist and her family's status has taken a dive. All of her wyvern friends have deserted her, even apparently her boyfriend. Sky is determined to do what her mom couldn't and restore her family's status - and if possible, find her mom as well. Sky teams up with a non-wyvern friend and an older wyvern wizard with a hidden agenda - and what they find could change their whole world. This book was not what I expected, but it had its share of excitement. Even though it's billed as a teen book, the romance involved was fairly tame. I'd recommend it for readers 12 and up who like adventure with a little fantasy thrown in.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Strange Days Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524740245
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - December 4th, 2018

If you made Felix Yz for young adults, then turned everything up about three or four notches, you'd have this book. It's really weird, but I liked it. Alex, the main character, is a normal teen, age 16, until his parents are killed by aliens. Nobody believes him. They all think he's crazy and that he did it. Then Alex starts getting letters from himself in his own handwriting, including details only he would know. He follows his instructions and travels to Seattle from L.A., running away so the cops don't pick him up. He hooks up with an organization which is trying to save people from aliens, using technology they got from different alien species. Alex turns out to be a perfect DNA match to witness the future. Of course, he finds that everything isn't as it seems. This book really encourages you to think differently. I'd recommend it to teens age 14 and up who have a high tolerance for the weird.
 

--Review by Colleen, age 13


The Dark Days Deceit (A Lady Helen Novel #3) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780670785490
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - November 20th, 2018

This book has it all: romance, intrigue, mystery, the supernatural, and of course, the threat of the gates of Hell opening up. It's the last in a trilogy that started with The Dark Days Club and continued with The Dark Days Pact. If you haven't read the first two books, don't attempt this one - it would be hopelessly confusing. But fans of the first two books will be satisfied with the final volume. At the end of the last book, the main character had to use the energy bound in a magic book written in blood. Now the pages of the book are blank, but the blood magic has been transferred to her, and she's haunted by the final moments of the people whose blood was bound up in the magic. The question is - can energy from such an evil source work good in the world, defeat the Grand Deceiver (like a demon from another realm who hides inside a human body) and seal the door to Hell? I'd recommend this book for fans of the first two, ages 14 and up.

-Review by Colleen, age 13


Norroway Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway Cover Image
By Cat Seaton, Kit Seaton (Artist)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534308558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Image Comics - November 13th, 2018

I really liked this graphic novel. It went really fast. It's a very original story, based on a Scottish fairy tale I was unfamiliar with, but with a very diverse cast. It's set in legendary times - I'm not sure what period. A witch prophesied that the main character is going to marry an enchanted bull who used to be human. When the bull comes along, she and he join together to embark on a quest to break the curse. There's a lot of action, travel, and violence. I'd recommend it for fans of graphic novels age 14 and up: people who like books like Afar and Moonstruck.

-Review by Colleen, age 13


Zenobia Cover Image
By Morten Durr, Lars Horneman (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609808730
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Triangle Square - November 13th, 2018

This graphic novel was very simply written and gentle in its own way, but it carried a brutal message about the effects of war. It was an incredibly fast read, but the impact will probably last a long time. Basically, the story opens as a girl goes overboard from a crammed, open boat in the middle of the ocean. As she slips into the water, her memories come out, of her early life, her parents' going missing and her city destroyed by war. Her uncle takes the orphan out of the ruined city and gives up all of the money he has to put her on a boat toward freedom. Conditions on the boat are awful, and then a big wave comes along and sweeps her into the ocean. It is simple enough for a 7-year-old to understand, but I would not recommend it to readers under age 12 due to the emotional impact. I would recommend it to readers who think we should deny entry to Syrian refugees. 
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


She Did It!: 21 Women Who Changed the Way We Think Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781368019910
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - November 6th, 2018

The advance release book had just a sampler of some of the women who will be featured in the eventual book, but it was still interesting. It was unbelievable what prior generations had to go through to gain some degree of equality. There was Ida Tarbell, journalist, whose family got upset when she "chose science over the Bible." There was Rachel Carson, described as a "woman naturalist" and challenged at the time about why a "spinster" would be "so interested in genetics." Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman in Congress, faced double discrimination due to her gender and race. Even after she was elected, she was ostracized at governmental gatherings, and her opponent advertised with blatant bias, saying things like he presented a "strong male image" and would provide a "man's voice" in Washington D.C. - as if that were needed! Then there was Billie Jean King, tennis great and "women's libber," who fought the idea that women athletes should earn a fraction of what men got. Early on, she was even discriminated against because she was poor and was barred from a picture because she was wearing shorts her mom made her, not the traditional "tennis skirt." Who can play sports in a skirt?! This is a good read for people interested in history - and those interested in changing it.

- Review by Colleen, age 14


This Is What It Feels Like Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062494238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - November 6th, 2018

Dia, Jules, and Hanna are finally graduating high school. Though they have gone their separate ways, their intertwined pasts and the music they used to make together will always be a bond between them. When a contest is held in their hometown for a chance to win an opening spot for Glory Alabama, the girls' favorite band, they can't deny the obvious opportunity to replenish their friendship and possibly land their dream gig. All of the girls' stories are extremely interesting to follow. They are all likeable characters so, as the reader, you kind of just want everything to work out for them in the end. Every chapter ends with a bit that just makes you wonder what will happen in the next one, making it a very easy read. I personally thought it was really cool how the author gave each of the girls a detailed enough backstory so that the reader got to experience their creative process as well as understand their inspiration (as they are all musicians). That helped me connect with the characters and sympathize with them. I would recommend this book to people who like music. The entire plot basically revolves around music. I would also recommend this book to people who love a unique story about rediscovering friendships. 

-Review by Jewell, age 15


Skyward Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780399555770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - November 6th, 2018

This book was SO GOOD! I wish I could read #2 IMMEDIATELY! Spensa, the main character, is a ratcatcher on her planet, which is orbited by so much ancient space junk that you can barely glimpse the sky. She's shunned because her father, who was a starship captain, allegedly turned coward and pulled out of a major battle. Spensa's dream is to pilot a starship herself. But she learns she won't even be allowed the pass the test because of her father's record. Running off in anger, she stumbles upon an ancient - and very advanced - starship in a cave. She decides to come back and take the test anyway, and by some miracle, is accepted to pilot training by special permission of one of the teachers. The story from there is fast-moving and riveting, with lots of surprises I won't ruin in this advance review. I'd recommend it for fans of Sanderson's other books as well as general science fiction fans, age 12 and up.

 

- Review by Colleen, age 14.