Teen Advisory Board Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meaning of Birds Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062824448
Availability: Not Yet Published
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.


Sherwood Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062422316
Availability: Not Yet Published
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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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.


Stolen Time Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062679949
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order 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: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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.


OtherEarth (Last Reality #2) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781101939369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - October 30th, 2018

This was a really good sequel to Otherworld, picking right up where the other story left off. It didn't take long to get back into the story and in fact I read the whole book in less than a day - it was very compelling. The main character, Simon, and his girlfriend Kat are trying to take down "The Company" which is injuring people on purpose so it can stick them into this virtual reality game. The Company's aim is to develop a version in which people who are killed in the game don't die in real life. In the meantime, the game is deadly and The Company has not told anybody about it. This is the second in a promised trilogy and of course I am eager to find out what happens in book 3. No spoilers, but the end of book 2 leaves the reader in a very ambiguous place.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13


This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062820228
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 30th, 2018

This story was really good and I whipped through it, even though the author keeps torturing his characters. It seemed nothing ever went right for these guys - the main character kept messing things up - although it kind of worked out in the end.
The main character, Nathan, who is black, has a broken arm because he just fell off a roof. His girlfriend also just broke up with him because she cheated on him with another girl. Then his childhood best friend, Oliver, a Hispanic guy who is deaf, returns from Santa Fe where he's been living. They haven't talked since they were 11 and Nathan confessed he had a crush on Oliver. All of a sudden, Oliver is back and they're juniors in high school. Nathan feels the same way but he doesn't know what to do.  It's incredibly awkward but compelling. I'd recommend this book for fans of Becky Albertalli or Adam Silvera novels.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


A Very Large Expanse of Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062866561
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - October 16th, 2018

 Not even having been born when this book is set, in 2002, I had no experience with the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks and what it meant to people of the Muslim faith who were quietly living their lives in America. The main character, Shirin, moves around a lot. She's now entering a new high school and people are really freaked out that she wears a headscarf. Her classmates say some really stupid stuff and throw food at her. They're all convinced she's a terrorist who hates America. But there's this one guy - just a regular All-American white dude, who seems to want to know her for who she is. Shirin is hesitant to get involved, because she doesn't want to ruin his life too. The story really breaks down stereotypes. I'd recommend this book to anybody age 13 and up, especially fans of books like American Heart

-Review by Colleen age 13

 


Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories from Young Female Voices Cover Image
By Girls Write Now (Contribution by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781947793057
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - October 16th, 2018

This read like a wake-up call - really fresh and diverse and original. It includes a bunch of true stories about the experience of girls from all around the world. They're all short stories, but the girls come from all different cultures and backgrounds, and there's even some foreign languages incorporated into some of the stories. This collection includes something everyone should be able to relate to: like the girl who has a weird name no one can pronounce to the experience of an immigrant coming here not knowing the language, to the experience of an American with a different cultural heritage she doesn't know much about. There are stories of girls overcoming racism and sexism and the grief of losing a loved one. I highly recommend it to teens, especially girls - of course.

 

-Review by Colleen, age 13


The Devil's Thief (The Last Magician #2) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481494458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - October 9th, 2018

This book is a sequel to The Last Magician, which I also loved. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but as the book starts, Esta and Harte have managed to get across "The Brink," the magical barrier around this alternative 1902 New York. They accidentally time-travel to 1904 and head to St. Louis in attempt to fix the magic. Meanwhile, back in 1902, the ripple effect is continuing with other characters. It took me awhile to remember all of the details from the first book, because it's very complex, but once I got into it, The Devil's Thief was very compelling, capturing the reader in a tightening spiral of rising action. Again, there will be another book and I am desperate to find out what happens next. I'd recommend The Devil's Thief to fans of the last book. Science-fiction/fantasy fans age 14 and up would also like this, but reading the first book in the series is a must for understanding what's going on.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 14


What If It's Us Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062795250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - October 9th, 2018

I zipped through this book in one day. My friends and I have been highly anticipating this collaboration by two of our favorite authors, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. It was interesting to see how their two talents mix, especially as she writes happy upbeat stories and he tends to write the opposite. The main character in this book, Arthur, who's almost 17, is visiting New York City for the summer from nowhereville, Georgia. He's short and Jewish. Ben, who's tall and Puerto Rican, lives in NYC. The two meet when Ben's carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend's stuff to the post office to mail it back to him.
Ben and Arthur hit it off immediately and they're determined to find each other again. Eventually they do. The story is romantic, adorable and funny, full of Harry Potter and Hamilton references for those in the know. I'd recommend it for readers age 14 and up, especially fans of the authors.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


Light Years Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316510448
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 9th, 2018

Light Years by New York Times bestselling author of The 100 is a marvelous book full of action, secrets, and romance. If you are a fan of science fiction and drama then this is the perfect book for you. The book takes place at a military boarding school that trains teenagers from all different planets to one day defend their worlds from their enemies. Not all is as it seems at the academy. Four very different cadets meet at the school and must put their personal problems aside if they want to defeat a growing threat. This book has such amazing characters that I got attached to (which can be a dangerous thing while reading any book by Kass Morgan). I absolutely loved the setting and the world building in this book. Once I started, I could not stop reading.

-Review by Ava, age 13


A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #4) Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780735232143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 2nd, 2018

This was really good, even though everything seemed wrapped up in the third book and I didn't expect there to be a fourth book. This lived up to the rest of the series and added a whole bunch of new questions. It was compelling and I whipped through it despite the book's thickness. This one is set in Peculiar America, which is quite different than Peculiar Europe. Jacob and his friends are in Peculiar Florida. Following the loop collapse, their internal clocks have been reset and they are no longer in danger if they exit the loop. They're all set to enter life in modern Florida and are getting "normaling" lessons, when they find a secret bunker under Jacob's grampa's house which leads them to an undercover society. They set out on a mission to save an uncontacted Peculiar and calamity ensues. I'd recommend this book for fans of the series age 13 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 14.


(Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781616207816
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 2nd, 2018

This book includes a number of first-person perspectives from people with various conditions affecting their mental health, from obsessive-compulsive disorder to depression and anxiety, to autism, which you might or might not lump in the same category but which certainly affects how people think. A lot of them were by established authors talking about their own experiences, including some of my favorite writers. The stories were really interesting and compelling. I was surprised to know some of these well-known people have had to struggle with mental health issues. It made you really empathize, and provided a window on a lot of different ways of looking at the world, with the idea that people can't always choose how they see things. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever know anyone who's ever had mental illness and teens in general, age 14 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 14.


Nightingale Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335012340
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harlequin Teen - September 25th, 2018

This book is really suspenseful and well-written. I could not put it down. It's also really creepy, with a lot of mindblowing plot twists. Overall, it's really good, even empowering in a "girl power" sort of way. It's set in 1951, when girls have a much more limited choice in what they can do. June is not a normal girl. She's very independent, with different views on life, and she likes to write. She's sent to a mental institution for reasons that aren't revealed until later in the book. The story is told in a split perspective, half her experience at the institution and half flashbacks of the events leading up to her institutionalization. While she's at the institution, June discovers disturbing layers of truth as she attempts to find out what's really going on. I'd recommend this book for readers age 14 and up, especially girls who like horror and suspense.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13


A Witch Alone (The Apprentice Witch #2) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338188516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - September 25th, 2018

This is the sequel to The Apprentice Witch, and I think it's even better than the first book. Arianwyn, the main character, has now finished her apprenticeship and is returning to Lull to serve as its town witch. She's  sent on a mission to retrieve "The Book of Quiet Glyphs," which has just been discovered. They realized the glyphs used to be an entire language, which represents lost magic. Meanwhile, Great Wood around Lull is being completely overtaken by a dark magic Hex and dangerous magical creatures not seen in hundreds of years are appearing. Also, Arianwyn's dad has been reported missing in the ongoing war. I would recommend this book to fans of the first book and other magical middle-grade fiction, ages 9-13.

- Review by Colleen, age 14


Give the Dark My Love Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781595147172
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - September 25th, 2018

This book was really compelling and I wanted to keep reading. It was also super-original and diverse - not one of your token fantasies, even though it is set in a medieval-style empire. Nedra, the main character, gets a scholarship to attend a prestigious academic to study medicinal alchemy. She wants to help stop this plaque which is decimating the population: The Wasting Death.Nedra turns out to be a natural in the field, but this is not a normal plaque. Its origin is magic. Nedra is distressed when her patients at the hospital where she volunteers keep dying, so she starts delving into a forbidden type of alchemy - necromancy. Predictably, things go downhill from there. I'd recommend it for dark fantasy lovers age 14 and up.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13


The Agony House Cover Image
By Cherie Priest, Tara O'Connor (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780545934299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - September 25th, 2018

This book is written from two different perspectives, half in comics, half in prose. It starts out when a girl moves into a new house. She and a friend who is a boy are pretty sure it's haunted. They capture tape recordings of whispering people. Then they find a comic book manuscript by a guy from the 1950s. Reading the comic book, they find it tells a story set in this house, about things that happened here in the 1950s. This sampler gave me only a little taste of what the book would be like. It seemed good and reminded me a bit of Spirit Hunter. I would recommend it to readers  age 12 and up who like spooky stuff.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13


WITCH BORN Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338277531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - September 25th, 2018

This story was really appealing, at times pretty funny and at times dark. It's essentially historical fantasy with a whole lot of "what ifs." It's set in the time of Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth, who are fighting for the throne. Meanwhile, the country is full of witch hunters. These hunters burn the mom of Alyce, the main character. But it turns out Alyce is a witch too. She's sent to an asylum, which she hates, and she eventually escapes. Immediately, she's being pursued by a bunch of witch hunters. Mary and Elizabeth also have their own reasons to try to get their hands on Alyce, so she's running all the time. With the help of a 12-year-old boy, Solomon, from a group of traveling performers, Alyce has to try to figure out the dark secrets around her. The story has lots of plot twists. I would recommend it for readers age 12 and up, especially girls, and fans of fantasy and historical fiction from this time period.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13


Escaping From Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316551700
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: jimmy patterson - September 18th, 2018

Escaping From Houdini is the third book in Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack The Ripper series. It is a beautiful combination of historical fiction, mystery, and romance. The book follows the fiery, feminist heroine Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her charming partner, Thomas Cresswell as they set sail to America. While on the ship another murder strikes and it is up to them to find the killer before it is too late. I loved the suspense and surprises that kept me up at night, unable to put this book down. This was one of my favorite books of the year and I can’t wait to read the fourth and final book when it comes out.

 

-Review by Ava, age 13


Rule Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316515283
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2018

Rule by Ellen Goodlett revolves around three sisters all competing for the crown and each of them with a dark secret that could lead to their death. Someone knows their secret and will do anything to keep the sisters from winning the throne. This book has so many unexpected twists that every page kept me on my toes. Rule is an amazing book full of drama, action, magic, and romance. This book has an amazing build of suspense that leads perfectly to the ending. If you are a fan of sibling rivalry and mystery, Rule is the perfect book for you.

-Review by Ava, age 13


Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage Cover Image
By Amy Klobuchar (Foreword by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781524771966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 4th, 2018

This is a collection of people who were told "You can't" by other people or by the circumstances of their life, and who determined for themselves "I can." The collection includes the stories of a bunch of really diverse people, from a Holocaust survivor to black and Hispanic people who were not expected to "amount to much," to ethnic minorities to girls in sports before Title IX, to gay, lesbian, and transgender teens facing discrimination. My favorite was the one by Maulik Pancholy, an Indian-American actor who I know as one of the voices from “Phineas and Ferb.” Trained as an actor, once he started trying out for roles, he was told he was “too ethnic” to play the roles he really wanted and had to settle for something stereotypical and demeaning instead. Then, when he did start achieving some success, he'd get comments like, “There's actually no reason for that character to be Indian. Why make him Indian?” My response would be “Dude, is there some reason this character has to be 'white?'” I also found the essay by Danielle Vabner, the girl who lost a brother in the Sandy Hook massacre, to be really powerful, and I was moved by the stories of Kara Nirghin, the South African girl who found a way to minimize the effects of drought in her country; and Jillian Mercado, the model with muscular dystrophy. Everyone who has felt repressed by society or circumstances can find something to relate to in this book. I would recommend it to readers age 13 and up.

- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Seafire Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780451478801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - August 28th, 2018

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker is an amazing book about trust, courage, and doing what is right. This book has women empowerment and tells us that we have the power to fight for what we want, even if the odds are not in our favor. This book follows a girl named Caledonia, a captain of the ship, Mors Navis. Her crew is all female and full of women just like her, that had their families killed by Aric Athair and his army of Bullets. Their mission: take down Aric and all of his bullets. Seafire is a great book for teens that shows us that together, anything is possible.

 

-Review by Ava, age 13


Darius the Great Is Not Okay Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525552963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - August 28th, 2018

This book was so good I couldn't put it down, despite being told to shut it three times during the same 4-H meeting. I finished it in one day. I had no background knowledge on Iran, where the majority of action in this book takes place, but it was easy to understand - the main character has only the most general knowledge himself. Darius is half-Persian and is going to Iran to visit his ill grandpa. Darius is a total nerd who likes Star Trek and Lord of the Rings and is full of obscure references I loved. Even these are explained within the story so you don't have to be a Tolkien buff to get them. Darius is really funny, but he also has depression, as does his dad, who he does not get along with at all. In Iran, Darius meets the first real friend he has really ever had. It's a great book and an interesting look people who are a little out of the ordinary. I'd recommend it for teens.
 
-Review by Colleen, age 13.


Mirage: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250126429
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - August 28th, 2018

This book was really good and not like anything else I've read before. I just finished it and I want to read the sequel IMMEDIATELY to find out what happens. Amani, the main character, is a farm girl who lives on a planet ruled by aliens. The Vath, who are oppressing her people, are technologically very advanced, with robots and stuff. On the day of Amani's coming-of-age ceremony, her home is raided by droids, who seize her and take her back to the palace. There, she finds she is the mirror image of the princess and she must learn to act as the princess' body-double. The story is compelling and original and I would recommend it to teens age 14 and up who like science fiction, fantasy and dystopian worlds.
 
 -Review by Colleen, age 13


These Rebel Waves Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062471505
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - August 7th, 2018

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch is the first book in a thrilling new fantasy series. It is full of action, deadly magic, and a little bit of romance. The story follows a raider, a revolutionary, and a prince; on the island of Grace Loray where magic is banned. When a delegate disappears they find themselves searching for the kidnapper, but things are not always as they seem. This book was absolutely breathtaking and every page made me anxious wondering what was going to happen next. I loved Sara Raasch’s first series, Snow Like Ashes, but These Rebel Waves took it to a whole other level. If you like books full of magic, adventure, and betrayal; then set sail because of These Rebel Waves is the perfect book for you.

-Review by Ava, age 13


This Story Is a Lie Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781616959111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Teen - August 7th, 2018

Peter Blankman, a math genius living with only his mother and sister and suffering from massive panic attacks, is also the center of a web of lies.  This fast paced and secretive story will keep you on the edge of your chair until you've finished the book.  What is really going on, the truth will be kept until the very end. Sometimes what you know can hurt you more than what you don't.

 

-Review by Anderson


Nine Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062567260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - August 7th, 2018

 
Julian is a normal boy - for our standards.  But in a different dimension similar to ours where humans have nine lives instead of one, he is an outcast.  After getting sucked into what is known as 'burning', a competition to see who can have the most crazy death, Julian learns something strange is going on, something that has the potential to wipe out humans.  The moral of the story  being that privileges are something to be respected, not abused. 
 
-Review by Anderson


Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution Cover Image
By KaeLyn Rich, Giulia Sagramola (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781683690597
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quirk Books - August 7th, 2018

This was a really good feminist guidebook for young women. I don't anticipate embarking on a petition drive or other campaign in the near future, but this book is full of lots of good ideas about things you can do when there's an issue you're concerned about. It also has some revealing information, like the fact that Hispanic women earn like 54 cents on the dollar compared to what white men make. That's really - wow. I'd recommend this book to people who liked Nevertheless We Persisted and How I Resist, as well as other guidebooks like Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13


Heretics Anonymous Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062698872
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - August 7th, 2018

We need to have more books like this. It was great, really hilarious. I could really relate to it, and I couldn't put it down.
The main character, Michael, and his 10-year-old sister have moved a lot, due to his dad's job. His dad, meanwhile, seems to put his work ahead of his kids. Michael's family is kind of mainstream religious, but Michael himself is an atheist. Now he has to attend this really strict, traditional, nose-in-the-air Catholic school. Obviously, he hates school, but he does connect to others who don't fit in, and they form "Heretics Anonymous." Besides him, there's an outspoken feminist who wants to be a priest, a Jewish guy who's also gay, a pagan, and a guy who wants to wear a cloak to school every day. They embark on a secret campaign to change the school from within, mostly through pranks like stealing the sex ed video and editing it to make it more accurate and true to science; finding loopholes in the school dress code and posting them in the locker rooms, stuff like that.
Then they take a prank too far and someone gets blamed for it. I would recommend this to mature readers age 14 and up - people who march to a different drummer.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Sea Witch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062438775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 31st, 2018

You've all heard of the tale of the little mermaid, but have you ever wondered about how the evil sea witch got to where she was? The book Sea Witch by Sarah Henning is a story of a girl that got pushed over the edge to become a monster. A new take on the most memorable villain of the sea; full of friendship, magic, love, and betrayal. I could not put this book down and got lost in the world. It is perfect for teens that love beautiful worlds full of magic and fairytale retellings. Sea Witch is a beautifully written book that will leave you in tears.

-Review by Ava age 13


Heart of Thorns Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062447685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 31st, 2018

Heart Of Thorns by Bree Barton is an outstanding book about revenge, love, and sisterhood. This book is about a girl named Mia who has one goal, vengeance on the Gwyrach that killed her mother. Gwyrach are half-girl, half-god and are hunted throughout the kingdom. Forced to marry the prince, Mia fleas, only to find out that she might just be the one thing she hates most in the world, Gwyrach. This book is a fast paced fantasy, beautifully written, and one that you will not be able to put down.

 

-Review by Ava, age 13


Sheets Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781941302675
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lion Forge - July 31st, 2018

This graphic novel was a very fast read, appropriate for pretty much everyone over the age of 8. It's set back in the 90s. The main character, a girl who's around 12, basically has to run her family's laundromat by herself since her mom drowned and her dad is in a funk. Meanwhile, there's this guy, a heavy guy with really stuffy mannerisms and a habit of dusting the laundromat with his pocket handkerchief, who keeps coming in and making trouble. He's basically trying to sabotage the laundromat in order to replace it with a "five star sauna and yoga resort." I love this character; he's one of those characters you "love to hate."
Simultaneously, a ghost named Wendell (who looks like an empty sheet) ends up in the human world. He tries to help the main character, with mixed results. I'd recommend it for fans of graphic novels, boys and girls alike, and for fans of realistic fiction with just a little bit of the supernatural thrown in.
 
- Review by Colleen, age 13.


Grace and Fury Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316471411
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 31st, 2018

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart is an amazing story about women's rights, family, and bravery. The book follows two sisters that live very different lives. Both are trapped and would do anything for each other. One is trapped on an island prison and the other in the palace. This book taught me the bonds of sisters, the strength of determination, and equality. This book was very meaningful to me because I have two sisters of my own. I loved this book and could not stop reading. I love the story, the characters, and the amazing writing.

-Reveiw by Ava, age 13


20 Scary stories, 20 mystery writers of America, but too many screams to count.  Each story has only one thing in common.  They all start with a scream, and all end with one.  Inside the exciting worlds of these stories the birds are quite hungry, the leaks have escaped, and something seems a little suspicious about the haunted house of Luis de la Vega.  Beware!

 

-Review by Anderson


Sanctuary (A Sanctuary Novel) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534405332
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - July 24th, 2018

This book was super-good, suspenseful and well-thought-out, with diverse characters and an interesting setting. It's set in the distant future. Fifty years before the story opens, alien probes came to the Earth. Then, a generation later, kids started having superpowers. This scared the general population, so they imprisoned the kids and microchipped their arms to negate their powers. This story happens in "Sanctuary," a prison for these teens which is orbiting the Earth. The main character, Kenzie, is a junior guard, a position for which she's trained all her life. She's totally loyal to the Omnistellar Corporation and believes all of the prisoners are criminals and should be locked up. Then she's accidentally locked in with the prisoners, which proves to be an eye-opening experience. Meanwhile, aliens come and start attacking, and the plot thickens. There will be a second book, which I am already eager to read. I'd recommend this book to readers age 14 and up who like science fiction.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13.


Contagion Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062574145
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - July 24th, 2018

I powered through this in less than a day - just over four hours, to be exact. It was so compelling I couldn't put it down. The story is set in the distant future where space travel is much more advanced. Thea, the main character, has taken an intern research position for her summer job. Then her organization gets a distress call from another planet.  She and others go to the other plant to investigate, and they encounter unexpected danger. The story is really scary and complex. It was really interesting to figure things out as the keys to the mystery were revealed bit by bit. I would recommend this book to readers age 13 and up, especially fans of Unearthed.
 
Review by Colleen, age 13.


Letting Go of Gravity Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534403161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - July 17th, 2018

This book was so good I couldn't put it down! Letting Go of Gravity is about a girl named Parker and her twin brother, Charlie. Parker is the Valedictorian of her class and has a full scholarship to Harvard to be a doctor, while Charlie just battled leukemia and doesn't have a care in the world. Parker also has an internship at the local children's hospital, but she can't muster the courage to walk in, because she thinks about all of the times her brother was in the hospital. Meanwhile, Charlie is struggling with getting his life back on track. Parker also meets up with a childhood friend named Finn who's family is known for being bad - his dad was arrested and his brother is a drug dealer. Finn helps Parker to let go of what's bothering her and ends up not being as bad as people think he is. Parker realizes that following your heart and letting go is the best way to have a happy future. Charlie realizes that leaning on and listening to the ones you love the most will help you to succeed in life. I recommend this book to anyone 12 and up.

  -Review by Audra, age 12


Bright We Burn (And I Darken #3) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780553522396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - July 10th, 2018

Bright We Burn by Kiersten White is the last book in the thrilling And I Darken trilogy. Kiersten’s books are beautifully written and Bright we Burn was the perfect way to wrap up the series. It continues Lada and Radu’s stories as they come to an end. It is full of both emotional moments and fearsome action. I fell in love with the setting and the characters. This book is full of surprises and it kept me up reading way past my bedtime.

 

-Review by Ava age 13


The Year of Living Awkwardly: Sophomore Year Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481488785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - July 10th, 2018

This book was SO good! I would definitely recommend it. Chloe Snow has had a great summer. She worked at the concession stand with her friend, Grady, who is like a brother to her. But, at the end of the summer, Grady tells Chloe that he loves her. This changes everything because Chloe doesn't think she likes Grady like that. But, as the year goes on, Chloe starts to develop feelings for him... Meanwhile, Chloe's friend Hannah is athletic, and a star on the field hockey team. Being a star, the mean girl, Reese, snatches Hannah to be part of Reese's group. Chloe doesn't think anything will work out this year. I recommend this book to anyone 11 and up.

 
-review by Audra, age 12