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Satellite

Title: Satellite
Author: Nick Lake
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade and up
Pages: 464
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Lake

Synopsis: He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.

Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.

Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.

But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds.

Review: For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting concept of what home is & what would happen if you’re born in space. After spending 16 years in a space station and suddenly coming “home”, the process of adapting to earth is no small feat. Gravity alone is enough to take on, but throw in all the sensations such of wind, sun, rain, etc and all the people…and well it’s overwhelming to say the least. And that’s not even considering all the germs their bodies had never been exposed to! Of course, no one could have predicted how hard it would be to come back to earth–not only mentally/socially but also physically. No one has ever spent that much time in zero gravity and they had no idea what to expect. Now, throw in government experiments and cover-ups and things get even more complicated.

The only thing I really hated was the text speak. The constant u, i, c, & dr8 were jarring to say the least. I”m still not sure *why* Lake decided to do it that way beyond  maybe thinking it was cool? The teens obviously smart and I would have assumed they knew basic grammar. I am far from someone who is grammar crazy, but it was enough that I would have abandoned the book if I wasn’t reading it for review. While I have not heard the audio, I would recommend readers tackling that over print. That way you get the interesting story without the annoying text talk.

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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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Bonaparte Falls Apart

Title: Bonaparte Falls Apart
Author: Margery Cuyler
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Pre-K-2nd
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E Cuyler (We don’t own this one, but I did ask Janet to purchase)

Synopsis: Bonaparte is having a tough time. It’s hard for this young skeleton to just hang loose when he can’t keep hold of himself.
When he plays catch, his throwing arm literally takes a flyer. Eating lunch can be a real jaw-dropping occasion. How can he start school when he has so many screws loose?
Luckily, Bonaparte hit the bone-anza when it came to his friends. Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula all have some boneheaded ideas to help pull him together. But will it be enough to boost his confidence and get him ready for the first day of school?

Review: I thought this one was super cute. Of course, as a skeleton, you would have trouble keeping your bones together! I love how all of his friends teamed up to find a solution. While many of their ideas didn’t work, it was a cute take on friendship and helping a friend out, especially since even though their idea didn’t work, they kept on trying! I chuckled at the solution, which happens to be a bone fetching dog named Mandible. I also like that even though Bonaparte was worried people at school wouldn’t like him because his bones fall off that he discovers that’s not the case at all. People like him for him. While it has that Halloween feel since they’re all monsters, it has nothing to do with Halloween at all.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Picture Books

 

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One of Us Is Lying

Title: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen McManus
Series:  N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 361
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction McManus

Synopsis: On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.  Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review: As far as mysteries go, this one was one of the better ones I’ve read. It didn’t make me hate it & I didn’t have it all figured out in the first 10 pages. However, it’s still pretty predictable. I had most of it figured out about a third of the way in. There were a few small details I missed, but generally got it as a whole. My biggest issues with the book was about stereotypical the characters were & how it dealt with mental illness/depression. The characters never really moved out of their “brain, jock, beauty, bad boy” characteristics. Cooper is the closest, but his surprise twist isn’t handed well. The cops literally out him as they let information leak about the case and why he would be a suspect. (Can we just say shody police work too?) The “surprise” twist comes in the fact that Simon set it all up and killed himself, but wanted to take them down/make them suffer for a year along the way. The reason? He was depressed. However, never do we really see that he’s depressed. Instead, we see a kid with a god complex who wants revenge & has used his “power” to manipulate and destroy people for years. It was a highly thought out plan that was complex and well tuned. Could he have been depressed? Of course, but shouldn’t have been the base for all this. He was a kid with serious issues that went way beyond depression, especially consider some other things we learned about him. Throwing in the depression almost vilified it/suicide and just made me feel weird. Honestly, if she had just taken out the depression part, which was maybe only mentioned in the last 30 pages, I would have liked this one much more. As it, it’s a meh book–one I can see teens thinking is okay (most of the book teens were okay, but not love) but no grand slam for sure.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Mysteries, Teen

 

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Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes

Title: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes
Author: Booki Vivat
Series: Frazzled
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 6
Pages: 224
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Vivat (Don’t currently own, but did ask Janet to order)

Synopsis: Things are looking up for Abbie Wu: this year she’ll run for class president and get a brand-new shiny locker. Until—she doesn’t…

In her second tumultuous misadventure, Abbie Wu tackles more unbelievably unfair and calamitous middle school days. From facing locker thieves and battling diabolical cats to having absolutely no idea what to build for her science project, Abbie Wu is still in perpetual crisis.

Review: Man, I’m really struggling with sequels this month! I thought this one was okay, but no where near as awesome as the first one. Abbie is a bit over-dramatic at times, but I feel like that’s typical 6th grade behavior. They’re still dealing how to deal with things that come up in life. I do like that we got to see her work through the process of thinking about one thing but realizing it wasn’t actually true. The science fair project was a little so-so as there are already automatic food feeders, but that’s a small point. And I really loved that the science teacher still gave them an A even though it didn’t work because it was about the process and not the overall result. Even though I didn’t love this one as much, I still think it’s going to be a hit with reluctant readers and those already who enjoy the series.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Funny, Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

Book of Shadows

Title: Book of Shadows
Author: M. Verano
Series: Dairy of a Haunting
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 288
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Verano

Synopsis: All Melanie wants is a blank book to keep a journal of her private thoughts. One day while browsing in a used bookshop, she finds the perfect blank book—smooth black leather with strange symbols in gold embossing. But once she gets home, Melanie finds herself too intimidated by the heavy vellum pages to write her trivial thoughts on them. Her Wiccan friend Lara tells her it’s better suited to be a magical spell book, called The Book of Shadows.

Melanie doesn’t know much about that stuff, but Lara, her boyfriend Caleb, and his friend Lucas, get her started by writing their own made up spells inside the book’s tempting pages. What they didn’t expect was a new spell showing up inside the book—and in handwriting none of them recognize.

Soon they discover that the spells suggested by The Book of Shadows itself do work—but not without wreaking havoc on the lives of the four teenagers.

Review: Normally, I love this series. It’s usually this weird supernatural mix with “it’s it real or not” type vibe. This one sadly fell flat, but I’m not quite sure why. It still had a very solid supernatural feel with the black magic, but it lacked the “keeping you guessing” element. Also, I’m not sure the “diary” format really worked this time. The past two books really only dealt with one main character/one person experiencing the supernatural, but this one really has four. It generally worked okay, but did feel as if something was missing. Overall, it was a middle of the road read. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Horror, Teen

 

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Dear Martin

Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 224
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Stone

Synopsis: Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Review: Man, does this book pack a wallop! It’s been almost two months since I first read it and I’m *STILL* thinking about it. A lot of people have been comparing this one to The Hate You Give; and while they are similar they are also very different. This one was a bit more emotional for me, especially considering it’s just a tad over 200 pages. Dear Martin, also deals more with privilege & racial profiling in general. It’s though provoking and one that people will be talking about for sure. Easily, one of my favorite 2017 books.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Realistic, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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Karma Khullar’s Mustache

Title: Karma Khullar’s Mustache
Author: Kristi Wientge
Series: N/A
Recommended for: grades 5 – 7
Pages: 272
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Wientge (we don’t have this yet/it comes out in Aug, but I’ll ask Janet to order it!)

Synopsis: Karma Khullar is about to start middle school, and she is super nervous. Not just because it seems like her best friend has found a newer, blonder best friend. Or the fact that her home life is shaken up by the death of her dadima. Or even that her dad is the new stay-at-home parent, leading her mother to spend most of her time at work. But because she’s realized that she has seventeen hairs that have formed a mustache on her upper lip.

With everyone around her focused on other things, Karma is left to figure out what to make of her terrifyingly hairy surprise all on her own.

Review: I absolutely adored this book. It’s perfect for those kids who are just starting middle school. It deals nicely with friendships, mean girls/bullying, & the ever dreaded “I don’t look like everyone else”/body scenario. There is also some home life issues with dad losing his job and mom picking up more hours/not being around as much. While Karma does deal some some issue appearing/revolving around her Sikh religion, the themes/issues/problems are very universal. The fears are pretty universal, where it would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t even deal with some of the issue when they were in middle school. Super fast read and easily one of my favorite middle grades of the year.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Juv, Realistic, Uncategorized

 

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