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Category Archives: Teen

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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Just Friends

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th – 12th grade
Pages: 302  pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION PITCOCK, T.

Synopsis:Told from both viewpoints, after Jenny and Chance, a bookworm and a popular heart throb, pretend friendship to save a doomed assignment, they are shocked to find a real friendship–and more–developing.

Comments:  Jenny and Chance have fifteen minutes to learn about each and then present what is learned in front of class.  There time is up before anything is done, so Chance and Jenny pretend in front of the whole class that they have been best friends forever.  They make up a silly story and each takes a turn embellishing.  It gets them the grade, but also starts their friendship.  I love the back and forth banter between these two.  It was a quick fun read.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Realistic, Romance, Teen

 

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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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Thornhill

Title:   Thornhill
Author:   Pam Smy
Series:   —
Recommended for:  older tweens and teens who like creepy books
Pages:   533 pages
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION SMY, P.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

1982:  Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors.  When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary and on Thornhill itself.

2016:  Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one.  From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window.  Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

Comments:

Some colleagues were surprised that I chose to read this book since I don’t usually read creepy, scary books.

As it works out, I was less scared than horrified by the book.  I was really troubled by the cruelty of the bullying that the girl from the eighties experienced, and that the orphanage’s primary caregivers truly didn’t care.  The girl obviously needed psychological help, as did the bully.

I did not get a complete picture of the contemporary girl’s situation.  I could see that she and her father had moved to a new place where she didn’t have any friends.  Her mother isn’t with them and the father works so many hours that the girl is, for all intensive purposes, an abandoned child.

There was no way that this book could end well….

 

But now for the biggest mystery of all:  should we move to book to Teen Fiction or keep it in J Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Historical, Historical, Horror, Juv, Scary, Teen

 

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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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The Testing

Title:The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: Testing #1
Recommended for: 
Pages: 339 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CHARBONNEAU, J.

Synopsis: It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Thoughts:  I am enjoying this series.  I started reading these since the author will be visiting later this year.  I think that the story is well written and pacing is great.  Malencia (Cia) is a thinker, I love how you see her thought process in her decision making.  I really like that Cia’s never loses her humanity throughout the testing. This first book is the testing process, so you learn about the process, the next two books talk more about University and political agendas. This is a great series and look forward to reading more by Joelle Charbonneau.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in Dystopian, Teen

 

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